What's a parent's greatest joy? When their kids become successful and move out, of course! While being empty nesters means more space and fewer mouths to feed each day, it also means a lot of old furniture and decorations that become a time capsule of 18-year-old-kid-style.
In the case of these clients, they wanted to update their daughter's childhood bedroom from a whimsical blue and yellow teen bedroom with a traditional style to an inviting and more modern guest room for hosting family. Mrs. Client made a few attempts at updating on her own over time by bringing in antique twin beds to make space for more guests and purchasing upholstered stools that double as luggage racks. However, she felt like it just wasn't going anywhere so she brought me in!
Merging styles is one of my favorite things to do at Susie Mae Design. These homeowners have a traditional style but they want to take it in a more modern direction while still maintaining their personal style. Having a room redesigned doesn't have to mean buying all new everything and starting from scratch--sometimes it may, but in this case, we were able to use a lot of pieces they already owned and just give them a quick facelift.
Before we got started, the room was a flat pale blue and the trim was a deep glossy cream. The beds had traditional blue and yellow quilts. The oil rubbed bronze stools at the ends of the beds disappeared on the dark stained wood of the footboards. The room was laid out in the most efficient way, but there were a few things that needed to be changed to make it feel more open. The color needed updating and the lamp in the middle of the window was blocking the light streaming in from outside. This is one of the best parts of this room--dreamy daylight! The dresser in between the windows was not necessary as this bedroom is only being used for a guest room and storage is no longer an issue. The blockiness of the dresser made the room feel too heavy. Let's get to the afters!
Remember our post about when white does and doesn't work in a room? This room is one of those where it works beautifully! Lots of light pours into this room all day long, making it a perfect candidate for white walls. We chose to paint the ceiling a bright, fresh, flat white and the walls and trim in egg shell Dover White by Sherwin Williams. Painting the trim and the walls the same shade gives this room an airy feel and "adults it up" a bit. Dover White has just the slightest hint of warmth in it which goes beautifully with the warm tones we chose in this room.
The first piece we chose for this room drove the color palette and was the inspiration for the look and feel of the rest. We found these soft, luxurious throws and loved the coral/poppy color. This room needed a punch of color and these throws helped us start that off in the right direction. The homeowner wanted to maintain some traditional elements and I really liked the lines of the twin beds and the benches as well, so we chose to keep those.
However, the stools disappeared on the footboards. We painted the stools a satin off white and recovered them in a beeeeeeautiful watercolor floral fabric with touches of gold. Something that is really fun to do right now is bring in gold and brass when updating a traditional space. This home has all brass doorknobs and brass is makng a comeback in a big way, so instead of replacing those pieces, we brought in touches of the hue on our fabric, some accessories, and hardware.
We swapped out the white faux wood blinds for bamboo shades for a more modern look and replaced the yellow and white striped valance with some custom made drapes. Custom made....for someone else! When you're on a budget, a great resource is a drapery workroom or decorator warehouse (like this one) that often has custom made high quality draperies that either didn't fit or a client was unhappy with them. Sometimes, it may be that there are only one or two panels. In this case, we found these gorgeous panels (fabric I'd already been eyeing for the space!) originally made for $525 for the custom client on sale for $75!!! My client had a gift card for the store for $50 so we scored $525 custom drapes for $25! Talk about an insane deal! We already loved the fabric and were talking of making window coverings with it so we knew it was meant to be! Picking up some extra, the handy homeowner made the box pleat valance at the dimensions I requested. Is she good, or what?!
The window has just enough space on either side to mount the hardware for a valance and we took advantage of every inch for maximum impact.
In the before, the room seemed so heavy with the weight of the wooden beds and the dresser in un-matched stains and styles. It took a little searching, but we came across this beauty at a consignment shop. I wanted something wider than the dresser that would sit either just under the window sill or flush with it. The turned legs had that traditional flair I was looking for and the open shelving meant more storage without the visual weight. I painted this a snap pea green to bring in a more playful element and to pick up on the greens in the floral fabric.
Another great resource for decorating on a budget is a hotel liquidation store. There are a few in Georgia and they're quite the treasure hunt! We found these lamps with the exact right green translucent portion for $20 each! I wouldn't recommend going there looking for something in particular, but it's worth checking out and if you see something you love, maybe store it for future use! The stock is constantly changing. For this room, the hotel function on the lamps is convenient for guests. The room feels like a boutique hotel and also a home all at once.
Every room needs a personal touch, even the guest rooms! We chose to use a wool throw the homeowner's mother crocheted to warm up the room for chilly Christmas-time visits. It's such a beautiful touch!
Speaking of personal touches, Not only did my client sew all her own pillows using the fabrics and pillow sizes we selected, but she had a great selection of artwork in storage in the bonus room. We chose three paintings of homes, two of which were collected on a trip with her husband to Bermuda, and one brought back from a mission trip to Trinidad by the very daughter who used to sleep in this room each night. We framed them all in gold/brass frames and balanced them on the opposite wall with a large print of "The Secret Garden" which was the homeowner's favorite book as a child. The mirrors were a find my client already had as well. They had a cottagey feel with the original paint colors, so we painted them cream and added Rub 'n Buff in antique gold to the edges to tie in the touches of gold around the room.
One of my favorite touches in a room is hardware. Why add boring knobs if you can use a beautiful textured gold knob that looks like a tiny piece of art, or a hand painted knob, or knobs like these! These little beauties jumped out at me when I was casually shopping in Anthropologie (more accurately, I was getting knots in my stomach because I wanted EVERYTHING). I just knew these were the final touch I'd been looking for. The knobs are made from new bone china and have the same watercolor look as the floral fabric we chose for the stools and throw pillows. It doesn't hurt a bit that they have a hint of gold on the edges!
A guest room isn't complete without cards to write either thank you notes or letters home to tell about your trip. It's old-fashioned, but a real card beats an e-card (unless its a dancing elf with your face on it Jib Jab style) any day of the week! Also, give guests an alarm clock so they can stay unplugged but won't miss out on any fun you have planned for them. This clock and tray for the cards had both a little black to help anchor the room and touches of the gold hues I wanted to bring in whenever I could.
Flowers and a live plant are an essential to almost any room. They bring life and brightness just by being there! I love these tulips! They're the perfect colors for the room and really make it feel welcoming.
We hope you enjoyed this little tour of a one room makeover on a budget completed by Susie Mae Design and we hope you feel inspired to tackle some projects in your own home so you can enjoy it more than ever!