So I had this idea recently that I would take this ugly green & yellow room in my house, on the other side of the Jack & Jill bathroom, and turn it into another guest room. It just makes sense that I only clean one bathroom when I prep for folks to stay over. And what if a two people can't stand to sleep in the same room with each other? I mean, somewhere in between 1 and 10 years it happens. Now they have the option of sleeping in separate guest quarters. See? I'm always thinking of realistic situations. But maybe they want to feel each others warm breath, leg stubble, nightsweats, what-have-you... that's great, I have a full sized bed for that now. Getting along & want to share a room but not touch or feel warm breath that smells like cats secretly poop in the other person's mouth while they sleep? I'm with you. The room with twin beds will fit the bill (more on this room later). Visiting with kids? There you have it, separate rooms linked by a bathroom & nary a blow-up mattress in sight. I could seriously run a B&B and I've been guilty of reading up on those online contests where the owner of a historic Inn is offering up their property to hopefuls who pay $100 and submit an essay. But I've noticed these are generally in New England and I can't just move there from the South with my 5th grader kid and shovel snow and actually handle real crustacea.
For the new guest room, I had all of the furniture, though I did steal the old bed frame, mattress, featherbed & down comforter from Breana's room. I felt sort of bad but honestly, she hasn't been sleeping in her room (and maybe that's because I keep ripping things out of there, like her curtains and her framed 1800s French fashion prints and maybe because she now has two guest rooms to choose from). Poor kid. But that's how we roll- I don't make my bed and now she doesn't have one. Oh well, we should just move to the attic. And because I'm a clutter collector (the hoarder's 2nd cousin), I was able to "shop" in my own home, going from room to room pulling pieces that would fit the vision in my head. Like, at last, all that coral I smuggled from Curacao in a duffle bag finally has a home! My main inspiration was the huge sailing picture that Jimbo stored in my house in between his moves. (I use the word "stored" lightly here. If my blurred memory serves me right, I may have hid it from him. Like, ooooh, I like that, I'll save this for later when I want another guest room. Whatever. Finders, keepers, Jimbo!) I've always loved the look of a nautical room with dark walls & this picture had a dark, moody feel to it and I like moody. I didn't want to get too generic with the nautical theme since I live adjacent to chicken farms and cow pastures, so I tied in my Maryland roots and my Dad's first love & his final resting place- the Chesapeake Bay. It's only natural that I had some existing crab decor. Full circle here, it made sense to bring it all together. And once I did, I stood back, tapped on my chin and realized my new guest room had crabs. But crabs from the bay, not crabs from the bae. (See what I did there? Now I'm imagining every failed joke or dumb attempt at wordplay and my Mom's reaction: "I get it, Kristen. I just don't think it's funny." But I know she'll read this and say, "Kristen, what's a bae?") #heymom
I listed a bunch of my own unwanted things on eBay recently so I took some of the payouts and purchased the bedding from eBay: New in-the-package Pottery Barn linen & silk duvet cover and shams for a fraction of the original price tag along with new bed sheets. Success! I've always adored the primitive look of ticking stripes so one night I went on a ticking stripe frenzy, searching for a blanket, shams, something with those dirty little stripes I love. That's when I became smitten with cotton ticking stripe blankets from Brahms Mount for $250. I didn't bring myself to spend this much on a blanket, mainly because that can be spent on new jeans and also I ran out of wine. Which brings me to say, I have officially banned myself from the combo of eBay and wine. It never fails that I get an email the day after some casual in-home wine drinking that declares, "You won! Pay now!" Wtf? Why do I always get so ballsy with bidding. "You're the highest bidder!" How wonderful it feels to be winning, let's pour another glass of wine & let's bid on this vintage set of Matryoshka Russian Dolls! No more. And no $250 ticking stripe blanket from Maine. Surely you'd think I could find a knockoff but orphanage style blankets are apparently high dollar these days.
I chose to paint the room myself because the cost of paying for painters can go to potential striped orphan Annie blankets and new jeans. The paint is from Sherwin Williams and the sales associate was all, "Do you want the paint without VOCs?" I immediately took offense- did I look pregnant that day? In an effort to say "no, I'm not with child" and to keep on yolo-ing, I replied, "I'll take the Superpaint." They make VOCs sound awesome with that name and speaking of names, my paint colors were "Foggy Day" and "Rock Candy". I picked out the colors first and then I thought, wow, this is meant to be because I love foggy days and I used to like rock candy when gold mining in Dahlonega as a kid! They sold that in the gift shop next to the barrel of marbles from Taiwan, near the cash register and my mom would say, "You don't need that, Kristen. We can make that when school science experiments are due with just some sugar, string and a pencil!" (Jesus, that was always my family's go-to science experiment) I seem to link my life with the names of paint colors in hopes of convincing myself that this is 100% the right decision. "Are you sure of these colors?" the sales associate asked. Shit. Did I ever really like rock candy?
While trying to stick to a budget (the main goal here is to redo Breana's room for her birthday, not to spend a fortune on a guest room), I only had to buy the lamps, and throw pillows (stripes!) and little lantern, and plaid throw blanket but that's because I needed them. Oh and an old suitcase from The Green Bean in Freehome for $25 with the initials "M.F." Below M.F-er's travel bag is a lighter blue suitcase that was my Grandmother's, who... lived in Maryland. I bought most of the other extras listed above from HomeGoods. When I finished painting the room Tuesday morning, I literally threw on a hat in excitement to rush out and go buy stuff. Like a hat made a difference but it did shout to strangers that while I looked homeless in appearance, I have been to the Bahama Islands *hair flip* Souvenirs are helpful like that & probably the only time I wear them is when I've let myself go on a particular day. I looked like hell, but my shopping cart was glittering with shiny new lamps and fabulous finds. The line to check out was super long that morning and I wonder if anyone noticed me picking paint splatter off my arms, if they then looked at my pretty cart where everything was pristine & matchy, then back at me with a hole in my t-shirt and the tomato sauce stain on my Nikes that looked like my big toe was bleeding. Lots of head scratching in that Homegoods line I'm sure. But I do it for my guests. The crabs & all.