We thought it would be a good idea to really put some elbow grease into our respective guest rooms this month. For Jenn, this works out well because that’s the one room she can girly up without any spousal grumblings about how she’s making his home feel like ladytown. For me, this mostly works out well because my guest room should be more accurately titled “that bland white room upstairs that I ignore until someone says they’re coming to visit and then make mad-cap halfhearted attempts to make temporarily habitable.”
I see nothing wrong with leaving a room a bit of a blank slate until inspiration and/or necessity strike, but the fact is, all the décor for that room was hammered down years ago. Literally, years: it was destined to inherit my old bedroom’s palette and accessories. Easy, right? All but effortless? Yeah, maybe, except for how it really needed to start with One Super Dreaded Project.
If this blog were a solo venture, I could title it “Shannon Grows A Pair And Maybe Stops Procrastinating In The Process.” For the sake of catchy titles, it’s really best this is a partner gig.
First, the guest room in question:
It’s tiny, and like most upstairs rooms, afflicted with awkwardly-sloped ceilings and the beigest beige carpet that’s ever beiged a bland. It’s not all bad, though: the light is beautiful, and because it’s small, I harbor high hopes that super-saturating it with color will make it a total jewel box. Or circus tent. I did always want to live in a circus tent.
The weirdest thing about the guest room is that it is the only bedroom in the house that has a closet. Not only a closet – a semi respectable walk-in-able closet. Naturally, in the absence of permanent guests, we have put this to good use:
Yep. Chock full o’ pillows. And a Rubbermaid bin. I do not know where either the pillows or the bin came from, which leads me to suspect Roommate Involvement. It’s on the agenda for the next house meeting.
The chaos isn’t all roommate-induced; I claim full responsibility for the presence of a chair that takes up 40% of the room:
You might think that’s a papasan, but in actual fact, it’s a really posh dog bed. Ask my dogs; they will confirm. Just don’t ask them why I thought it made perfect sense to put into a room that is closed off to them 99% of the time. I stand by the opinion that a guest room really needs a chair – I just cannot give any rational explanation for why any guest room ever would need THAT chair.
Meanwhile, back at the point: the onerous project.
Years ago, my mother made me an absolutely beautiful crazy quilt. I mean, gorgeous. It’s all brocades and velvets and metallic threads, reds and pinks and purples and turquoises, all slapped together in a total riot of colors. It was too beautiful to risk the pitter patter of pet feet by putting it on a bed, so I asked my mom to add a rod pocket on the back for wall-mounting. It’s been the centerpiece of my bedroom in the last few places I lived…once I could get it up on a wall.
Things that quilt taught me: I hate, and I mean hate, hate, HATE, installing curtain rods, because apparently, no matter how many levels and stud finders and careful measurements are involved, I. Will. Screw. It. UP. You give me a drill, a length of pipe, and some ornate finials and where any sane person would produce a place to hang curtains, I will give you back some kind of drunkenly-tilting modern art failure that is about as sturdy as a tower of Jenga blocks.
Seriously, it’s a gift.
Absent a blog-related commitment to get this room in order, I am pretty sure I would have kept avoiding the guest room until the literal end of days. With avoidance off the agenda, though, I did the only other thing a reasonable, sensible adult possibly could.
Yeah, I called my mommy to help.
She came armed with lots of helpful advice. One, an organized, efficient workplace is key:
Two, it is of paramount importance that one measure carefully and mark studs accurately:
And it is super helpful if one uses the appropriate tools and techniques to make those all-important marks. Pencil over scotch tape works really well for legibility and easy clean-up. Unfortunately, there were stairs involved in that plan, so I went with plan B:
Bonus: if and when anyone drilled through a finger, we were TOTALLY ready.
But most importantly, have good assistance. And if you can’t have good assistance, get your mom to climb the ladder and do the heavy lifting while you take pictures of your dog getting in the way.
In actual fact, I TOTALLY did all the drilling and hardware-installing and EVEN THE LEVELLING. I just also did most of the picture-taking and hand-flapping and freaking out. Let’s be super clear about this: I AM A COMPETENT AND CAPABLE ADULT. That capability just doesn’t include any skill at drawing a straight line, and if I’m being honest, ladders terrify me. Feel free to point out that the ladder in question has 2 steps and rises to a total height of something like 18 inches. It’s still a ladder, and I still want nothing to do with it.
Despite hand-flapping and freaking out and a well-documented historical incompetence when it comes to mounting window hardware, I am proud to say: NAILED IT!
It totally hangs up! Without falling down! Or listing like a sinking ship!
The guest room is officially underway. Now, to find a solution for that ridiculous chair…