You would think that the room that you spend a third of your life in would be the first to be beautiful.  But not our master bedroom.  It has been ignored for other projects for too long. And now it since the other rooms are getting closer towards being “finished” it has our undivided attention.

To share with a basement reno and a baby.  Oh and two dogs.

Sure we painted, and made the bed and added some other furniture but it never got past that halfway mark. Because no one ever sees it except the two of us and a lot of the time it holds unglamorous things like laundry baskets of clean clothes we I am too lazy to put away.

Or recently bottles, burp clothes, and pack and plays. Nothing says glamour like cloth diapers for cleaning up baby urps.

Part of the issue is it is a huge room so it is taking a lot to make it look complete. But I am on a new kick and have lots of ideas up my sleeve to make it elegant, relaxing, and personal.  And add some color. 

First up was adding some picture frames or something above the nightstands for some height.  Because the lamps look puny.  See…(yes this picture is from over a year and a half ago but sadly looked pretty much the same until this weekend.)


And now…


Not a huge difference, but we are taking baby steps here.  Any guesses what we framed?  Give you a hint…it was cheap and simple and has personal meaning without being photos.

A closer look…


In keeping with the theme of remembering our trips (like with our Italy gallery wall and maps), I went with our passport stamps.


It was super simple-just scan them in and blow them up.  I then opened them up in a simple photo editing program and messed with the tint and saturation in a non systematic way until they looked the way I envisioned.  Then a quick print and trim before sticking them in a frame.  All of my stamps on my side of the bed and all of Derek’s on his.


We had some repeats of course since we do travel with each other a lot, but even those looked different because of the varied backgrounds they were stamped on.

So now as I get ready to turn off the light, I can remember our fond times in Italy Frankfurt, Germany. 


Long story.

But it still makes me smile.

DIYer is to Paint Deck as Quilter is to-

My beloved paint deck has a new best friend.


But this one stays in my sewing room.  And it unfolds to reveal all of this color goodness.


So now when I am working on a quilt (or pillow, or pants for the little man) and I want a coordinating solid, I can just whip out my handy card and find the perfect match.


Before I had to hope my computer screen was an accurate depiction of color.  I will let you guess how that turned out.

Or I had to be limited to the colors that my local stores carried.  And when I needed more and they were out and I had no idea what color I had bought I was up a creek.  But no more with this baby!

I have done two solids quilts in the past- an easy color box baby quilt and a zigzag quilt that was my (late) entry in the Robert Kaufman No Prints Allowed Challenge through the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild.  Just looking at the Flickr group for that challenge makes me not miss prints for awhile.

With my handy card I decided that I needed to make a quilt for the end of our bed.  In solids please.

Because the master bedroom has gotten the short end of the decorating stick and I am starting to enjoy actually keeping the quilts I make.  And I like to forget all the other sewing projects currently in progress to start a new one.  Much more fun.

Just looking at the fabric makes me happy.


Now all I need is some long nap vibes…


The garden has been taking a lot of my attention (and posts) lately.  So for all those non-gardening people out there, I wanted to share what else is on the DIY to-do list.  

Since we are on a tight DIY budget this summer I had to be a little creative with our next project.

Therefore with a little inspiration from Sara at Russet Street Reno, our master closet is the next in line.

Is it terrible? No.  And it was actually a huge selling point.  Coming from a house that was over a hundred years old and therefore the closets were the size of three hangers, all the closets we were looking at were awe inspiring.  I might have squealed a couple of times and said that we could make the closet a guest room in a pinch.  For the record the phrase “this is is a great closet for me, but where are you going to put your clothes?” did not cross my lips   Once,  And if you watch House Hunters you know exactly what I am talking about. 

Anyway even though our master closet was not the biggest we looked it, it is more than adequate for the two of us.  And it already had pretty good storage built in.  So we did moved in, put in our stuff and did absolutely nothing to it. 

