Master Bedroom: Curtains, Curtain Rods, and Knobs


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I'm so proud of myself that I was able to get these projects done sans Alex. I think he had enough of my panic-stricken pleas to do stuff around the house before we had all of those guests on Sunday. 

The last picture I shared of the master bedroom highlighted a few little things that I wanted to add or change:

1. Darker knobs for the bedside tables
2. A cozy rug
3. A white bedskirt
4. White pillow shams
5. Darker curtain rods
6. White, flowy curtain panels

Here is the room now with my three little updates:

Me so giddy, me so giddy, me so giddy. Oh. Is that bad grammar? Sorry 'bout that.

I found two oil-rubbed bronze knobs at Home Depot and swapped them with the glass knobs lickety split (still gonna use the glass knobs downstairs).

I found two white, cotton / linen curtain panels at Pier One Imports. I only got two panels so that I could put them on the outside of each window to sort of frame the bed and make a focal point when you walk in. I had to get the 96" panels which were waaaaaay too long. I tried washing them in cold water to shrink them a bit and it worked, but not enough. I haven't decided if I'm going to be lazy and try to shrink 'em some more by washing them in warm water or actually make an effort to actually hem them. Either way they need to be a tad bit shorter.

In the original picture, you can see that I already had some brushed nickel hardware over the windows. I wanted to add a bit more contrast so I swapped the old rods out with some new oil-rubbed bronze ones. I went to the same store and bought the same sized rods as the old ones so that I wouldn't have to drill any new holes in the walls. I swapped the screws and brackets when I got home and installed them all by myself.

It's looking better that's for sure.

{Sorry about the pics though. I was trying to get a shot of the curtains 'n stuff without showing all of the contents of my closet (which still has no door). Oh well. One step at a time, right?}

And the hunt continues for a white bedskirt, white pillow shams, and a cute rug.......

Just a Wire Basket


Monday, January 30, 2012

Eeek! I'm already so behind on my mini-goal of posting at least 2-3 times per week. How can I be behind already, it's only the third week since I made the goal!?!?!

So, I'll post about my cute, new basket. Do you ever get pictures of interiors embedded in your mind? I do. I pinned this picture awhile back on my pinterest thingie and have had visions of wire baskets dancing in my mind ever since:

Source: Pinterest

I was at Homesense this weekend shopping for a few last minute items for the wedding shower when I saw a couple walk by with two similarly sized / shaped wire baskets in their cart.

I sent my mom on a mission to follow them and try to find out where they got them and if there were any left. We found out there was one left. Score! Except I wasn't supposed to be shopping for me. Ooops. ;)

I know it's not as quirky and antique-looking as the one in my inspiration photo but when you live where I live (and the shopping stinks) you gotta take what you can get.

It was $19.99 and pretty solid. I threw some cushions in it for now to see how cute it would look. Yup, pretty cute. 

I thought it would look really good filled up with throw blankets in the basement or with stuffed animals in a kids room.

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Hey, on an unrelated note, have any of you ever taken an online interior design course? I've been seriously contemplating a crazy life change and would love any recommendations you've got for me. :)

More Tiny Bedroom Progress


Friday, January 27, 2012

Hey, you.

Sorry I've been AWOL this week. Work has been crazy busy with a JK Open House night and my once-every-fifth-year teacher evaluation (hello, nervewracking). :S

We've also been trying to find spots for all the miscellaneous stuff we dragged out of closets and into the middle of our living room during the floor refinishing fiasco. Not only that, we're hosting a wedding shower here this weekend and have been trying to finish this n' that jobs that we've been meaning to do all around the house.


Last weekend we were able to get a bit more progress done on our tiny bedroom. On my last post, I shared a few items that were a priority on my to-do list for the room.

I'm able to cross of 3 1/2 items off of the 4-item list! Yeah!

- refinish the floors
- install quarter-round along bottom of baseboards
- install crown moulding
- stencil one wall (Don't worry, I'll explain)

Here's how the room looked before Christmas:

And with a few minor changes of a prettier floor, baseboard trim, and crown moulding:

You might be wondering why the last item on the list is half crossed off.

