Devil is in the Details

While I love the overall palate of my room with a good balance of bold color and neutrals, I know that there are tons of decoration and details that really make the room. Here’s some of the smaller projects that have gone into the room since I began the revamp in earnest in July (and an update on the decorating of finished furniture).

The mirror which went up on Memorial Day 2011 was always in a weird spot for me to actually use since I’d have to walk into a corner of the room I never used:


so I moved it to the wall between the bathroom door and the closet:


As I’ve previewed before, the major component is the wall o’ photos which is (mostly) my original photography:


But this is just the inspiration and is missing one photo I bought awhile back. Here’s a bit of info on each pic and some notes on printing:


  • 1 – John Pennecamp state park, Key Largo, FL
  • 2 – 111 year old chapel in my town
  • 3 – surfer in Laguna Beach, CA *needs to be printed and framed
  • 4 – standing stones in Scotland *needs to be printed and framed
  • 5 – butterfly garden in New York
  • 6 – daisies in my front yard
  • 7 – tulips in my front yard
  • 8 – ferry from trip to Scotland *needs to be printed and framed
  • 9 – series of 3 prints from Key Largo, FL in a joint frame
  • 10 – rose from the CA capitol
  • 11 – flowers from my back yard
  • 12 – from my town *printed and applied to canvas (details here)
  • 13 – picture of the harbor in South San Francisco *needs to be printed and framed
  • 14 – strand of lights from Elizabeth’s bday party *needs to be printed and framed

Also going back on this wall are the two lamps from Ikea which bring some much needed light to the darker room (especially with the curtains). The only problem is that they’re off white and I like things to match so they went outside for a fresh coat of white spray paint.

fresh coat of paint

I did the same for the AC grate which was looking a little dated and had some old wall paint around the edges. I sanded down the grate and picked up Krylon in a white semi-gloss:

white spray paint

Here’s the finished grate:

Yes, I know I need to touch up the ceiling

The last little detail for now is this rug – it’s not the most attractive thing but definitely serves its purpose to catch all those muddy paw prints when the dogs come rushing in!

dirt catcher

I have to straighten it out constantly and usually toss it outside once a week for a good beating but it’s held up pretty well considering!

Now for the furniture updates!

I finished painting the bookshelf first but the shelves too forever to finish. And if you’ve ever painted laminate furniture you know that fitting in shelves is a pain – especially if you scrape off all the paint you just applied.

My trick is to wrap the edges of the shelf with wax paper and slide it into place. Then you can rip off the paper and no paint gets scraped. Don’t ask how many shelves it took me to figure this out. Here’s the finished bookshelf (ignore the decorations most were just thrown up there last second):


Next we have the two nightstands which I first posted about here. In the northeast corner of the room:

nightstand #1

I am STILL looking for a cute picture of my dogs to add to this frame. Until then: stock image will have to do:

awww puppy

The shelves hold copies of my novel, extra black picture frames and heating pads (inside the basket):

nightstand #1

the drawer is pretty empty, just a few pencils for editing the novel. I’m sure crap will creep in eventually.

Now for the other nightstand. It’s pretty bare so far with just a basket on the bottom with cards and some candles on top:

nightstand #2 – pyrotechnics enabled

Again, it’s kinda nice without the crap but I’m sure that’s going to change. A peek inside this drawer shows that I’m still working on hanging pictures:

nightstand #2

It’s handy.

Finally, the headboard. I didn’t think I’d have time to get it finished since I’ve been doing final touch up on the paint. But the last coats are finally dry and it’s moved in!

Nixon photobombing

There’s not much stylin’ going on yet, I usually keep a few blankets for the dogs in the side cubbies but they’re out in the laundry. I’ll soon mark on the wall where the finished lights are going up and get to installing the rest of the wall o’ frames.

So very close to being done!

view from above

one more looking back the other direction:



$9 Headboard Update

I’m rather proud of my cost saving ways, especially when it comes to actually having a bed to sleep on in my master bedroom. Starting with the queen mattress and box spring which were a great deal at $400 (since the fabrics mismatched). Then my dad picked up a bed frame for free which got the mattress up of the floor.

I was kicking around ideas for a fabric headboard when Dad once again found a great deal, primarily so he wouldn’t have to build me one.

price of 1 solid wood headboard

The price is a little off though since there was a 25% off sale so I paid all of $9 to get this home.

