Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bedroom update: Crate & Barrel Dubois Mirrors above the bed

In my last post, I revealed my new upholstered bed.   It's dandy.  If you were wondering why I posted such a small and strangely cropped photo, it's because I had to hide my next reveal, which is what is hanging above the bed.  Dumb me forgot to take a photo of the bed by itself.

Here's part 2 of the bedroom update -- the mirrors above the bed!

For at least five years I've had a hankering for Crate and Barrel's "Dubois Mirror."

I didn't want just one -- I wanted multiples.  At one point, I planned on hanging 6-9 of them above our sofa, but that idea was given the thumbs-down by an interior designer.  After I saw the mirrors hanging above my dream bed (the Colette, see my last post) at a Crate & Barrel store last fall, I realized that would be a great place for them once I had a new bed.

I went ahead and bought six of them, not knowing it would take me over three months to purchase a new bed and another two months to hang the mirrors above it! 


Before placing at least 12 nail holes in my wall, I decided to make sure I would like the arrangement first.  I crated templates from magazine and newspaper pages, and lived with them on the wall for several weeks.

Once I was ready to do the official hanging of the mirrors, it was quite a process.  I'll do a separate post on that later this week.  It's quite an ordeal to hang six things perfectly level with each other and perfectly spaced apart, especially when there is a bed in the way of putting a stepladder on the floor. 


Oh, and that doesn't even take into account that each of the mirrors are hand-made and therefore not precisely equal in size, and that the hanging holes (why not hardware, C&B?) are hand-punched and are not all punched the same diameter or the same distance from the corners.  Not fun.

Aside from how long it took me to get my act together on both the bed and the mirrors, I am very pleased with the look now that they are together.  I can finally mark those tasks off my to-do list!

Oh, and the best thing about the whole process was finding a $10 bill under the bed when I dropped my level behind the headboard and had to fetch it.  Bring me the money!

The next bedroom update will involve new furniture.  I plan on replacing the dresser, chest, and two nightstands with vintage pieces that I'll either paint, refinish or leave as is.  But those projects will be down the road a bit, once I find the right elements and decide how to finish each of them.

P.S.  Please excuse the not-awesome photos.  On my to-do list is teaching myself how to use the manual settings on my camera to create better lighting.  (Or maybe my high school friend Molly or my cousin Tracy, both of whom are photographers, will want to give me a tutorial in exchange for lunch.  Hmm.)

P.P.S.  If you noticed a shininess to the lampshade on the right, or if you noticed A BIG LABEL on it, that's because the packaging is still on it!  I purchased the lamp at a local thrift store, and I was trying out a shade from Target.  The shade is too close in color and texture to the bed, though, so I'm going to switch it out.  Originally I was planning to spray paint the lamp white, but The Mr. and I both kinda like the vintage-ness of it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bedroom update: Upholstered headboard and frame

An upholstered headboard had been on my wish list for a few years, and finally I have one of my very own.  Here’s what my bed looks like today:

Here's what it looked like just after we built and moved into our house three years ago.  It wasn't horrible by any means, but it was no longer my style, and it just bugged me more and more as time went on.  (I get obsessive like that.)

Noodles and Domino liked the bed, but I grew to resent it.

I had seen Crate & Barrel’s Colette Bed at their store a couple years ago, but it costs a whopping $1899 for a king size.  And I've seen an identical bed for over $3000 elsewhere online.

I stumbled upon the Copy Cat Chic blog a few months back, and one of the “copycat” finds was a bed that looked like the Colette, but at a much lower price.  However, someone who had seen it in person said the quality was not good, so I kept looking.

Back in November, I was hot on the upholstered headboard trail, and I spotted an upholstered bed (headboard + frame) on for a price I was willing to pay, and I purchased it right away, fearing that it would be out of stock and gone forever.

Quincy Natural Twill Bed, sold at many online retailers
Once it was delivered, I realized the fabric had a "fuzzy" texture, like velour or microsuede, which I was not a huge fan of.  Oops.  I had wanted a linen-like fabric.  And once I assembled the whole bed by myself while The Mr. was at a gig, I realized the headboard was not nearly tall enough for my liking.  Double oops.  When I stood the pillows up, they pretty much covered the headboard, which is not the look I was going for. I guess I was so excited to buy the bed before it was out of stock that I didn't think to check the dimensions.

