When I think of leisure, I think about bed. Where else in the world would you rather be on a cold, rainy day besides your bed? I love my bed! (Confession: I have been known to lay in bed and look at pictures of my bed). And why not? It's a thing of beauty. Plus it makes me happy. No one should ever settle on a bed that is anything less than their idea of perfection. If you are gonna spend some money, spend it on your bed.
The other day I captured the first of the morning sunshine spilling into our bed-cave, dusting it in the most glorious, dewy light. I didn't have to work that day, I didn't have to be anywhere for hours, so I climbed back in it with my coffee. Paradise.
To me, my bed is the epitome of cozy. It is also so sacred that I am hesitant to post it online. Is that weird? Yes? I thought so. I have online bed guilt and I don't know why. Maybe it's because beds are private. They are our most private places, after-all. But I figure hey, I spend hours surfing 'bed-porn' on Pintrest and none of that would be made possible if people didn't share their beds with strangers (pun-intended). So here is our bedroom, post-makeover. Wish I had before pictures, but alas, it was too sad to take pictures of and I didn't even think about it. When I moved in, Marc didn't have a bed frame and I couldn't stand his dresser and the mis-matched bedside table. It was a man-cave- but it was just stuff to him. He didn't care for any of it.
The quilt has lived at the foot of the bed all summer but just this afternoon when I crawled into bed feeling not-so-great, I had to pull it back out. The a/c came out today and just like that, it was fall- yay! I moved the lavender to the dresser and I have added the most essential feature to a bedroom: a diffuser. I asked Marc to get me one for my birthday and the ones at Sage are beautiful. They look like a ceramic vase so they work with any decor (they also come in white). I drink tea 24/7 and I use my diffuser every day so coasters on the dresser are key. They are slate...not sure where Marc got them but they are lovely. