Today I’m diving deeper into the guest room makeover to share the details behind some of the pretty pictures you saw last week.
Pretty much every project we do here at the farm is a budget challenge. But this guest room is budget to the extreme. Hand-me-down, redo, thrift and even scavenge were the name of the game. The only things I bought new were picture frames, window treatments, a blanket and towels. Even the paint was reused from the mudroom.
Designers talk about jumping off points. For me the jumping off point in this room was the fake wood paneling on the walls–not the most favoured design feature. It may not be shiplap, but it was definitely country, so I decided to play up the farm factor with pine, white paint, rustic elements and pretty robin’s egg blue paint.
The colour is Wythe Blue from Benjamin Moore. Because the walls are paneling and not drywall, there are little trim pieces in each of the corners and against the ceiling. I decided to play these up–like in my inspiration image–with white paint (Cloud White also from BM–our standard trim colour at the farm). Precision taping paid off with really, really crisp lines, and the white corners add some neat interest to the room.
Matt helped me scrape the ceiling, and now it’s beautifully smooth to showcase the thrifted chandelier I found. I think this had been painted black at some point in its past life. The only change I made was to remove the glass shades and shorten the chain (our most frequent guest, Matt’s brother, is 6’4″).
The pine comes courtesy of the armoire and desk from Matt’s childhood bedroom. I’d like to style the top of the cabinet somehow someday. Maybe a small collection of books and magazines for guests?
The trunk in the corner is my scavenged find. My parent’s neighbours put this out for garbage. My Dad and I carried it home–approximately 20 years ago.
This trunk is an example of choose what you love and you’ll make it work. At first, the trunk played a nightstand role in my teenage bedroom. Then it was a very handy side table in the living room at Matt’s and my first house.
Now it’s returned to its nightstand function in the guest room. The clock, lamp, water bottle and drinking glasses are all thrifted from Value Village.
Above the trunk is my favourite feature in the guest room, vintage family and country photos.
The top photo came from the city archives collection. It’s the blacksmith shop that is still standing in the little town that’s closest to the farm. Below that is a photo from my family archives. It’s my great grandfather on a sleigh loaded with huge logs. The neat story shown in the photo is that the sleigh is so heavy it has actually broken through the ice that my grandfather and the horses are crossing.
On the other side of the window, the top photo is the general store where Matt worked as a teenager. However, it’s another archive shot with a horse and buggy outside the store–not the common conveyance when he worked there. Below that is a photo from Matt’s family archives. His great-grandfather with a team of horses and a wagon loaded with hay.
You know I’m all about personalizing my spaces, and these old pictures are a really meaningful way to do that.
The rustic frames that look almost like barn wood are a score from Ikea. I brightened the mats with a coat of Cloud White paint.
This side of the room has two more hand-me-downs from Matt’s childhood bedroom: the painted dresser and the pine desk. The painted glass vase and the hydrangea are from my MIL and work perfectly in this spot.
The dresser is super cute. Each drawer is decorated with an illustration of a nursery rhyme scene. (The wicker waste basket was another thrifted find).
Our welcoming crew of Bax and Ralph are on duty on the desk along with a thrifted organizer (that I repainted) that holds pens and notepads.
My distressed chair was a freebie courtesy of past owners. Its red stain was splotched with mauve and mint green paint. Adding a coat of white paint was a big improvement, and I think the distressed look works here. The log cabin pattern pillow is a made-by-me from way back when I was a teenager. I was surprised how well the pink and blue tones in the pillow cover work with the quilt I chose for the bed.
I bought the quilt when we first moved into the farm. It was about the only thing I did to establish a comfortable guest room back then. Fortunately, it works well with the blue-green paint, so I’m keeping it.
The curtains and curtain rods are new–although the curtains are a DIY, so I’m not sure they entirely qualify. The rods are my go-to Hugads from Ikea. The curtains are my go-to dropcloths from Home Depot (see my tips for making dropcloth curtains). Maybe because it’s my second time around, these curtains weren’t as tedious as the last set I made. Still not my favourite thing to sew, but not quite as painful as before.
This final corner beside the desk was the one spot I wasn’t sure about. My original vision was to hang a vintage painting by Matt’s grandpa and below to have a weathered little ladder where I could drape extra blankets. However, this corner was the best place for a mirror, and I felt that the mirror would be more appreciated by guests than the painting.
Plus, when I saw this unusual mirror in the thrift store on Friday night and spent all weekend thinking about it and when it was still there on Monday afternoon, I knew it was meant to be. A coat of white paint freshened it up, and I still have a place for extra blankets and towels in a large thrifted wicker basket set on the floor (the towels are the other new purchase in the room).
There’s one thing that’s missing from the room, and that’s the bedframe. I have a great metal headboard and footboard from my bedroom at our old family cottage. Matt and I repainted it before we moved into our first house. However, the paint has since chipped, and it really needs to be stripped.
The bedframe has been living in the barn since we swapped rooms in our master bedroom switcheroo last spring. If the weather ever warms up, I’m planning to bring it outside and remove the old paint. Once it’s stripped (and potentially repainted), I’ll set it up in the guest room.
Even without the bedframe, I think we have a beautiful room that’s welcoming for guests. It was really fun to pull all of the details together for this space, and I feel like we ended up with a room that’s perfect for our farm setting, our family and our guests. This was the first item on my home goals 2016 list, and I’m crossing it off.
How do you save money when you’re decorating? Who else is reusing childhood furniture? Do you have a vintage family photo collection? What have you picked out of the garbage and reused?
Julia, Love, love, love your redecorated guest room!! What a good idea to use the white strips in the corner. It really sets the blue off nicely. I would never have thought to do that, but now I want to try the same technique. I also love the pics. of Baxter and Ralph on the desk. What a neat “welcoming committee..” Your choice of colors was excellent. Kudos to you!! Oh, and using the family pictures was genius.
I love including our ancestors’ pictures in our homes. In fact,, over my mantelpiece in our great room I have an antique framed picture of my aunt who died at age 5 with pneumonia. Of course, I never knew her, but cherish her picture. Everyone who sees it wants to know her history.
Thks. for sharing your lovely room with us.
What a special heirloom. It’s so nice to be able to share your aunt and her story with your guests.
This guest room is SO beautiful, you did a wonderful job. All the little touches are sure to keep guests interested and very comfortable. At some point, I would love to see a close up of the other stickers on the dresser – I enlarged the photo on my computer, but the image was too blurry. I love those old nursery images.
I don’t have many childhood furniture pieces left, but I have used them many times over the years. With such solid construction, they can go through many reincarnations and keep on ticking!
Thanks for your kind comments. I’ll try to snap some more photos for you!
Thanks a lot!
This is just so beautiful and serene feeling. I love that wall colour so much!
Thanks so much. I love the word serene. I think that’s a great feeling to give guests.
I love “before and after” pictures. And your’s is stunning! I agree with Lynn, I would not have thought of painting the corners white but it really sets it off nicely.
Initially I thought that they made the room feel smaller. It seemed like highlighting them emphasized where the walls ended and defined the space a bit more.