Well, since this tiny room is the same colour as our master bedroom, I thought I'd do something wild and crazy (for me) and stencil one of the walls. (In the above picture, it's the plain, empty wall adjacent to the wall with the windows.)

The wild and crazy part is that the stencil I chose is actually kind of modern-looking. Huh? What!?!! Alex and my mom both think I'm crazy. But I'm trying to break out of my comfort zone and just try something new. Plus, I can always paint over it if it looks ridiculous, right?

So, do you wanna see the stencil I chose? Here it is:

Image: Better Homes and Gardens

So I actually went ahead and chose the stencil from Royal Design Studio and it's being shipped as we speak.

I'm so nervous.

Am I crazy? I might be crazy.

Here is the picture I saw on Pinterest that sparked this idea in the first place:


Hopefully by the end of next weekend I'll be able to show you / tell you how it turned out! :)

Analyzing One of Your Own Pictures


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thanks for all of your positive comments on our new master bedroom bedding. I think I'll just live with it looking kind of flat and non-poofy for awhile. I'm not really out to create a mini sweat-lodge in our bedroom by adding a goose-down comforter to the bedding that we already have: sheets, duvet, duvet cover, and quilt. Darn those Pottery Barn photo stylers. They should sleep in one of their floofy beds for a night to see if that many blankets is realistic. ;)

I find that as soon as I take a picture of one of my own rooms, it helps me visualize what should be added or tweaked. That's what happened the other day. I looked at this photo for awhile and then was able to figure out what to change:

1. Darker knobs.

Don't get me wrong, I love the tiny glass knobs that I just bought for the bedside tables. Yet when I look at the picture, they're almost invisible! I think I'll use them on our little built-in cabinets in the sunroom and try to look for some knobs that will create a bit of contrast.

2. A Cozy Rug

Even though I'm in love with our newly done floors, I still think a throw rug or two will add some texture and cozy up the room. Plus, if I can find a comfy enough rug, maybe Roary would prefer to sleep on it instead of hogging my side of the bed allnightlong

Image: Pottery Barn

3. A Bedskirt

I've been looking and looking for one of these but the split corner ones are so hard to find here. I can't just buy a regular one 'cause we have a footboard that gets in the way. I'd love one with a quilted look to it. That'd be perfect.

Image: One King's Lane

4. White Pillows

I'd like to swap swap two of the blue pillow cases with two white ones, just to tie in the future white bedskirt. 

5.  Darker Curtain Rods

I would also like to find some dark brown curtain rods to add some more contrast. I don't want the bedframe to stick out like a sore thumb. Somethin' simple like the rod in the top of the picture below:

Image: Pottery Barn
6. Curtains

You know, to soften up the windows a bit. I am still in all kinds of love with the white linen curtains I got from Crate and Barrel for our breakfast room. I'll probably only do two panels: one on the far right of the right window and one on the far left of the left window.

Image: Pottery Barn

Please tell me I'm not the only one who lays awake at night thinking about curtain rods and pillow shams.... heh heh heh. 

So, any other suggestions?

Master Bedroom Bedding (On a Budget)


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hey there. How was your weekend? Mine was spent limping around all awkward-like since I had some weird shooting pains down my back and right leg. {You know you're getting o-l-d when you start complaining about mysterious aches and pains that happen for no reason. Hahaha.}

I've had the following picture saved on my computer for-ever. The bedding is from Pottery Barn and it's soooooooo dreamy. I love the blue and green colour combo as well as the patchwork pattern. It's just so cozy and cottage-y looking.
Image - Pottery Barn

Unfortunately, Pottery Barn prices aren't as dreamy as their pictures. There is no way I would pay that much money. Check out the breakdown for the items in the above picture:

Nila Patchwork Quilt (Queen) - $243
Standard Sham - $50
Standard Sham - $50
Vintage Ticking Stripe Duvet Cover (Queen) - $127
Standard Sham - $37
Standard Sham - $37
PB Essential Sheet Set (Queen) - $102

Pottery Barn Bedding Price: $646

Instead, I stalked Homesense every week for about a year, and finally found a quilt with sorta the same style and colours.

