Embracing 1930s Vintage in Guest Room

Guess what I found on Craig's List?! An antique iron bed - I am in HEAVEN!!!  It is a 3/4 sized bed so it fits beautifully into my somewhat tiny guest room.   Of course, a makeover of my guest bedroom was now in order.

I am thrilled at how inviting this room has become. I no longer have that ugly futon as a guest bed.  I love that this iron bed is from the era of the house and that everything fell into place effortlessly.   I really do think this house whispers design choices to me.  And I have been unusually successful this year at finding antiques at incredibly low prices.  I think the house is behind it.  I've also been hearing murmurings that it wants to be called "Ashcroft Cottage" instead of "Ashtree Cottage".   Sheesh.   Maybe I need more sleep...

Take a look at my antique iron bed:

WHOOP!!!!!   It is an authentic iron bed with labels intact.  I am in HEAVEN! Oh I said that already. Did I mention it was THIRTY-FIVE DOLLARS???   Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  Still pinching myself!

Here's how I put this sucker together.

1.  Insert head and footboards into side rails, no nuts, bolts or other stuff to worry about.
2.  Place spring board over the top and you really need two people to do it unless you want to destroy your floor (and we don't want to talk about the gouges I made in my own poor floor...)  I'm sure this spring board was meant to seat securely onto the legs somehow, some way but I couldn't figure it out to save my life.  The way I have it sitting, the spring board is a little twisted but I came up with a simple and effective solution.  Zip ties and cardboard.
3. Place mattress on spring board.  Try bed on for size.  Mine was a little saggy so I added a piece of 3/4 plywood that I had been using on the futon frame.
4. Add linens.
5. Begin makeover of bedroom decor...

I had thought I would need to repaint the walls and paint the bedframe but the whole thing actually worked really well with the colours I had going on.  Plus the colour of the bed itself is a russet tone, deep reddish purple, that works beautifully with my wall colour and bedding.  Bonus!!

I had invested in a  new pair of drapes when I was at Ikea this past summer.  Those were installed post haste.

Another lucky find was this antique Bentwood bistro chair for $3 at a yard sale down the street from my house.  It is stamped "Made in Czechoslovakia" and has an original paper label stuck under the seat as well.

It is the perfect size to use as a quirky side table.  I had planned to paint this chair but I had so much trouble removing the shellac coating from the wood stain that I set it aside for later and now I'm glad.  It works so well with the colours in the room that I 'm not going to paint it after all.

Then there was the issue of how to minimize the silly window that is up high on the wall and way off-center to boot.   I began with the idea of installing shelves but waited until I had spent time and money on that solution before I completely changed my mind and went with a gallery wall instead.

Then I kind of went overboard with the gallery...  At least I got rid of all the stuff that had been stacked against the wall in my home office for the last year or so.  Please also note the vintage fabric I found at the Thrift Shop & used as a window treatment that is the exact same colours as my Rachel Ashwell quilt!!  And the checkerboard that I found at the dump works well don't you think?  Don't you just love Command Strips?  You can hang anything on a wall nowadays.

I also used an old window to disguise the strangely placed thermostat in this room.  The nicest part is that the two main bedrooms in my house are independently climate controlled.  I love that!

Here's what the whole picture looks like:

I found an old rusty cup handle to use on my Ikea console table to make it look a little more vintage. I have a vintage style lamp that I got to use here and the 1970s chandelier I made over last winter works beautifully with the decor.

I decided to keep the round table as my other night table.  It is the very first piece of furniture I ever bought.  The antique clock was a gift from my godmother, given to me on my 12th birthday.  The two Dickens' books were gifts from my aunt to my mother back in the 1940s when she first came to Canada.  The lamp was another dump find.  It used to have a glass base but I spray painted it antique white.

A remote controlled electric stove and the tallboy dresser complete this space.  The tallboy is just the perfect amount of drawer space for a guest and the stove creates a nice ambiance.  The Tiffany lamp came from Home Sense and the little wooden parrot from the Pike Market in Seattle.

