I have always wanted a nicely finished guest room. It is a luxurious thing, to be able to give your guests a beautiful, welcoming place to stay. I remember staying at my friend Jane’s house for the first time and falling into a beautiful bed, high with pillows and waking up to fresh flowers on the side table.
I mean, come’on.
At the old house on Pol we had lots of guests but no fancy room. The most I was able to do was to get a headboard for our spare bed and some nice percale sheets and duvet. This house I swore would be different but who has the time and resources to simply say, hey! Let’s spend some money on the spare room.
And then we received word that a dear friend may be coming for a visit. At that time the room was a bed and a bunch of Rubbermaid storage containers filled with Lillian’s baby things, hardly what I wanted for a guest to be walking into. One day while Lillian napped (aka chatted in bed and refused to sleep) I sat on the floor of the room and thought about waking up in this space as a guest. It faces onto the bush, you would wake up to the green trees and the wind and from lying on the bed all you see is nature, the exact reason we built here and the rooms focus should be just that.
When we built the house we painted the spare room the neutral grey that is the base colour for our home. With the neutral carpet and white trim the room felt stark and lack luster. Wanting to keep the budget under control I scrounged around our house to fill in some of the gaps, a blue duvet cover that was a wedding gift and a white chair that is from the sofa set that will not die. I have had the white sofa set since I was 18 and it was 10 years old at least when I received it as a gift from an Aunt for my first ever apartment. People I met in college come to my house to this day and cannot believe I still have the white sofa set. We have tried to sell it but I have always found a reason to keep it, there is always a reason to have it around. We just can’t seem to part with it and now the sofa set is divided with the couch being in Matt’s office and the two chairs being in our room and the spare room.
These photos are from one of the sale attempts, that damned sofa set is the cat that came back….
Once I had a few key pieces really all I needed was decor. I hate pillows or rather, I love them deeply and can never afford to buy them. I would have heaps and heaps of pillows in every colour of the rainbow stacked high and ready for me to pull out for whatever colour scheme suits. But who can afford this! 24 dollars for one throw pillow is not happening. Imagine my surprise when I was able to pick up throw pillows for 13 dollars each at Ikea! 6.99 for the cover, 7 dollars for the down filled insert, completely washable, hello!
And as luck would have it, the blue on the pillow perfectly matches the duvet cover we received as a wedding gift many years ago. As soon as I found those cushions I saw the rest of the room come together in my mind’s eye. The next day we hit Bouclair for the linen drapes and rod.
Matthew and I love photography. We love looking at our walls and see photos that have meaning, photos that capture beautiful and sacred moments for us. Getting professional photos done is very trendy now and I so often hear my friends say, oh I meant to do something with the expensive professional photographs we have but I never did. I swore when we built this house it would be a reflection of us and our lives.
Last month we went for dinner with Matt’s practical brother J.J. J.J is the little brother I never had, I met him the day I sat down on the school bus and met Matt for the first time. J.J married Michelle last fall, they share a love that is palpable and jumps out and grabs you. I loved their wedding as much as mine own and although we don’t get to see them that often as life is busy but when we do it is like putting on your most favourite sweater.
Michelle has an incredible talent as a photographer. Last month we took Lillian to the river near their house and we fed the ducks. Watching J.J as an Uncle warms my heart, his earnest heart and want to protect her, I thought if one duck moved wrong Uncle J.J would have made it dinner. The entire time Lil played, chased, fed and tried to get as dirty as possible Michelle snapped away and many stunning photos of our girl. When I found the curtains I knew the exact photos I wanted on the wall, one of “Aunnie Michelle’s.”
Photo Cred: Michelle R (Contact me for information)
Photo Cred: HRM Photography
I went to order the canvas from Costco as I have before in the past, however, their online order system was done. My tolerance of in store-anything is next to nothing, Matthew is the shopper in our house and if I can order online and not drag my kid to a store I vote that each and every time. I went searching for a Canadian producer that was well referred and in PosterJack, a Toronto based company, I hit the jackpot. Two canvases later and the room was complete.
Breakdown of costs:
72 each for two canvases
13 each for two pillows
70 for the curtains
19 for the curtain rod
And for a big 260 dollars we have a space ready for guests, who wants dibs?