Our Beach’n Bedroom

Well, you learned on Wednesday that we finally finished building our bed! And so after a few more finishing touches to the whole room, our bedroom is finally starting to look like an oasis, rather than a war zone!

We went from this:

Early Bedroom
To this:

Bedroom In Progress
And finally to this:

After Bedroom

Ahh… that’s much better!!

Let me show you around. First, in the photo above you can see that I finally added the curtains in front of the wardrobes to hide our clothes and drawers. I picked up three packs of the Ikea VIVAN curtains for around $13/pack and placed them in front of the wardrobes, in front of the mirror behind the bed, and in front of our real-life window!

The window behind the bed is a mounted mirror with an old paned window (purchased for $25 at a garage sale we stumbled upon in the burbs and painted white) hung in front of it. Hanging the window was quite a challenge.. it is extremely heavy and due to the construction of our condo, finding studs on some walls is nearly impossible. But, we found a solid solution with two of these brackets, which we hung above the mirror, ensuring it was both level and secure!

We finished off that end of the room with two wall-mounted lamps, which I ordered online from CSN Lighting. Unfortunately, the white shades that came with them were HIDEOUS! when the lights were in use, because they made everything look super yellow. So, first, I attempted to recover the shades myself; it was no use, the plastic that held the two rings together (there weren’t metal rods between) was what was causing it to be yellow, so even in a thicker brighter white fabric, the shade was still yellow. When that failed I went searching high and low for new lampshades that would fit with the feel of the room and wouldn’t be too large or too small for the fixtures. I finally found these at Lowe’s and while I had originally planned to recover them in white fabric, particularly because I wasn’t too sure about the pleats, I thought the pop of sand color and the texture of the darker bits actually worked perfectly and ended up loving them just as they were!

I had been looking for a coverlet to fold at the end of the bed in winter and use as our “heavier” sheet in the summer when I found this one at Target for $30 and JUMPED on it. (Seriously, I think the other women in the aisle thought I was trying to steal it I grabbed it and ran to my cart so fast!) It’s super soft and works absolutely perfectly with the teal of the chest of drawers we repainted on the other side of the room:

Bedroom from the Other Angle
In these photos you can also see the seagrass laundry basket I purchased from QVC (this is version 2.0, since the first one’s casters broke off too easily, but they replaced it for free – which is good because I was already pretty frightened by how much I spent on it but it was SO perfect for the room). And you get a glimpse of the fun and practical linen storage bench I got from JCPenney. They each, along with the lamp shades, bring in some nice neutral, earthy touches to the room to help ground it, while the rest is light and airy and just “beach’n”!

Not pictured, but contributing to the light and airy feeling is the new ceiling fan I installed which looks a million percent better than the old one. I jumped on this new one while hubby and I were in Home Depot on a completely unrelated task. It was calling my name – on clearance, clean white lines, and a simple round white glazed light flush to the bottom of the fan, no points or extra space at all! Of course, the installation didn’t go quite as smoothly as I’d hoped (what does, really, in this condo?) since one of the screws for the light mount REFUSED to turn and I broke a screwdriver and ended up having to dremel the manufacturer’s screw off and make a new hole to install the light, but it all worked out in the end.

It looks a million times better than it did a few months ago, but I still have a few finishing touches to add, including artwork above the chest, a few extra beachy touches and something to fill those glass fronts of the drawers.

And I’m sure that the Youngsters will certainly see now that I wasn’t kidding when I told them they were my inspiration!

Early Bedroom



A Bed, A Bed I Said

We finally finished making our bed!!! And it was super easy! 🙂

Well, not quite. It took a lot of work:

And quite a bit longer than we planned… as in MONTHS (but that’s mostly because we only worked on it on weekends, took a few weekends off, and my handyman, aka my husband, was out of town for a lot more of the project than I had hoped.)

And we definitely had a few mishaps… can anyone spot the difference between the photo on the left and the one on the right that DOESN’T have to do with the paint job? I’ll give you a hint. the photos were taken from the exact same location… and yet you can see the end of the bed on the right…

That’s right, we definitely built the bed too long at first!

