Room Reveal: Cottage Guest Room

Y’all, Gwyneth and I are so excited to finally hit “publish” on today’s post. The original plan was to share this room reveal the week after Thanksgiving, but that was the same time we figured out and told you that we’d have to leave NYC. We thought it would be best to space out the tear jerkers, so we kept it in draft mode. Well, we can’t keep it from you any longer. So if you’re the weepy type, find yourself a Kleenex.

As much as we love surrounding ourselves with beautiful things, the real reason Gwyneth and I got hooked on decorating is because it was quite literally, apartment therapy. Making our NYC apartment feel like home convinced us that painting and rearranging furniture are effective ways to improve mental health, and working on this “Cottage Guest Room” with my Mom have convinced us that they’re effective in improving physical health too. Here’s why…

 This past March (ironically, a few days after Gwyneth and I painted the front door pink), my parents asked us to come down to North Carolina for a weekend. When we arrived, we found out we were there because there was something they wanted to tell us in person – Mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Sitting in the sunroom, Mom said, “These are the cards we have been dealt. We can wallow in it, or we can do what the doctors tell us to do and we can keep living.” And then she told us that she didn’t want us to wear pink ribbon pins, donate our hair or set up a team for the next breast cancer walk. What she wanted was our help redecorating one of the upstairs bedrooms. So Mom got an iPad and a Pinterest account, and all of us got busy with a bedroom makeover that now looks like this:

Unfortunately, we don’t have a before photo of the bedroom to share with you. A Jack and Jill bathroom separated it and my sister’s bedroom, and the room was used as her “homework studio” when she was in high school. Like the rest of my parents’ house, it was decorated and adorable. But between the time that Mom was diagnosed and the sunroom conversation, she did what the gals in our family do when we have a problem (of the decorating or life variety) that needs to be solved. She started moving furniture. So what you see in this “before” photo is my sister’s studio with all the old furniture and decorations cleared out and some extra furniture from the attic moved in.

And while she was waiting for us to fly down from NYC and rearranging furniture, Mom devised her plan. She’d do the sewing, decorating and furniture placement on the days she felt good, and she’d research, plan and supervise from the couch with her iPad on the days she felt bad.

The “sunroom conversation” was concluded with Mom’s announcement that we were wasting our time. It was a good day (she had recovered from her first chemo treatment a week earlier), so I needed to fix my eye makeup – we had fabrics and paint to pick out.

The original bedding had to go, but the dust ruffle would stay. Mom didn’t want to have another one custom made (the four-poster bed had an unusual drop), and I loved it because the pattern had my two favorite things – layered patterns and pink. So we set out to Printer’s Alley to pick out the rest.

Mom Picking Out Fabric

Bedroom Makeover Fabric

 And while we were there, we picked up a few other ideas for the bedroom.

 I was flying back to NYC the next day, so while Mom set up the sewing machine, Dad and I addressed the other biggie – paint. We settled on Behr’s Whispering Wheat and gave the walls what felt like a hundred a few coats before I left. We did the rest over email, photos we texted back and forth, the Pinterest board we set up for the project, six cycles of chemotherapy, 28 days of radiation and two surgeries. Whether she was at a chemotherapy treatment or busy on the Bernina, no trim, knob or accessory went undiscussed!

Mom's Guest Room Progress

Early on in the makeover process, Mom and I decided that our new “cottage bedroom” should be Gwyneth’s and my room when we come home instead of the room I lived in growing up. So over Thanksgiving, we moved in – grateful for our beautiful new bedroom and for our healthy Mom (Grandma) who had just finished treatment.

And now for the details! The curtains are White Linen Sheer Panels from Crate & Barrel. To give them a more custom feel, Mom sewed on pom-pom trim.

We found the mirror at Lowe’s, the milk glass plates on Etsy, and the botanical prints came from the 2003 calendar Mom and I have been using as art for the last ten years.

When we say everyone was involved with the makeover, we mean everyone. My 90-year-old grandfather painted the desk with Benjamin Moore’s Potpourri. The knob is from Anthropologie, and the slipcovered chair came from Pottery Barn.

Mom made the Euroshams and lumbar pillows with the fabric we picked up at Printer’s Alley, and the matelasse quilt and shams came from Bed Bath and Beyond.

