Our $297 Guest Room Makeover (& A Luggage Tray Side Table)

Sometimes, you just gotta let things “shake out” – haha. John kept rolling his eyes while I ran back and forth from the guest room to try “one more thing” all day yesterday, but I just love playing around, tweaking things, adding this, subtracting that, and seeing where we end up. It’s probably my favorite part of the whole process, all that final-hour-switcheroo business. And we’re so glad that we shared yesterday’s in-progress pics to show how just a few tweaks in the last 24 hours can really change things up. Not über dramatically, but enough to make a difference for sure. Sometimes it’s those last minute changes that make you step back and go: There. Done. At least for now.

Who am I kidding? I’ll probably be back in there hanging art above the chairs and switching out the bookcase for a proper dresser when we hunt down the perfect one on craigslist in a week or two. And then there’s the crown molding we’d love to add down the line along with a million other changes that we’ll probably roll out over the next few years. But those are projects for another day, because my mom and stepdad will be arriving in T-minus-four-hours. So here’s what the guest room looks like now that we picked up three things from Tar-jay yesterday afternoon.

Those three things were:

  • a large $24 faux leather tray
  • a round $49 oil-rubbed bronze mirror
  • a cute green $19 table lamp

You’ll remember that yesterday’s to do list included hanging something above the bed to balance out the big window to the left (hence the purchase of the big round mirror) and adding a nightstand and table lamp (hence the purchase of the cheap-o table lamp and the tray that we attached to the top of the green luggage rack that we got last week while thrifting on our little V-day beach trip last week).

First I repaired the straps on the luggage rack with thick brown ribbon and a staple gun.

Then John came up with the genius plan to use Command removable adhesive strips…

… to securely fasten the tray to the luggage rack in a way that’s 100% un-doable, thanks to those removable strips.

After placing our new luggage-rack-turned-side-table next to the bed with that cute green lamp…

… and hanging the oil-rubbed bronze mirror above the bed…

…we both really loved the idea of bringing in the leather storage bench that was sitting unused in the playroom for the foot of the guest bed.

That way we could remove the patterned brown blanket that we had folded at the foot of the bed (for a splash of dark color) in exchange for the more “classic” and less busy brown ottoman (which would also serve as a place to sit down, store linens, drop bags, set out magazines for mom, etc). All hail function. And ottomans. Seriously, we can’t get enough of them. So for those of you who hated the brown blanket with a passion that can only be described as intense, rest assured that it’s been beaten and burned. Just kidding, it’s sitting in playroom purgatory with all of our other “leftovers.”

And on the subject of stuff we already have, we knew that our guests would love a place to charge their cellphones, so I brought in a ceramic stool from the sunroom and placed it between the two chairs that I shifted apart so the outlet was easily visible right behind the stool. Bam: cellphone charging central. Note: I’ve since come to my senses and removed the cute blue vase to actually make room for cell phones.

And in separating those chairs I nixed the faux sheepskin and brought over the two happy yellow pinwheel pillows for some easy balance. Of course we still have to hang some art above those chairs, but we’ll get there someday.

So that’s the room as it looks today with mom and Jack on the road from NY. Just for fun, here’s another shot of our cute little $1.25 closet door pull and the empty closet with a bunch of wood hangers just waiting for our guests:

The funny thing is that I’m pretty sure my mom would sleep on the floor for a chance to hang out with Clara, so she probably won’t even notice the walls or the curtains or the bedding because she’ll be so busy staring at the bean.

Speaking of our little helper, here she is hanging out while we hung the mirror above the bed.

Gotta love that girl. She already has an appreciation for rugs and other accessories.

Oh and since you know we love a good budget breakdown, here’s what we spent for the guest bedroom & adjoining guest bathroom makeover:

  • Olympic Premium No-VOC primer: $12
  • Olympic Premium No-VOC paint (color matched to Martha Stewart’s Plumage): $22
  • Target bedskirt: $10
  • Ikea curtains: $76 (around $19 a panel)
  • Target curtain rods: $18
  • Hobby Lobby closet knob: $1.25 (50% off thanks to a hardware sale)
  • Target oil-rubbed bronze mirror: $49
  • Target tray for luggage rack: $24
  • Target table lamp: $19
  • Target bathroom shower curtain: $20
  • Target bathmat: $20
  • Target Waterpik showerhead: $14
  • Home Depot toilet seat: $12
  • TOTAL: $297.25

Thanks to working with a ton of things that we already had (like our DIYed headboard, existing linens, the two slipper chairs, the ceramic drum stool, our yellow Pottery Barn rug, and our old bookcase) we came in well under a 1K Trading Spaces budget, even if you add our $488 bed purchase to the total above (which takes us to a grand total of $785.25). Now we just have to do a little last minute vacuuming and dusting before my mom swoops in and steals my child. That’s right, our family voted her as Most Likely To Steal Clara for a reason.


  1. Shannon says

    Off topic question…my honey and I are getting married July 9th…we are having a hard time finding a honeymoon spot. So you know of any places in Virginia that we might enjoy? We’re thinking privacy like a cottage or cabin, but a little modern…and for fun we want to rent atv’s, jetski, etc…and I want someplace scenic for pictures lol Thanks!

