It’s finally here, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. (Just humor me and pretend that the most important thing in your life is my guest room reveal.) In case you missed it, Part I of the makeover involved coating every surface but the floors with white paint. Then I shared my dresser project — first I painted it emerald green, and then I picked out and installed new hardware.
As a reminder, long term this is our guest room but right now we’re preparing it for my husband’s younger sister to come live with us for a few months — she’s moving back to the United States after a year of teaching in Chad, and we offered her a free place to stay while she plans for the future. So even though this space will eventually be for general guests, I made some of the decorating choices with her specifically in mind. I wanted to add things that would feel meaningful to her, but I also didn’t want to clutter it with too much stuff because I want there to be room for her belongings and personal touch.
So without further ado let’s move on to the fun part: after photos! Here’s what we started with — it’s a real gem:
And here’s how things are looking now:
I didn’t want to overstyle the dresser, but I picked out some books I thought Maddie might like and also put up some personal photos (of her, not me…). I really want her to feel like this is her room, not just some guest room from a magazine (because yes, clearly otherwise she would think she’s living in a House Beautiful photo spread).
The “Ruth” art on the dresser was made by Sam’s grandmother as a present for our one-year wedding anniversary, and it seemed fitting to put it in Maddie’s room since it’s her last name too. I put it in a floating frame I already had, which I spray painted white (it was previously black). The gold and green bowl was a find at a vintage store in Burlington, VT.
The rocker belonged to Sam’s great grandparents, and when we lived in our apartment we didn’t have quite the right place for it. I recovered it at one point in a dark dray fabric, but for this room I thought the original light color worked a lot better so I removed the covers. I really like it in this corner now. The throw pillow is from Target, and is one way that I tried to bring some orange accents into the room to complement the green (orange and green are totally outside my decorating comfort zone, but it’s been fun to experiment with them in here).
The curtains I sewed out of $20 of fabric from JoAnn Fabrics, and I’ll share a bit more in a future post about my strategies for affordable curtains. (UPDATE: Here’s a link to that post) The floral isn’t my usual taste at all, but it was fun to try something different in this room with a more classic feel.
On the wall are a few pieces to tie into the green and orange color scheme. From top to bottom: a photo of a succulent from a box of succulent notecards I had on hand; an owl that my aunt made that we had in my home growing up that I always loved; and a notecard that Maddie gave us from Chad.
I’m totally obsessed with the ceiling light. We don’t have overhead lighting in most of our house, but I really wanted guests to be able to turn a light on from the doorway to the room because there’s nothing worse than stumbling around in the dark in an unfamiliar room. I had a $15 plug-in light that I got from IKEA many many months ago thinking we’d use it in the kitchen (but decided to hold off while we make longer term kitchen plans), and I decided the shape was perfect.
I’ll do a longer post about this in a few weeks, but the short of it is that I installed a separate socket cord kit that I got for $10 on Amazon (affiliate link – read about our policies) that had an “on/off” switch, spray-painted the outside oil-rubbed bronze, and hung it from a hook I drilled in the ceiling. I ran the cord along the edge of the paneling so it’s not super visible, and the switch ended up being right at arm level alongside the doorframe so it’s perfect for turning the light on from the doorway. Success!
The light is one of my favorite parts of the makeover, tied with this wall:
Back when I posted about my plans for the space and asked you guys for ideas, someone suggested some map art since Sam’s sister loves to travel (and generally, I think maps are fun for a guest room because everyone who stays there has come from somewhere else). I’ve been craving a map wall, and decided that this was the perfect place to do it! I love that it’s a surprise you can only see when you walk further into the room.
I’ll share more details about it in a few weeks, but in the meantime I’ll just say that I got it from Art.com and they were having a 40% off sale so it was only $55 plus tax & shipping (from what I can tell, they’re often having big sales). This was a lot less than I was seeing elsewhere for this amount of map wallpaper, so I jumped at it. (UPDATE: Here’s a link to my post about putting up the map mural)
The bed linens and blanket we already had, and the orange throw at the foot of the bed was a gift from Sam’s mom.
I also moved in the chest that I got in the spring at the Brimfield Antique Show.
This seemed like the perfect place for it, with the dark wood and brass hardware complementing the rest of the room and the “world traveler” vibe. Plus it adds plenty of storage for Maddie’s things. I just gave it a quick sprucing up with Howard’s Restor-A-Finish (which Naomi and I are both totally obsessed with) to bring out all the richness of the wood.
The lamp was something Naomi found at a thrift store and gifted to me, and it’s perfect for this space since the side table is tall and the ceilings are too low to accommodate a larger lamp. Originally it was blue:
But I painted it the same green as the dresser to carry the color onto this side of the room (and then sprayed it with some Rustoleum clear lacquer spray paint to give it a glossy finish).
The succulent was a centerpiece at our close friends’ wedding (they told us to take it, I swear!), and the books are some others I think Maddie would enjoy. Catch-22 is one of my absolute favorite books, if you haven’t read it you absolutely must. On the other hand, I hate Slaughterhouse-Five, which is probably not a popular opinion. ANYWAY, I digress.
One other awesome suggestion from a helpful reader was to add a mirror, so I mounted this wall mirror that we had on hand from our apartment. To tie it into the color scheme, I just painted little orange squares in each corner with craft paint I already had.
You’re probably sensing by now that this whole decorating project basically involved me wandering around my “craft room” (ie “hoarding cave”) to look for decor, art, and accessories that we had in the apartment and haven’t yet found a permanent home for in our new house. It felt so satisfying to find a place for all these things after so long.
The closet is unchanged, but it will be behind a closed door most of the time…. It looks a bit crowded, but I swear there’s plenty of room to hang clothes on the bar well in front of the games and suitcases we have stored here.
My goal was to keep the whole makeover to a few hundred dollars, which I’m happy to say we did by relying mostly on furniture and decor we already owned. Here’s the budget breakdown:
- Paint for walls, ceiling, and doors: $75 (two gallons of eggshell, one of semi-gloss — we still have a lot left over that we can use elsewhere in the house)
- Paint for dresser: $20
- Hardware for dresser (Etsy): $50
- Map mural wallpaper (Art.com): $70 (including tax & shipping)
- Wallpaper paste (Home Depot): $8
- Socket kit for overhead light (Amazon): $10
- Fabric for curtains (JoAnn Fabrics): $20
- Curtain rod (Target): $15
- Lampshade for bedside lamp (Amazon): $6
- Throw pillows for bed and rocker (Target): 2 for $20 (but free using a gift card I had)
- Supplies already owned: ORB, white, and lacquer spray paints, paint brushes & other painting supplies
- Already had/shopped from the rest of the house for free: bed, nightstand, dresser, rocker, mirror, overhead light, art, linens, curtain rings
So that’s a wrap! Maddie moves in a week from today, so we finished it in the nick of time. It’s so different than my usual style, but as I started to pull together the furniture we already had it just felt like this was the right vibe. What do you think?
(Sharing at Remodelaholic, Tip Me Tuesday, Two Uses Tuesday, Totally Terrific Tuesday, Create Link Inspire, Inspire me Wednesday, Pin Worthy Wednesday, Create It Thursday, Think and Make Thursday, Your Turn to Shine Link Party, Weekend Re-Treat Link Party, Pin Junkie Pin Party, I Heart Naptime, Inspiration Monday, One Project at a Time, Remodelaholics Anonymous, Thrifty Decor Chick’s Before and Afters, and Merry Monday)