Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Guest room: major progress.

It maybe hasn't been clearly stated, but I've been ignoring the guest room since we plopped a bed in there.  I considered it more of a crash pad, and yes, I knew I'd have to address it, but when you keep the door closed, you can forget about it.  I did just that.  

Over the past six months or so, I'd seen more articles about how to make your guest room inviting.  At first, they were things I would read with only partial attention.  When you see something enough though, it starts to seem like a sign.  It was a sign I was being inhospitable.  I still didn't take much mind because guests tended to be family or friends that were like family.  Then - THEN! - my brother's girlfriend was scurrying around the house to find a mirror to do her makeup as we all showered and did the same.  This must have been pre-mirror in the hallway, but I felt terrible.  It stuck with me.  I bought a mirror for the guest room.  Having a mirror in the guest room was also a must on some list I saw.  It was a sign.

Before I get too far in the babble, here's where we started - 

That's not actually the very start.  The very start included a door with glass windows, which is now our headboardThat would have been an even worse welcome for guests - cats staring at them through the door as they slept. So to start, we replaced the door, hung curtains from my previous apartment bedroom and ignored the room.  There was one side table, which was a folding TV stand, and one lamp.  You are literally seeing it all - wood paneling and tan paint - here in its glory. But I guess you are missing the mismatched wood trim.  Use your imagination.  

I slowly started adding items.  I bought two lamps so that each guest could have a light (my dad was thrilled) and built side tables to hold said lamps.  I built a headboard that I'm kind of in love with.  I bought the aforementioned mirror (at Target).  I got a steal on a rug.  Then I threw splotches of paint on the wall.  

Listing it out, it sounds like significant progress. It was.  It still looked very untouched to me, and I attribute that to the tan paintIt looked as if a mix of flat and semi-gloss was used, leaving the light to catch a random sheen in the wall.  I was irrationally annoyed by it, but again, you can forget when you close the door. 

Then my mother, whom is decidedly responsible for my incessant drive, called to ask if I wanted help with the paneling.  Seriously.  She called to volunteer.  She might also be where I get my touch of insanity.  Kind of kidding :).  She had recently undertaken the painstaking process of filling the crevices of the paneling in her house, before then sanding and painting, to terrific results.  I was eager to do the same in the guest room, but hesitant I was adding too many projects before the holidays, in addition to travel I had planned. I'm kind of trying to realize when I'm taking on too much to prevent unnecessary stress, but alas.  The opportunity was too good to pass up, and free help should never be refused.  She came a-packin'. 

BamI couldn't wait anymore with the babbleThe results are impressive, and the work is not to be dismissed.  My mum prepped and painted the ceiling (which we hadn't done yet because after I removed the quarter-round that was installed as crown, we saw there was wallpaper hiding underneath).  Then she moved onto the paneling, and our wood paneling was special.  Instead of smooth panels with crevices, as I've traditionally seen paneling, ours was wood grain.  You know, because it's important for paneling to look fake and realistic.  I'm not sure what happened with installation, but above the chair rail, there were all these bumps and bubblesI pointed that our with the arrow, because that's what really annoyed me.

My mum filled all of the wood grain and panel lines before sanding and coating in four coats of paint. Four. She even primed, knowing it'd suck up a lot of paint.  The final coats were in BM's Simply White, the same color we use for the baseboards and trim throughout the house.  I followed around on the walls with BM's Greenwich Village.  It's green with some gray to keep the room from too much color when it doesn't get much light.

Zach and his brother then followed us both the next weekend, installing new baseboards and quarter-round to match the rest of the house.  

When he was done with that, I caulked the baseboards and the bumpy line above the chair rail before painting a final coat.  I'm interspersing these words with after shots.  The difference astounds me.

The difference the painted paneling and walls make is the biggest game changer in here.  The room feels better.  It feels welcoming, cozy.  

The towel hooks we made from black piping and wood scraps fit nicely with the handmade wood accents in the room.  Before, I was worrying they looked too handmade, with my trial-and-error stain and paint process that I also used on the front bench.  I really like them now.

This is my favorite picture:

The headboard pops so nicely on the green wall.  The crisp, classic baseboard underneath makes me so happy.  I do need a duvet cover.  There's still a good amount of work to be done in here (to include a closet door - but I've already got the request in for a sliding track much like our pallet door). 

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