30 January 2010

m21's 72 hour guest room makeover

yikes! last week, m21 was honored to find out an intern from the nearby belgian consulate would be staying with us for 3 months, but our guest room was hardly ready for any guest, let alone a long term one- it was basically empty, not even a bed, so we had to start from scratch to furnish it. to make the whole situation even trickier, m21 found out on monday that he was having a guest who was arriving on thursday, leaving us only 72 hours to transform our extra bedroom from drearily empty to fully furnished fabulousness! plus, m21 had to try to make it as chic as possible- don't want anyone reporting back that american decorators aren't as good as those from the continent!

the entry vestibule of our guest room, accessorized with items pulled from other areas of the atelier. we didn't repaint this tiny anteroom, as the blue-gray matches the hall that leads into into it. you might be thinking that a bowl of fruit is an odd accessory for a bedroom, but m21 likes to make sure guests from different timezones have water as well as something to nibble on, should they they wake up jet-lagged at 4 in the morning; that way they don't have to stumble downstairs and rummage through a strange kitchen to stop their tummies from rumbling...

needless to say in addition to the time constraint, budget was also an issue in our guestroom transformation. in the past, our trusty aerobed is where we've consigned our guests (hey, if you are staying here for free, you can hardly complain, right?) but an aerobed is hardly suitable for an extended stay, so we knew we'd have to lay out several hundred bucks for a bed from ikea; which in turn, meant that all the other furnishings had to be cheap, cheap, cheap. (did we mention they should be cheap?) so armed with little more then sweat and fairy dust, m21 set out to furnish his guest room on a budget and a deadline!

our starting point for the project was paint, and you've heard this next bit of advice from a million sources, but m21 is going to repeat it again: when decorating, paint provides the the biggest impact for the least amount of money. normally when conceptualizing a room, m21 likes to start with a piece of furniture for his inspiration; every designer is approaches conceptualization differently- some start with a fabric or wallpaper, or art or a treasured accessory; our old boss always started with a rug, and we once attended a lecture once where a very prominent decorator said she started with nature, a leaf or a stone found on the property (which we thought was odd- most "big" job sites are nothing but dirt in the planning stages so who'd want to start with that?), but anyway, you get the idea, and in a fairly radical departure for us, instead of starting with a piece of furniture, we started this time with paint (heck- we didn't have any idea of what furniture we'd end up with anyway!)
the room was stark white with one blue-gray wall to tie it to the entry vestibule. since maison21 is NOT a fan of an accent wall and has never been sure why he painted it that way to begin with, the gray had to go! (shown here primered over). we also knew that white walls were probably not the best choice so we would need to repaint; the room will be sparsely furnished, and while white walls look great with a minimalist look if the pieces are all of museum quality, but with our planned mix of thrift store and ikea, they would probably just make it all look junky and cold... :-)

we also started off in a way we'd NEVER recommend for others- rather than testing out swatches on the wall to see how they will look in the space and react with the light (truly, the only way to find the right color), we just purchased a gallon straight from a tiny swatch in our fan deck, and went for it. to make things worse, it was a color we've never used before, so we were really taking a chance! but sometimes rules are made to be broken in these types of unusual situations; plus we are confident enough in our mad decoratin' skillz that we knew whatever color we picked, we could work with it, or even around it, if necessary.

when we paint, we roll on our wall color almost to the corners, then freehand the edges- tape is for sissies! just kidding we use tape all the time, but when dealing with the ceiling, it really is easier to freehand a straight line- just use a 1-2 inch angled brush, fully loaded with paint, and go! make sure the brush is of very good quality though, or fahgeddaboutit- use tape in that case.

we choose benjamin moore #1183 camelback, hoping for a classic masculine camel color as backdrop for our guest, but what we got when we put it up on the walls was more toffee then camel- almost too dark- but what the heck, the room is sunny enough to handle dark walls, and in a happy accident kind of way, we even liked it better then what we had originally envisioned (not that we really had a choice at this point with only 48 hours until our guest arrived- we were living with it, no matter what!) oh and btw, in the interest of saving time, we sprung for the premium one coat coverage base- which was total BS- it took us 3 coats to cover, same as always, when painting a saturated color over white! next time we'll save the bucks and use the cheap base.

