When we bought the lakehouse we were pretty enamored with this guesthouse, which boasts a three piece bathroom, sauna, and small sleeping area. At first I waffled on the use of this space: I wanted the Etsy shop out there, but heating in the winter proved cost prohibitive – which is why
my second idea, a sewing studio, didn’t pan out either. Instead, we cluttered it up, storing boxes for other people along with some furniture we no longer needed. We finally got the room cleared out this fall and decided to make it a lovely guest space. The sauna floor needs to be repaired and we have to build new benches, the bathroom needs some cosmetic upgrades, and the roof shingles need to be replaced (hey, guess who’s going to learn some roofing skills next year?) which leaves me with a decor budget of approximately $0. Not a problem! I shopped the house to create a cozy space where guests can crash and I’ll be slowly tackling some more projects throughout the winter.
When I shared my to paint or not to paint the pine paneling dilemma,
so many of you were Team Pine and I’m so happy I kept it natural because it saved me a lot of time and money. Thanks for the excellent advice! Because this is an impossibly small space there’s no fooling the eye into thinking it’s spacious. The pine works with the small size and plays up the cozy factor, instead of trying to fake spaciousness. To break up the pine just a little, I replaced the small mirror that was hanging beside the bed with my large DIY black and white painting:
We set up the bed (and all white bedding) from the townhouse guestroom and it just fits. Making the bed is an aerobic activity (no idea how folks with bunk beds do it) and guests will have to clamber in from the end, but I didn’t want to have to subject guests to a double. This works!
My Mom gave me the maple dresser I had been borrowing (which I hope weathers the winter okay out there). Mom and I were going to sew new pillows but then I remembered I have the Marimekko pillows that used to live in the living room; they match perfectly with the freshly painted turquoise door and exterior trim!
(Behind the open turquoise door is the doorway to the three piece bathroom – to the left is the sauna).
I’d love to replace the old curtain rods but for now I just painted them a creamy white because they were super rusty. Mom sewed really pretty sheers to offer guests a little privacy, without obscuring the lake view. I didn’t want the sheers to touch to electric baseboard heaters and, more importantly, there is literally no room for them to drape between the bed and the wall (it’s a tight squeeze) so we decided to keep them short, which is such a change for me because I always prefer floor length curtains but they’re just more functional at this length.
From the outside, the sheers look much, much (much!) better than the forest green towels that used to cover the windows. Is it me, or does the guesthouse feel more welcoming from the outside with these gauzy window treatments (you can compare against these exterior photos)?
To add a little visual – and literal! – warmth to the space (and cover up some of that faux wood laminate flooring), I ordered this beautiful braided, 100% wool rug from RugsUSA. I considered a natural jute rug, like this one, but ultimately I loved the look and feel of this soft wool rug. It’s a creamy neutral, which will complement any bedding or pillows down the road, plus it’s really thick and cushy, so I hope it adds a little warmth underfoot because although this building is heated, it’s not insulated very well. I ordered the biggest rug that would fit and it runs under the dresser and bed, hopefully adding a little insulation to the floor.
Look at that gorgeous texture! I want to incorporate some more soft textures into the room, so I’m currently dreaming about making a huge chunky blanket or maybe even a woven wall hanging for one of the other walls.
The guesthouse has two overhead lights and one of the light switches is in the bulkhead, toward the wall with the hooks. You have to stand on the bed to reach it, it’s hilarious! There’s quite obviously no room for side tables in here, so maybe some wall mounted sconces are in order. To facilitate bedtime reading as best I can, I added a lamp to the dresser – it’s the old one from my office. I haven’t needed it since we gave the office a makeover, so I’m happy I can make use of it in here.
I’m torn about decorating the dresser. I want to add a tray and plants and make it homey, but there’s SO little room in here that I think guests would just prefer a place to put their stuff because floor space is at a premium.
I originally wanted a really spare, Scandinavian-inspired look with a
black, white and pale wood color palette, but I deviated a little. I
couldn’t help but add just a little turquoise 😉
I think it still has a Scandi cottage kind of vibe. Although it’s technically ready for guests, I want to tackle a few more
projects over the winter so it feels even more inviting and cozy for
next spring. In addition to making a cozy throw for the bed and maybe some DIY sconces, my Mom had an idea for those hooks: add some kind of DIY felted wool pouches with long handles that people could use to stash a phone or book, in lieu of night stands. Isn’t that clever?
Making some candles and stocking a drawer in the dresser with some
essentials (snacks, some toiletries, flashlights, bear bangers, etc.) is
on my to-do list too. Some more art would enhance the coziness – or maybe some wall pockets with plants during the summer would be a nice touch. Would I remember to go out there and water them, though? There’s also a boob light I cropped out of photos that needs a replacement.
But this room has come a looooong way from the pile of boxes and furniture – accented by forest green towels for curtains – we started with in the fall.
I’d love to hear your ideas!
I have to thank to RugsUSA for generously sending over the rug after I spotted it online and fell in love with the plush texture and Scandinavian vibe. Right now it’s kept securely in place by furniture, but on its own it would require a rug pad so RugsUSA sent along the perfect size comfort grip rug pad in case I decide to use this pretty handmade rug elsewhere: