The Guest Room | A Before & After

I’d like to introduce you to my friend, Roy. G. Biv.  He is one colorful personality, this guest room.

Because I am sometimes a people pleaser, I’m gonna try to make everyone happy today.  First, for those of you who want pics and not words, shazam, just scroll down.  Then, for those of you who like to read, you get pics with commentary.  I also have pics with lights on and lights off.  And all of them are scratch-n-sniff.

Here is the guest room at one stage of its boring past, before I got all Bozo on it.

Then I guzzled a big glass of crazy and decided to finally makeover the guest room within two weeks of Thanksgiving guests.  Big glass o crazy.

Okay, now, lights on and words.

There were a few things I wanted to accomplish in finishing this room in two weeks.

  1. Use what I already had–big commitment items like custom drapery, pillows, and shower curtain in black buffalo check and black toile.
  2. Listen to my traditional 1950s ranch house and marry good traditional elements like symmetry and toile with a cheerful contemporary spin.
  3. Use existing artwork, accessories, and bedding–buy only the essentials.

I’ve been collecting pieces here and there for a while, like this $12 mother of pearl stool and the settee I found in August.  (Some Whitman, too, just in case it’s been awhile since you’ve read I Sing Body Electric.)

Others I’ve had for years like the burl wood side table.

Interesting faux bois lamps that I found in a junk shop inside a gas station have been in our kitchen for a few years, boring and under appreciated with white shades against a white wall.  With new black silk shades and polished stone finials, you would never know that I originally paid $24 for the lamps.  (For you retrophiles out there, the lamps had original yellowed JCPenney tags and tiered, whipstitched fiberglass shades–which I sold at Scott Antique Market a year ago.)

I spotted the bedside tables at a sidewalk sale in front of At the Collective in Inman Park.  I wanted a pair and these intrigued me, but with one week in which to paint them, I felt rushed to make a paint color decision.  First they started out turquoise and black, but I kept feeling like they should be orange.  Not all was lost since I thinly applied two coats of semi-gloss orange on top with the turquoise underneath adding a nice depth and texture to the finish.  Whew.  I rubbed on some gold and glazed and pearlized the white with thin gold paint to kick the brightness down a bit.

I had the ivory canvas chair upholstered over 8 years and just recently drizzled some black paint all over.  The pastel drawing, inspired from the Blue Willow china pattern, is from my college days–my drawing teacher hated it, funny.  I rediscovered it packed in my old school portfolio and had it framed this spring.

Yes, there they are–those yellow roses, all washed out and faded and tinted green.  But, unless you saw the glorious original in person, you would never know.

For our Thanksgiving guests, I hung up this unfinished painting by the kids.  I asked them to choose a painting they liked at the High Museum’s Picasso to Warhol exhibit from which to appropriate.  They chose Piet Mondrian’s Trafalgar Square, eh.  They didn’t finish it in time, but I put it up anyway.

But now I’m trying this painting here.

I painted the dresser in the summer and went with a two-toned striae and a little black with rubbed gold on the bottom.  You can see befores of the furniture here.

Some resources

Knot mirror:  Kirklands

Gold grid pillow:  Dwell Studio

Red dog pillow:  West Elm

Ivory chevron quilt:  Marshalls

All lamp shades and finials:  Lamp Arts in Atlanta

Chandelier:  JCPenney, 6 years ago, painted aqua by me

Wall paint:  Benjamin Moore, Vine Green, 2034-20, with two extra shots of red oxide

Bedside table paint:  hand mixed

Art:  by me or my children

Everything else is either custom, vintage, or I’ve had for a really, really, long time.

You know I had to have a clown in here, right?  My friend Cheryl gave this to me as a birthday gift when we were in 7th grade.  He feels quite at home here.


  1. Beautiful! Love all the fun colors and accessories! Especially the knotted mirror, yummy! The pillows look great too and not too washed out. LOVE IT!

  2. We can feel the color aftershocks all the way down here. That’s a good thing.

  3. Crazy good. Love it all!! The green walls are a good thing! The chair you dripped paint on is fab as is the green rose fabric. And I have those same lamps that I found at an old junk shop. I love them and just need to get some new shades. xoSissy

  4. This room made me sit up and go “Yowee!” (Not many rooms do that.) I think I may have gone with a yellow chandelier, though. Only you have the guts to put turquoise in a “forest green” room. 😉

  5. It looks SO much better! I love it! Please send me the dresser and one of the bedside tables as they are exactly what I need. And your drawing teacher was crazy; that is a GREAT painting!

  6. Oh my! I love those orange nightstands! Lovely room!

  7. What a fun room! I love the punches of color everywhere you look! Awesome room!

  8. Ah, this room looks like so much fun, I love it! You are so inspiring to me because I never would have thought of the combinations you did but they look great!

  9. Waaa! I miss my “roon!”

  10. Why, hello, Roy – what a lovely room you are! So much fun! You did great, Angela.

  11. You knocked it out of the park with this one, Angela! I’ve been trying to find a good color for my basement and green was one of my tester pots. My version was a little too bright – might have to check out your formula. Every piece in that room works perfectly. Great job!

  12. You not only knocked this out of the park but knocked my socks off. Quite remarkable the way you pulled this one off. You have an A1 eye, A1 talent and are an A1 treasure hunter.

    A1 apparently is the highest grade that I give starting right now.

  13. angela.
    I am speechless. a. maz. ing!!!!!


    I love it! I love it! I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    {and funny. that pastel is one of my faves about the room.}
    {there is NOTHING “forest” about it, got that hubby??}

  14. Unreal!! So awesome. And in two weeks. I’m just blown away. Every little bit is fabulous. One of the best rooms I’ve seen in a long time!! Thanks for the inspiration!

