Bedding Basics

So when we left my bedroom a few days ago, we were at not terrible, but could use some improvement, no? The room was slowly climbing its way up the meh scale and I was fighting tooth and claw to bring it down off that scale and on to the glam/fabulous/happy/beautiful scale. The scale so exciting I couldn’t even pick an adjective. That scale. That’s the scale I wanted my bedroom on. I wanted to walk in my room and exclaim, “Oh my gosh! It’s so pretty/beautiful/fun/happy/ecstatic/glam/gold/colorful/rainbowsandunicorns!”

 

But before I get to that point, I have a little work cut out for me. Which, you know, I kind of love. So, whatever. Bring it!

 

This is where I was at when we left off. Sad, sad bedding, “decorative” lamps, my lovely trunk, my homemade wooden headboard, and failed experiments in hanging art from nails left over from the room’s previous resident. The whole thing was basically shouting, “Help us! Save us! Floop is a mad man! Help us! Save us! Floop is a mad man!” Except replace “Floop” with “Laurel.” And I’ll give you ten bucks if you know what that referenced. Just kidding. I don’t have any money to give away to the internet. It’s Spy Kids. That gem of a movie. Antonio Banderas at his finest. Yum. Yum. Yum… I’m sorry, was I supposed to be talking about my bedroom? Wait… I think I’m still on track… 😉

 

Bedroom Moved In | Land of Laurel

 

Look at that sad, sad bed, though. So sad, right? So, so so SAD. Makes you sad, just thinking about how sad that bed is? THAT’S HOW I FEEL TOO. What makes beds less sad? And maybe — if you get it right — even makes a bed happy? You know what would make it instantly better? An adorable tortoise shell kitty cat named Malary. And euro-size pillows. Both of them together you ask? I deliver.

 

Malary on the Trunk | Land of Laurel

 

The euros are from IKEA (I have an addiction and IKEA is only 15 minutes away, somebody save me!). I love that the euros give the bed some much needed height and boost the bedding into a snazzier realm, but that granny smith apple green? Nah uh. Not happening. I hate it! It’s similar in color to the lamps though, so I don’t think it looks terrible, I just want something in the bedding to coordinate with it too. For now though, they were on super-sale and it works. It’s a small change from the picture above, but it adds a lot, in my opinion. I’m all about the tiny tweaks!

 

The euros are IKEA’s down version and my goodness did they stink when I first bought them! Like a gross stink that smelled like dust and dead things and really, really old people and a non mildewy mildew. I washed them, dried them, and then hung them outside to get some sun and fresh air for a week, twice. Yes, that’s right, I washed them, dried them, and hung them outside for a week a second time. So basically I bought these pillows and then waited two and a half weeks before throwing them onto my bed. That is a form of torture for me. Having something so close, yet so stinky far. Plus euros are so soft to lean against, they make reading in bed ever so lovely!

 

If you don’t have euros (I’m talking to you, every single male out there), go buy some. Maybe not from IKEA, but buy some nice down euros because they make your bed look like it put on pants this morning. Which is good in the long run, since people are usually a bit weirded out by those who run around all day without any pants on. I mean, seriously, you do not want your bed to be that person inanimate object.

 

See what the cat does for the bed in the picture above though? Instantly adorable! Malary loves modeling for me, mice toys, and that bed. And the trunk too. It’s a good perch from which she can sit and stare at me. Not that she doesn’t already have about half a million places to sit while staring at things….

 

Malary at the Window | Land of Laurel

 

Such a fluffy kitty! I love her like the child I don’t plan on having for another ten years (Did you see that mom? Ten years! Just hold your horses, okay?). Moving on from my gorgeous fifteen year old cat, that I am mildly obsessed with and cuddle & spoon with all night long…

 

My room needs a bit more help in the bedding department. I used to buy bedding for model homes for a living so this is a concern I am quite accustomed to. The bedding can’t just be anything, though. It needs excitement and personality. You know what gives a space instant personality? Throw pillows, that’s what! Glorious, fantastic throw pillows. And guess what? Throw pillows are easy to find. Yay!