I wasn't able to find a stripey duvet cover, so I settled for a plain blue one that I found at the Superstore. I was also able to get a new sheet set from Homesense.

I threw 'em on the bed today to see how they all looked:

Hmmmm, not bad. Not bad at all.

(Maybe a bit wrinkly but pretend you don't see the wrinkles, k?)

The best part? The price. Here's the cost breakdown:

Quilt Set (Queen) - Homesense - $70
Sheet Set (Queen) - Homesense - $50
Duvet Set (Queen) - Superstore - $50

El Cheapo Copycat Pottery Barn Bedding Price: $170

That's a savings of about $476. Not bad if I do say so myself.

Now, my only question is, how do those Pottery Barn people get their beds to look so darn floofy?!?!?!


Ugly Kitchen Quick Fix: Pendant Light


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Last month we ended up deciding to do a few easy quick-fixes for our ugly kitchen even though we're in the middle of a million other reno projects. I started with some fresh paint on the walls and then we added some open shelving for extra storage and display.

Our latest update happened kind of by accident. We were at our local lighting store looking for a schoolhouse light for the master bedroom (no luck, btw). We had been talking about replacing the nasty fluorescent light above our kitchen sink with a pendant light but we weren't sure what style to choose.

See the fluorescent light above the window in the picture below? Eeek, yes I know.

A few months ago we installed a new pendant light above the table in the breakfast room which you can sort of, kind of see way in the back of the above picture. Here is a better photo of that pendant light:

So while we were at the lighting store last weekend, we saw the mini-version of the pendant light we already have. ON SALE! Instead of $199 it was on sale for $119. Still expensive but soooooo cute. Plus, who can resist a sale like that? Not me, not me, not me.

We got home last Sunday and took one last look at the fluorescent light:

We got all excited and decided to install it right away! Except when Alex took it down, we were left with this:

Not what we were anticipating. Why does every single project in an old house take 10x as long as it should? Alex had to patch the holes with tape and drywall putty, sand, prime, and paint the little piece of ceiling before we could install the light. He's such a hard worker. He even did some of this stuff before going to work this past week. I should really pour him an extra coffee right now. 

So, we were finally able to install the light last night and take some pictures this morning. It's purty.

Because this style of light allows you to see the light bulb, we got an adorable little round one to give it that extra somethin' somethin'.

We're loving it.

Oh yeah, here is a more current picture of the larger version of the light in the breakfast room:

Next up for the kitchen? Probl'y some sort of window treatment........ and cabinet hardware for sure. Did you see those handles?!? (Shudder.)


P.S. Thank you all so much for your constructive comments about the master bedroom light from Lowe's. You've helped us make the decision on whether or not we're going to keep it. Details to follow! Yay!

P.S.S. Ooops, I forgot a link to the mini-pendant light. You can find it here.



Thursday, January 12, 2012

Confession #1

I am secretly jealous of uber-healthy people who eat only organic foods and whole grains and exercise all the time and blah blah blah. The problem is that I really love butter, chocolate, Pepsi, Cheesewhiz, and chips. Another problem is that I enjoy watching episode upon episode of shows like How I Met Your Mother and Modern Family and 90210 rather than, you know, moving.

Confession #2

I'm always losing my debit card, credit card, and any bills that Alex gives me (he's my sugar daddy). I always seem to find them again... just days or weeks or months later. I just found the debit card that I lost in the summer. It was in a secret pouch in my camera bag. I also just found the replacement debit card that I also lost in the pocket of a coat that is now too small (note to self: stop eating chips and butter). Alex loves doing laundry because he always finds a random bill or two stashed in my pants or hoodie pockets.

Confession #3

I seem to be deathly afraid of pattern and colour. I've got a handle on super pale stripes. Other than that, I'm clueless. I ordered something yesterday that is completely out of my comfort zone. I'm going to "live on the edge" and try to add some pattern to one room in our house. I'm nervous just thinking about it. Oh my.

