Many home design fans on the hunt for the freshest looks and hottest tips turn to the Instagram account of designer Sarah Sherman Samuel. And if they want to replicate her recent guest room update, they can turn to Etsy.
Samuels teamed up with the crafty creators’ store for an “Etsy Edit,” transforming the room in her Michigan home—which also serves as her husband’s home office—into a calm, somewhat quirky and classy space.
This room has been through more than a couple metamorphoses. At one time, the walls sported old 1980s-style wood paneling, which Samuel says she painted pink just last year as she transformed the space into a kids’ classroom. You would never guess that when you take in what she has created this time around. The current (and final, she says) iteration is a space that speaks to her tastes.
“My aesthetic celebrates the unique, the handmade, and the sculptural,” Samuel says in a blog post. “I wanted to create a calming and inspiring environment, which meant looking for one-of-a-kind pieces and artful moments.”
Here's a roundup of all the unique Etsy finds she curated to create this one-of-a-kind look.
The Bed's Calming Color Palette
The paneling might be history, but wood remains with the accent wall Samuel created behind the bed, bringing in a natural feel. She went with an overall neutral color palette with the exception of sky blue bedding—Etsy’s 2021 color of the year. The calming color and muted background helped create a soothing setting for slumber. A black-and-white check bolster pillow adds a little extra comfort and some unexpected visual interest to the ensemble.
Standout Nightstands & Decor
With much of the room awash in similar shades, Samuel went to decorative pieces that are far from ordinary to add texture and a little fun to the space. A funky bobble bud vase on an nightstand holds a lotus pod and sets the tone for a room that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
And who says your nightstands have to match? On the other side of the bed, Samuel used a white, organic plaster side table and decorated it with the same color accessories. Instead of getting lost in the background, the matte porcelain vase and grooved incense holder she placed on the nightstand stand out with their interesting shapes and textures. Above each of the bedside tables hangs a brass sconce to add yet another layer of texture.
Samuel ties the entire sleeping space together with a soft, dotted Moroccan rug that reflects back to the checkered bolster pillow and also provides a subtle delineation from the office.
The Chic Office Area
The office nook continues the theme of unique items and clean lines. Samuel chose a handcrafted mid-century modern-style desk to anchor that area. “The desk is one of my favorites for sure, it is such a beautiful piece,” Samuel says in the post. “It’s an interesting shape from all angles, and the top appears to float above the base.”
Uncommon objects find a home on this side of the room as well. One reason Samuel loves to search Etsy for her items is because they are handcrafted and perfectly imperfect. “Instead of incorporating perfect factory-made pieces, look for ones that show the hand of the maker. Imperfect finishes or wear on vintage pieces tell a story and make a space feel like it has its own soul,” she says.
A vintage onyx dish, black swirl ceramic figurine and a black stoneware ceramic pencil cup give the nook a bit of a masculine feel and work nicely with the black ’60s rattan Cesca desk chair. The workspace is framed with long curtains in a complementary amber color. Going with longer curtains makes the ceilings seem higher and they also add warmth and softness, Samuel says. The panels hang from a sleek black curtain rod hung not from the top of the wall, as you might expect, but from the ceiling itself.
Above the desk, a bold and beautiful abstract graphic print defines the office nook, with the visible layering of the ink drawing your eye in for a longer look. A vintage table lamp adds texture and movement to the space.
The Cozy Reading Nook
Two defined areas would be enough for most rooms, but Samuel’s design savvy incorporated a corner reading nook as well. A vintage sling chair provides a comfortable place to curl up with a book, or a spot to enjoy a morning cup of coffee, courtesy of a speckled ceramic coffee pour-over set sitting nearby. An art deco floor lamp with a gold finish and a bold pattern illuminates the cozy corner.
That bold print above the desk isn’t the only wall star. Samuel found a printable set of wall art and created a gallery wall on one side of the room. Using such a set helps hurry along the decorating, keeping you from having to scour shops and sites for complementary pieces. And because you can see it all at once, you know the colors will work together.
Wood pops up again in another curated corner, this time in the form of a wavy birch-framed mirror that reflects Samuel’s desire to break up straight lines with a curvy shape which, as she says, “helps a room feel more welcoming.”
Samuel’s transformation of this space from a classroom to a multipurpose oasis of calm is an inspiration. Check out the full blog post to see more information on pricing and where to purchase her selections and similar items.