Guest Bedroom Update

I’ve been busy as a bee over here working on the guest bedroom. Our house has two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The guest bed and bath are located upstairs, and with a semi-regular stream of family and friends who come to stay, they’re probably the two rooms to which I have directed my most deliberate decorating efforts. I recently made a few updates to the bedroom and wanted to show you what’s new.

1. At last, a nightstand!

Guest bedroom nightstand #1

Current reading selection for guests: Window Poems (Wendell Berry), Small Wonder (Barbara Kingsolver), Schott's Original Miscellany (Ben Schott), The Last Lecture (Randy Pausch), current issues of Reader's Digest, Breakfast in Bed (Jesse Ziff Cool)

Current reading selection for guests: Window Poems (Wendell Berry), Small Wonder (Barbara Kingsolver), Schott’s Original Miscellany (Ben Schott), The Last Lecture (Randy Pausch), current issues of Reader’s Digest, Breakfast in Bed (Jesse Ziff Cool)

Before acquiring a nightstand, that lamp resided variously on the floor, an unused stereo subwoofer, and a cheapo plastic set of drawers that now holds some of my crafts in a closet. It is much happier resting atop this admittedly traditional but uber-functional nightstand. When I saw it in the store, I worried that the green wood would be just a shade off and clash with the green walls and accent wall that we already had going on in the room. But at $25, I couldn’t just leave it. And it works brilliantly.

2. Bed frame

Hand-me-down bed frame in guest bedroom

Before this bedframe, there was nothing. The boxspring and mattress simply sat on the floor. While that may seem minimalist or bohemian to some, it just looked unkempt and silly to me. We had been putting off acquiring a bed frame for this room in hopes that Alex and I would purchase a new, larger bed, and relinquish our current frame to the guest room. As we have yet to make that purchase, my parents lovingly pawned this frame onto me to help clear out their basement donated to the cause. It’s amazing how much more “finished” the room looks, don’t you think?

3. Accent pillows + pillowcases

Ikat Accent PIllows in guest bedroom

Between the green walls and the yellow curtains, I decided the room needed a pop of warm color. I decided to hunt down something suitable as accent pillows to help pull the bed together. I was initially searching Joss&Main, but couldn’t find something within my price range. My next stop was where I scored these babies (haven’t you heard, ikat is in? or faux ikat for those of us who can’t afford the real thing?). They are just as warm and luscious as I had hoped and even pull in some of the gold accents that appear throughout the room. Byebye, sailor stripe sheets and shams. I opted to cover the two pillows immediately behind the accent pillows in regular pillowcases. Have you ever noticed how much cheaper they are than standard sham covers? And they almost always come in sets of two! Thank you, Bed Bath&Beyond 20% off coupon!

4. A cozy throw

A cozy throw

Despite the fun accent pillows, the rest of the white bedspread looked a little too bare. Taking inspiration from the bed&breakfast where I work part-time, and where all of the beds have blankets at their feet, I began the hunt for a mauvey/coral colored throw to drape at the foot of the bed. I knew exactly the color I had in mind. I intended for it to pull out one of the secondary colors in the accent pillow. But do you know how unbelievably hard it is to find that color right now? We are, apparently, very much into jewel tones (but not pink) and natural fabrics with accent color stripes. I searched several places online as well as my trusty TJMaxx to no avail. Finally, Wayfair delivered with a sale on Joss&Main and I found this lovely throw for just under $25. This is a great way to bring color to the bedroom, and I love how cozy it looks. Oh, and beyond just looks, chilly guests can wrap themselves up in this throw for a catnap in the papa-san chair.

5. Colorful drawer pulls

Light pink drawer pulls

Speaking of color, let’s take a look at the dresser in this room, shall we? This was inherited from Alex’s side of the family where Alex used it growing up. We are grateful to have this piece of furniture in the room, but it is showing some signs of wear and tear. I won’t go into too much detail, but let’s just say some of the drawers – though still functional – may be on their last legs. This piece is darker than the other furniture in this room, and I always felt it to be a bit too heavy, even against the darker accent wall (click here for a re-cap of the accent wall painting). $22 later, I swapped out all of the wooden drawer pulls for these pink bubbled glass pulls. It was a little more than I was hoping to spend, but considering there are other retailers where just one pull would have cost me the total I paid for 8, I considered it a worthwhile investment. I like the way it both lightens up the dresser and makes it feel like it “belongs” in the room, without being too matchy-matchy.

Guest bedroom - January 2013

Why is it that I am more inspired to work on making the guest bedroom feel more welcoming and decorated than our own bedroom? I’m seriously just a couple more projects away from making this room “done” for now. I daresay it may even be the first room in our house to be “finished…” two and a half years after moving in…

Anyway, what’s left? Here are my plans:
– I have two small gallery shelves which I plan to paint white and distress before hanging on the wall to the right of the window. I have begun collecting mini photo frames into which I hope to display old family photos – parents, grandparents, and more from both sides of our families. We don’t really have anywhere else in the house to display such a collection. Plus, it’ll give our guests something interesting to look at while they debate where I got my curly hair from or which side of his family gave Alex the red undertones in his beard.
– Light and table (or bench?) for the right side of the bed to help balance the bed and provide extra lighting for reading from both sides of the bed, as well as a place to put glasses, cell phones, etc.
– Replace or refurbish lamp on left side of bed. The current one feels too heavy to me, and the shade is just a touch too big for the space.
– Acquire a luggage rack for guests to drop their suitcases.
– Hang the gold mirror that is currently leaning against the wall on top of the chest of drawers.

What do you think? Is this starting to look like a lovely guest retreat? What do you think is the most important feature of a welcoming, cozy guest room? Do tell.


2 thoughts on “Guest Bedroom Update

  1. I love a guest bedroom with a personality – it is all too often forgotten. So I wrote a post tonight about cooking, almost entirely to seek your help. The topic: cilantro. Ready go!


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