Seaside Guest Bedroom

Week One: A Seaside Guest Bedroom

(& my very first post)!

Talk about being nervous…

I have had a lot on my plate. I have been in the process of designing (and redesigning) a website for my shop. I have also been working (and reworking) on the design of a personal blog to document renovations to the Southern California seaside ranch style home that my husband and I purchased two years ago. Indeed, we are restoring charm to a classic ranch! The shop is still in progress. And so is the blog. But I figured what better way than to jump right in and join those participating in the “One Room Challenge” to help motivate me get my blog up while updating a room in our home. As the saying goes “killing two birds with one stone”…. And so the adventure begins. I am nervous about hitting the “publish” button and letting my first post go live. YIKES!

What is the “One Room Challenge”? It’s a six week room makeover.

After stalking the last few One Room Challenge go-arounds I am happy to announce that I will be jumping in and will actually participating in one! The event challenges design bloggers to each transform a room of their choice from start to finish and document their weekly progress.  That’s right my friends…I have decided to transform an empty room into a beautiful guest room retreat within a 6 week timeframe. During this time I will show you my progress as well as provide project details and project tutorials along the way. 

Let the challenge begin!

Tune in each week to see what progress I and the other oh so talented designers make to our spaces. For easy reference you can catch up on the progress of each participant by week:

Week 1   –    Week 2   –   Week 3   –   Week 4   –  Week 5   –   Week 6

NOTE: Each week of my own progress is in this post.



This is what the room looked like the first time we walked through the house.

Guest Room4

Guest Room5

Inspiration & Design Direction.

This is a beach community so naturally I gravitate toward the colors of the sand and surf. When I was thinking about the color scheme for this room I knew I wanted to create a sophisticated beach vibe.  Since most of our visitors do not live by the beach I thought it would be a nice way to welcome them to our environment.  However, I do a have short list of self-imposed prerequisites:

  1. Create a comfortable retreat for guests. The goal is to incorporate a soothing color palette and create an overall feel that captures the essence of the beach with an aura of sophistication.  How do you create a beach vibe without being too kitchy? Well, stay tuned.
  2. Pull together a seaside look without breaking the bank. This is a room that won’t get used much so I don’t want to spend a lot of money on this space.  After all, that’s money that can be used in other rooms….this is particularly important since I still have an entire house to redesign!  Good design doesn’t have to cost much and luckily for me we already own many of the pieces that can be used in this room.  They include things that were used in other areas of our former home, items not used to their full potential, or not used at all. Shop your own home for things that can be moved from one space to another. This proves to be a great way to jump start the design of a room for those looking to save some money (which is always a good thing!). What I didn’t realize, but soon learned, is that a few of our existing pieces actually provided the direction for the overall color scheme for our guest room makeover. Which leads me to my next point….
Make the most of what you have.

When we moved here two years ago, there were a few things I knew I had to incorporate into this room simply because we couldn’t find another place for them in our new home. They include:

  1. Curtains.  In my office at our previous home (right photo) I had linen 029editdrapery panels from Restoration Hardware covering the window.  I added a banding of Kravet fabric on the edges and had them professionally hemmed to fit the space perfectly.  We weren’t originally planning on taking the drapes with us to our new home until we realized they fit the windows of this room perfectly. And these are the only windows in the house that they fit. The curtains have been sitting in a closet for two years. It’s time to get the kraft paper (yes, kraft paper) off the windows and get them hung!
  2. Cowhide Rug. Again, another item used in my office at our previous home. I purchased a new rug for my office so the cowhide has to find a new home. The guest room seems ideal.
  3. Twin Bed. A family member offered up a new twin bed with frame but no headboard. We said “we’ll take it!” 
  4. Windsor Chair. I inherited a Windsor style chair from my grandmothers estate. I’m not sure how I didn’t notice but it wasn’t until we moved that I realized that there is a beautiful shade of blue peeking out through the well-loved worn areas of the chair’s black finish.


