We just learned that our first overnight guests will be coming at the end of the month… and our guest room currently looks like this:

Not acceptable. Especially since our end-of-the-month guests are my in-laws.

Yep, Sherry’s mom and stepdad are headed from New York to Richmond for some much-anticipated Clara time so we officially have a deadline for making the guest room habitable. We don’t expect to make the room all that we want it to be in a mere two weeks, but we have some basic goals for it:

  • Get all of the junk out of there (finally confirm the Habitat for Humanity ReStore pickup & move rest of stuff into the playroom)
  • Buy a mattres & boxsping along with a cheap-o bed frame (for the interim at least, we might build a bed frame later),
  • Dress said bed with already-owned bedding
  • Add shower curtain & other bathroom essentials (towels, new toilet seat cover, etc)

Doing that much will at least make the room functional, since my nightmare would be asking Sherry’s sweet Italian mom and stepdad to sleep on the fold out couch in the office (mental picture: his name is Giacomo LaPadula and hers is Diana DeCesare LaPadula – they’re way too debonair to sleep on a fold out sofa next to our laptops in a room with no doors).

And since we occasionally welcome a challenge (and only crumble under pressure sometimes) we’ll toss out this list of “extra credit”:

  • Painting the room
  • Putting up curtains
  • Adding a nightstand & table lamp

Not that we expect to accomplish all or even any of those extra ones, we just thought we’d toss them out there for fun. Or so you guys can virtually berate console us when we don’t get to them. We’d love for the room to feel nice and polished when they arrive, but really who are we kidding? The room looks like a bifold door convention and Nona and PopPop will probably only be focused on Clara anyways. Either way – wish us luck on our race to guest bedroom-dom!

Psst- We announced this week’s giveaway winners. Click here to see if you’re one of them.


  1. Caity says

    You can do it! And it will probably end up looking like something straight out of a magazine because you guys are so awesome! Good luck!

  2. says

    I was actually surprised you were focusing time on the dining room rather than the guest room since you already have a place to eat (in the kitchen) and you never know when guests will pop by. :) Good luck!

  3. Shannon says

    Perfect! I have a just-emptied-out 3rd bedroom that needs absolutely everything to turn it into the guest room of my dreams. I’ll give myself the same deadline, and maybe even invite my Mom down to visit for a real kick in the pants. Race ya!

    • Beth says

      Wowsers! Going to bookmark that… I really want a leather or microfiber bed and that looks soooo good.

    • Traci says

      That is awesome! If I had an IKEA close by, I would buy that bed and SO do this!

      I have actually thought of using a blanket or matlasse coverlet to upholster a bedframe and slipcover a couch, before; I’ve collected several matlasse coverlets from thrift stores, discount stores, and Ebay for a slipcover project that has never happened. Been thinking lately of building a bed and just using my coverlets to upholster it. Much more economical than upholstery fabric, and richer-looking.

    • Elizabeth says

      I COULD NOT AGREE MORE with the comments about buying an electric staple gun! I love mine so much I think I shall give it a name like someone I know does to their furniture.

      From now on, it shall be known as Stan. Heh heh.

    • says

      I am doing this with the twin sized fjellse, but cut off both ends to make it into a platform daybed. Going to sew a matching mattress cover and back pillow to make it look more like a sofa. And I love how many great ideas there are in blogland that give me new projects to try! The creative generosity is amazing.

    • Alison says

      AMAZING! I love, love, love that bed! I seriously want to leave work right now, go to ikea, buy supplies and create my own version! Great job!

    • Lisa in Seattle says

      Liz, you’ve just hammered the final nail into the coffin for my productivity this morning. Just what I needed – another great blog to get sucked into! =)

  4. Stephanie Phillips says

    Woo hoo! Nothing like the threat of visiting family to motivate!

    And, no matter what, it will be amazing. Not that grandma and grandpa will notice, all they’re going to see is Clara. :) At least that’s how it works in my world!

  5. Julianne says

    Do I spy old ceiling fans parts in the corner of the room?? Looks like either your master bedroom or the great room are going fanless!

    Can’t wait to see some updated pictures, I am sure it will make a huge difference!

  6. Liliana says

    Sounds exciting! to have to make the room nice in a short time. How about adding a couple of low light/maintenance plants? I think plants can add a nice touch to a room.

    If I may ask, where are you planning on looking for a mattress/box spring?

    ~ L.

    • says

      We’re always plant fans so we’ll see if we can squeeze them in. As for the mattress, we have no idea. We’ll probably hit up a ton of discount mattress places and hunt down the best deal. Details when we get there!


    • Page says

      Be careful, John and Sherry. We bought from a “reputable” discount mattress place, paid half, and thought we had a steal. Six months later we found out it wasn’t such a great deal. It looked great on the outside, but it started breaking down in the middle. We counted it toward our stupid tax, but it’s a painful memory.

    • Meredith says

      I agree about the cheap-o mattress outlets. I tried that when we needed to get a second twin for my girl’s room when they were sharing. The first came from Costco years ago and is amazing. The second from a “cheap mattress outlet” is crap. No one wants to sleep on it. It doesn’t support you on the edge when you sit down to put on shoes or read your kid a story. Go Costco. You know it will be great quality at a fair price. For what it is worth, the sales guy at the cheap mattress place was entertaining – he could play “Sleigh Bells” with his teeth. He was even on jay Leno. :)

  7. says

    We just finished our guest room and Grandma arrives next week! You can do it! I think the old saying is make your guest room comfortable enough that people want to stay with you only not too comfortable that they want to stay longer. :)

  8. says

    wow good luck! Can’t wait to see posts. I think the first piece of the puzzle that I’m most anxious to find out about is PAINT color. Now I know that’s on your “ambitious” list, and might not even get to that…but I bet you guys can do it…haha.

    But I promise I won’t berate you if you don’t get to that just yet…

  9. Paula says

    This type of situation, for us, is how we get most of our projects done. When we redid our mudroom/ laundry room our dead line was by the time we have our yearly Christmas party. Well it was September when we started, so no problem! Well we were still doing some final touches the day of, and we still have no light fixtures, lights yes, but they are just the bulbs. Who looks up anyway, right?

    Good luck, I have no doubt that you guys will “git’r done”!

  10. steph says

    Guys, I don’t think it could’ve been summed up better than at the end of your post. Nona and PopPop are going to be mesmerized by Clara, so don’t stress too much about perfecting the room – it’ll probably be the last thing they notice with that sweet little grandbaby taking up all their attention!