Sunday, June 5, 2011

Guest Room (So Far)

Mom arrives this week.  It took me longer than I expected to make it through the guest bedroom redo.  It took me about a day each to tape up, prime, paint, and clean up the windows and then hang the new window treatments.

I didn't start with a clear plan for what I wanted to do but the room was inspired two things.  First, the bright yellow toile bedding I bought several years ago because I thought it was really unusual...

...and this large collage I've had for several years but never found a place for in this house.   Artwork is really personal and this large artwork may not appeal to a lot of people.  It's a very bright, bold piece and although the yellow toile was soft and pretty, I thought its color was bright enough to hold its own.

As you can see, I've moved the bed from the other room and placed it in front of the window.   It was interesting to read everyone's comments on this subject.  Some didn't mind it, some liked it and others thought it is a crime against humanity.  I thought it made sense for a few reasons.

In its former position, the bed acted as a barrier to walking into the room.  Its height also blocked about a third of the window.

By bringing in the platform bed from the other room,  the low headboard covers only a bit more of the window, but the lower bed takes up much less volume in the room, and you're now able to walk right into the room rather than do-si-do around the bed.  (The old bed has a new owner and has gone to live its new family.)

I also find the symmetry of having the bed centered in the room, much more calming.  Everything is much more resolved for me.  Call me crazy.

(For the Feng Shui people, I did my due diligence and I think I'm okay.  The bed isn't supposed to be in line with the door.  The bed faces the wall on which the door is placed, but it's not in line.  There always seems to be a remedy so if you have any concerns, feel free to comment.)

I put one of the Louis chairs between the windows...

...and hung a small painting above it.  This piece is by Henry Botkin and is a collage of painted papers from 1961.

Closeup of the Botkin painting.

On one side of the bed, I've placed this barley twist table.  This was a piece that in the middle bedroom.  I've haven't figured out the lamps.  I thought I might want a red lamp to help balance the color in the artwork.  I placed this wooded sculpture in front of an old amp just to see how some color light look on this side of the room.   The sculpture is by Provincetown artist Mike Wright.  It has a modernist feel but it's contemporary.

The little footstool on the shelf below was my grandmother's.  It would be something familiar and for any one of family that might be visiting and help make them feel at home.

I later swapped out that lamp and hung the sculpture on the wall.  I'll find the perfect lamps sometime but this is fine for now.

I found an old feed sack that works with the color scheme and I've placed that on the Louis chair.  I still can't figure out what I want to do with these chairs but I do like this circular graphic on the seat.  I know, it's a little bizarre.

But kind of fun with the toile at the same time.

On the dresser, I've put two large pineapple finials.  One of these was in the living room.  These are cast iron relics from the 1920s and used to top old street lights.   For now,  I've set this drawing, a grid of scribbled dots, by Maine artist/dealer/collector Corey Daniels. 

It's a modern piece in an antique frame with beautifully wavy glass.  I love the piece itself but I think I would like something much larger for here.  I tried that big mirror horizontally but it's way too big.  It's another thing I'll know when I find it.

Other than the yellow toile bedskirt and shams, all the bedding is white.   The matelasse is a duvet cover but I've removed the down comforter and use it as a coverlet for summer.

The little "forgiven" pillow is from the etsy shop enhabiten.  It's filled with buckwheat hulls and lavender.  It thinks its message and scent promote calm and relaxation.  Liane from enhabiten is a New Hampshire artist who uses vintage fabrics and textiles to make simple, beautiful utilitarian goods such as pillows, bags, scarves, pincushions, etc.   She also has a blog.  Check out her cross pillows and balsam pillows; they're really beautiful.

On the other side of the bed, I've borrowed a pale yellow end table from the living room and a lamp.  I've matched the shades on both lamps with shades from Target.

Next to the lamp is a vintage Sputnik alarm clock, a magazine and some fresh flowers from the garden.

This single huge peony from the garden, along with some white verbena and a few pinks, is enough to fill the whole room with the scent of peony.   I think this simple arrangement is the perfect welcome for mom.

I'll be linking up to Jane's Small but Charming Flowers in the House Party tomorrow.  Be sure to check it out.

I'm also linking to Nita's Mod Mix Monday.  You can see that here.


