Happy New Year and welcome to Tumbleweed Tidings on this cold January day. Today, I’m sharing a guest bedroom refresh that I hope you will enjoy.

The older I get, the more I seem to gravitate towards neutrals. Take my closet for instance. My entire wardrobe is made up of black, navy, black, gray, royal blue, black and white, and did I mention black? One day when we were out shopping, my husband asked the indelicate question “exactly how many black t-shirts does one person need?” Um, let me get back to you on that one…

This trend towards neutrals has also carried over into my décor aesthetic. Where I used to have rooms that literally exploded with color, pattern, and variety, now I prefer the quiet whisper of neutrals. Slowly, room by room, the neutrals have taken over our home, and last in line was a guest room and adjacent bathroom.

When we first moved back to Washington in 2008 from Hawaii, we had so many beautiful pieces of Hawaiian artwork, fabrics, and memorabilia that I corralled much of it into one of our guest rooms. It became known as the Hawaii bedroom, and many of our family and friends really enjoyed staying there. During the next ten or so years, the room became less Hawaiian and more a cacophony of yellow, orange and white in prints, plaids, and florals. It was pretty, but it was starting to wear on me, as well as feeling somewhat dated. Neutrals to the rescue!

The first step was to remove the plaid draperies and replace them with our old dining room drapes that are taupe with a subtle tone-on-tone stripe. The bedding was replaced with a bedspread, shams, and decorative pillows from Home Goods.

Tumbleweed Tidings Tip: If you redecorate a room and either the draperies, pillows, or bedding you remove are still in good condition, it may be smart to put them in a protective covering and save them. You never know when they might move seamlessly into another room down the road. Especially if they are neutral.

The Pier 1 rattan chair and ottoman were sold online to a woman and her husband who were moving to Belize. I used the proceeds to purchase the more space-appropriate gray chair from Pier 1, which no longer blocks the closet opening. Two bedside lamps that went better in this space were swapped from another guest room.

Next, it was time to have the bench recovered in a pretty fabric purchased at JoAnn’s. Funny story about that “bench.” It had been a glass-topped coffee table and had sentimental value to me as the first piece grown-up Thomasville furniture I purchased, back in the ’80s. During our move back from Hawaii, the glass top was chipped, and since we didn’t really need another coffee table in this home, I asked Jim if it could be made into a bench. Faster than you can say “abracadabra,” he had gone into the garage, found a piece of wood and cut it to the perfect size. That guy is a magician! I took the wood piece to a local upholstery shop where they added the thick foam and upholstered it. Jim attached it to the table and just like that, we had upcycled a coffee table into a bench.

Last, a couple of pieces of artwork were moved and the large piece above the bed was replaced with a simple wood cutout mirror from Hobby Lobby. In the end, this project was really just a decorating job. By re-using pieces we already had and keeping the basic layout the same, it was neither expensive nor time-consuming, which makes it a win in my book. By making a few simple changes and putting it in neutral, the room has a completely different look and feel; one that we hope will be the serene and welcoming sanctuary we want for our guests. Next week, I’ll share how the adjacent bathroom was also put in neutral, with pretty dramatic results.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I think it’s time to go buy a new black t-shirt:)

Good tidings,


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