Archive for the ‘Bedrooms’ Category

When I picked our bedding out, we were engaged (and armed with a wedding registry scanner), and had just signed a lease on a small house with white walls and hardwood floors:

Unfortunately, a couple years after that, we bought a house with carpet that just does not go:

We talked a good game about replacing the flooring throughout the house, but as our two year home ownership anniversary rapidly approaches, we’re no closer to new carpet, and I’m finally starting to think seriously about how to work with it rather than decorate in spite of it.

For whatever reason, our duvet cover wound up tossed in this room recently:

and dude! – it looked great!  So the wheels in my head started turning.  What if we move the guest bedroom furniture into this room, put our green & yellow striped bedding on the guest bed, and buy new green and blue bedding for our room?

It would be reasonably inexpensive, would keep most of what we have in use, and would work with, rather than fighting, the carpet that we’ve got.

It was a great idea, until I realized how hard the execution would be.  Just the right green and blue bedding is hard to come by.  Dark enough to go with the carpet, light enough to feel bright and airy… eep.

My first stab was this duvet cover from Target.  It’s not available in-store, but the website photo looked promising, and the price was great.

Above:  Liberty of London for Target – Paisley Duvet Set

Pretty, no?

But then, I did a little more searching online, and came across an ebay listing for the set.  The listing photos, which I suspect may be more accurate, show a different color that I didn’t like anywhere near as well.  So back to the drawing board.

I’ve been drooling over LL Bean’s Pincushion quilt, pictured in the ad below, for the last several home catalog mailings:


But alas… not only do they only seem to have the twin available on the website, but it’s a little more than I was hoping to spend, only to likely need to buy another, warmer blanket to go under it for the winter months.

Since LL Bean has so many coordinating items in the palette I’m aiming for, I perused a little more.  This comforter cover is pretty, but I’m not sure there’s enough blue or green to accomplish what I’m looking for.  The dark blue floor might sooner swallow the pattern up.

And so I continued my search…

Pottery Barn – Sydney Palampore (and it’s on sale!)

(but it might not pass the “no flowers” test…)

Pottery Barn – Sienna Paisley

(Very pretty, but would it coordinate with the dark blue floor?  I’m thinking not.)

I checked every other purveyor of bedding I could think of, or Google could point me to:  Bed Bath & Beyond, Linens N Things, Macy’s, Target, Walmart, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Ikea, Crate & Barrel, Eddie Bauer, overstock.com, amazon.com, and ebay, to name a few.  I found a bunch of stuff that I felt pretty uninspired by.  All of which led me to wonder if I should consider a Plan B.

The master bedroom was the first room in the house that we chose paint for, and I have never been especially thrilled with my selection.  It isn’t bad, but it was never quite what I was going for.  The shade in the green guest room (my second stab) is much better.

Every time I’ve suggested repainting the master bedroom, I’ve been met with a stinkeye of massive proportion.  We eventually reached an agreement wherein I would be allowed to repaint when we eventually buy a bedroom furniture set, and the room gets emptied out anyway.  It seemed like a victory at the time, but given that, like the carpet, bedroom furniture hasn’t cracked the top 10 list of priorities (nor have I found a set I must have anyway), I’m pretty sure I accepted an offer that my contracts professor would’ve shamed me for.

Leaving the Stinkeye Factor alone for the time being, what if… I moved all the green into the green guest room, repainted the room something in the gray/greige/taupe/blue family, and just embraced the concept of a blue bedroom?  That would broaden the option field considerably.

Crate & Barrel – Lindsey Paisley

I will inevitably keep brainstorming for a while, and keep adding ideas here, which serves as my best shot at getting all my ideas together in one place.  As always, the other option is to just leave it all as it is, and wait until we finally replace the carpet.  But what fun is that?


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This may very well be the last room in the house to get any wall decor!

I took all of the photos on vacation last summer… so even if they’re not all that impressive, they make me happy.  And isn’t that what counts?  Our bedroom is one of our more piecemeal-furnished rooms, so any little bit to make it feel more “finished” and less “interim” is nice.

