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Posts tagged ‘memories’

Master Bedroom Updates

So, last week I was talking about all the things on my to-do list. And how before company comes we always flip into high gear and simultaneously our to-do list becomes a mile long. Well this past weekend it was only family, but thankfully (yes thankfully), the list still kicked into gear so we could get a lot done. Especially since it was the first time my dad/brothers came to visit and I wanted them to like the house. Of course, the wall paper I started stripping wasn’t even completely done, but at least the deck got pressure washed. The house was clean, and the sun broke out of the clouds here and there, so all in all it was a great weekend. We saw the sights, got rained on, enjoyed the beach, went out to eat and just spent time as a family again, something we haven’t been able to do with all of us since Christmas. It was time.

Since the pressure washing was really on Bryan’s to-do list, and getting the wall-paper down in time and re-painted wasn’t feasible if we wanted to sleep at night (we did), I tackled things like actually getting some decorations up on our walls. Welcome to the slightly decorated, definitely in progress, master bedroom.

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First up you can see the wallpaper removal in progress, a pair of new lamps (anniversary present from my parents, thanks Mom and Dad!) and matching side-tables, originally my great grandparents passed on to me from my Aunt. Things that still need to change? Hm, the wall paper has to go. Maybe we could move some of the outlets? There are a million of them and they are spread out to fit a king bed in between them. Hence the ridiculous amount of wires and cords hanging around. Something’s gotta give. Thankfully we are getting pretty good at dealing with outlets and moving light fixtures, just remember to turn off the power!

Did you notice the lovely hooks that are hanging at super crazy heights? I have no idea what hung there, but they will too be coming down. Then all those holes will be filled and we will be on our way to a better bedroom. We need some sort of eye-catching feature behind the bed. Something to help fill the space and make the large room, with our proportionally too small bed, seem right. Curtains? A painting? Who knows. We have our eyes peeled though. Our cheap eyes peeled. This is to be a cheapie renovation.

Next up? That fan on the floor? The noise it gives off helps me get to sleep at night. But it’s not a visually appealing fan. Maybe we can do something about that. And the gray board you can just see behind the headboard? We ripped it out of the closet and are going to cut it up and re-use it in there. We took it out because it was chopping the longest hanging area of the closet completely in half height wise and hanging clothes there was impossible. (I needed all the hanging space, yikes!) But we still have a 4 foot section of the closet we can’t really use. We are both too short to reach the high bar and could use more shelf space. So for now, to prevent further damage to the house walls, we are just living with it where it is. And when we have some time to saw it up and make some brackets to support it (in the next few weeks) it will be going back to the closet.

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This is the wall of doors to our bathroom and closet. Yes I know, you haven’t gotten to see photos of the bathroom yet, but you aren’t missing much. Think dated fixtures, wallpaper, and bad grout. It’s ok though. We bought the house knowing we would want to fix it up. This way we can save up our pennies and fix it the way we’d like. Oh, and ps, the door that’s you can just tell is open at the far left is the door to the office/library.  Anyways, back to the wall as it stands now, we have some wall sconces, a wedding present from Bryan’s cousins, a needlepoint from a sweet lady from my home church in PA, and the present I gave Bryan for our anniversary. I’ll have to write-up more about that later. The hamper doesn’t usually stay there and we still need to take out the electric baseboard on the left hand side of the wall as the furnace in the master works and it’s not needed anymore. Not to mention the lovely crack from settling that has been there for eons…there are at least three colors of wall paint trying to cover it up in the closet, bizarre. You’d think spackle would be a better way to fill a crack then paint, but some people are crazy.

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Next up is my dresser. I’ve had this dresser (and the entire bedroom suite) since I was a little girl, luckily it expanded from a double bed to a queen so we saved a little money that way. Maybe someday we will actually decide on a suite for ourselves and move this to the guest room, but for now, it works great in our room and isn’t so feminine that Bryan doesn’t like it.
Back to decorating the dresser, I really like hats. Did you notice? And I realized that rather than living with the dresser empty and barren of anything interesting, I needed some art. And what’s better than free, no-effort art?

What was my solution? Hats. I only grabbed the bigger, statement hats and added a few framed prints from Home Goods of fashion drawings featuring girls in hats. It certainly adds some life and interest to an otherwise dry side of the room. Plus, it helped that part of my anniversary present from Bryan was the vintage hat box on the left, it totally adds some vintage charm to the room. To fill in the rest of the space on the dresser are some cherished photos from the wedding, and pre-wedding shots of me and my parents at their favorite places (mom with the beach, and dad with the ski slopes). Of course my precious moments cake topper/nod to my beloved mommom, and my perfume bottle collection are cherished mementos I couldn’t bear to stash away. Along with my happy green fern, that side of the room feels so much more homey. All it needs now is fresh paint, a comfy chair, maybe more plants? Or more hats. I just love hats. It must have been all the ones Mom put me in as a kid. Eventually. (that’s my new motto).
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Here we land on Bryan’s dresser. I stashed one of his favorite engagement pictures, in a dark ‘manly’ frame on top of the pewter ‘James Bond-esque’ tray that holds his sunglasses, cologne, wallet, watch, and Blistex. He’s never without his Blistex. A man that loves sailing and the water as much as Bry has to have some nautical things on his dresser too, so an old compass we picked up at an antique store fits the bill perfectly. His sorts of plants are the aloe vera and the orchid that adds some height to the otherwise flat display on top of the dresser. We have to at least hang the framed photo but we will get there before next year I’m sure.