  15. Cristal says:

    I never thought the room was boring. But it looks AWESOME!!!!! I’m really loving the green. And of course I really love that picture of Mama and Granddaddy. I still have mine on the coffee table. I can’t wait to come over now!

  16. Peggy says:

    I agree with Cristal, the room was never boring. But I also love the facelift! Again you have combined colors I wouldn’t have thought about and it turned out marvelous! Grat job! Can’t wait for a sleepover!

  17. Hayley @ the tiny twig says:

    I can’t handle it. Can I be a perma-guest??

  18. Malissa says:

    Love it! The colors, the fabrics, furniture…….everything! I love that you named the room Roy, you make me laugh Angela:)

  19. I found you from Christina at Full House, and you are clearly awesome. I hope your sanity is intact after such a whirlwind makeover, but even if it’s not, I’d say it was worth it.

    I’m a color-lover, not a white wall in my house, and it’s so refreshing to see a room done in a style that I would actually use for myself! These pale gray walls look great in photographs, but I don’t want to live with it. That mirror is fantastic (KIRKLAND? I am going TOMORROW) and yes, in fact, I do also read me some Uncle Walt.

    Well done all around.

  20. Wow, what an amazing room! I saw it on the “Full House” blog and just had to click over.

  21. This is just stunning!! I love your artfulness!! Bravo!

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    Art by Karena

  22. Um, ‘shazam’ is right!! Roy is super awesome! And I love that the sofa falls into the ‘essentials’ category–darn right!! Orange side tables was totally THE right choice. And I love Mr Yellow Rose {salvaged} pillow!

  23. Holy sh*%…big glass of crazy awesomeness! WOW…I’m seriously in love and so have to share on my FB page! I totally LOVE that it’s mostly filled with items you had, made or second hand – can’t tell you enough, it’s just fantastic!

  24. OH MY GOD…you are SO SO SO SO good- I absolutely adore this. I was lusting after that WE Staffordshire dog pillow the other day but sadly, I have no red in my house- seeing it on that bed though…I think I have to give in a find somewhere to put it. And that rope gold settee…I’d kill for it! Love the green walls, the black check- love it all!

  25. Angela, I am blown away. This room turned out SO SO good. The details are divine. I think the only problem you have is going to be getting your guests to leave! I’m ready to move in. xo

  26. I haven’t been here for a while, so I’m having fun looking around and seeing what you’ve been up to. This room is so fun! Love what you did with it, Angela. Fab-u-lous! 🙂

  27. This room makeover is so beautiful and so very inspiring! Just the pops of color made a huge difference. But to top it off, all the great pieces you added couldn’t be more perfect! I am inspired! Thank you.

  28. Beautiful!!! I love how non-imitative it seems to be. Originality makes me happy. So does the unexpected use of color, which brings me to two points: 1) I would never have thunk to use that green on walls, and yet it looks marvelous with the juicy orange and the black/white. I’m impressed. and 2) I keep meaning to say something along the lines of “who paints their basement BROWN????” And yet, you did. And it is so good.

    I just love your eye for color. You are obviously an ‘artiste!’

  29. What a gorgeous room! So many details to love! The art is beautiful, the lamps are killer and I’ve decided I now need that gold pillow from West Elm! I’m a new follower!

  30. Slap somebody!!! This room is incredible Angela…..I just did a cartwheel in excitement!!!

  31. New to your blog and I’m in LOVE with this bedroom- the green walls, orange side tables, and even the washed out yellow roses are just perfect together! I want to move in right now!

  32. Oh, my, goodness– first of all HOW did I not know about your blog before? and WOW this room is amazing. I sell mid-century furniture, and I shared this post with my customers because it is such an amazing mix of uber-trad made good by mid-century lines. Fantastic, amazing, wannareplicateinmyhouseasap.

  33. Just found you through Blue Hydrangea–what an amazing transformation!
    I LOVE how the more modern pieces and bright colors completely modernize that buffalo check. I never would have guessed that that fabric was one of the exisiting elements to work around. I think I’ll go read your entire blog now….

  34. Found you through Melissa at Stuff. Love, love, love this room. The mix is a perfect dose of everything. So glad to find you!

  35. Oh my word this is just yummy! What a delightful update, you must have some really cool stuff….!
    Cathy @ Room Rx

  36. paige says:

    This room is fresh, forward & fab!!!

  37. I’m crazy for your transformation. You took a traditional room and gave it a huge personality. The elements you chose such as the burl wood table, your 50’s end tables with their new orange hue down to your crazy fun art. I love how you roll; typically the greatest results are the product of burning the candle @ both ends. You should be hugely proud of what you accomplished! When can I move in?

    Happy holidays!!

  38. Brenda Keller says:

    Love, love, love everything, and think you should copy your pastel that your art teacher didn’t like and sell it. I love all the colors in it.

  39. Oh, Angela, you are so creative and fun!! I love how energized this space feels now. And I love how OK it is now to add all those bright colors to spaces and it all works together. Fun to see this ideas evolve over the years and you my dear, do it beautifully! This is a gorgeous space, full of life and energy. Kudos!!

  40. Karen Tyner says:

    I wanna come and be your guest! It all blows me away!

  41. just found this via Pinterest and had to tell you how much I love it! I esp. love that you made so many vintage pieces look completely modern and the color pallete is fab.

  42. Tosally says:

    I love the color combos, what a spectacular guest bedroom. I’m going to paint my black and white tiled bathroom an emerald green.

    Why the two extra shots of red oxide in the paint? How does that make it differ from the original color?

  43. Love the paint color! Curios would two extra shots of red oxide make a big difference? is that for a gallon of Vine Green?

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