My French Caribbean Guest Room Reveal

Would you believe me if I told you that my guest room didn’t want a makeover? Well… that is the simple truth of it.

It didn’t care that it was going to be a French Caribbean makeover… or was it Caribbean French?

(I started this so long ago that I can’t remember now.)

Guest Room Makeover
 It only took me a few months to catch on…

(Sometimes this blonde can be so blonde I tell ya.)
Guest Room Makeover

but I finally came to this conclusion after it continued to fight me… every single step of the way. It simply did not co-operate, not one little bit, and that is why it took so long. 

Guest Room Makeover

Oh…I could say it was because I started working full-time again about two weeks after I started the makeover… 

(I totally didn’t see that coming my way.)
Guest Room Makeover

or because I stupidly took off my coat one day and twisted my wrist… or I took my coat off stupidly. I think that’s probably right.


(Either way I won’t be getting any contortionist jobs in the circus any time soon.)
Guest Room Makeover

Or… I could say it was because the warm weather finally blasted winter away, and I couldn’t resist the gardens that were calling to me like sirens.

(What? Doesn’t everyone hear flowers singing?) 
Guest Room Makeover

All three are totally believable excuses reasons as to why this took so long.

Guest Room Makeover

But no… oh no… it was the guest room itself I tell you. It simply didn’t want a makeover! 

(Hey, somebody has to take the fall for this… and it ain’t gonna be me. lol. )
Guest Room Makeover

It was totally and completely not my fault. 

(Honest!! Guide’s honour…. I’m saluting right now… 
I was a Girl Guide about a gazillion years ago.)
Guest Room Makeover

I tried every trick I could possibly try to drag this room out of the emerald green abyss to which it had become so sadly accustomed. 

And drag it I did… kicking and screaming…

(Or was that me?)
Guest Room Makeover

out of makeover purgatory and into a makeover heaven of my own making. Now don’t get me wrong… I love green. It’s one of my favourite colours, but 20 years of living with the emerald green was w-a-a-a-y too long for me. Even if it is “the colour of the year”.

(A rebel has to do what a rebel has to do.)

Guest Room Makeover

I even resorted to using a meditative visualization technique…

(That’s what I’m calling it anyway.)
Guest Room Makeover

trying to channel those sometimes illusive decorating spirits...

(Illusive only to me I think…
I must have really peeved off some crazy dancing spirits.) 
Guest Room Makeover

by sitting on the floor with my legs crossed, eyes closed…

(Maybe crossed too… but I’m not sure because they were closed.) 
Guest Room Makeover

and chanting to myself… “I can see the finished guest room… I can see the finished guest room… I can see the finished guest room”.

(I still couldn’t see the finished guest room. Will that’s not totally true… 
I could see it in my head… where, at times, it seemed to be stuck… like… ummm…like it was stuck.)
Guest Room Makeover

OK… I admit it… I spent some time (days) sitting on the floor mumbling to myself. 

(You think I’m kidding?)
Guest Room Makeover

Desperate times call for desperate measures people.

(Ummmm…..that goes without saying, 
but I’m saying it anyway.)
Guest Room Makeover

I know what you’re thinking… I could have used the time I spent procrastinating visualizing the guest room to actually working on the guest room. 

(It’s no good trying that logical trickery on me.)
So, finally,  after many sunrises and sunsets… in winter, spring and a few in summer… ( oh my gosh this makeover crossed over 3 seasons… yikes) my if-you-can’t-beat-’em-join-’em guest room and I are sooo happy to be calling this room makeover done. Yay!! 
Guest Room Makeover
I still have a few small projects to do, but after being cooped up inside all winter long I’m loving being outside as much as possible… so those projects will just have to wait for rainy days. And I do hope we have some! Last summer was pretty dry.

So her are the before and after pics, with links to past projects in case you missed any of them.You can read about my trials and tribulations with this makeover, and how I chose the lovely blue paint colour, or how it chose me, here.

Guest Room Makeover

The Claude Monet water lily print was $5 at a thrift store. We saw Monet’s water lily murals at the Musee de l’Orangerie in Paris, and I was thrilled when I found this a couple of months ago.

The straw basket, place mat, and the antique teapot were all thrift store finds. I cut the large pink peony from my garden. Peonies will easily fill a whole room, and more, with their glorious scent.

The dresser was painted with homemade white chalk paint and you can find that makeover post here.

Guest Room Makeover

I found the bedding set at Zellers the week before our local store closed at 70% off, that made it only $30. I thought it had that tropical look that I was going for.

The souvenir towel no sew bolster pillow post can be found here, and the $3 lamp makeover can be found here. The green scarf that I used on the lamp shade ties in the green on the dresser and chair on the other side of the room.

I’ll be showing you how I put together the DIY shutter headboard in a future post.


Guest Room Makeover

The little night table had two makeovers. The first makeover shows how to decoupage with fabric, and it can be found here.  The second makeover changed the paint colour to white, and it can be found here.

And there’s another one of those straw place mats.

Guest Room Makeover

My French Caribbean mirror makeover can be found here.

I’m planning a makeover on the inside of the closet some time in the future. The master bedroom has this funny little closet door as well, and they open to a much larger closet than you would expect. Still small though, by today’s standards.

Our house was built in 1890 and has lots of quirks, and like most century homes it’s very storage and closet challenged. Because of this John keeps his clothes in here, and I keep mine in the master bedroom.

Guest Room Makeover

The post for the silver tray chalkboard sign that’s on the guest room door can be found here.