On their own, these items may seem uninspiring (other than the antique chair) but collectively these are the things that helped define the color scheme of the room before I even knew it. Talk about serendipity!  I will be working with black, blues, and creamy ivory. Here is a sneak peek at the fabric selection in progress.

Fabric selection in progress.

Week Two: Playing with Paint

I purchased a bedside table. TABLE. Singular not plural. Only one. No matchy-matchy here. There is absolutely nothing wrong with matching nightstands but I thought I would step out of the (design) box and use two different tables to put on each side of bed. SAFE and conservative is my norm. I decided that I need to live on the edge…just trying to mix it up with round and square table tops.  

In my last post I mentioned how I was using many pieces that my husband and I already own and repurposing them for our seaside guest bedroom. We purchased the side table shown to the left at a local flea market over 10 years ago.  I love the graceful lines of the legs and the height is perfect for use as a bedside table.  The original finish was a dark oak.  The natural wood isn’t really appropriate for the space so a few months ago I figured “why not paint it!”.  After all, can’t we all use a makeover from time to time?!!  Unfortunately I was in a hurry to “get it done” and painted it with paint I already on hand.  Bad decision. It did not take long to realize I painted it the wrong color (it turned out wayyyyyyy too yellow).  You live and learn.  Luckily for me I used chalk paint so it will be very easy to repaint.  I am hoping to bring new life into this sweet beauty and use it opposite the new round table I purchased.

In the the picture above did you notice the sneak peek at the new wall color, bedding, and finish samples I am testing out? Did I select one of these finishes or go with another? You will have to wait for the reveal!

To accompany this post today I also added a new “Tutorial” section. I document how to apply Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Waxes as well as gold gilding wax.  With Annie Sloan products a little goes a long way, the paint goes on easy, dries quick and has the wonderful finish I was hoping for.  I love Annie Sloan products…and that’s my unsolicited opinion! You can see my step-by-step tutorial on chalk paint and waxes HERE. The tutorial shows how I created the finish sample shown in the picture below. Creating a finish sample is a great way to test a color before committing to it.

The art piece below was found at a local thrift shop for only $18.00. I thought it looked like a nice peaceful scene fitting for a guest room.  The frame is just too dark so it also will be getting a nice makeover.

I am continuing to hunt for an overhead light fixture. I think I have one nailed down but I’m not 100% sure yet. I’m hoping to get that squared away by the time I have to post about next week’s progress. That’s about it for today! Thanks for stopping by. And don’t be shy…leave a quick note and say “hello”!

Week Three: A Date with Bernina

I admit that I am a self-professed textile junkie. A fabric hoarder. So the hunt for fabric for this project (really any project) was a pure adrenalin rush. This past week I turned my attention to accent pillows. Fabric, trim, sewing, and dying (yes, dying) fabric was on the agenda for this week. It was just me and my Bernina sewing machine teaming up to crank out throw pillows for the daybed going into the seaside guest room that’s part of the One Room Challenge Spring 2015 event.

Where I keep the good stuff…some of my fabric stash hidden away in a closet.

I have searched the internet high and low for inspirational day bed pictures. I quickly realized that they all had something in common: An amazing headboard, frame, or canopy. My challenge is this: How to make a daybed look wonderful without buying or building a frame or a headboard? 

I fell in love with an antique daybed at an estate sale that I missed. Months later I still dream of it. It haunts me. But my hope is that sometime my true love will find its way to our home and complete the picture. Hopefully, that new love will be an estate sale find with a relatively inexpensive tag price. Is that really too much for a design enthusiast to ask for? In the meantime, I am loading up the bed with a bunch of beautiful pillows. My Bernina sewing machine and I have become quite the couple this week. Luckily, my husband is not the jealous type!

