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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Thrifty Country Chic Décor

Treasure Seeking for the Royal Rose Guest Bedroom

The guest bedroom at Oak Rise Cottage has been furnished with some new, some used, and some vintage goods. The theme is floral, with roses as the predominant motif. It is, therefore, a room whose décor elicits remarks about a bed and breakfast when friends see it. As it happens, this is the smallest of three bedrooms. At 9' x 10' is would usually be furnished with a twin bed, placed lengthwise along the long wall.

However, for a more useful guest facility, I chose to buy a full size mattress and boxspring. In addition, I placed the bedhead against the long wall for access from both sides. As a result, the furnished room is fairly crowded, but functional for one or two. As it is, the room also serves as storage until company is expected. The photos show boxes under the window and in a corner.

A headboard was sorely needed to give the room greater poise. Having spent all my money acquiring the house, I was more than short on funds. The headboard pictured was from an estate sale – well, more of an estate disbursement, since the executor did not want anything sold. So, when I admired the bed as we were going about the tasks of closing out the house, she told me I could have it. Later that day she came to my house with two young fellows in a pickup truck and delivered the bed. It is a short four poster made of dark wood (walnut?) and has a shapely headboard

The new linens are "Cottage Flowers" from KMart's At Home With Martha Stewart line. Included are matching sheets, pillowcases, dust ruffle, comforter, shams and throw pillows. The windows have matching Priscilla curtains and tiebacks. A new floral swag adds a finishing touch. ( I also have 2 5-yd. packages of the decorative border, but await painting the walls first.)

Along with a bed, a guestroom needs a nightstand, right? Well, in 1998 we were putting things in a moving van, transferring my mother’s household goods from a storage unit to her new rented house. My brother-in-law was about to toss a beat-up piece of furniture into the dumpster. Realizing that it was a wood nightstand my father had made for me when I was a teenager, I rushed to rescue it. (Does this qualify as dumpster diving?)

When I left New York for grad school in California, I was to end up far from the East Coast except for holidays and family events. From California it was on to Texas to teach and more graduate schooling. Therefore, the furniture, which had been purchased by my parents for me, just went by the wayside. Some things were given away or sold and others were sort of thrashed by the grandkids.

My father designed and built the stand in a style reminiscent of art deco and it fit in well in my bedroom, with its white Hollywood bed and vintage vanity with a large round mirror. Having rescued it I found the stand was in quite bad shape; the lovely finish of gold over a pink undercoat was quite ruined and the edges were bruised and battered. Nevertheless, sentiment made me clean it up, put two Battenberg lace place mats over the top, and place it in my guestroom. I hope to find someone to sensitively restore this piece, since it is one of few items I have of my late father’s cabinet making work.

There is no dresser or chest of drawers, only a wood bookcase, which I bought from a yard sale for about five dollars. Above it is a wood with a broken pediment and flame. I bought it in 2001 from an antique store where I worked briefly. It was in the basement show area in the store; I described it to the owner and she quoted me $40. Later, when she saw it she said that was not the mirror she was thinking of, but honored the quoted price.

From this same antique store I bought the painted wood bed tray ($5) and the pink and white crochet doily (along with many other pieces of vintage linens, such as the little heart-shaped white pillow with crocheted edging on the bed).

One day I went into the store and spotted a nice little antique white shelf. As I was looking at other items, I set it down on something. A few minutes later I saw the same design shelf. I was thrilled to have a pair. Walking back to where I had placed the first shelf, it was no where to be found. I asked the owner, and she said she and seen it over there, and set it one another table for better display! So I just got to buy one shelf, which fit nicely on the guest bedroom wall with a Lenox nativity plate on it. ( The ceramic placque in front of the plate was given to me by a thrift furniture dealer)

Also in that wall group is a ceramic plaque painted in Italy; the frame is of ivory with gilt edging. For years it hung in my mother’s bedroom in New York. The white round mirror is of wood and is gilded around the edges. It cost a dollar or two at a small consignment shop. The china plate with the roses is from a junk shop where I got lots of stuff. As I was always nosing around his shop looking for blue and white wares, when I asked the owner the prices for a flow blue plate and this rose plate, he quoted $3. for the blue and white, but only $1 for the beautiful floral plate -- which I did want and did buy! (I thought the blue was flawed in its flowing, and just did not care for it.)

In a new blue ceramic Chinoiserie vase from Marshall’s discount store, are paper flowers from a craft store. The matching blue bowl is under the window. The new "Antiques" sign is also a craft store find. Other Marshall’s finds in the room are: the new pair of antiqued white metal shelves on the side walls; the etched crystal water carafe on the nightstand; the floral wastebasket near the window; the tall framed rose print by the curtains; and the doll chair on the bed, which awaits Christmas time for its doll or bear occupant.

From eBay auctions are Avon Cape Cod ruby red glassware – a hurricane candle lamp, pair of candlesticks near the window, and pair of vases below the wood mirror.
A Museum catalog was source of the crystal pineapple on the nightstand.

Travel shopping yielded the painting above the bed. My younger brother bought it in Viet Nam when his tour of duty as a medic was completed.

I bought the small pitcher holding lavender sprigs at Glastonbury Abbey, England. The small hand painted blue tin box is Mexican, purchased when I was sponsor of a school trip to Mexico City. The pink plate behind the water carafe on the nightstand is from a bone china cup and saucer set my sisters and I brought back from London for our mother in 1979. Over the passing years the cup was broken.

Whew! In the guest bedroom I’ve identified about 10 of the 20 sources which I listed in my post on Oct. 2, "Treasure Hunting for your Home." They are all underlined above in the first instance mentioned. See list in the labels below.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my tiny guest room.


La Tea Dah said...

I love, love, love your guest room! It looks so welcoming and inviting. I especially like the night-table that your dad built for you. I too have some pieces of furniture that my father built for me when I was a teen, and I cherish them still! One is the bookcase shown in my recent cabin photo-collage. Thanks for sharing your recent decorating project! It's simply beautiful and elegant! Good job!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Love the floral motif in your room. You got that wonderful bed for free! How great! I like your nightstand your Father built - the lace on top is a nice touch. Marshalls and TJ Maxx are my favorite stores for finding fun accessories! You did a good job decorating your guest room with thrifty finds.


Cynthia said...

Love the guestroom. My parents had that same Martha bedspread on their guestbed. I think it's so pretty. I have started a collection of plates for my walls in my formal living and dining rooms. Thanks for sharing your lovely room!

magnoliasntea said...

Your guestroom is delightful! I love the roses, and Martha's line really does them well. I think you've used a lot of good sense and talent in the room furnishings. Very well done. :)

magnoliasntea said...

Your guestroom is delightful! I love the roses, and Martha's line really does them well. I think you've used a lot of good sense and talent in the room furnishings. Very well done. :)

Thru Pink Curtains said...

I like all the flowers and lace. That is what i was thinking too but i would like to put victorian flowers on the wall now instead of the brown unless i can put a real nice picture of roses on the wall........thank you for posting...see you again