April 10, 2012
We did it! One day before our house was populated by some German visitors we officially finished the new guest bedroom in the basement and I have to say that it turned out great. We have been working on this for approximately six weeks and it was a real joint effort in the Tran house. Without my handyman I – the surface pretty maker – could not have done such serious handy work as installing lights and new drywall. Looking back, we actually accomplished a lot more than I dared to hope for in my original post about the basement plan. Here is the gist of it.
Just a reminder – this was the colorful craziness we had bought into a year ago:
And this is the new toned down guest oasis:
On our way to the final result we encountered many tedious tasks, such as removing wall paper with lots of water, vinegar, and persistant scraping.
Priming the walls with No-VOC primer because there is not much opportunity for ventilation down there and we did not quite want the baby to be born a natural paint addict.
Splitting the room’s lighting from the overall basement circuit and installing two new recessed lights instead of the one dim boob light.
For the sake of installing the new light switch in the room we also decided to take down the bead board paneling on one of the walls which we had never quite understood why it was there.
After taking it down we realized why it was there: Because the previous owners installed the wall framing flush with an existing corner and putting up drywall would have made for an ugly overlapping edge.
Which left us with the exact same problem – how were we gonna accomplish a smooth wall with drywall. Our solution: Using extra thin drywall and extend it to the part around the door over the existing drywall. Not exactly the Holmes-on-Homes way to do it, but good enough.
The trim and doors in this room were wearing many different shades of yellowed old white, so they got a fresh white coat as well .
I didn’t even have to bother with taping off the door hardware because on my mission to de-brassify this house and bringing it entirely to the 20th century I also switched out all the door knobs and hinges for brushed nickel ones.
On the final stretch I got sick and my awesome hubby had to paint the room all by himself with the perfect shade of light grey that I had found on the oops-paint rack at Lowes for $5 (and even No-VOC!). It’s amazing what a difference No-VOC paint makes. It might take an additional coat, but the smell during application is minimal and the next day the room is absolutely smell free.
It is actually a little lighter than shown in this photo (more like what you see next to the door above):
We are gonna hang some more framed postcards to fill the back wall, add a bookshelf and wall art to the reading corner, and eventually also have to find a prettier solution for the electric box and modem corner:
But so far it is the most finished bedroom in our house and I am seriously worried that I won’t ever see my husband in our own bedroom again.
August 31, 2011
Wow, this was one of the longest drag for a room makeover so far. An estimated two months later the guest bedroom is finally done. For now. Of course there is gonna be more stuff and deco things added over time, but at least it has all practically needed items in it and looks cozy enough. I think this is my new requirement for a room makeover to be deemed completed. We did splurge on the bed. Got a new mattress from Amazon for the fraction of the price of a store bought mattress (Sleep Innovations memory foam mattress, so comfy that Lincoln wants to sleep over in the other room now. Wish I had gotten this for our own bed 3 years ago.) and a new bed from Ikea because we just couldn’t find a nice one on Craigslist and trust me, I’ve been checking every single day for two months. So at least for the price we got something completely bed bug free and hope that our guests will always want to return to this nice bed.
Here are the details on the makeover:
Darn, I just noticed that the pattern of the curtain is upside down. Oh well. I am so happy that I found this fabric at Joann’s. It matches the yellow in the duvet cover perfectly and brings some sunny elegance to the room. Got it with a 50% off coupon for $20 and made the curtains in two evenings. (One evening equals two hours in Nicola currency).
Here is a vintage suitcase for $2 from a yard sale that will one day get legs and become a real night stand. A cute lamp for $5 from Goodwill. And some printed travel wisdom in a white painted $3 IKEA frame that had been waiting for its use for 3 years.
For the bed we had to reuse the old duvet cover because it just wasn’t in the budget to get a new one. I know, this one is very colorful and kind of dominating the room, but just imagine how changing it up one day will be like another entire room makeover in one step.
To fill all the empty space above the rather low IKEA Malm bed (we chose this bed because we did not want to overpower the small room with a huge bed, we had already gotten a free Malm dresser, and because it fit in our car), I created some bigger sized wall art. Had some old canvasses on hand, painted them white, folded some origami boats out of left over maps and hot glued them on. Done.
From some leftover curtain fabric I made the two small pillow covers to replace funky orange ones that we already had.
On the opposite side of the bed I framed some postcards and envelopes from all over the world in some more super old IKEA frames that I bought in a picture frame obsession 3 years ago and never used. They are the cheap ones that come in 3 packs. They are plain wood and can easily be painted or embellished to match any decor.
On the shelves that I have no problem with in this room (as opposed to Milo’s room) I arranged some random items that we had and that somewhat belong in a guest room: travel guides, some novels for entertainment on all those long vacation days, a hand-sewn elephant that reminds me that I still want to go to Africa one day, a miniature VW van for dreaming of road trips, etc.
And then we have the previously introduced map lamp. I think all the materials for it were $4.
The little stool/side table thingy is one of those items that are a classic bargain: When I saw them at a yard sale they were super cheap (I think it was $2 for two of them an my mom paid for it because I had conveniently forgotten my cash at home) and seemed somewhat practical, so I got them even though I had no idea what exactly they could be used for. Now one of them is serving as a makeshift nightstand and the other one is holding a fan in Milo’s room. They are also really practical to get up to the slightly too high shelves.
If the bed hadn’t busted our budget, this would have been a really budget friendly room makeover. How do you like it? Is it too travel thematic?
So there you have it, another room done and here is a little hint as to what is next: one of the rooms in a house where you don’t want light colored carpeting.