Sunday, May 17, 2009

French Country Cottage Guest Room/Office: (A Decorating Makeover Story)

IMG_1933 (C&R)

Grab your coffee or tea and get comfortable because this post is a long one.
My only “baby bird” (aka Daughter) left the nest a couple years ago.  Because I had absolutely no direction whatsoever on how I wanted to redecorate Daughter’s vacated bedroom, the room sat untouched for about 1 1/2 years.
Uhhh…and just between me and you…I was also kind of waiting to see how she would adjust, financially,  to living on her own.  It’s a cold, cruel, and very expensive world out there these days, ya know?
I know it’s customary to show “before” photos of the project for “Metamorphosis Monday” but this makeover occurred about 8 months ago…before I became a blogger.  If you had/have kids, you can probably imagine what it looked like anyway…messy.  Then, to make matters worse, it became my temporary “dumping ground” for anything and everything  I didn’t know what to do with while I was redecorating all the other rooms in my house.
Anyway, once I made the decision to start redecorating, I had two primary goals:
1. move the computer out of  the dining room into Daughter’s old room and …
2. get the treadmill out of the storage shed and set it up in there.
Beyond that, I was stumped.  I had absolutely no ideas about  how I wanted the room to look as far as style, decor or colors.
Then, one day while browsing through a Ballard Designs catalog, I saw this desk/hutch combo and fell in love.

Ballard desk & hutch                                      Photo source:  Ballard Designs

Since I’ve gotten into Cottage Style, I’m preferring the lighter, brighter look of white painted furniture over dark woods but there was something about this desk and hutch that spoke to me.
Oh, can’t you just hear all that shelf space calling out to be decorated?!  Yeah, I thought so!  Me too.  And NOT with ugly, functional  “office stuff”!
With the desk decision made, I needed to focus on some of the other elements of the room, like wall color and bedding.
I’ll be honest…yellow is not my  favorite color…at least when it comes to using it in my house.  I always love it in other people’s homes, but not mine.  So guess what color I decided to paint the walls in this room?  Yep, yellow!  A pale, buttery yellow.  Go figure! 
And once I decided on yellow walls, it seemed only natural to use blue and white bedding. Toile maybe?   It was then that a French Country Cottage look was beginning to come together in my head and finally emerge as my decorating direction.
Next, I started hunting for a chest of drawers and a nightstand.  A two-tone finish was my goal…wood on the top (to coordinate with the desk)  and white painted  bottom (to keep the small room from becoming too dark with a lot of dark furniture).
The photo below  was my inspiration for the finish but not so much for the style.  I was hoping to find something less boxy and more curvy.

inspiration photo                                        Photo source:  Unknown

I found almost exactly what I wanted advertised for sale on my local Craigslist…a matching French Provincial chest and nightstand…only $95.00 for the two pieces but, as you can see, they were not two-tone.

Furniture - Mom 013 (2)                              Photo source:  previous owner

Ahhhh…but no worries.  I knew that was easy enough to remedy with paint.
Nightstand before…

Furniture - Mom 015 (3)                    Photo source:  previous owner


Nightstand after painting, distressing and adding new iron hardware…

IMG_1333 (4)


So here are the final results with close ups and purchase info on some of the little details in the room.
All photos (above and below) should enlarge when clicked on. Maybe.  Hopefully.  If I did this right.


Paint color:  Waverly Collection “Soft Cream”  (Lowes)

IMG_0181 R (2)

Yellow matelasse shams, square pillow & coverlet:  J.C. Penney’s catalog
Blue & yellow floral sheet set:  Goodwill
“Brighton Toile” blue & white matelasse floral/stripe coverlet:  Linen Source
“Brighton Toile” blue & white stripe dust ruffle:  Linen Source

IMG_1937 (E)


Blue & white candle lamp:  $70.00IMG_1341 CR&E


Yellow rose & lilac picture:  Goodwill  $20.00IMG_1925 (E2) 