    • says

      Hmm, we love Richmond (there’s whitewater kayaking, lots of history/museums, tons of amazing restaurants, etc) but it might not be private and cabin-like in the city. Does anyone have ideas for a place in VA for Shannon to honeymoon? Maybe out by the vineyards near Charlottesville? It’s gorgeous and scenic out that way (more towards the mountains). Hope it helps!


    • Monica says

      I’d vote for Bryce Mountain Resort in Basye, VA. Its a ski resort, but in the summer there is grass skiing, zip-lining, moutain biking and, of course, climbing and hiking. Just a few miles from the ski resort is a town called Orkney Springs and a conference center known as Shrine Mont. Shrine Mont is a Victorian resort town where folks used to come to “take the waters” in the early 1900’s…beautiful old hotel and lovely old cottages make up the center. Shrinemont is currently owned and operated by the Episcopal Diocese of VA. I’d stay at Bryce’s and visit Shrinemont…loads of gorgeous pics and I think, you can still drink from the original mineral spring. OR rent a house in Virginia Beach…SO DIFFERENT from when I grew up in Mechanicsville…VA Beach is a GREAT place to visit now and I’m SURE you can rent jet-ski’s somewhere.

      And, as Sherry always says, hope it helps! :-)

    • Christen says

      The Inn at Vacluse Springs is a beautiful B and B in Winchester. It’s close to a cute town and lovely wineries. And their breakfasts… amazing!

  2. Katie says

    Oh, this is just beautiful! I love the addition of the brown ottoman and the “nightstand”, and the pillows on the bed look much better too. I also love how well you guys work with what you have!

  3. Alexandra says

    I thought you said in your previous post that your curtains were 38$, not 78$. And 19$x2=38$ anyway, so that would make sense. Sorry for the boring comment, I’m just a sucker for nummbers :P

    Oh, and by the way, your guest room is fabulous!!

  4. Caity says

    Looks great–I love the lime green! Everything looks so fun, bright, and cohesive! Do you like this “bolder” approach to style so far?
    P.S. Where did you get those awesome floral pillow covers?

    • says

      Yup, there’s nothing like a little color to make you smile. We definitely love the direction that we’re going in the new house (I think we were ready for some bold patterns and some fun in this house after trying to “adult up” the last house. Haha. As for those pillow cases, they’re from Pottery Barn a while back- but maybe try ebay?


  5. says

    This looks fantastic! I have to admit I kinda liked the brown blanket at the end of the bed. I read a blog post recently (where I cannot remember) that said every room needs a balance of natural brown. Sometimes its a wood floor, sometimes a wicker basket, sometimes a leather ottoman. Nice work!

    ps I LOOOVE the Plumage paint. What a statement! We’re thinking of doing something similar in our living room. Stay tuned!

  6. Shoshana says

    so fun! I’m really interested in seeing what the living room looks like now (since I believe the pillows and rugs were taken from there).

  7. bhh says

    I think I spy some art in your bathroom (reflection in one of the mirror photos)? No need to reply to this comment — I know how all out busy you must be. Just know that I’m looking forward to seeing the updated guest bath again sometime and finding out whether I’ve got lying eyes.

  8. Diana says

    The room looks great! That was quick! I too like to spend a lot of time on the little details. Then I cannot stop looking at the end result! I find my many out of town guests want an empty table to place an open suitcase. The bench at the end of the bed will serve for that.
    When I went shopping for a mattress for my guest room, the salesperson said, How long do you want them to stay? A two nighter or more? :)

  9. Marlayna says

    I learned a lot about the power of tweaking in your last two posts! I am amazed at how much even more in love I was after you threw the two yellow pillows on those slipper chairs (catching near that rug and that adorable yellow pull)and then how grounding and impactful the ottoman is at the end of the bed! I love the whole feeling you have going in there! So much energy and fun and happiness! You guys exude happiness, it’s refreshing! It shows in your beaming Beanette and in your lively decorations!

    ok, almost done with my long raving comment, haha, but……

    ….when can we see after photos of the bathroom?!? Didnt you say you did/were going to do more with art and guest furnishings? :)

    • says

      Soon! Hopefully we can toss them together this afternoon. That room will really transform once we paint it and add a colorful window treatment, but for now it’s workable and functional for sure.


  10. Alison says

    Such great colors were used in this room. It turned out great and I need to track down that adorable little target lamp.
    Enjoy your family visit.

  11. Nicole says

    Wow – I am amazed what you could do in just over a week!! Looks great! Your mom and stepdad are going to love it, I’m sure!

  12. says

    YES!!!! It looks fantastic!! I’m so glad you removed the brown and white blanket that was at the end of the bed. It looked way too visually “heavy” for the room, with everything else so light and airy. In fact, the blanket with the curtains really made me dislike the curtains. They just appeared “weak” on the windows. Does that make sense?

    But now, with the blanket gone, everything looks just perfect. I love everything about the room…even the curtains!! Amazing how a room can look so light and airy with such a dark wall color. And I’m stunned that y’all were able to do this in such a short amount of time. Your guests are going to LOVE their stay in that room!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *