before & after / our guest bedroom

Back in the spring, I pulled together inspiration to re-do our guest bedroom on a tight budget and a tight timeline. I went all HGTV on myself, got 80% of it done in the timeline, then a failed DIY headboard attempt slowed me down and I decided to focus on our front porch re-do instead. Nothing like a classic case of design ADD!

The guest bedroom has sat untouched since May, so I figured until I finish the last 20% of the project, I'll share what it looks like now. Here is a little recap of where I started:

The room was dark and heavy, the walls were textured like sandpaper (why do people do this?!), the decor was recycled from our rental days and felt pretty masculine. It didn't fit the overall aesthetic in the rest of the house and was begging for white walls. White paint = game-changer, always.

I set a budget of < $300 and pulled together this inspiration:

Overall, I wanted the room to be light, bright and calming with minimal color... various tones of blue and white to blend the room in with the rest of the house, with little pops of color here and there. With < $300 to work with, I am pretty pleased that the room is 80% complete and I still have $90 to work with, thanks to IKEA, CB2 and Target for their affordable decor!

I saved money by DIY-ing a lamp that we already owned - see the Rebecca Atwood-inspired DIY here - and used the furniture that was already in the bedroom, that was my moms as a child (and the rocking chair she used when I was a baby!). With the remaining $90, I will make a headboard and shelf that will go above the bed to hold art and plants.

Here is what the guest bedroom looks like today:


Check out the abstract artwork courtesy of my talented nephew... one for me, and one for Uncle Tim! I can't wait to hang these.


I painted the walls in White Dove by Benjamin Moore and straight-off-the-shelf high gloss ultra bright white paint for the trim. It was the most rewarding, refreshing paint job ever to cover up the hideous brown and I learned how to properly caulk and paint trim for the first time. I even bought a trio of special paint brushes that I will reserve for trim only... I'm taking my new skill very seriously! I haven't painted the doors yet, and I'm still debating between the ultra bright white or a pop of color... thoughts?

The headboard and shelf still need to be made and will fill the void above the bed. Art will hang on the wall opposite the mirror, and it will finally feel like a calming, cozy retreat - and a finished space! I have issues finalizing rooms in our house as they're always evolving, but since the guest bedroom is rarely used, I'm hoping that once it's complete I'll be happy to leave it alone. That would be a first ;)

And since I'm such a sucker for a classic before & after (or, 80% complete rather than "after"), here it is:

Although I didn't stick to my original HGTV-style timeline, I really enjoyed the challenge of keeping everything within a tight budget and focusing on one room at a time. Now that the guest room is almost complete, we're deciding among the master bedroom, the kitchen or our dreaded post-flood basement to tackle next. While the basement requires the most attention, it's also the most out of sight, out of mind room. I'll be sure to share what's next!

In the meantime, how do you stay focused and avoid design ADD? I need some tips!