Alas, though, it turns out that our bedroom is the first room that will need a repaint job:

This area next to our bed is right above where Guinness’ dog bed used to be.  He has a thing for rolling around on his back on his fleece-topped dog bed – and rubbing up against the wall.  I’m pretty disappointed with how the paint wore:  it was Behr flat latex, mixed to match Sherwin Williams Gratifying Green.  Next time we’ll just spend the money for the Sherwin Williams paint, since it’s wearing so much better in the rest of the house.  Live and learn.

For the meantime, I’ve moved his bed and plan to spackle, sand, and paint over it with some of the leftover paint.  When we someday buy a real bedroom set (oh wonderful day in the future…) we’ve agreed that we’ll repaint the room a slightly different, less minty green.  Until then, I’ll just enjoy my beach pictures!

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On the heels of the painted vanity project, and before I’ve completely worked up the courage to turn the kitchen cabinets gray…

What to do with this armoire:

It’s an art deco monstrosity, inherited from my great grandmother, about 5 feet tall and perhaps best suited to my parents’ interim use for it:  inside a walk-in closet, holding out of season clothes and winter sports gear.  They offered it to us when we bought the house.  The price (free) was right, and we’ve been using it for well over a year.

I use the monster to hold all of my clothes, since we haven’t invested in a real bedroom set yet.  (It’s on The List, but… we’ve been prioritizing the areas of the house where we spend more awake time, and that more people see.)

Even after we get a new bedroom set for our room, we probably won’t get rid of the monster.  The deep drawers have great storage, and the armoire portion has cedar panels, so it’s great for sweaters.  I could see it ending up in a guest room, full of out of season clothes, or as furniture in a kid room.

Since it is still long for this world, and art deco is so far from our style, I’ve been trying to think of what I can do to update it.

Other than a water mark (I think) along one side, it’s in remarkably good condition.  I just can’t get past the inlaid art deco triangle pattern on the door and bottom drawers, and the triangular pulls:

The pulls are screwed on:

so they should be easy enough to remove and replace with updated hardware.  The front surfaces may be more problematic.

If I could figure out how to even out the seams between wood pieces to hide the triangles, I could paint it white (or black, or any other color), replace the hardware, and call it a day.  I’m not sure how best to do that, though.  Suggestions appreciated!

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One of my organizational challenges has always been my jewelry.  I like wearing colorful pieces, but storing my jewelry in a way that allows me to easily find what I have in a given color has been a bust.  The end result is that on a day to day basis I wear the same three or so pairs of earrings and accessorize minimally, and the rest of my stuff gathers tarnish and/or dust.  The road is paved with good intentions, and all that.

I’ve tried a series of jewelry boxes, containers, stands, etc., sometimes all on my dresser at once, with only mild success.  I needed something to prevent tangled necklace chains, keep matched necklace and bracelet sets together, and pairs of earring together, so that at a-quarter-to-I’m-late-thirty in the morning, I can grab, go, and come out looking relatively polished.  (It’s aspirational, I admit.)

DSC_0042 DSC_0044 DSC_0043

I looked at dresser-top trees, they didn’t look like they’d hold both earrings and necklaces, or large pieces very well.  I also looked at some commercially available wall mounted versions (urbanoutfitters.com had several), but everything either lacked enough hooks, or looked too stodgy, heavy, and solid (like wall mounted jewelry armoires).

After significant searching online, I found and ordered this wall-mounted jewelry holder from melissawoods‘ Etsy shop:


30 hook jewelry hanger

It arrived this week, and I love it!

The top row of hooks holds my earrings, and the bottom row holds my necklaces:


It sticks out pretty far from the wall, but it fits really well in a corner next to my closet, in a space that wasn’t being used.  I made sure that the place I planned to hang it wasn’t over a forced air heat vent (because how could that end badly?), and being right next to my clothes is a bonus!

