Friday, February 12, 2010

Take 1-- Bedroom Redo ... Paint & Furniture

Finally, it's done. And my house and I are still in one piece. That's a good thing considering my little mishap early on in the redecorating process. Yesterday I put the finishing touches on our basement bedroom that I've been redecorating for the last few weeks. My next few posts will chronicle some of that process.

I need to start by saying taking photos in a basement is never a good thing. There just isn't enough natural light to make any picture look decent. Colors are off, pictures are fuzzy, the whole shebang is messed up. If I was a better photographer it would probably help, but we'll have to make do with lousy photos -- a bit discouraging because the room looks a lot better in person than in the pictures I'm going to show you.

This whole redecorating process started several weeks ago when I took a short quiz online to determine my interior design style. The questionnaire concluded that my favorite style is "Nantucket." For once an online test was truly accurate, and it did isolate my favorite design style. I love the soft bluish hues against the white backdrop in these rooms. So much so, that I decided to makeover one of our basement bedrooms (that was sorely in need of reconstruction) to reflect a little more of this style.

I decided early on in the process to use the colors of the Nantucket style without the beach vibe. It's not that I wouldn't want a little beach house on the coast. Quite the contrary. That would be my idea of heaven, but I have found over the years that I've been unsuccessful when I've tried to push a certain style in my home that is not reflective of its natural surroundings. Let me explain. Years ago we went to Hawaii and I brought back items for my home that would have looked fabulous in a cabana on the beach, but lacked a little something in the foothills of the Colorado mountains. Then we went to Mexico and I brought back maracas. Try as I might I couldn't force those maracas to look good in my countrified home. You get the picture. I've learned I don't have the talent to subtly bring in an element that doesn't jive with the "mile high atmosphere" in Colorado. I'm sure it can be done, I just don't have enough talent to do it. So, I took the colors from the Nantucket style and (sadly) left the oceanic theme behind.

Paint choice. For a bedroom, I always choose my bed linens first, and they determine the colors, including the paint, for the rest of the room. Early on in the redecorating process I found the bed linens (below) at Marshalls. Bedspread - $39; Shams - $12 each. Color - perfect. Style - love it! Price - couldn't be beat. The color in this bedspread reminds me of the color of the ocean in Cozumel -- the most fabulous aqua color in the world. (These photos don't do it justice.) Love the stark white background and the black outlines too.

Once I had the bed linens, I could choose the wall colors. Going along with the "Nantucket" theme, I chose white for the ceiling and three walls with a very light aqua for the accent wall. The color black is an accent color in the room, as well. The two paint colors I finally settled on were Behr "Snow Fall" and Ralph Lauren "Organza." I picked up the paint chips at Home Depot and then high tailed it over to Walmart for the paint. I've heard over the years about a million times that its better to buy a more expensive paint than a "cheap" one. Usually it's the salespeople at the more expensive stores telling me so. However, no matter what kind of paint I've bought over the years ... cheap or expensive ... I've always had to put two coats of paint on the walls, so I figure I might as well buy less expensive paint. I had the girl match the paint on the chips, and each gallon cost me about $12. Sweet. For the accent wall I wanted the aqua color to be subtle, so I chose a color I liked and then went two shades lighter. I've learned it's better to err on the side of caution in regard to paint. Here is a lousy photo of the three colors of paint in the room -- black, white, and aqua...

Now that the colors of the room were established my husband and I started looking for furniture. All my kids are grown and living on their own, so I try to keep all the guest bedrooms "minimal." I don't even need dressers in the rooms anymore -- even though a couple of the rooms do have dressers. I wanted to furnish this room with a queen bed and headboard, two nightstands, and a desk that could substitute as a changing table for the grandkids if need be. Minimal. I wanted lots of room for suitcases and all the other "stuff" the kids bring with them when they come for a visit.

My husband and I looked high and low for two nightstands and a headboard. Seriously -- high and low. At first we found nothing but huge, chunky, Henry the VIII pieces of furniture. Not what I was looking for. I finally went to Crate and Barrel, Pier 1, and Cost Plus World Market to see what they had to offer. Did I mention I am a bargain shopper? I have a really hard time spending a lot of money on something that is used only a few times a year. Fortunately, I found great quality at a great price at World Market!

Headboard, $199 -- on sale. Love the smooth, sleek lines of this headboard ...

Nightstands, $139 each (on sale). These nightstands have an distressed feel to them that I love! Kind of a beach vibe without shouting "starfish." Know what I mean? Technically, they aren't nightstands at all, they are entry tables. I love a generous nightstand. One that you can place a few beautiful items on -- plus your glasses, a book, and other essentials. Little, dinky nightstands are not for me.

That's it for today. Stay tuned for more...