 

While strolling through Target — desperately attempting to not buy anything other than the socks I came for (yeah right, like that’s ever happened in the history of Target) —  I stumbled upon these gold sequin throw pillows and just about died! They’re gold! And sequined! Everything my bedazzling-obsessed thirteen year old self wanted in life! Plus, since I’m going for the gold and all, I knew they were basically required to come home with me. I bought only one at first (stupidly!), and went back the next week for another because the first was so lonely! Now they are sitting my bed, a pair of gorgeous twins, jazzing things up, and giving me the good ole “come hither” look that fits in just right in a bedroom. 😉 I always was a sucker for sequins!

 

Gold Sequin Throw Pillows | Land of Laurel

 

Doesn’t that elevate the space so much more? It’s all, “Helllooo! The party has arrived!” and I’m over here like, “I love you, gold sequin pillows! Stay with me for eternity! Never ever leave! Marry me and we can have gold, sequined babies!” We may or may not be having an affair. I may or may not want it to last forever.

 

The throw pillows make this bedding almost okay. But who wants to stop at “almost okay”? Not me! It is time for new bedding!!!! So desperately time. Luckily, my new duvet and euro covers came in the mail! They’re here and I’m going to tell you all the reasons I love them even more than the throw pillows (I’m such a cheater!) later next week. It’s so fantastically mind-blowingly beautiful. Did I mention I love it? I mean, there are still many things to do, but I have some good changes coming up. Like lamps that actually turn on. That would be nice, I think, yes?

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Building a Bedroom

When you live with roommates your bedroom is an all-purpose everything space. It’s the room where you sleep, of course, but it’s also your (private) living space, your office, your studio, your library, your everything. It’s the one room where you can escape and be alone. Not that it’s something you need frequently, but if you’re anything like me, it’s just nice– upon occasion– to escape from everyone else. But also, sometimes you have to finish that email to your boss and your roommate is watching some sporting event on TV and throwing popcorn at you. And you need to get out of there. Sometimes that happens too! Hypothetically, of course! 😉

 

Regardless, one of the most difficult design challenges is a multi-purpose bedroom. And although I’ve talked about how my big bathroom and it’s lovely clawfoot tub sold me on this house, my bedroom was on the opposite end of the spectrum.

 

My bedroom is definitely on the smaller side. It’s much smaller than my childhood bedroom and pretty much every other bedroom I’ve ever had. The room comes in at about 9′ by 11′ which is, by no means, tiny. It only becomes slightly hard to work with when you have as many books as I do (ALL of the books!). Before I first moved in, I walked through the house with the boys and took a bunch of photos with my phone. I was looking at this empty slate:

 

First Look at the Bedroom | Land of Laurel

 

This iPhone shot was of the first thing you saw when you walked into what is now my room. My iPhone decided to make the walls a terrible yellow color in this picture when they are really painted a soft, celery green (my phone is a terrible artist, truly, it has no idea what it’s doing). The mattress on the floor was my roommate’s and he planned on getting rid of it. I was actually glad it was there, because it allowed me to get some perspective on how my own bed would fit into the room. You’ll see there is only about two feet on either side of the mattress. The mattress takes up about three-fifths to two-thirds of the length of the room. So just over the majority of it.

When you turn around and faced the direction you just came from you saw the door to the closet on the left and the door to the rest of the house on the right. The door into  the room opens to a mini-hallway, directly opposite to the bathroom door, the hall then opens up four feet later into the kitchen. It’s a perfect configuration, because you cannot see into my room or into the bathroom unless you are coming down the mini-hallway. And since the only things opening off the hallway are my bedroom, my bathroom, and the hall closet (which I’ve completely commandeered as my own), I can leave all the doors open and still have privacy. Being that Malary insists on having full access to wherever I am at all times, I pretty much always leave those doors wide open.

