Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Update: Guest Bedroom, Part One

Lotsa photos today.  Here are the blurry before shots.  My camera had been loaned to someone and I borrowed Ben's little point-and-shoot, but it didn't like me.

We've lived in this house four years now, and the room has basically looked like this always.  Neutral walls.  Dresser and buffet and chair from auctions and Craigslist.  My satin handmade wedding quilt of the Salt Lake City temple.  No bells.  No whistles.  Who would want to stay here? Actually a lot of people have--mostly due to the memory foam mattress.  What else matters, right?

Here she is, mostly finished, and  I would love opinions on the last few decisions.

This is the view from the doorway:

 And this is the view standing in front of the window:
I admit that I'm an HGTV addict. Sarah, Genevieve, David, Candace and I--we're tight.

I remember saving up my twelve-year-old babysitting money to buy a bedspread for my bed to try and tie the bed in with the hideous wallpaper my mom wouldn't let me remove. I made my first curtains when we were in law school in Chicago, and I scrounged through the discard pile in our apartment building's laundry room always looking for the hidden diamond. I've stripped wallpaper, painted furniture, matched swatches and samples, and loved every single second.

I don't think I've ever been happier with a room's outcome than this one.  I truly love it.  As I've thought about what makes this room my favorite ever, I realized that this room takes things I've been given and things I've found and unites them with two fabrics I love. I knew I wanted to use my wedding quilt, my thrifting finds, my Grandma Tucker's china and my Grandma Olsen's friendship quilt.  These three things were the jumping-off point.  I found two fabrics--a plaid and a floral--and the fun began.

Details of the room, starting with the bed:

The quilt needed to stay--my mom and grandma stitched that quilt by hand as my wedding gift, and it's been on my guestroom bed forever.  But I really didn't want to stay with the blues.  Now that it's folded at the foot of the bed, it complements, rather than defines, the color palette.

Dust ruffle:  made that m'self, thank you very much.  I LOVE that plaid--it's the nicest, best woven fabric, and that makes sewing so easy. Dust ruffles are the easiest thing in the world to make. Here's my secret:  Use a fitted sheet as your base, then pin the ruffled fabric directly to the stationary sheet.  It'll be even and perfect every time.  Plus, it won't move when you move the mattress.

I bought these sheets the moment I saw them at Target--crisp white with the gray contrast.  I elected to go light on the pillows (no shams) because when I'm a guest, all the excess pillows just get in my way. The two accent pillows were a gamble for me.  I was afraid they'd be too strong and bold for the subtle bed, but they really work--one of my favorite surprises in the room.  Bonus? They were $15 each at Wal-Mart.  I like their Better Homes and Gardens line.
The headboard for the bed I picked up at a yard sale over ten years ago.  It's actually the footboard of a sleigh bed, but I didn't want the height in my old house, so this worked just great.  I've been toying with the idea of making my own padded tufted headboard for this room?  What do you think?

My grandma's plates turned out EXACTLY how I'd imagined.  Hanging them was a bear, admittedly, but they are such a great focal point over the bed.  And their rose print is the backbone of the room's palette.

On either side of the bed:
I've wanted to do mismatched nightstands in my master for years, but Brad isn't so much into that look.  Luckily, I found exactly what I wanted to do for this room.  When I saw the wispy tree on the right in a catalog, I knew immediately it was what I wanted.  Impractical for a functioning bedroom since it lacks storage of any kind, it was perfect for this room.  I topped it with an adjustable-height lamp (love those and I buy telescoping things whenever it's an option), a picture of my two favorite little girls, and a bedside water carafe I found online.

The nightstand on the other side I found at TJMaxx with Ben one day (why Ben was with me, I don't remember).  Funny story:  As we walked out of the store, Ben carrying the nightstand, a couple walking in followed us with their eyes.  In passing the guy said, "We were just coming back for that."  Bad timing for them.  Good timing for me.  I liked this table because it was mostly open like the tree, but it did have a small drawer and more space on top for stuff.  And? The bottom shelf had been exposed metal, but I had a wood tray in my closet that fit the slot like it was made for it.  I topped this table with a small clock (Target) and a white ceramic tray (TJMaxx) for keys, watch, wallet, phone, etc.

I moved the buffet so it is centered under the window (the bed used to be there), and framed it with this gorgeous paisley floral print (picture on bottom is more true to the actual color). Hanging those curtains to the ceiling made the room seem even taller than its 10' ceiling--love that (notice how tall it seems in the first picture). I debated whether I should paint the buffet white or not, but two very dependable sources encouraged me to leave it original.  I bought it off Craigslist at least ten years ago, and it really is an unusual piece with great details and hardware.  I topped it with a few of my favorite books to browse for a chapter or two, a bottle of linen spray, one of Grandma's teacups, and a fan I picked up at the auction (see this post).  One of my struggles in design is the accessories.  I never seem to find "just the thing."  Any suggestions?

