Guest Room Makeover {Lighting & Design}

My interior design hero has to be Candice Olson. Her work is simply stunning, and if you’ve watched every single episode of her show as I have, you’d know one thing.

She loves lighting.

In all of her designs, she focuses a huge amount of time and effort on lighting. She will rip out ceilings, spend half the budget on a chandelier, etc.

Well…I am no Candice Olson and even if I sold a kidney I would not be able to splurge as much as her clients do on lighting. However, you can apply those same principles to any makeover you do. Period.

We have a guest room in our home that gets used maybe 5 times a year. Every time we have guests, all we do is wash the linens and tell them to make themselves at home. It’s about time we showed our guest room a little TLC. Now, unlike many of my makeovers, I didn’t buy a ton of accessories nor paint any walls. I simply focused on the foundation of a good room—lighting.

Daniel and I headed to Walmart with a $2 coupon in hand (which you can print for yourself at the bottom of any page on my blog) to buy bright, white CFL/energy efficient bulbs by GE Lighting. And, I also wanted to splurge on a lighting addition, whether it be a floor lamp or a table lamp.

I have my coupons on hand to save some money. Notice they don't expire for over 2 years?! I love it. My husband printed one and I did, too.

The room desperately needs better lighting.


See? It’s dark and yellow. You know what I mean by yellow, right? It’s that awful yellow that normal light bulbs cast onto a room.

Not flattering. It also didn’t help that 1/2 the light bulbs were dead in our ceiling fan. I believe they’ve been that way since we moved in back in 2010.


While at Walmart, we chose this pack of CFL bulbs. Why? Well, it said fresh, energizing light, which hopefully will be bright like natural daylight. Basically, not yellow.


They came securely packaged. A+


While I was swapping light bulbs, Daniel put together my new crystal column floor lamp. I’ve been wanting this lamp for years!

This assignment finally gave me the excuse/desire/motivation to buy this lamp. I have been eyeing this floor lamp for years. You see, I have a weak spot for crystal/translucent lamps. They tend to be very pricey, but this floor lamp is a steal at $50. It is STUNNING in person.


And 10 minutes later I had a BRIGHT guest room. What a difference that makes.


Once I adjusted my camera settings, you can better see how the light looks in the room: GELighting07

It’s white, flattering, bright yet very livable. You don’t feel like it’s too bright.  Well, maybe Pee Wee does.


I love how I was able to get accurate color on my pictures without a flash and without any post editing. This is all straight out of the camera.


And if you turn the ceiling fan lights off and just opt for the floor lamp, you still get a bright, natural light that is great for reading or watching TV. Isn’t my new floor lamp pretty?!


And here’s what the bulbs look like in my ceiling fan. Not super chic, but I’ll take the energy savings and white light over the yellow bulbs of doom.


What do you think? Here’s a side-by-side before and after.

GELighting01 GELighting06

I did add in a few accessories I already had on hand (pillows/mirrors), but overall this makeover took 15 minutes and about $65 ($50 floor lamp, $15 bulbs). I hope our guests will appreciate the slight facelift when they visit us again. And maybe I will paint the walls…eventually.

Overall, the main motives for this makeover were to improve the look of the guest room AND to help save money on energy costs. Energy efficient lighting may cost a smidge more upfront, but in the long run it’ll last longer, save you money on your electric bill, and it will make a room look fantastic without needing to spend tons of time and money.

If you click on over to this neat CFL Savings Calculator, you can calculate how much you’d save by switching your bulbs. I calculated my savings and over one year, we’d save about $37 in the guest room. The bulbs were $13 with coupon, so this means in our first year we’d save $24. If we replace all the bulbs in our house, we could potentially save $285. Looks like I need to do more light bulb shopping. That much in savings could equal a new designer handbag every year.

Just sayin’.

If you have more questions on GE Energy Efficient Lighting, feel free to connect with them on their social media channels: Twitter or Facebook.

Do you care about lighting choices in your home? Do you try to pick energy efficient lighting?

Up to 75%. That is a lot of savings when you think about all the bulbs in your house that you could replace.

I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and GE. All opinions are true and not influenced by monetary compensation or promises of puppies and rainbows. #CBias #SocialFabric #GELighting



  1. Nicole Torres
    May 31, 2012 / 11:45 am

    Cute before and after! More pillows on the bed and possibly larger too. Love where your direction in style. I would love to see a pop of color in the room. -nicole designer

  2. Ginger
    May 31, 2012 / 10:19 pm

    Looks awesome! Love your before & after pictures.Ginger @

  3. Kassi @ Truly Lovely
    June 1, 2012 / 3:45 pm

    Ooh that lamp is so chic! 😉 Honestly, I pretty much just buy the cheapest… But I can totally see the difference in your before and after photos! Maybe it's time to upgrade to better bulbs!

  4. Jenn "Rook No. 17"
    June 2, 2012 / 3:33 am

    The bulbs definitely made a huge difference in your lovely room. I love the throw pillows on your bed and the Pee Wee's elegant chair!

  5. Terri
    June 2, 2012 / 4:24 am

    Looks fantastic! What a difference; I was truly surprised! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. June 3, 2012 / 6:26 pm

    Phenomenal!! What a huge difference, I love the before and after comparison, that really shows how much of a change you made! Also, Pee Wee is adorable 🙂

  7. juliangreenfield
    June 6, 2012 / 6:07 am

    Beautiful décor and interesting lighting sources on this blogs display. The illustrations are really wonderful.Work Jacket

  8. Tonia L
    June 11, 2012 / 2:37 pm

    Wow! That is so much brighter and I love the new lamp!

  9. Anonymous
    June 12, 2012 / 12:20 pm

    Interior designing couldn’t have got better than this. This is what I call “Art for Art’s Sake. “ Drawing Software

  10. NewCastleMom
    June 16, 2012 / 12:00 am

    I can definitely see the change. I have the GE energy saver lights also. Your room so sweet!

  11. Andrea
    June 18, 2012 / 9:38 pm

    ok love love this guest room! I have to know where you got your comforter. I've been looking all over for one like that!

  12. Monica @
    June 18, 2012 / 9:43 pm

    @Andrea- I got my duvet cover from a few years ago. They have similar on if that helps! 🙂

  13. Andrea
    June 19, 2012 / 2:58 am

    I'll check it out! Thanks Monica!