05 June 2013

The new guest room, revealed

So. The guest room!

I know, I know. I’ve kept you waiting long enough. It’s been two whole months since that sneak peek! In my defense, I had this idea that it could be DONE, that it was capable of being FINISHED, and that I should wait until all my ideas were executed before letting you in on it.

That was, uh. Aspirational?

As it turned out – and as I should have known – executing ideas that you can see perfectly in your head can take some time. Time to find the right paint for the mirror, to hem curtains for an afternoon, to source drawer pulls that look like I want and have the correct screw spacing, to wait until Target finally has enough frames in stock to complete my project. And if I kept it entirely a secret until I had all of those things to show you, you’d probably think it wasn’t so impressive to have to wait so long.

So... it’s not DONE. But it’s come a long way from this:

As you might remember, the turquoise curtains were quite the risk for me. A risk that I’m glad I took but ultimately FAILED. I am not a bright-turquoise-curtains sort of person. I’m okay with that. I have other nice traits.

Then I found the duvet cover of my dreams:

And that spurred the complete overhaul of neutralization. The turquoise curtains were replaced with white VIVANs. The green sheets got swapped for gray. The green bedskirt (why oh why did I buy a bedlinen set with a GREEN bedskirt) also got replaced with an inexpensive white bedskirt from Target.

To my surprise and delight, taking away all that bright color actually felt like a breath of fresh air.

Once a neutral-lover, always a neutral lover. There are eleventy jillion other blogs that are painting chairs tomato-red and bookshelves emerald-green and rolling out fushcia rugs to tie it all together. Good for them! I’ll just be over here insisting that gray and khaki count as colors.

To keep my beautiful, beautiful neutrals from being boring, I instead mixed lots of pattern. The headboard (made from a canvas, as I first showed you here) got wrapped in a tablecloth I found at Homegoods. The print reminds me of Dwell Studio’s Vintage Blossom in Dove, a longtime (and expensive) favorite of mine. I thought it plays nicely with the IKEA duvet’s stripes, as does the pillow I made from Homegoods cloth napkins.

As for the quilt at the end of the bed, it was made by my grandma as a high school graduation present. Accordingly, it’s embroidered with multicolored butterflies (which I chose myself, of course). The butterfly rainbow worked just fine with the bright color palette of the old room, but not so much in here now. Rather than stuffing this treasured item in a drawer or closet, though, I simply folded it inside-out. I can’t see all my grandma’s embroidery, but I still get to enjoy her gift this way for now.

Above the bed, as you can see, are the infamous trellis canvases (held up with NAILS now, thanks). And the lights on either side were purchased at IKEA, back when I was redecorating the old office.

The furniture got a little rearranging. Originally, the wooden desk was on the opposite side of the room, and the white shelves were in that corner. But I decided to swap them around:

I felt like the desk didn’t fit in with all the white finishes in the room when it was hidden over to one side. I thought at first the solution would be to move the desk to another room, or leave it in there but paint it white. But honestly, I felt like the wood tones could help warm up the room and keep it from being ALL WHITE ALL THE TIME. So, I stuck it there, in a much more prominent place. And I love it there! I think this should earn me at least a B+ in finish-mixing.

I got the new lamp specifically for this corner, and I love how it looks here. I don’t love the gold drawer pulls, though. I really wanted nickel-finish cup pulls, but it’s hard to find pulls with screw holes spaced 3-3/4” apart, and I’m not drilling new holes in this antique desk!

To tie in the wood tones throughout the room, I moved in my old chest next to the white shelves on the opposite wall.

Those shelves, man. They’ve given me a few fits. I finally discovered I could hide our the uglier/flimsier textbooks in these super-cheap IKEA magazine holders. The other white storage boxes are from Hobby Lobby, and they hold everything from photos to my costume jewelry.

With all that storage, I wasn’t sure what to do with the top shelf... until I realized that, oh. We really don’t have a lot of personal photos out! So I gathered a few silver-tone frames (and one black one that, yes, I still need to paint) and stuck in random photos we’ve received in cards and other mementos we’ve collected. I might put a bit more thought into it in the future, but for now it’ll do.

Finally, the last wall currently looks like this:

I found that standing mirror on clearance at Hobby Lobby and fell in love with it immediately, despite its scummy-looking antique white paint job and the fact that it is way more frou frou than practically everything else in my house. I still owe it a paint job (I’m leaning away from white, maybe a slate gray?) but in the meantime, it’s holding its own against the other more modern-lined furniture in there.

There’s still a wastepaper basket patterned in neon stars hiding by the chest of drawers, but I’ll paint that soon enough. I’m still playing around with vintage suitcase placement (I feel like that would be the class that comes after Mixing Finishes 101). As for the art on the walls... it might look familiar if you read YHL. More on that (and my frustrations on buying those frames) tomorrow!

So now you’ve seen what’s become my favorite room in the house! I don’t know if it was worth the wait, but it was certainly worth my effort. I look forward to completing those last finishing touches and sharing them with you!


Janice said...

Yup, it was worth the wait! Room looks great! I wouldn't be too hasty in painting those black frames on the shelving unit. They really kind of tie in the bottom shelf darker books and the lamp base as well ;) But then, don't take MY advice on decor. I still have border paper in my living room that has GOT to go! ;)
hmmm, because I don't have enough projects right now, (cough, cough) maybe I'll get a bucket of paint and repaint that living room....

Rachel said...

Three cheers for neutrals!

Rachel C said...

I love this room! I'm impressed by you ability to mix patterns and textures; that's one skill that I haven't developed yet.

Jennifer L Petersen said...

I love the new room. I would love to see the standing mirror in a " bold" neutral. Maybe navy or a gray-blue? I can't wait to come visit and stay there.

Christal said...


Sarah said...

Thanks everyone!

@Janice, I see what you mean! The different-colored texts at the bottom do give me some freedom with the stuff at the top, huh?

@Rachel C, here's a secret - if you stick with neutrals, pattern mixing is SO EASY. Seriously. You can stick anything together. Also, the simplest way to mix patterns is to pair a stripe with a floral. Just make sure they're similar colors, and you're good to go. And... hmm, maybe I have enough thoughts about this to make it a blog-post-worthy topic :)

@Jenni, oooh, gray-blue would coordinate nicely with the duvet! And you're welcome to come anytime! The bed is a lot more comfortable now with a memory foam mattress... that's one improvement you can't see, but that guests will appreciate most! :)