Jackson photo bombing

Dad bought and installed these awesome lights from Ikea for Christmas one year, they’re $10 each and came in off-white but I might want to spray paint later on:

Kvart from Ikea x2

This is actually the same comforter, just flipped over. I was originally going to make a bed skirt but found one cheap at Ikea. Overall, I really like the headboard. Especially since it fits Wilson so nicely.

doxie sized

I briefly considered keeping it natural but a) $9 means I can do just about anything to it without much regret and b) the room will be pretty dark with the walls, the brown curtains and eventually the dark floors.

Remember my mood board? In it the headboard is brown but I don’t think it looks good with all the black frames and white furniture.


So I started by sanding down the whole thing so it could be painted white and let me tell you, with all these furniture projects I am getting good at sanding. After it was sanded and wiped down I moved it to the living room and laid it on the side.

“I’ve fallen and can’t get up” pose

This was the best way to get the front and sides, propping up each side on a banker’s box so I could get that strip along the bottom without ruining my rug or sticking the headboard to the drop cloth. Then I stood it up and worked on the inside, doors and track. It took several coats to fully cover the wood:

white paint goes pretty far though

Here’s a slightly off color picture of the top and the grain which is still showing through:

top view

I still have another coat to do and a little touch up but it’s almost ready to move back in! I’m also considering using the same oops gray from the nightstands for sliding doors which have a nice little detail:

grey or white on white?

When this goes back in the room it’ll really stand out against the wall. I’m waiting to get the headboard back in to re-install the lights. They’ll get centered over the bed and plus wired into the headboard (there’s an outlet and an on/off switch built in) and can be angled up to show off the paintings or down for reading.

Then I can finally finish installing the photo wall that will be centered on the bed. Are you excited? I’m excited.

Hemnes Update Plans

When I bought this dresser assembled from Ikea 3 years ago it had just one tiny flaw: a crack in the left side panel which is barely visible but quite long. I guess that’s what happens when it’s left in a showroom with destructive children.

But it was overall in good shape and at over 50% off a great deal!

New price: $150, I paid $70

Despite the crack it’s a sturdy dresser and with some prep work I can paint the frame and drawers white. I’d also like to replace the knobs since these are pretty boring. If I can find an affordable source I’ll get 16 matching knobs for the dresser and nightstands.

I really like this version and am looking for ways to make this dresser less drab, all white. Ideas?

love this version

The interesting thing is that once I moved it into the room I didn’t want it white again! Here it balances out the dark frames on the wall. I may add some new knobs  but for now I think it looks great on this wall:

leaving the dresser as is

For the past few years this dresser has been living in the closet since there was a shelf on the wall and the brackets made it impossible to fit the dresser underneath.

If I can add a thin piece of plywood inside the dresser to reinforce the siding with the crack I’ll attempt to repair the crack without it looking worse.

The initial plan was to replace that white shelf (see it here all decorated for Christmas) but with the dresser centered. Honestly, that red chair was just in the room during the project to hold my water, phone, iPad…

But once again I have decorating ADD because I really like having the chair and putting the shelf back up doesn’t appeal to me. I think I’ve found a new home for it and will consult with the architect (i.e. Dad) when he’s here next month.

I may not be painting the dresser just yet but we’ll see – everything might change in a few months. But let’s peek back in the closet:

I hate closet doors

which is hidden behind that duvet cover turned curtains that Mom made for me last year.

Yeah, there’s a lot of mess going on in the closet so those curtains are going to remain closed.

I do think I need to add a few more little things to my list, including hold backs for the closet and sliding glass door curtains.

Red Red Wine

Are you ready to see the paint I picked for the master bedroom?

getting ready to roll

It’s called Red Red Wine from Behr and this post is all about the paint and why I chose it!

While I love the homes with the neutral, beach-cottage look I know myself and I prefer bold. To me it’s more fun, shows my personality and lets me get more targeted with the things I bring into the house. i.e. a blank canvas white washed home is my nightmare.

So in this house I went with fun colors and more boldness than most people prefer. That’s cool. My kitchen is red. The office is green. The guest room is blue. And the new master bedroom color is the shame red shade as the kitchen!