We built the bed using modified plans from Ana White’s Stratton Bed design. We added the drawers, adjusted the plan to remove the “wasted” space in the middle of the bed AND forgot to account for the fact that we were making each of the benches bigger, and would therefore probably need to make one a bit smaller. So, after it was all assembled, trimmed and primed, and we were nearly ready to paint (center photo), we realized that the darn thing was WAY longer than we wanted it to be! Well, time to improvise! We brought in the circular saw and hacked off a section of the top piece, which brought it nicely back down to queen bed size. Phew! Then we repositioned the trim (which we also shortened, obviously), patched a bit more and then painted:

You’ll notice we also designed and built our own bookshelf headboard. We did this because we placed the wardrobes on either side of the bed, which, while providing plenty of extra closet storage, didn’t allow us room for nightstands. The bookshelf headboard gives us the space for our alarm clock, phones, books we’re reading, a waterbottle or glass of wine, a box of kleenex, the remote for our mattress, and anything else we want to have by our bedside.

To do this, though, we had to make sure that we left a space for the motor for our bed, and holes for the plugs to run through for our alarm clock, phone chargers, etc. So we cut a hole in the front of the headboard that was high enough to reach, but low enough that it would be covered by our mattress. We also mounted two surge protectors inside on 2x4s there to keep the shelves stable. Then we drilled holes in the bottom of the two side bookshelves, which we use to run the cords through to the surge protectors.

Then, we added some finishing touches to the drawers.

Handles on the outside:

And fun colored paper on the inside:


And the end result was a heck of a lot better than this:

But you’ll have to stay tuned for the full bedroom reveal!

You’re Our Inspiration

We’ve been doing a lot of searching, researching and brainstorming around what we’re going to do with the rest of our condo. We still have a LOT of work to do throughout the place, so it was great to find a blog called Young House Love (formerly This Young House), which gave us a great idea for adding storage to our bedroom.

As you may recall, when we bought the place, the former owner had placed a large armoire in the corner and placed the bed against the wall with the window, with a bright bedspread, a look that made the room look a lot smaller than it really was.

As you saw in our other “A Place to Sleep” entry, we had decided to put the bed on the other wall to try to add a bit more of a focal point to the room as you walk in, adding depth to the room. But it left little room for storage.

Enter “This Young House” (now “Young House Love”) pastedGraphic_1.pdfand their master bedroom – where they added Ikea storage units on either side of the bed to add additional closet space, with a header above and curtains on either side to make it look like it’s built in and the bed fits nicely in the nook between. (Photo to the right courtesy of Young House Love.)

So, today we went to Ikea and priced out the wardrobes that we want with all the little components that we wanted inside and… decided to see if we could investigate other options that might be more affordable. We scampered over to Lowe’s, remembering some closet/wardrobe options that might work. But no luck there – each cabinet was either too big or too narrow. So, we’ll probably end up going with the Ikea version and just making that investment in the storage that we really need in the bedroom, despite the fact that those inside pieces start to add up much more quickly than we’d like.

Next we need to find the actual bed for our room. We’re hoping to find a platform bed with drawers underneath, to add even more storage to the room, including storage for sheets, but we haven’t found one that we like as well as the one on the side here, at a price that we can afford.

Plus, we’re hoping to do a shelf at the head of our bed so that we have a place to keep our phones plugged in at night, as well as the book I’m reading. We’ll then do swing arm lights, like the ones pictured in the inspiration photo. And, since we don’t have a window on that wall to make the inside curtains make sense, we’re thinking of putting a mirror with white gridwork to make it look like a window, which will also make the space look larger.

Needless to say, we still have a lot of steps we’ll need to take before we see the complete bedroom in real life, rather than just in our imaginations.

A Place to Sleep

A Brand new place to lay our heads... and the rest of us! The wait for our new Sleep Number bed is over! And now, we really have no excuse NOT to sleep at our new place... well, other than the fact that the bed is pretty much the only furniture we have over there!

A few weeks ago, we ventured north to the faraway land of suburbia (namely, Skokie) to visit the Old Orchard mall and the Sleep Number store. A few hours later we had plunked down our credit card for our first furniture purchase as a married couple and as homeowners – our new bed.

And oh! what a bed. With air chambers that move at the touch of a button, providing comfort and sleep that can only be imagined. We’re SO ready for this. We can’t wait to sleep in it – so, I think we’re going to… right now! It’s a little early, but hey – it’s a Friday – why not!?