My guest room has received minimal attention since we moved in.  I did scrape some tape and Mickey Mouse stickers off of the wall when we first moved in, and I also tore up the carpeting from the floor.  Yes, there was gorgeous, shiny hardwoods underneath it.  However, I simply dumped our daybed in the room and shut the door for months.  Here’s a picture of it before we moved in:

Guest room before we moved in

Guest room before we moved in

Then, we threw a huge Oktoberfest party.  About an hour before the event, I looked in my guest room and realized it was a mess.  It had pale purple walls, a remnant from its days as a nursery.  Also, I only had one piece of furniture in there, a giant day bed for visitors.  Excuse the rushed camera phone pictures. 

There’s nothing else to see because there was NOTHING else in the room: NOTHING on the walls, NOTHING anywhere.  I decided to do a quick 1 hour, FREE makeover.  I found a few pillows lying around and tossed them on the bed.  I also had a 5×7 navy blue rug that was in my kitchen for a short time to toss on the floor.  I found a few white frames that I hadn’t hung elsewhere yet.  I have a TON of picture frames.  I buy them cheap at thrift stores and spray paint them for some continuity.  The closet in this room doesn’t have closet doors… yet.  I had gorgeous floor to ceiling windows in our last apartment, so I have plenty of long curtains sitting around.  I hemmed some blue velvet curtains quickly to place over the closet.  This was my quick makeover:


A few already-owned toss pillows and a navy dhurrie rug


Gallery wall with free frames. The frame on the far left has some fabric in it for fast “art”


Makeshift closet curtains: I’d love to put in closet doors soon!

The guest room sat like this again for a month and a half until the purple REALLY started bugging me.  I barely even go into this room, and the purple was bothering me a ridiculous amount.  I finally decided to do something about it though when my parents decided to visit for Thanksgiving.  I gave myself a week to re-do the room and a $100 budget.  The after:


Here’s how I kept to the budget:

PAINT:  I had wanted an olive green for the walls, and I searched Behr, Sherwin Williams, and Benjamin Moore for a color I loved.  Everything either seemed too dark for the small, dark room or felt too muddy.  I had finally given up and decided that ANY color would be better than purple, so I stopped by Home Depot to check out their “Oops paint” section.  My Home Depot sells any paint that wasn’t mixed to the right shade at a deep discount.  It was my lucky day!  Sitting next to an assortment of pinks and purples was a single gallon of the perfect olive/ grey color for only $8.10 (and no VOCs)!  For success in the “Oops paint” section, I recommend that you have patience and check back frequently.

DRESSER:  I knew the guest room needed a dresser.  I was searching everyday at local thrift stores and Craigslist for an expensive dresser with character AND working drawers.  I kept missing out on the best deals ($10 dressers are purchased FAST around here).  I started feeling a little desperate and was ready to settle on anything.  I ended up finding a 1950’s feminine dresser on Craigslist with a solid marble top for only $50.  The interior was very clean, which meant that the dresser wouldn’t need to be aired out or fully painted.  It was a laminate dresser though, so I had to prime it with my favorite primer that sticks to ANYTHING.  Luckily, I already owned it.

REFINISHING DRESSER:  Since it was such a feminine dresser in such a dark room, I decided to use a fun, bright color on it.  I chose to repaint the dresser with Benjamin Moore’s All Ablaze.  I live near an Ace Hardware that carries BM products, and I’m a frequent shopper (earning me Ace Reward Dollars).  I had a $5 coupon that I applied to the cost of a sample pot, making the paint only $2.50.  I already owned the brushes and gold paint for the trim.IMG_1467

FRAMES and DECOR:  I already owned EVERYTHING that I used in this room. I know that not everyone hoards frames and pillows, but here are some tips that I use for ALL of my decor items:

  1. I buy all of my picture frames from thrift stores.  If I want them to match, I paint them all a similar color.  I have painted these frames black, gold, and now white.  They’ve lived very full lives!
  2. I also never purchase art for frames.  I use postcards from our trips (we love to travel), as well as personal pictures and items (I’ve framed a baby dress that my grandmother made me).  If I want art, I make it myself.  The abstract painting (which I wanted to make it feel modern like the rest of my home) is craft paint on leftover cardboard.
  3. I know how to sew, so I sew my own pillows.  I rarely find pillows that I love in the store, but I always find fabric!  I can control the size, style, and comfort of my pillows by making them myself.  Bonus:  They are ALWAYS cheaper than store-bought and usually more original.
  4. I also recycle A LOT.  The large white pillows were not made by me.  They are extra pillows from my outdoor patio project.  I could have put them in storage, but I decided to use them in here so I could save space and money!
  5. I purchased the blue and white lamp at Ross.  I once purchased a lamp from Goodwill that almost burned down our previous apartment.  It burned out an outlet, and the electrician told me that sometimes happens with thrift store lamps.  I don’t understand why or how, but I’ve decided to only buy new lamps from now on.  I love perusing Ross and T.J. Maxx when I have time and patience.  They have treasures at a great price!

WHITE CURTAINS FOR THE CLOSET:  I’m embarrassed about this one.  I really, really wanted to put in bi-fold closet doors in the room.  I know, I know, THE HORROR!  I’m aware that most decor bloggers are getting rid of their bi-doors in exchange for double hinged doors.  However, this room is so tiny, and bi-fold doors have the benefit of taking up minimal space.  I even found bi-fold doors that were *almost* the right size for the closet at a Habitat for Humanity Restore (buying everything new can make the project $300-$600).  I already had some white Ikea curtains lying around not being used though, so it made sense to choose the simpler/ free solution.

DAYBED:  I already owned the daybed, which I bought on Craigslist!  It’s incredibly well-made and originally from Ballard Designs.  I got it for a fraction of the original cost.  It has a trundle underneath it for additional guest space.  I made the skirt for it out of cheap burlap fabric.  I fringed the edges to make it look like these curtains.




That’s it!  It’s not the most perfectly put-together room in the blogisphere, but my bank account is happy!  I’m also so glad to be rid of the purple!