I could have returned the bed, but I would have to pay for shipping and it would be around $200, so that was a no-go.  Instead, I posted the bed on Craigslist (my first posting on CL ever).  It sold within a couple weeks to a young couple who were looking for an upholstered headboard that would fit beneath a row of high windows in their bedroom.  They got the bed at a good deal, and I got rid of it so I could continue my search.  (Unfortunately I had to eat around a hundred bucks in the process.  Let's just call it a life lesson.)

There are so many DIY upholstered headboard tutorials online, and they are totally doable, but the ones I saw just didn't have the end result that I wanted.  I didn't feel like they were deep enough or that the seams were "finished" looking.  And we would have to purchase a plain bed frame and attach the headboard either to it or the wall.  I really wanted our headboard to wow me, and I was afraid a DIY just wouldn't meet expectations.

I spent many nights searching and searching, and finally found another copycat of the C&B Colette.  Then I spent another week or so looking for the best price.  It's amazing how varied prices can be for furniture online -- not just differences between the high-end find and the lower-cost find, but even among online retailers that sell the exact same brand/model.

Aisling Cream Fabric Platform Bed, sold at many online retailers

I even ordered a fabric sample because my only worry was that the fabric wouldn't meet my expectations again.  It looked like a linen texture, and it looked like a linen color, but after the fabric debacle on the last bed, and since the color in the name of the bed is "cream," I was a little scared because I did not want an off-white bed.  After all, there would be no returnsies or Craigslisties this time.  I was going to be stuck with whatever I bought.

Up-close shot

After two weeks and two calls about the fabric sample, it still had not arrived.  Meanwhile, the Mr. and I had grown weary of sleeping on just our queen mattress on the floor since we had taken down our old bed and didn't feel like putting it back together.

I had read some reviews of the bed online by a couple people who had also looked for a less expensive version of the C&B Colette bed, and they said that this bed would not disappoint, so I pulled the trigger at long last.

I couldn't be more happy with my new bed.  Here's why:

  • Classic camelback shape
  • Linen-look fabric
  • Silver nailhead trim
  • Beefy depth of the headboard
  • You can see plenty of headboard above the pillows
I'm so glad to have this process over and I'm so glad to be sleeping off the floor again!

Oh, and if my old bed does look like your style, I have a king-size bed, dresser, chest, and 2 nightstands if you are interested in any or all!

Coming soon:  What's hanging above the bed


Update: Check out my House Tour page to see what the bed and this room looks like currently. It has changed a lot since this post!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

HomeGoods is coming to Southern Indiana!

First, let me apologize for being AWOL for a few days.  We have been without an internet connection, and I have been going mad.  At least I've had my beloved television, but these stinkin' storms we've been having for the past FOREVER have been messing with that too.  Rahr.

Need to catch up on some project postings tomorrow.  Tonight I've just been getting cozy with my computer again.

Also, I wanted to give my Southern Indiana girls a heads up that HomeGoods is coming to Clarksville, with the grand opening this Sunday.  I'm so there.  If you're not familiar with HomeGoods (HG for short), it's TJ Maxx for the home.  And if you're not familiar with TJ Maxx either, then you must go.  Now.

HG carries basically all types of things to furnish a home, from kitchen supplies to wall art to furniture to bedding to bathroom accessories.  And everything is at discounted prices.  It's a great resource for decorating on a budget, and even many high-end designers go to HG to snag great stuff at good prices.

There's actually a HG within a TJ Maxx in Louisville at Hikes Point, but for some reason, Clarksville will now have both a TJ Maxx AND a HG.  But I'm not complaining.  Nope.

The HG store will be at the intersection of Lewis & Clark Parkway and Eastern Boulevard.  The grand opening is Sunday, May 1, from 8am to 8pm.  Hope to see you there, but you better not be lunging for the perfect item that I have my eye on.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Blog to check out: Hooked on Houses

I was catching up on some of my blog reading today.  The problem is that I'll never be caught up.  I'm still over 1000 posts behind, and it seems like every time I catch up on one blog, when I'm reading the next one, I follow a link to another one, and it just snowballs from there.  I'm trying to pare down which blogs I really like and want to follow consistently, but I seem to add more than I delete.  It's crazy out there in blogworld, people!

