It’s finally here! Today I’m sharing the reveal of our guest bedroom which got a fantastic makeover for the Spring 2018 One Room Challenge. This was my time first participating in the challenge and it was crazy but so satisfying. If you’re not familiar, the One Room Challenge is hosted by Calling it Home in partnership with House Beautiful and Home Love Network and is a 6 week challenge to makeover one room in your home. The challenge takes place twice a year in the spring and fall and is led by 20 featured designers. In addition to the 20 featured designers, the challenge is open to anyone with a blog who wants to challenge-along as a participant. That’s me! And over 200 other guest participants.
If you’ve hopped over to this post from the ORC website – welcome! I’m Emily, this is my blog, and I’m working on undecorating the 1929 tudor-ish home I share with my husband, Andy, and our corgi, Penelope. This is where I should describe my style so I guess I’d say it’s something along the lines of traditional-modern which doesn’t sound like a real thing. I am glad you’re here.
For my first challenge, I decided to tackle our guest bedroom. Though I’m very used to taking on big projects to transform rooms in my house (check out my blush bathroom, my board and batten powder room, or my kitchen facelift) this was my first time sticking to a firm timeline and sharing my progress week by week. If you’re just joining in and want to see my posts for each week, check out week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4, and week 5!)
For a refresher, let’s look at where it all started.
The Guest Bedroom Before
This is what our guest bedroom looked like in the listing photos. The walls were bright green and the ceiling was a pale blue. There was even a glow-in-the-dark space light on the ceiling.
And here is the room after we moved in.
In June of last year, we decided it was time to get rid of that bright green and bring in something much moodier.
Here it is all painted and ready for its first One Room Challenge transformation. That deep moody green – Behr’s Black Evergreen – provides a great canvas and so much potential. You’ll recognize those scallop hem roller shades from the listing photo and I really can’t believe we held onto them for as long as we did. The room was definitely functioning fine as a guest room, but it could be so much better.
We decided to keep the bed frame and headboard (IKEA’s discontinued REDALEN) and the microdot rug we bought a few years ago from West Elm.
I struggled with what to do with the long wall in the guest bedroom that serves as the main path through the room. I didn’t want to narrow that path by adding bookshelves but I was hesitant to add a gallery wall. And then I saw the Hovey sisters home tour and knew I needed to paint something myself for this space. I used my beloved iPad to sketch up some abstract art ideas, playing with colorways and moving shapes around for the right composition. I picked up 3 24×30” canvases and some budget paint at Jo Anns and got to work. If you follow me on Instagram and watch my stories (and if you aren’t, c’mon, look at what you’re missing out on) I struggled with painting things that didn’t somehow look like faces. My first painting looked very much like a face and in a very confident move to make the face go away, I totally made it look like a clown face. I still see faces in all of these. And a pickle enjoying the ocean. But I think that’s just how abstract art is. I love the paintings, I really enjoyed making them, and am so proud to have some of my own original art hanging in our home.
I priced out canvas float frames and realized they weren’t in my budget and also weren’t going to ship in time for the reveal, so DIY it was. I sketched up plans in SketchUp, planning out the depth of the frames, the amount of space for the float, and how they’d be assembled and sent everything over to my dad. We spent a whole day together picking out materials – oak boards for the outside and pine for the backing – and raced to get them all done that same day. Many people requested a full tutorial for this so don’t worry, I’ll be sharing one soon once I’ve recovered from this sprint!
At the last minute (as of the night before and morning of my reveal photoshoot) I decided to whip up this brass kinetic sculpture (aka mobile) from a The Crafters Box I’ve been hoarding. It’s perfect. I was so unsure about what to do with this corner and I’m so glad this idea came to me just in time.
The Window Treatments
I wanted to solve for two different filtering and blocking situations in this room. I like to have a simple sheer roller blind to diffuse light and add privacy, the SKOGKSLOVER shades from IKEA fit our windows perfectly and we have them on nearly every window in our home. We added these but also wanted something with more opacity to block our exterior house lights that might bother guests. Picking the right blackout shades was something I struggled with (and mumbled endlessly about on my insta stories and polled everyone endlessly about) but it wasn’t until I had all the options in the room that I could make a choice. These pom pom curtains from PB Teen were a longstanding favorite of everyone following along but they were too much of an off white to go with the rug and white bedding. I went with the light green SANELA curtains from IKEA and they’re perfect. I didn’t like the grommet top they came with and they needed a good hem to be the right length for our windows, so I hemmed them and gave them a pinch pleat top using IKEA’s pleating tape and curtain hooks.
