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. Emily says

    Looks great. Personally, I was on team keep the brown blanket, but it looks good with or without. Have fun this weekend!

  2. Ashley says

    Love it. Kinda miss the brown blanket, not gonna lie. But, everything looks great. I love the touches of green with the wall color, so unexpected but it works! :D

  3. says

    You guys are simply amazing! Love all of the color that you are using the new house! That blue was definitely the way to go. Love the pops of green too!

    And Clara is just toooooo cute! I swear she takes the focus off of the room!

  4. says

    Call me crazy, but I think the white comforter is too stark in such a fun, colorful (by which I mean “cheerful and inviting”) room. Like it’s missing something…like a geometric brown blanket.

    • LauraC says

      I really liked the brown blanket too. Must’ve missed the comments of those who didn’t like it, cause Sherry’s comment surprised me this morning.

    • Kate says

      I agree about the white comforter. I think that the brown blanket didn’t work with all the other patterns and colors that are currently on the bed, but it could be brought back in if some other elements got edited out. E.g. I feel like the headboard and PB pillowcases look like a different room than the bathroom and rest of the bedroom. I prefer the deep blue, warm brown and yellow components of the bedroom (which complement the bathroom SO well) to the green headboard area. Regardless, awesome work in progress and lucky guests!

  5. Maya says

    Love it! Of course, I liked it yesterday, but it looks way more polished and grown-up (though still fun) today. Lovely! And I think it will look even better with a fun (green?) dresser and art on the walls!

    • Krystal says

      Totally agree. Love it now! But, not sure about the green dresser….. Maybe a white dresser with green accents? I’m sure what ever you do, you will totally make it work though :)

  6. Laurie says

    How about whimsical? Great re-use of the rug. Love the pop of color from the pillow cases. Love the curtains too. It really works.

  7. Sou says

    LOVE the room! Just wondering where you kept the white round mirror that used to be in the den in your old home. Would that have worked above the bed too?

  8. Christin says

    I really love how it’s all coming togther. The wall color is nothing short of gorgeous. Seriously, you guys are just so inspirational!! And I love the create-a-side-table you put together. Brilliant. :)

  9. diana says

    If you can imagine, I kept my eyes shut, blindly scrolled down for the picture from yesterday, looked at it, shut my eyes and scrolled up, in blind again, and looked at today’s picture. And you know what? In my opinion, the difference is that between an amateur design and a pro one. Thank you a million times for showing us that work, any work, must be done up to 100%, because the difference is that from 98 to 100. I could keep rambling, but I know you don’t have the time. Perfect!

    • Maya says

      hahaha, I kind of did the same thing, and I completely agree. I also scrolled down and tried to imagine what it would look like to be looking into the bathroom from the bedroom…. a picture (or video tour?) would be great! hehe… does this make us obsessed?

  10. Stephanie Phillips says

    I love you guys. Really. The room turned out beautifully! I’m amazed by how patient you are with complete strangers picking your room apart. I have to tell you, I enjoy reading your blog for *you* as much as for the design and DIY help. Such positive people are hard to come by!

    Keep doin’ whatcha do!

    • Julie says

      Me too! I went back to work as a teacher this year, and so my reading-blogs-while-my-children-nap time has really been cut into. I now only read a very select few blogs with any regularity…and yours is one because of *you* as much as because of your fab designs.

      Speaking of designs, I love how the room turned out. I thought the brown blanket (which I LOVED in your old guest bedroom) didn’t work with this room, but I didn’t feel like I had any place saying so. Sounds like others voiced that, and I’m glad you guys went in the direction you did. I think it all turned out perfectly!

  11. Amy says

    How long of a drive is it for them, Sherry? My in-laws are also the most likely-run-away-with-my baby! They will drive 9 hours for a visit of less than 48 hours. First grandchild, what a surprise, right?

    • Stephanie Phillips says

      My folks are four hours away (in NOVA, near John’s family, actually) and they have come down to visit us more times in the year since my girls were born than in the eight years prior! I’ll get an email- “We want to come see the grandbabies…” Hey! What about your lovely daughter??

      It’s amazing how much grandparents adore their grandkids, though. Makes me so happy. I’m sure it makes you as proud as it does me. ;)

  12. says

    I like it!!! I def like the decision to take out the brown circled duvet!! Looks so nice!! The color is my favorite part! so different and just so fun!! Enjoy a little bean-free time. I think your mom probably will steal her and leave you guys high and dry at least for a couple of hours!

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