I think I was disappointed that the red in the kitchen wasn’t big enough since there are few walls in there, lots of windows and mostly cabinets. That little peek of red in the kitchen was not enough.

wine in the kitchen

I chose to get Red Red Wine in a flat interior paint and even though it won’t reflect as much light as the glossy I really love how it turned out! But let’s back up a bit. Last week I showed you how I’d begun to prime the walls, covering them in a thick layer of the blueish gray color.

Priming ensures an even coat of red

When I went out to the paint stash in the garage to match the color I found a nearly full can a bit dirty but otherwise good!

ready to stir up

After mixing it well I started to cut in with my new angled brush. Here it is in the corners and around the outlets and baseboards:

cutting in

I was really surprised how far that first can went – I covered the entire room in a first coat.

Only then did I go pick up a second gallon. I first considered a smaller size but the quarts are just half the price of a gallon. Knowing I’d need a lot to fully cover the walls I got the second gallon and rolled it on.

Once I got the paint on and took down the painter’s tape, it was a waiting game for everything to dry. Once it dried I was able to vacuum and used the small dust buster to get the edges of the carpet where the baseboards were clean.

By the way, I listened to the audio book A Thousand Splendid Suns while I painted and it really helped me to stay focused (and dare I say enjoy) during the time on the scaffold. I get audio books from the library every so often and had this one saved on my iPad for the occasion.

Anywho, back to the room.

I absolutely love the view from the office – you can really see the bold colors of the bedrooms. They’re all in the same hue (dark and bold but not clashy) without being matchy-matchy.

bright and bold

It was near impossible to photograph on Sunday night since it was already dark when I finished. So I moved in the bed, bookshelf, nightstands, dresser and a chair and waited til morning.

Moving in furniture & hanging pictures
Photo wall in progress

and one more for posterity:

Closet corner

Now that the room is ready, I really need to finish the rest of the furniture so I can move it all in! Here’s some of the things I have finished:

  • Painted the bookshelf white
  • Painted two nightstands white
  • Determine dresser makeover

The last projects I need to finish are:

  • Paint the headboard white
  • Spray paint the grate cover white and re-install
  • Hang the mirror
  • Create jewelry storage

I’ll be beginning to hang my wall of picture frames as seen here:


I’ll also rehang the Ikea mirror and create some jewelry storage on the short wall between the bathroom and closet which will be detailed in another post. The curtains are already hung on the closet and sliding glass door, though they need to be taken down and washed at some point.

Now that the garage is looking cleaner with all that furniture moved I can finish painting the baseboards for this room so those can get installed in August. So so close to being done!

Let’s take a look at that list again from this post:

  1. scrape off popcorn texture across 12′ vaulted ceiling while attempting not to fall from the scaffold – done
  2. Sand, patch and somehow prep the ceiling – done
  3. Paint the ceiling – done
  4. Wash the walls and remove outlet and switch plate covers – done
  5. Remove the baseboards, take down lights and remove shelf – done
  6. Prime the walls for painting – done
  7. Paint the walls Red Red Wine – done
  8. Paint the primed baseboards white
  9. Cut and install the baseboards
  10. Frame out the sliding glass door so it looks pretty – skipping for now
  11. Rehang shelf – skipping for now
  12. Install lights
  13. Install outlet/switch plate covers –  done
  14. Deep clean the carpet
  15. Move the furniture back in – done
  16. Rehang pictures – started!
  17. Rehang the curtains –  done
  18. Drink large margarita

While I would have liked to put the baseboards in before moving in the furniture, I can do it in smaller pieces with minimal trouble. At least the room is habitable which is great because I have company coming in 2 weeks!

One Night Stand

Well when I made this mood board I didn’t plan for a nightstand, not to mention two of them! For the most part the headboard has enough storage but with the sliding doors something is always left open. These nightstands should provide more open and closed storage.


When I came across these at Salvation Army during a 50% off sale I knew that they would be great once painted and in the room. They’re pretty solid and not particle board and at 2 for $25 it was a great deal:

solid wood and ready to be painted!

I moved this one into the living room to check out the condition and thankfully they’re really solid. I used the sanding wedge to get into the two shelf areas and all the corners. Then wiped it down with a damp cloth and started painting.

prepping for paint

I got pretty lucky on the sizing too, the headboard is just about 6 feet wide and each nightstand is 2 feet wide. Which means all the furniture should fit just right on the photo wall which is 10 feet from wall to where the door swings open!

