Friday, December 11, 2009

Decorating my own home: master bedroom

What is the one room in your house you hope no one ever sees? There tends to be at least one room in a busy household that is perpetually a mess, shabby without the chic, disorganized, and anything but beautiful and relaxing. For me, it was the master bedroom. It ends up being the safe place to hide clutter. Also, I am too tired at the end of the day to clean up after one more person... that would be myself.

I was convicted about this space because it should be a calming sanctuary for me and my husband. I believe in never bringing arguments into our bedroom, but somehow a mess is okay? I knew I needed to make an effort. In this case a HUGE effort to organize and decorate the space so that it is a pleasant place to be.

This summer we moved from our very large, but not very pretty space upstairs to the bigger of the 2 downstairs rooms. The smaller room next to it is now Remi's nursery that I showed you a few months back (click here). The girls moved into the big room upstairs (click here to see the finished product). The re-decoration of Emma's old room was the last project to complete.

It was little girl perfect for Emma, but didn't quite work for a master suite.


Painting over the beautiful pattern on the walls was a wee bit painful. Thankfully I had not spent too much time on the wall art (I used clip art and an overhead projector and then filled in the lines). To turn the walls a relaxing U-taupe-ia, my favorite wall color, Kilz primer covered the dark blue very well.

I didn't want to spend any money on this re-do of a re-do, but I ended up splurging $50 for curtain rods, picture frames, and paint.


Decorating for me is working with what I already have, filling the blanks with DIY projects, and deals I find. For example, I saw an amazing upholstered bed and head board at Pottery Barn for $899. I showed the picture to my husband and he made a frame with 2x4s and particle board. He covered it with scraps of carpet pad and I made a cover for it with linen. It looked JUST like the picture! That was a DIY project from 4 years ago. The linen cover was looking shabby and I considered recovering it, but then had the idea of putting a quilt over it instead. I found the gorgeous red quilt at a consignment shop for $40 (king size from PB) awhile back and had no idea what to do with it -- my husband's least favorite thing to hear me say about something I purchase. I always end up using my random finds though, like this perfect head board adaptation!

Thank you Pottery Barn for the inspiration.

Now, on to a super cheap trick for curtains....

Walmart has some really great curtain rods. These simple black ones were around $6 a set. I bought 2 sets and 2 sets of ring clips ($4 each). I had a piece of fabric from Africa, called a capalana and worn as a skirt wrap or baby carrier. Again, I had no idea what to do with it. I just knew I LOVED it and brought it home from our first trip to Mozambique in 2003. I cut it in 2 pieces with the fringe for the bottom of my valance. I didn't get the sewing machine out, but instead used Stitch Witchery to secure an iron-on hem to the top where I clipped the rings.

Hanging the curtain rods much higher than the windows creates dramatic height in the room. There are roller shades underneath to provide privacy.

I once heard a professional organizer say that we should give importance to things that are special to us by putting them on display. If they are not special enough to be displayed, then get rid of them. I thought this was very true and did some major purging when we did all the room shuffling. Things that our family treasures now have places instead of just being stored.

Another decorating rule is to have coordinating patterns in small, medium, and large. I didn't make up this rule. Sometimes I do make up decorating rules, and sometimes I break rules. It this case, I followed the rule and it worked!

I have pictures of my children plastered all over my home. They are really cute and I love them dearly, but I don't need them in my bedroom. Everyone has their own preference, but this is one room that is sacred. I wanted pictures of my husband and I to put up and I searched my archives and found few of the two of us alone. The only good ones I have are from our wedding. I thought about calling my photographer from 7 years ago, but remembered that he charged about $20 for an 8x10 way back when. I got creative and took my own pictures of the wedding pictures that were in an album -- a scanner would work too. I enlarged them from the original 5x7" to 8x10" and printed them out. Sure, they aren't the best quality, but behind glass they look really good. The frames are also from Walmart for super cheap.

I wonder if it would be so much fun to decorate if I could just go out and buy whatever I wanted from Pottery Barn. There is a thought to ponder...



Kellie said...

Nice job on the re-do of the re-do! Our master bedroom is also taupe and dark red, what a funny coincidence! I find it very warm, especially in the dead of winter. Like right now. I think the fact that we have a big south facing window really helps with that feeling of warmth as well.

I'm pretty sure that decorating with no budget out of the Pottery Barn catalog would be fun fun for awhile but would grow old quickly. What's the fun in decorating without a challenge? And finding ways to use items that have personal meaning is much more rewarding then something impersonal and from a catalog.

Sherri said...

Its beautiful, must have been hard to cover those pretty flowers though

Anonymous said...

Your bedroom looks good. I need to paint a painting to go in the giant blank space over our bed. When people go through our room I am sure they think "I see why it is called a BED room." Empty room with low dresser and lots of bed and nothingness on several walls. The dust bunnies do add some habitation and variety and I think that the dresser looks taller with the clean clothes piled on it! Maybe after Christmas I could schedule an in home consultation with you in exchange for dinner. Jenni B

Anonymous said...

I like the red and black accents :)

Katie and Mikey Brown said...

I wanted that same head board from Pottery Barn. Maybe I will try and make one too. We don't quite have the resources so we will see....

Lindsay said...

I should really send you pictures of our master bedroom, there are things I do like about it, but I need HELP, too. I'm just amazed that you find the time to actually decorate. I have lots of ideas, but never the time to make them happen, it seems. Good job!

James & Joelle said...

Love the decorating job, Alysun. One day I hope to create a sanctuary for me and my husband in our bedroom... until then, it will continue to be the catch all place of our house. But thank you for the reminder.

Cathy said...

Unfortunately, our bedroom gets the same lack of respect that yours did in the past. It's horrible. Everything gets piled in there that needs a "temporary" place...and I hate it! You have inspired me to do something about least to start thinking about what I want to do until Christmas is past! Love it!

simplykersh said...

Beautifully done, our master bed room is also in the small room in the same colors and it is my favorite in the house. We still need a few things - like doors on the closet, but it is comfortable, romantic and relaxing all at the same time. Love it!