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Posts Tagged ‘bedroom’

We can’t have friends to stay and we dont know when that will change. But I dream of having guests: People to cook for and with, friends whose presence justifies that extra drink that now just makes me feel guilty, and someone new with whom to play board games and cards.

This desire, along with a decision not to rent our place this year to vacationers, was ample motivation to spend a few days improving our guest room.

2019 guest room. Someone had to sleep against the wall.

This room – every room in fact – was freshly painted with a matte white when we bought the place in late 2007. So repainting was not an early priority. It has; however, become increasingly desirable over the last few years. And no excuse not to do it right now.

Benjamin Moore has a new, extra durable paint called Scuffex. It’s not outrageously expensive either. I chose a pearl finish as the room is a bit dark and would benefit from a reflective lift. As for colour, as usual I went with my gut, quickly singling out a pale grey white called White Wisp. It isn’t a warm colour, which is what one craves just now, but the cottage is principally a summer spot, so I had to put myself in summer thinking mode.

The paint went on beautifully, and floor, ceiling, 5 panel door and window trim were all given 2 coats of gloss in BM Cloud White.

We replaced a cheap ikea ceiling fixture with a lovely nickel fixture that we wrote out of our sales contract when we sold up in Port Moody. I was so glad to find a perfect place for it. We also replaced the non- functioning dimmer switch.

We reoriented the bed so there is (some) room on both sides, then edited and rehung wall decor. We also painted up some found “free” shelves with trim paint and installed them at about 2 metres from the floor, to add a splash of interest and some high storage to an otherwise bare-by-necessity wall.

A shippy light fixture and some free, high shelves are favourite touches.

I washed the duvet and mattress pad, replaced all the pillows and polished the floor.

As usual, there are a few things holding me back from declaring the job fully complete. We are hoping to refinish an old piece of furniture to double as desk and dresser for this tiny room. And the baseboard heater needs to be replaced.

But in general, I am happy everytime I walk by the room and can’t wait to welcome our first guests of 2021. Whenever that becomes possible.

Meanwhile, we use this as Break Out space for our individual activities: puzzles and crafts for me, and music and gaming sessions via Zoom for my partner.

A more inviting space, just waiting for friends.

There was about a litre of the grey white paint left, so after a few days rest, I washed, taped and painted the small hallway outside the guest room.

I followed on with the trim and other doors off this hallway. Now I can’t stop. My room next, then the livingroom and eventually, a complete redo of the bathroom.

The hallway before it got a fresh coat of paint.
In progress. Lighting is not optimal, but this photo shows the soft grey shade of BM White Wisp as I started to paint the hallway.

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Uninviting, no ambience

Bedroom Before: Uninviting, no ambience

You would be forgiven for thinking that my bedroom update has fallen by the wayside. You may recall that after a stay at the Indigo Hotel in Ottawa, I resolved to seek a similar feel in my own bedroom – not at the cottage, but at my city home – and posted photos of the inspiring room (A Hotel-style bedroom – Part 2, The Indigo Photos.)

Neither Cottager nor I are big on summer home projects – there are more than enough rainy months on the West Coast for painting and improvements. Still, a bit of progress has been made. I have only postponed taking some ‘after’ photos because it looked unfinished without something on the wall over the bed. A large Ikea print of dogwood blossoms that I had planned to put there proved too large, but looks great on another wall in the room.

Owing to the low light in the room, I painted just two walls and small jog in a third wall with Benjamin Moore Violet Mist. The remaining walls are being done with a harmonizing grey shade called Tundra (also BM.) 

The headboard is a salvaged swing door from a demolished home. The bed linen is all Ikea, with the exception of the bed skirt, which is marked for replacement when something more suitable offers.  I am not normally a fan of lots of pillows, but the goal here was to create a retreat, and a comfortable and quiet place to read or study.  The three large square pillows make the bed a comfortable spot to do either. The bedside lights are also Ikea cheapies.

