Reno Update – Guest Room, come visit!

guest room

We have been renovating a 1950’s Queenslander in North Queensland for the last 6 months (yes, yes I know you know that but I’m just going to explain it again because what started out to be just a couple of changes has been a fully blown remodeling!).  The way we have gone about it is probably an excellent case study in what NOT to do, throw in some naivety about Queenslanders (the house style not the people), being new to the town and having no real understanding (until now) how debilitating extreme humidity can be and you’ve got the perfect cocktail for chaos, budget blowout and wonky walls.  Yet the end is in sight and we have our first guests staying at the moment (hello Peregrination Gourmande) which is so exciting! (Mum did stay at the end of last year but, the bless her trooper heart, it was glorified camping at that stage. I can’t wait for her to come back and be able to relax and enjoy the house now).

This is the first home where we’ve had a dedicated guest room rather than a dumping ground with a bed (the study/office next door has taken over the mantle for that for the time being, it’s a disaster zone!).  Knowing (hoping) that we will have lots of visitors I really wanted to make the guest room a bit of a sanctuary, a welcoming place where our friends & family can escape to for a good nights sleep. But without spending too much!  The main part of the reno budget was for the new kitchen, staircase & laundry so compromises had to be made for the rest.

The room was actually fine when we bought the house, BUT…

guest room before reno

we have a ridiculously comfy queen sized spare bed that once in you wouldn’t have been able to close the bedroom door.  Rather than get a smaller bed (sensible option) we moved a wall!  There was a store room behind the gyprock wall so we reclaimed some of that to extend the bedroom to fit the bed. Being a Queenslander style house, the original house was raised off the ground but didn’t have rooms downstairs.  At some stage the underneath was filled in, it looks like there were several iterations of that.

The ceiling in the guest room was actually just the floor boards above, there was exposed wiring and no insulation so every whisper in the room above could be heard.  Given the broken volume controls on our girls, whispering isn’t a feature in their make up so a ceiling and insulation was required! Also this room didn’t have air con and the casement window was rotting, so something had to be done about that!

What did we do?  We extended the “alcove” in the room by about a metre.  Lesson learned here was to think about what’s on the floor before you do this! Underneath the extended part was a concrete slab about 10cm lower than the tiled part, enter a tiler and replacement tiles & a set back on about 4 days (of course there was no exact match to the original tiles but I found some fairly close).  In my grand plan we were going to put floor boards down throughout downstairs but the budget and the financial controller said a big fat NO! Another time perhaps!

guest room

We replaced the window with a planation shutter and crimsafe screens. No glass, which, my southern ways found odd to begin with but it never gets cold enough to want to have a closed window and if you are chilly or it’s night you just shut up the shutters anyway! We put in that much needed air conditioner, painted the room white, added an insulated ceiling and shipped in the bed! (Plugged in a mozzie zapper too!). The ceiling is too low to put ceiling fans in.

Our guest room

I’m loosely going for a “British Colonial,” “tropical” style in the house but all our furniture from our old house suited the Federation cottage that we had so I’ve sold a bit of it on Gumtree & the Local Buy, Sell, Swap Facebook page. This room has ended up being quite “coastal” so perhaps “comfortable eccletic” should be the way I describe the overall look!

I bought the blue chair on eBay a few years ago, it was ugly but well made & in good condition so I had it recovered, it was in our Sydney lounge room but it’s not the right style for the lounge room here. I was delighted to be able to use it in the guest room. We had the bed but the rest of the furniture is a mix of a little bit of luxe and a lot of bargain. A friend with a building business was selling some furniture from a display home so I snapped up the bedside tables (and some other furniture for the rumpus room). Ikea was very handy for the beside lamps and floating shelves (I had to bring them with me from Sydney as there is no Ikea up here), Freedom was good for the baskets and Kmart for the retro fan, side table and more baskets . I love Temple & Webster and I got this rug and similar for the girls bedrooms from there.  The chest of drawers is from Vast which I didn’t know about before we moved here but am now a regular customer!

new drawers for the guests


guest room

So now I’m off to enjoy the company of the lovely Cathy of Peregrination Gourmande & her delightful daughter. If nothing else the blogging world has lead to some truly lovely friendships for which I’m immensely grateful.  North Queensland is a long way from France so we’re off to explore and not scare them too much with all the deadly critters out there!

 Any design tips to share?