Anyway, one of the blogs I was reading today is Hooked on Houses.  Julia posts about crazy MLS photos, before and after shots, celebrity homes, homes seen in TV and movies, and just homes that inspire her in general.  One thing I like is that she shows us both the inside and the outside.

My favorite in the Television & Movie Houses category is the beach house in "Something's Gotta Give" .  I fell in love with this house when I first saw the movie.  Luckily I was watching it on TV, so I was able to pause and rewind a few times so I could drool.  I'm most smitten with the kitchen and living room.  And, of course, the outside with the cedar shakes.

This is my absolute favorite from Hooked on Houses' Bad MLS Photos category.  Dolly gives a house tour, showing up not as an accident, but in every photo.  Creepy ... and whaaaaaattt???

And there's this master bath / office combo.  I guess when the hubby says he's going to his "office," he may actually be sitting at a computer working.  Hmm.

Here's an amazing Before & After that makes me want to go out and flip houses.  The Mr. and I talk about flipping now and then, but with the bad housing market and the unfortunate fact that neither of us are particularly handy, we just dream.

Outside before and after:


 A couple cute inside shots.  Got crabs?  They do.

Want an inside peek at celebrity houses?  I like the sleek kitchen and master bath in the Beverly Hills home of Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban.  (These photos are actually from the MLS listing before they moved in.)

Have you ever wondered what is reality and what is made-for-TV when you watch HGTV?  I've noticed that on makeover shows, the designer and homeowners can be seen rolling paint on a wall, but it seemed obvious to me that someone on the crew comes behind and actually does the trim work and finishes up the painting.  After all, anybody who has painted a room knows that you're supposed to trim (or "cut in") first, before you roll.  And that's my painting soapbox for the day.

Hooked on Houses shares some good, some bad, and some ugly scoop for you about some popular HGTV shows and/or personalities.  Warning:  spoiler alert!

Designed to Sell
Candice Olson
House Hunters
Suzanne Whang (has anyone else noticed the faux-Whang voiceover lately?)

If you're so inspired, go check out the Hooked on Houses site.  Good stuff.

(No, I am not being paid for this endorsement.  Just thought I'd share the wealth!)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Decorating with mirrors, mirrors, on the wall

Lately I've been inspired by mirrors.  I'm getting ready to add some big impact via mirrors into my home, and thought I'd let you reflect (pun intended) on some gorgeous designs in the mean time.

Mirrors come in all shapes, sizes and styles.  Sometimes they're framed, sometimes not.  Even the mirror glass itself could be plain, or be distressed, or etched with designs.

Which of these is your favorite?

via Apartment Therapy

Kenneth Wingard's Round Atrium Mirror, via

Mirrors can be hung singly, or in multiples.  When using multiples, they can all be the same for a modern or classic effect, or different for an eclectic, gathered-over-time look.

Carson Poetzl, Inc. mediterranean living room
via Houzz

new photos eclectic bedroom
via Houzz

Entry way eclectic entry
via Houzz

Zuniga Interiors contemporary living room
via Houzz

If you find a framed mirror with an interesting shape, but you don't like the color, it's easy to spray paint the frame in a colorful or metallic shade.  You can even make an old-fashioned mirror look more modern by painting it a bold color.

blue with black/white accents eclectic living room
via Houzz

You can also use spray paint to unify frames that are different styles.

Dear Daisy Cottage
via Houzz

Sunburst mirrors are a classic design that are all the rage right now.  They range in styles from traditional to modern.

Brookwood Hills 2 mediterranean dining room
via Houzz

Willowgrove Dining Room contemporary dining room
via Houzz

Heather Garrett Design contemporary dining room
via Houzz

Sometimes sunburst mirrors can be a bit pricey, but these days you can find simpler designs even in lower price ranges.  Or, you can make one yourself with these step-by-step instructions from designer Janell Beals of Isabella & Max Rooms.

Isabella & Max Rooms, via

Mirrors can be hung in many locations in your house, aside from the obvious use in bathrooms.  They look great over a fireplace, bed, or console table.  You could even put one near the front door so you can zhush your hair (thank you, Carson Kressley, for that term) before opening the door for company!

