Master Bedroom Before and After

I should feel great that I’ve completed yet another room makeover in my house, or..should I? Well, perhaps not. I’ve missed not just one, but two awesome opportunities to meet some fellow bloggers in person — the Blogpodium on Friday due to work (aka rat race); and the Canadian Design Blogger Meetup due to mother nature (blizzard and skating rink at where I am). Regret aside, I am sure there will be more meetup opportunities, and hopefully then nothing could stop me from going again.

Since we were pretty much trapped inside, we decided to finish painting our master bedroom and wrap up the project. I would like to start by sharing a few pictures of what our master bedroom used to look like Before and During the makeover.

This is what it looked like from two years ago. I need the room to be completely dark in order to sleep and hence the ugly espresso dupioni drapes with blackout liners.

The new bedroom in the basement gave me a perfect reason to replace the bed set that we took with us from our last house.

And the new upholstered bed from Williams-Sonoma, and the Niche nightstands from West Elm arrived! 

So this is our After of our master bedroom. The entire project took about two months.  

The ever-popular Windsor Smith Pelagos Mist drapes with blackout liners.
West Elm Niche Nightstand/Bedside Table in White

I was hoping to find an area rug from the Elte Outlet, but unfortunately they only have ~50 patterns at 5×8 (all the rest are 6×9 or larger), nothing out of which really caught my eye. So I gave the Ikea Alvine Ruta rug a try, and I think it turned out great. Do you know how insanely cheap it is for a 5’7″ x 7’10”, hand-woven, 100% pure new wool rug like this?

And no master bedroom should ever go without displaying some girl’s best friends, right? My daily bling-bling.

In summary, these are the things we’ve done to transform our master bedroom:

  1. Ordered the Windsor Smith Pelagos fabric in Mist from the US for drapery;
  2. Replaced the old bed set with a upholstered bed from Williams-Sonoma, and two nightstands from West Elm;
  3. Replaced the old table lamps with two taller crystal lamps from Union Lighting;
  4. Replaced the ceiling light with a 6-light Maria Theresa-style crystal chandelier from Union Lighting;
  5. Painted the wall in ICI Dulux Silver Cloud;
  6. Re-upholstered an old bench in Laura Ashley Bowlin Driftwood Fabric from InVu Drapery;
  7. Added an Ikea Alvine Ruta Rug.

Total time spent: on and off over a 2-month period;
Total cost: too painful to recall.

Hope everyone has a great weekend, and stay warm!


Master Bedroom

…is so far the most neglected room, design wise of course, in our house. I took a short break from our basement project and started to put together elements contributing to my dream master bedroom.

The first up is drapery. I ordered 12 yards of this ever-popular (and darn expensive) Windsor Smith Pelagos fabric in Mist from the States.

Overwhelmed by the excitement when it arrived, I started to cut them into panels at 108″ in length each. It’s not until I got to the last piece before I realized that oops, I only had about 80″ left for the last panel, and that’s not going to work. I phoned the fabric store and after one week of back-and-forth phone calls, they finally admitted it’s their oversight and that they would ship out another 3 yards as long as I covered the shipping. If I thought that was a struggle I needed to think again — it was only the beginning of a bigger nuisance. 

The fabric was shipped by a courier with the company sounding like “OOPS”. The courier somehow misplaced the correct invoice so when they showed up at my doorstep they wanted almost $100 in broker & duty before they would release the package. It was supposed to be FREE and there shouldn’t be any duty or broker fee involved since I paid for the shipping in full. I had to reject the package, and of course it was sent back to their depot for re-rate. One month later, yes folks, ONE FRIGGING MONTH later I finally received my last 3-yard of fabric! This courier company appears to be such a big well greased machine yet it couldn’t handle any non-standard hiccup like this efficiently.

Anyhow, back to the positive thoughts. The drapes have been made and I will share some pictures later. As usual, I can’t design a room without a mood board, so here you have it, my master bedroom design plan. 

Source (clockwise):
  • Maria Theresa Crystal Chandelier – new purchase;
  • Barcelona dressing table and bench – new purchase;
  • Antique scroll mirror and bow-front dresser – own;
  • Custom made upholstered bed – new purchase (existing bed is going to the basement bedroom);
  • Elite Custom Furniture bedside tables – own;
  • Crate & Barrel Vaughan chairs – own;
  • Trellis rug – own;
  • Bench custom upholstered in Bowlin Driftwood fabric – own;
  • Windsor Smith Pelagos drapery in mist – new purchase;
  • Paint: Valspar Polar Star.

I will post some Before & After pictures when I am done. Hope y’all have a great weekend.

Next Project…Home Office

It was a rough day for stock investors when TSX decided to paint the entire market red. US is likely going into a double dip, and maybe it’s finally time to abandon the “Keep Calm and Spend More” motto. I’ve gone through the following phases seeing our portfolios bleed throughout the day:  

At 4pm I decided to move on, and make myself productive by redesigning my home office. Oh btw, I work out of my home office when I don’t have client meetings. A sweet gig you might say, to be able to work from home. Very true except that I work 10+ hours a day when I am at home so it’s extremely challenging to find the time when I don’t need the room (perhaps Christmas?). Anyhow, this refresh project is going to be a slow and painful one (don’t they all) and requires some serious project and time management skills.

