It’s always darkest before the dawn (a tour of our pretty painted/primped bedroom) (and an examination of my newly unemployed state)

Posted by on Mar 21, 2013 in Bedroom | 0 comments

I’ve been a bit unintentionally MIA for the past couple of weeks.  In all honesty, the last-week-of-workness, trying-to-get-house-ready-to-list-ishness, OMG-need-to-find-another-job-soon-ness, and all of the related stress took its toll on me last week and I sorta just wanted to curl up in a corner and sleep for a bit.

But all that is over now.  Work is done, for better or for worse.  I’m applying for jobs like crazy and hoping that a promising phone call from some nice prospective employer-person (who thinks I’m awesome and wants to pay me loads of money to come work at their fine organization) comes soon.  We’re working on the house and have been in talks with our agent so we can list as soon as possible.  And we’re looking at other houses and trying to make smart and solid plans for what to do next.

But, in the midst of all this chaos, I realized that I never posted my “look-what-we-did!” big reveal on our bedroom makeover.  So I thought I’d take a bit of a timeout from everything else and indulge in a quick “tada!” moment.  :)

First, let’s take a looksee back on what the room looked like pre-painting/-primping/-improving, k?  Our room wasn’t terrible.  At all!  But I’m not a sage green kind of girl – I’d like to be, and I like it in other people’s homes, but it’s just not me.

A couple coats of BM Revere Pewter later (plus a pretty pendant light, a much-obsessed-about new duvet cover and some new curtains too) and here’s our lovely little bedroom now (on a mighty sunny day!)…

Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter bedroom with white curtains - perfect paint colour

I’m particularly happy with our curtains (Matilda from the awesome curtain-making folk over in Ikea-land.)  Cheap and cheerful and sorta girly but simple.

White Ikea Matilda tab-top curtains in Revere Pewter bedroom

Ikea Matilda tab-top curtains in white in bedroom

And I’m also in love with our duvet cover.  Also cheap.  Also cheerful.  Also Ikea (Alvine Orter.)

Ikea Alvine Orter duvet cover with Hemnes dressers

For now I’ve tossed (er, lovingly and carefully placed) a random navy and red striped Roots blanket that I’ve had for eons at the foot of the bed.  Once spring hits (weather-wise at least!) I’ll likely swap the heavy blanket out for a lighter throw.  But for the time being, it works.  :)

And I’m ridiculously pleased by how nice our freshly painted walls look against our awesome black-brown Hemnes dressers.  I’ve been wanting to paint a room (a wall? A random piece of furniture? Anything!) Revere Pewter for years.  Mr. Benjamin Moore?  You did not disappoint!

Black brown Hemnes dressers with Revere Pewter

So there’s your mini bedroom makeover update!  There are still a few additional plans in the works.  New colourful pillowcases, and maybe a few throw cushions too, to make the head of the bed a bit prettier.  Snazzy new bedside lamps perhaps.  Maybe even a new nighttable for Sweetie (since the nighttable cleverly and deliberately hidden on his side of the bed is archaic and rather awful looking.)  If you look really closely, the ugly nightstand (and ugly lamp and one uninspiringly beige pillow) sneakily snuck into the corner of this pic…

Silly photo-bombing pillow!  Updates on further updates to follow.  :)

But for now, Jacob is a really big fan of what we’ve accomplished to date.  So much so that he refused to leave the room (or, really, the bed) while I wandered around taking pics (hence some of the somewhat wonky angles in these images – I was working around a rather stubborn cat.)  But, really, how could I say no to this little orange face?

Jacob the super cute orange cat being all playful and stuff

Yup.  Jacob knows exactly how to get his way with his cat-loving fur-friendly mom.  Smart boy.


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Change is good (an exercise in the art of keeping calm and carrying on)

Posted by on Mar 7, 2013 in Bedroom | 1 comment

So we’ve switched gears a little.  I had alllll these fantastic plans for ways I was going to update the house that I discussed here and here and here.  There were big furniture slipcover replacement plans in the works.  There was a kitchen revitalization strategy being tossed about.  I had lofty goals for our cute little 1940s home.