while we were waiting for the paint to dry between coats, we then hit the local thrift stores to see what we could rustle up for furniture! at our first stop, we picked up a big art glass floor vase (with some flowering branches, a floor vase is a great way of taking up space in a sparsely furnished room), and at our second stop, we picked up a pair of battered black 70's campaign-style chests, as well as a black and white ceramic lamp, and thus our theme was set- black and white was the order of the day! it would be pretty against our toffee walls (we hoped). we also picked up a vintage painting for $25 bucks- the colors were all wrong, but we could fix that with a coat of the same white paint we were using for the trim of the room. then off to ikea for a bed and mattress, and in the interest of saving money, instead of springing for an ikea platform bed to sit the mattress on, instead we purchased a box spring and a $19.99 black box spring cover with which to disguise it. not a perfect solution, but cute enough, and far cheaper then buying an ikea bed we didn't really want anyway!

we had a fantasy about refinishing these chests, but 72 hours is not enough time for that kind of decorating perfection, so we just cleaned them, then touched up the chips with a sharpie (it's a trick we learned from an professional antiques restorer, so it's not such a half-assed solution as it sounds). m21 finds that people get scared of the battered and damaged, but once you put a bunch of stuff on and around the less then perfect piece, the little scuffs and dents are never even noticed...


last, once we got everything all pulled together, we thought our black, white and camel (ok- toffee) scheme was a actually a little bland; not even the fresh flowers we had added provided enough pops of color... (tip- flowers *always* class up a joint; even a budget makeover gets a 'lifestyle" lift from them!) so we typed "rug" into craiglist to see if we could find something- anything- with a spot of color to help out. thank goodness we found a vintage danish rya rug located not so terribly far away. it had a lovely gradation of blue tones, which would work perfectly with our walls, and was the perfect size for our oddly shaped room. it was also a splurge on our budget, but sometimes you just gotta bite the bullet and buy the pretty, ya know? and talk about last minute- we literally purchased and spread it out with minutes to spare before our guest arrived! like our chests, rug wasn't in perfect condition, but it was clean and colorful, and since the bed would be covering a big chunk of it, it really didn't need to be flawless...

so are you ready for the reveal?

before:

and after:

not so bad we think, and the best part is our guest really likes it!

the painting in photo you may recognize, as we painted and posted about it last year; art glass floor vase we bought specifically for the room and filled it with papyrus snipped from our front yard; the chic vintage white chair we borrowed from a friend who had it tucked away in their garage; and the table we made with our own two hands when we took a woodworking class way back in the 90's- it's been stored in a closet for years, as it doesn't really go with our decor anymore, but we can't just get rid of it since we nearly lost a finger while making it! (not really, but we did discover while taking the class that table saws terrify us, so it easily *could* have happened... ;-)

nightstand ain't so bad cleaned up, is it? told ya so! same for rug! vintage ceramic lamp is topped with a black and silver target lampshade we bought about a dozen of while they were on clearance, many, many years ago; our stock is just about gone now, but talk about a well spent $3.99 (each). they sure are versatile!

the vintage painting was an ugly still life- we painted the whole thing black, including frame, then applied thin artist's tape for the lines and coated the canvas portion with the same white house paint (pratt and lambert "designer white") we used on the trim- all done on the floor of the bedroom while we were painting the walls- talk about multitasking! the duvet and pillows, we again picked up at our beloved target while they were on clearance a few years back (we purchased new white sheets and towels for our guest at target too; we think the thomas o'brien towels are surprisingly good quality for the price, and guests should always have plenty of clean white towels). on the nightstand are a stack of books, as well as a scented candle- m21 thinks reading material and a scented candle are musts in a guest room, in addition to the fluffy white towels and fresh flowers. we also like to provide a robe (pilfered from past vacation spots) for our guests to lounge in, because who has room in their luggage to pack a robe? but they sure are nice to have at your destination...

well, now y'all know why m21 was rather light in his posting last week- hard to type while holding a paint brush! whaddya think of our makeover? would y'all be brave enough to paint and redecorate 72 hours before a guest arrives? is maison21 a crazy fool for even attempting it?

29 comments:

Concrete Jungle said...

Okay....... that's talent well done! Looks fab hope your guest is great!

jones said...

I LOVE this room. The pair of chests paired with the b/w bedding, lamp and "painting" are stunning. You are inspiring me to work on my guest room. Hope you have a wonderful time with your house guest. Mary

Erica said...

I absolutely love this room, especially the paintings! I have always wanted to make my own impact/large artwork but was turned off my purchasing all sorts of paints for one piece... but now you just gave me inspiration using just two colors. Love it.

Velvet and Linen said...

72 hours? Really? Amazing!
The color you picked for the walls really makes the room feel complete. I don't know how you picked it from a tiny swatch. That was daring.
Bravo. I know I live in LA, but can I still come to stay for a visit?

xo
Brooke

La Maison Fou said...