 

Bedroom at Move In | Land of Laurel

 

If you then turned once again, you got the same door to the rest of the house and the view out the second window in this room… which is of a ladder. Time for curtains!

 

View Out the Window | Land of Laurel

 

Now, this room has only one shortcoming: it’s size. There are so many great things about it, I didn’t even care about that tiny issue (hahahhahaha so pun-ny!). The closet is huge and stretches back along the length of the room, holding all of my clothes so I don’t even need a dresser. And thank goodness for that, since there is no way I could fit a dresser into this room without losing the bookshelf. And #priorities, because that bookshelf is all I love in life. The house has wonderful wood floors and craftsman-style trim. The woodwork in the house is just gorgeous. I believe it’s fir, though I’m not positive. So many great things!

 

After I looked over my pictures and told the guys I’d move in, I immediately started thinking about how I’d fit my things into the space. For instance, unless I want my queen sized bed pushed up against a wall (something I abhor!), the bed would need to be on the wall beneath the high window, directly across from the entry door to the bedroom. Not ideal, but not a tragedy. My nightstands would have to be tiny to fit into the remaining space. What about the rest of my things? I had to place a desk and a bookshelf into the room as well. Lucky for me, it ended up being a perfect fit!

 

I moved in with the bed I’ve had since I was twelve years old. It’s from IKEA and I thought it was so amazing when I was in middle school… now I kind of hate it, which is why I built a wooden headboard for it. Now, you don’t even know the IKEA bed frame exists and I kind of love it. But then again, I might be getting a little bored of it… I have ideas, people, and they won’t go away! Anyways, this bed, plus old nightstands on short-term loan from my parents (gah! They already want them back!), plus my new trunk created this view when I walked into my room. Helloooo bedroom, may I sleep here tonight?

 

Bedroom Moved In | Land of Laurel

 

It’s pretty decent, okay looking. Far from terrible you might even say, if you were feeling generous. The nightstands are a bit too tall for the bed (unless I add a boxspring). But since I need to return the them to my parents, I’m on the hunt for new ones anyways. The bedding is boring at best. But look at that lovely patina-ed trunk! I love him so much! Currently, he is still empty, but that will change just as soon as I get a chance to actually organize some of my things and stop getting sick every two weeks. Give me a break winter!!! There are some nasty colds going around my office. I get paranoid about it now, ever since I got obsessed with Fear the Walking Dead earlier this year. Help!

 

My lamps I got for free while at my old job, they don’t actually work… yes I am the person with “decorative” lamps. That’s why they were free! I have big plans on re-wiring them. I also have big plans to replace them with something else and then use these elsewhere. Regardless of what I do, I have BIG plans! I do like the shape of these lamps though, it’s fun and different. Plus, I was looking for lamps online for a project at work the other day and I found these exact guys! They are Robert Abbey and I found them on on the Lamps Plus website retailing for about $250. I’d link to it, but I couldn’t find them again. Maybe they’ve since been discontinued? Pretty sweet deal considering I got them for free! In fact, I’m thinking about contacting the manufacturer and seeing if they have a warranty. The only piece that seems to be an issue is the dimmer. I can get lightbulbs to work for just a second, then they go out. So close! Dealing with these is definitely on my to-do list. Ignore the picture frame on the wall. It’s for experimental purposes on an existing nail left over from the previous resident. I need to hang my actual art still… along with about ten billion other things.

 

So that’s the view, the pretty view, when you walk into the room. The not so pretty view? My desk of chaos and doom. It’s become a catch all for everything I drop when I come into the room. And it holds all my office supplies. And random clothes I don’t feel like putting away. It’s another furniture piece I got from my parents and is barely holding itself together. When I moved here, I found out the desk is actually not connected to itself any more. It’s literally just a bunch of pieces all balancing on each other waiting for me to place something breakable and valuable on it so it can fall to the ground and shatter everything. It’s out to get me! Vengeance for moving it. Or something equally poetic.

