My mother-in-law, Brenda, and I have a very close connection. Over the years, I have told many that my husband's mom gives the often joked about, mostly notorious "Mother-in-Law" title a good name. However, most of our deep connection is based upon great loss; she lost her daughter, Terri, to a rare form of childhood cancer, at the age of 12, and I lost my mother to breast cancer when she was only 44 years of age. Over time, she really has become a mother to me and I, a daughter to her. It's not that we never disagree, it's just that we know what's really important.
NOW, to break up the already serious tone of this piece, another interesting part of our relationship is that I saw my mother-in-law, some twenty years before I met her in person, on television. She was one of the unsuspecting guests on the tv show, Candid Camera. I vividly remember giggling as a youngster, watching her try to find a ringing office phone that was hidden. Apparently they had pulled this prank on others, but she gave them the best reaction. Okay, that is an entirely different story, but I will post as soon as I find the footage. By the way, having a Mother-in-Law with a good sense of humor is GOLDEN! (Ok, found it, here is the link to Candid Camera, Where I First Saw My Mother-In-Law), ENJOY!
Now, when she asked for my help in turning an extra space into a warm guest bedroom, I was excited to help her with the challenge. It was a challenge because there was a very important dated piece that needed to fit in with the room, where it could serve as a reminder of all that God had brought them through since the year 1976.
In the newspaper picture below, there is a special painting in the background. Brenda had told me the painting was done by a prisoner who was able to paint their family portrait from a photograph used in their church directory. The photo was taken before her daughter's diagnosis and the painting was finished and given to the family before Terri's passing on February 25, 1977.
Jump ahead some thirty plus years from this article and the two remaining children in the picture had grown up, married and had children of their own. Now grandparents, Roger and Brenda, had moved back to Georgia and had an extra room that we all called "The Children's Room" where there was a futon couch, television, toys, exercise bike and other miscellaneous items with no particular design in mind.
The grandchildren loved this room to hang out in, but as they got older, Brenda was hoping to have it transformed into a beautiful guest bedroom.
Brenda wanted to display this special family painting in the new guestroom, but how to design an updated room around this 70's style portrait would, at first glance, seem to be difficult. We looked at the colors from the painting to help us with choosing the fabrics and wall color.
In this painting done by artist, Boyd in 1976, we liked the burnt orange in Terri's collar, her father's neck tie and her little brother's collar. Also, we noticed the light, aqua blue in the brother's collar. These two colors would be our starting point. In the picture below, Brenda found this bedspread at Walmart, and we both felt the colors in this fabric, along with the neutral tan and white, tied in with the colors of the painting perfectly!
Our next exciting find was Valspar's Woodlawn Valley Haze interior wall paint that I found at Lowes. It had the perfect mix of that aqua bluish green that we were searching for with such determination. Thought it was great that my husband, the boy in the picture, offered to paint the room for us. To be completely honest, sometimes I 'volunteer' my husband for projects, but this time he volunteered himself, which I thought was a really sweet gesture to his mom.
Excitement builds when a room is all cleared out and ready to be painted!
We decided on a trade, our full mattress for her futon bed, but we still needed to find a headboard that would work.
Spotted this beautiful Leirvik white metal bedframe from IKEA with a tight and sturdy feel that we both loved.
Also at IKEA, I found two Hemnes Nightstands that had that perfect shade of burnt orange! Then discovered two modern lamps at Marshalls with lamp bases that had just the right amount bluish green tint in the glass.
Love how well the lamp, bedside table, bedspread and bedframe all come together so wonderfully with the Woodlawn shade on the wall as the backdrop.
Above the bed we needed a smaller picture. My mother found this painting at yard sale for me when I was a child and it hung over my bed for many years as I transitioned into an adult. I showed Brenda this picture and she loved it. We also thought it suited "The Children's Room" quite well.
Finally finished, the inviting new guest bedroom is ready!
Love the color scheme!
We were both so pleased with how well everything came together. This deeply meaningful family portrait now hangs across from the bed as a sweet remembrance of their beloved, Terri and all that God has brought them through in the last (almost) 40 years.
Psalms 145:1-4 A Praise of David. I will extol You, my God, O King; And I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, And I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts.
Thanks for reading,
A while back, my good friends, Kate and Gus, were trying to decide how they should decorate their living room in their newly purchased home. The husband, a Tulane Law School graduate and musician, had just aquired a beautiful baby grand piano. We had a great time with them around the piano singing together one evening before Christmas, and it was wonderfully apparent that this room should be a warm place to enjoy the music. When they asked for my help, I was honored and the wooden mallard on the floor was about to find a new home.
Rare, but great, when both husband and wife know exactly what they like about a room. in this case, they both liked the color of the room but wanted to have the curtains replaced. Also, they both agreed the living room should be more of a music room, New Orleans' style, with some seating but not filled up with furniture. Besides, when they entertained, they needed a place to bring out their dining room chairs, so the dining table could be used as a buffet table. With the piano taking center stage, the guitar, floor lamp and table lamp base would be kept for accompaniment, allowing for a few new select pieces to enhance the space. They wanted the room to flow and have enough space for guests to gather around and sing. They were excited to plan a Mardi Gras party for their friends and wanted to have the room ready in time.