Mirrors can also be used  as decorator tricks.  They can visually double the size of a room when hung strategically in a small space.  You can also utilize a mirror to bounce light around in a room that might not have much natural light.

Warning:  Be sure to check the reflected image before you hang a mirror.  It might not be something you want to look at!  (And I'm not talking about when you hang a mirror above your bathroom vanity.  You're beautiful!)

Coming soon:  A sneak peak into my bedroom update.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mulching and moving and manul labor, OH MY ... was I sore

Today is the first day in a while that I can sit down, get up, bend down or climb stairs without being in pain.  I was sore for around a week, after spending four out of seven days doing manual labor, which just about did me in.  I’m just a prissy girl who’s used to working behind a desk, you know?

First I spent a couple long days helping my mom get moved in to her condo.  Then I decided that before returning a borrowed truck that I should go ahead and use it to pick up some bulk mulch, which was much-needed for our landscaping beds.  Seriously – much needed.  We should have mulched last year but never got around to it.

I was on a bit of a time crunch, because I only had the truck for one more day before needing to return it to my father-in-law.  With a deadline and a goal, I ventured out that morning in the rain to pick up the first load of mulch.  I told the cashier I needed about 4 cu ft of mulch, and she informed me that the truck bed only fits about 2 cubic feet.  Rats – that meant a return trip would be required.  And even worse, that meant that I would have to remove the first load from the truck before I could go back to get the second.  (I had been planning on waiting until The Mr. was home from work, so that we could unload it together before returning the truck that night.)

One truck load of mulch (2 cu ft, or two "scoops" from the front end loader)

Once I realized I would need two loads, I updated The Mr. via text and he said if I could handle unloading the first one, he could do the second when he got home.  I was not excited, but figured I could buck up and do it.

Mulch mountain #1

Once I got the second load home, I decided to be a trooper and unload it too.   

Load #2

After I did that, exhausted as I was, I realized I needed to get the hose out and spray down the entire truck rather than returning it covered in mulch bits.  

After all that, I was proud of all my hard labor, and knew The Mr. would be pleased as well, especially considering he probably thought I would bag the whole idea of picking up mulch because of the rain.

Yeah, did I mention it was raining throughout the entire process, and that the rain was getting progressively stronger as the afternoon went on?  It was … um … awesome?  I’m sure I was a sight.  When I was done, I had to basically strip at the door of the house so I wouldn’t track bits of wet mulch inside.

By the time the guys got home from school and work, I was whooped.  I decided to take a couple days “off” to rest my sore body before getting back to the actual process of mulching the landscaping.


After my "resting" days, I got back to task.  Since dandelions and other weeds had taken over much of our landscape beds, I figured I better get to those before we could spread the mulch.  I hate weeding, but somebody’s gotta do it.  Besides getting the weeds out, I also had to use a rake as well as my hands to get as many stray leaves out of the dense groundcover and the bushes.  Once the weeds and leaves were cleared out, I was ready to felt like I should tackle the first mulch mountain.  I was already tired, but oh well.

Using my trusty snow shovel, which is great for more things than snow, I kept moving shovel-fuls from the mulch mountain to the landscape beds.  Once I had the first mountain demolished, I wanted to give up and leave the second mountain for another day.  But I pushed through my burnout and tackled mulch mountain #2.


Before I knew it, all the landscaping beds were covered with fresh mulch.  (Okay, it didn't exactly go quickly, but I'll spare you a few details.)  The problem was that I had half a pile of mulch left.  Oops.  Apparently I only needed 3 cu ft of mulch -- not 4.  Mental note for next time.  I spent the next hour finding creative places to "beef up" the mulch that I had left.  After all, you don't want it to be too deep around your plants, or the roots could be suffocated.  And you certainly don't want to leave half a pile of mulch in the driveway, right where you back your car up, for an extended period of time.

Finally I got past that mistake challenge and was ready to put my shovels and rakes down for the day.  Hooray!  But then I remembered it's not good gardening etiquette to put away dirty tools.  So I dragged the hose out and rinsed everything off, soaking my shoes/feet in the process.  Finally, I set all the tools out in the sun to dry and headed in for a shower.  Once again, I had to strip at the door so as not to track mulch bits throughout the house.  Luckily we don't have any close neighbors.

