A traditional bedroom makeover (before and after photos!)

While I was away, we took a road trip and visited my parents.  They wanted some changes made to their bedroom decor, so before we left I put together a terrible Photoshop rendering of some ideas and picked up some things at IKEA.  (The closest IKEA to them is 4 1/2 hours away. Poor people.)

But here is where we started.  The room was decorated with traditional style in mind, in the late ’90s.



They had an abundance of furniture.  Most of them are gorgeous vintage pieces.  But they’re also all very bulky and have a lot of visual weight.  They had her grandmother’s night stands that were dainty and Hepplewhite-ish (?) style, but they thought they needed bulky, visually heavy pieces to match.  As I’ve mentioned before, furniture doesn’t need to match, it needs to balance each other.

I explained it to them this way: it’s like having a party and only inviting type A people.  Everyone is a commanding presence.  Everyone there has something to say, but there’s nobody there to listen and add the breathing room.  And each of their large, heavy furniture pieces were the commanding presence, they were all competing for attention, and without the laid-back, non-focal-point types to balance them out, the room was overwhelming.

Of course, we didn’t want to get rid of the beautiful antiques, so we just rearranged the room so they wouldn’t be the focal point anymore.  (As a side-note, in a bedroom, the bed and bed area should always be the focal point.)

We brought back the dainty vintage side tables.  What they had is on the left (sorry for the low-quality, long-distance decorating has challenges).


In their defense, the sitting room wasn’t normally this cluttered, it had furniture they were hoping to get rid of.  We posted the dressers and nightstands on Craigslist and they were gone in a heartbeat.


Now the after photos:



(The keyboard is just there temporarily.)


We still have more to do in here.  We’re going to be looking for a big, creamy-colored rug to go under the bed to lighten and soften the room (and of course, provide comfort), and new bedding.  And Dad really, really wants to replace the light fixture.  We’re not sure yet if we’re going to go with something more simple and contemporary or something with more of a Craftsman style to go with the house itself.  Along the lines of these lovely lights (similar here):


I should also mention that this makeover has only cost $120 so far. All we purchased were the new curtains, curtain rods, and lamps (all from IKEA). Here are some before-and-afters so you don’t have to scroll:

bed-before-and-after bedroom-before-and-after sitting-area-before-and-after

A few years ago, we gave their living and dining rooms makeovers too, you can see them here: living room, dining room.

We will also be working on Mom’s craft room, which we started a plan for a year ago, but it was put on hold, and now we’re going in a different direction.  I’ll post about that when that project is resumed.

Dad said the office is next, and I’m really excited about that room!


We’re alive! And a bedroom update.

We are still alive.  I’ll update you with what’s going on here and intersperse it with some updated photos of our bedroom.


We had a vinyl print made of one of the photos we took of the Swiss Alps last fall.  The vinyl won’t stick.

The Hubs does have a job again.  It’s local, but it’s a temporary one, and that’s fine with us.  We are still expecting to put the house up for sale when he finds a new job.  (Thank you all for your thoughts and nice notes!)

We’ve been working on lots of things.  From big things like replacing parts of the roof, to little things like caulking baseboards, and patching and repainting walls.  We’re currently working on replacing the kitchen and mud room flooring, but that’s taking a while because we have to stop and fix a partially rotten sub-floor.  None of it has been pretty enough to share, nor would it be particularly helpful information for you.


I picked up some functional accessories from Cost Plus World Market that I’m in love with.  A nose eye-glass holder, and a giant jack doorstop.

We’ve also been traveling and taking breaks for fun things lately too.

The major motivation for renovating the house for the last (nearly) 5 years was that afterwards, we would have a house we loved living in.  So staying motivated to get the work done is much harder now, knowing we won’t get to enjoy the fruits of our labor.  And frankly, not even knowing if the next owners will.  They may walk in like we did and make a list of all the things they’d like to change and promptly undo all of our work.


We’re getting things done though…slowly but surely.  I’ll be back later in the week with more projects!


The coolest museum ever

Last week, I mentioned a couple changes in the kitchen that I was going to talk about, but something I’m way more excited about came up. We spent part of last week in Lyon, France. The whole trip was awesome, but the one thing I couldn’t wait to share with you was a particular museum that the Hubs found in the “old city.”

I didn’t get a good picture of it, but the outside was lovely. But what was inside made me just giddy. It was a miniatures museum.

Old white cottage kitchen in miniature

Miniature paris apartment in disrepair

Dollhouse studio apartment

For those who aren’t too familiar with miniatures, the size can be hard to picture. If these rooms were life-sized, most of them would have 9 to 10 foot ceilings, 1/12 scale means that 1 inch is equal to 1 life-sized foot, which makes these rooms about 9 to 10 inches tall–or about the height of a butter knife.

(FYI: I walked all around my house this morning with a ruler trying to find a relatable item that was 9 to 10 inches tall–it was surprisingly difficult, hence the butter knife comparison.)

Or maybe more relatable is that a gallon jug would be about the size of your thumbnail.

Miniature shop

Museum of Miniatures, Lyon France

I really loved this little studio.  The details were amazing:


(Photographing miniatures behind glass is hard.)



The variety of scenes they had was great.  Here is a concert stage:

Miniature concert stage

And, they saved the best for last, but unfortunately for you, I took so many pictures on the first three floors, that the battery in my camera died. The creator, Dan Ohlmann, has done many 1/12 models of actual places in France, including restaurants, theaters, and one of my favorites: a natural history museum. I was hoping to grab some from their website to share, but really, their own photos are terrible. For some reason, they (very badly) photoshopped the artist inside many of the 1/12 scale buildings, making the buildings look HUGE. If you’d like to see more photos, you can find tons through Bing.