I purchased 2 blue/green and ivory pillows recently and the Schumacher greek key fabric was purchased a few years ago and made into pillows for the bedroom at our former home. Now that we moved, I am glad I found a new spot for the Greek key pillows because years later I still love the fabric.  And that’s saying alot because I typically tire of things quickly.

I ordered the floral fabric online and it has been sitting in a closet for months.  I ordered it before I really ever knew what I was going to do with it. Unfortunately, I only have two yards of fabric for 3 large (27″x27″) throw pillows so I had to either (1) order more fabric or (2) get creative. I am always up to a challenge so I told myself  “You better find a way to make 2 yards work”.

My solution was to use the floral for the face of the pillows and use a solid color for the back. This leads to Challenge No. 2….I wanted to use a solid ivory fabric for the back of pillows but I didn’t have the perfect color in my fabric stash (remember I said I was a fabric hoarder!?!! And remember I said I was up to a challenge!??).  I have yards of pure white linen so I figured why not dye it with chalk paint? This could put at least some of the left over wayyyyy too yellow chalk paint originally used on the side table to good use.

Dyeing the linen with chalk paint was so very easy and I am very happy with the results.  I was able to achieve the perfect shade of ivory that I was hoping for. At the far left of the picture below you can see the original white linen I started with in contrast to the dyed linen to the right.  If you want to learn how to dye fabric using chalk paint refer to my tutorialThe best part of this whole thing was that I was able to use supplies I had on hand. That is always a great feeling.

I fell in love with the velvet ruffle trim many years ago and purchased the small amount of yardage that was left on the roll.

Here’s a sneak peek at some of the trim used for a small accent pillow that will be placed on the antique windsor chair I inherited.  You also get a glimpse of the new bedding.

Week Four: Accessorizing

I have been busy gathering accessories for our guest bedroom. I have an arsenal of goodies to choose from. In fact, way too many to choose from for this small space. And throughout the week I have been moving things around here and there to see what works and what doesn’t. I want the room to feel “finished” but I don’t want it to look cluttered. Most importantly, since it is a guest room I want to make sure that there are enough flat surfaces in the room for guests to spread out their things. I want guests to feel like this is their home away from home. I want it to feel like their seaside retreat!

Here is a sample of the items that I am working with. There are still 2 weeks left until the reveal and a whole lot can change between now and then. I still have time to buy a few new things. But I also have time to do some serious editing.  You’ll just have to wait until the reveal in week 6 to see what accessories make the cut.

An original piece of artwork is a nice touch. I am still deciding if this will be used in the room. I may swap it out for another piece of art purchased for the master bedroom.

 A collection of some of my favorite design books.

 A classic bedside clock.

 New lamp finial…can’t overlook small details.

Stacked in the corner of the room is a variety of glass;  collection of shells and rocks; boxes and books. What will stay? What will go? Stay tuned.

A peek at the wicker basket that is definitely a keeper!

Unfortunately, I have left the two biggest challenges for me to the very end: hanging drapes and installing a new light fixture. Here is fixture currently in the room.

Week 5: Focus on Lighting

I am still playing with accessories for the seaside guest bedroom. I keep moving things around. I live with them in one spot for a few days and live with it. Before you know it I am moving things around again.  I am sure this is something I will be doing until the final reveal next week. Yikes…next week.  However, my main focus this week has been on lighting. This has definitely been the biggest challenge by far.  The existing light fixture in the room is outdated and way too small for the space. Plus, I would like to find something that will add a little more charm to the room.

I have been searching the internet high and low trying to find the right light fixture for this room.  Then one day I realized I had a light fixture brand new in the box sitting in the garage.

It was purchased for our former home. It was supposed to be installed in the dining room of our old place to help “stage” it while it was for sale. For a variety of reasons that never happened and we ended up moving the light fixture, brand new in the box and unopened, to our new home. It has sat in our garage for over two years. I was in the garage one day and saw the box. I thought to myself “Why wouldn’t this light fixture work in the guest bedroom?”  And “Why had I not considered it before?”

So this week the box made its way inside the house (this past Sunday to be exact) but it will sit there until this weekend when it gets installed (fingers crossed!).  But at least after 2 years we finally opened the box.  The only change I am thinking to make is to add simple light shades to soften up the look a bit for a bedroom.  I’m glad I will be able to use something I already had. Funny how I had been looking for so long only to realize that what I needed was right under my nose!

I have 1 week left to complete the challenge. This weekend I better get that light fixture hung…and the draperies too….YIKES!!!! So many other participants are so much farther along. I am feeling the pressure! I’ll get there… the mean while, I better get back to playing with my accessories some more. I think I have all I need. It’s just a matter of deciding on the perfect spot for each piece.  Please check back next week for the reveal.

Week Six: The Final Reveal (…is still in Progress).

I jumped into this challenge without a forum to participate and with lots (tons) of reservation. I knew I wanted to participate but needed to develop a new blog in order to do so. Participating in the One Room Challenge was much more than making a commitment to re-do a room within 6 weeks. It meant starting a new blog from scratch and committing to stick to it long after the challenge was completed. I knew exactly what that meant and what it would entail from firsthand experience. In 2007 I started a design and fashion blog that became fairly successful (at least by my standards!). But after a while it started to feel like “work” and I stopped blogging. My biggest mistake was deleting the blog. It is no longer available to pick up the pieces of where I left off. It’s no longer available to explain away a multi-year hiatus.  I had to start over.  I started my new blog started six weeks ago (on Blogger) but realized from day one that it just wasn’t working for me. If you follow me on Instagram you know that I had several technical difficulties in such a short time span. Plus, the look and feel of the platform was just something that wasn’t my style and I wasn’t happy with it. So this past week I spent a lot of time thinking about a new platform and total redesign. I was hoping to launch it with the reveal of the finished seaside guest bedroom. But I couldn’t resist…the new site was up prematurely with the status of the Week 6 update going up today, May 8, 2015.

Thank you to Linda at Calling it Home for the One Room Challenge and for the push I needed to get this entire process started. I guess in the end that’s all that really matters. Unfortunately, I haven’t finished the room completely (so sorry, Linda!).  However, I feel that I have personally accomplished so much more than I could have bargained for. I have a room that is almost complete and a new online journal to capture it all.  These days it seems like everyone has a blog. Reviving Charm might get lost in the shuffle as it is late to the blogger party but I’m doing it for my husband and myself to chronicle our new normal, our new life and the changes to our wonderful home. This is a perfect forum for that!

I can’t leave without posting at least one new picture. The closet is now full of beautiful white hangers for guests to use.  I personalized them (another small project I completed..yah!)  to “welcome” guests to our home.

I would love to post more teasers until the final reveal but the room is relatively small so there wouldn’t be much left to share once the room was complete!  The remainder of the space will be revealed shortly along with a list of resources of items used in the room.   I am very eager to get the seaside guest bedroom completed so I can move onto the living room (a new coffee table arrived yesterday). Don’t worry; I will be documenting that process here as well!

9 thoughts on “Seaside Guest Bedroom

  1. Ellie Good says:

    Congrats on making the progress you did in this room! I’m in the same boat, nearly there but really not finished with our room, and also with a new blog. Keep up the good work!

  2. Linda @ Calling it Home says:

    Please do not apologize. Look how far you came. It is looking amazing and won’t be long until it is completed to your satisfaction. I’m so glad you jumped in and started the process. Congratulations on all that you did accomplish.

  3. Sam @ Away She Went says:

    You might not have finished the room, but you’ve accomplished so much over the past 6 weeks! I love everything you’ve shown so far, so I’m excited to see the whole room! Keep at it!

    • Reviving Charm says:

      Hi Sherry! So happy you stopped by. I am sick with the flu….if you follow me on Instagram I did post a couple other little peeks. I’m dying to get the room finished too…as soon as o can shake this flu off!

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