Mom's Cottage Bedroom Makeover

Mom's Cottage Bedroom Makeover

Mom's Cottage Bedroom Makeover

As you can see, we think it’s a very cozy bedroom!

And if you think Mom’s decorating therapy ended with the bedroom, you’d be wrong. On one phone call, Dad said the sound of the sewing machine was a constant at home. Over Thanksgiving, we learned he wasn’t kidding – before we even walked through the door.

And that’s how Mom cured cancer with an iPad, a Pinterest account and her Bernina.

xoxo,

mk & Gwynnie

Part of the Link Parties at:
Southern Hospitality, The Shabby Creek Cottage, Somewhat Simple, A Glimpse Inside, Lulu and Sweet Pea, Tatertots & Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, Sumo’s Sweet Stuff, Keeping It Simple, Tutus & Teaparties, It’s Overflowing, Be Different Act Normal, Serenity Now, Craft-O-Maniac, The Girl Creative, DIY Showoff, Our Delightful Home, Sugar Bee Crafts, Someday Crafts, Savvy Southern Style, In The Old Road, Adorned From Above, Southern Lovely, Saving for Six, Blissful & Domestic, Five Days Five Ways, Thrifty Decor Chick, Home Stories A 2 Z, Domestically Speaking, Live Laugh Rowe

Comments

  1. Your mom is such an inspiration! Love the bedroom as much as Gwyneth does!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Hi Katie! We definitely think so – glad you found a little inspiration here too! Gwyneth sure knows how to make herself at home, right? Thanks so much for stopping by and for taking the time to comment!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  2. Your parents, and grandparents, are AWESOME!! Your mom is so darn cute!

    What strikes me about this incredible story is, that your parents did not make you come home early because of her diagnosis. They are to be lauded for not forcing you to make life decisions based on their circumstances, and this is why you had the courage to make it in NYC (even if it was brief, it was done).

    Beautiful room, and your grandpa painted the desk? My 91 year old dad is in a wheelchair, so I KNOW this is a great feat!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Margaret, I am one blessed woman. When it comes to family, I hit the jackpot! I can’t believe a 90 year old can paint the way my grandfather can either! So many blessings brought to life during this makeover! Thank you so much for your sweet comment – we truly appreciate you cheering us on!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  3. i love this room. your mom is beautiful and obviously 50 different kinds of awesome. i’m so glad she is doing better!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      “50 kinds of awesome” – I love it. Definitely incorporating that into my frequently used phrases :) So glad you like the room . You know we love your taste, so it’s such a compliment to hear that from you! Lots of love, Elle!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  4. Vicki Crowe says:

    Courage in action! Have you left NYC for good? Will you still blog? I have found your blog interesting because my daughter, Cassandra has been braving Washington DC on her on for three years after college. You young women have real courage and a sense of adventure, even though living alone in a city of strangers can be very difficult! So glad your mom appears to be doing well! Thanks for your story and sharing the inspiration of you mom!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Hi Vicki! The New Yorkies have left the building, so to speak! We miss NYC, but we are learning a lot while settling in North Carolina! We will definitely still blog! There are many decorating projects ahead of us as we make our hometown feel like home again! As soon as we get through all the boxes. We have no idea how our tiny apartment held so much stuff!! So glad to have you following and thrilled that you found a little inspiration in Mom’s story! Lots of love from the great state of North Carolina!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwyneth

  5. A family of strong women! I come from one too – sometimes it’s a lot to live up to, but it never fails to inspire me to hang in there during tough times.

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Hello dear, JTC! Definitely a lot to live up to! When we were going through the heartache of leaving NYC, I thought about how Mom dealt with her major hurdle and wished that I had her grace and strength while dealing with my teeny tiny one. I know her example helped me handle the move, but I still have a lot to learn. Thank the good Lord I’ll have her as an example for many years to come! If there’s one thing I know, your Momma never stops teaching you! Thank you so much for your sweet comment, and Gwyneth and I hope you are having a wonderful week!

      xoxo,
      Meredith & Gwyneth

  6. Yay for your mom!

  7. Matllda Joyce says:

    So glad your mom is doing well!

