Guest Bedroom Make Over

The New Orleans house renovation has been a long process – since I am not always here. And I have been terrible at sharing the process with you all. But am trying to play catch up now. Up first, guest bedroom makeover.

The Guest bedroom started off as a spare room that we used for multiple purposes. It had a desk in it for work (which I never used) and a daybed for overnight guests. The daybed was a find from Goodwill that I spray painted the metal matte to make it feel more modern. The daybed did the trick for a while but it was never all that comfortable. The room didn’t get used that much for guests or for office work. And it kinda became a dumping ground for extra storage. But I was determined to change that.

Emptied out the room before I started. This is a door to our back patio that is not in use.

Now the room isn’t all that big. Maybe 10 x 8. And many people tried to dissuade me from installing a queen size bed in it. They said it would take up most of the room. But that was the point. I wanted a cozy and chic guest room. After all the room is meant for sleeping – all you need is a great bed, some lighting and some bedside tables. We are in New Orleans after all, how much sleeping are you going to do?

Finding the right bed frame and headboard proved difficult. So I thought why not make my own? I mean I do DIY On TV all the time, so this should be natural for me….

DIY Channel Tufted Headboard

Now most of the house is a mix of antiques and mid century and I wanted to keep that trend going. As well I wanted some great under bed storage. So I figured a custom Channel Tufted Headboard would be the perfect fit (along with a metal bed frame I ordered online that has 18″ of storage under it).

What you need:

Fabric: I went with curtain panels from IKEA. I wanted a soft pink ultrasuede feel. Everything I sourced was $30 per yard or more. I need at least 6 yards to make it happen. The math added up to $180 dollars for fabric alone. The same amount of fabric could come from a set of curtains priced at $40. Plus my bed will now match my curtains.

Half Round Foam: I went with these 6″ diameter bolsters I found online. The company is also willing to slice them down the center for you before the ship. So much easier! Their foam comes in lengths of 72″ so if your headboard is going to be longer than that you can just butt two of them up together (end to end) to extend the length. My frame measured in at 88″ from end to end.

Batting: Depending on how long your headboard is you will need enough yardage to wrap around each round foam bolster. This is the layer between the fabric and the foam. This will add softness to the headboard. I sourced a queen size batting in a bag via Walmart.

Wood: I went with 6″ wide by 1″ thick by 88″ long cedar wood fencing. It was cheaper than any other board at the lumber yard. You are completely wrapping it , so it doesn’t really mater. Home Depot pre-cut them to 88″ for me, down from 96″ ( I saved the extra bits and used them in my closets to keep out pests – moths hate cedar). You will also need some wood as strapping to connect the individual wrapped panels. I used 2x4s as my strapping as I wanted to set it out from the wall and create a top ledge (done with a 1×8 board that I wrapped in the same fabric)

Tools/Etc: Scissors, Screwdriver/Drill, Staple Gun, Staples, Wood screws, Tape Measure.

Steps to Make the Headboard

Step 1: First you will want to lay the fabric face down. I pre cut my curtains into strips – 14″ wide x 98″ long (which is the length of the curtain panels). You want a good 4″ on all sides to be able to wrap the board properly. After the fabric, add the batting, then the half round foam, and finally the wood piece on top.

Step 2: You want to start by stapling one of your longer side all the way down – trying to keep it as straight as you can. Once you get to the end, switch to the opposite side, pulling it tight as you go so that you have a clean ripple free panel on the other side. Now you don’t want to pull it too tight or you will get puckers. Feel free to flip over to check as you go along. I know I did.

Step 4: For your corners you will want to fold both sides in and then the bottom up to cover everything. It’s almost like wrapping a gift. I found this is where I could do one final pull to stretch out any ripples on the other side.

Step 5: Once all of your panels are wrapped – I did 7 of them as I wanted a 42″ high headboard. You will lay them all down side by side with the wood side facing up. This is when you will add your two pieces of 2×4 wood strapping to connect all the panels together. Start with your top panel. I attached (with wood screws) the 2x4s three inches down from the top of the pane (and abour 12″ in from each end) l as I wanted a lip where I would create a shelf for the top of the headboard. Now continue to add the panels. Pull them in tightly to each other, you want each panel to be nice and snug up to each other. NB: When using wood screws for this – you want them to be slightly shorter than the added depth of your strapping and wood boards.

Step 6: I added to 8″ pieces of 2×4 to my wall with brackets to attach the headboard to and to rest of the 1×8 wrapped pieces of wood on top of as my shelf/ledge.

Step 7: Attach your headboard to the strapping you added to the wall. Add your wrapped 1×8″ board on the top. This allowed the bed to sit out from the wall a bit and creates a ledge/shelf for some accessories.

Style Out your Bed

Now that your headboard is done. You can set up the metal bed frame to support your mattress. I ordered this one from Amazon – it allows for lots of space for storage under the bed and takes the place of needing a box string. I also ordered by box pleated bed skirt from Amazon as it was hard to find ones that are 18″ long to hide my storage.

Next, I added a fresh new queen size mattress from Casper on top. I want my guests to be so comfortable that they hardly want to get out of bed. I know I can never get out of my Casper – it’s so comfy. I also used Casper pillows by the way.

I wanted the back bedroom to feel modern but also romantic. I have been seeing lots of great new florals for the bedroom and wanted to incorporate some prints on prints to make it feel very New Orleans. I went with all my bedding from H&M Home. Start off with a great 100% cotton sheet set. Now add one duvet cover – always go with king size for a queen size bed. It will make it feel more cozy. I went with a great pinstripe in pinks and plums. Now add an other duvet cover on top for ultimate comfort. This is when I added in a darkly romantic floral duvet cover.

Up next pillows. Now I am strong pillow in a variety of pillows so every guest can be comfortable. I stocked this bed with some feather pillows and some of the new Casper pillows. You want to start at the back with either Euro Shams or King Size Pillows. I did four of them as I had 4 covers from the two duvet covers. Now add in two standard pillows in covers that match your sheets. Lastly add in some great 20″ square throw pillows (which I also sourced via H&M Home). T o top it off , I add in a few throws at the foot of the bed for a little extra luxe. Don’t you just love the faux fur in pink. And a fur pillow.

Finally I added in some great plug in wall sconces, some great bedside tables I found on clearance at Target for $25 each and some accessories.

The whole project took a Saturday afternoon to complete and was easy like Sunday morning. Plus I managed to source most via online shops that shipped for free.

Are you ready to upgrade your guest bedroom?


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Christian has been a cultural and style junkie since the age of 6; while most kids were swiping cookies, he was swiping his grandfathers' Patek Philippe. Raised to appreciate art, fashion,design and  literature (yeah, this one actually reads) by a single mother fondly called Jackie-O. Christian quickly went from childhood cultural capital thief to academia protégé. Referred to as the cat's meow by some, too clever by half by others, Christian eschewed the academic life and ran away to join the circus -the fashion circus. Several well-appointed positions later and a career on the rise would be most people's dream but it was time to say fuck off and start all over again.

This is Christian Dare Unedited.