7th House on the Left

BE OUR GUEST

posted by Ashley  /  21 Comments

Over the past few weeks, the guest room (or as we’ve been calling it, the unpacking room) has been getting more and more empty. And this past weekend, low and behold… it’s finally completely EMPTY!

It’s a far cry from what it looked like just a few short weeks ago:

And even a farther cry from what it looked like the day we closed on the house:

We got the room cleared out just in time! Last week, I found out my grandparents are coming into town from Tampa to visit in March. We get to have them for two whole weeks, and we’re super excited! Not only do we thoroughly enjoy their company when they are in town (my grandparents are abnormally cool), but they will be our very first overnight guests in our new abode. Actually… they will be our first ever overnight guests that haven’t had to sleep on the couch or on a blow up mattress (our apartment didn’t have a guest room).

Therefore, we have exactly 6 weekends to take the room from completely empty to company-ready. This is where Rosie the Riveter comes to mind…

It may sound weird, but I’m actually glad we have a deadline to work towards. The pressure is on and hopefully it will bring some peace of mind to know the end is near. Enough chatter, let’s get to work…

I don’t want to just throw a bed and dresser in the room, slap up a couple of pictures and call it a day. It’s really important to Greg and me that this room feel welcoming, comfortable and a relaxing home away from home for our friends and family. To start things on the right foot, we’ve come up with a list of 5 Guest Room Must Haves:

1. An inviting bed. First and foremost, a guest room must have a super comfortable and inviting bed. One of those beds that says, “come on, hop in and sweet dreams”. To me, there is nothing more inviting than a bed with all white bedding and just a touch of color.

Ahh, you just can’t beat that. As amazingly crisp and clean as it looks, it’s important for the bedding in a guest room to be kid friendly. Meaning, the bedding needs to be durable enough to withstand some scrubbing in case there is a crayon mishap.

2. Good sized bedside tables. In my opinion, when it comes to bedrooms, there is nothing more annoying than dinky side tables that will hardly hold a glass of water. Yeah, they are pretty and dainty, but certainly not practical. I want to make certain the side tables will be able to accommodate not only a glass of water but a cell phone, lamp and a book or two.

3. Adequate reading lights. Speaking of books, my Grandparents love to read at night (as do I!). Therefore, it’s important that the guest room has adequate reading lights near the bed. This may come by way of table lamps or wall sconces. Not sure yet. But either way, we’ll need to make sure it’s not only aesthetically pleasing but convenient to operate.

4. Ample storage. When I go to a hotel, I like to unpack my entire suitcase – even if I’m only staying for a day or two. It makes things much easier when getting ready in the mornings. Therefore, I think it would be nice to have enough storage for all our guest’s clothes and other items like a laptop, cell phone charger, etc.

5. Umm… This is where we’re torn. There is room for one of two things in this space (besides the bed, side tables and dresser): 1) a comfy reading chair paired with a side table and floor lamp or 2) a small desk and chair roomy enough for a laptop, lamp and whatnot. My first instinct is to go with a desk. However, it’s so nice to have a comfortable chair in your room. What do you think?

There are many other details and finishing touches that go into creating a comfortable guest room, and we’ll definitely be getting to that when the time comes. The next step will be configuring a room layout and making a practical and economical furniture shopping list. That should be fun ;)

Rosie the Riveter image found here. Guest room images courtesy of DecorPad, Martha Stewart, Pottery Barn, Tobi Fairley and Stacey Brandford.

READ BETWEEN THE LINES

posted by Ashley  /  24 Comments

A popular trend that has been popping up in home décor magazines and websites alike over the last few years is none other than the sleek, classic and sophisticated stripe. We’re loving this trend so much that we’ve been toying with the idea of using stripes somewhere in our house (whether it be in the near or distant future).

For those of you who know me, you know about my obsession with I Love Lucy. So when I think of stripes, I immediately recall the episode where Lucy and Ethel decide to wallpaper Lucy & Ricky’s bedroom without the help of a professional. They were doing DIY projects looooong before DIY was cool. Let’s just say it didn’t turn out as they had hoped. But with zany Lucy in the mix, it was to be expected…

Almost 60 years later, thanks to networks such as HGTV and The DIY Network, we’ve learned the how-to’s and the how-not-to’s.

Needless to say, there are many different ways to use stripes in your home, so we’ve turned to the world wide web for inspiration and here are some of our favorites:

The high contrast and bold colors alone make this guest room a delicious piece of eye candy. The striped carpeting brings an extra touch of whimsy that makes the space that much more charming.

Here’s another bedroom space that perfectly demonstrates the stylish use of stripes. As you know, we love gray walls. The deep gray used in this space plays as a great canvas for the lighter furnishings.

Why limit the use of stripes to the indoors — or walls for that matter? Check out this outdoor patio space. I’m loving the bold choice to carry the stripes from the wall to the ceiling. Genius. This combination with the rich kelly green furnishings and glamorous light fixtures brings home an “old hollywood” vibe.

Now for something a little more on the rustic side: painted plank floors. The white-washed planks gives this otherwise sparse entry an eclectic shabby chic feel.

Another space that’s a little on the “shabby chic” side is this picture-perfect dining room. The stark white walls adorned with horizontal cool gray stripes is to die for. It really brings the entire room together in an awesome way. The linear stripes are juxtaposed perfectly against the round pendant lights.

A little more on the modern side are these thick brown and white striped walls from Elle Decor. Using the same chocolate brown paint in the ajoining room really ties the two spaces together.

So whether it be thin, thick, bold, subtle, horizontal or vertical, stripes have the ability to totally transform any space, and they might just be that “something” your room is needing to make it simply perfect.

I Love Lucy image found here. Inspiration photos found here, hereherehere, here and here.

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Um, are we dreaming?! You could have knocked us over with a feather when we got an email from a new reader (Hi, Jessica!) that said she had just voted for us for Apartment Therapy’s 2011 Homie Awards! Do what?! We knew about the nominations but had no idea we had actually made it in the finals!!!!!

Sure enough, there we are, along with 8 other awesome home blogs, and we are just plain giddy about it! And yes, I called my mom to tell her at 2:30am. I was that kind of excited. We are so honored to be listed among some of our all time favorite home blogs. We couldn’t have gotten there without the nominations from you, our readers! So thank you.

Thank you, again, for the nomination and for taking the time to vote for the finals! The winners will be announced on Apartment Therapy on February 4th!

***UPDATE***
The people have spoken and this year’s Home Design blog of 2011 is none other than Young House Love! They have inspired so many homeowners (including ourselves!) to cherish their home and make it lovely. Their win was very well deserved and they are a true class act. Congratulations to John & Sherry!