My Garden Retreat

My Garden Retreat
photo Gridley Graves for Country Living

Guest Room Reform... part 1

Hello my friends!

I was about to go upstairs and  work for a while on the little sitting area project.
But before I did...
I wanted to share a bit on the upstairs guest bedroom as promised.

What I thought was a spur of the moment decision to redo the guest room...
            actually began many months ago...
                         about the time I first shared some pics of the room with you .
When I thought about it...I think I have been planning it since I first did it 5 years ago.

At the was just a room for my family and friends to stay...nothing special.

But then...I started to realize that it needed to be special.
After is a reflection of style...and how I wish for my guests to feel when they are here.
Isn't this one of the first things I tell my very own clients?

First bump in my road.

As I have said before...
Between designing spaces for my clients...
                                         and building  vignettes at the store...
I have lost who I am.
What I personally like... and love.
For has been about what others want, need and love.
What will sell.

         The one and only thing I know for sure about myself right now is...

How I wanted my family and friends to feel in my home.
Yet timeless and elegant 

Life moves on.

And I got busy getting things ready for the events that were going on at the store...

      it fell
               to the bottom
                                    of my "to do"list.

And then my friend Rebecca came to stay.
 Bringing with her an amazing gift.

For some time I had seen the girl in alot of Rebecca's photos...
Admired her when I went to the shop and saw her...
And listened intently as Rebecca gave me a little of  her history.

You see...
 She is truly a French Lady...brought back with 'Becca on one of her European Buying trips.
Used at the turn of the last century in a Parisian dressmakers shop.
She is old but graceful.
Her figure is quite shapely...

She is simply elegant!

 Rebecca wanted me to have her..
After hugs...are you sure?  And I can't believe it!
 I accepted my new friend and welcomed her to our home.
Our home...
Our home is the middle of a renovation...And currently not a good place for such a lady!

She needed a fabulous home.
And I...
Really needed a new guest room.
Still no I went about my routine and again
Forgot about the dilemma.

The new girl...her bustier is being repaired!

Until I had to spend the day...
once again...
rotating our wardrobes for the season change and saw the paint tarps sitting there in one of my many plastic storage tubs.
It hit me quickly and quite hard....Tent the room!
Fabricate the walls with the dropcloths I used at the last French Flea Market!
Create a turn of the last century...right out of Africa safari tent.

A true retreat!
But not just any tent...I wanted the total glamping package...on a budget. Two phrases that don't often go together.
But I had to try!
After deciding I really didn't want to spend alot. And even set a budget.
 I got busy.
That very afternoon!
After washing the dropcloths and hanging them on the line to dry. I measured out my space and went to pickup a few supplies...More staples
upholsterer's tape and one additional drop cloth and a few other odds and ends.
Because our upstairs is already tucked into the rafters  and under the could not be more perfect!

I spent the first day stapling my dropcloths to the ceilings/walls and trying to figure out what to do about the closures and tent flaps.

The next rained!
Which means work inside...not on Tinker House!

Upstairs I went and completed the tenting. Still no closures. I wanted leather straps but wow!
This was going to add up if I wasn't careful!
So to the fabric store I went and returned with 2 yards of this faux leather stuff that feels like suede.
And it worked!
Not only did I make the little belts to hold back my flaps but I am also upholstering the little nightstand and dresser I re inherited from one of my sons! (More on these projects tomorrow)
So what do you think so far?
It is going to be a good home for my new girl?
Do you think it will be the perfect retreat for my guests?

A cocoon of comfort!
Cocoon...The next phase of my inspiration!
Isn't it funny how one thing leads to another....

Until tomorrow...


  1. wow, what a fabulous gift, she is gorgeous!!!!! I have been collecting mirrors like yours, but they are just in my garage, I need to put them up, yours look so beautiful!

  2. What a great idea for decorating the guest room! I can see it will soon be a cozy retreat. It would never work in our home as there is so much dust (we live on a gravel road). I would be vacuuming the walls on a weekly basis which is too much work for me.

    I can't wait to see the completed project.

  3. Oh how I would love to have her gracing my home, she is so pretty and looks to be right at home in your guest room.

    I love the tent idea, and wow it's looking good.

    I know what you mean about forgetting who you are because we are so busy doing everything for everyone else! You have inspired me to get back in to making some changes around my place.


  4. Oh wow Donna! I love your idea and what you have done is beautiful! I need to get inspired to create a room in our house like that. Our two rooms upstairs are not being used except for JUNK and one is a "guest" room , but I would love to do something fun like this. Can't wait to see it finished!

  5. This is such a genius idea Donna to cover your guest room walls with drop cloth like a tent wow! Cocooning comfort I'm absolutely sure!!!
    How lucky is your "girl" to get such a beautiful and special room! And how sweet of Rebecca to gave her to you!
    Can't wait to see more of the reveal!
    xoxo~ Carola

  6. Hi Donna,

    I love the new look to your guest room and I am sure that people staying there would be very happy and comfortable.
    Your new Mademoiselle is adorable and oh to have a waist like hers.

    Happy weekend

  7. It is a fabulous home for her! This was an amazing idea, to use the dropcloths. I am looking for something behind the bed, and I'm thinking something fabric-related, great inspiration! XX!

  8. looks sweet :)in a "safari -ish " kind of way!
    if I knew that safari's really did have french dress forms on them well...Perhaps I'd try one :)
    {sorry I'm rambling..way too much packing going on!:)}
    blessings - thinking about you next Sat.!
    {post pic.s!}

  9. WOW! I just knew I was going to love this!!! I am so glad you are doing something to reflect YOU!!! In doing so, your guests will come away feeling as if they've been treated something special and treasured....the gift of YOU! Keep going....we are watching.....

    "Her" and Romeo


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~Donna Reyné