What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)


Friday, April 5, 2013

Starting Our Master Bedroom Make-over

This year, my husband and I will celebrate our 36th wedding anniversary.  During that time we have made seventeen moves, raised a larger family and owned our last six houses as well as buying a vacation home.  Our bedroom has traditionally always been the last room in the house to have anything done to it.  We were more concerned about kids' bedrooms and creating comfortable family living space than we were about turning our bedroom into a show room.  As long as our bedroom was clean and tidy, we were happy.  Occasionally, I would splurge on a matching set of bedsheets but quite frankly even matching sheets were not a high priority.

We bought our first bedroom furniture in 1979.  It consisted of a queen size mattress, box springs, headboard, triple dresser, highboy and one night stand.  The queen size mattress and box spring never made the trip out west with us.  Instead we bought a king size waterbed.  I can't remember if we left the headboard out west or not but somewhere in all the moves it went missing.  When we moved back to Ontario, we bought a queen size waterbed that we had up until about 5 years ago.   The mattress sprung a leak just after we got into bed to get a couple of hours of sleep before heading out in the wee hours of the morning for Las Vegas.  Needless to say, we got no sleep! Both waterbeds had wood shelves that sat on the waterbed frame to be used as small bedside tables.  They were large enough for a water bottle and a couple of small items but not large enough to have a small lamp.

We just bought a new king size mattress, a Vaughan-Basset sleigh bed with under bed storage, matching triple dresser with mirror and two night stands from our favourite Mom & Pop local furniture shop.  We have dealt with them for years!  Looking back we have bought dining room table set, kitchen bar set, HE washer & dryer, mattress & box springs, gas range, chest freezer, two dishwashers, a side-by-side refrigerator and now our new bedroom furniture from them so that says something about our loyalty in dealing with local folk who really have become friends over the years.  Unlike larger box furniture stores that have a fair amount of warehouse space, this small shop tends to have rather limited warehouse space.  We decided on what we wanted from the floor display then they ordered it in for us with an expected delivery date of 3 weeks from our purchase date.  The arrival date is quickly approaching!  They deliver and set up the furniture free of charge which is rather nice.   

master bedroom as seen from doorway
Our new house (built in 1994, purchased by us in 2011) is a large, five bedroom bi-level in a delightful established estate subdivision.  Of the five bedrooms, the master bedroom on the upper level is the only one being used as a regular bedroom.  The north facing smaller bedroom is being used as a guest room and the smaller west facing bedroom is now our home office.  The two lower level bedrooms are being used as a dart room/den and a pantry, respectively. 

The master bedroom is 15' x 12'3", with the north facing window on the north short wall and the head of the bed on the west long wall.  Out of camera range beside the sewing machine cabinet (lower left) there is a large floor to ceiling double bi-fold door closet (7'6"W x 8'H x 29" D). Unfortunately, the closet is stuffed so we need to do a bit of purging!  The room is painted an olive green (actually two tone) that we like so will be leaving it that colour only putting a new coat of paint to freshen the room. We have a queen size mattress and box springs on a frame that will be moving into the guestroom.  The two IKEA wicker chairs are going south to our vacation home.  We don't know whether the trunk will stay in our bedroom or not depending on how the new furniture fits.  The floor like the rest of the upper level is laminate with the exception of the kitchen that is marble tile and the bathroom that is ceramic tile. 

We knew immediately we wanted to keep the green.  A couple of weeks ago, we stopped at a fabric store that is going out of business.  They had drapery panels on sale for up to 70% off.  My husband spotted the Saratoga leaf design drapery panels and just had to have them because they reminded him of Florida.  These grommet panels are actually outdoor drapery that is fade and water resistant as well as anti mildew.  They match the room perfectly except we have to move the rod down so the panels just clear the floor.  Well, he liked that pattern so much after he saw them up, we went back for four more panels to change out the living-room burgundy drapes and V-shape valances at our vacation home, but that is another story.

outdated master bedroom furnitureDespite the many moves, what is left of our bedroom furniture is in rather good all be it dated condition.  This was a very popular design when we bought it.  There were several variations around the same design, some plainer than others.  The little shelves on each side of the mirror that were so appealing when we bought the furniture are now viewed as dust collectors.  The top of the mirror is also a dust collector.  I normally had a couple of straw hats on top but I'm in the process of tearing the room apart.  All of the drawers have to be emptied as one of our kids is taking both pieces hopefully before our new furniture arrives.

master bedroom lighting
We did not install the halogen lighting fixture in the master bedroom.  It definitely is not a good design for any bedroom if you ask me.  The light is harsh and glaring creating odd shadows aside of not being very energy efficient.  We are replacing the lighting fixture but I'm not sure with what yet.  I have been looking since we bought the furniture but so far have not found something I like.  I am leaning towards a ceiling fan with light fixture similar to what we have in our vacation home.

I put the saying decal on the wall over the bed in lieu of a headboard shortly after we moved here knowing we were buying new furniture for the master bedroom.  This is a rather slick decal that is on a backing paper.  You position the backing paper and wording where you want it then slowly rub across each letter.  Once the letters have all been firmly rubbed, you slowly peel off the backing leaving the individual letters.  Unlike some decals, there is no clear sticker material around the letters so it looks quite nice.  The letters can be easily removed without marring the paint finish.  

master bedroom makeshift night stands
After about our fourth year of marriage, until we bought our vacation home in 2010, we had always had a television in our bedroom.  We did not put a television in down there and don't intend to.  We had planned on putting a television in our master bedroom here, hence the satellite box on the floor.  However, even though our bedroom television is sitting in the dart room/den on the lower level not being used, and won't be used, we have no plans to put it back into the bedroom.  We are finding that we are enjoying a higher quality of sleep without the television.  If I can't sleep, I get up and make a cup of chamomile tea blend that has rosehips, valerian root, anise seed, fennel seed, caraway seed, peppermint, passion flower, lemon balm and calendula petal.  I bring it back to bed with me and sip on it while playing a hidden objects game on the iPad before drifting back to sleep.  I have found this routine works well before bedtimes so I usually sleep through the night.  At any rate, we will be removing the satellite box.

We are currently using two IKEA storage baskets turned upside down as makeshift night stands.  Originally we were going to do our bedroom first but we spent six weeks of the fall of 2011 in Florida, then almost a full 3 months spread over 3 trips in Florida in 2012.  Instead we worked on the upper level bathroom, did a lot of work in the kitchen and repainted the guest room before running out of steam in 2012.  I spent the first two months of 2013 quite sick so it was only mid-March before I started having much of an interest in the house decor aside of keeping things neat and tidy which honestly some days was all I could muster!  The weather is starting to turn so I'd like to get the master bedroom and guest room finished before we start our outside work of landscaping and decking.  There are still a few projects to do in the kitchen.

We aren't fancy people as far as wanting a showroom bedroom.  We have our colours and furniture decided so I'm working on ways to make our bedroom comfortable, inviting and co-ordinated.  In the top picture you can see a few accessories I have bought for the make-over.  I'll post more that later.  I'm planning on making crochet blanks for both the master bedroom and guestroom.  I am ready to start the guest room blanket but still need one more colour (I think) for the master bedroom blanket.  I am still shopping for bedside lamps.  The only place we have ever had bedside lamps is at our vacation home but we really enjoy them so I need to find some that match nicely for the master bedroom.  I finally took the cross-stitch wedding sampler I worked so long on to the frame it shop so that will go in the master bedroom.  I also have one of the original paintings that we collect for the master bedroom as well.  Let the make-overs begin!


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