Creating a ‘Cozy’ Conversion—One (Patient) Step at a Time


So you want a Martha Stewart look? Wish you could hire Joanna Gaines to ‘fixer upper’? While Martha and Joanna may provide inspiration, here’s the secret to your success: 

your personal style + patience + a plan

How do you create your personal style? Decide what you love. Is it a particular color? Is it a specific pattern? Here are some questions to ask as you create your personal style—in a cozy, primitive way:

  1. What colors do I love?
  2. Who is going to spend a lot of time in this room?
  3. What kind of environment do I want to create? Casual? Formal? Romantic?
  4. Which furniture do I want in this room?
  5. What items do I already have that I want to use in this room?
  6. Which items do I need to purchase to put my personal stamp on this room?

Answer these questions and then create your plan.

And, as you create your plan, remember to have patience---and say the Serenity Prayer. Just know what you can change and don’t fret about the things you have no control over. This will help you prioritize. 

 Serenity prayer 

Here’s an example to help you get started. I converted an office into a guest room. The walls were white and there was blue carpeting. My husband’s cycling ‘stuff’ was in one corner and it has inhabited this room for over 20 years. (Now you understand the reasoning for the Serenity Prayer.)

Here’s where I started:

  1. Moved everything out of the room (if possible)
  2. Cleaned carpet, walls and windows
  3. Set up a double bed.
  4. Covered the bed in sheets with a muted sage green willow leaf print
  5. Topped the bed with a quilt made by my mother that includes 12 squares made by each of her siblings’ families.
  6. Moved great-grandmother’s trunk to end of bed to store other quilts
  7. Added a bookshelf, lamp, miniature clam bucket and pip berry wreath
  8. Added pictures of our kids and a Scentsy candle
  9. Respected my husband’s stuff in the corner. 

Here’s a picture of the current status:

 Guest Room Quilt

Now I need to ‘take it up a notch’. Here are the next steps planned:

    1.  Paint the walls a soft sage green.

Selected Valspar Sparkling Sage.


     2. Order a rug from

Considering Baja Blue Cotton Braided Rug

Baja Blue Cotton Braided Rug

     3. Order curtains from

I’m looking at Josephine Sage Scalloped Lined Valance. 

Josephine Sage Valance

    4. Wrap up room by personalizing wall with family pictures and mementos.

I’ve created my personal style, which includes my family heirlooms. Patience is a given, considering the 20 years of history with the bikes. And now I have a plan for finishing the room. So check back in a couple weeks for a progress update----and find out how negotiations about the bike ‘stuff’ went with my husband!

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  • Leigh Fisher
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