Before and After: Master Bedroom

This room wasn’t terrible beforehand, but it was very “blah” and had never felt right in the three years we’ve lived here. You can’t tell from these pictures, but the walls were a pale taupe, which was getting totally washed out from the light from two large windows. Our trusty pine furniture (shipped from England) was looking very, very dated – and simply awful when paired with plum colored bedding and curtains.


A sturdy pine armoire with nice molding details also made the journey across the Atlantic. What can I say, you’ve seen something like this a hundred times before, right?



The style of the art wasn’t right (not to mention being hung too high!), and I was permanently tousling with whether the wall with the bed on it, or the wall to the right (which happens to have a water view and attractive vaulted ceiling) should be the focal point of the room. After digging out some inspiration pics of beds against windows, I figured, to heck with it, and moved the bed so that it was on that wall. We have a second large window (facing the bed in the photo above), so loss of light was not a problem – although bright sunshine did create a challenge for an amateur photographer-blogger in her after shots. ;)

Once I decided I liked the new furniture layout, the real craziness began. It took me about 6 weeks to paint the bed, the drawers, the armoire, and the walls. Beloved Husband, poor thing, was recruited to do the ceiling. However, I kept the bedding and curtains, since they were only a couple of years old.

Here are our results:

Walls: Benjamin Moore’s “Stone Hearth(thank you, Maria Killam!)
Bed: painted in Behr’s “Swiss Coffee
Lamps: Lamps Plus

Dragonflies (high on wall above bed): Umbra

Drawers: Minwax white pickling stain
(not recommended – just use paint, instead)

Armoire: Painted in Behr’s “Verdigris”
(Thank you, Nester, for the courage to start this project!
Chair: HomeGoods, re-covered in “Carmen Miranda” fabric
by Full Swing Textiles

“Choose Joy” print: Eva Juliet
Cube side table: Amazon
Lamp: CSN (and thanks to Bromeliad for finding it!)

Sea Urchin beaded knobs: on clearance at Anthropologie
Accessories: from shopping the house :)

Beloved Husband deserves a big public hug for putting up with all this mayhem, including not getting too spooked by a wall color that appeared a bit too brown for his comfort, and for agreeing to me painting his dearest pine. I took on a little more than I could handle with all the aspects of this project, and with hindsight, I’m lucky he’s still talking to me.

So, hush, don’t tell him, but the most sacred guy-space in the house – our home office – is next on my list…

Proudly linking to:
Room Remix,

Happy Birthday to House

I don’t actually know the date on which our house was ‘born’, but I do know that exactly 3 years ago, Beloved Husband and I handed over a stunningly large check, for 1800 square feet of pleasure and pain next to the San Francisco Bay.

We knew we were buying a challenge. A previous elderly owner had understandably but rather sadly neglected everything but the rose bushes. The subsequent couple of years as a rental resulted in all the interior components being cheap, beige, dirty – or all three.

But, in terms of location, the house was in a beautiful setting, with salt water at the end of our garden. We had also viewed an expensively remodeled beauty of the same floor plan, just down the road: living proof of what our house could become with a bit of time and love. We cheerfully signed on the line.

Since then, I’ve learned a lot about myself and my marriage, never mind the quirks of the four walls we inhabit. I’ve watched in dismay as home values fell like a stone (while Beloved Husband remained irritatingly unperturbed). I’ve impatiently blamed the house for not being stylish enough, fast enough (when in reality I knew every one of its faults from the outset). I’ve put my relationship at risk in expecting DIY miracles from the love of my life, and sulking when he doesn’t immediately embrace all my design-diva ideas.

Yet somehow, we’re hanging in there, apparently avoiding foreclosure on both the mortgage and the marriage. We’ve muddled through the installation of a new kitchen, three bathrooms, a boat dock and (any day now) a new roof. The Home Owners Association and our neighbors are still talking to us. And this morning I finally woke up in a bedroom which is pleasing to my eye.

So today, I’m publicly wishing my home a Happy Birthday, apologizing for all the times I get grumpy with you, and thanking you for keeping me safe, warm, and (mostly) dry. I promise to try harder to enjoy you for what you are, rather than wishing you’re something you’re not. I resolve to stop and smell those roses, not to mention pausing to watch the pelicans.

If these sentiments strike a chord with you, I highly recommend the Nester’s 10 ways to avoid having a home you’ll love.

Photo thanks: Gingerbread Shack

Master Bedroom Sneak Peak

After almost 6 weeks of sleeping in the guest bedroom and bruising my knees on the bed during midnight bathroom visits, I’m relieved to report the master is nearing completion. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not finished – that would be far too speedy – but for my morale as much as your interest, here is a sneak peak.

The remaining tasks are small and hopefully nothing too sinister lurks within them. With a bit of luck and a final sprint for the finish, I’ll be sharing proper pics before too long.

In the meantime, since it’s Monday, I’m going back to my day job for a nice rest. :)

Tingly Fingers

This post will be short as my fingers are all trembly and tingly. Fear not, I don’t think it’s a sinister tropical disease. More likely the result of 10 woman-hours spent in the company of this:

Don’t be fooled by the cute “mouse” name. This mighty midget can send tremors up and down your entire body, and not in a good way. Even wearing stylish purple gloves is no real defense against the tingles.

Below, behold our upside-down bed. On the plus side, Beloved Husband is extremely fond of it, and I must admit it’s very comfortable and still totally sturdy. It also made a rather gallant journey from London to California, via Hamburg and the Panama Canal. So, although it’s now 13 years old and a rather nasty shade of orange-tinted pine, we were reluctant to say goodbye.

You won’t need to be a genius to know that I decided the best way to save money, appease Husband, yet satisfy my hankering for a new look was to reach for the paint can. Before that, of course, I had to get acquainted with the sander to vanquish the glossy orange. And so begins a saga which, knowing the pace I move, will probably be ongoing until Halloween. I’ve been at it for 8 days already, partly due to the inconvenient necessity of showing up for the day job in between (those pay checks are strangely alluring!). Happily, it has now reached the stage where I can think about paint – rather than just orange dust – hence its upside-down-ness.

I hope one day to share glamor pics of our “new” sleeping partner, but in the meantime my tingly fingers are signing off and going in search of some nice iced tea, probably with a straw as I’m not sure I trust myself to hold the glass.

How was your weekend? Any tingles, good or bad?

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