bedroom moodboard showing a vintage bed, contrasting green trim, floral curtains, striped bedding, pendant side tables and a built in desk painted green

My Next (Current?) Project – The Guest Room

WELL, I’m officially old, I have a grown son that has decided to live on his own.  He’s been gone for a few months now and we’ve decided to move a few things around in our house to make better use of the room he left empty (sob!!).

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We had a treadmill and an elliptical climber and a few weights in our main basement space which was a bit of an eyesore.  Since we had an extra room now, we decided to move the exercise equipment to what used to be the guest room, which is the smallest bedroom right at the very back of our basement.  The room my son was in would now be the guest room, and bonus, it has a little built-in desk area that my daughter and I can use for sewing!  

wall showing built in maple desk and closet
empty bedroom with white trim and beige walls

When my son was living in this room I offered to fix it up a little – paint and whatnot but he really didn’t want to be displaced from it and he made it his own.  He covered the floral wallpaper border with floor-to-ceiling posters, added LED lights all over the place, as teenagers do. But once he was out and the room was empty, it seemed like a good time to fix this room up a bit before we officially made it the guest room.

This room didn’t require a TON of work…. I thought.  My husband needed a break from working on the house after our huge kitchen renovation, so I told him I would happily work on this project by myself, thinking of it just as a decorating project.  But actually, it is a lot of work, because I decided to remove the popcorn ceiling, replace the trim, re-configure the desk area and paint that too.  It seemed like a little project in my head but once I got into it, it actually is pretty big.  So what am I doing?  Here’s a list:

  • Scrape the popcorn, paint the ceiling and walls
  • Replace all the window and door trim – the window and door trim in our house was all textured like this so we’ve been slowly replacing it, room by room
  • Reconfigure the desk area to update that space a bit
  • Add a peg rail (convenient for guests!)
  • Paint the trim, desk, doors, ALL THE THINGS.  Every surface is being painted!  
  • Replace the lighting
  • New window treatments
  • New Rug (courtesy of Loloi)
  • Bring in existing furniture and art, and decorate!

If you follow me on Instagram you know I’ve already got a great start on this.  I used THIS drywall sander to sand the popcorn ceilings smooth and primed them, replaced all the trim and reconfigured the cabinets. (Note: If your house was built before about 1985, you should test your popcorn ceiling for asbestos before removing it yourself!)  

Cabinet Modifications

To update the cabinets, we took down the uppers and separated the middle cabinet from the side cabinets (they were just screwed together).  Then, we cut down the middle cabinet (both the length and the depth) to make it the same size as the two side cabinets on our table saw.  We rehung all three cabinets closer to the ceiling and added crown to match up with the ceiling height, and I also added a bit of valence with a little curve on the bottom to the bottom of all three cabinets.  I sanded down the desktop so I could keep that as a wood surface, and added leftover beadboard from my stash to the back wall.  Once it was all sprayed it was looking like alllllll new cabinets!  I LOVE that we were able to use what we had for this without really buying anything new, we reimagined and updated this area completely!

Are you ready for a little side by side before and “during”? You know I love a good side by side!! Paint colour is Knoxville Gray by Benajmain Moore.

The Plan

Here is a mood board for the space so you can see the direction I am headed!  I wanted to reuse my existing furniture and bedding from the guest room in my last house, so I started there with this design. I really love red and green together and I tried very hard to choose a green for this room, but it turns out I like my greens to actually be blue – haha! The colour I chose for the trim, doors and desk is Knoxville Gray which is actually pretty green in low light but bluer in the sun. Once the colour palette was set, I brought in some warm woods, some curtains and a rug to tie the colours together and that’s about all there was to it! A relatively simple design using mostly what I had and a little paint, but I think it will still be quite the transformation!

bedroom moodboard showing a vintage bed, contrasting green trim, floral curtains, striped bedding, pendant side tables and a built in desk painted green

There is no doubt that I underestimated the scope of this project but I’m so excited at how this room is shaping up.  The desk area has turned out even better than I imagined and I can’t wait to finish painting the adjacent walls and style it up!  Stay tuned!

Shop the Mood Board


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  1. Inspired. Glad you went dark on the desk. I wanted a green ceiling in my kitchen renovation that included a bonus area (from LR) and the old DR now library/DR. It now has large windows looking onto garden. It’s a north-south orientation. I sampled almost 20 greens to find a green that was not blue on one end and yellow on the other. An apprentice (young!) electrician came in, looked up and said, “Hey, dude, you’re going camo. Sweet!” Ugh. This new room is going to be a great addition!

    PS Why do people in colder climates than I am in wear flip flops/bare feet no socks in freakin’ winter? I’m almost 73 and I telling you socks are a great invention. Haha!!!

  2. Sounds like your new room will be lovely! It’s worth putting the time and effort into choosing a good paint colour. Your comment about socks is funny… I guess we have lived in Canada so long we no longer feel cold!

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