our guest room : before


we never took the time to make our guest room too cute when we moved in, we just put our old bedroom furniture in there and called it a day. i never felt happy when i walked through the hallway and saw it, so i knew someday i’d want to make it better. does anyone else walk through their house and look at every room and base their level of happiness on it? oh ok good, me too. 

well anyway, years went by, we never fixed it up — because of the lack of mudroom or laundry room in our house, it sort of just became the cat room. and not in a cute fun way like a cat cafe, but in a pretty disgusting miserable way we should be v ashamed of.

so those before photos show that we painted the room white, got rid of the ceiling fan, added blinds and that was about it — but back then it was nice and clean, and then it turned into this…

i considered cleaning up a little bit before taking these but i was too lazy so i snapped a few pictures before we started moving everything around. stuff everywhere! a shower curtain on the bed! its complete chaos, and probably so bad i shouldn’t be sharing, but hopefully that will make the “after” that much more dramatic.

so here’s the plan…

pillows / luggage rack / wood cabinets / table lamps / butterfly chair
framed desert print / neutral area rug / white nightstands

new cat box setup

we got a litter robot and only one cat wants to use it, another one wants to stand on it and break it, and the third cat pooped on the floor until we put the old litter box back, which took over the closet and the whole room reeks and it is just such an absolute bummer in there. i don’t know if its the litter box situation or arlo, but one cat has peed on the bed countless times now. and rocky has to be escorted to the bathroom so she doesn’t get attacked so sometimes she’ll just go in a plant. i’m not sure if we can really remedy the cat box situation, but we’re going to try to at least make it less of a bummer for us to be in there (and poor poppy who willingly sleeps in there and one time he even slept in cat pee and now i’m actually laughing as i type this). i should probably be embarrassed about this, so i am. the bed is currently covered with a shower curtain, and we moved the cats dry food so they eat on the bed — to hopefully discourage any peeing where they eat. it’s really a delightful situation, as you can see.

we’ve heard a million times you need one litter box per cat plus one extra, but we are not going to have four litter boxes in our house, sorry. so we’re going to try to use one and make it a dope place any cat would wanna be, and if we need to, put the litter robot in our bathroom. we are going to use the ivar cabinets from ikea, and turn two of them into a cat box with a walkway (to prevent all the litter getting everywhere like it currently does), and then the third cabinet will be for sheets and our guests. anyway, i’ll do a whole post on how the cabinet turns out.


in order to do three cabinets side by side, we have to move the bed to the other side of the room, and have it in front of a window. ideally you’d see the bed as you walk by the room, but this is the way it has to be to fit all the cabinets and i actually think it is looking really good at the moment so i’m fine with it! the bed fits both nightstands on the other side too.

old stuff & new stuff

to keep this room redo simple, quick and inexpensive, we’re keeping the ikea bed and nightstands we already have, and using our old butterfly chair that didn’t hold up so well outdoors. but we’re going to cozy up the bed with new pillows, sheets and a new mattress to get rid of all the bad pee pee juju. also going to get some new accessories and decor to spice the room up, like new art and lamps. (if you follow me on instagram, you know these lamps i liked are too small, so hoping to find the right lamps soon).

we’re getting a new cozy rug to lighten up the room and we’ve already purchased and assembled the new cabinets and i love them. it’s feeling very good already!

and after seeing that monstrosity, let’s look at some pretty inspiration images to cleanse our eyes.




so, the next time you see this room, it’ll be hopefully way more nice to look at! anyone have any tips of how to make this cat box situation actually work?

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  1. Lynda Ashley says:

    Hi Molly, I am sure you have gotten hundreds of emails about the cat litter situation. Bottom line, with 3 cats you need 2 litters. I live in a 575 sq foot apartment and 1 litter is in my bathroom and I have one in the living room with a small screen to give my cat privacy (seems they need it). Not ideal. I hate litter being in the house actually and would rather have an attached garage and put the litter out there and a cat door in and out of the garage. That worked great for years when I had houses. I’m still trying to figure out a more pleasing litter in the bathroom scenario. Good luck girl!!

