I took a trip to Savannah, Georgia and fell in love with the place. So when I returned home, I decided to make-over the guest bedroom with a little old world charm, a Savannah-inspired theme.
I turned to the National Trust Historic Paint index to pick out a color. I was looking for something in blue; bold, but not overly bold. Something a little more subdued than royal blue, but bolder than the grayish-green-blue we used in the master suite.
I ended up picking out a color called Jekyll Club Pulitzer Blue, a color used in one of the rooms at the historic Georgia resort on Jekyll Island (which I just happened to have visited on my Savannah trip!).
When I think of beautiful old houses, I always picture wainscoting (a decor trend that started in the 18th century, where the lower portion of the wall is covered with decorative paneling). To create this look without the cost and labor of actual paneling, I added a chair rail and painted the lower portion of the wall using the trim color in a satin finish.
For furniture, I decided to mix and match a few different fun pieces. The iron-frame bed I had purchased previously and a random antique store in the middle of nowhere was a perfect fit.
Funny story about the bed frame… I brought it home and gave it a little TLC (scrubbed the rust and applied a matte finish to seal it). I knew the old frame was a little narrower than a queen size bed, so we made some wooden slats to lay across the frame which would hold the queen size boxed springs in place just on top of the metal frame. I put it all together with the metal bed rails that came with it and was ready to lay the mattress down and make the bed. But something wasn’t quite right. The mattress didn’t fit! The bed was about 6 inches too short! What?! That possibility never even entered my head. I don’t know when they started standardizing mattress/bed sizes, but apparently not until after this bed was made. The fix was pretty easy, though. I just brought it to a welder/metalworker who cut the bed rails and added some length to them for a pretty low cost.
I outfitted the bed with bright white sheets which I happened upon while staying at a Bed & Breakfast in Jacksonville, Florida. Their sheets were sooooo soft and they had a little sign in the room telling you where they were from (Comphy Company). I was afraid they’d be terribly expensive, but decided to at least check it out. To my surprise, they were actually very reasonably priced. So I ordered a set, and let me tell you, they are like buttah! Every guest who has slept on them has commented or asked where I got them. I put a light tan duvet with embroidered white bees on it. A few accent pillows, including one bright orange velvet one for a contrasting pop of color.
On either side of the bed are mismatched nightstands. One is a whitewashed, chest-style table, and the other is an antique game table, with an agate chess table top. It’s always nice to have a lamp next to the bed for reading and so guests don’t have to stumble back to the bed in a dark, unfamiliar room.
I’ve always enjoyed antiquing (at least in my adult life), so I also already had an antique empire dresser I thought was a good fit for the room. Above it I hung a mirror with hooks (great for storing guests’ keys) and a trough, which I like to use to hold little goodies for guests.
The flooring is a whitewashed boathouse pine laminate, so I wanted to add a rug to make it a little more “homey” and inviting. I picked out a Persian-style rug with a weathered look. 6×9 feet is just the right size to place it under the lower two-thirds of the bed if laid perpendicularly.
At the foot of the bed, I put a fun antique cedar chest that was re-finished in a periwinkle blue, which I adore. And it was nice that it was already refinished, as opposed to my usual finds. No work required! And to one of the footboard rails of the bed, I tied a little sun hat that had been mine as a little girl. I wove a yellow and tan floral scarf through the base of the hat, just above the brim to use for tying.
For wall decor, I framed a few of the photos I had taken in Savannah. One, probably my favorite, is a bright blue door with ornate awning that we passed by on the street walking from sight-seeing to our vacation rental.
The second is a house on Monterey Square, the same square of the Mercer-Williams house (from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil). I love the rusted ornately framed windows.
And the third photo is an arched doorway in an old alley with a painted green deck and mossy bricks.
As a last touch, in the corner as you enter the room is an old wooden ice cream parlor chair. I always envision guests using it to hold a purse or small travel bag as they settle in to their new, temporary home.
So I reckon that’s it. My “Savannah Room.” Have a look around and make yourself at home!