Confession #4

I am way too sensitive (even though I pretend to be a toughie) and feel utterly crushed when I see that someone has gone to the trouble of unsubscribing to my little blog. I spend way too much time wondering what I did or didn't do. It even happened this week. Boo hoo hoo.

Confession #5

Alex and I often read or watch t.v. literally jammed into our two-seater loveseat with both dogs (even though we have a big couch about 3 feet away). It's squishy and very dog-breathy. We just might be those crazy dog people.

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Weird confessions..... to be continued. ;)

A Light Fixture For the Master Bedroom. Maybe.


Monday, January 9, 2012

I should start this by saying I am soooooo picky when it comes to flush mount / semi-flush mount ceiling fixtures. I can honestly say that I only sort of like about 2% of all of them. The other 98% of them are just so ugly to me. 

I've been looking online alot lately, since the light in our master bedroom was in serious need of some serious updating. 

Proof? Here it was:

The style that I seem to be digging for the bedrooms lately is the semi-flush mount schoolhouse lights. Kind of like these.

Rejuvenation - $135 + taxes, shipping, duties & customs

Schoolhouse Electric - $119 + taxes, shipping, duties & customs

They're cute right?

Except I just get so nervous to order anything online when it costs so much money for the light plus the taxes, plus the shipping, plus the duties and customs fees. 

So when I saw this light at Lowe's....... we went for it. It was $33. $33!!!

Lowes - $33

We had a Lowe's giftcard saved from Christmas so it was kind of like it was free. Ooooh, I like free.

Alex installed it on the weekend to mixed reviews.

I like the contrast of the dark shade with the light walls and trim, plus it matches the bed colour. I think the size works well in the room. It isn't too big or too small. I also like how the shade is closed (no more dust bunnies up there, yay).

However, the overall quality of the fixture is kind of cheap (yeah, I know, that's what you get for $33). The finish is a little glossier than I would have liked, the shade is a bit wobbly and doesn't seem to attach securely to the base. Also, the maximum bulb wattage is 75W so the overall light source is kind of dim.

So, what to do, what to do?

Keep it 'cause it was basically free and still looks pretty cute OR splurge for a better-quality, more expensive light?

Oh, these decisions are hard for a Monday night after going back to work. It's so past my bedtime. :)

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins and A Painted Linen Closet


Saturday, January 7, 2012

We had some ripe bernaners (yes, that's how we say bananas at our house) lying around so I decided to whip up some banana chocolate chip muffins for a Saturday morning treat. They smelled soooooo gooooooood while they were baking.

I searched the net for a few different recipes and finally came across 'The Best Banana Bread Ever' from a blog called Foodess. I tweaked her recipe a bit but you can find the original recipe at the above link.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins


1 egg
1 1/2 – 2 cups mashed banana (about 4 large)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour *
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips **

* I substituted 1/2 cup whole wheat flour for 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* I only used 1/2 cup chocolate chips instead of a full cup


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees*** and prepare a 12-cup muffin pan by greasing it or lining it with paper liners. Beat egg, mashed banana and melted butter in a large bowl until thoroughly blended. Stir in milk.

2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to banana mixture and stir until just moistened. Gently stir in chocolate chips, if using. 

3. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

*** I baked my muffins at 350 degrees instead of 375 degrees because my oven is nuclear

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'Member yesterday when I wrote about my mini goals for the New Year? Well I already completed one of the completely un-fun projects that I'd been putting off forever.

Un-fun project: unpainted linen closet.

I had to empty all the linens from the closet before our floors got refinished last month. It was then when I was sorely reminded that I had never actually painted the inside of the closet when we moved in. It was still the crusty beige that the whole house was painted at the time. Ew, ew, ew.

With our upstairs getting all of the finishing touches I've been dreaming about forever, I decided it was time to just git 'er done.

Linen closet in the upstairs hallway.

Doors and trim - white. Inside - yucky beige.

Even Lexie looks disgusted with me.

I used paint that we had on hand (Benjamin Moore Simply White in a pearl finish) to paint the ceiling, walls, and shelving. Everything needed two good coats.

