Guest Bedroom Updates, Source List + Budget

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thank you so much for your kind comments on my guest bedroom reveal last week! I’m so happy that this room is no longer a junk room and I can’t wait for my mom to come down and see it in person. Anyway, as I mentioned in the post, I still had a couple changes/things I needed to finish in the room before I could call it complete. Today I want to share a couple of the updates I’ve already made.

As you can see, I bought a different mirror and added a second botanical print. I’m so much happier with the changes. I think these pieces are better scale for the room. The only thing left on my to-do list now is to add hooks between the door and closet.

OK, now let’s talk about where I bought everything. You might notice that a lot of the pieces are from Target. If you are buying any home items at Target, I highly suggest checking for a sale online. Most of the items I bought were 15%-off, plus an additional 15%-off with a purchase of $100 or more, so I saved 30% just buy purchasing online and then picking up at the store a couple hours later. Below is a source list for everything in the room. If I missed anything, let me know:

Paint Color: December Sky by Dunn-Edwards
Bedding + Sheets: Kohl’s
Euro Shams: Kohl’s
Euro Inserts: HomeGoods
White Ruffle Pillow: Target
Gray Throw: HomeGoods
Nightstands: Yard Sale (previously in master bedroom)
Lamps + Shades: Target 
Tobacco Basket: Décor Steals
Boxwood Wreath: Target
Curtains: Target
Curtain Rod: Target
Framed Botanical Prints: HomeGoods
Mirror: At Home
Chair: Salvation Army (previously in living room)
Hello Pillow: Hobby Lobby
Chalkboard: Target

OK, now let’s talk budget:

Paint and Supplies: $121.49
Bedding, Sheets, Pillows, and Throw: $157.62
Lamps + Shades: $90.52
Boxwood Wreath: $13.99
Curtains and Rod: $68.19
Framed Botanical Prints: $14.99 each
Mirror: $39.99
Hello Pillow: $12.98
Chalkboard: $41.99

Total $576.75

So less than $600 for the full room makeover. Luckily I already had all of the furniture on hand and some of the accessories so I saved quite a bit of money that way. I’m so happy with how the room turned out! I can’t wait for my first guest! But now I really need to get moving on the master bedroom. I can’t have the guest room looking nicer than my own room!

Travel Tuesday: Venice, Italy

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Ciao! Today I’m sharing our first (and favorite) stop on our Italian adventure: Venice! Warning: lots of pictures and lots of stories ahead!

Before I get into the pretty pictures and stories from our trip, I want to talk about the tour we went on. When my mom and I went to London and Paris two years ago I planned the entire trip myself. Everything worked out perfect and we had a wonderful trip, but it was a lot of work. For this trip my mom wanted to go with a tour company. To quote her “I’m getting old and I don’t want to drag my luggage all over Italy. I want someone to take care of my luggage and I want to just ride on a bus to each location”. She’s my travel buddy and I did have her dragging luggage through the underground, train stations, taxis, random streets in London and Paris, so she definitely had a point. 

I spent a lot of time researching tour companies. I was looking for a company with good reviews, an itinerary that covered all of the areas we wanted to see plus free time to explore on our own, and something not too expensive. Eventually we decided to go on the Venice, Florence & Rome plus Sorrento Extension with Go Ahead Tours (here). I was a little hesitant about going with a tour company, but I have to say that we had a wonderful time. The tour itself was perfect (our guide was fantastic) and the people on our tour were so much fun. We had a great time with everyone…I might have even gotten a little teary when we all departed at the end of the tour. Luckily, there’s Facebook, so we can all keep in touch.

OK, let’s get back to Venice! We arrived at the Venice airport at noon on Sunday after traveling for almost 24 hours (3 flights…ugh). We were exhausted, but so excited to be there. After we met with our tour group and they took our luggage, they sent us off on water taxis to our hotel. It was a fun way to kick off our stay in Venice.


We stayed at the Hotel Riviera in Lido. It’s a separate island from Venice and at first I thought staying away from Venice was going to be a pain, but it was actually nice to escape the crowds at the end of the day. The water bus is cheap and really easy to use, plus it’s kind of fun taking a boat everywhere, so we ended up really liking our stay in Lido.

Anyway, the next morning we met for breakfast in the hotel lobby and then took a boat over to Venice. We met with a local guide who showed us the highlights of Venice, such as the Bridge of Sighs, the Doge’s Palace, and St. Mark’s Square.

Our guide took us down the narrow alleyways to the Grand Canal and Rialto Bridge, which was under construction.

After walking along the canal we made our way back to St. Mark’s Square to tour St. Mark’s Basilica. By that time, the high tide had started to rise and was beginning to flood the square and basilica. That was pretty shocking to see in person.

After touring St. Mark’s Basilica we were given free time for lunch and exploring. We had some amazing pasta at one of the many restaurants tucked down one of the alleys. Of course we did some shopping too, I bought the cutest blown-glass pink elephant and by some miracle it survived the entire trip through Italy and 3 flights home without breaking! We had signed up for the optional gondola ride excursion, so we had to meet up with our group in the afternoon. By that time, the entire square was flooded with a few inches of water. Crazy!


