Prison Cell Turned Guest Suite!

One of the items on our “Quest” was to finally put together a Guest Suite where people could actually feel welcomed and not “imprisoned”.  While none of our inmates guests have ever told us they have felt behind bars when staying at our house, I feel bad that the last few times my Mom has come to visit, she has had to resort to using her suitcase as a nightstand, we didn’t have any window dressings on the windows, and our walls were as bare as a baby’s behind!  Talk about uninspiring!

Our Guest Room a few months ago...

So we had a few odds and ends that needed to be put into this room to just get it “functional”.  The painting and other details are going to have to wait until 2010, unfortunately, otherwise I would call this post a “Before & After Bliss”.  It’s still not blissful, but this is a good start!

The first step was to find a nightstand that loosely matched this piece:

This is a dresser that J found at a garage sale before heading off to college and I remember it was white, chipped, and definitely worse for the wear when we were both in school together.  Then in graduate school he sanded off (by hand – this was before he fell in love with power tools) the crusty white paint, painted it black, changed the hardware, and inspired me to do the same with several other pieces that we owned (namely an old knotty pine bookcase and a knotty pine hutch).  So it’s obviously a piece that is pretty personal to J and after his incredible handiwork it’s really pretty, too, so we definitely wanted to work with it as opposed to buying new.  At first, I thought that this piece from Pottery Barn was in our futures, but the $199 price tag certainly wasn’t what the doctor ordered:

So, it was back to the drawing board to try to figure out what we were going to do.  We knew we wanted something small scale with two tiers, classic lines, and it made no difference if it was white, brown, or chartreuse – we could paint it and bring it back to glam!  Unfortunately, the pickin’s were pretty slim on Craigslist and we weren’t about to shell out close to $200 for an item that was going to reside behind a closed door most of the time, so Ikea came to the rescue once again!  This time with their Hemnes nightsand in black!

It’s almost a total knockoff of the Pottery Barn version (albeit square) and at $59.99, it was well worth taking the extra time to assemble it on our own!  My mom won’t have to put her alarm clock on her suitcase anymore either since we had an extra alarm clock sitting around that we have set up for our guests as well.  I’m actually sort of jealous – it’s one of those “Sunrise” alarm clocks – the numbers are too small for me to read at night, so we decided to treat our guests to a little bit of luxury.  Le sigh…

Since we were at the great Swedish escape, we went ahead and purchased a small table lamp that at $19.99 was a total steal so we don’t feel the least bit guilty about adding a little bit of ambiance for our guests.  So the whole nightstand corner looks a little something like this:

After that, we finally hung some wall decor, like this lovely DIY artwork of our home states, appropriately hung in the room where people are often coming in from out of state:

And since we can’t talk about a Guest Suite without a little bit of “privacy”, we finally shelled out some clams for these lovely Bamboo Blinds from Bed, Bath, & Beyond so that the empty house next door doesn’t feel quite so “imposing”:

And since people coming in from out of town are often looking for things to do, we were sure to include some reading material of some of our favorite places and things just in case they get bored.  After we unpacked all of our books a few weeks back, it was nice to spread some of those books throughout the house:

So there ya have it!  Our Guest Suite is finally starting to feel like a home for somebody – just in time for Christmas!  All we need now are a few towels, some chocolates, and a few willing guests.  Checking in?

PS  This room still needs to be painted and “glammed” up – stay tuned for another 2010 project!



8 thoughts on “Prison Cell Turned Guest Suite!

  1. It looks like the link to the DIY artwork is not right? I love the idea and would like to do that for friend…can you post the correct link? Thanks!

    • Kristen –

      Thanks for stopping by! And you were absolutely right! The link was wrong (unless you were wanting to buy some Woven blinds!). It is now fixed and all ready for you! Sorry it took me so long to get back to this – it’s that whole work thing constantly getting in the way of my blogging…sheesh!


  2. I think you did a great job but I would hang the under blinds higher to the ceiling so there isn’t a gap between them and the curtains. I LOVE it though.

    • Thanks, Gillian!

      Yea, we wrestled with that one as well! We decided that since our windows have no moldings, that it looked better to do an “interior mount” blind as opposed to exterior – hence they had to be hung lower. It’s also better (in this case) for privacy and light control. But you make a valid point and I don’t disagree. YHL has an interesting post on blinds (link below) and they also address the whole “interior mount” blind issue about mid-way down the page.

      Honestly, they have great tips on window dressings anyway, so it’s worth looking into! Thanks for stopping by!!


  3. Pingback: The Quest for the Holy Grail: A House Completed Before X-Mas?? « Tell'er All About It

  4. Pingback: The Paint Brushes Strike Back! « Tell'er All About It

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