Master Bedroom: New Bedding

When we moved into our first house, we were engaged and our room was the first room we painted. With kids who we wanted to get settled, our room in this house was one of the last ones we painted (well, the kids needing to be settled was one excuse, the fact that the ceilings are ridiculously high was another). So, with paint on the walls, our room had become my focus. I still love the quilt I bought 3 years ago for our bed, but I was over the matchiness of the shams with it and ready for a little pattern mixing. So, for my birthday (technically the first day of January, which meant B had to do his shopping in December…no way would I do no spending January if it meant no presents, let’s be real), I asked for new shams for our bed and new sheets. I think you officially become a grown-up when you ask for sheets for your birthday.

Mixed Pattern Bedding

I photoshopped up a couple different ideas, and finally decided on these gray and white sheets from West Elm, and these blue Ikat shams to pull some of the blues out of our quilt. Can I say? I have never loved sheets so much. For the last 10 years, I’ve only had solid sheets – following the whole make your master bedroom like a hotel rule. And you know what I discovered? Even with solid white sheets, my bed did not magically get made every morning, there were no fresh towels waiting for me upon returning to the room at the end of the day, and my toilet paper has never folded itself into a triangle. What gives, white sheets? I thought you were magical. So with the hotel luxury thing not happening, I decided to throw caution to the wind and look into patterned options. The gray and white stripes spoke to me and I love that the horizontal stripes help me remember which direction a King sized sheet should go (am I the only one with that problem?).

mixed pattern bedding 2

You know what’s pretty interesting? Now that I want to see my sheets, the bed does magically get made every morning. The toilet paper’s still not folding itself, but baby steps. I’m on the hunt for the perfect solid navy pillow to hang out in front of the Ikat shams. Next on my list for this room are window treatments and new lampshades. And hanging the stuff we’ve had leaning against the walls in here since June.

So that’s the latest change in our master bedroom. I love my new sheets – I’m a patterned sheet convert. And I find them even more wonderful when my little buddy climbs under the covers while I’m taking pictures and requests that I climb in and snuggle with him. Irresistible.

mixed patern bedding

Live More With Less: Master Bedroom Organization

When B and I were first married, making our bedroom a pretty place was a priority. We ordered new bedside tables and a dresser as our wedding gift to each other and we bought a king sized mattress as our first married Christmas gift, and I made the nail head trim burlap headboard after that. The bedroom has evolved over the years – see that evolution here.

But our master bedroom has become kind of a mess. It’s easy to just put laundry baskets full of clothes on the floor rather than folding and putting laundry away daily (terrible habit!). I rarely have time to make the bed in the morning before one of the kids needs attention, and then I forget about it until late in the day. Chairs pile up with things and because our room is pretty much the biggest in the house, it tends to inherit things we don’t have other places for. So this room was probably the biggest project facing me for this challenge. I had hoped to have time to add some new, fun decorative elements along with purging, but I had my hands full just getting rid of things this week. Keeping it real, here’s the disaster of a before:

Master Bedroom Mess

A hot mess. I started by tackling the bins on the floor of our closet. The first to get the wrath of Emily handed to it was my box of maternity clothes. I hate maternity clothes and wear my regular clothes as long as possible when I’m pregnant, so I really don’t need much in terms of maternity wear. B and I think we’d like a third child at some point should that be God’s plan for our family, but we’re not there, yet. So, it’s not time to get rid of maternity clothes completely, but it’s also not time to keep things just for the sake of keeping them. I got rid of about half of my maternity clothes – most of the white t-shirts were dingy, there was a pair of Gap maternity jeans that were never long enough on me, etc. I’m taking the good quality stuff to a resale store and threw out the stained and hole ridden stuff. And that bin went into storage in the crawl space.

Maternity Clothes

 

Next up, summer clothes. We have enough space in our closet to hang all seasons of clothes, but when I do, I never wear half of my wardrobe. So B and I both have one laundry basket of summer clothes on the floor of the closet, and we transfer our winter clothes to that basket when it’s time to hang up the warm weather wardrobes. I went through the baskets and got rid of everything I didn’t love – there were a lot of old tank tops that no longer meet my standards of length, sundresses that are far too short for a mother of two to wear…you get the picture. All of those went to Goodwill.

Onto  drawers. I got rid of old yoga pants, tank tops, pretty much all the dingy stuff I shouldn’t being wearing because I’ve worn it to death. I pared down my pajamas, re-organized my underwear drawer, and got rid of about 50% of the clothing I store in the dresser. Here’s a picture of the bags I have to donate:

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Finally, every surface in our room needed to be cleaned off. Things just pile up in here. I scooped everything off the dresser and got rid of most of it and found the appropriate homes for the rest of it. I put together an entire bag of books that need to be returned to their original owners (my mom and sister, mostly), a pile to donate to our library, and a small and manageable pile to read within the next few months.

And the after: Nothing too drastic in terms of decorative changes, but at least there’s less stuff.

IMG_6507

Cleared Surfaces

I still have a few decorative changes I’d like to make to the room, but that will have to wait for after Easter – this week I’m tackling the backyard! Cutting back shrubs, planting our spring greens, and getting the patio and grill area in order. How’d you do this week? Link up if you made progress!


Evolution of the Master Bedroom

My mom was over on Tuesday to watch Thomas while I had a doctor’s appointment (Baby McKevitt’s pretty happy where he or she is at the moment, it appears), and after I got home she stuck around for an hour to help me organize my medicine cabinet and fold laundry. While she was folding and I was ironing the throw pillow covers for the living room, I tossed an ironed pillow cover on my bed and noticed that the green rugby stripes worked perfectly with my bright and graphic floral quilt on our bed. I said to Caroline, “Do you know what I love? Slowly but surely, my house has become mix and matchable – I could use these pillows in here if I wanted. Remember when the upstairs was all brown and white and the downstairs was all green and black?” Caroline commented that her house is the same way and it is – my mom loves blue and white with a little bit of yellow, while I opt for white and green and black for the most part.  So anyway, a look back at the evolution of our master bedroom – from hand-me-down kids to slowly but surely realizing our own style:

Here was our bedroom shortly after we moved in, hand-me-down bed and side tables.


A year after we moved in, we bought nightstands, mirrors and a dresser (not shown), and switched the bedding out for something lighter.


Eventually we hung a capiz chandelier and switched the bedding back to a richer color:


A year and a half after we moved in, Mr. B and I bought our grown-up bed (hooray for no longer sleeping on the double mattress that saw me through college…). I was obviously still feeling like the master bedroom needed to be brown and white:


My sister-in-law and I wasted no time making the now famous nailhead trim and burlap headboard that I still adore to this day:


That summer I made a white duvet with brown grosgrain trim and switched between the two frequently:


Until finally, I stumbled across this quilt in February 2011 – and haven’t felt the urge to change bedding once since I put it on the bed. There was something about putting that quilt on the bed that just made everything we currently had in the room work for me – I was allowing my personality to walk up the stairs (Mr. B was not in love with the idea of having a floral quilt on our bed originally, but I keep my house full of men pretty gender neutral so argued for a touch of pretty somewhere, and he did concede that he didn’t hate it, so it stayed, and now I’d say he’s neutral on it). That’s a record over here at imperfect, considering that the other bedding got switched 5 times in 3 years – and was rotated in and out frequently depending on my mood. 


Shortly after buying the new quilt, I updated the lighting for more modern (and more me – since at this point I was beginning to figure out who “me” was decor-wise) tear drop lamps with drum shades and took down the frames of Mr. B and me from college. Yep, that trio of frames hung in my room senior year of college. Not like we don’t have gorgeous wedding pictures we could frame or something.

That’s our master bedroom all grown-up.  Or at least the wall that hosts the bed portion of our bedroom – the rest of it’s still a hot mess. Don’t believe me? Here, let me prove it:

The eventual plan is to replace the low white chair with something more substantial – what, who knows? And maybe someday hang a wedding picture over our dresser. Novel idea.

I’ll figure out what I want to do with it one of these days. I’m beginning to think that I might actually need to check myself into Can’t Commit to Wall Decor Anonymous. Come on Emily, it’s been 5 years, let’s hang something on these walls.  Do you have a room that’s changed more times than the number of years you’ve lived in your house? 


