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Growing up in a full house (five in my family, plus two grandparents and some pets), we never really had the luxury of a “guest room”. But there comes a time when teenagers leave the nest and you’re left with an extra room, usually painted in some overpowering tone.

Finally, you’re free to create a guest suite. You know, a calm, tranquil space for you to offer your guests — or maybe a retreat if your partner starts snoring! Either way, take advantage of this opportunity. Don’t let the room become a dumping ground once your teen has flown the coop. I suggest taking a look around your house to see what you can repurpose in a guest room. That way it can be a fun little decorating project, rather than a huge expense. Recently, I revamped just such a room.

Before picture


Dark blue walls, celestial wallpaper border, BUNK BED! Perfect for a tween or teen — not so perfect for a soothing adult nap.

Now, do you remember that spool-style headboard I scored on Craigslist a while back? Well, it made its way to this budget makeover and set the tone for a relaxed, rustic retreat. I left the wood raw, with the patina intact, and built the room from there.

Headboard from Craigslist

I attached the headboard to the wall itself with screws and anchors and layered the bed with an inexpensive white quilt from HomeSense and sham covers that were on sale at Pottery Barn. The shams added a necessary hit of pattern and soft colour and gave the room a vintage, cottage-y feel. I also pulled the yellow out of the shams and used HomeSense creamy yellow sheeting. For the walls, I used Farrow & Ball’s Pale Powder — a splurge, but well worth it for the truly rich and sophisticated colour.

finished room


Beside the bed are a couple of fun projects. First the side table was a little dark walnut-stained piece in the homeowner’s basement (FREE!). I used some leftover paint to paint it white and then a little sample pot of Farrow & Ball’s Arsenic to hand-paint little contrasting details. I think it looks sweet! Sort of like something they would do in a farmhouse a hundred years ago. Then, I found this great mint-green trellis in their garage and hung it on the wall with some finishing nails. It’s the perfect spot to tuck a few photos or postcards. Plus, it adds visual weight beside the bed, given the way it’s layered in behind the small side table.

finished room

The lamp was a $6 junk-shop score (love the mix of greens in this room), and the shade is new from Ikea. Thank you, Ikea, for finally making regular lamps and shades!!!! Oh, and this classic beauty is only $10! A $16 lamp? You can’t beat that! Well, maybe the vintage silhouettes, hand-painted and complete with old tape marks and artist’s signature can. They were only $5 each at a local vintage shop. And the flowers were from the garden so they cost nothing. So many deals!

old painted trellis

Love that chippy old texture of this painted trellis!

If you want to create a similar look in your space, here are some items to get you started:

vintage-inspired Ikea bed

If you can’t find a real vintage bed, try this vintage-inspired number from Ikea. It costs $190. Throw on a quilt and you’ve got instant farmhouse style.

Thomas Paul melamine plates

For a new version of my silhouette art, try these Thomas Paul melamine plates.

Home Depot - trellis

And you can create your own trellis detail with this new one from Home Depot. It costs $27. For paint, I highly recommend Farrow & Ball’s Arsenic again — it’s such a great colour! Just paint it, tack it to the wall, and tuck in your photos. Presto!

If you enjoyed this post, see another great transformation of mine, Design On A Dime. Plus, be sure to check out our cheap-and-chic DIY headboard ideas, also perfect for a guest room, by Antonio Bellusci and accessories designer and stylist, Sabrina Linn.

Photo credits:
Michael Penney
Ikea Lillesand Bed Frame
Thomas Paul Melamine Gothic Plates
Home Depot Orosz Trellis

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