Monday, March 20, 2017

Before and After: Our Guest Room Makeover

You may know it as the room I use for all my selfies and flatlays (because of the excellent, natural lighting and the floorspace), but our guest room also serves two other purposes: a guest room, for friends and family who are staying over (duh), and John's "getting ready" room.

This is one of two guest rooms in our house (the second one is currently used as a laundry room, which is a bit of a shame considering we've got a gorgeous sofa bed from Heal's in it), but it's my favorite, and it's where I sleep when I'm sick, so I often refer to it as the "quarantine room" i.e. "I have a sore throat and a cough, so I think I'm going to sleep in the quarantine room tonight."

But the real reason why I use it as my sick room, and why all our guests love it (look, they said it, not me) is because the bed feels heavenly: it's soft but firm at the same time and essentially feels like you're swaddled in clouds. It's just the old IKEA bed frame and John Lewis mattress that John and I used to sleep in (before we traded it in for a swankier, pocket sprung, super king mattress and bed frame from Warren Evans), but it's so comfortable. Not only that, but the light casts a beautiful glow on the restored, wood floors and I love the warm, cozy feeling I get every time I walk into the room.

When we first bought the house, this room was a no-go area (I would have put up police tape if I could, because it looked like a crime scene): it had yellow walls, tired, blue curtains, a paper-thin carpet that was peeling away, and several mysterious, unidentifiable stains (*shudder*). Let's just say, it had been neglected.

Here's the before:

And the after:

The first thing we did was strip back the carpet and expose the beautiful floorboards underneath. Builders came in and sanded and sealed the floorboards over the course of a few days. We then painted the walls white, just to give it a fresh, bright and airy feel, and we added floor-length blackout curtains in a neutral, oat color.

Because John uses it as his "getting ready room" in the morning (he leaves for work around 6 a.m.), we bought this Scandi-inspired clothes rack from John Lewis where he keeps his suits, shirts, and shoes. I always joked that I wanted my home to look like "a store! That I live in!" and this room is very close to fitting the bill.

We sourced an antique French set of drawers that we fell in love with at our local garden center, which hosts a French antique furniture shop on the top floor called Maison & Mirrors. The turquoise blue and the marble top looks beautiful against the natural wooden floor and bright white walls.

I added vintage prints to the walls and the map of the US we brought back from an antique dealer in Bordeaux (the corresponding UK map hangs in the second guest room). I love looking at the map from the bed and it also works as a great distraction if you can't get to sleep!

To feed my #shelfie addiction, John installed this ladder shelf, for which I curate little trinkets and items. I typically place towels on the bottom rack so guests can help themselves.

Beautiful, luxurious bed linen is (in my opinion) the key to making a guest room look and feel extra special (and, okay, I like to sleep on nice sheets when I'm sick!). I've been loving the chic, understated patterned bed linen from Secret Linen Store and recently used bedding from their new Tulips collection for the guest bed.

I don't know about you, but I've had such a hard time finding high-quality bed linen that isn't white or ... white. This linen has a subtle, dove-grey pattern and is 100% cotton with a sateen finish, so it feels heavenly to climb into. I love it so much, I'm thinking of getting this tiny stripe grey graphite set for our master bedroom as well (I also just love that they have a section devoted to grey bedding - my favorite color).

Buying our sheets from Secret Linen Store felt personal too: my parcel was delivered with instructions for making dresses from old pillowcases for the charity, "Little Dresses for Africa". It's enough to make me want to dig out my mini sewing machine and get started.

I hope you've enjoyed this little peek into our house! I'm obsessed with before/after posts, ha! I used to watch Extreme Makeover in the States and cry my eyes out when the "after" was revealed.

Our Tulips bed linen was provided courtesy of Secret Linen Store, whose products and ethos I love. All opinions are my own. Shop the collection here. 

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