Monday, November 26, 2012

Ripped from the Archives: Bedroom Edition

This post was originally made in April of 2011 when we still had pet ducks (they were just babies then even!) and were apparently listening to a lot of Evita. Our bedroom still looks much the same, and I still love it!

The choice was mine, and mine completely. I could have any bed that I desired. I could shop to the limit of the greatest card... or else... or else I could budget hard.

You know, and listen to Evita, watch a documentary on Eva Peron and... MAYBE force Neal to watch the movie version despite the should-have-been pantsless butchery that was Antonio Banderas' performance in the movie during the renovation.

I asked Neal to comment on the "before" pictures of the room. It's funny to me to look at them now because when I took them I thought, "Oh, it's not that bad. It's not great, but no one will come in and be shocked by how bad the room is." Now, I'm totally shocked by how bad the room was. As Neal put it, "It was ours but it wasn't." It really was all our stuff (as loathe as I am to admit it), but also, "The wall color was bland and unfriendly and, most importantly, not something we picked." Also, "The floor was the lesser of two evils (the more evil option being beige carpet that somehow quantum leaped into the second floor from 1976)."

For what I can only assume is his sense of decency, Neal fails to point out that it was tan. The walls were tan, the relocated floor was tan, the bathroom is tan... It was only not the most tan thing I've ever seen based on the main floor of the house. Because to get any more tan than that, you'd have to become a realtor.

The duvet was threadbare, the sleigh bed didn't really accommodate tall people, the layout left a huge unused space in front of the bathroom doors so that they could be, I don't know, OPENED. The fan was just honestly the ugliest thing I've ever seen. And, as the kids would say, I've seen UR MOM.

Let's take a look, shall we?

Tan here, tan there, tan EVERYWHERE!

I bet you could waste a whole lot of space if only the doors opened into the bedroom...

Ducks wouldn't even crap in here.

Wait, that's not right, we need another Evita reference. SHIRTLESS ducks wouldn't even crap in here. I want to tell the people of Argentina... this bedroom sucked.

Okay now that that's done, the worst thing was really the bed. I don't know if you know this about Neal, but he's pretty tall. Just over 75" and when a Queen size mattress is 80", it doesn't leave a lot of room for getting comfortable. We settled on a California King, which is 84" long and impossible to buy sheets for. Not to mention finding a frame to put it on. I looked around online and while I found some King-sized beds that were nice, something to accommodate the extra length didn't seem to be readily available unless you went with a flimsy metal frame. We wanted something STURDY. A platform strong as fascism! Which meant, of course, that we'd have to build it.

Neal wrote previously about buying and refinishing the door that was to be the headboard on the blog that got deleted because people are jerks about ducks and trees.

But what about the platform? Don't worry, I have a plan - "Sipping cocktails on the terrace, taking breakfast in bed. Sleeping easy, doing crosswords, it's attractive." Oh, and I also have a plan for the platform.

Neal prepares for sanding after making the cuts - "Descamisados! I have taken these power tools from the oligarchs only for you! FOR ALL OF YOU!"

It went together surprisingly quickly, and because we stained and finished it before assembly, it was no time at all  before we had it in the room.  Which was a relief after the heated "hanging the door on the wall" session of the previous night.

"Then I must now be Vice-President!"  cried the door.

No, we said, YOU ARE A DOOR.  

"But you just told me I'm a headboard now!" countered the door.

Touche, door. Touche.

It took about three trips to Lowe's, a box of deck screws, and four 5" carriage bolts, but it's up there and it's never coming down. EVER.

I also installed a light fixture through what had been the doorknob hole. When you turn it on, it "burns with the splendor of the brightest fire," by which I mean you can't look directly at it.

This headboard hasn't learned the lines you'd like to hear. Eventually I'll either put it on a dimmer or switch out the lightbulbs for something not quite so bright.  As for the other lighting in the room... Well, this house may not have had appliances or window screens or any color other than tan when we bought it, but it did have one distinctive piece - The world's UGLIEST ceiling fan.