  2. We use the “feline pine” cat litter and it absorbs the urine smell like 100%. Also, we thought about getting one of those robo-litter boxes but cheaped out and bought a $25 litter box that is enclosed with this cat door flap thing and a carbon filter pad and we hardly ever smell it.

  3. idk why but it kind of satisfied me to see your room messy as if you are a normal person or something??? 🙂

  4. Question, what finish do you use for the walls? Flat, eggshell? Also, love the print above the headboard.

  5. I just switched to the Tidy Cats Breeze system and I think it’s so much neater (no litter tracking all over the house), less smelly and less gross to clean than a regular litter box. Although, there was an adjustment period where I had to mix old litter and the pellets until my furball got used to it, but it doesn’t have any scary “robot” moving parts!

    1. Tidy Cat Breeze FTW! I have an unnatural love for that litter box. So good.

      1. Me too! That’s what we used.

        1. Tidy Cat Breeze FTW! I have an unnatural love for that litter box. So good.

  6. Dang girl the cat situation sounds rough! I’ve always struggled with the box thing too, and I only have one cat so I can only imagine with 3! The peeing on the bed is def a territorial response so they must feel crowded? Maybe splitting up eating stations and having 3 boxes might actually cut down on the cat squabbles plus nix the peeing outside the box. I’m also building an enclosed piece for my cats box so i can keep it in the main space. BTW I stopped using all that fragrance/fancy stuff cause it never worked. Instead I use Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Clumping Cat Litter which 100% clay, has 0 fragrance but actually covers up ALL the nasty smells. Seriously, it takes a long time before the scent appears. Plus it has less dust (better for my allergies). KK godspeed! No doubt it’s gonna be gorgeous.

  7. We have two cats and two litter pans. I forced my husband to buy a third but he doesn’t put it out (“waste of litter” was the excuse). Our litter boxes are right next to each other and the boys use them indiscriminately and have had no problem with the transition with the baby (5 weeks and still good!). The robo litter sounds nice but maybe it is the problem? I’m sure you bought it to avoid cleaning, but it may not clean enough or it may scare them when it cleans that is causing the problem. I hope you figure it out, I always feel bad when family members aren’t adjusting well to changes!

  8. Hi Molly,
    Bedroom looks awesome, just wondering where you got the bedspread from under the shower curtain?, even with the shower curtain looks great. I live in Australia, any idea where I could pick up something similar.

  9. Is the litter situation a territorial thing? We have two cats, but they are siblings and ‘bonded’ (as the adoption ppl told us to get us to adopt both of them). They share a litter box, and we just have to make sure we empty it every day before it gets super disgusting. One of our friends thought it’d be fun to introduce her cat to ours when they were all basically kittens. She brought a litter box for her cat, and the first thing our male cat did was poop in said litter box, and hiss at her poor cat whenever he went near it. We googled it, and concluded it must be a territorial thing. Cats are weird. Hope you can get them sharing a toilet without too much drama!

  10. Amanda Cimino says:

    Hi! Where’s that ceilings light from??

  11. Here’s another litter solution idea – we put a cat door (kinda like a dog door, but smaller) on a bathroom cabinet and put the litter box inside the cabinet. It works wonders and hides the smell AND the loose litter stays inside the cabinet so it’s easy to vacuum up. Good luck to you!

  12. Very nice inspiration, I’m just thinking about finding such a room at home.

  13. Ok, so the cat box thing is totally territorial. When we got our second cat, a rescue/foster, we had an enclosed litter box for our existing cat shaped like your litter robot, and our existing cat would wait for our new cat outside of it, and ambush her. According to her foster family, she never had litter box issues before that, but our first cat traumatized her enough that like a decade later, even after switching to open boxes years ago, she is still inconsistent about using them. Pooping near the boxes is obviously her way of trying to show our other cat that it’s her territory, and she loves to be guarded by us while she’s using the box (she guards the bathroom door while we go in there, ha). Even if you don’t see actual ambushing, just watching another cat use the box is a form of aggression.

