before & after: the guest bedroom

We call this room “Guest Bedroom #2.” That’s because it was the last upstairs room we sorted out. As a consequence, it spent about four years looking like this:

The red and green stripes combined with the yellow walls and ceiling made the room seem very tiny (as well as eerily similar to a circus tent). Finding a home for the contents of all those boxes stuffed full of things we hadn’t even looked at in four years took almost as long as applying one coat of primer and three coats of paint. Yes, three. Have you ever tried to paint over red and green stripes?

We didn’t have a vision for this room other than clean and tidy. But as it worked out, most of what went in this room ended up having a woodland theme so there you go. A happy coincidence! This is also the only room where we put up curtains. We had to allow that perhaps our guests wouldn’t enjoy the morning sun creeping into their room as much as we do.

harrierhill.caThe handmade quilt comes from Dave’s side of the family although we’re not quite sure who it was that spent hours piecing together the colourful squares. I love its warm, country feel. I ordered the shadow puppet pillow slips from ModCloth and the bird curtains from Ikea. I bought the lamp forever-ago at Urban Outfitters. The chair is an old wooden school chair that I picked up at an antique store (for only ten bucks!) and the folded afghan is hand woven by yours truly (under the patient tutelage of my mother).

These prints of wild animals living in tiny, magical worlds are so imaginative and make me smile. Even better, they’re by a local artist, Jeff Friesen. They add the perfect dash of whimsy to the room. His etsy shop Wild Life Prints! is definitely worth checking out.

harrierhill.caThe yellow dresser is a hand-me-down (over?) from my dear friend Lori. It pays to have friends with furniture addictions! (Ha!) The African Violet is of particular importance to Dave because it grew from a cutting of his grandmother’s plant. It’s very special to have a blooming flower to remember her by.

harrierhill.caWe have the original keys to all the upstairs doors and closets. When we moved in, they were placed in the locks but they kept falling out of the doors and we were afraid we’d lose them. We put them in this cute owl dish for safe keeping. It’s neat to live in such an old house with so much history. It was built in the 1820s!

harrierhill.caHere’s a close up of the doors. I love the hardware. It’s so charming. The necklace is mine from when I was little. I don’t know how or where or why I got it but I do remember loving it and wearing it a lot when I was about six. harrierhill.caThis moose lamp comes from Dave’s cabin in the Catskills. At first I wasn’t sure about it but once we realized the room had a woodland vibe starting to develop, I decided that it fit perfectly! It’s been interesting to see how the things we’ve collected over the years as individuals have actually ended up meshing really well as we build a home together.

harrierhill.caThis trunk is my mother’s. She used it back in the ’60s when she left home for college in the big city (St. John’s). I know that it holds a lot of memories for her and when I look at it, I can hear her telling me about her first year away from home, living with the nuns and studying to be a teacher. When I was growing up, she used to store her wedding dress and things from her childhood in it. I always loved the smell of mothballs mixed with time gone by when she opened it up. I liked seeing her old school books, wedding dress, her stylish shoes and the fur coat Dad gave her for their first Christmas together in 1969. I jumped at the chance to take the trunk when she said it was up for grabs. Now it figuratively and literally holds memories. I have it stuffed full of old letters, my own baby clothes, yearbooks and photos. It also doubles as a great spot for guests to lay their suitcase when they visit.

Technically I should have shared “Guest Bedroom #1” first but I’ve recently claimed it as a makeshift studio. I forgot to take photos of it before I pushed all the furniture to one side and set up my lighting equipment and backdrops. In time I’ll put it back. The only other upstairs room left to share is my craft room but I’ve already posted about it here. So that means we’re ready to move downstairs. Next up, the dining room (in a couple of weeks!).

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