Guest Bedroom: A Cozy Space for Guests

THE DEXTER HOUSE

Last week we finished our quick guest bedroom “redo”, and I’m pretty smitten with the results.

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom 4 copy The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom nightstand

We spent two weeks transforming this 77sf room from an awkward white left-over space into a comfortable bedroom for guests.  It’s still small (obviously we couldn’t change that…), but it feels a whole lot cozier.  Here’s what the room looked like before the wainscot and paint and brass hanging light and framed photos and retrofitted antique bed.

Dexter House - Guest Bedroom

And after…

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom 5

Before…

IMG_1838

After…

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom foot of bed

Sooooo much better, right?!

I went with a simple black and white color scheme for this room and added hints of natural wood and brass.  The simple color palette keeps this small room from feeling cluttered and really works with the vibe of the rest of the house.  The end result is a cozy and simple space that feels nostalgic and sophisticated and maybe just a bit sultry.  For the walls, I selected historic photos from Costco’s image gallery and mounted them in Ikea frames.  Simple white drapes cover the window and closet and a blackout roman blind helps guests sleep in (or it would if our toddler wasn’t running down the hallway by 6am every morning!).  The hanging brass light was a DIY project by yours truly.

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom nightstand 2The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom suitcase

We bought the 1800s rope bed from a very sweet lady name Mary via Craigslist.  She actually sold us two antique frames for $120 (more on that here), but I selected this one for the guest bedroom.  Because the frame is narrower and shorter than a modern full (it turns out there weren’t standard mattress sizes in the 1800s…), we did a little reworking to extend the side rails, push them out a few inches, and then slipped a new 2×4 and plywood frame in between the rails.

The Grit and Polish - DIY Brass Hanging Light 2The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom rope bedThe Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom bed frame

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I love this bed frame.  It’s my kind of antique: pretty and sturdy and interesting.  I keep joking that our guests will always have to sleep on a full-sized bed, because I envision carting this frame from house to house with us until it finally lands in our forever house’s giant and bright guest bedroom. Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?!

I did a little research on rope beds, and found out that people used to string rope around those small wood nobs in a cross-hatch pattern.  They topped the rope base with a homemade mattress, usually filled with feathers or hay.  The ropes needed tightening often, which makes me think the phrase “sleep tight” used to be mean something a whole lot different than it does now.

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom 9

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom Window 2

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom Bed and MirrorThe Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom mirror

We’ve had this antique mirror sitting in the basement since we moved into the Dexter House.  I bought it off of Craigslist for $20 or so.  But I never liked the color much so was happy to spray-paint it glossy black.  I hung it from the ceiling using brass plumber’s safety chain, which I found (and fell in love with!) at the hardware store.

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom 15

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom suitcase 2

Well that’s it for our guest space!  At just 77sf, it gives a whole new meaning to cozy.  But I’m really happy with how it turned out and super glad we took the plunge and painted the walls black.  Speaking of the paint, I’ve gotten some mixed comments from readers about the black walls.  So I’m curious…what do you think?  Would you ever go dark in such a small room?

Read more about the guest bedroom redo: inspiration/getting started, bedframes, and progress.

Resources: bed frame, vintage | suitcase, Filson | bedspread, gift | white curtains, Ikea | roman blind, West Elm (on sale!) | mirror, vintage | black and white blanket, Anthropologie | side chair, Industry West | frames, Ikea | photographs, Costco image gallery | brass double picture frame, vintage | brass hanging light, DIY (post to follow) | lace throw, vintage | paint colors, listed here

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. let’s talk dark and sultry interiors for a minute.  This whole house tour on design*sponge is so so so lovely and such a breath of fresh (dark) air.  This entry is kinda spot on too.

p.p.s. Well this mansion is lovely, isn’t it?  And can’t we talk about that fireplace?!

p.p.p.s. Check out this cozy and eclectic family home tour on One Kings Lane…it’s a stunner.

p.p.p.p.s. I just couldn’t resist…If toddlers had Facebook.  Yes, I laughed out loud.

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Guest Bedroom: Going Black

THE DEXTER HOUSE

We painted the walls of the guest bedroom black and let me just say…I love them!

The Grit and Polish - Guest Room Black Walls 4The Grit and Polish - Guest Room Black Walls

Going black was super nerve-racking!  It’s just soooo dark.  An if you don’t like it, it’s not exactly easy to change.  But I’m so glad we went through with it.  Black feels crisp and classic and oh so cozy in our little guest bedroom.  The color is Benjamin Moore’s Onyx, which we’ve used in the Dexter House before.  I’ll let you in on a little secret…we used leftover floor paint on the walls in here.  I know, I know, totally not what you’re supposed to do, but we had so much paint leftover after doing the floors last summer, so we just went with it.

