Guest Bedroom Plans + Bench Makeover

By Kate Riley June 24, 2013

It was a busy DIY weekend around here, we finished up the tongue and groove wall in my friend’s dining room on Saturday (which I’ll share next week), assembled and painted a set of bookcases, and I also finished a bench makeover I’ve been meaning to get to for a few weeks.

I’m upgrading the guest room that also serves as our oldest daughter’s room when she’s home from college during the holidays and summer months. I’m making a few changes to the previous more youthful turquoise palette and changing it up with sophisticated combo of cool navy and raspberry with touches of warm brass.

guest bedroom makeover

I love a bench at the end of the bed for extra seating, or as a place to toss clothing or set down an overnight bag. I found the perfect size bench with curved detail on Joss & Main a month ago and purchased it with every intention of changing it to make it fit the space, which is what I did.

bench before and after


For the quick makeover, I returned to two of my most favorite sprays, Zinsser Cover Stain primer and RustOleum Gloss White enamel oil based spray paint. This pair is like Batman and Robin, a dynamic duo that can solve the world’s problems! At least I’m convinced of it. I return to them time and again, one coat of the first, two coats of the second works every time!

zinsser primer rustoleum enamel


I recovered the bench with a modern honeycomb patterned fabric. I start in the middle with a few loose staples to secure the pattern, then smoothing constantly I work my way down to opposite sides and finally the corners for smooth and straight upholstery. After that, i screwed the top and base together, easy peasy.

staple fabric


This honeycomb pattern is one of my own designs and will be available later this year in several different colorways including yellow, coral, and navy. Hexagons are trending right now, but this pattern is truly a classic since the shape has been around since the the origins of honeybees and geometry! This pattern is a modern twist in a fun shade of raspberry with a small amount of gray layered inside.

pink honeycome fabric on bench


I also added a set of IKEA Billy bookcases on either side of the French doors – we later added thicker trim to make them look more substantial, but here’s a peek on how the room is coming together with the medley of dark pinks and blues.

guest room progress

More to come on this bedroom makeover soon!




  1. Knowing you Kate, and from the peek we had, this room will be another beautiful success! Can’t wait!

  2. Beautiful! You’re always inspiring me to make over pieces of furniture! Love the fabric…can’t wait till it becomes available to the public! Also, that raspberry rug is TO DIE FOR. Where is it from?

  3. LOVE the fabric and the room looks great so far! I just started using Zinnser’s cover stain (per your recommendation) and love it!! It is definitely my go to primer now!

  4. Hi Kate–I have been searching for months for the perfect curtains and those are exactly what I’m looking for! Your taste is flawless! Are those also from your fabric line (and if so, how soon can I purchase them :) ? If they are not, would you be willing to share where they’re from? I’m decorating my first apartment post college and I wanted to thank you for inspiring me!

    • That is my pattern too Molly! It’s a soft fern like botanical, and also will be available soon! Email me and I can send you a printed swatch in a variety of colors. :)

  5. Hi Kate, I love the peeks of your guestroom! Excited to see more! Quick question for you: did you sand that bench down first before spray painting it? I ask because I have two wooden chairs with seat and back cushions I’m dying to give a makeover to but I’m not looking forward to sanding the nooks and crannies of the turned arms and legs. Just wondering if I could get away without sanding first…

    • Good news Susan, there is no sanding with the Zinsser Cover Stain, but if the furniture is not new, I recommend a quick wipe down with a deglosser to remove any debris before spraying.

  6. Really pretty Kate. You always do beautiful work. My eyes were immediately drawn to those gorgeous curtains and just saw your comment that those are one of your patterns. They would be perfect for our guest room. Would it be possible to get a printed swatch? Fun to see a peek of your sweet kitty, too, lounging there.

    • Yes Allison, email me and I’ll forward some swatches. The pattern will be available in many colors!

  7. You really have an unbelievable ablility to put pattern and color together. I wouldnt have ever thought to put the choices you made together and it looks so pretty. You always give such great ideas. If I cant do it myself, at least i know i can always come here for some great ideas. Thanks!

  8. I love the color combo. On your design board, you have a navy printed bedding set. Where did you find it? Love it!! I was just thinking about redoing our master in navy and white. Loving navy right now.

  9. Hi Kate, you mentionned some of the materials are your patterns. Can you tell us when and where they will be available? Cant wait!

  10. Love your fabric design!! You’re so creative. Can’t wait to see the other colors.Question about the bench…what you’ve done with it is exactly what I want to do with 2 chairs I have, but I think I want to distress them somewhat. Would you use a dark paint and do a “rub” over the white, or would you lightly “sandpaper” some areas for that effect? Thanks!!

    • Hi Denise, if you want a distressed look, I’d check out AS Chalk Paint or Milk Paint, both are water based and designed for easy distressing so the underlying wood shows through. :)

  11. I love Zinnser too!! Your bench makeover is gorgeous Kate and I love your new fabric! Hicks hexagon is one of my favorite geometric patterns and your design looks very similar yet fresh in the raspberry pink tones! Love!

    • Yes Jenny and Kerstin, they’ll be released on Spoonflower (international shipping) next month to start, I’ll produce my own line and/or license down the road.
      I’m in the process of photographing the fabrics and prints now so everyone can see what they look like in reality. Exciting!

  12. Kate, can’t wait for your fabrics! Will they be available to the general public, or just to the trade?

  13. I can’t believe you have an older daughter in college!!! You look so young!! By the way the room looks great :)

    • People always say that Veronica! She’s my stepdaughter but I’ve raised her since she was three, and technically I am totally old enough to be her mom, it’s true!

  14. I loved your daughter’s room before, but I’m excited to see the new changes. That bench is FABULOUS! You always know exactly what to do to bring the best out in a piece of furniture. Love that fabric so much.

  15. Kate, the room is just stunning – like every other one in your home! I just love your blog, so many great ideas and living in Melbourne, Australia, (its a very cold and wet winter here right now!) I am looking at all your summery decor with much envy! Hoping you can share where you found that lovely blue and white bedding you have featured on your inspiration board. I am obsessed!

    • Hi Lyndal, the bedding is Pottery Barn, and I think they just opened up a shop in Australia!

  16. What a fabulous makeover! I liked the antique-style of the bench but your changes have made it so much more contemporary and stylish. It’s inspiring to see how simple changes can make such a drastic difference.

  17. Well kate, about your stepdaughter… I think that is so beautiful that you raised her and that she gets to go home and visit you and sleep in a comfy and nice room… It says a lot about you.

  18. I can’t wait to see your new hexagon fabrics! There is a dearth of true coral-colored fabric, I’m finding. Love love love!

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