That’s it! That little window, that tiny little basement window, way up there by the ceiling; that’s all the natural light we have to work with in this room! On the other hand, being in the farthest, basementy-est corner of the house, we consider it fairly tornado proof, but that is irrelevant here. What is relevant is beauty, and this room had… none. Tiny window. Walls painted a dingy grayish-purple. A three foot deep media cubby thing which opened into the kitchen but which took up all the space in the bedroom. It was a sad, sad bedroom.
My first challenge was to make that tiny window way up by the ceiling feel a little more like an intentional part of the room. Okay, no. My first challenge was remodeling the bedroom on a budget of approximately $200. My second challenge was to make that tiny window way up by the ceiling feel a little more like an intentional part of the room. It took years, but I finally got my inspiration from a photograph or two I saw on the blog Posie Gets Cozy.
The photo was of a door in her bedroom, with wainscot paneling that went almost to the top, leaving a gap of a foot or so to the ceiling. She had pegs along the top trim where she hung straw hats and other lovely domestic items. I thought about that photograph forever, and then it finally occurred to me that I could do the same sort of thing with that window.
Our faux wainscot isn’t even wood. It’s some sort of cardboard/chipboard type substance. Not very durable, but it cost $20 a sheet at Lowes, and I needed four of them to span that wall, plus two lengths of wide trim. The trim was probably another $20. If you follow me on instagram, you saw all this in it’s infancy, and that’s all I have of “before” pictures.
It wasn’t looking too promising there for a while. There were gaps, visible screws where studs didn’t quite line up… but a little painter’s caulk and then the actual paint – I was, and still am, thrilled with how great it looks! The white is an Olympic color called Lotus Flower. It’s got soft, buttery undertones and I use it on all the trim in the whole house, because I think it goes perfectly with my predominantly blue and green color scheme. We got the wall lamps from Overstock; they’re similar to this one, and they did put me over-budget just a little.
Do you know, there was no door on the bathroom when we moved in? There is nothing romantic about a bathroom with no door, my friends. We fixed that shortly after we moved in, but it was still the raw wood. Painting that door made an enormous difference in the lightness of the room. I also painted the cheap gold metal trim around the closet doors.
And the door which leads into the rest of the house! See that line in the wall behind the dresser? That’s where the cubby thing used to be. We – and by “we”, I mean Davey – knocked that out. There was an outlet in there wired in series with one in the bedroom, and hiding it gave us some fits, but we finally did it. Now, drywall is not David’s specialty. (Nor is plumbing, if you must know!) I’m not sure how it happened, but the newly hung drywall did not mesh up anywhere near flush with the old drywall. I ended up with a half inch differential which I endeavored to fill in with spackling compound, because that was a better option than asking Davey to redo it. I did a pretty good job, the best I could, given the circumstances, but you can still see the unevenness. I figure some nice, big artwork will go along way toward distracting the eye from that particular flaw. Progress, not perfection!
That last wall is just one solid expanse of blue. (Olympic Blue Dusk, if you must know, which is actually a pale aqua.) I’m thinking I’m going to print black and white photographs of the children when they were babies and toddlers, because that is just about my favorite thing to look at in the whole wide world, photographs of my babies. And I may or may not add a little more of that trim, dropped another 12-18″ from the top of the wainscot, as a smooth visual dividing line.
There are now holes in the carpet where the cubby supports were removed, and there is a patch of ceiling that needs to be finished. Carpeting will have to wait, as it’s way outside the budget, and the ceiling is waiting to be finished along with a patch in the kitchen, which was lost in a tragic plumbing accident. Also, I’m looking for bedside tables. They need to be no less than 30″ tall, no more than 30″ wide, dark wood, and smooth lines. Nobody sells such a thing. Sometimes, knowing what you want is a liability, but at least I know I’ll be happy with them when I do find them!
This room has gone from mildly depressing cave to light, airy, refreshing little haven. It’s clean, uncluttered, fresh and bright, a little retreat from the rest of the world, which is just what a couple’s bedroom ought to be.
Thanks for letting me share this with you!