Guest Rooms

Guest Bedroom: 70's Sidesplit

Earlier this year I completed a project for a single mom and her young daughter which involved furnishing an entire house for them from scratch in only 3 months and on a tight budget.  This was a departure for me as far as projects go because there was actually no renovation work involved at all, not even a paint job.  To see some of the 'before', 'during' and 'preliminary after' photos of the project you can check out some earlier posts 




.  You can also have a look at some after photos of the little girl's bedroom



My favourite room in this house was the guest bedroom, which seems to always be the case with me! Since this particular clients has a love of all things french country, I had envisioned a simple, understated french inspired room.  The total spending budget for the room was only $3,500 excluding the mattresses and design/procurment fees - it was the smallest budget of all the rooms. (

note: reality of small budgets like this is that design fees can often be as much or more than what you spend in the room

).  Because I didn't have much time for sourcing this also meant no time for refurbishing, refinishing or reupholstering - I had to be fast and resourceful with ready to use finds.  I also had to work with the paint colour she had already chosen for the room, ICI's Bavarian Cream.   I wasn't a fan of this colour choice at all, in fact I have a strong aversion to any colour that resembles peach and these walls definitely read peach.  Since repainting wasn't an option my approach was to play it down and ignore it.  I avoided putting anything in this room that had more of this colour,,,or enhanced this colour in any way - I find the best way to do that is with black and white.  This classic b&w scheme did such a fantastic job of neutralizing the peachiness of the wall colour that my client thought I had repainted the walls.    

I started my sourcing by searching for a pair of antique iron twin beds, not an easy task.  Its challenging to find a pair of


and even harder to find a pair of antique anything.  A short road trip to one of the largest antique iron bed suppliers in Canada scored me this stunning pair of twins which I blogged about in an earlier post



At $600 each they were definitely the splurge for the room but worth every penny. They had been restored and modified to suit modern day mattress sizes so they were ready to use.  Seasonal hypo-allergenic duvets and egyptian cotton tone on tone striped duvet covers from Bed Bath & Beyond are folded back at the ends of the beds.  I tried to find duvet covers in a twin size that had a bit of black stitching or banding,,,but no luck.

A couple of days after buying the beds I was in the right place at the right time when i came across a pair of twin matalesse bed sets at


that were on clearance and were perfect for the antique beds and the budget.  On top of this I layered a lace trimmed pillow case from Pottery Barn, and a lace-up accent pillow from HomeSense to each bed.

  I found a pair of ready-made gorgeous black and white toile style drapery panels from


and scored a black chest of drawers and milky glass gourd lamp from HomeSense. What doesn't show in the photos is the antique brass tear drop style pulls I added to the chest - so pretty!!

A moravian star fixture (from Home Depot) was definitely the highlight of the room.  Wicker trunks from Ikea are placed at the foot of each bed.  The framed prints on the wall are in keeping with the french theme, they're copies of handwritten 'travel memoires' from Paris.

The only thing missing from the room on move-in day was a dresser.  I wanted an old painted dresser and though not expensive these things can take some luck to find so I held off until the spring antique season arrived.  A couple of months later and on my first trip of the season I found a vintage dresser at the

Aberfoyle Antique Market

. The size was perfect, it was only 17.5" deep and had 5 drawers so it worked perfectly with the room and the budget, it was a steal!

I added a vintage style oval mirror from Home Depot (handyman was there to hang it) and on the wall to the right of this photo is a series of decorative black iron hooks.  

Overall I loved the way the room came together - its luxuriously comfortable and beautiful.... and on full view everytime you walk up the stairs in this house, so inviting you actually want to just stop and stare at it!  My client and her daughter love the room so much they've had sleepovers in there themselves several times....

All Photos:  Carol Reed

I'll Take Two...

On Sunday I took a drive north of the city to visit Victor and his Antique Iron Beds.  Victor has been collecting and restoring iron beds for over 35 years and boasts the largest collection in Canada.  For those not in the Toronto area, you can view and purchase all of his beds on his website here and he'll ship anywhere in the Country or the U.S.  He has hundreds and hundreds of beautiful, century old iron beds stacked up in this shop and even hundreds more outside, all rusted and patinaed.  As he can tell you, these beds are getting harder and harder to find these days and since I was searching for a pair of matching twin beds, I knew if I was going to find a pair anywhere,,it would be here.

He has white iron beds, pewter and black finishes, among some rarer colours like pink and tourquoise.  All of the beds have been modified to fit today's standard size matresses, with a huge assortment of single, queen and kings.  I was fortunate enough to find a rare pair of pewter, matching twins!!!!  I took this lovely twosome with me and dropped them off at a clients house on my way back home, they currently sit in the empty guest bedroom alone, awaiting all the other items I'll be bringing in over the next few weeks.

There's something about a pair of twin beds in a guest room that I just love.  Maybe its the symmentry or the double decadence of lush comfy bedding, even in the smallest of rooms they just seem so inviting to me and luxuriously pampering.  The thought of a beautifully made, cozy fresh bed JUST for me to spend the night in,,,,along side a best friend, or sister, or niece (or mother or daughter) who might be cuddled up in the other twin while we talk and laugh into the wee hours of the night.  Its a bed for one of those special sleepover nights you enjoy being away from home and spending time with friends.  I hope to one day have two guest rooms in my own house, one with a Queen size bed and another with a pair of twins.  Personally we have more single friends and relatives than couples, in addition to aging parents and teenage nieces and nephews, twins are just so much more practical when space is limited.

In my clients guest bedroom we're hoping to achieve a classic french inspired look but that's not too country looking.  I particularly love the contrast of simple iron beds in white rooms which emphasizes the lines.  Here's a few images of rooms with iron beds that I love because they're paired down and simple - not too cutesy and frilly nor too rustic or cottagy. 

If your budget doesn't allow for a small splurge on an antique iron bed, one of my favorite Ikea pieces is the Lillesand bed for its pure utilitarian lines.  Had this been available in a twin size, we likely would have gone this route for this client's guest room (photo below).

Photos 1, 2, 3:  Carol Reed
Photo 4:  Canadian House & Home (issue unknown)
Photo: 6, 8, 9  Country Living
Photo:  7  Kelly McGuill Home
Photo:  10  House Beautiful