The owners of this south Minneapolis house started remodeling a guest bedroom, but didn't finish. So when they decided to sell, they called Lori Matzke of Centerstagehome.com.
"You never want to leave a project like this half-baked for a new owner to come in and complete," Matzke said. "A house full of unfinished rooms will likely be promoted as a house that 'needs work,' which is going to be an automatic signal to potential buyers that they can pick it up for less than actual market value."
She cleared out clutter and painted the trim and doors with a satin-finish latex paint in a creamy vanilla to match the carpet that had been installed when the project began.
She sealed the seams between sheets of wainscotting with a paintable latex caulk, sanded off the excess and painted the walls with a mixture of leftover trim paint and bright white satin paint.
The old cast iron radiator was primed and painted with the trim paint to help it blend in rather than stand out. "You can paint cast-iron radiators with latex paint, but oil-based paints tend to discolor once the heat is turned on." She put a piece of half-inch glass ($36) on the radiator for use as a display shelf during non-heating months. Custom radiator covers can start at about $200.
A sheet hanging in the window was replaced with inexpensive, off-white muslin Roman shades with black pompom trim attached to the bottom for interest.
Matzke furnished the room with a daybed that had been in storage and dressed it with a cream-colored quilt, shams and bed skirt made from a twin-size skirt. Patterned pillows make the room feel like a cozy little Paris apartment and help create a black-and-white color scheme. A second-hand dresser was repainted and a beatup hand-me-down chair was given a quick face-lift with the same bright glossy paint, then reupholstered with lime green fabric that matches an accent pillow to pull the whole theme together.
Matzke accessorized the room with two off-white lamps bought for $2 each at a second-hand store and fitted them with new shades. An inexpensive collage made from spray-painted frames and blown-up postcards draws the eye toward the windows. Books, an old trunk that doubles as a night stand and a bouquet of fresh flowers on the glass-topped radiator give the room a finished, homey appeal.