 

I hung up six square bulletin boards above the desk with grand plans to make something wonderful and thoughtful and inspiring and chock full of memories. Instead I have a big ole pile of bleh. I need to work on that! The art piece was a birthday gift from my Aunt Pat and the lamp came from the dump pile after my Oma passed away. I still haven’t decided if I love it.  It’s interesting, but it’s too big for that location. Maybe it should go live in the attic? But having task light when I’m working there is mighty helpful… Maybe something wall mounted? The desk could use some repair, organizing, a plant or two, and a ceramic animal. Oh, and a magic fairy to prevent me from every dropping random everythings on it each time I walk into the room. The desk fits this corner perfectly because you can sit at it and still have the closet door opened. Score! Somethings do work out in the end.

 

Desk of Doom | Land of Laurel

 

On the other side of the door to the room, some real magic happened. My bookshelf fit perfectly. Down to the quarter inch. Like the moving fairy came and blessed this space as the spot for storing books. It could not have been any tighter. I know design blogs have tried to convince the world that bookshelves are only supposed to have, like, three books per shelf and all, but you know what? That’s not my life. I LOVE books. I LOVE to read. I NEED ALL THE SHELVES. For books! Like they were intended to be used! In fact, some of those books are doubled up. The whole bookshelf does need some arranging. And I need to get the random pile of things to frame off the top of it, but at least I’m putting it to work! One definite item on the to-do list is getting that secured to the wall. Earthquake preparedness, y’all!

 

In front of it and the window sits one of my two parlor palms. The plant is pretty happy there. It looks nice and lush in real life. It makes me wiggle with happiness that I actually am able to keep something like this alive! Both the plant and the basket are from IKEA.

 

Very Full Bookshelf | Land of Laurel

 

Here’s a wider shot so you can see how both of the spaces work together on either side of the door into the room.

 

The Not So Nice Side | Land of Laurel

 

Mini-in-bedroom-office on one side, library on the other. Entry door in the middle. I need more room. Or just more closets. That would be great. Another three closets please! Can you order closets on Amazon? If only… Eek! That reminds me I need to do more Christmas shopping! Has anyone actually finished that?

 

So that’s the beginning and the now of my bedroom. It’s got places to go with this room. Far places. It needs to evolve further and look better. Luckily, I’ve got a plan. I always have a plan. What’s exactly is on the checklist for this room? Take a look:

 

The Bedroom:

  • New curtains
  • New nightstands… Gotta return the loaners from my parents and get something a bit wider.
  • New bedding  I ordered this from West Elm in all it’s colorful glory!
  • Rug? Maybe… I kind of love the sheep skin, maybe layer a sisal beneath it?
  • Straighten up and organize the desk area
  • New desk lighting? Something wall-mounted would save much needed desk space…
  • Create a fun, colorful, and inspiring bulletin board
  • Organize my bookshelf
  • Somehow fit even more book storage (Hi, my name is Laurel and I am book addict.)
  • Secure the bookshelf to the wall so I am not crushed by books in the eminent San Francisco area earthquake.
  • Integrate more plants! (Hi, my name is Laurel and I am also a house plant addict.)
  • Frame and hang art on the walls. Picture frame rail? Gallery wall? Simple, single frame?
  • Re-wire or replace lamps  I have new ones ready to go!
  • Add bench by bed? Again a big maybe…
  • Organize closet and laundry system
  • Find place to store as of yet un-framed art
  • Organize and store arts/crafts supplies better
  • Fill up the trunk in an organized and useful manner!

 

So! Lots to do! Lots of plans! Lots of excitement! Heck, I love a list just as much as Young House Love and mine is not even one-quarter of the length of theirs! Maybe that’s why I love it? Regardless, lots of ideas! Now, who wants to help me paint and glue things? That desk is killing me!