28 comments on “Reno Update – Guest Room, come visit!

  1. Nicole @ The Builder's Wife
    February 16, 2016 at 8:01 am

    Can I book in a stay? What a lovely space I am sure your guests will love! xx

    • Vicki
      February 16, 2016 at 10:55 pm

      Welcome anytime birthday lady!

  2. Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    February 16, 2016 at 8:27 am

    No design tips from me but I love that little reading nook you’ve created there! I want one!

    • Vicki
      February 16, 2016 at 10:55 pm

      I’ve been sneaking in to read in the chair and to take a quiet moment. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Alix @ thebuilderette
    February 16, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Having a designated guest room is a wonderful thing. And this one is so lovely and large – lucky guests!

    • Vicki
      February 16, 2016 at 10:56 pm

      I know I just hope it doesn’t turn into the dumping ground – I want lots of visitors!

  4. Emily M Morgan
    February 16, 2016 at 10:40 am

    This is such a lovely space! The big comfy chair definitely sells it to me – when will it be free? 😛

    • Vicki
      February 16, 2016 at 10:57 pm

      Thanks so much, the chair is comfy and a bit of a sanctuary away from the heat!

  5. peregrinationgourmande
    February 16, 2016 at 11:03 am

    And we love the guest room very much! It’s so pretty and all pineappled and it smells very good. Thanks a lot for having us here. xx cathy

    • Vicki
      February 16, 2016 at 10:57 pm

      We are loving having you!

  6. Mum Of Five Girls
    February 16, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    Love that guest room and I’m sure Cathy and Ludmila will too!!

    • Vicki
      February 16, 2016 at 10:58 pm

      We are loving having them to stay!

  7. EssentiallyJess
    February 16, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    It looks lovely. I would come for a visit.

    • Vicki
      February 16, 2016 at 10:58 pm

      Thanks Jess. I’m hoping to entice people to visit!

  8. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
    February 16, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Oh that looks just dreamy and so inviting! When can I come and stay?! Have fun with your visitors!

    • Vicki
      February 16, 2016 at 10:59 pm

      You are always welcome Sammie! Lots of fun with the visitors. x

  9. Jo @ You had us at hello
    February 16, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    Oh it’s gorgeous Vicki!! I’m sure you could start an Air B&B with just us bloggers alone!! Haha! xx

    • Vicki
      February 16, 2016 at 11:07 pm

      Ha, what a great idea! Thanks Jo. x

  10. Rachel McD
    February 17, 2016 at 7:34 am

    It looks beautiful, well worth all the drama!

    • Vicki
      February 18, 2016 at 9:09 pm

      Thanks Rachel. The drama continues in the rest of the house but will be good when all finished …one day! x

  11. Nancy | Plus Ate Six
    February 17, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    It’s just perfect! I was reading and feeling your pain with the reno. I’ve watched too many episodes of Grand Designs to know that it never ever goes to plan!

    • Vicki
      February 18, 2016 at 9:10 pm

      Thank you! I have Grand Design on in the background as I’m typing! This house is one step forward 5 steps back but nearly there I think!

  12. shannon @my2morrows
    February 18, 2016 at 7:06 am

    Great job Vicki! Lucky guests. .. it looks so cozy and relaxing. I’ve been eying off those rugs on temple and Webster! Enjoy your time with your gorgeous guests. Xx

    • Vicki
      February 18, 2016 at 9:13 pm

      Thanks Shannon. The rugs are great I got the pink ones for the girls rooms. We had a lovely time with Cathy & Ludmila, the house seems empty now! x

  13. Sarah @ Tomfo
    February 19, 2016 at 10:50 am

    I love it, hope you’ve had a great time with your visitors.
    Ain’t it great to get something finished when you have a deadline.
    I’m jealous of your Queenslander such beautiful buildings.
    I love the fan and that desk from Vast too.

    • Vicki
      February 20, 2016 at 11:39 pm

      Thank you it was lovely having them visit, looking forward to the next lot now (and finishing off the rest of the house!).

  14. Sonia Life Love Hiccups
    February 20, 2016 at 10:21 am

    Wow! well done, it looks fabulous. Ill happily put my name on the wait list. You guys really have done and awesome job hun xx

    • Vicki
      February 20, 2016 at 11:41 pm

      Thanks Sonia. It feels like the never ending story but at least we can have friends to stay even if they trip over tools as soon as they get out the door!

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