The Order I Paint Walls, Ceiling, & Trim and the Refreshed Master Bedroom

The Order I Paint Walls, Ceiling, & Trim and the Refreshed Master Bedroom

When I first moved into Berrybrier, the Master Bedroom was one of the nicest looking rooms in the house. Thus, I filled it with all the junk I wanted out of other spaces (think unopened moving boxes) and largely ignored it.

You guys, this room, my room at Berrybrier, the “Master Bedroom” looked absolutely horrendous for over a year and 4 months. Yup, it took me over a year of doing all the other 20 million projects at Berrybrier, before I thought, “You know what would help you relax and feel more at home in this house? If you actually fixed up your bedroom so you enjoyed being in there.” If I could go back in time, I would have fixed up my bedroom first.

Continue reading “The Order I Paint Walls, Ceiling, & Trim and the Refreshed Master Bedroom”
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Painting the Stairway and Updating Electrical & HVAC

Painting the Stairway and Updating Electrical & HVAC

The stairway at Berrybrier has gone through some pretty dramatic changes in the last year. When I first bought the house, this area was dark lit by only a single bulb on a pull chain at the top of the stairs and a small square window squeezed in at the bottom of the stair. That little window had never even been trimmed out and a screen sat next to it waiting to be installed. The stair railing was almost black covered in god knows what and the light fixture wasn’t centered on anything.

Continue reading “Painting the Stairway and Updating Electrical & HVAC”

Other Design Fails

Guess what guys? It’s Christmas. Yup, Christmas! You thought Christmas was in December? Nope. You’ve maybe heard of Christmas in July? Also wrong! It’s Christmas right now, today. Still confused? Here’s the 411.

 

When I moved into my house in Berkeley, I bought a lot of my existing furnishings and bedding with the idea of slowly updating a lot of it. It soon became clear that this might need to happen sooner rather than later for my bedding. Why? My comforter, barely warm enough during California winters in other rooms I’ve slept in, was excruciatingly hot in this 10 year old, properly insulated home. I woke up sweating almost every night and this was with the window left open in winter! Time for a change!

 

I went to IKEA and bought a new down comforter, one of their “coolest” models. This is it, I thought. This comforter weighs one third of my old one. It will be so much cooler. I will no longer get sweaty. I will sleep blissfully. Like an angel. This was right around when I bought my new West Elm duvet cover. I had high hopes for my new bedroom look!

 

A few nights in, I realized, although this new comforter was significantly cooler than my original one, it wasn’t cool enough. At all. I like to sleep snuggled up in warm bedding in a cool room and this was just too hot, even with the window open! Maybe I’m wearing the wrong pajamas, I thought. I tried long pants, I wore no pants, I tried tank tops. I wore just underwear, I tried nightgowns, I wore leggings, I wore REI moisture-wicking base layers. Nothing worked. Okay, fine, I thought, I can come up with another solution, this is so much better than having the opposite problem. And I’ve lived through that too. 

 

I started looking for quilts. A thin quilt would surely be cool enough! Now, I just need to find one in a great green color to match everything else in my room. Months past… I looked on every site and in every store I could think of. I found… nothing in green. Eventually, I stumbled on this quilt from West Elm. It didn’t come in green. At this point, I was sleep deprived from being too warm. I started to care less about green. I started to rely on my primitive lizard brain. My primitive lizard brain likes the color red. So does my frontal lobe, actually, but my frontal lobe is much better about regulating the amount of red. It’s good at mixing red with neutrals. My lizard brain doesn’t give a flying @!$&. My lizard brain wanted to sleep in a cool environment and not wake up sweating.

 

Then the quilt went on sale. My lizard brain just loves a good sale. It was definitely in control when I hopped on those nightstands I posted about Monday like they were big, juicy, lizard-food bugs. What happened next? I’m sure you can guess. I bought the quilt in the paprika color and the matching standard shams. When these came in the mail, I love them. They’re a beautiful red, my absolute favorite shade of red! I was excited. These will look fantastic, I thought.

 

Then I washed them and made up my bed…

 

West Elm Duvet and Quilt | Land of Laurel

 

Merry Christmas! Don’t you just love decorating with red and green? OOPS.

 

I’d convinced myself before pushing the “Place Order” button, that the red quilt would look fine in my bedroom. After all, the duvet had plenty of red in it!  In reality? Happy Christmas. My pale green walls, green throw, and even the floral duvet met up with the red quilt and started celebrating the birth of Jesus. Throw in some gold sequined throw pillows and you’ve really got a Christmas party! Doggoneit. Switching up the nightstands with the blue and green books was also an attempt to help with my new holiday inspired space.

 

Nightstands and Red Quilt | Land of Laurel

 

 

… it didn’t really help much.

 

The red completely dominated the other colors in my duvet. The shades of white, blue, green– they all disappeared. All I see now is red. And it’s not because I’m angry. Let’s call this learning. Let’s call this evolving.

 

Even Malary wasn’t happy with the new look.

 

New Bedding | Land of Laurel

 

Here’s the thing though, the quilt did solve some of my problems. It is the perfect weight. I am no longer super hot at night. I can even sleep with the window closed now! I don’t wake up all hot and sweaty. I no longer sing Nelly’s Hot in Herre at 2:00am. My roommates are much appreciative! So in some ways, this quilt is the best thing ever! Now, if only I had bought it in that pretty Natural/Flax color rather than Paprika… But, I am no good at keeping light neutrals, oh, how should I say it? Light and neutral. They usually become spotted and dark. Quickly. Nope, white and lights don’t mix well with clumsy ole me! Slate might have worked… but it was so dark!