Now all I need is a couple more louvered bi-fold doors to install on the closet in here and this room is finished.  For reals.   No I mean it!!!

Have a great week!


  1. So that's where I'll sleep? YAY!!!!!

    It's so pretty! I love the gallery wall. I'm doing one here, too.

    You ALWAYS inspire me...ALWAYS! That bed...oh, that bed...swoon....


  2. Your creative ideas never stop flowing!! This room looks so welcoming and warm. Love that iron bed!! And the white lamp ... great idea to spray paint it, I thought it was ceramic. I'm going to tuck that idea away for when I'm visiting the thrift stores. I like the idea for disguising the thermostat too ... I have a doorbell box dead centre at the top of my staircase into the house! And what are command strips?! I think I'll look that up. Love this new makeover Anne ... as with everything else you've done!

  3. You have created a lovely space.

    This post reminded me of Magali of Little White House on the Seaside. Her cottage speaks to her.

  4. So the room is all ready for me! Awesome! :o] It all looks so pretty! I love it when a bunch of stuff you have lying around all goes together like your gallery wall! And that dump sounds like a great place! Can we go there when I visit?? lol


  5. The guest room is so cozy and comfy. Love the iron bed frame great score. Your gallery walls is beautiful too.
    I will be making my reservation soon to come for a visit in this pretty room!!!!!

  6. Your post haste drapes are a PERFECT compliment to your new (vintage) iron bed. It has all come together so nicely. Beware, Anne, your future guests won't want to leave this cozy room :-)

  7. Anne, you have a perfect sense of design - seriously everything is just PERFECTLY RIGHT!

    Only thing I would change - hey genius frame hiding that thermostat btw - is I would get a piece of linen or burlap, put a stamp on it or something like an A or an iconic bee or something maybe even make it a triangle, and would take a few decorate upholstery tacks and tack the fabric on the lower left of that window frame and hide the thermostat even better. : - )

    Well done, love this room and would absolutely be delighted to stay in that awesome guest room!

  8. Hi Anne! :)
    I love your bed. My grandmother had a bed very similar, I have never seen another one...until now. It is beautiful!
    I love the gallery wall and how it flows with the window and putting the vintage window over your thermostat was genius!
    Beautiful room!

  9. Very sweet.....love every element!!! xoxoxo

  10. $35.00 ??!!! What a tremendous deal...you just do not see those "rails/springs" anymore...the room is so pretty with all of the creative Anne details...love the gallery wall and that window that makes that thermostat a piece of art...how stinkin' creative!!!....A beautiful room Anne!!....Oh, and I love that sweet chair...another steal!!!

  11. it looks incredible Anne....wowsers only 35 bucks too!!!

  12. Anne
    The bed was such a steal. The whole room turned out so nicely.
    I love the beautiful bedding!

  13. The bed was an amazing find at that price! Your guest room is very welcoming and I love the country vibe you created there.

  14. Hello Anne- You are not just another pretty face!! This took me back to my childhood as the bed is exactly what I grew up with. Everything blends beautifully - I love it. Betty from Ontario,Canada.

    1. Hi Betty! Nice to meet you! I love that bed, it's so fabulous. I'm happy to wake up those happy memories!

      Thanks for visiting!

  15. I can sleep in a 3/4 bed. . .no problem. This room looks so vintage and sweet. I love it! You really find fabulous bargains, my friend. So fun the way you pulled it all together with so many things you already had. The best!

  16. I love your guestroom and that bed, WOW! What did you use for the mattress? I was just wondering because I have a 3/4 bed made out of pine and mahogany (circa 1840) and I need a mattress for it. It looks like maybe you used the futon mattress, am I right?

    1. Thanks so much Denise! The mattress is actually a double sized camping foam mattress that I stuffed into the futon slipcover. I added a foam mattress topper to bulk it up another inch and a half. It's exceptionally comfortable!


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