And then, late last week, I got laid off.  And poof!  Our plans have suddenly changed.  We’re now no longer concerned with making the house pretty.  Instead we’re focused on making the house sell-able.  And doing so as inexpensively as possible.

Because, truth be told, we moved to this house and relocated from our original area (about an hour away) specifically for this particular job that I was taking (this same job that I’m now losing.)  And despite that we’ve been here for over two years now, our current city doesn’t necessarily feel like our home (even though I absolutely adore our cute little house in our pretty mature-tree-filled neighbourhood), and we haven’t yet made a swarm of new friends in our new city, or truly put down roots here.

So, depending on where I find employment next (and I’m applying for jobs like a little job-finding-fiend over here right now – unemployment, and the accompanying lack of income, is an absolutely terrifying prospect) a move may very well be on our horizon.

So, we’ve given up on decorating.

Instead, we’ve started staging.

And, in the name of Staging: Phase One, I finally made that Ikea trip I’ve been talking about for several weeks now.  However, contrary to my original plan, this was a trip with a cheap and cheerful mission.  My main focus – finish dressing the bedroom.

As you likely know (since I obsess quite openly) I’ve lusted over bedroom textiles and curtain choices for a few weeks now.  I really really wanted the Alvine Ljuv duvet cover from Ikea.

Alvine Ljuv colourful flowered duvet cover set from Ikea

Sigh.  She’s pretty.  And I love her.  But, at $54, she’s quite pricey as far as Ikea duvet covers go.  So, being all (rather annoyingly) sensible (given my new unemployed state) I purchased the more reasonably priced Alvine Orter set instead.

Ikea's Alvine Orter bed linens set with flower pattern

Almost the same, pattern-wise.  A definite difference from a quality perspective (Alvine Orter has a noticeably cheaper feel.)  But at $19 (versus $54) Orter seemed like a much wiser investment for the time being.  And for resale?  Either will do.

The same is true for curtains.  I had big curtain-swapping and new-curtain-buying plans.  Instead, I purchased the simple (and inexpensive) Matilda curtains from Ikea.  They’re a little girlier than Sweetie would like, but I’m not thinking about Sweetie’s tastes.  (Not that he really has much say in our window-dressing choices anyway.)  I’m thinking of future home seekers who are going to tour our little bedroom and decide that it’s lovely (and subsequently buy our house.)  (For full asking price, of course!)

White tab top sheer curtains with subtle stripe from Ikea - Matilda

During my Ikea tour, I bravely walked past new throws.  And I stoically sauntered by new cushions.  This Ikea trip was only for the must-haves (despite previous pre-unemployed plans to the contrary.)  And I was rather proud of myself when I strolled up to the checkout line, with only a couple very well-thought-out items in hand.

So there.  That’s what I’ve been up to all week – finishing up our bedroom on a budget.  It’s not entirely what I had planned, but it’ll have to suffice.

And, regardless of its cost, Jacob is quite happy with the new duvet cover – he’s a big fan of florals.

Jacob the orange cat and our ikea Alvine Orter duvet cover with a blue knitted blanket

Next in store: staging the rest of the house.  The decluttering and cleaning and purging all begins this weekend.  Because if we do have to sell this spring (and, according to our agent, house-listing season begins as soon as the snow melts), I want to be ready.

And change is good, right?


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Brightening things up a wee bit (farewell ugly ceiling fan, hello pretty pendant!)

Posted by on Feb 7, 2013 in Bedroom | 0 comments

While we still haven’t picked up the lovely linens that I’m longing for (our big Ikea trip is still pending!), we’re gradually nearing the finish line of bedroom makeover-ness.

Our latest triumph?  The ugly unbalanced unpretty ceiling fan is gone.  Woo!  Here’s the before…

…and here’s our much improved bedroom lighting situation now…

Pretty white semi flush mount damask drum shade bedroom light

So much better!