    So long story short, I suspect something similar is going on with your cats. Lose the lidded box. More boxes would definitely be better. Get creative about where you could put more. Try to figure out a way to make the floor-pooper feel safe with the situation. Try to catch her going outside the box, put her in it, watch her go, and reassure her. It’ll be good practice for pottytraining your kid (unless that’s done? I have no idea). We tried a Feliway diffuser filled with cat anti-anxiety hormones, and Feliway litter, which didn’t end up solving it for us at the time, but might help you. Having a bunch of boxes (literally 5 for 2 cats, but on 3 floors) and keeping them really clean is the only thing that works for us. Sorry, probably not what you want to hear. More boxes seems better than more poop on the floor and pee on the bed? Best of luck!

  14. My husband and I have three cats as well – two have totally become best friends and the third has become their unified target. They terrorize the poor senior cat to the point where she started peeing as a territory thing as well. So we got a second litter box…..NONE of the cats would use the second one. We moved it to every spot the senior cat peed and she would pee right outside of it. They were all determined to use the one box. After living it cat pee world, we made the decision to put in a cat door and let the cats be indoor/outdoor cats. At this point, the cats were fighting, marking their territory all over, and generally making our lives miserable – so it felt like our only choice.
    Well, it has help things SUBSTANTIALLY. There is way less fighting (really no fighting at all, just a couple hisses here and there) and the senior cat only wants to pee on one spot in the closet (so we are just really diligent to keep that door shut).
    I think they all have really enjoyed going outside. They are in and out all day and have never ventured beyond the yard. I don’t know if we just got really lucky, but it has worked out amazing for us. Our cats are 1, 5 and 12, by the way. The one year old and twelve year old we raised from kittens and have never been outside before this. The five year old was a rescue from the streets and he seems the least interested in going outside ha!
    I don’t know if this helps at all, but wanted to give another option for ya!

  15. I can see that you are getting lots of cat lady advice lol, but I will just add in that we use the Litter made from Corn, I think it’s called Worlds best kitty litter or something? Anyway, it has ZERO smell of it’s own and completely covers up any kitty smells. Also, I’ve found that feeding my Cat and dog raw food (primal frozen) has made their um, byproducts much more tolerable in the smell department! Good luck 😉

  16. I’ll throw in my two cents on the cat situation as well. Cats are very territorial, so it seems like you need AT LEAST one additional litter box, otherwise you’re always going to have cat poop and pee where it shouldn’t be. The higher quality food you feed, the less smell you’re going to have. Make sure there are no health problems. (We had a cat start peeing outside the box, and it was a health issue and nothing to do with anything else. Now we had to set up a motion detecting camera to figure out who it was, but life got much better after.) As for other locations for a box, we have a laundry “closet” with bifold doors – they’re cheap so we put a cat door in one and a litter box in the closet (our washer and dryer are stacked on one side). Any place you can give them some privacy with a cat door will usually help.

  17. so the real deal is, you can’t have 1 box for 3 cats and expect things to be fine no matter how dope you make it. cats don’t even understand cool anyway, they understand…is this where i shit? yes. okay. i shit here.
    rocky is getting attacked because one of your other cats is guarding the box. it’s an entirely territorial response that is probably partly because of your new baby but mostly because there is a single box. you need at least 3. sounds like a pretty terrible way for rocky to live as well. put aside aesthetics for a moment and consider the well being of the animal(s) you decided to have.
    it seems like a much easier solution to source non-hideous litter boxes (they are out there) than to continuously deal with freewheeling pee and poopers and complaining about it on the internet while trying to make the focus about cool lamps.

  18. The physical and emotional health of your animals is more important than decor and convenience. Doing the right thing is often not cool looking (though there are many cool litter box solutions out there) or convenient but your cats have no one else to depend on but you to make the quality of their lives what they need and deserve. Pets give so much love and comfort to us and only ask for food, water, shelter, cuddles and a considerate habitat in return. Please do for them what they can’t do for themselves. Doing what is right improves both your soul and their lives. A win-win.