    I love EVERY fabric I see here! Love, love, love the lumbar pillow and the black print on the porch swing. And can we talk about that grass green leopard print??? Divine! Green and I have the same relationship that pink and you have (not Pink, she is just odd!)
    Clearly, that bedroom was waiting to welcome you home. Perfect timing. You are meant to be in NC!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Hi Matilda! I love the porch too! The fabric choices there are more in Mom’s color scheme, but she incorporated the pink in the bedroom because she knew I just had to have it! HA! But the rest of the house isn’t pink, I promise! (Maybe we should do a house tour? What do you think?) As for the green leopard print – we love that fabric too! (I share your love for green!) We maxed out on pillows before we could use it, so it’s tucked away for a future project! We have to agree with you on the NC bit – it’s feeling more like home every day. What an adventure we have ahead of us! And we are so grateful that we’ll have you cheering us on along the way! You are a very special blogging friend!!

      xoxo,
      Meredith & Gwyneth

  8. Oh, Meredith, I just found out that you are leaving NYC! I know how it must be hard, but I too know that life changes sometimes bring about wonderful things in our lives that we can’t see until we are past them. I’m sure surrounding yourself with your obviously supportive and strong family is going to be just what you need right now. And girl, if I can move back home with my parents at 50, you can certainly do it at 32. {wink} I’m so grateful for my new house this year and I bet you’ll be there before you know it. SO glad your mom is doing better, I bet she and I would get along fabulously. Give her a hug for me and now you’re closer to ATL than you were before. If you get down here, please let me know. And squeeze that cute doggie too, I’m SO glad I took the time to visit your apt. while in NY this summer. That was so much fun! I wish you the best with your life changes, it’s going to be fine, just wait! xoxo

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Rhoda, you have NO IDEA how many times Gwyneth and I have thought about you since we figured out we’d have to leave NYC. You have been the example that has kept us going! We have a Pinboard called “Our Mint Green Bungalow” where we’re collecting all the inspiration for the home we hope to one day have here in NC once we sort through all of this! Your story and seeing your dream home come together has been our inspiration! So thankful that we met you while you were in NYC, and thankful that there will be more opportunity to see you now that we are closer. Maybe Haven??

      xoxo,
      Meredith & Gwyneth

  9. What a fabulous post! So great that your Mom is doing well. The makeover is fantastic! Love the colors. Beautiful!

  10. I just love and adore this post…and your new fab room of course! Your mom is such an inspiration and I am so glad things have turned out so well!! I can’t wait to have a blogger blind date meet up since you are only a teeny tiny 2 hours away now!! XoXo

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Dominique! We MUST(!!!!) have that blogger blind date soon! Let’s get a date on the calendar, pronto! And before the IFB conference! I am dying to see you! And let’s wrangle Summer & Bethany too!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  11. I can see where you get your great taste and DIY spirit from! Glad to see you’re still blogging from NC–your site has been a great inspiration to my sister and me. Keep up the good work, and best wishes to your family and especially your mum.

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Wow, what a compliment! Thank you! And so thrilled that you’re seeing things here that you like! Lots of love to you and your sis!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  12. Love this on so many levels and glad your mom is doing well!!

  13. Hearing the story of how your Mom fought off one of the most hideous dieseses, it is no wonder you are such a strong young woman. I love the room.

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Oh Sharon, you are too generous with that compliment! I wish I was half as strong as she is, but there’s more time to learn, thank goodness! Thank you so much for stopping by and for your sweet comment!

      xoxo,
      mk & G

  14. I love hearing about your mom’s “will do” attitude. Great room, too!

  15. WOW! Utterly AMAZING, on SO MANY LEVELS!!! First of all, thank God for your mom’s recovery!! Nice work on the bedroom and what a handy gal she is with that trusted Bernina!!! I love what Rhoda shared in her comment…I totally agree! Your life is going to be coming up roses, my dear….never doubt it! May God bless and keep you all! & additional smooches to Gwyneth!! Happy New Year, all!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Vickie! Happy New Year back to you! And thank you so much for taking time to leave such a kind comment. Yes, things are going to be coming up roses, and we are starting to hit our stride here in NC. Maybe I need to get on that Bernina now that I’m living under the same roof with a great teacher!

      xoxo,
      mk & G

  16. Hi I found you through the I love my Blog. Please stop by and say hi when you get a minute.. Happy New Year. :)

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      We will definitely stop by! Thanks so much for coming over and Happy New Year back to you!