But of course my orange arch nemesis always makes an appearance-

Closet Before

Sidenote….have you ever tried to take pictures of a long skinny closet with a window? Well it’s not easy.  So I apologize for how badly depicted this is.

And the white has faded into a dingy yellow.  And they are an awkward size for folding storage.  My excuse for stuff falling all over the place. 

Closet Before

And the walls are blah.  (Well at least before I tried some paint samples.)

Closet Before

And the light fixture is dim and ugly.

Closet Before

And the shelves do not have enough support so they bow in.  Again this is the only reason why old purses and stuff is falling everywhere.  Obviously I did not clean up before taking any of these pictures.

Closet Before

So the plan is to re-stain and finish the clothing rods, add more shelving to reduce the  size of folded stacking, new wall color, and new light fixture.  And maybe some snazzier storage.   Or a fun paper or color behind the shelves And possibly a new hamper….or re-do of the current one.  And maybe a window covering.  Because after two years of thinking how far and high this window was from the neighbors, I just realized how wrong I am.   Not going to think about that.

I have been given the timeline of a long weekend to get the project completed because someone (aka the neater side of the closet) does not want this to become the never ending project with stacks of clothes all over the house.

Think we can do it?  Any other great closet ideas?


A Dog’s Life

In the quest to slowly but surely get the master bedroom to being officially an “after”, I knew we had to something about one of the last eyesores in the room-the dog beds. 


The current ones were plaid, old and furry.  But they are a necessary evil.

Because you can’t just take away their beds because they are ugly.  Well I guess you could, but that would not be very nice.

And you can buy some cute dog beds but they were never the perfect size or color for our space.  And what fun is buying them when you can easily make them?

So a little while ago I bought some fabric I loved for this purpose.IMG_0633

(In case you are curious…the fabrics are Summer Soiree by Paula Prass and Two by Two Stripe by Michael Miller)

Horribly impractical with the white being perfect to exhibit mud and the black a magnet for dog hair.

But oh well….I told myself that is what a washing machine is for.

I made the beds very simply. I just measured the space, added a couple of inches for seam allowances and the depth of the pillow, and then constructed it just like an envelope backed pillow.  In other words exactly how you could make a pillow case for a pillow form.  Super quick and easy.  And a perfect beginner sewing project.

Here is the back on one bed with the overlapping fabric.


Then you just have to stuff it with something soft and washable. 

You could make a matching pillow form with muslin and polyfil for this purpose.

Or you could be green (and cheap) like me and find something laying around to stuff it with.  Because let’s be honest anything that is soft (for the dogs) and washable (for you) would work.

So let’s just say that you melted a king size duvet insert trying to stuff it in your washer which turned out to be too small.  Not that you (or I) would be dumb enough to do that….we are talking hypothetically.  You could cut that in pieces and stuff your beds with that.  Hypothetically of course.


Whatever you use does not not need to be perfectly sized.  Just shove it in there and you get this….


or this….


Perfectly smooth….no.  But cheap and honestly our dogs have more fun shifting and digging at the lumps to get it to their liking.  Smooth beds are boring.

And if you have extra fabric you could make a little pillow for their head.  


Winter had already shifted the pillow for her liking….but of course would not lay on it as soon as the big bad camera made an appearance.

She was however happy to try both beds before determining which was to her liking.


Which one do you think she should choose?  Is she more a chevron or stripe type of girl?


The TV Question

So since the bed is done, I have been working on accessorizing the master bedroom so that it complete.   Not just 90% but completely finished.  Which you all know is a big step for me.


But in trying to complete this process I have come across an obstacle that I have not been able to wrap my brain around how to successfully hide it’s ugliness. 


You see it?  Yep the cable box (the speakers aren’t my favorite either but they don’t bother me as much for some reason).  I don’t think the reed diffuser is masking it. 

So how did the cable box find its home on the dresser?  Isn’t there a better place for it? Let’s back up a bit.

It all started when I declared that I did not want a TV in the bedroom.  Growing up we did not have cable and TV was not a big part of our lives.  We were not allowed to have TV’s in our rooms and we all had to figure out how to share one.  Sounds like fun huh? Derek on the other hand really enjoyed having a TV in the bedroom and assumed when we got married that we would have one.  Because that is what people do.

I lost the battle 5 years ago.

But until recently this is where our TV was located in our room as I did not want to crowd a dresser with it and a new flat screen was planted firmly on the “want” list and nowhere near the “need” column.  It was classy as well as dusty.


However when we went to the furniture store to buy a mattress, somehow this magically followed us home.


Amazing how that happened.

So you can see that there is no place for the cable box where the TV is located.  The box currently is near the location of the original cable outlet.  So Derek ran the longest wire ever through the attic and down the wall to the TV.  In order to change the channel, you have to point the remote to the box on the dresser and not the TV. This took some getting used to and still is a little strange.

But that leads me to the problem….I can’t cover the cable box with a basket or something else because of the remote issue.  And that is the same reason it has to be in a prominent location and not stuck on some shelf somewhere.

So do you creative people have any ideas about how to fix this?  I will admit that the TV is really growing on me and maybe I was even……wrong.    Or are there more “no TV in the bedroom” people out there?

While you are thinking here are some other sneak peek pics of the other things I am putting together in the space-





Details Details

I may have mentioned our bed before (like here here and here), but I promised a process post and I wanted to make sure I delivered.

The entire room is not complete, but I am happy to report that the bed is done (except for pillows of course….a little color is coming)
I love how the room does not feel so monstrous anymore and our furniture now looks like it fits.  And the couch does not look like it is swallowing the bed.  For example-

Yeah much better.

And the best part….the bed cost less than $250 to build.

We are forever indebted to Ana at Knock-Off Wood for the plans (here).  We used the Farmhouse Bed plans in the King size and a canopy with just a couple of adjustments.  I have said it before, but she is a goddess for DIY’ers and we can’t wait to try out some more plans.  Well I am at least….

Since we have a more modern and less rustic aesthetic in the master bedroom, we used a solid piece of wood with a little molding in the headboard and footboard instead of the slats.
I also had Derek raise the height of the footboard in order to combat the couch scale problem.IMG_0782
For the finishing, I debated between staining, painting and glazing.  For a very long time. But since we had to use three different types of wood to get all the sizes we needed (we only could find 4x4’s in cedar) I was worried that the different grains would look different and wrong if you could see them with stain or glaze.  So instead I went with old faithful- Ace Cabinet and Trim Paint in Cannonball.

First, I filled all the screw holes with wood filler and sanded it all down with an orbital sander and medium grit sandpaper.  Then one coat of Zinsser 1-2-3 waterbased primer, two coats of the black and three coats of polyurethane (in satin finish) later we were complete.  The next day we put our new mattress in and were enjoying our new bed.

Buying all the wood in the proper sizes (especially since I wanted some minor modifications) took some time at Home Depot, but I am happy to report that this project was a one tripper.  The lumber is where we spent all the money of $250 since we had all the supplies and if we were successful in finding 4x4’s in something other than cedar ($$$) we could have probably saved another $75.  And Ana was correct, the only tools we used were a drill, sander, tape measure, miter saw, level and nail gun (hammer would have done just fine if we did not have the nail gun).

So here is my view from my pillow on the new bed……ahhhhh.
Well if I was being honest that is the view up….unfortunately with the new furniture placement I look directly into the hideous and dated master bath.  There is a reason that there are no pics of it on the blog.  Think pink blinds, carpet, wallpaper and brass.  Yum. You know what that makes me want to do…….

Wanna Sneak Peek?

it has been two weeks and many hours of priming, painting, and polying but the bed is ready for a sneak peek…..



The master bedroom is not totally put back together as evidenced by the empty picture hooks and lack of accessories but I could not wait to share how the bed came out.   Also the bedding is missing a duvet cover and pretty pillows.  But just focus on the bed right now.  mmmmkay?  After pics and a more detailed “process” post will be following shortly .

