Halfway to a hospitable guest room

This house is the first time we’ve had an honest to goodness spare bedroom. We like it when people come to stay with us. However it doesn’t happen that often. Perhaps because the room has never been very welcoming.

You saw last week that making over the guest room is one of my home goals for 2016. Today I’m ready for the first progress report.

Here’s a really bad photo to show roughly where we started. (We usually put sheets on the bed when we have guests).

Guestroom before

The specialest features of this room were the stippled ceiling, ugly ceiling fan and pseudo wood paneling. And everything was dirty. Incredibly dirty, as is the norm for any untouched space in this house.

I’m almost ashamed to remember that we used this room as our bedroom up until about a year ago. When we scraped the ceilings after Christmas, the water running down the walls left brown and grey dirt tracks. So gross.

Despite its… specialness… this room is not going to be a hard fix. Here’s the to-do list:

  • Scrape the stippled ceiling
  • Paint the ceiling, walls and trim
  • Replace the light fixture
  • Make window treatments
  • Refinish the desk chair
  • Strip the paint off the metal bedframe (and maybe repaint)
  • Decorate and personalize

And here’s where we are so far.

Guest room makeover progress

Better, right? Even that paneling looks okay now that all of the holes are patched and it’s painted a pretty blue-green (Wythe Blue from Benjamin Moore).

We’ve obviously made really good progress, but despite appearances I feel like I’m only halfway. If I’m being completely honest, I’ve moved onto decorating (hanging pictures, adding the flowers) as a way to avoid starting on the curtains.

The finishing touches are usually the hardest part of any makeover, right? But if we truly want a hospitable room, we should give our guests the option of sleeping past dawn. Sigh. Curtains here I come.

Do you have fake wood paneling at your house? How about a guest room? What must-haves should I include in our guest room?

19 thoughts on “Halfway to a hospitable guest room

  1. Curtains definitely! I have blinds that close just about all the way. I found a luggage stand for $2 at a thrift store, which I think is nice for guests to be able to put their suitcases on. I also have an empty chair, for bags or sitting, a nightstand with a small light, tissues! Instructions on how to connect to the wifi are there, but people still ask sometimes anyway. An empty garbage can in the room also helps!

  2. Almost all of our family lives with 15 miles of us so we really haven’t had the need for a guest room, but I love the idea of one. And your’s is gorgeous! What a difference you made!

    My parent’s house that I grew up in had that fake paneling in every room. We painted it and it helped, but it is still not my favorite thing!

  3. I would have said that the before (plus something on the windows) would be hospitable by my standards, but I never saw the water stains. The blue is much cheerier. What are you doing curtain wise, panels you pull open and shut? I’m still going over options for my house in my head.

    My parents have painted plywood paneling in their basement (or my storage unit) and although we would never have put it in, it’s pretty inoffensive down there. They also have real Philippine mahogany V groove paneling in their den. My mom wanted to paint that, too, but my dad forbade it. That was the only decorating decision I recall him ever making.

  4. Wythe Blue is one of my absolute favorite BM colors. The room looks beautiful! This is the first house we have lived in where we have a spare room too. When we moved to Blake Hill House, we had been looking for a place where the kids could have their own rooms. Just by luck, we got a bonus room that we use as the guest room. For years, my mom slept on the couch (she insisted!), and my in-laws stayed in a hotel. Now, they can all stay with us and sleep in a bed. It feels very grown up. 😀

  5. What a difference!! The blue and white are just lovely. And the ceiling…SO much better!
    My mum used to say that a guest room should have a nightstand, lamp for reading, cleared out drawer for guests to put their things, towels and facecloths, tissues, trashcan, accessible extra blankets and pillows, and a little bookshelf with a variety of reading materials on it. Oh, and possibly a water carafe and glass. Staying at my mum’s was pretty nice. 🙂

  6. Wow – you have done a great job with that room – doesn’t even look like the same space! WHAT is with those stippled ceilings? Every home I’ve been in has had them – can’t seem to get away from it. Removing them is definitely on the “to do list” around here.

    I loved having a spare bedroom aka sewing room. But then my husband needed an office at home and NO way he was taking mine on the 1st floor…so we now have no guest room and the sewing “room” is in the basement. Thankfully, we don’t have people stay over that often either.

  7. This is a great improvement! I love the cheerful color you chose. It’s very welcoming.

    In our guest room, we sometimes put out a basket with travel size toiletries and a few candies or mints. Guests seem to enjoy that, even if they brought everything they need. We figure, maybe the toiletries and treats will keep guests from noticing that we pulled all the trim off the wall and haven’t replaced it yet??

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