Today I am sharing a spring bed nook refresh in the guest cottage: a new-to-me bed with fresh paint and mix-and-match bedding, including home-sewn ruffled shams that just about did me in…

The Guest Cottage

A spring bed nook refresh in the guest cottage

I have written before that during the winter I tend to forget about the guest cottage.

It sits up the driveway, empty, lonely, and rather forlorn.

About this time of year, though, when I start planning for summer visitors, I remember it is there.

And when I give it a visit, I always wonder why I don’t spend more time there.

Check it out for yourself when you read my blog post Summer Read in the Guest Cottage and come for a virtual overnight “stay”!

While I update and change the decor seasonally in the house, I really don’t do much to the guest cottage.

This year, though, in preparation for spring, and summer beyond, I made a few changes.

A Facebook Marketplace purchase prompted me to get some new linens, and to sew my own shams.

More on that almost-fiasco later…

But first the bed that inspired it all!

A New-to-Me Bed

Hand-painted buoys by a local artist hang from the foot board

I am always amazed by the Facebook Marketplace treasures and deals people share on Instagram.

No such luck for me.

I did get an antique chair once. The house I picked it up from was really creepy. And the chair is just meh.

It is sitting in the basement now.

Maybe I should try selling it on FBMP…

But I wanted a new bed for the guest cottage. And I didn’t want to spend a lot on it.

For the past 7 years I have been using just an inexpensive upholstered headboard. It isn’t bad, but it isn’t anything special either. And it wasn’t even actually attached to the bed frame. It was just propped up against the wall.

So I started poking around on FBMP.

What I really wanted was an antique bed, but they don’t come in a queen size.

Then one day I noticed a simple painted wood bed — headboard and footboard — with classic cottage style.

For just $20. Sold!

I made the trip to Belfast to pick it up from an old coastal inn that was being redone.

Then I got to work painting it. Blue, of course!

It is sturdy with pretty curved lines and big ball finials.

I kind of wish the headboard was taller, but it has sweet cottage charm. Perfect for the little bed nook in the guest cottage!

So, the old headboard will now join the FBMP chair in the basement.

Or maybe I should list it… 😉

Mix and Match Bedding

Mix and match bedding

I have summer and winter bedding for the guest cottage, but nothing really for the transitional seasons, spring and fall.

Keeping with the coastal cottage theme, I went for a classic patchwork quilt from The Company Store. It was on sale for 50%, so it is now sold out. Sorry I can’t link it!

Funny thing — my friend Melissa from The Inspired Room, who also lives in a cottage on the coast — the other one — has the same quilt.

She also just wrote a blog post about how she found her dream bed on Facebook Marketplace. Her bed is absolutely gorgeous. Why is FBMP so good everywhere but Maine?!

If you don’t know Melissa, you should definitely give her a visit on her blog and on Instagram @theinspiredroom. Melissa has also written several books on home life!

Back to my bedding…

At the foot of the bed I folded a duvet with a white ruffle-edged cover. Simple and sweet. And white is always a nice contrast to all the color and pattern I love.

Shopping link:

Note: It came with ruffled shams that were too large for a standard size pillow.

A bold blockprint throw pillow cover from Etsy contrasts with the smaller prints in the rest of the bedding.

Shopping link:

For sheets, I used a blue and white floral set I have had for years.

Home-Sewn Pillow Shams

And now the story of the pillow shams….

I hope you took the time to admire them closely. Because they certainly ended up being a labor of love.

It all started when I opted not to get shams that matched the quilt.

Instead, I found a fun floral fabric that coordinated with the quilt and throw pillow.

It would be a snap to sew a pair of shams with an easy envelope back!

That was until, inspired by a favorite designer, I decided to add a small ruffle…

One might even say I became obsessed with the small ruffle.

A favorite designer

Have you heard of Massachusetss designer Katie Rosenfeld? I follow her on Instagram, @katierosenfeld. She has a fabulous cottage style, full of color and pattern, with beautiful tailored details.

Like small ruffles on pillows.

Katie has a website, where she shares some of her design projects.

You can also see a tour of Katie’s own home on Homeworthy.

I knew that it would be a major job to gather all the fabric needed for two 26×21 bed pillow shams.

But I also knew that I would no longer be happy with ruffle-less shams. Once I had the vision in my head, I couldn’t get it out.

So I got to work.

And it was a lot of work.

For those who sew, I used an “easy” method I read about here. Instead of sewing two rows of basting and then pulling the threads, I ran a ziz-zag stitch over string the full length of the ruffle. Avoiding catching the string with the needle was a little tricky, but it was definitely easier to pull than the thread. And I didn’t need to worry about the string breaking. Let me know if you have any questions!

I must say, I love the way the shams came out! The ruffle detail takes the design to the next level.

It was worth the extra effort!

And I have to thank all of you for providing me the impetus to tackle this project that I kept putting off!

Now I just need to put the Christmas tree away and the cottage will be guest-ready!

This Week Into Next

Boy, this week sure got away from me.

I was away in D.C. from Wednesday last week through the weekend, then flew home on Monday.

Tuesday and Wednesday were full with getting settled back in, my usual volunteer work, a couple meetings, and a routine veterinary visit for my kitty Tuck.

Before I knew it, it was Thursday and there I was late at night pulling gathers for the ruffle on my pillow shams.

That fun continued into Friday morning, followed by a trip in the driving rain up the driveway to the guest cottage to take pictures for this post.

You can get an idea of what kind of weather I was dealing with from the photos above.

Ah, the exciting life of a blogger!

The truth is, though, I am blessed to be doing this, and to call this currently wet, blustery, gray place home.

And I had the best trip to D.C. So it was all worth it!

The Eclipse

Did you see the eclipse?

I rushed home from the airport on Monday to catch it at the house.

Some areas in Maine were in the zone of totality, but here on the coast we were at about 97%.

It was still so interesting to see the landscape turn muted and shadowy and to feel the temperature drop. And it got really dark in the house, despite the fact that it was a beautiful day.

In Zoe’s Kitchen

I had fun cooking with Zoë last weekend!

The lemon poppy seed loaf cakes came out great and Poppy’s 1st birthday party was a big success. She looked so cute in the birthday crown I made her. She actually kept it on for the entire party!

I shared step-by-step direction for how to make a fabric birthday crown in last week’s blog post.

This week in her newsletter, Zoë is featuring two recipes we made last weekend:

* The NYT Cooking Chickpea Salad Sandwiches that I wrote about here on the blog two weeks ago. We enjoyed these with sliced tomato and cheddar cheese as “melts” for lunch on Sunday. Zoë messaged me later in the week to tell me that she “couldn’t get enough” of this vegetarian tuna salad dupe. She was wrapping it in a small tortilla with cheddar slices, lettuce, and tomato for a snack.

* Molly Baz’s Orzo al Limone: An easy one-pot dish that is both comforting and fresh.

I am hoping to complete some small projects in the primary bath this weekend that I will share with you next week.

The plan is to NOT leave all the work for next Thursday and Friday!

Until then, I’ll be here dreaming of sunny skies and warmer temps, and wishing the same for you!


Highlighting coastal decor and lifestyle, Maddie and Cisco, and the way life should be...