Truth be told, I’ve had this new light forever – it’s actually a pendant light (the Hampton Bay 1 Light Barrel Pendant Chrome Finish Fabric Shade light, to be exact) (or, in short, THIS one) that I purchased from Home Depot a while back to replace the monstrosity that originally lived in our dining room.  But it seemed a little dwarfed above our fairly large dining room table, so it’s been stashed away in the spare bedroom ever since, just waiting for an opportunity to bear illumination.

The Home Depot website shows the light as intended – all pendant-y and such…

White fabric drum shade Hampton Bay swirly damask pendant light

Sweetie cleverly removed the extra length-making rods (technical term) and poof – it’s now a semi-flush mount.  And it’s pretty!

Pretty bedroom ceiling light drum shade white and semi flush mount in Revere Pewter bedroom

So there!  A brief little bedroom progress update for you.  I can see the finish line for this project approaching rather quickly.  Pretty new Revere Pewter paint?  Check!  Fresh-looking Snowfall White trim?  Check!  New (-ish) lighting?  Check!  New curtains and bedding?  New curtains and bedding?  Bueller?  Bueller?  Bueller?

Stay tuned…  :)


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Prettying things up (a search for lovely linens)

Posted by on Jan 21, 2013 in Bedroom | 0 comments

With my bedroom freshly painted (yay!) I recently began the search for new linens.  Our current duvet cover has most definitely lived a long and happy life with us – it’s old, has been washed about a gazillion times, features several tears from renegade cat claws, and, overall, has lost its sparkle.

And we all know how much I love a sparkly duvet cover.  :)

Un-sparkly-ness (and cat-induced tears) aside, I’ve always loved our current duvet cover, Ikea’s Alvine Kvist.  So much so that I seriously considered replacing the current duvet with another Alvine Kvist.

I also considered several coral-coloured covers.  As you might remember from THIS post, I’m newly obsessed with the colour coral (so pretty!!!)  But, sadly, inexpensive coral duvet covers don’t seem to exist.  I’ve found some absolutely lovely options, but all of them are Pottery Barn-priced (and way beyond my tiny little Ikea-sized budget.)

And then, one early morning, having admitted duvet defeat, I was happily browsing the Ikea website (as I often randomly do) and I stumbled upon Alvine Kvist’s close cousin, Alvine Ljuv.

Ikea Alvine Ljuv Duvet Cover Comforter Quilt Queen size French Country...

And I fell in Ljuv.

Ljuv is colourful, without being screamy.  Pretty, without being too girly.  Cheery without being obnoxious (since no one likes an obnoxious duvet!)  And there may even be a touch of coral hidden in those sweet and swirly flowers too.  :)  Yep.  Lovely Ljuv is absolutely perfect.  And I’m excited to welcome her into my home.

So, obviously, a trip to Ikea is now imminent.  And, of course, this makes me a very happy girl!

Irwin, on the other hand, is indifferent to all of my decorating plans.  Cats are rather silly like that.

Irwin the gray and white cat loving the Ikea Alvine Kvist duvet cover

But I think he’ll really like Alvine Ljuv.  (After naptime, of course.)


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Revelling in a little Revere Pewterness (bedroom painting project progress to date)

Posted by on Jan 4, 2013 in Bedroom | 0 comments

About a month ago I chatted a bit about painting my bedroom.  I was excited!  I had the (Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter) paint purchased.  I had the walls patched and furniture moved.  I was committed and ready to move ahead (with full steam and seventy-six trombones and a great deal of painting gusto.)

And then… I stopped. Christmas season suddenly arrived and I got a wee bit distracted by sparkly things and bark baking and merry-making and pretty little red and green pompoms.

But, last weekend, in a foggy fresh post-Christmas stupor, I started painting.

Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter bedroom painting progress

And I am a happy girl.  :)

The walls are done (and I’m in love with my new friend Revere Pewter!) but I still need to finish painting the trim (in case you couldn’t tell from the lovely green painters’ tape stripes the room is sporting.)

BM Revere Pewter bedroom painting in progress

And we still need to switch out the ceiling fan (since the current fan is wonky and unbalanced) (well, and ugly too.)

