Friday, March 22, 2013

master bedroom swap

Last fall I decided to swap two rooms on the second floor of our home; my husband's office and our master bedroom.  My husband's office held a desk, file cabinet, twin guest bed, and his dresser.  It doesn't sound like much furniture, but the room is tiny and it always felt incredibly claustrophobic to be in there. (Of course, it doesn't help that my husband isn't the tidiest of people.) And there were other issues aside from the over abundance of furniture. The closet in his office is the largest in the house and therefore, mine. But my dresser was in our master bedroom. Conversely, his dresser was in his office but he used the closet in our master. Scratching your head yet?  Now you see why the swap just had to happen!

The original motivation behind the swap, however, was that I really wanted to relocate my workspace from the unfinished basement to a location where Ella could be with me. I had stopped using the space in the basement after a piece I had been working on for a long time was ruined by a spill of some sort on the first floor. Our house is old and the spill must have leaked through the spaces in the old wood floor and subfloor. And the only room big enough to house a workspace for both my husband and I was the room we were currently using as our master bedroom.  Here is the dreadful before pic (my apologies for the horrible photo), prior to our move.

While my husband was traveling for interviews at the start of the semester, I dismantled the twin guest bed and moved the rest of the furniture to the center of the room and started prepping the walls for paint. As you can see, the room was the most hideous shade of orange when we began renting the house and I had been longing for the opportunity to get rid of it. I chose White Truffle by Behr for the walls and White Fur for the trim (yes, I painted the wood trim - this isn't always viewed favorably in old homes but restoring the trim to it's former glory was just not a part of my time table or the look I wanted).  I wanted the small room to feel light and airy because even after the swapping of furniture was complete, I knew it was still going to be a tight fit with just our bed and my dresser.  (I should say that I am actually a big fan of small, cozy bedrooms.  It guarantees that the bedroom will remain a relaxing space without any additional room to add alternate functions.)

As I continued to work in the room painting, I kept doubting the swap.  Mostly because I was concerned that our large canopy bed was just going to overwhelm the space.  I had measured the room and determined that it would, in fact, fit with enough space on either side for our end tables but I decided to go ahead and tape off the outline of the bed on the floor anyway.  It was still difficult to get a sense of the bed's mass and scale in three-dimensions but I pushed ahead.

With the painting completed, I started moving furniture out and bringing our bed, end tables and my dresser in.  I had originally ordered an Amy Butler print fabric for the curtains, but upon arrival discovered that it made the wall paint look orange.  Or perhaps it was because I had spent too much time in the room trying to cover up the orange that I was beginning to see things.  In any case, I set that fabric aside and decided to forgo a print and used the LENDA, a light beige linen-like curtain I picked up at IKEA.  I'm not sure they are the right color for the room but they were extremely affordable and, since this isn't our permanent home I think I can live with them for another year or so.

I chose to keep all of the framed art and photographs on one wall, in a collage above the dresser, so as not to create more focal points than the small room could bear.  I finally found a round basket (thanks to my frequent wanderings around Home Goods) that would fit perfectly beneath the night stands and keep all of the books and magazines that tend to get out of hand contained (beware, you may find a sleepy gorilla in there from time to time).

There are a few things I'd still like to do in the room.  First, finish painting the trim around the door to the room and paint the closet doors, door to the attic, and door to the room the same grey-brown I've used elsewhere in the house.  I'd also like to replace the contractor's special light fixture (this may pose some issues), and I'd absolutely LOVE to get new bedding (the current ensemble was a gift and though lovely, it's far too dark and formal for my tastes).  I also think it might be nice to add some green into the room, perhaps in the form of a hanging planter?

But for now, it's great to finally have a calming place to lay our heads at night (and one more room in this house painted).


  1. love all your industriousness. I love that you dismantled & moved furniture by yourself with a tot lurking around. You rock! It all looks fabulous. Great work!!

    1. Thanks Carol! To be fair though, Ted did help me move the bed!


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