GUEST BEDROOM REVEAL

I am excited to share a new reveal with you today! I’ve been waiting a long time to change our guest bedroom. Our previous guest room was in an upstairs bedroom that is right next to our kids’ bedrooms. Our guests would always have to share the nearby hall bathroom with my kids which was never ideal. Many years ago, I decided it would be better to move the guest room to a spare room downstairs. This room is right next to a full bath providing our guests with their own private suite away from our family who all have bedrooms upstairs. As our parents aged, they have also reached a point where it’s harder for them to go up the stairs, so having a guest room on the first floor was an important change to make. After many years of wanting to make this change, I finally found the time!

Unfortunately, this transformation wasn’t as simple as moving everything in our old guest room down to the new room. For one thing, the new room is smaller than the old one so all of the furniture wouldn’t fit in the new room. Also, the furniture we had in the old room was not my favorite. It was one of the first online furniture orders I ever made many years ago, and the color of the furniture was completely different than the online photo. I kept it anyway because it was too expensive to return it, but the color has always bugged me. And the furniture wasn’t the only thing that bugged me. The color scheme and decor of the old guest room was definitely blah and not up to par. So I decided to not keep anything from the old room to reuse in the new room which meant this room became a new design project for me, and I would be starting with a clean slate.

Here are the before photos of the room downstairs that would become our new guest bedroom. My husband had been using this room as his home office since Covid hit and he started working from home…

As you can see, it was not in good condition. This was the one room that we hadn’t updated at all (not even paint) since we moved into our house 15 years ago! So it definitely needed some love!

Another issue with this room is that there is no closet. I considered building a closet, but it is such a small space to begin with (about 11’x11’) that we wouldn’t be able to fit a queen size bed in the room if we added a closet. I decided the best option was to just add some wall hooks as a designated place for guests to hang nice clothes. Honestly, if I put a closet in the room only a small portion of it would ever be used anyway so it seemed like a waste of time, money and most importantly space.

So with all the background info out of the way, let’s get to the design…

Here are some images of the 3D model I made of my design plan:

SketchUp model views of my proposed design

For this reveal, I’m going to share the changes with photos instead of words. I took photos of the new room throughout the process so you can see the changes instead of read about them. 

DIY MODERN WOOD CHRISTMAS TREES

materials:

  • 2×6’s
  • Wood glue
  • Mending braces
  • Clamps
  • Sandpaper
  • Stain or paint of your choice

This is a super easy low-cost project!

I used scrap 2×6’s I had lying around the garage to make these. I cut my 2×6’s into pieces a little larger than I wanted the height of each tree to be. So for instance, I knew I wanted my tallest tree to be about 15” so I cut my 2×6 to 17” just so I had a little extra room to play with.

Using a table saw, I then ripped down the 2x6s at an angle starting in the corner. I ended up cutting mine at an angle of about 15 degrees. This created one triangle that would be half of a tree.

I could then use the leftover piece of wood to cut the other half of the tree. I started my cut at the corner of the 2×6 again.

Once I had cut all of the triangles for my trees, I laid them all out on my mantle to see how they looked at the height they were at. I verified the original heights I was thinking would look good together, and then I used a miter saw to trim down my triangles to the exact height I wanted.

I sanded down any rough edges.

MY HOLIDAY HOME TOUR

Happy Holidays! Welcome to my Christmas home tour! I’ve considered doing one of these for the past few years, but I always decided to wait until I had updated all of the rooms that I would be featuring. I feel like holiday decor should compliment the space it is in, and that wouldn’t have been possible in my outdated rooms. Thankfully, this year I felt like I had finally brought the rooms in my tour up to an acceptable level.

I focused on a modern minimalist style that features natural materials and textures. I am not a fan of filling every space and surface in the home with decorative holiday items. I like to limit my decor to a few well-placed items that bring the coziness of winter and the joy of Christmas into the room. A little can go a long way towards making a statement!

So lets start this tour in my foyer…

I love the look of lush greenery hung along the railing, and I have a lot of railing available to dress with greenery. I went with faux garlands because they’re more affordable and easier to maintain.

A few strategically placed elements like a fresh sprig of rosemary and a cinnamon stick make a simple but festive statement.

And now we’ll move into my great room…

AN AFFORDABLE KITCHEN ISLAND UPDATE

I recently shared my “limited” kitchen makeover so if you haven’t already seen that then go take a look. In that post, I briefly mentioned my kitchen island update and promised a post about it. I am delivering on my promise today. 

Let’s start by taking a look at what my kitchen island used to look like:

This is a common builder grade kitchen island. It’s a large stock base cabinet with a countertop stuck on top. Our kitchen cabinets are solid wood fronts, but the rest of the cabinet is made from laminate. So the sides and back of the cabinet are fake wood which looks really cheap. As soon as we moved into our house (over a decade ago), I hated how cheap the island looked and instantly hatched a plan to make it look better. But life and all of its busyness has kept me from doing anything about it until now.

Custom kitchen islands are very popular these days and for good reason. They are very functional and can create an attractive focal point in the room. But they can also be expensive. I certainly didn’t want to invest the money for a brand new island in my low-budget kitchen update. So instead I worked with what I had. 

I decided to add side walls to the island in order to make it look more like a piece of furniture. This would also completely cover both ends of the cheap laminate base cabinet and fill in the gap of the large overhang on my countertop. When we had our countertops replaced many years ago, they installed the island countertop in a weird way that left a large overhang on each end. 

The first thing I did was try to figure out exactly how wide I wanted to make the side walls on my island. They needed to be the right amount to fill in the extra overhang on the countertop, but also look proportionally correct with the overall size of the island. The overhang on each end of my countertop was about 7”. So I decided to make my side walls 5 1/2” wide which would ultimately result in a closer to normal overhang of 2”. The 5 1/2” size also looked proportionally right with the overall size of my island—it wasn’t too narrow and weak looking or too chunky and overwhelming looking.

Here’s a plan drawing of what I did to my island:

Now I know most people don’t have a large overhang on their island countertops like we do, but you could still get the same look even without that situation.

Here’s a plan drawing of what you could do to an island with a normal countertop overhang in order to get the same look:

If you are going to do this with a normal amount of countertop overhang then you will want to not only make sure you choose a side wall width that is proportional with the size of your overall island, but also make sure it isn’t so wide that it takes up too much leg room under the counter.

Now that I knew my wall size, I knew I’d need to use ripped down 2×6’s to frame the wall. I bought some 2×6’s and a sheet of 1/2” cabinet grade plywood. I used a table saw to rip the 2×6’s down to 2×4.5’s based on this simple math:

4 1/2” stud + (2) 1/2” plywood on each side = 5 1/2” wide wall