For the wainscot, we used bead-board paneling painted in BM’s Simply White, like the rest of the trim in the house.  We used 4′ tall panels topped with a 1″x4″ laid vertically and a 1″x2″ laid horizontally.  We chose bead-board style wainscot to match the existing paneling in the bathroom.

The Grit and Polish - Wainscot Close Up

Let me apologize in advance for the poor lighting in the next photo, but I wanted to give you a peak at the bed and light.

The Grit and Polish - Guest Room Black Walls with bed frame 2

If you remember, I was debating over two different antique bed frames for this room.  Well we picked the 1800s rope bed!  The scale worked really well with the height of the wainscot, and, most importantly, this frame is just my kind of wax.  I heart it one hundred and ten percent.

The brass hanging light was a hands-on project.  I wired it up myself from parts I bought online (more on that later).  I’ll be sharing the finished room with you as soon as we get a little sun around here and I can photograph it, so stay tuned!  In the meantime, you can read more about the design for this room here and the bed frame here.

Do you guys dig the black as much as I do…?

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. Have you guys heard about this book/treasure-map?!  Decipher Mr. Forrest’s treasure map and you’ll find yourself a whole lot richer!

p.p.s. A dark beauty on design*sponge.  The more I look for dark interiors, the more I’m loving them!

p.p.p.s. Easter is coming!  I’m loving this farm to table table scape (how stunning is the wood table itself?!)

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Guest Bedroom: Finally Getting Around to It

THE DEXTER HOUSE

The third bedroom at the Dexter House has been a huge question mark since the we moved in last September.  At first, this room was left intentionally empty in order to set up a labor tub for Brooks’ home birth.  After our littlest was born, we started storing stuff in here, until so much stuff accumulated that I simply closed the door and ignored the room altogether (I know, I know, not a good strategy when space is tight!).  But with the threat of house guests over Thanksgiving, we finally had no choice but to clear the clutter.  So we cleaned the room up (threw stuff away or stored it in the basement), tossed a bed in here, and called it good…until now.  Because the least we can do is have a guest bedroom that guests actually like to be in.

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom Progress Collage

At 8.5’x9′, our guest bedroom is a cozy 77sf.  Cozy as in realtor speak for tiny. But worse yet, the only window in this room is north-facing and not particularly large, meaning it’s dark in here all day long.  The only storage in the space is a two-foot wide closet in the corner.  All in all, this room is a design headache and it’s taken me a few months to wrap my mind around what we can possibly do to make it better.

Like it usually does, inspiration struck like lighting last week.  We were showing the Bryant House (our second house) to new tenants, and had one of those “ah ha” moments when I walked into the second bedroom.  See, I actually love the second bedroom at the Bryant house.  And it’s tiny.  Like 70sf tiny.  But it’s a great little room.  And not because of great architectural bones or huge windows (it doesn’t have either).  It’s lovely because it’s cozy (cozy as in actually cozy).  It has tall wainscot and hardwood floors, and the walls are painted a lovely shade of gray, which all enhances the comfort of the space. Basically, it’s a great room despite being only 70sf.  And I thought, hey we can do this!

Back at the Dexter House house, I turned my focus back to the guest bedroom.  Our plan is simple: tall wainscoting, paint, an antique bed frame, white linens, cozy blankets, a hanging pendant, and a side table.  At 77sf, that’s about all this room can hold.  And did I mention that I want to go dark with the paint.  Like really dark.  I debated about dark teal but ultimately decided on black paint.  I know that dark paint colors can sometimes make rooms feel smaller, but I also think that dark colors can help spaces feel more comfortable, welcoming, and well…cozy.  So here’s the design board for our little guest bedroom:

Black and White Bedroom
Blanket, Anthropologie | Bedroom image, via Design Sponge |Chair, Industry West | Light socket, Vintage Wire and Supply | Lightbulb, Amazon | Sheet, One Kings Lane

What do you think?  Would you ever paint your walls black?

We’re on a tight, two-week turnaround before more guests arrive, so wish us luck!  I’ll give you an update later this week.

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. Emily Henderson’s recommended colors for rooms like our guest bedroom (aka small and dark).

p.p.s. I was really inspired by this dark teal bedroom.  Don’t you think the wall color just makes that room?!

p.p.p.s. The secret to long lasting love from…celebrities?!  Okay, so maybe not the most authoritative source, but it’s a fun little read!

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