Seriously.  It was impossible to lay in bed,  stare up at it, and not wonder just how such a horrible thing could have been allowed to come into existence. Was there some kind of bad design contest at the fan factory? Was it a sick joke being played by builders on unwitting consumers? Luckily we'll never have to know the answer to this question as Neal joyously and gleefully ripped it down while it cried hauntingly, "Where am I going to?" Don't ask any more.

He replaced it with a massive 70" ceiling fan that could get into a fight with Chuck Norris and WIN. Well, largely by fighting a psychological battle laden with jokes about Chuck Norris' mom but STILL. The fact that Neal actually installed it instead of making me do all the electrical work the way he usually does should imply just how vehemently he wanted that old fan gone.

When I was first planning the room I found this sort of retro whimsical fabric that I just loved. Neal wasn't so keen on it, though, so I settled for just using it to recover a chair that I picked up at Goodwill. Before:

On this night of a thousand birds, let me hold open the bedroom door...

Since I wanted to keep the bird theme going more subtly,  I did a painting of a feather and cut out some silhouettes:

Now we get to the part with the finished result!

Neal said I made too many pillows. Actually he said, "Screw the pillow class! I will never accept them. My father's other family were pillow class and we were kept out of sight, hidden from view at his funeral." So I threatened to put on Phantom of the Opera if he didn't behave himself.

The duvet was sort of the starting point for the color. I wanted something gray to help balance the yellow in the floor and something dark to make all the wainscoting look less beachy.  We found this new in the package at Goodwill for $12.50, which was a lot better than the $150.00 duvets I'd been looking at online.  On a later trip, I also found a matching sham.  So I matched the paint color to that and ended up using it on the nightstands and the bird chair, too.  I had to special order the silk shantung that I used to make the drapes and pillows, but it was 50% off and since I reused the blackout lining from the old drapes, it was still cheaper than buying even one pre-made curtain panel. All to make sure the money doesn't start rolling out, of course.

From this angle you might notice that where there used to be a table, there is now a couch. See, we went to IKEA for pillow inserts, as I'm sure so many other people do, and came out with a couch. The conversation went something like,

Kimberly and Neal: Ooh! Look! A couch!

Neal: 50% off... is that really the price?

Kimberly: I'll go ask... yes, that's really the price.

Neal: I think we should get it.

Kimberly: But where would we put it?

Neal:  In the car.

Che Guevara: Excuse my intrusion but fine as those sentiments sound, little has changed for us peasants down here on the ground...

Kimberly: Okay, I'll get a cart to put it on.

So we managed to fit a couch, three kids, three pillows, two shelves, assorted other IKEA crap, and a cello in the minivan for the drive home. Then when we got it here and moved it into the bedroom, one thing was clear - this door situation had to be fixed. We discussed, brainstormed and agonized.  Should we remove the doors completely? Replace them with curtains? Bi-fold doors? Sliding doors? At one point Neal wanted to use one of the old 3-foot wide pantry doors as a stationary panel leaving us like a 20" uncovered space of egress from the bathroom. Finally I insisted that we just buy chisels and switch the door hinges to the inside so that they just swing into the bathroom instead of opening out into the bedroom. We switched all the hardware to oil-rubbed bronze while we were at it and, as a bonus, the doors actually work without sticking now, which they never did before.

With a couch now occupying the space that previously housed my sewing table, this side of the room had to change.  Neal moved in a table from the office that was a better size and, as a bonus, offers more drawer space. I used the wall shelves as an opportunity to cram in more birds.

Okay, so I used every surface as an opportunity to cram in more birds.  Except the desk, which is now home to this thrifted typewriter. Perfect for signing your checks as 30127 - never be an account in the name of Eva Peron.

So let's hear it for the Bedroom Tour, it's been an incredible success. We weren't quite sure, we had a few doubts, but the answer is YES! It's finished!

Did you just call that fan a whore? You actually called it a whore? You better head to Cuba, and FAST.

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