  1. It's Fabbbbbbbbbbb!
    Honestly when I saw your photos at first I thought they were pulled from the net. You did an amazing, professional job! Love the yellows too! I adore yellow and it's nice to see it used perfectly in a room. So glad I stopped by, tami

  2. Well you know I love it!!! The large art piece is especially pleasing with the bedding color. The mix of art and furniture makes the room very interesting. I'm glad you didn't go with a totally period room, this is fresher.
    Your mom should be very comfortable. Will she cook for you while visiting? That seems to be what my son always wants. :)

  3. nice job. I really like the bedding.

  4. Wow! It is all lovely. I love all the color and texture. I hope you have a lovely visit with your Mom. Job well done!

  5. very nice!
    I especially like the "modern" twist to it. Love the grain sack, love the bed, love the cat.
    You're right, as long as your feet are not directly positioned towards the doorway as you lay in bed, you're far as feng shui goes! :D
    good job! - Cindi

  6. It looks great! I love the grain sack and the bedding. You're inspiring me to get going on my guestroom makeover :)

  7. I love everything! Especially the unexpected modern art and honestly, the chair is amazing! I think you've made a nice cozy retreat for your mom! Enjoy your visit!


  8. There's quite an unexpected mix going on but it all works very well together. You're awesome at putting together things that you has a very calm feel to it. Mom is going to love it!

    I especially love the grainsack chair. I would have never thought to pair that with the more contemporary art or the traditional toile. I love it.

  9. I said I love it" aloud as soon as I saw the bed in front of the window.

    Then I found more to love as I scrolled through your pictures.

    The chair, dear sir, is sheer and utter genius. And with the bedding?
    A work of art.

    Best possible ending to my Sunday.

    Sleep tight.i would in that room:)

    xo jane

  10. Hey Steve, looking Still think you should be a decorator! I adore everything about this room. Its so eclectic, thought out and personal, yet looks gorgeously effortless. I think the mix is perfection. :)

  11. Hi Steve,
    I love the chair!! And I really like how you added height to your windows with the bamboo shades. I think your mom, or any other guest, will feel so at home there. I also love the yellow toile. As usual, the results are wonderful! Beautiful Peony too!

  12. Wow what a great room. I love your mix of old and new and how you tied everything together but it still seems relaxed and uncontrived.

  13. BRAVO!!! Where do I start? The room feels so much fresher --I just adore the eclectic mix of art and styles and yellow toile just sings. That first picture you posted of it all stacked up sucked me right in.
    You are right, the bed looks perfectly balanced in the room up against the window -- good for you for putting it there. And the chair...oh the chair...
    LOVE your little arrangement in the jar too.

    Alright, going back for another look. I'm sure I'll have to comment again.

  14. Hello Steve:
    We have followed all of this, and previous posts, with great interest and you have, without doubt, many very good and imaginative ideas. But now, in our view, you are going off course!

    The room with its glazed over wallpaper [an inspirational idea] is very pretty but possibly not over large. It now appears that you are anxious to scale everything down, rather than up, which, to our eye, means that you are in danger of losing everything in the way of dramatic effect. The replacment bed is fine, but in front of the window, no [although we understand your reasoning]. The finials on the chest of drawers are wonderful; now they require a mirror glass or picture behind them to fill the entire space. The chair with the sacking is a superb, quirky touch in a room which now, sadly, lacks real character.

    We could go on but will not - and it is certainly not our intention to be rude either to you or about your house which we think is divine. But, dear Steve, perhaps after your mother's visit you will, at least, reconsider the whole room once more.

    Just give us the word, and we do assure you that we will never comment again! And, of course, you are free to ctiticise us in any way you wish. Have a lovely week.

  15. Loverly fresh and oh so not frumpy! LOVE your choice of art in there. The Botkin...on board? And the turkey ranger feed sack on the chair nails it!

    Momma is gonna love it~ I think I can smell the divine peony from here. Yep.

  16. Love it, I love the bed under the window and I love all your attention to detail.. leave the feedsack on the Louis chair it contrasts so well with the bedding and the little footstool that was your grandmothers is a very thoughtful and lovely touch :) ..i'll see you over at Jane's x

  17. Wow. I completely love the mix of toile, matalesse and contemporary artwork. This is a fabulous room. Your mom must love it.

