May 13, 2010

Guest Bedroom: The Breakdown


As promised, here is the breakdown of how we spent our time & money on our two-day, $500 budget Guest Bedroom makeover.

(Seriously, how Sandra Rinomato do I feel right now?? I know, I know…. she doesn’t really do much makeover stuff, but seriously she’s my HGTV hero. For real.)

Soo….since we weren’t working with much of either time or money, we knew right off the bat we were going to have to work with what we had as much as possible and maximize our two most important resources: hard work and a little bit of ingenuity. The first thing we immediately thought of was repurposing this old black dresser that we had found on the side of the road a few years ago. We had been using it in our old apartment to hold things like dvd’s and printer paper in the office, but for the past few months it had just been sitting in the basement gathering dust. As you can see here.

To be honest with you, I was a little skeptical that there was enough white paint in the entire world to cover up this old finish and not have it streak through. But… Justin was determined. So I stood by my man. :) The first step was a nice rough sanding to help chip off some of the old paint and to give the primer something to stick to.

Then it was prime time. Oh, I am SO witty.

After the first layer of priming, there was another round of sanding. This time with a 400 grit sandpaper for a finer finish. Then the first layer of paint. Followed by another round of sanding. Before we finally finished with our second coat. And much to my shock & awe you couldn’t see any of the black paint coming through at all. I think that was in HUGE part due to the type of paint we used: Benjamin Moore Premium Interior Super White Semi-Gloss finish. That stuff could seriously patch pot holes! It’s amazing!

So we already had the dresser and we had already purchased the paint for the painter to use on the trim in the house….so far $0 spent. We just had to go out and buy some new hardware for the dresser, which we found on sale at Home Depot for $2 a handle. That brings our running total so far up to $32.

The next step, and the step that took by far the most of our time, was the wainscoting. Typically, I’m a “hire the experts and trust them to do the job” kind of girl. But to keep ourselves in budget, we knew we were going to have to sacrifice the time it took us to do it ourselves for the money that it saved us. So with about $100 in materials and some free “DIY wainscoting” videos online, we were ready to go! All in all, it took us about 12 hours or so to put it up….a task made so much longer by the fact that there isn’t a straight wall to be found in our circa 1880s house. Shoot me.

So with $100 in wainscoting materials, that brings our total up to $132. You can see more of the wainscoting below.

Once the chair rail on the wainscoting went up, the room really started to come together. Now it was time to move in the dresser and the bed. Another place where we had to make a hard budget decision was with the bed. We definitely want to get a new Pottery Barn-esque white slat bed frame for the guest room. But even the cheaper knock offs from Ikea were going to break, or at least really really stretch the budget. There was a really cheap one on sale at Ikea for $99, but we decided we would rather just wait and save up the money for the one we really wanted than spend any amount of money on something we weren’t really loving. So we opted for no new bed frame for now, and saved ourselves $99 of impulse buy.

To make up for the lack of bed frame, we did quadruple stacked pillows to give a head board effect. I actually already had three extra sets of the standard pillows (I know…I’m obsessed!) so those were free. We only had to buy the two button throw pillows ($29 each at Pottery Barn) and a cheap $12 (Walmart!) white bed skirt to cover up the box springs. I also already had the yellow and white duvet sets, so we only had to buy the red one ($20 at Ikea) and the yellow blanket (Pottery Barn $49). Finally, we added in the two night stands ($50 each from Ikea) and sail cloth-esque curtains ($20 each set from Ikea) to finish things off. We reused the curtain rods that the previous owner left behind, so that didn’t cost us a thing! :)

That brings our running total up to $411.

The next thing we wanted to do was tie in the dresser to the rest of the room. We actually already had the antique books, two clocks and leatherhead helmet from our old apartment. But we had never used them together. They had been in the dining room, living room and office respectively. The only thing we added here was this vintage catcher’s mit that we got at our favorite antique store ($40). We also bought the lamp for the side of the dresser (Barometer at Ikea $50) to add a little extra light).

Running total: $501

Finally, we finished off the room with this mirror we already had (Free!!) and these antique nautical hooks ($5!!) from that same antique store. We also picked up some Pottery Barn lanterns, candles and starfish, which we used our Michelle & Rob gift card for (Free!!)

Final Total: $506 plus the help of repurposing stuff we already had and super thoughtful gift cards.
Total Time: Two Work Days, plus a half day of shopping

Finished Product to go from this…..

….to this. Priceless! :)

  1. Spring

    I’m impressed. You guys can come over any time and re-do any of the rooms in my house!!! :)

  2. Lauren

    I have that same yellow/white comforter! I’m obsessed with duvets, and it looks great paired with the red one!

