Hosting Guests For the Holidays….

I am lucky enough to have a guest room to host out of town guests.  It’s a luxury I don’t take for granted having myself spent many a night on a blow-up mattress or a pull-out couch.  However, with real estate prices skyrocketing and new construction being slim on square footage, the “guest bedroom” is a quickly going the way of the dodo bird.  So for my column, I show how you can give a room dual purpose with a few simple items and a little forethought……

Dual Use Room

The room may look familiar because it is what we use to call the “Music Room” at the house.  Well it now subs as the “headquarters” for the growing business and an overnight guest if we happen to have two guests staying at the same time which oddly we have on more than one occasion!

More changes coming to the house and to the business that I can’t wait to fill you in on.  But until then, check out how to make the most out of the space you have when guests are in town!

[photo credit:  photo by adza//styling: courtney lake]

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Guest Room Reveal

It’s done.  

I say this so matter of factly because I am tired.  I don’t think any other room has drained me like the guest room redesign has done.  I think part of it was due to the fact that it was sad to see “J” leave.  He was with us from the first day in the house, so it was a bit like cleaning up after a loved one has passed.  The other part was because I am by myself, so all the little things that tend to go so quickly became drawn out projects.  For example, have you ever tried to put a rug (with a rug mat) under a bed in a small room?  It isn’t fun. 

But as I said, the guest room is done and for the most part I am quite happy with the transformation.  So to give you a little background on the parameters of the redesign.  I gave myself $200-$250 total to redesign this room, which meant that much in the room regarding furniture had to be recycled from existing rooms, our storage space, garage or picked up for cheap.  Well I blew the majority of the budget on paint and bedding, but I think it was worth it now that I look at the pictures.  The bedding really sets the tone and color scheme for the room, while the paint really warms up the space creating the warm environment that I envisioned for my guests.  However, truth be told, I am not crazy about the rugs, but they will do until funds are available to replace them.

So now for the big reveal… can see before pictures here:

Painting is done...thank goodness!

Did I mention that I switched paint colors?  After looking at Dutch Boy Trenchcoat on the wall, it looked orange so I switched gears and went with a color by Dutch Boy called Basketweave.  It has a hint of green in it that plays well with the bedding.  However, between the taping, cutting in, multiple coats and creating faux crown molding, it took me over 8 hours to complete the room.  I was up until 4:45 am — crazy but I hate carrying paint projects into multiple days. 

So if you look closely at the ceiling line, I created faux crown molding by simply using the width of the paint tape running a strip all the way around the top.  It’s a trick I used in our old apartment due to it had popcorn ceilings (yuck!) but in this case, I wanted to camouflage the slightly uneven ceiling first and foremost.  Second, I really love the look of crown molding, but with a super modern house, I think crown molding can look a bit too traditional.  But when done using paint, I think it gives crown molding a modern twist. 

With painting completed, I went about pulling in the furniture and accessories to create the perfect (in my own humble opinion) guest bedroom. 

Sitting Area for guests

Artwork on entry wall

Bed side table/shelf filled with books

Guest Bed

Guest Bed

So here is the room breakdown: 

Paint: Orchard Hardware (Dutch Boy) – $$20 

Chair: Ikea – already owned 

Bureau: Ikea – already owned 

Rugs: Ikea – already owned 

Bed Frame/Headboard: West Elm – already owned 

Bedding: Crate and Barrel – $150 (splurge) 

Artwork: Unknown (auction purchase) – $35 

New frame for Artwork: $35 

Lamp: Bed Bath and Beyond – already owned 

Night Stand: Hold Everything – already owned 

Vases/Boxes: Pier One – already owned 

Plant: Repurposed from master bathroom 

Total: $240 * 

Not too shabby if I do say so myself. 

Up next, the music room.  Not looking forward to it but excited to see the results.

*It was pointed out to me that I did not include the $70 that I spent on a new down comforter, bringing the total up to $310.  If I was to remove the new frame for the artwork and add in the rebate for the paint then I am only $30 over my original $250 budget.  Oh well, I give back my “thirfty scout badge” for the time being.

Guest Room Makeover: Before Pictures

The Partner is safely off in New York to visit friends and family and  “J” (the former roomie) has officially moved on to greener pastures.  So that leaves me alone in the house for the first time in the last two years for longer than a day.  Rather than bemoan that I am all alone, I am going to roll up my sleeves and do some work.  

I have decided that the guest room (formerly “J”‘s love abode) needs to  be redone.  This makeover needs to be on a budget since The Partner and I are a bit tight for money since having paid the second part of tuition for culinary school (minus 20 days and counting).  So I am going to reuse and recycle what we already have.  Here is what the room looks like right now: 





The guest room is the smallest bedroom in the house but gets great afternoon light because it faces South.  However, ever right now, it’s just a white box.  I want to liven it up and make it a warm retreat for family and friends who visit.  To be really honest, it will also serve as my satellite bedroom when The Partner has one of his snoring attacks. 

I am thinking of painting the room Trench Coat Khaki by Dutch Boy Paints.  I loved how the khaki has a hint of grey-green to it; perfect for the bed linens I recently purchased from Crate and Barrel and also keeps in line with the rest of the colors in the house since you can see the guest room from the hallway and staircase (sight lines baby!!!). 

Trench Coat Khaki by Dutch Boy Paints

Photo Credit: 

The chip does not do the color justice….it’s warm and many ways like a trench coat on a beautiful woman.  It also serves as the perfect backdrop to the bed linens which inspired the paint color: 


Photo Credit: 

A few months ago, The Partner and I went to our first auction and scored two amazing abstract original works of art for $35 total.  While I am sure they are not hidden treasures waiting to bring us riches, they are perfect for the guest room in their scale and color.  They are off to be reframed and cleaned as I type this.  

I think that I should be able to have the room pulled together in about 3-4 days….just in time to debut the new place when The Partner returns from his trip. 

Check back to see the reveal.