One of our favorite things, right up there with good books and California sunshine, is hosting family, friends, acquaintances, and, whenever possible, complete strangers. So we rolled all three of those things into a guest room for our friends (sunshine: check. A variety of books to choose from, whether system dynamics, San Francisco architecture, or sci-fi is your thing: check). Step one was to paint the room: it was a lovely space to begin with, with perfect double-doors to the outside and some pretty incredible built-in shelves, but it was painted an unfortunate shade of grayish-green, depicted for you below, which was a real downer. We're renting, but I took the route of asking forgiveness rather than permission, and I attacked the space with a paintbrush and the only real decorating trick I know, which goes something like this: when in doubt, paint it white.