Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I've Reclaimed My Guest Room

'Way back in the summer of 2012, I worked tirelessly to transform this half-baked attempt at a guest room into a welcoming haven.

My son had moved out, my husband's chemo was over and I had the summer off.  Was I ever busy!

I sewed a dust ruffle to complement the Waverly floral duvet cover I'd made years before.  I had just been pulling the duvet long enough on one side to cover the box spring as you can see above.  Hey, the other edge was pushed up against the wall where no one ever saw it, and it was better than looking at the boxspring and frame.  Or so I told myself.

I envisioned a ticking striped fabric but found a cute botanical/alphabet print.  It was the perfect pink and the price was unbeatable.  Sold!

I painted a resin ORB yard-sale wall lamp in my favorite white ( Behr Sleepy Eyes), recovered a vintage lampshade frame with chenille (this is not it btw), rewired with white cord, then stood back and admired my handiwork with glee.

With a little ingenuity and an electric drill, I even figured out how to hang the lamp despite missing hardware.  The challenges of upcycling!

We had also been using this spare room for storage and it has a high decorative ledge that's perfect for hiding boxes behind paintings and other decor. I'm a packrat ("this might come in handy someday") and a sentimental mommy (toy trains, models, teenage odds and ends)--not a good combo.

I barely survived some hard-hearted purging and a couple trips to the Goodwill donation center but it felt good to be organized and have kept only a few choice items.  I look back at this pile and think "Yikes!"  No watermark on this photo for some reason but feel free to Pin it if you have a "Hot Mess" board!

While I was clearing the ledge, I even scraped some popcorn off one small part of the pitched ceiling and painted it--just to see what it looked like.

This was before I repainted it.  Even without any texture, it's such a nice clean difference.

I finally painted the whole room farmhouse yellow.   A warm mellow yellow that existed only in my memory of a wooden chair in my grandmother's California ranch house rather than on any of the hundred yellow paint swatches (too green, too blue, too gray, too orange, too gold) I'd been collecting.  I mixed up my perfect farmhouse yellow from my craft acrylics and then had it color-matched.  I don't know why I didn't think of that sooner, but it is the easiest way to get the paint color you want.  Duh! 

By the end of the summer I'd decorated with old family wedding photos and some of my MIL's original floral art and the room was beginning to look quite welcoming.

 I even created a sewing corner with thread, notions and a bit of Mary Englebreit happiness handy.

Two weeks later my son moved back when he and his roommate parted ways!  Let's pause for a moment of silence.

Sigh.  It was wonderful to have my live-in dog-sitter,hen-watcher and part-time chef back, but...as they always say, every silver lining has a cloud.  

Fast forward two and a half years to last week.

The boomerang kid now has a better job and good prospects for the future, and has moved out.  Again.  Maybe for the final time? I hope so for his sake.  No one should have to move back with their parents if they want to retain their sanity.  I couldn't have!  He seems to have escaped unscathed--perhaps we are just unusually wonderful lenient, understanding, awesome parents?

Once again, I have a lovely empty room that's begging to become the guest room it always wanted to be.  I've moved out almost every lingering vestige that he has yet to transfer to his new home--blackout curtains, extra computer parts, old textbooks, navy comforter, ratty posters--and I feel like I have a bright and welcoming space to play with again.

I have plans.  Oh, do I have plans!

All the decor is still stored away because I'd just love to resume scraping off popcorn.  (It'll never be this empty again, right?)

The bed has never had a headboard and I'll be making this Ana White farmhouse versionUnless I can find an old brass one like this one during my garage sale rounds.


Minus the 70's quilt and dark gray carpet, hopefully!

I can just see plantation shutters, crown molding, new baseboards, beefed up trimwork.  My son removed the closet doors and it looks so open and spacious without them--not to mention how much easier it is to access anything inside--that I would like to hang curtains if I can find a fabric I love.

Oh, the possibilities!

I wish I could wave the magical DIY wand that so many bloggers seem to possess.  I would be able to show you a series of perfectly-styled photos by next weekend, right?  Real life just isn't like that. I have a husband and a dog, four new chicks, a job, housework and an awakening garden--all of whom need my attention.

For now, just having a (mostly) empty room is enough.

Stay shiny,


  1. Our life is so parallel!! However, our son hasn't moved back (but ya never know if it will be in the future..and that is ok). Have fun decorating!

    1. I had to laugh when I read your post, Becky; it must be the season for guest room redecoration. Love your revamp and can't wait to see your new guest room reveal! Mine is a combination guest/craft/sewing space--I've sure missed having it!

  2. I can hear it calling to you! We just found an old door for $5 that I am going to turn into a headboard. It needs some help and some Annie Sloan but it will be awesome. Can't wait to see what you do and btw, I love the yellow.

    1. Yellow has been my favorite color since college, Joanne. I'm kinda loving it with the aqua and pink in this room. It's my go-to neutral--no grays at Meadowsweet!

      Looking forward to your headboard--if I could find an old door (scarce in Nevada) I'd probably be using one as an easy-peasy solution.