Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Master Bedroom Update ... Take 2

If at first you don't succeed ...
The very first room I painted before we even moved into the Capers was the master bedroom. I wanted to get it painted before we had carpet installed, which we also wanted done before we moved the furniture in. So painting this cape-cod style bedroom was one of my first real attempts at home decorating.

And well, first attempts don't always go well. So I just recently decided to give this room another shot. And I even learned a couple things during this little re-makeover, which I'm going to share with you in this post.

I decided to start with a nice, fresh, clean palette of flat white on the walls and ceiling. Tip#1: I learned from painting our upstairs hallway and half bath that when ceilings are an issue (too low, bad plaster job, etc), it's best to keep them the same color as the walls so you don't draw attention to them.

Don't mind the mess at the foot of the bed. We haven't found a new home for one of the old nightstands yet, so it's currently serving as an impromptu laundry table.

But the paint color is definitely better than the half blue, half white thing we had going on before:


You'll also notice that I switched out the brown sheer curtains that came with the house for some sleek white roman shades from Lowes. Much better!

Also, the mismatched tv tray nightstands have been replaced by actually matching nightstands, painted in "Free Spirit" by Pittsburgh Paints. My mom scooped these up at a St. Vincent DePaul's in Michigan, and then gave them the gorgeous paint job you see. She put white ceramic knobs on them before giving them to me, but I decided to add my own touch with some knobs I picked up from Target.

Sick girls shouldn't tackle DIY projects
I have a funny/pathetic story about changing out the knobs on these nightstands. I was pretty sick last week and was taking a lot of naps up in our bedroom. One afternoon, I woke up and was just staring at the knobs. When I had taken off the white ceramic knobs, a little bit of the paint had come off at the base of each knob, and the new knobs had a narrower base. So I had a couple spots where you could see the wood underneath. Tip #2: Wait three days after painting before installing hardware if you ever think you'll change it.

Luckily, my mom was sweet enough to send me a little jar of the paint so I could touch them up. And it had just been sitting there, so I figured, what the heck? It was an easy, quick little fix that wouldn't be too difficult for a girl with Coxsackievirus (that's what we think I had).

Well, whatever I was sick with, it definitely seemed to be hindering my ability to think. No joke. All week I was in a daze and forgetting things and had terrible coordination. I hit my head and elbows and stubbed my toes more times than I could count (if I had been able to remember what number I was on). So I'm blaming the virus for my stupidity with this next part:

I unscrewed all the knobs. Then I realized I hadn't pulled any of the drawers out. And without knobs, I had no way of getting them open. Uh-oh. (Tip #3: Don't do that.) At this point I stared blankly at the nightstands for five or ten minutes, trying to get my sick little brain to devise a solution.

Here's how it played out: I was lucky that the screws all stayed in the holes. This was a huge help. For most of the drawers, I was able to very carefully thread the knobs onto the screws, just enough so I could pull the drawer out and then put my finger on the screw head to tighten the knob the rest of the way.

But for the very last drawer, when I attempted to do this, the screw got pushed back into the hole so I couldn't even pull it out. Stumped. Sat and stared for awhile. Idea. I ran downstairs and grabbed a magnet from the fridge. Ran back up and used the magnet to pull the screw out so I could try to thread the knob on again. Same thing happened. I tried a few times, but it was obvious this wasn't going to work.

Next, I ran downstairs and grabbed a flat screwdriver. Back upstairs. I tried to wedge it in the gab and pry the drawer open, but this did little more than ding up the paint job. More staring. Tried the magnet and knob a few more times.

Another idea. I ran downstairs again (yeah, this is exactly what someone who left work early so she could rest should be doing) and grabbed a set of pliers. Ran upstairs and crossed my fingers that I wasn't about to strip the screw and ruin everything.

I used the magnet to get the screw to stick out of the hole, then grabbed the screw with the pliers. I tried not to squeeze it to hard so I didn't damage the threads, and just pulled gently. Voila. Drawer open. Thinking about it now, I feel like this was the most obvious solution and probably everyone else would have started with this idea. Am I right?

Anyway, back to the bedroom
The cool thing about these nightstands is that we're pretty sure they used to be a single vanity, maybe made in the 1920s, that someone split apart to make two separate nightstands. You can see the marks on the back and along one side on each where it looks like they were cut and then sanded down.

I also purchased some new matching lamps. I know, I know, another matching set! So unlike me. But I gotta admit, I'm digging the symmetry. I picked up the lamps for $30 a piece at Christmas Tree Shops.


Oh! See that shadow box on the wall in the picture above? I made that for Chris as a Christmas present using his old track and field medals from high school! I used needle-nose pliers to remove some of the extra ribbon bands, then just used a little hot glue on each medal and it was good to go.

I also repainted this mirror that I bought years ago at a Salvation Army for $6 I think. I used Valspar's "Tranquility." You can kind of see that it has a bit more green in it than the nightstands, but I kind of like the mix of tones. Not too matchy matchy. (Phew! A little relief from my matching nightstands and matching lamps!)


I also bought new sheets that are a similar-ish color to the nightstands and the mirror. I kind of dig it with the gray comforter and throw pillows.

I also love this detail. The nightstands are on casters, and you can see where the former owner had slopped some paint on them when the nightstands were painted red. Love the history and not-too-perfect details. Tip #4: Don't fix the little mistakes.; enjoy them.

All in all, I'm thrilled with the changes. It looks so cozy in our room at night now. I love using the table lamps when we climb into bed, and the white walls just glow so nicely from the light through the linen shades. And who wouldn't love those adorable nightstands?

I've actually found myself going up to our room to watch a tv show on the laptop, rather than downstairs in the living room, just because I love the room so much. Well, that, and it's a pretty nice place to get in a nap when you're sick ... But I am all better now, though! Brain is even functioning normally, and I haven't hit my head or ran into any walls in days. What an achievement ...