I’ve got my eye on this pretty little fan from Rona.  It’s small and cute, and our bedroom is small and cute, so I think it’ll be a good fit.

Wengue ceiling fan Westinghouse for bedroom

I have an ikea trip quasi-planned for next week (hooray!) (does anyone else out there get stupidly excited about ikea trips like I do?) at which point I’ll grab a new curtain rod and hopefully some pretty new curtains too (and likely a lot of other stuff that, of course, I absolutely need – we’re talking ikea here, you know.)  And we will NOT mount the curtain rod to the window trim like the previous owners of this house did.  Because that drives me a little bonkers.  Just in case you were wondering about that.

And then (trim painted and fan-swapped and curtains mounted) the bedroom will be done.  Done!  Woo!

So there!  A quick post-holiday bedroom painting progress update.  Yep – I’m a real party animal.  Give me a few days off over Christmas and New Years and do I relax?  Of course not.  I paint.

Progress makes me happy.  :)


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My bedroom redo preview (inspiration for my wee bedroom makeover)

Posted by on Dec 10, 2012 in Bedroom | 0 comments

While I’m busily painting away at my bedroom (since, having divulged a bit about my rather OCD painting process HERE, it’s pretty obvious that this won’t be a quick little project) let’s take a look at what I’m HOPING my bedroom will look like-ish once it’s all finished up.  :)

First, the colours I did not choose.  Our bedroom at our last house was a lovely shade of blue-gray.  I adored it.  Peaceful and serene and so pretty!  And I totally thought that a blue-gray hue was destined to make another appearance on our bedroom walls here in this house.  In particular, either Coventry Gray (which has always been my all-time favourite gray) or Stonington Gray (which is one shade lighter and beautifully graces the walls of my happy little kitchen.)

But when I tried both colours in large swatches in our bedroom, I wasn’t impressed.

BM Coventry Gray and Stonington Gray

Blah eh?  I mean, I LOVE both colours.  But they just looked a little lackluster in our bedroom.  A wee bit “meh”, perhaps.  I was sad.

But then – THEN! – I remembered Revere Pewter, another colour I’ve been in love with for eons and dying to use somewhere in this house.  And then I got all giddy and went completely insane and threw caution to the wind and hurried out to my nearest Benjamin Moore store for a full gallon of the glorious colour.  Yep.  Buying paint without first testing it on my walls is my definition of living dangerously.  I’m a rebel, I know.

But with a colour so lovely, how could things possibly go wrong?  Famous last words?  Nope!  Fabulous snap decision-making, I hope.  :)

(And, to my dear friends who know how I often agonize over paint colours – yes, that’s you Shawn – you should be rather impressed by my rather uncharacteristically quick paint colour decision making skills.)

I don’t have any in-progress shots to share at the moment, but here is the colour scheme (via Apartment Therapy) I’m going for…

Pretty coral and gray nursery with ruffled curtains

…well, minus the nursery part.  There will be no crib in our room, and Sweetie would likely ixnay the pretty ruffly curtains, but I love the beigey-gray with the coral.

Yep.  That’s right.  I just admitted to loving coral.  Insanity eh?  The 80′s most definitely are back.  Minus the ginormous and absurd shoulder pads.  I hope.

What else do I love?  Coral and navy.  Swoon.  See?

Coral and Navy bedroom

I absolutely adore this bedroom from Centsational Girl.  I’m thinking that by adding navy to the coral, I’m semi-guaranteed that Sweetie will embrace my vision.  Afterall, nothing says “manly” like a little navy, non?

And can I just mention that I’d like these pillows (from Honey & Fitz) please?

Coral and navy and teal pillows

Please please please?  Like, all of them?

So yes!  That’s the overall colour scheme I’m going for.  I think it’ll be pretty and fresh but still subdued enough to be sufficiently bedroom-ish.

Further bedroom-redo updates to follow!  Eventually.  (Since y’all now know how very very slowly I paint.)  ;)


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