Tuesday, September 27, 2011

“Sailing 'round the world in a dirty gondola oh, to be back in the land of Coca-Cola!” - Bob Dylan

This project was fun for me because I got to work with my Mom on it. This is the guest room at my parent's house. It is on the third level, down the hall with the two kids' rooms and a bathroom. We chose this room to be the guest room because it has a large window with an amazing view of the woods in the their backyard.
My mom had a few concerns with this room:
1. She needed to be able to also use it as well, They couldn't "loose" a room for the occasional guest to stay in.
2. It was too feminine before. We needed to make it so a single male could stay over and feel comfortable. But it also needed to be suitable for my mom to use as an office.
3. We basically had NO budget for this room. With four kids and a household to obtain, we decided to make it work with spending as little money as we could.

So what theme should we work with? I had some old Coca-Cola decorations from a room in another house when I was in high school. Is that a good theme for a guest room/office? Well, we don't have much else to work with, so Yes! What colors do we have that we can use? Brown, tan, white, and red. Perfect!

These are the best before pictures I could find. One wall was a blue, while the others were a heather grey. The trim and ceiling are white, along with the fan blades in the center of the ceiling.The large window is on the far right wall from the off-angled door frame. The closet is to the left of the door. The room has always been an office for my mom, as well a guest room and at one point my room when I moved back for a little while. I do know, from living with the colors of the blue, grey, the yellow in the drapery and the large canvas of a soft picnic scene, that I was even overwhelmed with how much it did not flow and did not feel cozy.

First of all, the walls needed to be painted. We had the Sarsaparilla Brown from my previous room, as well as an ample amount of light tan from somewhere else in the house. But these two colors were no good for the neutral look we were going for. So, we added some of the dark brown to the lighter tan. (Add just a little at first. Darker colors take over the lighter colors really easily. Just keep adding a little until you get your desired color.) This gave us the perfect sandy-neutral brown we were looking for. It also gave us enough to paint all four walls with two coats. We didn't use any taping, we just used a smaller brush and got close enough to not get the molding. It took maybe two hours from set-up to finish and let dry.

 1. These side tables and basket may look familiar from my room that I posted earlier. I gave a lot of things to the guest room since I was moving out of state. The bed in this room now has two side tables. There are matching baskets on either side so the guest can put anything in them, being that there is not enough space on top of the little tables. The comforter and white pillow cases were used in the guest room before. And the red pillows were from a room I had before.
2. This corner holds the desk and chair also from my previous room. It also is the home of a cabinet that is being used as gift wrapping and other crafty assortments.
3. This is my Grandpa's old mirror. Again, mirrors let light reflect as well as take up wall space. This mirror is on the left wall with the closet. The theme of the Sarsaparilla goes perfectly with the old Coca-Cola theme.
4. These paper lights hanging above the desk are also from my old room. With the lights from the fan off, they create a low glow. The lighting is important for making someone feel comfortable in their environment after a long day of traveling. The shear drapery was used on my old closet in my earlier post of my room.

You'll need a headboard. It instantly adds a center point to the room. We had an old wood board in storage that we cleaned off and sanded a little. We mounted it right to wall, right above the edge of the bed. The pillows rest on it. Above that is a large canvas. This canvas WAS the old one with the soft picnic scene on it. TA-DA! Not any more. I was more excited about this piece then anything else, it also took the longest to finish. I painted the whole thing with the Sarsaparilla Brown I already had. My mom and I decided to center around the word "enjoy" with the Coca-Cola theme. Enjoy + Travelers = 5 different languages. We got deep red and white sample bottles of paint from the hardwear store. We printed the words in different fonts then sketched them on the canvas and began.

Things to remember:

1. If you are needing to combine two different functions (guest room + office) make sure that both parties feel comfortable with the theme.

2. Like in this room, if you are using it more then the guests, make it a get-away for you as well. It's your hard work, in your house... Let it be your space too.

3. Think about the guest. They are probably tired from traveling, they are in a different area, in a family's home, and would love nothing more then to have a few minutes or hours in comfortable seclusion. Leave some towels, maybe a robe, some bottled water or juices or sodas, maybe a snack or candy, offer to do their laundry, or show them where it is at, and then let them be.

4. If you have clutter or personal photos at your work space in the guest room, clean and remove these things before they arrive. The guest does not want to be remided they are in someone else's home. This is the one thing you can offer them (besides a good dinner) when you are hosting a traveler.

With the help and approval of my wonderful Mom, we transformed this room into something so much more then it was before. AND, I might add, with only buying two sample paint bottles. In the end, no matter how much $$ you spend or don't spend, or how much help you get, you just need to make sure you Love Your Space.


  1. Melanie, you are simply brilliant. Don't ever forget it! Keep it coming sista!

  2. I went home this past weekend and stayed in the guest room at my parent's house. It was such a joy to be in the room as a guest, the purpose of the room, and see how future and past guests have seen it. What a comfy room! Great job, Mom!