Here is what I am thinking for my new home office:
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  • Ikea Expedit bookcase with drawers and doors
  • Sweet William Teal roman shade by Tonic Living
  • Ikea Micke Desk
  • Pottery Barn Harrison task lamp
  • An old bentwood chair
  • Semikolon storage boxes
  • Bella Porte pillows by Tonic Living
  • Ikea Billy bookcase with doors
  • Accent chair and ottoman

Now comes the fun part…picking a paint color (or two)! At the beginning I vowed to myself that I was going to go BOLD and full of DRAMA for my home office, so I picked out this charcoal color by my favourite designer Sarah Richardson in Tarnish. Gutsy, right? Plus it’d look phenomenal with all white furniture.  

A few hours later I started to have second thoughts: what if I don’t like it? It’d be a ginormous pain to paint over in a lighter color then. That’s when I picked another two much lighter shades in grayish blue: BM Eternity and BM Metropolitan.

So what do you think? High impact but risky move, or timeless and classic in my favourite color spectrum?

Remember to check back on Monday for another fantastic giveaway sponsored by a local furniture company. Have a great weekend everyone.

Color Me Happy – Blue

Maybe it’s summer, maybe it’s age. Lately I’ve become very sensitive to colors, and how they seem to immediately change my mood. I plan to run a series of “Color Me Happy” to highlight a few color families that are eye pleasing.
First and foremost is one of my favorite colors – blue. How many shades of blue can you name?
(click on the image to enlarge)

1. Purple blue bouquet; 2. Tiffany Blue close to Robin’s Egg; 3. House Beautiful Blue cover in Cerulean Blue; 4. Need I say this is Turquoise Beach? 5. The Royal Blue Sapphire Ring; 6. Grey Blue/Azure Chinoiserie Wallpaper by de Gournay; 7. Sophie Cook’s Aqua Pod Vase; 8. de Gournay’s wallpaper again and Domino book’s cover in Beryl Blue; 9. Vintage Blossom in Dove Blue.

Before and After: Two-Tier End Table

I picked up this end table when I was at Salvation Army Thrift Store a few weeks ago. It has such great bones that I couldn’t pass on without making it mine for $16: solid wood, steady construction and almost no nicks or dents. The only complaint is this yellowish brown puke stain.

 After one coat of primer, it’s already looking better.
 After a couple of coats of Krylon Spray Paint in Pewter Grey, this is what it looks like now. It turned out blue-r than I prefer, but it also casts different shades of grey under different lighting.  
(click on the image to enlarge)

And this is the end table now in our master bedroom. It has tons of space for books, and my only wish is not to relive college days when I reached for the table by pushing through piles and piles of books.

Have a great long weekend everyone! And remember to enter your names for the $200 ottoman tray draw.

Before and After: Windsor Chair

Shortly after I finished the makeover the writing desk for our guest bedroom, I was in search for a chair to go with it. I found this sad little guy on CList for $20. This comb-back Windsor chair is an antique piece, and was passed down to a pastor from his family for generations.

 He seems in high spirit after a few coats of paints in Martha Stuart’s Chinchilla.
 Look how perky he is dressed in a blue chevron cushion? The chair pad is a DIY job by yours truly.
 And now they are finally an item in our guest bedroom waiting for to be used by our lucky guests!

Total costs = $20 (chair) + $0 paint leftover + $0 fabric remnant + $5 foam insert = $25.

Living Room…Day 1

Today was a big leap forward for us away from our “bleh” beige wall in our living room, and we have Expert Crown Moulding to thank for. This is the third time we used their service, and they have never disappointed us. Look at these full-wall picture-frame wainscoting. It’s late and I am tired so I didn’t take any close-up pictures — but the work is flawless!
I was debating whether to go with the full-wall wainscoting up until last night but I am so glad that I went through with it. Just wait until how divine these walls look when they receive a couple of coats of antique white paint. Yes, white is in, and following footsteps of Janice at Life Begins at Thirty and Lindsay at Aubrey & Lindsay’s Little House Blog, I am painting my living room white too!

See the three frames above the mantel? The arched mirror from Uttermost (out of stock until May) will go in the middle, and the two sconces will sit in the narrower frame on each side.

I would like to take this opportunity to bring up Expert Crown Moulding again. They didn’t just put up full-wall wainscoting in my living room today (and it’s a very large room), they also installed this half-wall wainscoting in my foyer and along the curved staircase. And they did all this in one day from 9am to 8pm!

Now here comes the downer! I just found out the Troy Alta Sconce I love so much has been discontinued. There are some odd sites in the States that still sell it, but I don’t know if I can trust them.

And then I fell in love with this Twinkle Crystal Sconce from Chameleon. I was so heartbroken when I saw a silver-finish one costs $1,800! I just can’t justify spending two grand on a tiny sconce like this, as much as I so dearly adore it. So the hunt for a new sconce goes on.

So that’s it for Day 1, enough excitement in one day. We are going to take the long weekend off, do nothing but eat and sleep…ah, La Dolce Vita!
Happy Easter everyone!