Saturday, May 14, 2011

FINALLY! That post I promised: Designing My Bedroom

Do you realize it's been one year and 14 days since I got my new bedroom?

Do you also realize that means I've been promising a "decorating-the-bedroom post" for a little under one year?

Okay, so maybe you didn't remember that. Maybe I shouldn't have brought it up. It sounds so terrible.

Then again, most of you probably aren't surprised. You've been around long enough to know I'm a slow, get-around-to-it-when-I-get-a-chance type of blogger. That's why I blog for fun, not income. :)

But today...

...Well, today is my birthday, and I'm turning over a new leaf.

Not really. I just wanted to say that.

Actually, I've been planning this post for the past two months, and knew I wouldn't get around to it until May. So I didn't.

I could say all sorts of things about my birthday - tell you about the wonderful day I've had, the lovely gifts my family gave me, the laughs we had around the supper table, my thoughts about the future, my hopes for the years to come, my wistful and pleasant memories of the milestones behind me...

...But instead, I'm going to post pictures. Consider it a gift from me to you.

Now...for those of you who weren't around last year...last May I moved into a new bedroom. My older sister, Heather, who had been my roommate for my entire life, was married at the end of April, and our larger room went to our younger sisters. I took their smaller bedroom as my own.

It was the first time since I was a baby that I had my own room. And I've already posted at length on the huge adjustment it was for me to get used to sleeping alone, without late-night chats and giggles and I won't go through all that again. Instead, I'll tell you how much fun I had making this new bedroom my own domain - a room suited just for me.

I've always loved interior design, but never had a whole room to design from scratch. To say I was excited is an understatement. The fun I had in the design process helped me make it through those lonely nights the first few months.

Now, one reason this post is so long in coming is because the room itself was a slow process. In fact, it wasn't until ...hmmm...this March, maybe? that I actually completed everything I wanted to do with this room. And I liked it that way. I appreciated it so much more when I had to work, and save, and plan for each element in the design.

But back to the beginning.

My first project was to strip the room down to its bones. It had been awhile since anything like upkeep had been done to it, and there were lots of holes from nails that had been used to tack things on the wall. The floors needed to be shined, and the paint was faded. I knew that the "ideal room" in my mind was going to cost me some money, and I had been saving, but my birthday gift that year from Mom and Dad was a special type of paint for my room. I'm sensitive to most paint smells, but I enjoy painting and wanted to do the work myself. That special "eco-friendly" paint allowed me to do that. :) And I spent my money on materials for building furniture. (More on that later!)

So I began. The first day, I think, was all prep work. I scrubbed the walls. And took out dozens of nails and wall anchors. And filled holes with putty. And taped the edges of the wall.

Then I painted. It's a small bedroom, but it took a long time to paint. And I did two coats. I was starting to wonder what I had gotten myself into - I was so sick of painting by the end of day two! But I wanted it to look nice.

And it did.

One of my major goals for this room was to keep it from looking tiny and boxy. Since the space is so small (about 8'x 12') That was going to be a challenge. I chose a bright white for the walls, to keep the room looking open and spacious, but I wanted a touch of color. So I painted the ceiling blue, to evoke a sense of open, spacious sky above.

My family was skeptical. But they love it now. :)

I mixed the blue shade of paint myself, and I think it was just right; not so dark as to be oppressive overhead, but bright enough to show up. It's the sort of thing you don't notice right away when you enter the room, but something eventually causes you to look up, and there it is, a pleasant surprise.

But let me stop talking and show you some pictures.

First off, here is the bedroom I left. The picture is taken from the bedroom doorway, looking toward "my side" of the room. (Anybody who has shared a bedroom understands that term.) My sister took the double bed with her, and the hope chest and bookshelf are mine. (Made by my dad and brother.) The curtains I made myself, and they stayed here, too, but I ended up cutting the fabric for another use.

And this is my new bedroom, just after it was emptied. The headboard was my Mom's when she was little, and I ended up using it for my own bed in this room (more on that later). It was in there at this point because I was testing space for furniture arrangements. This picture was taken from the doorway.

Here, I am standing where the headboard is in the previous picture, facing my new closet. I re-vamped this entirely later, adding more rods and making it oh-so-pleasantly efficient. I love my closet! :) It's small, but it's mine, and every square inch is in use.

Here you can see one entire side of the room. It's small, but I love how necessary that makes every square inch.

Painting away. And feeling quite sick of it. :) But happy anyway. :)

Here are the finished results. First, look at what went above the closet doorway. The atmosphere I strove for in this room was peace, and this seemed to set the tone (Can you read it? It's Isiah 26:3. It's right where I will see it every morning when I open my eyes.):

Doesn't this look better than the previous closet picture? The paint is nice and bright! And the floor has been scrubbed. Can you see my new shelving? And notice my mirror? That helps the illusion of space, too.

By now I had started putting things on the wall; a shelf (to the right of the door) and a beautiful picture from a friend, which I think just takes the whole room a step up on the ladder of classiness. (I always underestimated artwork until I saw the effect of this picture on my bedroom.) The overhead light fixture was already in the room, and is one that I used in the bedroom I had when I was little.

So there you are. Enough for now. Later, I'll continue my bedroom tour with details on furniture building, sewing, bedding, curtains, etc., and bring you up to date on what the room looks like now.

In the meantime, tell me about the last time you re-did an area. Whether it was a whole room, like my project, or just reorganizing a shelf in your living room, if it brought you satisfaction and pleasure, it was a job worth doing. Doesn't it feel nice to have pleasant, orderly surroundings? God made us that way. :)


Naomi said...

Happy birthday Amber! Your room looks beautiful :) Did you make your quilt?

Amber said...

Thanks, Naomi!

I did not make the quilt for the double bed in my old bedroom, but I did do the one for my new room, so stay tuned. :) :)

Angie said...

The picture on the wall looks great! So glad you are enjoying it!