Was I utterly exhausted?  Yes.  Was I proud of my hard work?  Darn tootin' I was.


The Mr. was surprised and delighted to see my results when he got home from work.  I hadn't clued him in that I was going to get to it that day, but he had noticed that I had been suspiciously "offline" all day.  He even agreed that I had earned my keep for the week.  Thank goodness -- since I'm not working, I have to show some progress around the house each week!  I tried to convince The Mr. that I should be able to spend the amount of money I had saved by doing all the work myself, but that was a no-go.  Oh well, it was worth a try.

Have you accomplished any arduous tasks lately?  What I was most proud of was that after each step, when I was fatigued and didn't want to keep going, I pushed through and challenged myself to keep going.  Gold star for me.

But that's enough manual labor for me for a while.  I'd prefer to stick to making the inside of my house look better.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Driving a Truck and Other Intimidations

Are you a prissy girl who is intimidated by “manly” things?  I am.  Use power tools?  I might slice off a finger on a table saw!  Drive the riding lawn mower?  I could tip it on our hilly yard and trap my leg, requiring an amputation!  No thanks.

It’s not that I’m not a quick learner – I am.  It’s just that things that I’ve never done before make me nervous because I’m afraid of messing something up.  Really it’s not just “manly” things, but ANY things that I have no experience at, especially when I don’t have an expert alongside to coach me through.

I have many DIY projects lined up that will force me to push past my OH-MY-GOSH-I-HAVE-NO-IDEA-WHAT-I’M-DOING-SO-I-HOPE-I-DON’T-MESS-THIS-UP-BECAUSE-THEN-WHAT-WILL-I-DO syndrome.  But I will do much online research first and use techniques recommended by those who have tried several methods and found what works.

However, recently I was forced into something that I wasn’t quite ready for – driving a truck.

Yeah, yeah, many of you either have large vehicles yourselves or have driven them many times.  But I haven’t.  I’ve been a passenger in a large vehicle many times (including a semi-truck when I was little), but I’ve never been the driver.

We needed to borrow my father-in-law’s truck for my mom’s move last week.  The only time to pick it up was when The Mr. was on his way to a music gig, which meant that he would drop me off at the in-law’s house and I would drive the truck home.  Uh-oh.  And I had to start by backing it down the not-straight driveway.  Double uh-oh.

Even just getting into the truck was a challenge.  First I had to get past Rudy the guard dog. 

He’s friendly but his "Puppy Power" can be a bit much for a prissy girl like me.  Thank goodness for play toys that you can throw hard in one direction while you walk quickly in the other!  Of course, once I made it back to the truck, I had to hoist myself inside, so that was the second challenge, since I’m a shorty.

Backing it out the not-straight driveway went fine, as did the drive back to my house on the windy country roads.  I even managed to parallel park it nicely in our driveway turnaround so that it wasn’t in the way of anyone else pulling in or out. I was so proud of my little prissy self.

Once I felt a little more comfortable in the big truck, driving it around town was no biggie until I had to stop by the mall to return something on the way to my mom’s on day 2 of her move.  Other trucks and large vehicles were parked alongside the regular cars, but I wasn't about to just cross my fingers that I didn't scrape another car as I tried to guide the truck into a spot.  Dagnabit -- I had to pass up two really good parking spots, including one at the very front.  But with my tail between my legs, I ventured out to BFE, or Scooby Doo 2 as I like to call it where nobody else was parked.  Boo.  My parking limitations probably doubled the time of my "quick" mall stop.

Side note:  Did you notice that I fit TWO Scooby references in one post?  Jinkies!  Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

After a couple days, I was feeling powerful riding up so high.  In fact, I was feeling so good about my friend the truck that I decided to use it to pick up bulk mulch for our landscaping before I returned the truck to its owner the following night.  (But more on that later.)

Now that I have conquered my fear of driving a big truck, I feel empowered to try some other things.  Who knows – maybe I’ll even cave and start cutting the grass for Jason in the near future.  Or maybe not.  I can be a bit clumsy, so there's still that chance of tipping the riding mower on one of the steep hills in our yard.

What fears or intimidations have you conquered?  Or what are you still dreading?  I shared mine, so you can share yours!
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