DSC_0032 DSC_0037

Pins, post earrings, and rings don’t fit very well, but all of those things are pretty resistant to tangling, easy to pair when necessary, and relatively small.  A single jewelry box will hold those, no problem.  Problem solved!

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This was (is) the last of the four bedrooms to gain a defined function.  It’s part auxiliary guest room, part ironing room, I had at one point thought of using it as a room to do yoga (with a door that closes — dogs and downward-facing dog aren’t friends), and it also has the distinction of probably being the “nursery… someday.”  We didn’t really own any furniture to go into it, nor did we have a solid purpose in mind – so it was probably the hardest room to decide on a color for.  We might not have painted it at all, except that the walls bore the remains of the tape that once held up a daughter’s pictures, and there were a few holes from (you guessed it) more plates, and some cracks in the sheetrock – so it looked well worn, and in need of a freshening.

So this was then:

Our sellers used the room as a daughter's bedroom

Somehow, in person, the walls looked a little more reminiscent of the Ecto-Cooler-drinking days of my youth.

At any rate, we considered using the rest of the yellow from the other guest room and our office (dismissed because 3 yellow bedrooms sounded like overkill), the rest of the green from our bedroom (dismissed because we didn’t looooove it), going with a totally different shade of blue (dismissed, unmemorably), and using the rest of the cream from the hallways (dismissed on account of being boring, despite being the obvious choice for practicality and flexibility in the future.

We ultimately decided to try out one of the two shades of green we were considering for the living room/dining room:

Privilege Green (SW6193)

Privilege Green (SW6193)

Coastal Plain (SW6192)

Coastal Plain (SW6192)

Creamy (SW7012)

Creamy (SW7012)

Opaline (SW6189)

Opaline (SW6189)

Filmy Green (SW6190)

Filmy Green (SW6190)

The greens on the left were candidates for the dining room below the chair rail (with creamy above), and on the right, for the living room (assume hardwood floors or tan carpet instead of the green).  We weren’t sure how “green” we really wanted the living room, though, so we figured that for lack of any other real plan, we’d try Filmy Green out on the spare 4th bedroom:

Ta-da! It's... pale green!

We have a few odds & ends in there now — so really, feel free to visit, at the same time as someone else even — this is, for now, guest room #2!

As for our reaction to the green, I love it for the bedroom.  If I didn’t think my husband would kill me, I’d propose repainting our room this shade, because I like it better than the ‘Gratifying Green’ (that was only moderately gratifying) that we chose for in there.  We still might – Guinness has already scratched the paint in our room by his bed with his toenails.  I’m finding that Behr paint isn’t holding up as well as the Sherwin Williams that we have in other rooms of the house!

DSC_0001I don’t think the living room will ever be this color, though.  For one thing, I think it might be just a little too green (although it’s hard to imagine how it would look without the green carpet).

For another, though, it turns out that I’m really undecided about flooring.  When we bought the house I was ready to replace all the carpet with tan berber and be done with it, but now I’m rethinking.  We find that we use the dining room a lot — anytime we have more than 4 for dinner — so it might be more practical to replace the dining room floor collectively with the adjacent kitchen (and hall), rather than the living room.  Hardwood, maybe?  Something wipe-able?

Since the green paints under consideration are all contingent on replacing the green carpet, and there’s no foreseeable consensus on that issue, I think we’re going to cave and just paint the living room creamy for now (possibly this weekend), to match all the other neutral spaces.  In anticipation of the paint job, we’ve spackled the copious holes in the walls from plate racks galore, and started repairing a crack under the bay window.  I think the green floors will be easier to overlook with bright, fresh walls while we ponder.

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The room was largely used for storage – not a particularly inspiring space.

and… After:

It’s a legitimately functional guest room!

We knew we wanted to have a guest room permanently set up in the house, because so many of our (mainly my) friends and family live far enough away that when they visit, they need to spend the night.  I wanted to have a bright, comfortable space for them to stay when they come.  Hopefully they agree that we succeeded in that mission!