Set of 7 hanging plates with ribbons:  eBay  $22.00

White iron queen headboard:  Craigslist  $125.00IMG_1762 C&R


Framed prints:  Goodwill  $2.00 each

Yellow & blue floral/stripe valances (2):  J.C. Penney’s  $48.00   (buy 1/get 1 for 1 cent minus $10.00 off coupon!)IMG_1923 (E)


Sunflower arrangement:  HomeGoods   (?? $18-20.00 maybe)

Forget-me-not teacup & saucer:   eBay  (?? less than $10.00)IMG_1913 (E)


Jar candle and ribbon (sold separately):  Michael’s CraftsIMG_1920 C&E


Blue & white covered butter dish:  Goodwill  $4.00IMG_1918 (C)


French Provincial chest & nightstand:  Craigslist  $95.00

Blue & white ceramic basket:  Goodwill  $6.00IMG_0189 C&R (3)


Framed oil painting:  local antique store  $50.00IMG_1361 C&E


Blue pitcher:  Goodwill  $2.00

Daisies:  Hobby Lobby  ($ ??…but cheap)IMG_1927

Schaub Select Rustica Collection Matte Black Bail  $9.19 eachIMG_1930 C&E


Blue & white oblong tray:  I first saw one of these on somebody’s blog and then found one for myself on eBay.  $10.50

Blue & white creamer:  Goodwill   76 cents IMG_1916 (E) 


Desk & hutch:  Ballard Designs  $$ an arm & a leg $$IMG_0194 C&R (3)


Blue & white plate:  TJ Maxx  $3.00

Set of 4 French Country prints:   eBay  $12.99IMG_1956 C&E 


Floral print mounted on wood:  Goodwill $5.00IMG_1248 C&E 

Blue & white pitcher:  Goodwill  $3.00IMG_1946 CE&R


Yellow clock:  HomeGoods  $19.99IMG_1948 (E)  

Blue & white candlesticks:  Goodwill  $2.00 each

Yellow flower arrangement:  Michael’s Crafts  ?? $4.99??IMG_1915


Now that the room has come together and I see it as a whole, there is really only one thing I would have done differently.  I wish I had bought a black iron headboard instead of a white one. I think black would have coordinated better with the black iron hardware on the dresser and nightstand, and looked more French Country.  I may change that at some later date if I happen to come across a good deal on another headboard. 
I’m also still looking for a cute desk chair to replace the basic office task chair.
And I guess I should add that when the room was finished, I wasn’t able to accomplish my goal of setting the treadmill up in here.   I didn’t have room for it. 
Oh darn!  ;)
If you want to see more transformations head over to Between Naps on the Porch and check out all the  Metamorphosis Monday links.
8/17/10  I’m also joining Layla @ The Lettered Cottage for her guest bedroom re-do party.


Kathi said...

What a fun post! Thanks for sharing where you got your pretty things. Your room is beautiful! I'm sure your daughter will love it too!

Anonymous said...

You did an absolutely fantastic job! Thanks for providing all the sourcing information. I just got a LinenSource catalog the other day and saw lots of good stuff in there. I need to get over to my neighborhood GW store ASAP!

Connie said...

Be Still My Heart! You have captured one of my favorite color combinations of yellow and blue. It looks gorgeous.

Kammy said...

Wow, I added my name to follow your blog, as I love your style !
I just don't know where to begin on what I like best...Everything is so terrific, the colors are great. I love how you labeled all the great buys ( I am a shopaholic,lol) . I am getting to love blue and whites...I am in trouble, lol !
Hugs ~ Kammy

Nancy @ Live love laugh said...

I caught myself sitting here with my mouth hanging open! What a beautiful redo! I told you that I had a yellow and blue room but I better step it up! You are my inspiration! I love how you told where and how much about each helpful!I will "keep" your pictures as a resource!

From the Old InkWell said...

Oh so fresh and pretty. Love your color combinations!

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

What a gorgeous redo. I love the colors and the fabric choices are just wonderful. I really like the mix of patterns and colors. Your furniture turned out beautiful and all the accessories you've chosen are just lovely. Hugs, Marty

Joyce said...

Awe inspiring!

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

What a difference white paint and new handles and knobs can make. The furniture looks beautiful! Great job.

janet said...

im in complete awe with your room, absolutely beautiful. i have seen night stands similiar to the one you made over and would have never dreamed it could look this beautiful!!! your every thought and decor that went into this post is perfect.

Unknown said...

Beautiful room... and fun post... I love the desk and hutch... sorry about your arm and leg... *grin*

~Really Rainey~

sarah said...

love this redo!

you've done such a great job, and pulled it together beautifully which isn't so easy

happy met monday


Debbie from NJ said...


I actually had the honor of staying in this beautiful "bed and breakfast" bedroom when I visited Shari last month. She indeed did a beautiful job! Shari, I thought those sunflowers in the vase were real, and I almost watered them! he he.

I met Shari over at Cindy's Romantic Home blog! She posted a story about us over there, about when we met last month for the first time! Shari has become a dear friend to me for the past 1 1/2 yrs. I may have to move to Fla!

Shari @ My Cottage of Bliss said...

Awwww Debbie...((((((hugs)))))). You are sooooo welcome to come stay again in this room anytime you want! The only thing that would make me happier would be to have you and your family move here to FL. The many miles between NJ and FL are hampering our shopping adventures and fun "just hanging out" times.

Fifi Flowers said...

Pretty room... pretty post!

Thoughtfully Blended Hearts said...

This is a great post...I had to slow myself down and enjoy've created a beautiful room and that treadmill would have just "cramped your style"...

Susie Q said...

How pretty! Why, oh WHY can't I find pretty sheets at GW????

Christi @ A Southern Life said...

Just lovely!

The Bloom Girls said...

Oh girl....I guess we share an addiction for Craiglist furniture. Your dresser/nightstand turned out beautifully! I love it so much I check the posts for Atlanta as well as Nashville. I purchased a beautiful antique sideboard from France for $350 in Atlanta. It was so worth the trip; I then went by by IKEA and the Ballard outlet and to top it off dinner at Pappasitos. It doesn't get much better for this Nashville girl.

Thanks for reminding me I need primer!

Have a wonderful week!

Kim @ Starshine Chic said...

I love how the room turned out. I'm like you, not a yellow kind of gal, but I do love it in your room. And I had to laugh at your "arm and a leg" comment on the Ballard desk & hutch. Too funny!!!

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

What a beatiful post today Shari...loved everything you did here..glad you did the break down of the cost...sorry about your arn and leg girl ha ha!! wonderful job...thanks for sharing...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Sherrie said...

What a pretty room! You made it so inviting and warm. Wonderful job!
I love everything you chose!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Shari! Everything turned out so beautiful! You really knew what you wanted and did it! Your photo with the pale blue chest looking into the bedroom looks like a mag picture! You're really good!
Be a sweetie and thanks for popping in to see me,
Shelia ;)

The Quintessential Magpie said...

It is absolutely ADORABLE! Love what you did! It's so fresh and fun. Just a wonderful study and extra bedroom. You did a good job transforming it into dual uses. Just cute as pie!


Sheila :-)

nikkicrumpet said...

I am a sucker for blue and own guest bedroom is done in those colors...I just wish it had turned out this EXCEPTIONAL! You have such an amazing talent for putting things's charming cozy and classy all rolled into one! BRAVO!

Kathleen W. said...

That is gorgeous! I love how thrifty you were with this, and the nightstand turned out so lovely. Thanks for sharing!

Susan (Between Naps On The said...

I totally HEART this room! Shelia is right about the chest pic...soooo like a magazine! This is a stunning room...I love it!

Four Paws and Co said...

What a beautiful room! It's simply stunning! ☺ diane

Anonymous said...

Cigar Stores

Honda Prices

Trina said...

Found this page when I was Googling "guest room office." I really like what you've done; thank you for the inspiration :)

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