Home Decorating Secrets of a Great Room with Helen Phillips

Secrets of a Great Room with Helen Phillips

What makes a room more than just pretty? What are the elements that make it memorable? In our Secrets of a Great Room series, we ask designers to tell us how they created their signature rooms. From decorating advice to the practical nitty-gritty of furnishings, we get their insider tips on crafting rooms to remember, like this fresh coastal guest bedroom by New England-based blogger Helen Phillips of Life on Phillips Lane
Phillips was born and raised in Connecticut, which is where her love affair of the coastal lifestyle–think all blue everything, natural textures, cabana stripes, linen kaftans—began. She expressed her admiration through the blog she created in college, and continued with it even while working in finance after graduating in 2017. Now, she works full-time on Life on Phillips Lane, which guides women on how to live an attainable-yet-luxurious coastal lifestyle. As an avid hostess, Phillips and her fiancé took her passion into account when renovating and decorating their forever home with four guest rooms—one of which has become a clear favorite (“It’s where my future in-laws always stay!”) Here, Phillips explains how she decorated her premier guest room in her coastal home:

Make Your Walls the Star of the Show

“I have always wanted to do grasscloth, and felt I could finally justify putting it up on my walls,” Phillips says. “But my eyes were always drawn to the seams of the paper, so instead of ignoring them, I embraced them with stripes.” Phillips admits she’s never seen this done before, and neither did her contractor. “My contractor and all his workers were taking bets on whether it would turn out good or not!” 
With the countless color options of our Samoa grasscloth wallpaper to choose from, Phillips was able to find the perfect coastal color scheme (Periwinkle and Silver) and knew she wanted the stripes centered on the headboard. “My contractor and I started from there, and went around the room with a tape measure to mark where each stripe would be.” And behold, her vision came to life!

Upgrade an Old Piece with New Décor

Staying true to her message of attainable luxury, Phillips reused her childhood headboard in this guest room. “My mom still can’t believe I kept it all this time, but I like to be sustainable and it has so much life left,” she explains. “Using the Lush Linen White Bed Skirt brought new life to it and really elevated this simple headboard, even though it’s actually a really inexpensive piece.”

Create a 5-star Hotel Bed

“We have a couple of guest bedrooms in our house, but we knew this would be the nicest one, so I wanted it to feel like a hotel,” Phillips explains. “I love when our guests say, ‘Oh my gosh, it feels like we’re staying at the Four Seasons!’ And all of the pieces from Annie Selke totally make it feel that way.” And just like staying in a 5-star hotel, Phillips created the dreamiest bed ideal for both hot and cold sleepers. “I really wanted to design the bed to be beautiful, functional, and versatile,” she says. “So using a quilt as the topper and having a duvet folded at the end of the bed gives our guests layers so they will always be comfortable and have a great sleep.” Bonus: make sure to add a throw for decoration and extra warmth!

Mix Your Sheet Sets!

After selecting a clean and simple bed skirt, Phillips chose two sheet sets that fit her personality. “I saw the Classic Ruffle White Sheet Set, and it was a no-brainer because I love that ruffle” she explains. “When guests come, it’s something different that they haven’t seen before. It actually makes the stay that much more special because it’s not like any other sheet they have at home.” As for choosing Trio Pearl for the duvet and euro shams, Phillips believes this pattern is a staple in high-end hotels. “I wanted to keep everything white, crisp, and clean and I love to mix and match, so it just came down to personal preference!”

Indoor/Outdoor Pillows are Perfect for a Guest Bed

“These are my favorite pillows!” Phillips exclaims about our Crystal Platinum/White Indoor/Outdoor Pillows. “They’re perfect for a bedroom because they’re really soft and really durable which is great when you have guests who will most likely throw them on the floor and not think much about it.” Phillips decided on one decorative pillow per side to keep the bed looking crisp and symmetrical. 

Display the Obvious

At first, Phillips had planned on keeping the bath towels in a closet. But after finding on-brand rattan side tables that would hold the Ceylon Natural towels perfectly, Phillips knew she wanted them out on display. “Not only is the coloring really similar to the Trio bedding, but now I don’t have to point out where the towels are to guests. It’s self-serve, easy, looks pretty, and is part of the decoration. It’sl when you can take something that’s so practical and make it part of the decor.”

Quick-Fire with Helen Phillips

Tea or Coffee, and how do you take it? Peach tea exclusively.
What is your ideal day? It’s a sunny day, so breakfast by the pool in our backyard, going paddle boarding—just relaxing outside. And it ends with a dinner with family and friends on our screened-in porch.
Most Treasured Possession My dog, though I don’t know about possession—she rules me!
Qualities you look for in a friend Someone who’s fun to be around and easygoing.
Biggest Influence Definitely my mom.
Favorite playlist/artist I listen to a little bit of everything.
Guilty Pleasure Raw cookie dough.
Feel-Good Ritual My breakfast routine, since I take time for myself in the morning. I always make myself a really nice breakfast and sit down and actually enjoy it.
Current State of Mind A little overwhelmed with my wedding on the horizon, but grateful.
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