 

Do you have a to-do list for the design of your spaces? Have a bedroom that needs a little help? Have furniture on loan from family member who are now asking for it back? Ahhhh, new nightstands where in the world are you???

 

 

 

 

Junk in My Trunk

Oh my god, you guys, I scored something awesome!!! Definitely a #colddeadfingers moment! Mandi would be proud! I scored this beauty at a yard sale in my neighborhood and I am so excited about it!! Take a look:

 

Vintage Trunk

 

Now, I am obsessed with trunks — I have been for years and years– so when I saw this, I started wiggling like a happy puppy. Where did I get this gorgeous gentleman? A senior living community. That’s right, a seniors home! I was walking through a lovely little neighborhood in Berkeley when I started to see signs posted to every street post and wall possible. The multitude of them sparked my curiosity and I stopped to read one. “Biggest yard sale ever” it promised; “Bigger and better than last year!” it said. The senior community apparently hosted this huge sale every year! Dang! I thought, I have to check this out!

 

The following weekend, I drove over to the senior community with high expectations. Whomp, whomp, whomp. Maybe I got there too late, maybe not, I’ll never know, but by the time I got there around 10:00am, there was next to nothing for sale. A few books, some random furnishings, mismatched lamps. It certainly wasn’t huge, it certainly wasn’t a blow out. A wave of disappointment washed over me, but I’d driven over, so I decided to at least check out what was there. I found that beauty under a moving blanket about 10 minutes later. It was not priced, so I ran over to the lovely elderly women at the cash box. They seemed disapproving that I’d interrupted their conversation to inquire, but inquire I did! One of the women was actually the owner so she walked over to the chest with me.

 

“I paid $15 for this” she said.

“Oh…” I nodded.

“So I’m selling it for $15,” she explained.

“Hmmmm…” I hemmed.

“Well, how much would you pay for it?” she asked finally.

“Maybe ten, no more… yeah, seven?” I asked, hopeful, eyes bright with anticipation.

“I paid $15 for it,” she stated again.

“Well, I’d pay $10 or less,” I reiterated and started to back away, “Oh well…”

“Well what about $15?” she asked again, not getting my unwillingness to pay what she paid.

“I’d pay $10, not $15,” I explained yet again. “Maybe it’s not meant to be…” my voice trailed off dejected and I started to walk away.

“Fine! $10!” The woman called after me. I turned around, smile on my face!

 

And that, my friends, is how I convinced a poor old woman to sell me her old trunk for $10. Am I horrible? Eeek! She seemed fine with it in the end I swear… Usually I’m a horrible barginer so I was kind of proud of my ability to stick with my number. Plus, I really only wanted to spend $10. Trying not to spend every dime I have on DIY and design. 🙂 (it’s not working…)

 

I took my new best friend home and wiped him down with a damp sponge. He doesn’t need much to shine!! The trunk isn’t all that heavy, but it’s fairly well made and sturdy. And I love it’s patina! It’s fairly faded and aged, but I kind of adore it’s shabbiness! I’m still playing around with where to put it (or what to put in it!), but at the moment it’s at the foot of my bed (pictures soon I promise!). I might move it to underneath my other window, fill it with art supplies, and stack plants on top of it though… Because MORE plants is always the right answer!!

 

Seriously, I LOVE this trunk! And what a deal! I see these at flea markets going for anywhere from $60 – $250!! Crazy right? What a score!!! Got anything good lately? I need to keep hitting up yard sales! I’m on the hunt for some new (used) nightstands! I have pretty precise qualifications though.They can’t be more that 24″ wide and they must have a minimum of two drawers. It’s a little tough to find the perfect ones!! Ahh… patience… something so difficult for me… I guess I’ll just stare at this gorgey guy and dream.

 

Vintage Trunk

 

Yup. That’s a lot better. Feeling much more zen now!! Just look at the peeling cloth and layers of paint… happiness for design dorks like me! Almost as amazing as petting tile…