Also I am probably the only moron that did not know this, but king size duvet inserts can not be laundered even in a super extra capacity front load home washing machine.  Because it melts and shreds.  So that duvet insert that is sitting all pretty on the bed in the picture?  It is now going to have to cut into a couple dog beds.  Major Fail.  But on the bright side I have a reason to go back to Homegoods.

So what do you think?


See previous bed progress here and here.

Canopy Fun- Part One

While there were a couple of moments where it was bonfire was necessary this weekend.  Whew.  Thanks for all your votes of confidence.

In case you missed it, we I decided that there was no time like the present to follow Knock-off wood's plans to make an awesome canopy bed.

Derek had his doubts in his carpentry abilities, but I had confidence in his skills.  It was a long weekend in the cold garage but I am so happy with the results so far. 

On Thursday night Derek whipped up the headboard (this is the back side with all the knots)-

On Friday night we went out and partied put together the footboard -

Saturday started with moving our old bed into guestroom (where we will be sleeping for awhile).

And then one of the most difficult parts of the project (in my opinion at least)....moving the pieces upstairs.  You would not think the seperate pieces would be that heavy right?  Well let's just say that halfway up the stairs I started crying and decided that I just could not lift it anymore.  I bet you can guess how well that one went over.  Sadly, I don't have any pictures documenting that moment of fun. 

They are super super heavy....I am not just a big wuss....I swear.

Anyway we finally got them upstairs.  Where they had to be sniffed.

Then it was time to build the bed frame.  This probably should have been the easiest part.  But because of slightly bowed boards this took awhile.  Ana mentions on the plans that bowed boards are the worst thing to deal with.  Listen to her.

But my carpenter husband figured it out (with my help of course) and we got the main bed together by the time it was dark.

And then finally it was all together. 

Another picture that did not make the cut was the first canopy.  Let's just say it was way too tall.  Derek had it all together and it just did not look right.  The bed looked ginormous.  I wanted the scale to be bigger to fit the room but it was way.too.big.  So I rechecked the plans and then measured as Derek was putting in the final screw. 

J: Why do the plans say 83" tall but it is 99" tall?
D: You said you wanted it to be tall.  83" is for rooms with normal ceilings.  Also the picture above the bed will fit perfectly.  It would not fit if I had made it smaller.
J:  I can put that picture somewhere else in the room....if it "fits" perfectly it will look way to big for above the bed.  The canopy just looks way too tall.  You really decided the height by the picture?  Thank you of thinking about it but it just looks like a bed for giants.
D: You're serious?
J: Yes.
D: (edited to keep the blog family friendly)

In the end he took the canopy down and all the posts, took them back to the garage to cut them and then put it all back together again.  True love.  Or he just did not want to hear about how it was too tall for the rest of his life. 

Now you see why I did not document that particular step by pictures.

For the next week I will be working on finishing it...we are going with black but I am on the fence about whether to paint it like the kitchen cabinets or glaze it like I did the bathroom cabinets.  Hmmmm..... 

Stay tuned next week for the final reveal!

Knocking-Off Furniture Find

I love to copy furniture pieces from expensive stores.  I love to build things. I love new furniture pieces.  I love can tolerate painting and staining.  So when I found Knock Off Wood this weekend I spent hours and hours perusing it. And planning.

You probably have already heard of Ana since she has been featured on Apartment Therapy and Young House Love, but just in case you missed it, I wanted to share my new favorite place for ideas.

Basically, she finds an awesome piece of furniture from Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, or West Elm, and then gives you the plans to make it yourself.  Like really awesome gorgeous furniture. For a fraction of the cost.  With no specialized tools.  And did I mention for free?


Go check out all the plans because there are tons, but the one I have my sights set on first is this baby-

I have dreaming about a canopy bed forever....  In our old house the ceilings were too I waited.  Our current master bedroom has the perfect ceiling for one, but since we have a a perfectly decent set of furniture I have still waited.  But our room is just screaming for one because everything looks so tiny in that much vertical space.

