A Thai Inspired Bedroom

During our recent trip to Thailand, I was so inspired by the culture, style, and stunning landscape that once we returned home, I decided to take that inspiration and redo our guest room.

Moving into a traditional Japanese rental has come with its own unique challenges. There are aspects of this house I absolutely adore, like the tatami mats and other traditional details like carved wooden transoms and sliding shoji screens; however, some rooms have remained untouched for decades, like the room we are currently using as our guest bedroom.

It’s a large space, with tall ceilings and big windows, but the room feels dark with its dated wall to wall paneling… yikes! I knew creating a relaxing retreat for guests would be challenging, so I devised a design plan using photos of our Thailand vacation as inspiration to help make this undertaking seem a little more manageable!

· The Inspiration ·


During our trip, we stayed at the most amazing resort, Phulay Bay, and as a designer, I couldn’t help but feel inspired throughout our entire visit. I love the hotel’s choice of rich colors against the background of the lush green landscape around the resort grounds; the luxurious pool-side sunning beds adorn with lightweight sheers that blew in the wind; and the local flora and fauna that one can only experience in Thailand.

· The Plan ·

After collecting photos {which can be found via google image search, pinterest, or photos of your own travels}, I created a design board to help me visualize the space.

Thai Inspired Bedroom


In order to lighten up this dark space, I knew I wanted to decorate with a lot of white fabric while using rich wooden furniture, pops of purple, and greenery placed throughout the room. Lastly, I wanted to accessorize with Thai inspired decor, like carved wood reliefs and buddha statues, in order to complete this Thai inspired space.

· The Results ·

Here is a look at our guest room before…


Here is a look at our guest room after…


If this were my property, I would have painted the paneled walls or removed the paneling altogether, but since this is a rental, there was nothing I could do about the walls other than decorate around them. In order to distract from the paneling, I hung large pieces of art around the room, like a framed batik-painted silk scarf that I found in Thailand and a hand-carved wooden relief pictured above.

Guest room before…


Guest room after…


My amazingly patient husband helped me hang white sheers around the bed, similar to the sunning beds we frequently found ourselves relaxing in during our vacation, making the bed the focal point of the room and creating a romantic feel in this space. The bed has been decked out in white linens accented with purple pillows and a Japanese obi at the foot of the bed.


The nightstand was a perfect place to showcase some Thai inspired accessories, like an antique 6-armed shiva and an elephant lamp given to us by our friends.


At the foot of the bed, I placed a large tray filled with bathing necessities guests would need during their stay, such as towels, loofahs, soaps, shampoos, toothbrushes, hairbrushes, etc. Collecting toiletries from nice hotels definitely comes in handy when guests visit!


We purchased a large armoire from a local Japanese thrift shop that works perfectly as a wardrobe for guests in the absence of a closet. And at the head of the bed, we installed a hand-carved wooden screen that has now been repurposed as a headboard.

Guest room before…


Guest room after…


On the other side of the room, I created a small sitting area in front of the large window using two wooden chairs, a reading lamp, floor pillows, and a floral foot soak just like we experienced in Thailand, making guests feel like they have arrived on their very own luxurious vacation!


Last look at the guest room before…


Guest room after…


I am really happy with the way our guest room turned out. This space was definitely a design challenge, but now it’s one of our favorite rooms in the house!

With our parents’ upcoming visit, our hope is that the new guest room will be a welcoming and relaxing space where they feel as though they were on a Thai vacation with us!


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  1. I too just returned from Thailand and was so inspired I decided to redo my guest bedroom in Thai style. My mom is originally from Thailand and I would like her to feel at home when she comes to visit. Thanks for the tips.

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