It was exciting once again to be featured in the Birmingham News today. My contact and friend at the paper, Mary, did a wonderful job with the write-up and I’m very happy with it. You can click on the picture to enlarge it. The article is lengthy, so I’ll type it in here so you can read it all. Luckily, I type fast:
Rhoda knows exactly how to describe it: from granny to beachy glam. She’s talking about the redecoration of a guest bedroom on the lower level of her Chelsea home – a perfectly adequate space that was comfy and functional, yet lacked eye-catching pizzazz.
Yellowish-tan walls, leftover linens, fall colors and sturdy furnishings certainly received no complaints from visitors. Rhoda and her husband, Peter, spend very little time in the room, so its decor wasn’t exactly a priority.
“I really didn’t have a motivation to change it,” she says. “My stuff in here was perfectly good.”
Then Rhoda, a thrift shopper and do-it-yourselfer, scored a find that spurred her to action. A king-size comforter set, in black-and-cream damask, became hers for $15 at a yardsale.
“I absolutely loved the pattern” she says. “But I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it.”
Her solution: Remake the entire guest room around the boldly designed comforter set, focusing on black, cream and a “soft aqua-blue”.
She didn’t want to spend lots of money on the project, so she began to collect appropriate items at her usual spots: yard sales, thrift shops, bargain stores. She also examined furnishings and accessories used elsewhere in her house, to see if they might fit in.
“I started plotting and scheming what I was going to bring in here,” she says laughing. “I wasn’t about to go nuts buying new stuff.”
A striped easy chair from the Salvation Arm could be recovered. Mirror frames could be painted white. A vintage sewing machine could be moved and repurposed as a side table.
The walls needed a new hue, she chose Rainwashed from Sherwin Williams, with “slightly brighter aqua shade colorwashed on top.”
She nabbed a knotty-pine bookcase for $50, painted it black and removed the particle board backing. In its place: a pretty piece of wooden beadboard, trimmed to fit at Home Depot and painted a slightly darker blue than the walls.
She found a pair of lamps for $7 and embellished the fronts with black decals. She stripped a couple of old shades and revamped them in a zebra-print fabric. Other elements included a new window treatment, a bench from Big Lots (her one splurge at $100) and a small laminate table painted Caribbean Blue.
Rhoda’s innate design sense and ability to visualize the result were crucial. She made decisions slowly and deliberately, picturing how each piece would complement others in the room. “I’m not a minimalist,” she admits. But she does value balance and harmony, as evidenced by the carefully arranged seashells, bunny statues, finials, books, and paintings.
“I just like my little stuff,” she says. “Sometimes I have to make myself not put too much. You need a little space for the eye to breathe.”
Rhoda offers details of the redo and step-by-step instructions for some of the changes on her weblog, Southern Hospitality. She also displays her design sensibility on a Web site for her consulting business, The Restyled Room.
Others may take more expensive routes, buying everything brand new or emphasizing the varacity and background of antiques. Achieving success on the cheap, however, makes her happy and proud. “If you can get the look for a few dollars, I’m thrilled,” she says. “This turned out exactly the way I wanted it to be.”
Thanks, Mary for a great article, once again! For my new readers stopping by, here’s the whole room reveal that you can take a look at: Beachy Glam Guestroom