By Danielle Driscoll

Published on April 18, 2015

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Photography by Danielle Driscoll

For as long as I can remember I've wanted to live in an old home.  I guess it is because I grew up in an antique cape.  My heart swoons for crystal knobs, period details and built ins.  I love hardwood floors, cedar shingles and nooks and crannies.  I'm happy to report that our coastal home has all of the above.  We live in a 1927 Dutch Colonial with cedar shingles, in a small coastal town on Boston's South Shore.  In addition to our masterbedroom, our children's rooms and upstairs office we also have a guest room.  Since we've been here awhile (2 years in May), I was ready to tackle the guest room.  My husband is English and we often have family and friends visiting from aboard.

The previous owners used this room as a little boy's room so the wall color was fun for a little boy but a little too blue for my liking (eventhough I'm a blue fanatic). For guests, I wanted a room that was restful and soft and inviting.

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Photography by Danielle Driscoll

We first tackled the ceiling in the room, which I thought was going to be no big deal.  Um, bigger deal than I thought.  We have calcimine ceilings (as most older homes do).  My husband and youngest were painting the ceiling while I was painting the bed.  I knocked on the door to see how it was going.  Sigh.  Only to find latex ceiling paint peeling right off. We remedied this and continued on with our room makeover.

The walls are the prettiest blue, Glass Slipper in matte by Benjamin Moore.  In some lights this color looks blue and in others it looks gray.  In all lights it is soft and restful.  I had my heart set on a stenciled feature wall.  The room isn't huge so lightening the color and adding pattern actually makes the room look bigger than it is.  We used the Parlor Lace Stencil by Royal Design Studio and used Simply White in Satin finish by Benjamin Moore.  We stenciled the wall in half a day and are so happy with the results.  This lace stencil really transformed the room and gave a shabby chic elegance.

I painted the bed in an antique white and used soft white bedding with lace accents.  I love white bedding because you can bleach it!

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Photography by Danielle Driscoll

The bookshelf is now filled with antique books that our guests might want to read while visiting.
I darkened the trim and the doors in the room with gel stain.  We have very dark woodwork in most of our house.  For some reason it wasn't as dark in here.  I wanted this room to have a continuity with the rest of the house.  The dark wood against the gray walls are heavenly.  Gel Staining only took me half the day too!  Hooray!  If you decide to use gel stain, I definately recommend wearing gloves.

An old English chair sits in the corner of the room (where a book shelf used to be) and we hung lovely soft swiss dot curtains.  They will dance in the warm ocean breezes this summer.  I'm counting down the days until we can open the windows!!!!  I am still searching for just the right oil painting to go over this chair.  I've seen some painted ladies, but none have been pretty enough for my guest room!

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Photography by Danielle Driscoll

The last project I worked on for this room was this 1940s gentleman's dresser. We found this piece at a charity sale for $10 when we bought our very first house.  I decided to repaint it to go with the look of the guest room.  It is painted in a warm brown gray and distressed on the edges to show an off white through the finish.  The dresser is big enough for plenty of guests' belongings and they can tuck their suitcases away in that little cubby.

I paint a lot of things in our home and, I have to tell you, I'm always surprised by what a transformation it makes!  Painting can add light, the illusion of space and change the whole feel of a room.  Painting the furniture and the walls was key to transforming this room from a little boys room who LOVED superheros to the shabby chic / coastal bedroom I was craving for guests.

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Photography by Danielle Driscoll

I wish I could tell you we've had loads of guest since completely this room ( a few months ago), but we haven't.  It seems that one family member has fallen in love with this shabby chic bedroom.  Poppy, our 4 year old rescue, has claimed it as her domain.  She finds the bed very comfy and enjoys the view from the back window.  Perhaps her favorite is the wall stencil!  I hope she'll make room when friends and family want to stay.