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I can’t talk about the small changes we did in here to get ready for my parents without talking about the one big, expensive change we have made to the room so far. Also on the wall with Bryan’s dresser, at the foot of our bed, are these new fabulous glass sliders. The doors that came with the bedroom had lost their thermal seal, were very foggy, and made the room fluctuate so much according to the temperature outside. Our energy bills thank us. And so do our wallets. I have plans for these curtains though. The cats love to try to climb them, and have succeeded in bending the support bars down just enough my OCD eye notices them. I’m planning to screw the brackets into the ceiling, and sewing some coordinating fabric onto these curtains to make them fit the space better. Then the curtains on this big 8 foot slider, and the two tiny 2 foot wide windows we have on either side of our bed will relate better. (Those curtains will be getting edited as well!)

These little changes took hardly any time, and since all of it was stuff we owned pre-purchasing the house, except the gifts (came from a different budget) and the two pictures from Home Goods, our grand total for money spent on decorating this room so far rings in at $20. A number like that makes this budget-conscious girl happy. And that’s a perfect number when a pair of newlyweds (yes I’m still clinging to the term) saved their pennies, and the gifts they received from the wedding to buy their first house, a house that may be more than a ‘starter’ home. A house we can pour our blood, sweat and tears into (and already have!) A house that needs work to get it to where we want it, but we are happy to do it. To take this crazy, contemporary house and make it a home, something most contemporary style homes struggle to ever become.

What do you think? I think it’s come a long, long way. There still is a long way to go. But the journey and the progress makes us happy. Thrilled actually. To save your fingers from scrolling, here is a soon after we moved in picture (with the addition of our furniture, curtains from the rental bedroom, and the kitchen fan which we swapped out with the dining room esque light in here. Oh, and a cat.)

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Yikes am I glad we have moved on from here! What’s your bedroom style? A calm, warm, relaxing haven (what we are trying to accomplish)? Or an anything goes, it’s my bedroom and the guests hardly come back, here the door stays shut, function over form approach? Something in between?

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Challenge: a Mother Daughter Version

I’m sitting watching the movers from inside my future in-laws house. It’s crazy to see all of our collective earthly belongings getting packed up: wrapped up in blankets and boxes and packing tape.  It’s even crazier to think the next time I see any of this stuff I’ll be married. But before that actually happens I’m tackling a to-do list, but before I get there I’m stuck a reminiscing mood.

For the majority of my life I’ve been an only girl, with three brothers. That’s a lot of boy. Mom and I banded together more so than just a typically mother-daughter relationship. I’m the oldest, and it was just mom and me (well and dad, but he’s a boy and doesn’t count according to this post 🙂 ) We spent hours walking around (me riding in a stroller) in Colorado, going to the pool and playing in the yard. Unfortunately all of these memories are for me; stories told and pictures laughed at. We just went through tons of pictures last week and I couldn’t help but laugh at many of them. Mom loved dressing me up in hats and pretty dresses.

Then there are the pictures of driving through Yellowstone and living in Germany. Mom and I (along with Dad and Bran) traipsed all over Europe. Traveling at a young age gave me the guts and courage to be completely fine doing it on my own as an adult. I don’t get fazed in long lines, or when faced with signs in a language I don’t know. I thank my parents for that. We spent even more time walking through our pretty village of Bann, in Germany, and walking up the large hill that led to our little village, we’d take sugar cubes and feed the horses. (I did this a lot with dad too, in fact one time I remember Brandon and I asking Dad what grass tasted like or if it was edible (since the horses ate it so much) dad said sure it is give it a try. It tasted very green, like bitter leaves. Or really like the way grass smells when it’s freshly cut) These memories make the transition to ‘stories i’ve been told’ to actual memories of my own.

The Mother/daughter adventures didn’t stop there however we moved again, and again, and my two youngest brothers(al and andy) joined our family so now we were a family of 6. Mom and I got closer than ever doing all the girly things the guys wanted no part of. Shopping, baking, cooking, knitting/crocheting, etc were what we did while the boys did all their sports. Mom helped me get ready for all my big events, concerts, plays, and proms. And then I went off to college. Our mother/daughter time came fewer and far between. So we started coming up with a list of things we would do. Our rituals. We would always attempt to get as much in as we could before I left again.

That has evolved into our bucket list. Yes, we have a bucket list. And, it’s not a list of things to do before we die, rather it’s a list of things to do before I get married and move four hours away. It’s based loosely on our ‘rituals’ or ‘traditions’ that we did every time I came home from college.

The list is as follows:

a stop at a local antique store: we always find fun treasures and the store isn’t filled with just little bits of junk, it has lots of bigger items and sets up their stuff in ways to make cute little rooms. (i’ve posed in several of these rooms)

a weekend beach trip is a must. ever since high school at least once in the off season we make sure we hit OCNJ for some non-trafficked fun.

tea at a quaint little tea room is on the list as well for us. Looking forward to our pots of tea and yummy nibbles, reminiscent of my time in London we started this little tradition to have a taste of England.

a final exploration of the local Home Goods

eating lunch at Wegmans (sushi for me please)

Mother/Daughter Banquet at church (can’t miss my last living-at-home Mother/daughter church event)

walk around Macy’s shoe department

painting in the kitchen (i’ll have to borrow some of mom’s supplies as all of mine are packed up)

reading/coffee on the porch (great way to start the day!)

sitting by the pool (all day every day! I wish :-/ )

I think we are up for the challenge. We’ve hit Homegoods and Macy’s. Mother/Daughter Banquet and the beach are this weekend. And amid the list minute flurries of wedding planning we will hit the rest.

Here’s to many more funny pictures and good memories to be made over the years to come. Love you mom. xxoo

p.s. i’m so glad Kenzie is here so it’s not just you and all the boys. loves ❤

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