We opted to go on the “group” gondola because it was cheaper and it’s not like my mom and I really needed to go on a private, romantic gondola ride. We were grouped up with our new friends from Chicago and we had a great time with them. Yeah, it’s a little cheesy, but spend the money…a gondola ride is a must when in Venice!

Our gondolier didn’t sing, but there was a guitar player and singer in the boat behind us, so we got to enjoy their music on our ride through the canals. The white building is where George Clooney was married.

Once we were done with our gondola ride, we did a little more shopping and then took the boat back to our hotel. We had pizza for dinner and a little too much wine, but it was the perfect way to celebrate our first full day in Italy.

Our second day in Venice was a free day. We started by taking a waterbus over to San Giorgio Maggiore. It’s only one waterbus stop from the San Zaccaria (San Marco) stop. The island is a nice escape from the crowds in Venice. The church is beautiful inside and so peaceful.

I read online that the top of the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore’s bell tower has the best views of Venice, so we had to check it out. It did not disappoint. Oh, and there’s an elevator to the top, no stairs.

After that we rode the water bus around a bit, did more shopping and eating, and then returned to Lido. The island is long and narrow, so it was just a short walk to the beach from our hotel. Of course we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get our feet wet in the Adriatic Sea. We even found a few small seashells to bring home.

That night we had the best calamari ever, tried “the best meatball in Venice”, drank more wine, and saw the oldest bridge in Venice. I guess now would be a good time to mention that we ate gelato and drank wine every day we were in Italy. Good thing we walked a lot!

We had such a wonderful time in Venice! We both completely fell in love with the city and agreed that we would buy a place there if we ever won the lottery…so, fingers crossed haha.  As you can see, we ended up with a lot of beautiful pictures to remember our time there. We also brought home some great souvenirs from Venice. I bought a couple original prints there and I’ll be sure to share them once they are framed and hung. 

Next Stop: Florence!

ORC Week 6 – Guest Bedroom Reveal

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Happy One Room Challenge Reveal Day! After you finish up here, be sure to check out the official participants’ rooms here and the other linking participants’ rooms here. There are some beautiful rooms out there! Great work everyone!

OK, let’s talk about my guest bedroom. The past couple weeks I was freaking out that I wasn’t going to finish in time, but I’m happy to say that besides a few small things, this room is done!

Before we get too into the after pictures, let’s look back, way back, at how this room started. When I bought the house the room was painted these two very bright shades of pink and blue.

My mom and I re-painted the room a nice frosty blue color. I also put my old bed and bedding in there (after I upgraded to a king in the master bedroom), but that was the extent of the decorating. For a few years it was my ex-boyfriend’s junk room, but once he moved out, it was ready to become a real guest room.

So here’s how it looks now!

Today I want to focus on the pictures and not ramble too much, so I’ll be back next Thursday with a source list and budget breakdown. If you have any questions before then, leave them in the comments and I’ll answer them. *UPDATE: See source list and budget breakdown here*

The only thing I have left to do in the room is to add hooks on the wall between the door and closet. I just haven’t found exactly what I’m looking for and I didn’t want to buy something temporary just to finish the room. I’m also considering a different mirror and hanging a second leaf picture above/below the current one. I also want to put together a basket of goodies (shampoo, lotion, toothbrush, etc) for guests in case they forget something. And now looking at the pictures, I'm thinking that the basket/wreath are too small for the space above the bed, so that might be switched out too.

*UPDATE: I ended up changing the mirror and adding a second botanical print - see the changes here*

Lastly, I want to thank Linda for hosting the challenge again. I wouldn’t have even started working on this room without the ORC, but now I have a finished guest room and I’m so excited! My mom, the main person who stays in this room, is also really excited. I can’t wait for her to come visit and see it in person!

ORC Week 5 – The Final Week

Thursday, November 5, 2015

It’s the last week of the One Room Challenge! Of course that means that next week is the big reveal and I’m FREAKING OUT! There’s a very good chance I won’t be finished in time. I’ve been unusually busy (or away) for most of the challenge, so I just haven’t had time to do much of anything in the room. I still have a lot of projects and shopping left to do and I only have one weekend left for all of that! I guess we’ll just see how far I’ve gotten by next week…

OK, let’s talk about the progress I’ve made since last week:

I started hanging items and artwork on the walls. This is the first time since I’ve bought that house that I’ve hung anything in this room, so it’s a big step. It’s fun to actually see the room decorated! The tobacco basket is from Décor Steals and the boxwood wreath is from Target.

I also bought a big chalkboard for the large empty wall by the door. I still need to hang it and add some chalk art, but I think it’s going to be super cute and an easy/cheap way to fill such a large space.

I also painted one of the two nightstands for the room. Although I went a little overboard with the distressing, so I have a couple spots to touch up before this one is done. 

I don’t want to give away anything else before the big reveal…and there’s really not much more progress to share today, so let’s look at the updated to-do list: 

Paint walls
Buy new bedding and pillows
Paint nightstands
Buy/hang/hem curtains
Hang artwork/chalkboard
Draw chalk art
Add accessories (lamps, frames, baskets, etc)
Finishing touches

Don't forget to stop by Calling it Home and check out the other rooms! I'm really excited to see the reveals next week!

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