(more master bedroom pics here)

After finding these plans I am re-engerized in my quest for a canopy bed and would already be sawing and hammering except for one detail....Derek wants a bigger bed....which means a new mattress.  And with all the Europe trip planning going on a new mattress might not happen right away.  So I hope to be sharing my handmade canopy bed with all of you ASAP, but until then I hope you all can find some amazing plans for your home as well. 


How-To: Embellishing a Pillow Sham for less than $5

I had a real problem picking a paint color in our master bedroom at our old house. Or should I say it was a "learning experience".... When we bought the house, the walls were all white in the room. So we wanted a sunny yellow to do a beachy theme. We learned yellows are hard to pick because they quickly move from pale to electric. So a year later we went to a cool blue. We learned that blues needs some gray in them so they don't scream little boy's room. So when we were ready to paint again I spent a lot of time thinking about it and gathered inspiration pictures (we shamelessly copied one of them).

After painting, I was finally happy with the color so I was on the hunt for the perfect duvet. It needed to be all white with just a bit of black trim. I looked everywhere but could not find exactly what I was looking for except at Crate and Barrel. I did not want to spend that much money so I kept looking. But after a couple of months and still no duvet I broke down and ordered it from Crate and Barrel.

Side of Duvet....sorry did not take time to iron before snapping pic

The duvet arrived and I loved it....but then we needed pillow shams to match. I was not going to pay for matching ones so we improvised. I went to Wal-Mart and found $3 white pillow shams. I got out the sewing machine and black thread, set it on a zigzag stitch with the shortest length possible and followed the white stitching of the pillow sham. 10 minutes and done!

The finished product- less than 5 bucks

Close-up of the stitching...not perfect but for the price oh well

The whole thing put together in the master at the old house

..........And in the new

Master Bedroom Mini-Reveal

I have posted bits and pieces about our latest project (here and here) and now I think we are ready to actually post some pics. It is not officially an "after" as we still need accessories and some other key things like doorknobs but at least it is somewhat put together. Also this is phase 1 of the renovation. Phase 2 involves a new (canopy) bed and dressers in black. Eventually (phase 3) we want to put in hardwood floors, scrape the popcorn and possibly add wood beams to the ceiling but those things cost money and our goal right now is to make it presentable on the cheap.

As you can see there was no need to decorate for Christmas

Red, green

The green itself was not a bad color but their painting job left something to be desired

Our dog barrier while we were painting

I am so sick of painting windows....15 down 6 to go

Almost done with phase 1:
How does anyone get their duvets to look unwrinkled in pictures....I had just ironed so I obviously have not figured it out. Also the frame on the blue picture is the same silver as the mirrors so I am not sure why it photographs differently.

The TV's current home until we can get a new flat screen

The wall for the flat screen

Our new couch...still need to finish another throw pillow

I have no idea what to do with that upper space....I would leave it blank but the way the lighting is it needs something

Still need to add more accessories on the nightstands and dresser

So excited about these drapes....lined and interlined faux silk...$21 at Wal-Mart....score!

new fan (obviously)

Right now I am loving grays and this is painted Dovetail by Sherwin Williams. I am so happy how the color turned out and I think it will look even better when we finish getting things on the walls and accessorizing. The bed and dressers are left over from old house and I think the canopy will look awesome when we get it. I think it will help to fill up the vertical space and bring down the ceiling.

The couch, nightstands and coffee table were the only new pieces of furniture we bought. The "nightstands" are actually end tables but we wanted something that did not scream nightstand and would also match the new bed when we get it.

Budget Breakdown:
Lamps-$100 (49.99 each at Homegoods)
Mirrors- $40 (19.99 each at Walmart)
Art above bed- $72 Homegoods
Curtains-$84 ($21 each at Walmart)
Curtain Rods- $40 (19.99 each at Target)
Ceiling Fan- $150 Home Depot
Paint- $65 Sherwin Williams
Bedding- already had
Black rug-already had

Let me know what you think and if you have any ideas for that ledge!