Daily Life, DIY, House & Home, Pictures, Tutorials

How I Remodeled A Guest Room For Under $15

Guest Room

My husband and I were elated to purchase our first home in 2009 but as new, first time, homeowners it took us a while before we furnished all three bedrooms. In 2010 we used part of the federal stimulus package we received (for first time buyers) to purchase a King size bed set for our master bedroom. We moved the Queen bed, which we had been sleeping in for three years, into our guest room. I feel that I should mention that our guest room is the smallest room in our house (second to the closets, of course) and having such a large bed rendered the space useless for much of the time. Overnight guests stay so infrequently that the wasted space has become more and more noticeable over the last year or so and I started to realize how our misuse of the space might impact potential resale value in the future (who wants to have to worry about a bedroom re-do when you’re trying to prepare for a move?!) so I finally decided to do something about it.

My good friend Mindy (hi!) is coming in over the weekend to stay with us and I knew I eventually wanted to get that guest space remodeled but I wasn’t sure I’d have the time before her trip. So I asked her, “Theoretically speaking, would you be more comfortable in a room that had a larger bed but no room to move around or a smaller futon bed but room for suitcases and space?” Her answer gave me the green light (and inspiration) to go ahead and move forward. Here’s what the space looked like earlier today:

It's Always Good To Be Back In A Queen

In case you’re wondering…yes, that is the entire room. Even though Tobias Funke would say, “It’s always good to be back in a Queen”, when the bed is the only item you can fit into a room, it’s probably not worth keeping. So we listed it on a local classifieds group. All together (bed, mattress, box spring, and the complete bedding set) we were asking $200 and were fortunate to find a buyer who was interested in picking it up this week.

When we listed the bed, I started perusing Craigslist for either a daybed with a trundle or a futon bed. I went back and forth on which one would be a better bang for my buck but ultimately found a great futon that could either be used as a little couch or a twin size bed. The previous owners took great care of it and were asking $75. I offered $60 and we picked it up Memorial Day weekend. While my husband was waiting for our buyer to pick up our old bed this evening, I ran to Target to grab everything I needed for our guest room fix. I gave myself a budget. Ultimately I knew I wanted to come as close to breaking even as I could and I’m pretty happy with how close I came. Take a look (details below):

Guest Room Makeover

I am a sucker for Target clearance, can you tell!?




My Target Purchase Included:

  • Twin Sham $9.99
  • Twin Comforter $19.99
  • Sheets $10.48
  • Towels (2 Bath) $9.98
  • Towels (2 Wash) $5.98
  • Orange Vase $7.48
  • Accent Rug $24.99
  • Wall Mirror Set $17.48
  • Table Lamp $17.79
  • Yellow Picture Frame $3.48
  • Bookcase $21.99
  • Candle $5.99

Total $155.62 (plus $60 for the futon) I used a coupon yesterday for $10 back when you spent a certain amount in the baby department so I applied that towards today’s purchase bringing the total down to $145.62 plus tax. Making my grand total (before tax) $205.62. Less than $15 over budget!

Small Guest Room

I brought in some old goodies for the white bookcase and knew I wanted to make it into something a little bit more unique than just a twenty dollar shelf. So I took an old Arabic alphabet poster my husband was asking me to get rid of and nailed that to the back of the bookshelf. Then I added some great books, pictures, and various other accessories to the shelf to give it some character. We moved a small television into the room so that the space will double as a den when we don’t have guests.

Bookshelf with character

Bookshelf for Guest Room


Functional Guest Space

What I love most about this space is the function it now serves for our family. You don’t need a lot of room to have a great space and by incorporating those personalized details, you can transform an otherwise boring piece of furniture into something more interesting and beautiful. I couldn’t be more pleased with how the room turned out. If you’ve been considering a room re-vamp but didn’t think it was in the budget, I hope this helps inspire you to complete that project you’ve had on your mind.


Guest Room

Daily Life, House & Home, Pictures, Reviews, Uncategorized

Our New Living Room (with pictures)

If you’ve been following my blog for the last couple of months you already know that we’re working on finishing our basement. It’s a (slow) work in progress that we’ll hopefully finish at some point soon. In the meantime, I’ve been working on some projects upstairs and finding new furniture for the living room was part of that. We purchased our first couch together in 2006 when we were living back East. Since then, it’s gone through three moves, countless parties, animals, and a toddler. Needless to say, it’s gotten a lot of use (and it shows) so when we decided that we were going to go ahead with the basement project, we knew we wanted to move the old couch down into the new space once it was finished.

Here’s what our living room looked like before (I don’t have a picture of the entire living room for some reason so these two will have to do):


This monstrosity is called a shrunk and this particular one has been in my family since the 1980s when my parents bought it while we were living in Germany. It’s hand crafted and made of solid wood and so I’m very lucky to be able to keep it in the family. Whether C likes it or not, she will have this one day and I hope she’ll enjoy it as much as I do. One of the downsides to having such a massive piece of furniture is having to figure out where to put furniture in the room. Our living room looks significantly larger now that the Shrunk is downstairs. I think it will look great against the long wall in the basement when it’s done.


You’ll have to forgive me for this photo. The only picture I could find of our other sofa (the ottoman is in the corner) was from C’s first birthday party in February. The couch looks better in the photo than it does in real life but you get the idea of how the room was set up. Since we had selected such large furniture we were pretty limited when it came to placing it so it was pretty obvious when we had our carpets cleaned (more on that in a couple days) where furniture had been and where the high traffic was in our space.

