Thursday, August 12, 2010

Our Current Room

I have to admit that I love watching HGTV. It's debateable among true interior decorators as to whether HGTV is really good for the average home owner. My opinion is that certain shows are great (Divine Design, Sarah's House), and others not so much (they shall remain nameless). But I watch HGTV because I love home design and decor. So it was a wonderful blessing that my in-laws gave us the go-ahead to do what we wanted with our room here at their house. Even though this is a temporary living situation, we are planning on staying here while we save up the down payment for a house.

Moving to a new state, into a place that isn't really your place, where most of your stuff has to stay in boxes can magnify those uprooted feelings. So given the opportunity to decorate our room (and bathroom) here, we jumped on it. I had ideas ready.

Now, my husband is a designer, musician, artist. Needless to say, I cannot make decorating decisions without him. While this caused some friction early on in our marriage while decorating our first home, we ended up with a great space (which I will have to post photos of some time.) Now we understand each other's aesthetic and we balance and challenge each other, which makes us better at creating a space that is beautiful, that we both love.

Unfortunately, I didn't take before pictures of this room, because a lot of the furniture changing took place the day after we arrived when we were unloading the moving truck. But here is the breakdown of what we did.
1. The room needed painting anyway, so we chose a light warm grey called "Grey Ghost." I should mention that our room is in a daylight/walkout basement, so we wanted to maximize light. This color is light enough, but still gives the room some dimension, and contrasts nicely with the natural wood trim in the room.

2. We switched out the dressers that were in the room with one of our dressers and a desk.

3. I had two large gold-framed mirrors over our bed in our first house. For this room, I painted the frames what I call a "china blue," and placed them over our dresser. I also painted a small bookcase we found in the basement the same color and added a new knob to the flip down door. I put this next to the desk for storing some office supplies and books.

4. Good news: there is a king size bed in this room, which gives a certain someone who used to hog the bed and the covers (cough, John) more room, and both of us better sleep. Bad news: the bed frame has a large gaudy brass headboard and footboard reminiscent of a Price is Right, Showcase Showdown bedroom set from the eighties. For a few weeks we pondered what we could do to get rid of or camouflage the shiny monstrosity. One day I finally just took a wrench and managed to take the foot board off. Yes! Then came the solution for the headboard. I made it look like an upholstered headboard by first stretching a queen-sized mattress cover around the headboard, and strategically pinning it with large safety pins to secure it. This serves as the batting. I then wrapped this with some fabric I bought, and again secured it with safety pins. This is only a temporary solution, not how I would make an upholstered headboard for long term use.

5. My mother-in-law had recently bought some great sheets and a coverlet from the Simply Vera by Vera Wang collection at Kohl's for some crazy 75% off deal. We just added some of our throw pillows, a new bed skirt (found on clearance at Target), and a throw blanket we had.

6. We hung some curtains, added some lamps, put down our favorite vintage area rug (John's grandma bought it from a door-to-door salesman in the 50s or 60s), hung some art and photos, and arranged the knick knacks.

7. The blue ceramic dogs on the dresser have a story, and it's this. I have been searching for a pair of Staffordshire style china or ceramic dogs for a few years. I wanted them ever since reading about Anne Shirley's china dogs, named Gog and Magog, who presided over her hearth. I had been keeping my eyes open for them at every antique store and vintage market I went in. Then one warm Sunday afternoon, shortly after moving here, John and I went with John's sister to an antique festival downtown. About 40 minutes before the festival was scheduled to close I spotted the backs of two ceramic dogs on a shelf. I got excited. I went into the booth and the vendor had actually picked one up in preparation to pack it. I told him I loved the dogs and asked how much he wanted for them. Long story short I got the dogs. I haven't named them yet, so I am open to suggestions.
ps. I saw a blue velvet "donut" cushion at Urban Outfitters that looks like what I imagine the blue "donut" cushion looked like that Anne loved in "Anne at Windy Poplars," so I might have to buy that...

8. I would also like to mention that we have a nice size closet that my father-in-law decided to line with some cedar he had laying around. He also put a new light fixture in it and added upper and lower poles on the back and on one side, as well as some shelves. It's awesome.

9. I normally don't like beds on an angle, but in order to have room for the desk and an end table, it was necessary.

Conclusion: It is a comforting to be in that room and feel that it is truly ours. I like bedrooms to be soothing, comforting, relaxing, but with some character and color.


  1. looks great, hailey! i can't wait till i have a more permanent place (and a little money) to decorate!

  2. Wow, I love this! All the colors are pulled together in multiple places, especially the rug. It's exciting that it wasn't some 'bedroom-set-in-a-bag'!