This post is interminable as it is, so I'll save the last two walls for Monday's post, along with a DIY on the curtains. But, here are my questions:

1.  The ceiling is so high.  Do I need to accessorize higher?  Trim molding?  What?
2.  Do I need things filling up the corners on either side of the window?
3.  What about anything else hanging on the wall behind the headboard?  I love the plates, but do they take up enough visual weight?
4. What would you do differently in here?  What is your favorite?
5. What do you like to have available in a properly stocked guestroom/bath?
6.  When are you coming? I take reservations.  And we have a pool.  Just sayin'.

Linking this Update to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.
Jenny Matlock


  1. I love everything about this room. I would not change a thing. I really like the fan. I want to find one like that. The tree table is very cool and I like the plates on the wall(although I probably would have hung the plates in the dining room or kitchen but they look good in your room)

  2. Good for you! I am so afraid to decorate because it's just not in me. I do a little bit but drool over people who have talent like yours. Sigh. I can play the piano. How about that for a talent. I think the room looks amazing. I would sleep in it.

  3. Visiting from Jenny's place and Alphabe-Thursday. Your guest room is beautiful! Lucky folks when they come to visit. xo,

  4. Oh - this winter, when it starts to rain up here, I'll send in my reservation!
    I like the room as is - it is everything and has everything I'd want in a room. I wouldn't put anything else into the corners, because when I'm a guest I like the feeling of light and airiness in an uncluttered bedroom - home is full right to the corners! I think that there are enough fabrics in the room, and I like the headboard, so I wouldn't put in a tufted version.
    Well done!

  5. It looks gorgeous. Such a gifted lady, you are.

  6. Beautiful! Oh I can't wait to have my own house so I can decorate it!

  7. I love the vintage fan and that pretty tree table. I think you did a fine job!

  8. I love it so much. It is so welcoming and to think it has a memory foam mattress too. I love the curtains, plates and the buffet in front of the window. Great job!

  9. I think it turned out SO nice! Very very welcoming!

  10. I love the feeling of family in this room -- there's all kinds of older pieces which are PERFECT for kids visiting!

    I have a tufted headboard in my bedroom and I *LOVE* it ... plus I think it would add visual weight to that wall.

  11. Looks sweet! You did a good job.

  12. i love those curtains....

    I'll take a spot for sometimes in the feb. that's a good reason to trade one hot spot for another right now huh?!

  13. I love it the way it is! It's a beautiful room - I can't wait to see the rest of it!

  14. Warm and welcoming! I'm on my way!!


    PS. I love the chair most of all. (And the mattress, heehee.)

  15. I could absolutely just hunker down in that beautiful room for a week or two! I'll do the cooking!!!

    I just finished redoing my guest room also, I'll have to do a post about it....

  16. Love how the plates turned out in the shadow boxes, very nice touch for the room.

    Added the pic of the waffle maker...didn't even cross my mind before!!

  17. Hello.
    WoW! I mean WOW! What a difference! To me the room actually looks bigger and is definitely up there with those swanky, expensive hotel rooms!

    I'm afraid I haven't got a clue when it comes to handy work...I'm a poet...all I do with my hands is write (lol)!

    You've done a fantastic job and your guests sleep in luxury what with the memory foam mattress!

    Very well done indeed!

    BTW, welcome to my blog & thanks for following. I always return the kindness and if you look, you'll see my smiling face as your newest follower too. I hope you'll come visit me often. ;-)

    Under Blinking Stars

  18. UTTERLY UNIQUELY U :) Great presto chango girl! If ever I get your way, I'll hold you to that invite...Hopefull Rocky Mountain Woman will be there cooking:)

  19. Wow, great work. I think the room looks fab just the way it is. My favorite is that little bedside table with the tree design, so cool!

  20. I am totally loving this guest room :) I don't think I would want to change anything in here or add/take away anything either. Your grandmother's plates do a great job with carrying visual weight because there is nothing else around it trying to compete for attention. It'd be a shame if those beautiful plates got upstaged by something else, right?

    I'm also loving the mismatched side tables. I know I would much prefer the unique tree table and Jason would much prefer the other side table because he needs more space for his books. It's perfect for couples with different needs to have different tables :)

    Oh and I love how you changed the color of the room with....paint on the wall or a change of the light above? I can't quite tell but it definitely has a nicer feel than the before picture. The room feels much more welcoming now because of the warmer hue.

    You really have a knack for sprucing up rooms :) Can you come over and redo our apartment for us too?

  21. You did a gorgeous job with the room. Now, you can open your house as a B&B and make some money! LOL

  22. Oh, wow! You did a fantastic job! I live with boys all around me, and would love a pretty room like this one! I love the quilt, and the one on the wall, and the plates, and well.. all of it! Fantastic! Thanks for sharing the photos.

    I hope your little guy is enjoying pre-K!

    I'm stopping by from Jenny's and following back. :)

  23. Honestly, I like everything in this room. I think my two favorite elements are the framed plates and the wall color.

    You could put molding on the ceiling and paint the ceiling and top part of the wall a slightly darker color but it looks in scale to least in the pictures!

    So...are you trying out for next seasons Design Star? I think you would be great at it!

    Thanks for a charming link and for sharing this lovely project with us.