Here’s a picture of the fist one painted next to the second nightstand natural:

before & after

When I picked up a new gallon of white primer I found some oops paint, $2 for a quart! So I chose to make it drawer the light gray so they’re not so boring. I think they’ll look even better with a white or clear drawer pull.

$2 oops paint

I’m playing with decorating the top with the same design as the bookshelf but that project will probably come later. The last thing will probably be replacing the knobs, maybe find some nice glass ones but it’s not the highest priority.

There was one nightstand in the room from Ikea but it’s pretty boring looking so I moved it to the office. That may be due for some paint as well when the master bedroom is complete.

When I get these in the room I’ll post again showing how I’m styling the nightstands! So far I have ideas for baskets, my wireless router, the alarm clock and some books. Because I have lights mounted on the wall there’s no need for lamps on the nightstands so I have lots of space to work with!

Bright Book Shelf

Okay, I’ve warned you that the walls in this room are going to be BOLD, hence the need for a nice, thick layer of primer. To balance out the bold wall color all of the furniture is getting white washed so that it shows up crisp against the new wall color.

Lots of painting going on

As you can see in this mood board I created, I like dark, bold elements against crisp, white furniture. It’s the same thing I did in the guest room and I love how that turned out.


This bookshelf came from Ikea as-is/clearance section which is great because it was cheap. I somewhat recall $18 but don’t quote me on that. I believe at least one shelf is missing but once again, under $20.

original finish

I started by taking everything out and moving the entire bookshelf out to the garage. Lucky for me it’s super light and the shelves came out easily.


There were a few places where the paint peeled and I needed to patch but I’m not exactly a perfectionist when it comes to furniture.

Shelves are still drying

After getting this piece all white, I tried to find the right pattern for the back and while I’m still toying with the design I want and how to apply it evenly, for now I think I’ll put it in the room 100% white and work on fancy stuff later.

While I don’t yet know what’s going back on the bookshelves, it will be going back in this corner! The paint is still drying in the room and I’ll probably have to wait until mid-August to get the baseboards installed when the family is back in town but I’ll have more pictures soon!

Master Plans

When last I updated I had just finished the master bedroom ceiling and was, quite frankly, really cranky.

not pictured: cranky painter

See, I hate scaffolds, it was 106 degrees, I hate sweating and did I mention I hate scaffolds? But the project wasn’t done yet and I had a minor attitude adjustment when I remembered that this project is all about me and my favorite space. Despite some people telling me the wall color was “wrong” for a bedroom I just don’t care. It’s what I like and in November it’ll be 4 years in this house – time for the room I want!

So, on went the primer.

Technically, first came washing the walls and wow were they dirty! Lots of dust floated down from the ceiling work but there was also an A/C grate that had never been cleaned and lots of spider webs. RIP spiders.

After scrubbing and filling in even more wall holes from my 15 picture frames plus the previous owners who liked to staple things to the walls, the primer went up.

But once the walls were ready I started brushing on the primer, careful not to make it so thick that the underlying texture became lumpy. Do you see the problem with that?

primer that doesn’t cover well isn’t good primer

One thing I always forget about primer is that it does not go on thinly and you may need to coats to fully cover the color already on the walls. What one can of regular paint will cover it takes almost twice as much primer. And you want it to be thick so the final paint color goes on evenly without re-texturing the walls.

this is the thickness of primer you’ll need

Luckily for this scaffold hater, most of the wall area could be done on the step ladder and just the north/south wall needed the scaffold. You can see the dirty AC grate here – it’s now in my bathroom waiting for a scrub down!

south wall

The wall above has doors to the hallway and bathroom and will have the dresser and shelf.

Now I still want to change out the light fixture but that should be the last time I need a ladder or scaffold in this room! After the primer, I decided to tape off the door frames, the ceiling and the header for the closet.

painters tape around the doors

I’ll likely empty out the closet and paint it sometime later since the ceiling in there has no popcorn texture. Plus I have a fantastic idea for adding lighting by using Ikea’s bookshelf lights in the ceiling header to highlight my closet.

Before I show pictures of the finished painted room I’ll share posts on furniture from my mood board.

Check back throughout the week to see the progress. Painting is going along quickly and I should have all the furniture back in the room by next weekend!