Monday, September 12, 2011

Update: Guest Bedroom, Part Two

More guest room photos.

Here's the quilt that inspired it all:
This quilt belonged to my Grandma Olsen (read more about her here). When the quilt came to me, my grandma explained that it had been her wedding gift from her mother, a special quilt called a "friendship quilt."  Each block was embroidered by someone Grandma loved (mostly sisters and sisters-in-law, a few friends--a few men even, one that my great-Grandma Ott titled "Mother and Dad," and one made by my grandma herself saying, "Rose and Garn"). She told me stories of each person, who was related to who and why they were included in the quilt.  My favorite (said with Grandma's distinct "fay-vor-ight" accent) square is on the bottom left, inscribed with the words, "Johnny, don't shake that gate!"  Grandma told me that there was an old lady who lived on their street, and when they were teenagers, they used to walk by the house and shake her gate fiercely then run away. The lady would come out and point her finger and shout just that: "Johnny, don't shake that gate!"  I love how that story made my grandma young and feisty and fun in my mind.  Grandma used that quilt on her bed for many years, using it so much that the top is falling apart with the batting coming out.  That's part of its charm for me--it was something of hers that she used and she loved.  Made by my great-grandma, connecting me to them through scraps of fabric and thread.  I hung it as high as I could so that most of the quilt is visible.
One thing that I've needed in guest rooms lately is a place to set up my computer.  This was the perfect spot.  I didn't need anything really wide or with tons of storage, so off to IKEA I went.  Oh, how I love IKEA.  You made have heard me mention that before . . .  Anyway, I found that small white shelf with two drawers, and I knew it would serve the purpose.
I pulled out my Grandpa Olsen's old hymnbook and Brad's Grandma Weasea's Bible and the photos she had of Brad and his sister Amy (see them on top of the quilt rack?), added a terrarium (from the auction, of course), and a little potpourri, and it was good.
Problem.  I needed a chair for the desk, right?  Found this one at an auction, fully thinking I would have it recovered, but when I placed it under the desk for the first time, I knew it was absolutely perfect for that spot just the way she was.  I like the juxtaposition of the old stuff with the new shelf.  It all works.

And the final wall:
Each piece with a story. Dresser from the very first auction I ever attended, way back when with Karen and her dad, a classic auction addict (that guy is a whiz with electronics). Dresser has a vase from TJMaxx, a picture of my great-grandparents, and some flowers that I'm not real crazy about yet.  We'll have to see if they stay around.

The chair--that chair cannot be fully appreciated unless you sit in it.  I happened by an estate sale sign, happened to have a few minutes, so I happened on in.  This chair was left alone in the living room, in its avocado velvet glory.  I loved its lines and its secret--when you sit on it, it swivels!  I painted it black, had it reupolstered, and I've loved that chair ever since.  It's a little yellow for the space, and I hesitated leaving it in there, but once the room came together, I knew it worked.  It's the best for nursing a baby or reading.

And the last thing--the painting on the wall.  I'm a bit of an art snob--it comes with the degree in medieval art history.  I have a hard time hanging things on my walls, and I can't really explain it except to say that I almost always want something to be unique and original.  When I saw this painting at a recent auction, I wondered if it would work.  Yay!  It does.  And I love how it echoes the floral without being real cutesy or cookie cutter.

Tomorrow?  The final post on the room: the curtains.  It's a bit of a story.  Leaving you hanging?
Pun intended.

P.S. for my dad:  I changed the font.  Is that better? 

Things you do for your dad . . .  :)


  1. Wonderful memories in your room.

  2. i want a guest bedroom. that is all.

  3. Love that the room has so much meaning- makes it truly special.

  4. The room does look great, but it's the memories that make it so cool.


  5. I love it all - you really made something beautiful here.

  6. Now I really want to know what the name of your white IKEA shelf is. I think I have the perfect place for it in my basement! I wonder how deep it is. I might hang it along the side of my stairs.

  7. well, helloooooo at long last, jenny d - I can't tell you how happy it made me to see that you had visited me - it means so much to me that you hung in there while i floundered ;-) just got caught up around here - love that sweet grandbaby ellie of yours, she's growing so fast - and i loved the video sam made! And I see you're on a roll with home improvements - the posters for the boys, the guest bath, the guest room - I love it all!!

  8. I love the room! It has so many interesting things in it, and they all tell a story. Beautiful!

  9. Oh I am loving that quilt! I love how it has so many stories to it and so much character! I feel a little jealous that I don't have anything like that in my family :)

    This is such an awesome room. It's not just how everything came together so well. The stories that each piece of furniture has makes the room so much more alive. I really like this room!

    Oh as for that painting on the wall, I can totally understand about the whole being an art snob thing. I'm totally like that too :)

  10. ohhh i love that story about the shaking of the gate....what terrific memories to pass on and share.