It took me two days to finish since I'm the slowest, most distracted worker of all time. But at least it's done and now I can finally put all of our linens back in.

Even though this is the most non-exciting project ever, I'm still posting it in case it will give you that little bit of motivation to tackle a sucky project that you've been procrastinating on forever.

You'll feel good when you're all done, trust me.

I might go shopping later for some cute storage baskets for this closet but that will have to wait for another day.

P.S. THANK YOU for all your tips and links about breadmakers and bread recipes. I've checked them all out and am still trying to decide...... :)

Mini Goals for the New Year


Friday, January 6, 2012

I'm not really a resolution kinda girl. I just never seem to follow through with long-term goals. Either I forget, get bored, or lose motivation somewhere along the way. It's funny because I've still loved reading all about everyone else's New Year's resolutions over this past week. 

I decided to choose a few 'mini' goals for myself this year instead. Mini goals sound a bit more attainable, right? Well, here goes.

Mini Goal #1

Work on my photog skillz. I took so many pictures in the summer. When I started back to work in September it was like I had zero picture-taking time. It doesn't help that it gets dark here at like, 4:30 p.m. Maybe that's an excuse though, so I'm going to try to break out my camera (and tripod) more often during the week and on weekends.

I also seem to get impatient when taking pictures for the ol' blog and settle when they look, you know, good enough. I know I can do better, so my new goal is to try.  

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens

I've also been saving up for a new camera lens. It's reallllllly expensive. I've saved up $500 so far which is only about 1/3 of the cost. :S I'm hoping I'll be able to get it before my birthday in May. That's the goal, anyway!

Mini-Goal #2

Learn to knit. Oh how I want to be all crafty-like and knit up some scarves and blankets and other ultra-cute things. Does that make me lame? You won't think I'm lame when I'm busting out goodies like in this book I got for Christmas:

Hats with pom poms? Knee-length socks? Oh how I want thee. Uhhhh, except I don't know how to knit yet. So hopefully, maybe, fingers crossed..... I will learn. 

Mini-Goal #3

Learn how to bake homemade bread. I can make cornbread. And banana bread. But I want to be able to make a loaf of this:

Freshly Baked Bread - Image: Simply Delicious
Or this:

Honey Oat Bread - Image: Pass the Sushi

If you didn't figure it out yet, I'm a bread-loving, carb-loving maniac. I could live on bread. I've been doing some online shopping for breadmakers and have read some really good reviews about this bad boy:

Panasonic SD-YD250 Automatic Bread Maker

Any thoughts, advice, opinions on breadmakers? Totally worth it? Waste of money? Help! I really want to eat fresh breeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeead. ;)

Mini Goal #4

Be more consistent on the 'ol bloggy-blog. Sometimes I feel so bogged down with work that I find it hard to make time for good quality projects, posts, and photos. But maybe that's me just being lazy again.

So my goal is to post at least 2-3 times per week. I can do that, right? Even if it's just pictures of my puppies?!?!?!

But they're so cuuuuuuuute. Even when they give me the stink-eye (Roary) or hog all of the cushions (Lexie).

Mini-Goal #5:

Tackle the totally un-fun projects around the house/yard that I've been procrastinating on for years. Things like:

  • Paint the inside of the linen closet that is still the grossest beige that ever lived
  • Paint the railing that is still also the grossest beige that ever lived
  • Organize the linen closet
  • Donate random trinkets to charity instead of hoarding them in boxes in the basement
  • Get rid of furniture, items we don't need, use, or like
  • Etc. etc. etc.
Ahhhh! Beige!!!

I always want to do the fun projects or the cute projects. There will be NO MORE procrastination. (Okay, maybe a little bit). I will try my very bestest to get some things done that have been on my list forever and five thousand days.

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So, that's my list. I tried to keep it simple this year, in hopes that I can actually see one, two, or maybe all of these goals to the finish line. Note to self: You can do it, you can do it, you can do it. 

So, do you have any big, medium, or mini goals for the New Year? Tell me, tell me, tell me!
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