Category Archives: House / Guest Room

Updated Rental Home Tour: Guest Room-Turned-Studio

Janery Studio (Formerly Guest Room)

In this rental house we were fortunate enough to get an extra basement room in addition to our family room.  First it served as a guest room, and now it has become my official Janery studio.

Located off the far end of the TV room, our basement guest room gave visitors some space to themselves.



Guest Room Projects & Sources:

In Progress:  Janery Studio


The studio is currently under construction, so to speak – so there’s not much more to show about it.

Guest Room “Reveal”

This spring we are making some big changes in our borrowed abode, including – *spoiler alert* – dismantling the guest room.

I never did finish decorating the room like I wanted to, but I did get it pulled together enough to comfortably welcome a few guests over the last year.  At the end of the day, having a comfortable space for guests to call there own is all that really matters.  Since this blog is my home diary of sorts, I have to share the guest room in its most final state – just for the sake of posterity.

The room is a small (10×8?) room, separated by French doors from the basement TV room.
Guest Room Final | The Borrowed Abode

There was just enough room for two twin beds, a small dresser that I found on the side of the road, and a chair.  While waiting to refinish it, I covered the very scratched top of the dresser with a piece of fabric.

Guest Room Roadside Dresser | The Borrowed Abode

The yellow paint around the window (above) and by the accent wall (below) is the mark of an unfortunate whim, when I thought that a mustardy yellow would look good on the walls.  Shortly after starting to apply it, I realized I’d made a mistake.

I was very happy with my blue and white Tempaper accent wall, and you can find details on the installation here, and my (unbiased & uncompensated) review here.

Guest Room with Temporary Wallpaper

The nightstand is a mid-century modern record cabinet that I scored at Goodwill for  $15.  The throw pillow covers are actually fakes – I threw them together just for decoration purposes using this trick from years ago.

Guest Room  | The Borrowed AbodeAs for the beds . . . oh I love how well the beds turned out, from rebuilding the too-tall footboards, to painting them, to upholstering the side-rails with chevron fabric.
Chevron Upholstered Bed Frame | The Borrowed Abode

In the end, I’m happy with how it turned out – especially considering I put very little work into it aside from the bed frames.

Roadside Find: Mid-Century Modern Dresser (in need of TLC)

This summer was a swell one for finding sweet vintage furniture and decor on the side of the road. The five chairs I found in June weren’t the only highlights – I also found a mid-century modern dresser that was the perfect size for our guest room.

The only catch? It needs some serious TLC.

Roadside Find Mid Century Dresser

But back to the find.  I was on the road home from the wine store when I saw this baby sitting on the curb with some garbage. I slid to a halt (safely, of course) and checked it out.  I wasn’t sure if it was rescuable, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to lug it home and give it a closer look.  Worst case I could always pop it back onto the curb at our house.

You should have seen me trying to get that dresser into my car all alone.  It was much heavier than I expected, but of course I persevered.  Once home, I cleaned it up and sprayed all the cracks and crevices with bug killer, then let it sit outside for a day before bringing it inside.  (I take this step to hopefully avoid bringing new pests into the house!)

It went right where I’d envisioned it in the guest room.

I attempted to make it presentable when a good friend stayed the night, that’s why there’s a piece of chevron fabric draped over it.  Fortunately my friend understands and knows me well enough that she wasn’t horrified by it’s pre-makeover condition.

The top, which is the plastic-y veneer so common in mid-century furniture, needs to be replaced or painted. This photo doesn’t do justice to the stains and scratches and general plastic-y feel.

Roadside Find Mid Century Dresser Veneer Top

The rest is made of a wooden veneer which is also in rough shape.  The drawers have no pulls and in some spots the wood is splintered off.  I’m not sure how I’ll fill or work around these big gaps, but there’s gotta be a way.

Do you know if wood putty is strong enough to fill that gap in the left side of the photo?  It’s an edge that sticks out between two drawers.

Roadside Find Mid Century Dresser Drawers

Regardless, the cheap-o construction of veneers and plywoods means that there’s no harm in trying a fun paint treatment on it! This is the one I’m dying to try, all thanks to my ombré obsession.

Ombre Painted Dresser via Norskeinterior

Credit for the ombré dresser goes to Norske Interior’s feature on Consept Constance.