Let me be the first to tell you (in case you don’t already know): Don’t order new furniture until you’re CERTAIN that you’ll have a place for your old pieces. When we placed an order for our new set (purchased from Nebraska Furniture Mart) we had already given ourselves a deadline to complete the basement. That deadline came and went and we had to move our existing furniture into the garage until it’s finished. I’m less than thrilled about it but, at the end of the day, it is what it is and there’s nothing I can do but suck it up and learn from the mistake.

All that said, this was the first time I’ve ever owned an actual living room set and we were so lucky to get such a great deal at NFM. Not only do they provide interest free financing (for two years) for their customers but they also have great discounts year round. We were able to purchase the couch, love seat, coffee table, two end tables, and two lamps for under a thousand dollars including delivery fees. Take a look:

Living Room

This is the Ashley Buttonless Tufted Loveseat in “Lagoon”:

It's An Ordinary Blog

Here is the sofa:

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Here’s the Ashley White Coffee Table with Storage Drawer:

*”Storage drawer” is not really an accurate description since it has doors that open on each side (which is fine, I love it).

It's An Ordinary Blog

Here’s the Ashley Square End Table in White:

It's An Ordinary Blog

And the lamps:

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Here’s a closer look at the pillows. This fabric is my absolute favorite:

It's An Ordinary Blog

Once the holidays are over, we’re planning to move the tree and get a small bookshelf and toy storage bench that will go where the tree is. Then we’ll probably buy this blanket in either cream or this orange-red color I saw in the store (which is STUNNING in person) once it goes on sale at Target. I’m also planning to work on an inexpensive large print inspired by something I saw on Pinterest. That will complete the living room project (look out for a tutorial post once I get it done).

I’m so thrilled with our new living room. It’s a comfortable space we can be proud of and I love it.

Updated Living Room

Daily Life, Giveaways, Parenting, Reviews

A Giveaway! Bumblefly~N~Butterbees Door Jammer

A few weeks ago I ordered two custom door jammers from my friend Bumblefly~N~Butterbees with the intention of giving one away to my readers.

That time is now!

You can find the entry information for the giveaway at the bottom of this post.

I want to talk a little bit about why I love Bumblefly~N~Butterbees. Not only is the owner a friend of mine but I also love that she is dedicated to creating beautiful, toxic free, sustainable products for family & home. Our first B~N~B product was the sort and scoop game for toddlers (pictured below). C loves playing with it and it’s a great way to help with cognitive development. I will say, if you’re looking to purchase one for your child, that the game is intended for children three years and older who can play on their own. That said, C never plays with this toy unsupervised and it’s never been an issue with us.

Why Did I Get a Door Jammer?

I have a very independent toddler on my hands who recently discovered that she was able to lock the door in her room. How a 20 month old is able to figure stuff like that out is beyond me but she can (and she does) lock and close doors. We’re pretty good about keeping our bedroom, guest room, and other doors closed during the day but we like to keep her bedroom door open at all times. The door jammer comes in handy because it prevents the door from latching shut so even when C closes her door, she can’t lock herself in. I can feel more comfortable allowing her to play independently in her room without having to worry about not being able to quickly get in there if she needs me.

It has also come in really handy during naptime. We’ve finally gotten to the point where C will lay down and go to sleep quietly and without much of a fight. The door jammer has been a lifesaver because it reduces (/eliminates) noise when I open and close the door to the room to check on her.

So…who wants a door jammer?! I’m hosting my first ever giveaway for one of these incredible products to one reader. You can gain entries by:

  • leaving a comment on this blog
  • Becoming a fan of It’s An Ordinary Blog and Bumblefly~N~Butterbees on Facebook
  • Sharing it on your social networks. *Remember to tag It’s An Ordinary Blog (be sure the post is public) for your entry to count.

Since I have a blog hosted through WordPress, the embedded code for Rafflecopter doesn’t work <insert sad face> but following the link (“Door Jammer Giveaway via Rafflecopter”) is pretty easy and, I promise, it’s safe:

Door Jammer Giveaway Via Rafflecopter

I’ll pick a winner, via Rafflecopter, on November 15th. Good luck!

Daily Life, DIY, Pictures, Tutorials

The Guest Bathroom: A Quick Fix

I should start by saying that our guest (/primary) bathroom wasn’t bad before but I’ve been wanting to do something to make it a little more user-friendly. We live in a 3 bedroom 2 (soon to be 2 1/2) bath house that was built new when we moved into it in 2009. We love our house but we’re finally starting to turn it from a house into a home. We started by painting and adding a chalkboard backsplash in the kitchen and are making progress in other rooms in the house (we’ll be finishing our basement in November). All that said, our “guest” bathroom (which is the one used most often in this house both by our family and by friends and family who visit) is pretty small and I wanted to utilize what little wall space I have better. Take a look:

Here’s what it looked like before…

Please excuse the cookies on the toilet we’re trying to introduce potty training to our toddler (I’ll post a blog about that down the road).

What I wanted to do was put up a couple of baskets on the wall above the toilet to hold extra bathroom tissue and guest towels in addition to introducing a little more color in the room. I tend to be a little nervous when it comes to putting things on the wall and so I wanted to be careful to find a way to hang baskets without damaging the area. I came across some great little Command damage free hanging hooks at the store that were (I think) a good price.

I got a set of 6 hooks for just under $9.00 and already had the baskets on hand. The set of towels and bath mat was about $22 total so this entire project was pretty cost efficient for me.

The hooks fit in really nicely on the back of the baskets and, even though it’s probably a ‘no no’, I went ahead and attached them onto the basket before putting the hooks on the wall because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to afterwards.

The instructions said to wait an hour before use and so I took that time to give the bathroom a deep clean (which, as it turns out, was much-needed). I hung up the new towels and placed the new bath mat.

Here’s the end result: