DIY, Interior Style

Guest Bedroom Plans: How to work with thrifted finds & a tiny budget!

Okay let’s start today with the big question…is it Friday yet?  Is it just me or is this week dragging along??  How is it only Wednesday?!

In my previous work as a sales rep I was pretty much on call 24/7– meetings on Saturdays, store events at night…I never knew what day it was.  On Monday this week I returned to the working world and while the job is great, the getting used to shared office space and office hours is a new transition.  And business casual….no more sweat pants or yoga tights is a serious challenge…

On top of starting the new job this week, I promised myself a 100% committment to this blog in the month of October.  I put together a fancy calendar of planned posts and social media shares, which translates to me getting my butt in gear so I have some awesome content for you to enjoy!

So what fun project am I sharing today you ask??  Today’s post is a current work in progress; our guest bedroom.  We’ll start with a quick look at the progress I’ve made since moving into our home two years ago…

Below is a look from the MLS listing when we visited the home– the previous owner used the room as a massage therapy space hence the amount of furniture and gadgets squeezed into the room.


Upon moving into the home and all the furniture emptied from the room, I realized it was an enormous bedroom!  I immediately claimed it for my home office.  What happened next could be described as an epic Pinterest fail.  Pink is my favorite color, and at the time, Pinterest was full of pink and gold themed home office spaces.  I embraced it full force– the walls got painted pink, the desk got painted pink, and any small home accessory lying around was hit with gold spray paint.

Lesson for you dear readers: Be sure you REALLY REALLY like the idea of one color ruling your decor.  I REALLY liked the pink room for about  month.  Then I realized it maybe wasn’t exactly livable in the long term.  My solution?  Take over the other spare bedroom and close the door on this space until I felt inspired.

Take a look at this photo below.  Clearly I haven’t really felt inspired to tackle this space for two years.  It has become the catch all for any and every random item that has no home.  And Charlie.  Charlie the stubborn and grumpy lhasa who rules our home has taken over the queen size mattress as his own.  guestbedmess

Current client projects are wrapped up and DIY projects are almost finished so it truly is the perfect time to get the guest bedroom in proper order.  Also my parents are coming out to visit mid-October and I will never hear the end of it if they are forced to sleep on a mattress surrounded by my random clutter.

Okay so quick reminder if you missed my post on Affordable Artwork.  I came across this vintage painting in a local antique store a few months ago.  The color palette is so unique, and I love the retro vibe.  $50 is more than I hoped to spend, but it is one of a kind.  It also got me excited and inspired to finish the space, which is exactly what I needed to kick it into gear!


Inspiration artwork in hand, I headed to my local Sherwin Williams to get a few paint swatches so I could build out the room plan I had started to imagine in my head.  Clearly the #1 change would be paint color on the walls.  The chair rail is one of my favorite details in the room.  It’s a great way to get bold color on the walls without overdoing it.

For my guest bedroom, I plan to use Earthen Jug on the bottom half of the walls.  Malted Milk will be used on the top half which will really highlight any artwork I choose to hang.

The Constant Coral and Gold Coast will become accent colors used in bedding, pillows, and small accessories.  The color palette feels very warm and earthy so I plan to include natural elements like the rocks and rose quartz you see pictured.


Second to the wall color is the need for an actual bed.  Originally my plan was to incorporate an antique bed frame, but that requires box springs I do not have.  Rather than spend money on springs, I chose to search for a platform bed that wasn’t too expensive, or too plain.

The first option I found was this upholstered platform frame from Wayfair.  At $166 it was a great price, but it feels unfinished.  Even with the artwork hanging above, the space feels so empty with no headboard!


Ultimately I chose this simple style from Ikea.  It comes unfinished so I can stain it to match back to the other wood accents and wood frame on the artwork.  At $149 it fits nicely into the budget as well.


For whatever reason, none of our bedrooms have ceiling mounted light fixtures.  It didn’t even register until we moved in and started flipping light switches to no avail.  Eventually we will install lights and ceiling fans in each room, but at this point and given our budget, I have to stick with table and floor lamps.

In one of my recent trips to Ohio Thrift I came across this table lamp that features all the same colors as the painting.  It also has a rough, rocky texture which I like.  I got the lamp for $13 and will pick up a new lampshade for around $15 which is a steal given the size and detail of this piece!

The small turquoise glass accent is an antique glass insulator.  Originally designed to insulate wires linking telegraphs and telephones in the early 20th century, these can be found relatively inexpensive in antique shops.  This one came from my mom’s collection and you will see them sprinkled throughout a few of my home decor projects.  Place them in a window, or put a small LED tealight underneath and the insulators provide beautiful light!


It may seem silly to design a space around the small accents, but sometimes that is where I find the most inspiration.  The oval off white planter was a splurge at $20.  However it is a piece of McCoy pottery which I have recently started collecting.  It is one of the more rare pieces to find so I didn’t mind the splurge.

The Pigeon Forge mug came from Goodwill for 25 cents!  Because we love to travel, and have been to that area, it was the perfect small detail to add to the space.pottery

Night stands are still an item in question.  However, I do like the idea of incorporating a few wicker pieces and this spiraled stand will be an excellent night stand with the addition of a glass top.  It came from an industrial salvage store for $12.

The fabric wrapped around it is one of two curtains that I have carried around for 8 years and used in 3 different apartments.  For those that question the quality of IKEA products, these curtains still look brand new!  I like the idea of brining in a little metallic and the flocked green velvet works with the earthy tones throughout the room.tablecurtain

In case it wasn’t blatantly obvious, I made it my mission to design this room using only vintage or re-purposed items.  The two exceptions will be the bed frame and sheets.  I buy a lot of second hand and vintage but I draw the line at sheets.  Those must be brand new!

When decorating a space solely on second hand finds it can not only be time consuming, but the final plan changes a lot.  I have laid out all the pieces described above and together they look great.  But that doesn’t include a second night stand.  It doesn’t include a comforter or bedspread.  Those choices may mean changes to the small accessories or curtain choice.

Overall, I am loving the direction the room has taken.  It has me motivated instead of avoiding the dreaded task of getting the room primed and painted.  Best of all I am well under my estimated budget of $500.

I would love to hear what you think of the plan.  Is my color palette totally crazy?  Is there a detail you truly love?  Something that doesn’t fit at all??  Please share in the comments below!



1 thought on “Guest Bedroom Plans: How to work with thrifted finds & a tiny budget!”

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