  18. I love the changes in the room. I think it is all divine with the slight exception of the large artwork, I think it is too powerful for the room. I like the grainsack on the frenchy chair, and the bed is most def better where you put it~just my preference would be for more calming artwork.

  19. You should be linking this post to Nita's mod mix monday party Steve!

  20. well done. i could live in it. i think you've done a really great job of using what you've got, which is all great stuff and blending it all in a pretty and cohesive way. if you were my son, i'd be proud.


  21. It all looks just lovely! I love your style. If we get the house in Florida we put the offer on, all the rooms will have beds against the windows as nothing else will fit right. Seeing your room has convinced me this is OK.

  22. I love all of this. That bedding is so gorgeous. I can see why you wanted to figure out a way to use it. And the feedsack for the chair is perfect! Love the bamboo blinds and the sheers. Love the finials brought in here too. Did your Mom love it? Thanks for linking up!

  23. Excellent job! The room looks charming, restful and welcoming. I like the feedsack on the chair and the placement of the bed in front of the window. I think it works!

    The bamboo blinds are the perfect touch.

  24. I love the new room! So pretty and charming. Everything ties together beautifully. Mom will be happy I'm sure.

  25. I just love the yellow toile...a colour that I don't tend to use...but it looks just lovely and the feed sack works so well giving the chair a bit of a 'twist'! The dotty artwork is very clever...again something a bit different that really works! Beautiful room! Robx

  26. Nice twist with the bold art. Definitely keep that table. It looks great with flowers. I'm a sucker for Toile.

  27. I love your mod-vintage mix in that room, it really works well, you are a genius for coming up with I, I think! Hugs, Cindy

  28. Hello, this is my first visit, I came via flwrjane. Your home is really stunning. I have to say though with this room, the one thing that kind of jars with me is the blinds on the window, I think they are too casual for everything else. I think you have a wonderful, arty ecclectic mix going on. I love the grain sack on the chair and the yellow toile and your colourful art, but if you don't mind me saying the blinds cheapen the effect. I know that you are doing it on a budget, but perhaps some simple roman or swedish blinds would have been better. I hope you don't think me cheeky? I am intrigued with your house and all that you are doing to it,so I will follow you to keep up to date. Have a great week, love Linda x

  29. the highest compliment I can give to you is that this design is so you!! I love the juxtapostion of all of your design elements- it is very hip-traditional! My favorite is the chair's placement between the windows and the upholstery on it. While I like the look of a bed in front of a window (evokes a summer, cottage, life-is-simple feeling) I would never do it myself(wierd, huh- wonder what that says?!) I think it is a good solution in this room and that it makes you feel the room is balanced is a very good thing!
    Hope your mother loves it!

    p.s.... thanks!;)

  30. p.s. we were at Corey Daniels just yesterday!;)

  31. I love the glazing on the wallpaper. It is so simple and peaceful and the direction I am most drawn to for this room. I think you've added too much... try taking out three things (one piece of art, the filials and the rolling blinds) and see how you like it. Love the feed sack chair.

  32. I think I've commented before on the bed's placement by the window. Personally I love it! I like being able to get into a room without feeling like I have to step over the bed. LOL! In our house the guest room bed also has that placement. I tried putting the headboard on the one full wall and it just felt "odd". And as is, it only covers just a teeny amount of the window because we have an open-work,low metal head board so basically nothing truly is covered up. And lastly, one summer I worked at a resort. My bed was placed like this near the window. I grew to love it especially when it rained and the jalosie (louvered) windows were open and yet the rain couldn't come in. It was heaven!
    The mix of contemporary art and toile is interesting! If you love it, do it. Go with your gut and it'll be right :-)

  33. wow- you have such a knack! And I've recently found your blog (I wish I knew of it long ago) and it's become a fast favorite. You are doing exactly what I dream to do someday.

  34. Geez, how did I miss this until now? Oh right, I have a job. But I checked you yesterday..

    I love the room! Love it. I love all its whimsy and collected-feeling. That yellow toile is glorious - if you ever decide you hate it, it has a home with me. I love the Botkin, the art with the dots also. I don't love the big one, but art is so subjective. I don't think any two people have the same taste in it. I love the side tables, the clock, the bedding, all perfect. And Kitty seems to be enjoying it. My Mom said that her cat sleeps in my bed for the 49 weeks of the year I am not there. No longer my room I guess. Looks like a great little bed warmer kitty.