This dresser was repainted with the same homemade white chalk paint as the dresser on the other side of the room, and it has Re-Store knobs that I spray painted a dark blue. I’ll be doing something else to this dresser also. I have a couple of ideas, but I haven’t decided which one it’ll be yet.

I bought the deep pink glass vase that holds a few more peonies from my garden at an auction years ago, and the scarf and the little green hand painted box were both thrift store finds.


Guest Room Makeover

I’m still loving my weather beaten green dresser, and the post can be found here. I know that the vibrant colour isn’t for everyone, but it is so for me.

I did a makeover on the outdated hardware also, and that can be found here.

My decoupaged photos on canvas frames project can be found here.


Guest Room Makeover

We removed the dresser in the before photo because the room was just too crowded. It was moved to the garage and will get a makeover at some point, and will either be sold or used somewhere else. I’ve had the Van Gogh poster for years and brought it in from another room.

And yes, I am so going to mention the elephant in the room, the plumbing vent pipe. Like I said, our house is old and has lots of quirks. I painted it out so it kind of disappears, but I’m seriously thinking of doing something crazy and fun with it. This may just be a future project! Why not?

I did the chair makeover last year and it fit nicely in this room so it now has been given the corner spot of honour. Ha ha!  That post can be found here.

And my DIY beach mat window blind post with it’s woven belt and thrifted brooch can be found here.

The antique typewriter is a sentimental treasure from the days when we owned our own small town newspaper… another lifetime ago. It holds great memories, and sits beside a canvas photo of Shakespeare and Company, a famous book store in Paris.

Guest Room Makeover

I’ll end this post with the pic of the thrifted vintage Eiffel Tower ash tray that I used on my DIY headboard. It cost me a whole dollar. Neither one of us smokes, but I absolutely love it anyway. Actually everything for this room was either reused or thrifted, except for the bedding. This makeover cost me a total of $88, including the bedding and the wall paint, and I’m totally happy dancing about that!


The main thing I really love about this room is the Ooops robin’s egg blue paint that I fell in love with at the Re-Store. It changed my plan for the room completely, and temporarily stressed me out because of that, but it turned out to be just perfect.  Somehow this blue colour manages to be cool in summer and warm in winter, and a lot of blues can’t manage that trick.
We can have long, and sometimes harsh, winters here in Ontario and because of this I tend to decorate my house more for the winter, and always with colour. I am a girl who needs colour in the dark and cold days of winter, and during the warmer months we spend most of our time outside.
Colour makes me smile, and smiling makes me happy. So… when I sprinkle colour throughout my house, I’m really sprinkling happiness.
So there you have it… my French Caribbean guest room makeover. Now that it’s done I think it’s actually more Caribbean than it is French, and that’s just fine with me because the master bedroom makeover, which won’t be happening until the fall, is going to be very French.
My brain will be busily working on this for the next few months as I daydream while I’m weeding. lol. I’ll be spending my project time, as much as I can, outside … tackling projects for both the house and the gardens… and loving it!
Thanks so much for reading! Sprinkle some colour somewhere today… and smile!




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  1. Wow Tuula! You are one creative – talented woman! I love your colorful makeover. I think you should do something fun with the pipe. And I too like the green dresser. What a fun room! A tropical vacation right in your own home. Now, if you could only get room service and a cleaning lady who comes in and makes the bed. You inspire girl! Great makeover!

  2. Oh Tuula, this is so lovely! I know you're smiling every time you enter your caribbean paradise. What a sense of accomplishment you must have for a project well done! Your guests will truly enjoy staying in this room. I know I would!

  3. Oh, you dancing kitty girl! You finished with style. Are you taking guests yet? Love the explosions of island colors and the small French touches scattered about. It took a lot of visualization to come to this. I am very impressed. Tres, tres, bon!

  4. Tuula, I am seriously impressed with this charming guest room! It feels as if I've stepped into a Caribbean villa in the 1920's. You've done a wonderful job of tying all the vibrant colours in together and added so many interesting accents that any guest would be delighted to stay there. Well done!

  5. Love this post! The room that didn't want a makeover 🙂 well I say you did a great job regardless! I have been colour-izing our garden space, looks so much better!

    Hugs, Estelle xx

  6. What a beautiful " happy " room Tuula – you really channelled the Carribean there – that headboard is gorgeous!
    I LOVE that little cupboard door btw – looks like something out of Narnia 😉

  7. Oh Tuula! How gorgeous!! I've been waiting for this and you did not disappoint! I am crushing on that headboard and now will be waiting for that post! Now I need to try your channeling technique so I can finish my bedroom! Nice job and I'd be doing a happy dance too!

  8. Tuula your guest room is gorgeous, you did such a great job on such a small budget and you have all your gorgeous Paris things in there. Well done, by the way don;t feel too bad I still have posted the boys bedroom I started LAST year….should really get onto that 🙂

  9. Lovely room! Your guests will think they are on a Caribbean cruise. It would be an easy 'fix' to hide that pipe by simply boxing it in, including matching mop board. Or training a vining plant to go up the pipe. How about making it a flag pole? Ship's mast with sail? Painting tree branches going off the pipe, with the pipe being the trunk of the tree. Better yet, a palm tree! It is the Caribbean after all. I can't wait to see what you end up doing with it.

  10. Stopping by to thank you for sharing at One More Time Events Share it One More Time …You have done a great job on your room.

  11. What a great transformation! I love the Monet picture – definitely a great buy 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing at last week's All My Bloggy Friends! I can't wait to see what you share this week!

  12. Somehow, I am just now reading this. I love the bright, happy colors of the room! Your guests will feel pampered and like they are in a tropical paradise for sure!