After some paint and a few little tweaks

After some paint and a few little tweaks

After months of looking for the right something to go over the bed, I finally decided to frame some of our own photos. These are pictures of rocks that are stacked by some patient soul along the seawall at Stanley Park. I’ll change the frames over as soon as I can find some of a similar size with a finer, more modern vibe – preferably in two-tone black and pewter. But for now, they are up, and I really like them. They are personal, inexpensive and kinda zen. 

The frames are temporary but I love the pictures

The frames are temporary but I love the pictures

 Over the winter — time and finances allowing — we will probably put an inexpensive laminate into this room. I am still looking for just the right armchair and footstool to fall into my lap. These things can’t be rushed when one is on a budget.  Considering how neglected and awful this room was, I’m pretty happy with what has been achieved with paint and a few inexpensive updates. It is restful and, at this moment, beckoning. And so to bed.

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Home Sweet Home. Here are some photos of the hotel room I wrote about mid-week.

comfortable reading spot

I’m a bit disappointed in these photos, since the flash has significantly brightened the colours, and by extension, the way the colours worked together in the low natural light of the room. For example, the duvet cover appeared to be black and white in the room, but in the photos is clearly green and white.

Also, the photos can’t really capture the overall feel of the space. Never-the-less, this will give you some idea of how the design elements worked together and made the room both relaxing and stimulating – if that makes any sense. 

The wheat design was really quite cool, though I think one might tire of it quickly. Certainly I’m not planning to do anything quite that dramatic. If our cool weather continues, I may open some paint next week. If it suddenly improves, I don’t plan to waste a fine day painting. But once I have made some progress I’ll be sure to post some photos.

Update:  See the before and after photos of my new hotel-style bedroom

Indigo Room

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New furniture in placeThe past week was one of the wettest I can remember, and my winter boots had been left at the cottage, so I suffered. On the positive side, it gave me an excuse to get back there sooner than planned, since there is no shortage of dirty weather in the forecast. Cottager and I pushed off at 6 am, leaving the kids in bed. By the time they woke up after 8, we had repaired a flat, had a coffee, caught our ferry with minutes to spare, and arrived safe under our small roof to coax a fire. We brought with us a new sofa and chair – new to us that is – a vilas maple and distressed brown leather sofa and matching chair found on Craigslist and bargained down to a stupifying deal. It really fits well with the other bits and pieces we have dug out of storage to furnish the place while we are whipping it into shape. Comfort and durability is all I really aspire to at this early stage, though I have visions of either navy, white and taupe  or blues, yellows and white further down the road. 

After carting in the new things, we piled the green sofa brought over in our first ‘lift’ one month ago back into the van and drove it to the Sally Ann thrift store, where they were happy to have it.  Then I shortened by half and cleaned the blind in the bathroom, and we mounted a new blind over the kitchen sink. Cottager pulled a crude cupboard – built right into the studs – off the wall and we decided the best way to repair the hole. He also fixed the table, repositioned a lock and changed the fridge and freezer doors to open correctly. And then we started planning the bedroom closet transformation.

The plan is to transform the closet opening into an alcove that has built-in shelves, a window, and, overhead, a fluted translucent resin ceiling through which LED lights will twinkle on demand.  Cottager is sceptical, but here is my reasoning: Total cost for this treatment, with the exception of the window (which falls into the category of ‘Part II’ and will be scheduled for a warm dry summer weekend) will be under $200. If the translucent ceiling is not effective and fun, something more predictable can easily be subbed in. Either way, we save nearly all the finicky drywall repair needed in the current closet, and if the translucent ceiling is a success, we transform an inconveniently small room into a funky and amusing inconveniently small room with high romance potential.  And isn’t that what we all like to think about when we are on our holidays? 

After sweating a kitchen reno in our suburban home, feeling that every one of a million small decisions would either work for or against the over-all look I wanted, it is very freeing to think that I can explore more offbeat ideas at this second home. At some point down the road, we may yet decide that the closet has to come out and the bed has to go up against that wall, but before we undertake that big job, we will try it this way. We have got our plan, and work on the shelving units may start as soon as this weekend.  

Caught the 4:30 ferry for home, tired but happy with our progress.

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