Because we’re dealing with baseboard heaters (my nemesis) I wanted to be mindful of the proper clearance between the heater and the long curtain. This meant I had to find a curtain rod and bracket set that stuck out from my wall far enough. I ended up with the 1.25” brass set from CB2. I wish the pole were thinner, the deeper brackets only come with this size. For what it’s worth, if you’re shopping for gorgeous brass curtain rods and don’t have the same constraints as me, this set from Crate and Barrel is really lovely – I have a set in my house that I still need to return.
Originally, I hoped to come across the perfect vintage dresser for this room as I typically don’t think a room is really finished without at least one vintage, antique, or heirloom item. But when I saw this dresser I couldn’t get over it. I continued to search for the right vintage piece but when one didn’t turn up, I wasn’t sad to head to IKEA to pick up the BJÖRKSNÄS dresser. The light wood and leather pulls add modern contrast against the dark walls.
I added a bench – another gem from IKEA, the STOCKHOLM coffee table – which will be great for guests to put luggage on. Definitely an upgrade from traditional luggage racks. Can there be too much rattan?
And that mirror. So perfect. It bounces light and makes the dresser a great get-ready station for guests.
The blanket ladder is a great solution for storing extra blankets out in the open so your guests don’t have to tell you they’re cold in your freezing house. Or they can hang bath towels on it to dry if they aren’t keen on hanging them in a shared bathroom. I guess I just assume all guests are as fussy as me.
If you’ve ever tried shopping for wooden nightstands of a particular size and look, you know they come dear. I was excited to spot this set (available at Allmodern and Amazon) which was just about the look I wanted and had USB charging tastefully built in AND came in at around $100 each. Previously, we had extension cords run up behind our vintage end tables acting as nightstands so guests could charge their devices. NOT THE LOOK.
Overall I’m happy with these nightstands but needed to upgrade the pulls with a set of 3″ hex handles with backplates from CB2 to make them look classier. The quality of the wood isn’t bad for the price point but they are a redder hue than I had hoped.
I LOVE the nightstand lamps. I’ve never had a set of matching nightstands let alone matching lamps and I feel like I have really made it now. The lamps have a modern/midcentury shape and a fantastic texture.
I knew I wanted to add the casual look and soft touch of a linen duvet cover going into this but wasn’t at all sure which to pick. I heard great things about the linen duvet set from H&M Home, as well as IKEA’s option. I ended up going with the Belgian Flax Linen Duvet from West Elm and it is lovely. The color is a brighter white and totally works with the other linens in the space.
At the end of the bed I added a grid print throw from Target. It did make me ask myself how many grid patterns are too many grid patterns (we’ve got the leaded glass windows, the rug, the rattan headboard, the rattan bench…) and I’ve concluded that THE LIMIT DOES NOT EXIST.
I’m something of a minimalist when it comes to throw pillows (my husband will tell you this is a false statement) so I like the look of stacked bed pillows with a big lumbar body pillow in front. When I lost my sense of time, I thought I might sew one myself and even went shopping for the right fabric. When I came to my senses and realized time is something that was no longer on my side, I ended decided to order a giant pillow cover from Jenny Komeda’s Juniper Studio. The blush color linen is soft and there’s nothing like pink with the deep green of the walls. The cream corner tassels are such a nice touch. I used this body pillow insert which fit the pillow cover perfectly.
I have to say that this giant pillow was even more giant than I thought and I decided to break it up a little by adding a rust velvet throw pillow from West Elm. I also layered a pom pom throw on there as a tribute to the pom pom curtains that weren’t meant to be. <3
The sheets on the bed are some of my beloved Target sheets that I’ve had forever. They wash so well and don’t wrinkle AND they have little tags on the fitted sheet that tells you which end is the bottom and which is the side!
The wallhanging is one of my favorite Etsy finds from RUGbyGUR.
Gimme those side by sides
What a whirlwind. But like, the good kind. It was so much fun to do this challenge along with all the other guest participants – I made so many new friends! I am thankful for this whole project because it encouraged me to problem solve, stretch my brain, and bring out some of my old skills – I PAINTED again! I found my sewing machine in the attic and classed up those curtains. I crafted that mobile! And I have a new guest room that makes me smile and is now the nicest room in the whole house.
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