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The Guest Room

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Brent and I (mostly Brent) are the type of people who focus on function and necessity. That is most obvious when it comes to our home. The house we owned in Indiana was 2100 square feet and I would estimate that 400sq. ft. were actually furnished. And I used furnished liberally. I’m not exaggerating. In the five years we have been married we have never owned a bedframe, or even a dresser. Remember that apartment tour? That was not that out of the norm for us.

Well, with my newfound massive quantity of free time, and the fact that people seem to want to visit us more now in Seattle than in Fort Wayne, I’ve decided to try and make it look like adults live in our home. This will be a very slow process. I don’t have a job, so the budget is pretty low. Because Tessa (the bestie) is coming to stay (TODAY!!) I chose to focus some energy on the guest room first. This is what the guest room looked like yesterday morning:

Who wouldn’t want to stay there, right? Ha. Ok, obviously we needed a bed. In our prior homes all guests, including friends and my parents, slept on an air mattress. It’s true. Brent’s brother even lived with us for 3 months one summer and his bed was an air mattress. We are clearly not awesome hosts. I decided to (very slightly) step up my game and buy a real mattress. I went with the cheapest mattress set from Ikea. I wasn’t expecting greatness, but it was actually pretty comfortable. It got delivered yesterday morning at 10am. Great! The guests now had a place to sleep. Still no bedframe, but I did add a bit of pizazz by upholstering a headboard. It took 15 minutes and made me feel über crafty.

The process was simple. I used a 1/2″ thick piece of plywood cut to size by the nice folks at Home Depot. I used two layers of high density quilt batting pulled snugly around the sides and stapled with a staple gun. Then I pulled my chosen fabric around, again pulling snugly and stapled that. Then I cut off any excess fabric and Brent mounted it on the wall for me. You can see the finished project at the end. I also made one for my bedroom. Here’s the cost breakdown of the headboard:

For a total of $92, which I thought was reasonable.

Headboard, mattress… now we need linens. We used the down comforter and duvet cover from our old bed, as well as two extra newish pillows we had. I washed the comforter and cover. Did you know you can wash down comforters? I always had mine dry cleaned, but I washed it yesterday in cold on the delicate cycle, and then dried on low for 3 hours using dryer balls and no fabric softener. It worked really well! To round out the linens, I bought a simple white queen sheet set from Ikea for $40.

There is a closet in the bedroom with a few hangers in it, but we need a dresser. Brent did not agree with that use of need for that sentence, but I felt it was a necessity. He went for it when I pointed out the Rast dresser from Ikea for only $29.99.

Plain, old untreated pine. The dresser may not have been fabulous, but I knew it would work. First, I painted it white. I believe the actual color was called Popcorn, which I found funny. After three coats of white paint, some sanding, and some satin polyurethane, I had a plain white dresser.

I used the drawers to jazz it up by adding a patterned contact paper to the bottoms. This served the dual purpose of adding cuteness and hiding the fugly particle board that comprised the drawer bottoms.

I love this paper. Love. To add visual appeal to the outside, I broke the bank and bought adorable knobs from Anthropologie. I knew I wanted a green glass knobs, so I just went for it. I am positive you could find a cheaper alternative.

I think the dresser turned out so well! I sent Brent pictures of it while he was at work and his response was, “That actually does look really good.” I don’t think he had a ton of faith in me.

It is so pretty. I can’t wait to do one for my room. Here’s the cost breakdown:

  • Dresser: $30
  • Paint, Polyurethane, and supplies: $30
  • Knobs: $36
  • Paper: $15 (but I have most of it leftover for future projects.

For a total of $111. Not too bad. I was shooting for under $100, but since I love the result, and I have leftover contact paper I’m happy with it.

So here’s the room now, Tuesday morning:

Things I still need to do some time in the future: bedframe (probably a cheap wood one that I can paint or stain), curtains, and at least one lamp. I would have like to have gotten curtains for Tess’s visit, but privacy isn’t an issue because the window is a foot away from a concrete wall and is six floors up so it’s impossible to see into. Because of that, the room is extremely dark, and really needs additional sources of light. The bed is also super low, but it’s still infinitely better than an air mattress.

It’s clearly not going to win any design awards, but at least now it’s functional. 🙂


6 responses »

  1. Love your headboard and dresser.. super cute and crafty!

  2. I have to say, I am impressed. I will admit I am one of those people who is often not as crafty as I should be. I know how to sew and yet, I seem to rely a lot on premade stuff. This is so cute and a reminder that I should use a bit more ingenuity than I currently do.

  3. The drawer lining is such a cool print. Good work.

  4. I would recommend a bedside lamp next — the “guest room” at my parents doesn’t have one, and it’s SOOOOOO annoying to have to get up and shut off the overhead light when you are drowsy! (Ya know, then you sort of wake up a little bit and then have to get drowsy again? No fun.)

  5. Oh, and I meant to say, too, that your projects look awesome! I guess I just thought, but didn’t type, that part. 🙂

  6. Impressive work!! 🙂 I’d be happy to stay here!


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