    Love the little pillow, and especially the symmetrical placement under the bed. Ours is that way too in the guest room where we sleep in summer (now). I have a weird issue with the "energy" sleeping under a window. It takes me a few nights to calm down and rest - I don't know why. The light I guess, the sense of something active over your head, of not being closed away. I like beds that are cloistered, tucked in corners, cozy. I know, I am weird. David thinks I am nuts when I say there is to much energy coming from the window (cuckoo is the word I think). But I doubt your guest will notice - most people aren't so weird. And it looks wonderful!

    That toile is my favorite thing in the room. When is the room free again? haha.

    Have fun with Mom!
    xo Terri

  35. Just read the comments. Tough crowd. I think it looks organic and collected and thus, I love it. I love most that it isn't trying too hard and didn't require $5000 worth of new stuff and that you used all your interesting and lovely art. Great conversation pieces...


  36. I love everything about this room. Great mix of mod and vintage. Your guests will not want to leave.

  37. What a great guest room! I love the bedding, the art, the chair, the blinds. Nicely done! It's a room I'd feel very comfortable staying in, and I'm sure you're mom will too. Enjoy her visit!

  38. As usual, absolutely gorgeous. The simple yet sumptuous rooms beckon me. And your new banner is top notch.

  39. Hello Steve

    Firstly, I enjoy following you and your interesting renovation projects. Secondly, the new banner heading on your blog is an inspiration.

    It is interesting to see you picking this bedroom to pieces and seeing how you have put it back together again. However, I am rather surprised by some of your solutions and I would humbly suggest that this is a room that has lost its way.

    In my opinion, even eclecticism has some rules and I am unsure whether this is tradition with a splash of the modern - or contemporary with historical perspectives. Perhaps, loosing the glazed wallpaper would give you an easier point of departure.

    On the other hand, I'm sure you will be the perfect host and your visitors feel very comfortable.


  40. I love the bamboo roman shades. I have what looks like the exact same shades in my living room.(lowes) My favorite thing in your lovely guest room is the dust ruffle and all your pillows. Nice job as usual!!

  41. The Louis chair is looking fabulous with its new covering.

    The bed would great with a 'solid' colour light cover/quilt folded and put across the end of the bed. Say in a golden yellow to match the toile. It would ground everything and marry it all together as in the toile, modern artworks which has touches of yellow. What do you think ? :)

    You mum is going to just love her new room.

  42. Such a beautiful room! Love, love the bedding. I think the placement is perfect. I don't worry about rules anyway. Everything is just lovely.

  43. I love what you've done! I really like that duvet, can I ask where it is from? thanks :)

  44. beautiful room! the feedsack on that louis chair is my favorite part.

  45. It's looking great so just don't let mom trash it before I get there! And, I love the splash of color in the toile and especially the large piece of art. For a neutral person like we are that is a bold move, but it looks great. And, the feedsack...fantastic on that chair...

  46. You know what, Steven, I think you have a fabulous art collection that sometimes seems to overflow in that cottage of yours. So maybe when you did the floral wallpaper you were fighting your own nature, because it was perfectly apropriate for the house, but not you. So I feel the only thing to do is: continue your fantastic renovation, stick with furniture and some accessories that go with the house, but more neutral, so they blend in without too much fuss and the whole thing does not feel alien in that setting, and just go WILD with your art collection! I love what you did to the guest bedroom. I Love the collages. I love the colours, I love the seat cover, and I think that it is all your personal style shining through!

  47. I agree with Windlost about “tough crowd.” To me this room looks great and, as she said, “collected.” I love combining the toile linens in that unusual yellow color with the “modernist”-looking art. The feed sack on the chair bridges the toile and art with its colors and shapes. How great that you had those pieces that could come together in that room.

    I would pass on the grid drawing and the lamp shades for this room but that’s just my eye.

    Considering the configuration of the room, I think having the bed in front of the window works and, naturally, the cat is perfection!