You can see how this Baby Grand is the heart of the room! Also, notice the space where the tree is standing. That is where we planned to have some seating for the room, a place where one could relax to the sounds of music, enjoy the view from the window and welcome guests being greeted at the front door, as they arrived. This also allowed us to keep the room open and flowing.
We decided on choosing a loveseat, because a regular sized sofa would take up the whole length of the wall. After searching several furniture stores, in Atlanta, for that perfect piece, the one with that NOLA French look, we FINALLY
found and agreed on this one . The stained black wood accents tied in nicely with the piano and it was comfortable and cozy. Found the side table, with black stained trim at Hobby Lobby along with a different lampshade for the lamp base they wanted to keep. At Kirklands, I found a framed print of the New Orleans' historic French Quarter, and the red wine color of the mat connected this room to their dining room rather nicely. Also pictured is one of several plants added to bring in that courtyard feel.
We were extremely excited to find this beautiful, iron, window style mirror! It was found at the same furniture store where we discovered the loveseat. When you enter the room, this mirror compliments the piano without competing or fighting for attention.
Placed another plant, this one larger, in the corner behind the piano. Tucked in a small light at the base of the planter to shine upwards and create a palm shadow on the ceiling, while highlighting the plant. Found these thick, tapestry curtains at Anna's Linens and used rich looking tassels to hold the panels back.
Picked out new curtain rods with fleur de lis finials. (Rats, one is crooked! Feeling a little like Adrian Monk right now. Will make a note of that along with some other things to watch out for next time.) Between the curtains, I hung some round decorative mirrors and below placed an ornate music stand from Kirklands.
Loved this upholstered storage ottoman from Kirklands that could easily be moved to one side of the room for parties. When Christmastime rolled back around, the tree could be displayed nicely in front of this window and the piano. The ottoman would resume to offer rest for the feet of those snuggled on the loveseat, as they enjoyed the view.
Everything came together just in time for their Mardi Gras party, with dining room chairs moved into the music room, there was plenty of room for guests to go around the dining room table buffet style and enjoy the evening filled with delicious food, jazz music, singing and laughter. The Blues just got better!
As I get more experienced with blogging on these room make-overs, I hope to improve upon hiding electrical cords and taking an after picture of the whole room. Oh well, more opportunities await.
Thanks again for reading and feel free to share your comments!
So my brave and trusting girlfriend let me help her with an extra bedroom that had become more of a storage room. She had just moved in to this house and was a little thrown by the previous owner's choice of border. The objective was to make a cozy, feminine guest room for her mother when she came in town to visit the family. Her budget and my goal was to keep it as close to $500 as possible.
I actually liked this headboard, but my girlfriend thought it was time to let it go to someone else. If you noticed the baby wipes on the side table, this was the room she used to get her crying babies back to sleep at night, or if she couldn't, at least she could get some sleep in there with them. Only problem was waking up to the LOST IN SPACE border with little to no rest.
I think we all can relate to having one of "those" rooms, where you're thankful for the extra space but overwhelmed with all the stuff that accumulates over a short amount of time. Then you feel defeated ever time you step foot in the room.
Ah, did you catch it? Two different types of space borders colliding in the cosmic corners of the above and below pictures! Now, in the previous owner's defense, maybe they had a child that just loved BOTH of these borders and the parent thought, hey, I'm just going to roll with it.
We decided to keep the wash pitcher and lampshade shown on top of the chest of drawers (or as I used to call "chester drawers" until my friend, Camille corrected me some two decades ago. Thank you, Camille, thank you!) and the two tiered basket on the floor. My girlfriend wanted to keep her night stand and chest of drawers (always feel like Audrey Hepburn from My Fair Lady when saying or writing, chest of drawers), but also wanted a little change as well, so I took that into consideration.
Now, I love going to estate, garage and yard sales, so when I found these wooden doors at a sale, I just had to use them for the headboard! I primed the doors, night stand and chest of drawers, then tied them together with the same paint color and white trim. Also, added some new wooden hardware that I painted white. Hung some curtain panels on a simple rod, to keep out the morning light until she found the right blinds for all her windows. If memory serves me correctly, (wish I had taken pics of mounting the doors) we used metal brackets to connect the doors side to side, used screws to connect the bed frame, and then nailed heavy rubber table leg bottom covers to the tops of the doors, so they would feel secure and not move.
My friend already had this beautiful, silky type throw, so I looked for bedding that would go well with that and the colors we picked for the walls and furniture. I ended up finding the duvet, bed skirt, pillow shams, throw pillows and matching throw rugs in the clearance section of Bed, Bath and Beyond.
In the basement, we found this Van Gogh print that she loved and had stored. It was just waiting to be used. Found a small lamp base that fitted the lovely and unusual shade and an oval mirror at an estate sale to place over the chest of drawers. I used the two tiered basket to hold bath towels and magazines.
Since this room was for grandma when she came to visit, I was happy to find a precious picture of her grandchildren to frame and place on the chest. There was strong speculation that they were the main attraction for her visits.
Next to the door, we placed a luggage rack stand (a find that my girlfriend already had and was excited to finally use) for her mother's suitcase.
The shelf above the closet doors was a nice little spot to display some decorative items and draw the eyes up to a nice splash of color.
Found another great find in the basement in this unused lamp and bought a decorative, fabric placemat to protect the night stand surface. Finished this project just in time for her mom's visit and on budget! Thanks for reading!
Christina is an
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