I spent a week in lovely Lexington, KY, visiting with people I love and cherish, and doing a fun little challenge: redecorating their guest bedroom on a modest budget and a quick deadline. The project started the day I arrived, so there was zero preparation, research, pre-shopping, sourcing, ordering, etc. The client has great art with a strong equestrian sense, which is fine by me since you know I love myself some horsey art. And, in Lexington, horse is king. When in Rome....
The room has two twin beds because many of this family's guests are 2 singles, not a couple. A pair of twin beds are practical for this reason, but be sure that they're high-comfort mattresses in your guest room. In fact, the first purchase for this room was new mattresses, box springs and frames. I did the sourcing for the mattresses, and it was rather funny to have many mattress salespeople tell me that they rarely sell high-end models in twin size. One guy even said he's never sold twin mattresses with a box spring. He explained that every twin mattress he ever sold were for kids' rooms, and high-quality comfortable models weren't a priority to the customers of those sales. But not for this project. These twin mattresses will be hosting grandparents, great-uncles & great-aunts and special guests who travel from far distances and should be sleeping on a cozy, pillow-top gem. Splurge. You'll have happier house guests who will want to return if only to sleep in your heavenly guest beds.
|BEFORE: Looking into the room from the door. Note the Claifornia pillow. Home-state pride!|
|AFTER: Looking into the room from the door|
|BEFORE. The TV is small enough to work with on any surface, and this pretty navy urn-shaped lamp was a winner. But the small scale of this bookshelf wasn't doing the room any favors.|
|AFTER: I searched high & low for an affordable chest or dresser for this space. |
The small white bookshelf moved into the closet.
If possible, offer your guests closet space in the room, and drawer space too. I knew that the small white melamine bookshelf would be great moved into the closet, for placing shoes and toiletry bags beneath the hanging clothes rod. But, the piece to replace it had to be just right in size, scale and style.
My vintage & thrift shopping around Lexington brought me to this baby, a perfectly petite 6-drawer dresser with basic proportion, good height to bring that TV up to better viewing level for the higher beds, and those fantastic campaign-esque brass drawer pulls. I loved that it was on high legs -- furniture with legs allows the eye to go under the piece, behind it, allowing one to see more of the perimeter of the room. In turn, the room seems larger. This dresser was almost exactly what I had in mind. And at less than $90, the price was beyond right. Sold.
I don't do killer styling, but I bought a handful of hardback books at Goodwill for 50-cents each in pretty colors with fun titles. Even if they're never read, the books are a nice prop. The delighful photo in the fabric frame is the client's, as is the seal figurine, a nostalgic heirloom. The small orchid was from Whole Foods for $12.
|BEFORE: The huge window and surrounding area.|
|AFTER: Swapping out gauzy white sheer panels with heavy navy blue canvas panels and makeshift tiebacks provided a strong foundation for the room, and called attention to that wonderfully-large window.|
This tieback solution cost $4.39 total. I bought 4 swivel-eye snap hooks [at the charming Chevy Chase Hardware shop], and 18" of white rope. I used a tiny nail behind the curtain to hold the rope, and made casual knots of the rope to each hook. Sort of reminiscent of a horse halter, I think.
Client says this is her favorite element of the entire redecoration.
|BEFORE: The far corner of room, where window meets the closet.|
When I found this magazine rack at the thrift store Another Man's Treasure, I almost screamed. The bamboo shape of the brass frame is so chic, and the piece is lifted off the floor just enough; the perfect height. My client has a fantastic collection of Kentucky Monthly magazine, which I knew would live so happily in this rack. It was my first purchase for this room after I bought the mattresses.
A guest room should have a perch, a place to sit to put on shoes, chat on the phone, or gaze out the window, a place other than the bed. There is always room for a chair, even in front of a rarely-opened closet door. I really wanted to find a petite leather armchair for this corner, but I never found it - and if I did it would have busted the budget. But when I saw this 1918 metal chair at the antique center in Georgetown, KY for $8, I had to buy. It's a versatile little piece that adds a strong texture to the room. It was painted green, but I spruced it up with another coat of hunter green spray paint and a strong coating of glossy shellac. Total cost: $11. Even if, one day down the road, the ideal leather armchair is ever found, this chair could happily move into another area of the home. For now, it works.
|Yup, the curtains are a little short for my usual preference. Had I more time, I would have let out the machine-made hem and let them touch the floor. Perhaps I'll tackle this the next time I visit.|
|I replaced the small white table and tiny white lamp in between the beds with a heftier piece from Pier 1, a floor model from their Elliott Collection (a great little knock off, imho). I put the client's navy urn-shaped lamp here, with a new shade from Target. I accessorized with a unique brass basket from Goodwill for $1, and a few more 50-cent hardback books. A vintage clock that belonged to the client and a small brass tray serve as nightstand utility pieces for this surface.|
All in all it was a fun challenge. I love, love, LOVE this family, and giving their guest bedroom a makeover was almost as enjoyable as watching them see it & smile on installation day.