Before & After: A Bright and Beautiful Guest Bedroom

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When Christina and her husband moved into their historic row home, they waisted no time (seriously, no time) getting to work on renovations. During that time their guest bedroom took a back seat to other spaces and became a storage area. When it came time to get around to the guest bedroom, however, Christina went full force on DIY projects, smart planning and beautiful design choices.

From Christina: When my husband Patrick and I bought our first house, a Philadelphia row home built in 1875, we knew that we were purchasing a home that had good bones, but just needed a little extra love (and a lot of work) while updating it. The first night we had the keys, we ripped out the upstairs carpeting and then restored the original hardwood floors on the second floor. After the floors were complete, I started working on other projects – mainly on the first floor of the house, and the rear bedroom ended up becoming a storage room.

Over the winter, I was walking through a West Philadelphia twin that was about to be gutted and rehabbed and noticed a vintage mantel in the corner of one of the rooms. The builder told me that he was planning on removing it during renovation so I asked if I could take it with me. The next day I loaded up the pickup truck and started a project that last several weeks to completely refinish the mantel and install it into our rear bedroom, which eventually inspired me to renovate the entire room into a bright and airy guest room.

When we moved into the house, the walls were a hodge-podge of different colors – mustard yellow in the master bedroom, grey and pink in the living room, lavender in the hallway – so when we moved in we painted everything with a high-hiding white primer with the intention of coming back and repainting once we’d lived there for some time. I ended up loving the white walls – I repainted them with a warm white and cleaned up the trim with a bright white semigloss.

Older Philadelphia row homes often have tiny closets – at only 12″ deep you can’t even use hangers so I came up with the idea of turning the room’s tiny closet into a tiny workspace by adding a desk-height shelf and finding a saddle stool that fits underneath the shelf when it isn’t in use to conserve space.

With the exception of the bed and the ceiling fixture, all of the other pieces also have a history to them – the file cabinet I used as a side table was a given to me by a friend before she moved out of Philadelphia, the stool (with the snake plant) was something Patrick had picked up at a nearby garage, and the brass-plated trunk and gold mirror we found at Jinxed Philadelphia (a local antique store).

All of my family and a lot of our friends live out-of-state so I love that we now have a place for them to stay when they visit!

You can see more of the room on Christina’s blog And Christina.

Thank you, Christina!