Revamping My Boring Guest Room

Hello, friends.  You may be wondering where I’ve been and why no blog posts lately.  I don’t like too much time between posts, nor lengthy explanations of why people go MIA on their blogs, yet here I am doing both. I’ll dine on my words later.

In the meantime, I wasn’t blogging because Husband-Face had back surgery that was discussed, scheduled and performed in the span of a measly 6 days. Combine that with recovery, company in town, kid activities, and daily life, I let blogging rest on the back burner.  He is well on the road to healing, kids are on summer break and I have carved out time just for blogging and reconnecting with my internet family.  Hope you’re still there.

So far, this blog featured cooking and recipes, which are some of my favorite things.  But I also really like interior design, making over furniture, and DIY projects.  Today’s post is my foray into sharing design projects with you all.  Like the very first post on here, I’m a little nervous but really excited.

That whirlwind surgery is what brings me to today’s blog post.  My in-laws and my parents were coming to help out during the surgery and recovery, and I felt bad that our guest room looked like the room that decorating forgot.  Of course it was clean, full of light from the windows and contained a bed, but it was just blah.  I’d put a couple of random things in there to spruce up the place, but it was definitely uninspired. Since people were dropping their lives to come supplement mine, it was the least I could to to give them a cozy place to lay their heads at the end of the day.  Not that they cared what the room looked like, but I did.

Let’s rewind a bit.  Picture it…me…it was 1994 (I always feel like Sophia from Golden Girls when I say that).  I was usually listening to my Walkman, eating Haribo gummy bears, flipping feverishly between MTV and BET waiting for “My Jam” to come on, and dreaming of what my life was going to be like post high school.  My dream included a very modern apartment in a glass-walled high rise, decorated in ALL black and white, featuring one red vase on the dining room table, complete with massive abstract paintings.  How chic of me, no?  No. In reality, I was like any other teenager that was going through their “black and white” phase.  It didn’t last.

Fast forward to now.  I don’t own a red vase, neither MTV nor BET, show music videos, and I live in a house in suburbia, USA.  And I’m fine with that because I have a space to create in and make our own.  However, I did rediscover a bit of love for black and white.  It isn’t to 1994 levels of black and white; I’d call it more of an appreciation for the dramatic and chic background it provides for any decor.  And that’s why I decided to paint large, graphic, horizontal stripes on the guest room wall.  While the entire room is far from finished, would you like to see THE stripes? Well, here you go:


We really like how they turned out, and with two of us working on them, it was an easy project for a weekend.  There are plans in the works for a refinished dresser, a headboard so the artwork doesn’t seem to be “floating”, new lampshades, additional bedding, throw pillows, wastebasket, rug, and various accessories. But, that’s why it’ll be fun to have everyone along as the room develops some style.  This is what it looked like at the beginning, when we started taping:


Snooze city.  Except the little person with the cute toes in the middle of the bed. She’s super cute.  We measured the wall, including our baseboards (96 in.) and divided that number by 8, since that was the total number of stripes I wanted.  We’d have four black stripes and four white stripes, each 12 inches wide (8 x 12=96).  Easy for taping since it was fewer stripes and easy to remember the calculations.  We used Scotch Blue Painter’s Tape and a large level. We marked tiny pencil marks at regular intervals across the wall to keep us on track.  Husband-Face pulled the tape across following the guide marks and I followed behind with the level, smoothing the tape when it was absolutely level.  Working together, this process took about 45 minutes.  This is what we ended up with:


Now that everything is taped off, double check your level.  It’s easier to correct now, than to paint a stripe and have it look wonky when you remove the tape.  Use a flat edged object to seal the tape to the wall securely, but you don’t have to break a sweat.  We used a plastic putty scraper with moderate pressure and our hands.  It adhered well.  Notice the stripes look like two different widths.  This will help you remember which ones to paint.  We wanted the black stripes to start at the ceiling, so we placed the tape so the seemingly narrow stripes would be the white ones.  Once the tape is pulled off, they are the same size.  Then we started painting.  IMG_20150515_162531

We wanted a true black, with a little bit of sheen, so we chose Behr Limousine Leather in a satin finish. We used a foam roller to cut down on brush stroke marks and got to it.  That’s Husband-Face in the corner, calmly painting and going along with his wife’s design ideas, trying not to think about his impending back surgery, somewhere around 12:15 a.m., hence the terrible lighting in this photo.  But you get the idea.  This took us about 45 minutes to paint, with both of us working at a post-midnight pace. See how the black stripes are “wider”? That’s what you want.  After the painting was finished, we got this:


Lovely, crisp, level, black and white stripes, with no bleed through, thanks to a little extra time smoothing the tape.  We removed the tape about 7 a.m. which was only about 6 hours after we finished painting.  The best way to do this was to pull slowly, at an angle to the wall and keeping the hand pulling no more than 3-4 inches from the wall.  This made for an easy and clean removal.  If you do happen to have any little mistakes, they are easily touched up with extra black or white paint.

Another reason there was no bleed through and our lines were crisp was the texture of our walls.  We have no texture on our walls and the builder grade paint was flat.  If your walls are textured, the lines may not be as crisp.  Depending on your design aesthetic, this may not be such a bad thing.  It could give them a bit of a boho-distressed look, which may work well for you.

Overall, we like the graphic-chic of the stripes and they go well with the rest of our house which is a mix of purchased, thrifted, metallic, and collected over time items.  Hence the name Eclectic Yellow House.  We also love quirky artwork, which is why these David Bowie and Beastie Boys prints were promptly framed and hung.  They were purchased from two years ago.  The print in the middle is my own drawing based on a mandala I’d seen and with help from a friend, we’ve named her Ophelia.  Here’s another look at the semi-finished product:


So, what should I tackle next?  And what are you working on at your own homes?  Since it’s friday, I’m hoping your weekend-warrior hats are coming out and you’re about to create something amazing.  To help, I’m having a giveaway over on my Facebook page.  Come check it out and enter to win!  In the meantime, I’m going to be eating my Haribo gummy bears while I think about my next move.

Some things never change.


5 thoughts on “Revamping My Boring Guest Room

  1. Love it! I can’t wait to come visit and stay in the newly designed room. Next project for me??? The tiny loo under the stairs that needs something… I’ll email you pics and see what you come up with. 🙂

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