Living, Learning & Loving La Vida Nueva

Monday, May 19, 2014

Guest Room Makeover

When we first heard details about our Mokhotlong home, this room was described as a storage room with very little natural light.  Until I actually saw the room, I imagined how I wanted to re-do it to turn it into a guest room.  Then I saw it.  It really did need some serious work to get it into a cozy state.  Hard work pays off, though, and I am so pleased with the result!

The room is large but it felt so gloomy because it was so dark.  The ceiling was a major issue; in some places it was a bubble wrap type insulation while the majority was a dark brown thick cardboard type material.  The roof was really sagging in about half the room and honestly just needed to be replaced.  I mentioned to our landlord that we'd like to fix it and would foot the bill.  While we were in the US, he and his carpenter guys got in there and took down the existing ceiling and rebuilt it, leaving it higher than it was originally.  Then they painted it white and oh my goodness has it changed the whole room.  Then they primed the walls which were a muddy brown.  When we arrived back from our trip, it was like a blank slate for me to work with.  I was thrilled!

This is the only picture we have of the room before it was redone.  I could just kick myself for not taking a better before picture.

We bought a nice bed with a wooden frame from our friends and picked up a night stand while we were in Johannesburg on our way back into the country.  A while back, I bought a new duvet and throw for the bed.  Right here in Mokhotlong I found up a couple pictures to hang on the wall and some curtains to hang in front of the shelves to hide their mess.  The pictures are of two African women, one with a basket on her head (a common sight in Lesotho) and the other with a child.  I cut and hemmed the curtains and had some extra to make two curtains for the small window.  Hemming curtains by hand is real work, folks.  Having light curtains that can open and close easily helps let in as much natural light as possible.

Trying to get over my aversion to hearts with these cuties I picked up.  They have Afrikaans words on them.

On Friday (our 5th wedding anniversary, romantic, huh?) we painted the walls a light creamy color and put the finishing touches on the room that evening.  I spent Saturday morning on my hands and knees scrubbing the paint drips off the floor from where the ceiling had been painted.  My fingers are still feeling raw from all the pressure I had to apply to get those globs up.  Nevertheless, the floor looks ten times better than it ever has.  A lamp and a rug and a bed heater help to make the room a lot more cozy.  Plus, we put the chimney to our coal stove up through that room so that the heat from it would take the chill off the guest room.  It is actually a fairly warm room anyway because the sun does beat down on the roof in that area during a good part of the afternoon.

It truly looks like a different place now and our landlords (and dear friends) could hardly believe it when we showed them Saturday.  Upon seeing it, they jokingly asked if we could possibly open a B&B together.  I'm tickled pink at how it turned out and can't wait for a guest from far, far away to come occupy it for a while.  Any takers?


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