Behr Song of Summer 340A-3

Behr Song of Summer

We painted the walls Behr “Song of Summer” (340A-3), in flat latex paint.  We were looking for something bright and happy, without being too overwhelming.  The color is a little bolder than I expected, but we like it just fine.  That’s good, because our office is the same color!

The hand painted Boardwalk deed is one of my favorite items:

I bought it for $1 at a yard sale during my first semester of law school.  I was a big yard sale connoisseur at the time, flying solo and furnishing an apartment entirely on my own for the first time.  I have fond memories of that time – I was new to the city, and found people to be kinder than I’d imagined possible.  When I explained to one woman what I was looking for (mostly pots and kitchen stuff), she took me into her kitchen and did a second comb-through for things that weren’t put out on the yard sale table, but she wasn’t using.  She gave them to me for free!  Some of them I still have, others I’ve passed on to the next student in line.  But I digress.

One of the other great things about doing this room was how much we were able to repurpose and/or buy really inexpensively, and still come up with a relatively cohesive room.  We bought new white sheets from Overstock.com, but all of the rest of the bedding had been mine during undergrad/grad school, and just needed a refresh trip to the laundromat.  The bed was bought from a friend who was moving, and no longer had a need/space for it.  The Hawaiian print valence and pillow cases were made by my mom back when I was in college.  We did the room in less than a gallon of paint, which we bought on sale.

Eventually, we’d like to hang up the beach patrol oars over the head of the bed.  For now, they’re tucked on the floor.  We’re still debating the best way to put them up.  A gun rack is definitely an option — but I’m a little nervous about the weight.  We’ve been having some trouble with sheetrock deterioration in the bathrooms, that has complicated replacing the light fixtures.  These oars are 9 feet long, and have steel shafts – weight is definitely something to be concerned with.  We’ll have to figure out exactly where the studs are, and if they’re not located in a useful place, consider hanging them from the ceiling…?

Also on the “eventually” list, is of course, new carpeting for this room, and if we replace bedroom and closet doors and paint the trim white throughout, we’ll do that in here too.  We’ll see!

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Before (circa May 2008):


And After (circa October 2008):





This room is admittedly one of our least interesting before/afters.  We took a blue room, painted it green, and moved our (and Guinness’) furniture in.  Voila.

Gratifying Green

Gratifying Green

The paint color is Sherwin-Williams’ Gratifying Green (SW6435), mixed in Behr interior flat latex paint.  We also painted the ceiling, ceiling white – it had been kind of a cream/tan (which we suspect may have just been primer, circa 1986).  The last picture, with the mirror in it, is probably the best photo of how it looks on the wall.  It was a lot brighter (and minty-er?) than I had anticipated.  I don’t dislike it… but if I had to pick a color that we’ve used that I’m not entirely enamored with, this might be it.  After it dried, we evaluated it and decided that we should revisit some of the blue and green shades we’d chosen for the rest of the house.  Most of what we’ve chosen since has been a little more neutral.









Speaking of revisiting colors, the Sherwin-Williams store in Schenectady gave me a complimentary fan deck when I was in buying all the cream colored paint for the halls/kitchen/foyer/stair case.  It has made picking (and re-picking) paint colors immensely easier.  




Master Bedroom plans for the future:

– we’re planning to replace the carpet throughout the house, with a tan burber.  Guinness helped pick it out:



At any rate, the bedroom will be one of the rooms that really benefits from that change.

– Painted trim:  we think we’re going to paint the trim throughout white.  

– Replacement closet doors, and probably bedroom doors.  I’d like to do bi-fold closet doors (instead of the current sliders), so we can both get into our sides of the closet at the same time.  

– Wall hangings?  The walls are awfully bare, but I haven’t come across anything inspiring just yet.


There are also some furniture purchases in our future (a second night stand… a dresser to replace the art deco armoire…) but for now, we’ve had a pretty comfortable stay!

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