Monday, October 14, 2013

The Inn is open: our new guest room

I redecorated the guest room.  Or maybe I should say decorated the guest room, since when I moved in in 2005 the room was a cross between "1960s-old-lady" and "bachelor".

Nice border. Made me feel like I was staying at Grandma's.

white on white - not my choice of cheerful. The Navy memorabilia was not making the room "pop".

As this was the larger of the two bedrooms in this house, it was our master bedroom, so we wanted to make it nice.  The first step was to rip out the teal green carpet.

Then we remodeled the adjacent bathroom, so we moved the closet from one wall to another and closed in the second doorway into this tiny bedroom.

And painted a lovely shade of blue. At least it looked lovely in the magazine ad for Benjamin Moore paint.  When we got it on the walls, though, it was like sleeping inside a bottle of Febreeze.

Then there was the interim weird ugly furniture phase.

Before simply getting rid of the headboard all together and buying some bedding I liked.

But the room was pretty bad.

TV trays made very functional bedside tables for 4 years.

And that was our newlywed bedroom for the first 4 years of marriage.  We just turned off the lights.

Then a couple of years ago we put the giant addition on the house and moved out of this room to our new master suite.  Since then, it has been an unwelcoming guest room.  I must say I am sorry to those of you who stayed with us and had to sleep in this room.  You must have felt like you were in a construction zone.

So this summer I got some gumption to fix it.
The trim was in very bad shape.  There was talk of stripping it all down to wood and refinishing it, but I needed to see an end to this project.  I decided to paint the trim white., but it took a ton of scraping, Bondo, and caulking to get it paint ready.

 First step in the makeover was a headboard I made out of an old door.

raw materials

I cut it to queen-sized width and made a cleat for the top and braces for the side.

There was some piecing to do.
But it looked better once I added re-purposed trim as a top ledge, Bondo-ed the knob holes, and primed it.

I found some miss matched furniture that I liked at a second hand store and gave them all a fresh coat of white.

 Time for some hard core painting.

But what color?

Upon closer inspection of the floor, I could see that long ago it had been painted faux oak.  That was common in the early days here in Utah.

Now I was doing my own artistic painting.

We settled on a beautiful shade of blue that makes the room calming and cool.

After paint, some lush carpet.

Cream Berber with a faint yellow tint.

We had the heater vent stripped of paint and Drew shined it up.
And the doors would be refinished by Drew.

 So the only thing left was to decorate!
Fresh bedding.

Re-purposed windows for wall art.  The center one is the screen from our front windows I found in the attic.

Heavy purple velvet drapes to shut out the sun for mid-day napping.

And the headboard turned out great.
 So the guest room is open for visitors.  In fact, our first house guest, my cousin Ruth the Artist from Oregon, has come and gone and she reportedly slept comfortably and well.  She loved our guest room so much she gave me an original painting of hers.

So if you ever find yourself in Salt Lake City, you have a place to lay your head.

Update January 2014: Finishing art

One winter day I finally filled in the re-purposed wall art, i.e. the old screen and window pictured above.  When I was helping mom pack to move out of the farmhouse years ago, I found a box of postcards.  Most of them were not written on, but a few were, and all were vintage. I strung them up and hung them in the vintage frames. How vintage of me.

Vintage family postcards in window and window screen "frames".

Most of the postcards were circa 1930-40, purchased when my grandparents when on a trip to California to send back home to my great grandparents.  One that went through the mail is dated 1932.

Some of the pictures on the fronts are cool.

The caption on this one says Arrow Rock Dam, Boise, Idaho. Highest in the world, Height 351 ft., length 1,060 ft.  The postmark on the back is dated July 1932 and was sent for a penny.  The Bureau of Reclamation website says this dam was built in 1915 and it is still operating today.

The caption for this one says "Lowering loaded box car, Boulder Dam", which shows the date of the postcard as between 1933 and 1935 when it was being built and before it was renamed Hoover Dam, as we know it today. This dam is 726 feet tall, much taller than its earlier cousin.

 As cool as the fronts are, the back is where the good nuggets are. Sadly, only a few are written on.

I smudged the addressee, but I will tell you that they were addressed to my great grandmother with my hometown and state only; no PO Box or street address and no zip. Fantastic.
Two were sent from my grandma and grandpa to my great grandma and grandpa in February 1944 while they were on vacation to California.
See below for translation 
The one in the photo above reads
Dear Folks - Everything is beautiful out here. We are at Lea's ????? swing the town. Were at the ?Txocoder? - that's where you were - but we only saw one movie star & he needed a haircut. Love #####
How precious is that!  Another is great because it was sent in 1944 when they passed through Salt Lake City.  It reads:
Dear Folks, We are in Salt Lake tonight - winter here. First waves struck - no trouble - lots of traffic. Hard to get rooms. Love a ?tor???? cabin tonight. Having FUN
Apparently, neither the traffic nor the weather has changed in Salt Lake City in 70 years!

What I really wonder is why were my grandparents on a vacation in the winter of 1944 while WWII was going on? 

Anyway, if you come to visit, you will get to sleep with some pieces of history here.


  1. Thanks so much for the cozy digs, Lucy & Drew! It is fun to see the process you went through to make it so beautiful :)

  2. Lucy, I am so in love with the postcard art!!! You are a very clever and creative sister. Thanks for sharing. I might just have to steal your idea as Tod's Mom gave me a box of vintage valentines.

    1. I am pretty sure postcard art was not my original idea. The idea likely lodged in the dark recess of my little creative brain center while perusing Pinterest or a Pottery Barn catalog, but nevertheless I resurrected it when I saw Mom's old postcards and 4 years later I was able to use some of my horded old junk to make something that is perhaps not original, but at least unique to my house and my family. :-)

  3. Love the new (old) art in those frames! I have always been fascinated by old mail ephemera! I can definitely attest to the comfort of your guest room!
    xo Cousin Ruth