  3. Jules Bianchi

    LOVE IT!! I wanna come over to stay!

  4. MM

    @Jules: You totally should! You are welcome any time!

  5. Jil

    LOVE it all. especially the shell detail on the dresser front, good call on refinishing it!!

  6. ajira

    It’s gorgeous. Please come redecorate my home when you’re done with yours! Ha!!

  7. Ali Green

    Can you guys come do our house?

  8. michelle sidles

    AH-MAZING!! Sanda R. would be proud! ;)

  9. Dennis Bullock


  10. Stephenie

    Great job!! I’m sooo inspired to do some stuff… like my bathroom :)

  11. Irina

    wow, awesome job! i wish my bedroom looked this good. seriously this is awesome. has HGTV contacted you yet?? ;)

  12. Michelle

    Amazing. And I love Sandra, too – I someday hope to lose my property virginity with her help :)

  13. Molly

    In class last night one of my classmates and I kept looking at the room loving everything and wondering what came from where. Now I know. I need to hit up some antique shops pronto!

  14. twilight at morningside

    This is so "Young House Love"… With the same great DIY inspiration, but with WAY better photos!!!

  15. Ray

    GREAT JOB you guys! ;D Not only are you great photographers, but you’re also great decorators as well.

  16. Karen (Mikols) Bonar

    LOVING IT! Now, I’m confused on the door. Did you make it into a closet from your hall? Or is that whole wall a closet you have to walk through in a narrow space? *scratching head*

  17. MM

    @Karen: LOL….whaaaaaaat?! :) I think what you’re seeing is that we closed off one of the doors to the room (it had two randomly) and turned that into a closet.

  18. Amber

    You did awesome! I love the room and I love how frugal you were! I really heart the wayscotting! Sorry if I spelled that wrong. :)

    Oh and thanks for the nice comment on my site!

  19. Lindsi Luffman

    I love it Mary! It looks like all those DIY blogs (young house love especially) have paid off! I can’t wait to have a house of my own to create in like this! Great job!

  20. Karen (Mikols) Bonar

    Hey, I have an idea. This is sort of "smackdown Bobby Flay(sp?)" style … but Smackdown with Sandra. You each get a room in your house to decorate. Set a budget of $xxx, and go at it. Family/neighbors judge. THE BEST PART: at the end of it, you have TWO rooms done in the same amount of time! :)

  21. Cathy Crawley

    You guys are pretty darn awesome! I can totally see myself in that bedroom when I come to the east coast next year ;) bahahahahahahaha!

  22. Laura Marchbanks

    AWESOME! Totally HGTV worthy! If you LOVE Benjamin Moore paint, for your next furniture project try their Satin Impervo. I swear by it! We’ve furnished most of our house by roadside finds and Satin Impervo ;-)

  23. Tammie

    Nice job guys! Can’t wait to see what’s next on the Marantz family home improvement projects to-do list :)

  24. Jeremy

    Looks awesome, love the wainscotting! How’d you guys also do the floors?

  25. Eileen

    I am a friend of Molly Bergerons and she sent your link to me. We recently bought a late 1800’s old farmhouse which we are completly doing over. Seeing this makes me feel so much better and a little less stress! Thank you for the inspiration! It came out so beautiful!!

  26. shyla

    simply perfect.

  27. Justin Marantz

    @JEREMY Thanks so much!! Unfortunately the original hardwoods in this bedroom were wrecked when we bought it. We had our super talented contractors install new hardwoods in the few rooms that we couldn’t salvage the floors.

  28. Jackie

    I absolutely love this room! Yellow always makes my day and it’s so chic and yet has a classic feel to it!

  29. Joe+Kathrina

    With a guest room like that, your guests will never leave :) Beautiful and so creative!

  30. Anne

    Oh this is beauuutiful! LOVE the small yellow touch on the bed!

  31. terri

    Guest room is beautiful. Can I come and stay awhile?

  32. Alissa Dinneen

    Love it!!

  33. Lydia

    You guys are amazing!

  34. Caitlin Scott

    so when can I move in? ha ha. It’s just gorgeous. my ideal spare bedroom!

  35. Kim

    Could you pass on your antique store recommendations? I love the nautical hooks you picked out!

  36. MM

    @Kim: There is a great one in Clinton near the White Dress by the Shore and another great one out in East Haddam!

  37. Emily

    What a beautiful guest room – it’s so inviting!

  38. MM

    @Karen: LOL! Ooooh that would be AWESOME!!

  39. MM

    @Cathy: Girl you are welcome anytime! xoxo

  40. Amber Perona

    I LOVE this room. I’m actually trying to create this look in my house. What is the name of the yellow paint you used? And where did you get the yellow and white duvet sets??

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