  48. Desiree,
    Duvet cover is Pottery Barn.

    Agreed. The art above the dresser isn't right. Also looking for new lamps. It was a quick and cheap solution and it's not what it should be.

    I agree. I have an old abstract southern quilt that's an ochre color that's packed away. But that was my thought to.

  49. Isabel,
    You're right. Initially the wallpaper was me trying to the make the house something that wasn't really me. It will probably come down eventually but I don't regret the process everything has gone through. I don't consider a room is ever done; they evolve over time. Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

  50. Love the bedding and the chair AND the dresser!

  51. Love the bed placement, colors, bedding, all the artwork and the chair cover! There doesn't seem to be too much room to maneuver the chair or it wouldn't really be a place to sit yourself down - but it will make a good spot to put 'stuff' (that seems to be what my chairs are for.) :)

  52. Steve, This is m kind of bizarre! And thanks for the info on the "Forgiven" pillow - love it! Karin

  53. Here's why this room is genius... It's full of unexpected surprises. From the wall treatment to the lay out to the use of art in the space( not to mention the art and furniture combo)
    1. Glazing = brilliant ... tones down the wallpaper from granny's guest house to 'dwell' caliber. I love the illusive texture that it gives to the wall (in each shot it offers something a bit different).
    2. The dresser/finial combo, the photo says it all, elegant, sleek, and powerful. who needs a big mirror when you have that!

    I could go on will not - i am still staring at the blue alarm clock in jealous admiration...

    ps - there is so much spit milk on this page: the sign of something BIG!

  54. So beautiful Steve, I love the yellow! Your simple arrangement is truly perfect! I'm guessing your mom won't be attending the Lewiston Tour of Kitchens I'm tablescaping for ?!?

  55. I bet your Mom will love staying in this delightful guest room. I like the bed placement (for the reasons) you stated. We have our bed directly under our window as well (without window coverings) and I wake up bright and early with the birds! The yellow linens are nice - but I'm a sucker for the blue and white you had previously.

  56. At first I thought that the sculpture was the lamp base. I think that would look great, but I wouldn't suggest digging into your sculpture just to make it into a lamp. ;) I agree with you that art is very personal! Thanks for sharing your transformation-in-progress!

  57. OMG. First of all, I'm in love with your guest room. Everything about it...the colors, the details, and the placement of the bed. I think it is just perfect :)
    I'm also so excited to catch up on the previous posts on your blog. My husband and I are in the process of renovating a house built in 1886 in RI... I have a feeling I'll have a lot to learn from you!

  58. So much to look at here, I'll have to come back for another walk through. Loving the yellows and reds. An amazing room.

  59. Gosh...what a transformation! I'm of course not saying it was bad before, but, dang it, that room is singing now! I love all of the changes, even the bed moved which I was not sure I would like, but you proved me wrong. I hate when that happens.

  60. Did mom sleep well? I bet she did Steve.

    I agree, I like the bed in front of the window too.

    The barley twist table might look really great with a coat of black paint maybe.

    Love your new header BTW

    xo kelley

  61. Steve...

    Now I'm re-thinking my room and drooling over the yellow bedding you have here! My shower curtain is a beautiful toile in yellow...hmmmmm.... :-)
    Love the chair too! It's a keeper...especially with the grain sack upholstery.

  62. It's beautiful! I love the fabric on the chair and how it goes with the Toile bedskirt. It's just perfect for mom!

  63. Did you purchase the Botkin collage from Childs Gallery, Boston? I was a sales rep there years ago and worked on cataloging the estate...You made a nice choice! Love the room, especially the window treatments and the barley twist table. A friend recommended your blog; I also enjoy reading Katy Elliot's blog.
    Happy Summer!

  64. Seraphima,
    It is from Child's Gallery. What a treat it must have been to catalog the estate! I LOVE Botkin's work. He's one of my favorites.

  65. looks amazing. i really like the color palette...and that pillow "forgiven" is perfect. can i ask where you got your rug and that pillow?

  66. I am a fan of pulling a piece of modern art to freshen up a space. Eclectic! It is a great focal point in the room and looks amazing. You have a great eye!

  67. I don't know where I was back in June but I completely missed this post. I am hugely drawn to yellow and navy. I love what you have done to this space. It's a great mix of styles, but feels so cozy at the same time. Nice job.