And now that I’ve decided to go with simple light gray walls instead of the bold teal accent wall, that means that I can get away with more bold furniture statements such as this one!  I am so stoked.

Did you have any sweet roadside finds or thrifting excursions this summer? Share a link in the comments below!

Guest Room Update – or – “Always buy a paint sample before springing for a gallon”

As of last week I’m officially starting over with decorating our guest room.  Also, I’m here to remind you to always buy a paint sample jar before springing for the whole gallon.

When I answered my latest Reader Question on the blog, the one where I discussed the pros and cons of white furniture against almost-white walls, I decided to paint the non-Tempapered walls of our guest room a bold gold.  My hope was that this would solve the white-bed-frames-blending-into-the-walls issue that I was struggling with.

Shortly after hitting “publish” on that post, I beelined for the Home Depot where I impulsively bought a gallon of my  golden yellow paint of choice. They were sold out of the Behr Paint Plus Primer that I swear by, and I had to do it RIGHT NOW, so I settled for Glidden.  I haven’t used that super-cheap paint since my penny-pinching college days . . . but I figured it would be good enough.

I never got to find out how the paint compared to Behr, because the next day when I went downstairs to check the sample swatch I’d painted on the wall, I knew I didn’t want to cover the walls in yellow.

There are three reasons why it won’t work for us:

–>While the bold gold and teal color combo could really rock in a room, I think the guest room, which is primarily a bedroom, should be more soothing and calm.

–>Also, a home’s rooms should flow from one to another, and our home is pushing the limit with that concept.  Our guest room is connected to our basement rec room, where the color scheme is (supposed to eventually be) blues and greens with a hint of orange .  Walking from a blue/green/orange room into a yellow gold/dark teal room would be jarring.

–>Finally, we rent our home, and I don’t want to paint any more bright colors.  We’re lucky in that our landlord allows us to paint, but when we do leave we’ll have to paint back any rooms that are too colorful. We’ve already got mango walls in Ryan’s office, lime green in my office, and olive green in the living room.  We need to stick to neutrals for the rest of the rooms.

So what’s the new plan?

I’m taking the Tempaper down and finding a light gray paint for all four walls.  Once that’s done, I’ll bring bold pops of color into the room with accessories and linens.  It will be a good exercise in rental decorating!

Here’s one color palette I’m dreaming of – just replace the black hues with a pale gray and an even darker teal.

AutumnColor Teal Gold Color Palette via Design Seeds

Before this I was trying to choose a paint color that would work with the teal Tempaper and be dark enough to contrast with the white bed frames.

I think the dark teal accent wall backed into a corner, so even though I spent $85 on the Tempaper accent wall last December, I’m ok removing it.  For the last few months I’ve been feeling in my gut that the accent wall was making things too difficult, but I didn’t want to take it down and “waste” the money I spent on it.  But now, 9 months after installation, the room still isn’t decorated – because I couldn’t come up with a solution that I loved.

That’s a sign.

I think I’ve learned an important design lesson here.  When a design choice you’ve made isn’t working in a space no matter how hard you try, it’s important to allow yourself to remove that choice and start again.  Don’t force yourself into a design just because you’ve spent money on something and you don’t want to “waste” it.  It’s more of a waste if you force yourself to live with a poor design just because you didn’t want to cut your losses.

Think of it this way:  If you spend $150 on a funky sofa and half way through designing with it you realize it doesn’t work, do you want to get rid of the sofa and lose the $150?  Or do you want to spend an additional $500 trying to make it “work” but never loving the result?  Then you’re out a total of $650 AND you don’t even love the space!

So to recap today’s lessons:

  1. Always buy a small sample jar of paint to test before springing for a gallon.
  2. Sometimes decorating ideas do not work out.  So no matter how hard you try to make things work, if your gut is telling you it’s not working out, you might want to listen to it.

Sidenote:  This is not a reflection on Tempaper, because their product is awesome.  I would have left it if my guest bed were going to be centered on the accent wall.  Then the white furniture would have stood out.  Alas, that is not the case.

Have you ever had to rewind and redecorate because a design decision didn’t work out? Come on, tell me I’m not the only one!  :)

Ps: Today’s the last day to enter last week’s giveaway!