      xoxo,
      mk & G

  17. Meredith,
    This is an amazing story. I have been gone so much I haven’t been able to read a lot of blog links, so this is the first time I read about you’re leaving NYC. I’m so happy that your mom is doing well, and this room is gorgeous. You and your family are in my prayers.
    Happy New Year.
    Debi

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Happy New Year, Debi! Thank you for your thoughts & prayers! Good things ahead in 2013, we are confident! Hope your year is off to a wonderful start!

      xoxo,
      mk & G

  18. Stopping by from the “I Love My Blog Post Hop.” Love love love the fabrics you picked out! Beautiful! The Anthro knob is precious also!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Rachel! And we share your love for Anthropologie hardware! it’s the very best! Hope 2013 is off to a wonderful start for you!

      xoxo,
      mk & G

  19. What a beautiful story and love the room. Thanks so much for sharing this at Wow. I love how everyone helped!

  20. Thanks for linking to Take-A-Look Tuesday over at Sugar Bee Crafts. You were featured today! –
    –Mandy, http://www.SugarBeeCrafts.com

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Hi Mandy! So exciting! Thank you – we are thrilled with the feature. So kind!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  21. Love the desk vignette and color!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Thank you, Lora! G is partial to the vignette…the “G” was one of my Mom’s additions especially for Gwyneth!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  22. I really like your use of fabrics in the bedroom and front porch. The whole room is lovely but also homey and comfortable. Beautiful!

  23. Wonderful transformation Meredith! Your grandfather did a superb job on the desk. Kudos to mom too, the pillows look great!

  24. I love the room! And I really love that you used the blue floral fabric for your throw pillow. I bought that very same fabric at a yard sale for a $1 (3 yards) and want to make a pillow with it. So fun!!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Hi Laura! The blue floral lumbar is our very favorite part! You had a great find! Good luck with your pillow!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  25. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed reading this post….it is such an inspiration….I so love your mother’s spirit and determination…and just by reading this, I know she will overcome this awful disease with grace and courage…as it is reflected in what she has done…..the room is beautiful. I so love the fabrics and the desk and chair are just perfect…Love the wall vignette and have been wanting to buy that gorgeous calendar…Printer’s Alley is one of my favorite places to be!!!….Thanks so much for presenting this beautiful room and story!!!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Hi Shirley! Thank you so much for your comment! So glad to hear Mom’s story is inspiring others – we think she is incredible! It seems that we have very similar taste! Isn’t Printer’s Alley the best?!? Thank you so much for taking the time to leave your sweet comment – you made our day!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  26. Mary-Ellen says:

    Two things the pictures in this post reminds me of: I once had hair longer than an inch and it was once summer when I could sit out on the porch and enjoy the swing…..I am waiting patiently for the return of summer and not so patiently for the hair to grow!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Who wouldn’t want to spend all day on your beautiful porch! The spring will come and the hair will grow! Promise!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  27. What a strong mom you have and tell her that she is just a wonderful seamstress from me!
    Hope you will still blog and let us know how you are both doing♥

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Yes, she is a strong one! Thank you! Now that I’m at home, I bet she wishes she wasn’t such a good seamstress because I am constantly asking for help with all the sewing projects I can’t do myself! I have three bins full of “ideas” for us to work on together! And don’t worry – we’ll still be blogging and hope to be a little more settled in our new space soon, so we can share it with ya’ll! Thank you so much for reading!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  28. Okay, I’ve wiped away the tears and completed my follower subscription. That bedroom is absolutely beautiful and made all the more so by the beautiful spirits of everyone who created it! After six months of loving living in Brooklyn my daughter had to come back to Canada. She says she’s just putting in time in Toronto until she can get back to the city she loves!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      First, we are so glad to have you following! Secondly, thank you for the kind comment on the bedroom! We do love living in it! We are so sorry to hear that your daughter’s time in NY was cut short, but we’ll say the same thing to her that we tell ourselves – it will be there waiting for us when the time is right to return! I bet she is loving the time home with you in Toronto, though! Again, so glad to have you following along!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  29. I found your story through Savy Southern Style & I was at first drawn to it because of your Yorkie. (I have two & think they’re the most wonderful dogs!!) But as I read your lovely story about your mom, I realized how much we have in common. I live in NC, too, although closer to Charlotte in a small country town with one stop light. More importantly, I am a breast cancer survivor, too, & I also found some relief & joy in redecorating my master bedroom last year after I was diagnosed! I realized that taping into my creativity helped my spirit heal while I placed my body’s fate in the hands of my oncologist & radiologist. Hugs to you & your wonderful family.