 

So what am I going to do? Live with it for now. Maybe switch up the shams and get some different throw pillows. Or! Move to a place with a guest bedroom and split up the bedding, since I love them both so dearly. That’s not happening anytime soon though… And I do love throw pillows. Until I move forward with a new plan, I’ll just be over here celebrating Christmas. All day. Everyday. Good thing I love holidays!! I would like a design win though… I’m over failing!

Flower Power

My new bedding arrived and is kicking it on my bed. That’s right. It’s here!! I spent a good, long time looking at this duvet cover on West Elm’s website before biting the bullet. Somethings I can buy on a whim, somethings I need to fully digest before I splurge. Bedding in my room would set the entire context for the space. It would be a huge design element. The design element in my room, actually. Because you walk into my room and stare straight at my bed, the linens covering said bed are the only thing you see. So not only did they need to make an impression, but they needed to strike the right balance between harmonizing with rest of my things and creating excitement. Because my walls are a warm, pale green I wanted to go darker. I feel like most blog pictures have white bedding and white walls and white curtains. That’s just not me. I love color, I love boldness, I love excitement!

 

I bought the plain white bedding I have on my bed currently from IKEA when I was in college. I thought it would be light, clean, easy to wash. Little did I know that I am no good at keeping white, white. The bedding stayed on my bed in my parents house while I lived in Boston. When I got home it was covered in stains. Thanks, family. After I lived with it for a few weeks, I realized it just made me feel like a slob. I drink a lot of tea and I drink a lot of tea in bed. I also spill a lot of tea on things. Tea stains on my white bedding? You betcha. It just had to go. It didn’t look terrible. In fact, no one could actually notice it. But I new it was there. I knew that the duvet cover faced the direction it did so that little stain was down against the sheets, I knew the throw at the end of the bed was so folded to hide the chocolate stain from that ice cream sundae I ate in bed. I can hide these things from others, but not myself, and I was over it.

 

Gold Sequin Throw Pillows | Land of Laurel

 

Having tried the whole white linens thing and had it fail for my personal lifestyle, I knew what my criteria for new bedding should look like. First, something dark in color. Second, something with pattern. I wanted something with green to go with my room and something that would mesh well with gold accents. In particular, I wanted something that had multiple shades of green, but incorporated a few other colors which would allow for more interest in the room. I don’t have any grey tones in my home, so it needed to be warm colors and not cool. My wooden headboard is pretty dark, so the bedding needed to be light enough to pop against the dark, wood tones. Lastly, I wanted to be excited about it! I wanted to look at my bed and think, “Wow!”

 

So after months of looking at the Garden Trellis bedding at West Elm, it went on sale, and I bit the bullet. I bought the duvet cover and three euro pillow cases. This bedding just fits all my categories. Dark enough to hide a tiny tea stain, but light enough to pop against my headboard. Colorful! The bedding uses three shades of green, so pretty much anything green I already had would it go with it. Plus, the bedding has liberal dashes of two different reds (my absolute favorite color!), bits of baby blue, and splashes of white. This allows me to branch out from my palette of greens with a good direction. I always recommend finding something to set the tone of a room — a painting, a scarf, bedding, a throw pillow– anything that allows you to pull colors from it and use it as a basis of color design. This bedding is my basis of design for this room. It’s exciting and fun and encourages me to bring in splashes of other colors. It’s red and green and doesn’t scream “Christmas!” that in and of itself is a small miracle! This bedding is backed by a really warm neutral tone that falls somewhere in between grey and brown. It might lean slightly more grey, but just barely. It is basically perfect and checked every item off my list. Plus, I kind of love the floral! It’s more feminine than I would normally go, but it’s kind of a spunky feminine with a sassy flair. It’s not your mother’s floral.

 

Garden Trellis Bedding | Land of Laurel

 

Isn’t it just smashing? I absolutely love it. I adore the splashes of red. I makes me what to incorporate more reds in the room. Yay! Now, I still need to get on and hang some real art on these walls and find some storage for my books, but It finally feels like I’m getting somewhere! Like this room is actually going places. Places I want to go! Did it take me six months? Yes. But who is counting? It’s the destination, not the journey right?

 

New Bedding | Land of Laurel

 

One other thing I did that was a little crazy? I bought the duvet cover in a king size. My bed is a queen. They still had queen size in stock when I ordered, but I decided to try something a little insane. My old white duvet didn’t cover the metal legs of the bed. Not that they were terrible or anything, but I wanted something longer. Something that would not only cover the metal legs of the bed frame I’m not crazy about. Plus, since my room is small, I take full advantage of that under-bed space for piles of random, unorganized crap storage. To take the photo above I had to move some of my things out from under the bed so it looked clean. In reality, there are things down there I don’t want to have to stuff into my closet every time someone comes to visit. So I did the unthinkable. I bought a king sized duvet for my queen bed. Which meant I also had to buy a new comforter. Oops. Look how it turned out, though! It’s perfect. It just barely touches the floor. It looks great. It hides all the things I have stored beneath the bed. You don’t even know they’re under there! It’s really fantastic. If you have similar under-bed storage issues, I highly recommend giving upsizing your comforter a try.

 

Garden Trellis Bedding | Land of Laurel

 

My room is starting to blossom! It’s making me excited and happy. This bedding is kicking my butt into gear. I’ve been brainstorming ideas on how to transform my room into a colorful garden oasis. The solution? Way more plants! I love how my parlor palm is sneaking its way into that shot above. Very jungle-y. My constant issue with book storage is, of course, still in the back of my mind. But, I’ve already made progress on #OperationNoMoreDecorativeLamps. Can’t wait to show you how that’s looking! Until then I’ll just keep staring at my bed like a love sick puppy, ok? Adding a little bit of flower power has totally spiced up this bedroom.