The guest room in our Chicago home was one of the very first spaces we completed after the initial wave of renovation. Do you remember? It started as a somewhat-crumbling tan shoebox, and one of the most time-consuming tasks of the makeover was repairing the drywall. As a bit of backstory, our home turned 131-years-old this year(!), and at some point in the house’s history, the plaster walls were replaced with drywall. In some areas, the drywall is fine, in other areas, we spent days, weekends, entire weeks sanding, patching and prepping for fresh paint. It’s been one of the largest labors of love, and even still, it’s not perfect. That’s okay though; there are stories in these walls.
When we revamped the guest room, we brought in a salvaged headboard and incorporated several pieces from our former condo life. We added pretty black + gold wallpaper, a green velvet chair and white bedding. It was so peaceful and calming – truly, because it was the only room in our under-construction home that was a place of respite! You may remember that after wave one, it looked like this (and kudos to you if you’ve been reading our little corner of the web for that long!):
The room has served us so well over the years, but it no longer felt like us. To be honest, it felt more like a hodge podge of that former condo life, and every day, we’re learning more about what we truly love for our home. (There’s so much changing coming in our home, and we’re giddy every day just thinking about it!) We’ll be teaming up with Leesa to share the complete transformation with you next week, but in the meantime, we’ve been sharing on our Stories that change was on the way! Our goal was to incorporate a few new pieces while keeping most things relatively the same – i.e., the layout, wallpaper, chair and bedding. But the biggest change to come? The wall color!
Above, left to right: SW Peppercorn, SW Grizzle Gray, BM Kendall Charcoal (color matched to SW)
The funny thing about a small room (for reference, this space is barely 7′ wide by about 15′ long) is that the light walls were making the space feel dingy. We knew that darker walls would not only feel cozy – you know we love a dark bedroom! – but it also allows the walls to recede, ultimately making the room feel larger. It sounds counter-intuitive, but our gut feeling was right:
We swapped out the ornate headboard in favor of this upholstered headboard + this platform bed frame for a tone-on-tone look. The winning wall color turned out to be a bit of a custom mix. After debating between endless swatches of dark gray (SW Peppercorn was a close second, but it felt a bit too cool), we landed on a color match of BM Kendall Charcoal, mixed to Sherwin Williams Infinity paint at 90% strength. Did you know you could do that? We loved the warmth of Kendall Charcoal, but we feared it was too dark. We lessened the strength by 10%, and we think it’s just right! (Alternatively, you can strengthen a color – by any percentage – too! This knowledge can be dangerous and cause intense paint indecision. Proceed with caution, friends.)
Our little guest room is full of challenges, but we absolutely love a good challenge! There’s a lack of electrical outlets. The drywall is uneven along the ceiling. There’s a weird soffit. It’s skinny. It’s extra long. I could go on, but we’re already feeling really good about the direction it’s heading. We’ll be playing off of the wallpaper and layering in warm metals, adding outlets with this handsome guy and keeping the bedding and floors light and airy.
Guest Room Game Plan
1. Kendall Charcoal paint (90% custom color match to Sherwin Williams Infinity) | 2. extension cord | 3. pair of gooseneck sconces | 4. Cities Toile wallpaper in ebony | 5. gray coverlet | 6. moss bolster pillows | 7. percale sheets | 8. French seam headboard | 9. arc mirror | 10. jute rug
The best part? The mattress, the very foundation of our guest room, is getting upgraded to the Leesa (our favorite), which is what kicked off the whole refresh. The new direction feels so good. It feels… well, it feels very us (Kim and Scott, circa 2018, we guess?). We can’t wait to share the reveal with you soon!