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Hi Alicia! So glad that you found us! Gwyneth is delighted to hear how you were first drawn to the blog! :) It seems we do have a lot in common! We are so glad to hear a little bit of your story – always inspiring to hear from other survivors!! Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment – it really made our day! Big kisses to your two Yorkies from Miss Gwyneth!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  30. Beautiful room and Beautiful story! Best wishes for your and your family for all the fun projects to come!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Thank you, Trish! And yes, many more projects to come this year! Can’t wait to get started on the next one!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  31. Meredith,

    I’ve been the most terrible of blog friends this past month! I had no idea about you leaving New York (tear jerker #1) and now your mom. I applaud her approach to just keep moving forward and to live life to it’s fullest — and prettiest!

    Linda

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Linda, please do not apologize! It has been a busy few months for absolutely everyone, and I am in the same boat! I still can’t unearth myself from the inbox, and have about a million blog posts in my reader that I want to read desperately! We get it! Thank you so much for your support and your kind comment! You are a true blogging friend in our book!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  32. Meredith, so sorry you had to leave NYC, but what a beautiful room for you and Gwyneth to come “home” to. So glad your Mom is better. Her courage and your story is what I needed to read today. Thanks for sharing.
    Robyn- NC

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Hi Robyn! We are so glad to hear that reading this helped you out today. Mom’s courage has definitely helped me adjust my outlook about the move from NYC! (Although I didn’t handle that small misfortune nearly as well as she dealt with cancer!) So glad you stopped by. Thank you for taking the time to leave such a sweet comment.

      xoxo,
      Meredith & Gwyneth

  33. What a wonderful story ! : )

  34. You, dear Meredith, are positively darling and not because you share my #1′s first name. Although I am probably your Mom’s age, we have a lot in common. I grew up with yorkies and a little yorkie named Jack was my husband and my first child when we got married. I worked in NYC for 3 years after I graduated from college. My mom also got breast cancer. I love your blog. What a blessing you are to your mom.

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Katie, you are so sweet to stop and comment. Thank you so much for the sweet words about the bedroom & the blog. You put a big smile on all our faces today!

      xoxo,
      Meredith & Gwyneth

  35. Thank you for sharing your story and the beautiful room makeover. What a wonderful way for your mom to keep busy during a difficult time. Very inspirational! Best Wishes to you and your mom.

    I’ve featured you today at Think Tank Thursday. http://www.saving4six.com/2013/01/think-tank-thursday-12.html

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Carrie! Thank you so much for the feature! You made our day! We’ll shout it from the rooftops of our Facebook fan page! Thank you again!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  36. Wow! I love how your mom took something horrible,and took all her energy to create something wonderful! Bravo to all of you for keeping her mind filled with beautiful things!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      She’s pretty incredible, right? Such an inspiration to me & little Gwyneth! Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind comment!

      xoxo,
      mk & G

  37. For several years I have now donated my services to the NOCC (Natl. Ovarian CA Coalition). My goal, to create healing havens for women going through the battle of and for their lives.

    What I have found (and this is supported by statistics) is that women actually do have a better outlook (IE better outcome) when they are surrounded by a pretty environment and are involved in a project that takes the focus off the battle.

    This beautiful space did just that for your beautiful mother. Well done. Bravo! A standing ovation in Phoenix.

    May 2013 be filled with HEALTH, happiness, peace, joy and beauty!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Love, love, love this comment and could not agree more on the power of a positive attitude! Thank you so much for taking the time to make our day with this response to our room makeover! May 2013 be filled with health, happiness, peace and joy for you too!

      xoxo,
      mk & G

  38. What a fantastic story. Give your mum a big hug from me, and then give yourself one. It seems like you´ve had a really rough year and I find it really inspiring that despite this, you still find the time and energy to write a wonderful blog and make beautiful things happen.
    I´m sure all things will be back to normal – or better – if you just click your heels a few times and keep a positive mind.

    Much love and happiness

    Betina

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Thank you, Betina! You got it on the hugs! And you are right on the tough year! 2013 has got to be better, right?!? Thank you so much for sending some positive energy our way this week – it put a big smile on both of our faces!

      xoxo,
      Meredith & Gwyneth

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