The "Never Bore a Guest Again" Guestroom Makeover

The "Never Bore a Guest Again" Guestroom Makeover

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Adrienne Breaux
Nov 23, 2014
(Image credit: Chris Stout-Hazard)

Name: Roger + Chris
Location: Sharon Springs, New York

We turned a rough, boring bedroom into an unforgettable space for our guests. While a guest bedroom wasn't the most important room in our house, the odd layout of our home necessitated making changes to it early on in the renovation process. Our 160-year old Italianate Victorian had, after being abandoned for many years, received a quickie renovation in the 1990s. It probably saved the home from eventual demolition, but resulted in some questionable decisions — like, for instance, turning the only upstairs bathroom into an ensuite only accessible through the guest bedroom.

Our goals for this project:

  • Address the weird layout. We planned to restore the bathroom entry in the hall, so the doorway inside the guest bedroom would be closed up to give more flexibility for furniture arrangement.
  • Fix the walls. We were starting with a room full of poorly taped and floated sheetrock. In addition to repairing all the cracks, lumps, and holes, we needed to add some details to the walls to break up the expanse of boring sheetrock.
  • Create a fun space. Our guests would mostly visit during warm months, so we aimed to create a room that was happy, bright, and summery.
(Image credit: Chris Hazard-Stout )

Making things disappear

Like the ceiling, the paneling, windows, and baseboards were all painted the same color. We hated our home's ugly baseboard radiators. All of them were painted a sickly, pinkish beige, and the paint was scratched, chipped, and rusting. Charming. We had the metal covers removed and repainted to match the baseboards, effectively camouflaging the radiators.

Ceiling fans are almost always hideous, so we opted for an inexpensive model without a light that Roger spray painted to match the ceiling. Everyone ignores it, which is exactly how a ceiling fan should be treated.

(Image credit: Chris Hazard-Stout )

Decking out the walls

Removing the bathroom door and repairing the hole in the wall was step one. We had custom wallpaper hand-printed by Adelphi Paper Hangings (whose reproduction papers grace the walls of the Lincoln Bedroom, and whose headquarters are conveniently located just down the street in our tiny village). The pattern is a historic volute dating from the time the house was built, but rendered in a wild and modern palette.

Our house — and frankly everything in the village of Sharon Springs — isn't particularly level. The floor in this bedroom has a noticeable slope, but the ceilings are even worse. Running wallpaper all the way up to the ceiling would emphasize the waves and slope. To avoid this and provide a level stopping point for the wallpaper, Chris applied lengths of board around the room about six inches below the ceiling. The board, wall above it, and ceiling were all painted to match the wallpaper.

Dealing with the walls was another challenge. Lumpy, cracked drywall, rough trim, and uneven baseboards weren't creating a welcoming space. Our solution was to add paneling to the lower half of the walls to create a shiplap look. Chris cut down four-by-eight sheets of thin plywood and fastened them to the walls with adhesive and brad nails, leaving a small gap between each piece to create interest. He added a square trim piece to provide a finished edge for the paneling and a bottom stopping point for the wallpaper.

(Image credit: Chris Hazard-Stout )

Bringing it back down

With so much color in the room, we opted for relatively neutral furniture and decor. We painted a platform bed white (and, okay, wrapped the headboard in orange fabric for a bit more color), added white side tables, placed a black and white Hardoy butterfly chair with a floor lamp, neutral bedding, and oversized ticking pillows from our line.

For artwork, we decided to create something that would appeal to one of the most likely house guests — Chris' mom Carla, a poet who often writes about crows. After finding a gorgeous photo on a stock photography site, we decided to combine eight inexpensive picture frames to create a window pane effect. Chris enlarged the image in Photoshop, mapped out the positioning of each frame to ensure the assembled image would align, and printed each panel on velvet art paper. We fastened the frames together with self-drilling screws to create a single piece, and carefully hung it above the bed. The huge piece is visible from the street when the blinds are open and definitely gets noticed.

(Image credit: Chris Hazard-Stout )

Would this wildly colorful space be appropriate as a master bedroom? Probably not. But we wanted to give our visitors a boutique hotel experience for a few nights, and it's color and whimsy that makes those hotels so memorable. We love this colorful room, and so do our guests.

Thanks Chris and Roger! For more photos and to see how they created this fun room, check out Chris and Roger's blog post.

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