It’s always darkest before the dawn (a tour of our pretty painted/primped bedroom) (and an examination of my newly unemployed state)
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!)…
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.
And I’m also in love with our duvet cover. Also cheap. Also cheerful. Also Ikea (Alvine Orter.)
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!
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?
Yup. Jacob knows exactly how to get his way with his cat-loving fur-friendly mom. Smart boy.
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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.
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.
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!)
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.
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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Have I ever mentioned that we have not one, but TWO bedrooms in this house? Shocking, I know! The second bedroom sits directly across the tiny little hallway from our master-ish bedroom (“master-ish” because at about 10×10′ it’s hardly grandiose.) And this second bedroom is where we hide stuff. (True story.) A desk, our filing cabinet, a couple of storage chests, random boxes that we still haven’t emptied since the move (um, like, 2+ years ago…) I leave the door closed 95% of the time because I can’t handle looking at the mess. Why don’t we use this bedroom for something substantial (like an office or a guest room or some sort of similarly dignified purpose?) Afterall, our house IS rather tiny, so you’d think we’d put the room to good, functional use, right?
Yup. Lookout Tarzan, we’ve entered a happy little jungle!
The people who owned this house before us used this room as their nursery (obviously.) And, truth be told, I’m hoping that one day it might possibly be our nursery too. And, because of that, I can’t bear to paint over the rather cheery-looking animals that someone carefully and lovingly painted on the walls.
Are jungle animals my thing? Um, no. And even when this does become our nursery some day, the animals will likely get traded in for a far more subdued colour palette (since it’s rather glaringly bright in this room, and I’m more of a muted grays kinda gal.) But, until then, I don’t have the heart to ruthlessly paint over those happy little faces.
Especially the giraffe. He makes me smile. :)
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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…
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…
Sweetie cleverly removed the extra length-making rods (technical term) and poof – it’s now a semi-flush mount. And it’s pretty!
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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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.
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.
But I think he’ll really like Alvine Ljuv. (After naptime, of course.)
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