PS – You can see a just-moved-in to how it sits now post on the living room here

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Lighting the Master Bedroom

I have another lamp update.  It involved many fruitless trips to HomeGoods, Marshall’s and culminated in 5 Target trips: One to search for an area rug to complement the soon-to-be banquette seating that became a lamp base buying adventure – my 15 month old niece thought I was insane in and out of the lamp aisle with indecision.  Three trips to various Targets to look for shades to work with the lamp bases.  One to buy diapers and return the lamp bases since I couldn’t find shades that would work when I stumbled across the perfect drum shades.

I was looking for a shape similar to my green glass lamps – but not green or glass.  Since, you know, I have those.  And I suppose a girl could overdo the lemongrass green. 

So, let’s look at the poorly scaled before (the IKEA Astrid lamps are living a bright and promising life in our guest room).

And the white ceramic teardrop after:

Mr. B’s nightstand.  I feel like Jack Welch should sue Charlie Sheen for stealing his book title as a personal phrase.  No clue who Jack Welch is.  Or what Winning is about.  I should pay more attention to my husband’s MBA.

And my nightstand.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that you only need to read the first 50 pages of any Malcolm Gladwell book.  Unless you really like reading the same sentences and examples every 50 pages.
I woke up yesterday and rolled over to turn on my light and was confused as to who’s room I was in.  But early morning confusion aside, I love the update.  It appeals to my “Something’s Gotta Give-urban” style*. 
*Do you guys watch Secrets of a Stylist? I like Emily’s designs (in general) and fresh approach for American HGTV (I’ve tried unsuccessfuly to subscribe to/stream Canadian HGTV), but B can’t stand her made up design styles.  At first he refused to be in the same room with me when the show was on, but now we laugh our butts off and make up design styles for each other with completely opposite and non-sensical adjectives. B’s totally Conservative Hippie Mad Men Walmart Luxury.  It’s a fun game.  What would you be?

Lamp Update

Sorry for the lack of posting, everyone.  I had a jam packed week last week and blogging feel to the backburner.  So here’s an update on the bedroom:

The quilt is staying.  Love it.  I’m on the hunt for new lamps for the room – but I’m out of house budget and have to wait until I can make that purchase.  So, in the meantime, I moved my favorite living room lamps upstairs just to make sure I liked the scale.

Which means the small lamps are in the living room and look ridiculous.  So new lamps for sure (B loves the green lamps in the bedroom).  And once the room was feeling a little bit more settled (I’m still leaning towards the moose head for above the bed, though I’m considering some of the other awesome suggestions!), Thomas and I tackled some laundry:

He was super helpful.  More regular posting coming soon.

Bedroom Talk

Our bedroom needed a little spice.  Minds, gutters, please.  The decor was lacking. Brown and white solids are lovely, but I was getting bored with them.  I blame Sarah Richardson.

Here’s our brown and white bedroom:

Not terrible, just not va-va-voom.  I still like this velvet duvet.  But I’ve been timidly looking for something a little more fun.

I was at HomeGoods earlier this week looking for a fruit basket for my countertops.  The things we make trips across town for, but I’d had an emotional weekend and thought that after refraining from writing snarky tweets and/or emails about it I deserved a long drive to buy a container for fruit.  And the fruit basket quest was unsuccessful, but as I was wandering the aisles, I couldn’t stop looking at a King sized quilt.  It was just speaking to me.  It was the kind of thing I’d normally say was too loud or colorful.  Definitely too feminine for my house full of McKevitt men.  But I loved it. 

I’m in love – ties in the silver sage of our bedroom with the chartreuse all over the main floor.  Adds life.  Adds spice.  And I like that it’s a quilt – something a little different for our room.  B says he fine with it, but I can tell it’s not his favorite.  I try so hard to keep things streamlined and masculine around here for the Electrical Engineer I married.  But every now and then, a girl needs some pretty.  So the verdict’s still out on whether it will stay…I always say B has full veto power, but this time I’m wishing I hadn’t made that declaration.

I love that the quilt is backed in a geometric green.