Bravo Christian;
I love the before and the after. What a transformation! I do remember the artwork piece, and it looks wonderful in the room, what a lucky intern!

Happy Monday!

Leslie

Pigtown-Design said...

well done! i'd love to stay there!

Riviera Boardwalk said...

The room makeover is great. I like how you added your pop of color with the rug. My favorite thing odd as it may seem, since it was a small project, was your art work.
If you want, stop by and visit my blog and sign up too if you like. Especially if you want a hardy laugh on a Monday morning. I have lost my memory chip so I am off to buy another one so I can do my articoke post.

Have a wonderful visit with your friends!
xoxo,
nancy
www.rivieraboardwalk.blogspot.com

Margaret said...

Talk about decor under pressure! David and Queen wrote about YOU! I think you should be hired by HGTV for your own show! I'd watch and clap in glee. Your skant postings are ex-que-sed, sir!

The Garden Party said...

man! fantastic! design for a belgian? that's tall order, but you pulled it off beautifully.

Karena said...

Christian, great transformation. I love how you pulled it all together and the color palette really works well! Anyone would be delighted to stay there!

Jane George said...

Okay, so when can I come and stay?
;-j

Congrats on pleasing your guest and having one of those frenetic creative weeks. And I always paint ceiling edges freehand too, it is so much easier to get a nice line.

Tracy @ Comfort and Luxury said...

Holy cow, Christian! Yes, you're crazy (a paint color you'd never even used before?!), but it's moments like these when you're crunched for time and cash, that talent and experience really pay off. What a warm, beautiful room. Genius painting, btw. (the one over the bed) I'm going to stop gushing now and give someone else a turn.

Acanthus and Acorn said...

I am so impressed!

tula said...

gorgeous! when can i stay over? i'll bring cupcakes and records!

David said...

Well done Sir, its beautiful. And I'm totally jonesing over the lamp.

maison21 said...

thanks for all the love everybody! it was exhausting (never again ;-), but it was also a totally fun challenge!

oxoxo-

m21

JoAnn said...

Creativity under pressure, awesome job!

Seraph said...

THIS is why you're a professional!

Love it, love it, love it, love it. Perfect for a guestroom, especially--clean, beautiful, just neutral enough without being blah.

Emily A. Clark said...

Wow, I'm a little amazed right now! Great job with no time and no budget. My favorite idea from this project is "re-painting" an old canvas. I'm definitey going to be on the look out at Goodwill now for something to re-paint.

LICS said...

The fairy dust seems to have worked, Christian! The room is colorful and inspiring. Okay, but I have to stand up for the BM paint here. Did you use Aura? You're right that it won't cover in one coat, but it should cover in 2 regardless of color. I've used it on everything from 1950s sheetrock to wood paneling.
Back to the colors- Camelback is a warm and yummy backdrop in the room and the blue is totally unexpected, but balances really well. Lucky guest! Sonu http://livingincolorwithsonu.typepad.com

erin@designcrisis said...

Wow, this is seriously amazing! It takes me AGES to put a room together -- I'm so impressed that you were able to previsualize most of it, and make up the rest as you went.

So, when can I come visit?

katiedid said...

Christian! You are a magician! Sucha great transformation...and no smoke or mirrors....just talent! And I am so glad you didn't cut off your finger! It might have ben the one where all that talent is stored. (Just thinking....you have more in that finger than most have in.....ya know?)

Suzy said...

Wow, that certainly is a transformation! Well done!

Bonnie said...

In 72 hours? You did that? And on a tight budget? I'm really impressed. It looks fabulous and now you have a room for guests in the future too. Well done M21!

chichunters said...

that's a fantastic makeover!

www.chichunters.blogspot.com

qerat said...

What an amazing end result. It looks like u spent a fortune decorating it

Struggler said...

Gorgeous! I love the wall color, and although I would never have thought to add the rug, it works wonderfully. Am so impressed at what you did in such a short time!

Christine Schwalm Design said...

Okay, THAT is impressive! It doesn't look rushed or haphazard, but very nicely thought out. And I really like the campaign chests a lot.

hoechstetterinteriors said...

Fantastic, Christian!

And here I thought I was doing well to shop for and specify furnishings down to the linens for a small apartment in 4 hours, on a miniscule senior citizen's budget -
in a city I didn't know my way around in, let alone know what was there or anywhere. While also arranging both nursing home and assisted living care for the same senior - all in something like 48 hours total.

Of course, I didn't have to actually buy and move any of it at that point, or to prep or paint anything, nor did I have to worry about artwork.

I am sincerely humbled.