When the pandemic hit, Ruthie Jackson decided it was finally time to revamp the dated guest room in her family’s 1935 colonial revival home. “It had been a very long time since that side of the house had been used,” she says. “I wanted to create a cozy retreat for guests.”
Though her budget was tight, she employed a handful of affordable high-impact upgrades—such as reupholstering the bed and painting the walls in Views, a soothing shade of green-blue—to update the space without breaking the bank. “I had completed a few no-cost makeovers before really tackling this room, and knew this space needed something with a lot of oomph,” she says.
The end result is a warm, colorful space that offers the perfect mix of old-school charm and contemporary flair. Curious how to score a similar look in your own home? Ruthie breaks down her ideas ahead.
Envelop the Room in a Tranquil Paint Color
Ruthie’s first order of business was applying a fresh coat of robin’s egg-hued Views to the walls and ceiling of the space. “The guest room palette was inspired by an old print I found at the thrift store,” she explains. “I used the same color in a semi-gloss finish for the trim and built-ins—I love how the color changes from blue to green as the light shifts throughout the day.”
Upcycle Old Pieces with New Elements
To save money while adding character to the space, Ruthie completed an array of simple yet transformative DIY projects, including reupholstering the bed in a bold floral fabric she salvaged from the home’s previous owners. “When we first moved in, I stashed the 1960s pinch-pleated curtains in the living room for later use,” she says. “I used the cast-off drapes to recover the frame and headboard, as well as a chair I found on Craigslist, and used the leftover material as window treatments.”
The Magic is In the Mix
Whether it’s contrasting floral and stripe motifs or an eye-catching medley of warm orange and cool blue-green hues, Ruthie says the unexpected mix of patterns and colors is what gives the guest room a timeless, nostalgic feel. “I’m a firm believer that no matter how disparate certain pieces may seem, if everything in a room speaks to your personal style, they will end up working together.”
Shop Your Home for A New Look
Nothing feels more snug and homey than a room filled with items you love, which is why Ruthie decorated the guest room with pieces she already owned. “I shopped my house (and storage in the basement) and swapped out decor from other spaces,” she says. “‘I’ve had the sconces (on either side of the bed) for over a decade and the wicker lamp was a thrifted gift from my sister.”
Maximize the Square Footage
To help keep visual clutter to a minimum, Ruthie streamlined the space with hidden storage areas as well as furniture pieces that pull double duty. “I repaired the caning on the fronts of the built-in wardrobes to ensure they were approachable–and usable,” she says. “I also used a tall dresser to conceal a non-functioning door while providing extra space for guests to stash stuff.”
Do you have DIY dreams for your own guest bedroom? Find your color!