It’s like it belongs with my slipcovered ottoman in the living room, coordinating but not matchy-matchy.  Just how I like my life.

So, whether or not the quilt stays, I need a little more bedroom help.  The kind I can’t find in Cosmo.  What do I put above the bed?  The frames are a placeholder and I know I don’t want to do more frames - I want dimension.  Rectangular headboard, rectangular mirrors. I need curves.

A sunburst mirror is not an option, I just don’t love them enough.  I’ve considered a cardboard moose head because I live in Coloardo and think it would be awesome, but is that done?  Or too much?

A fabulous monogram a la Kim?

Other ideas (aside from the oft-suggested sunburst mirror)? I need your help!  Thoughts on the bedding?  Loving it like me or liking the subdued brown and white masculinity that Mr. B is comfortable with?  Sound off!

The Bedroom Television Question

Last week’s dresser post reminded me of the age old Television in the bedroom debate. But it’s not a debate in our imperfect household. And here’s why.

I totally get the argument that bedrooms are for romance. That having a TV can ruin the mood. And I can see how that could be a problem for some couples. I get that. Maybe I’m okay with it because we really don’t do a lot of bed TV watching – we don’t fall asleep to the TV, we don’t watch it every night – not even once a week.

But sometimes, I think there’s nothing more romantic than just snuggling. Curling up in bed and laughing together at a late show, or deciding that you can’t turn the baseball game off when you’re team’s in extra innings but you also can’t keep your eyes open on the couch one minute longer. Being tucked into bed when you’re sick with saltines, seven-up and your sick movie. Mine is You’ve Got Mail. And I cannot wait for the day when our huge brood of McKiddles are all cuddled up in our bed watching a movie on a cold, snowy night.

And so, I’m okay with the bedroom TV – in moderation.  I prefer it to a “man room” where Mr. B would disappear to for days at a time.  But what about you?  What’s your reasoning for hating a bedroom TV?  Loving it? 

Game Time

Wanna play a game?  I like to call it “Help Emily decide which sconces (if any) to put on her Christmas and Birthday lists”.  The space over our dresser is bare.  I have plans for it.  But I’m not sure which plans I like.

Plan A: Frame our favorite wedding photo.  Put two sconces on either side. Please note that I would try to make the frame bigger than the sconces.  My photoshop skills and patience limit my to-scaleness.
Option 1 – Black sconces:

Option 2: Mirrored Sconces:
Plan B: This is Mr. B’s choice.  Flat panel mounted above the dresser (we do watch TV in bed occasionally, but not often).  Then take the no-man’s land corner where the old TV is and turn it into a comfy sitting area.  
Option 3: TV

So, what would you do?  Plan B is the only real option for a sitting area.  Plan A would require a little TV innovation in the other corner (not yet seen b/c it’s just that ugly) to take it from dorm room drab to newlywed fab.  So which option do you prefer over the dresser?  And a little note to Mr. B – a TV is not on my Christmas or Birthday list.  But a chaise could be.

Cozying up for Fall – Part 4

It was time. Time to bid adieu to our white duvet cover and pull out the warmer and cozier velvet duvet for fall and winter. Time to add a little warmth to the room we hunker down in every night. I’ll be itching for white again in April, but for now I needed layers. Lots of layers of warm materials.


A chocolate brown blanket at the foot of the bed. Now I’m on the hunt for pillows with pattern…or texture. But I’ve said that for about two years – we’ll see if I get there.


Definitely more winter ready than this, right? I also needed to make a second sham for this and find some throw pillows with pattern and texture. Didn’t happen.

Sitting Pretty

We have a corner of our bedroom that’s no-man’s land. When we find a solution for it, I’ll post a picture, but until then, we’ll stick to inspiration. I’ve been thinking a sitting area – one cozy chair, a soft blanket, good reading light.

Credit

And then my mind turned to a chaise – a place to really lounge.

And while this post was specifically about a chaise in a nursery, it had me at hello. I want this. The polka dots. The chaise. Those exact kids. Bliss.

Anyone have a seating area in their master? Do you use it? Would you go chaise or chair? Anyone have two cute kids aged 5 and however old that baby is they want to lend me for a while? I’ll supply the polka dots.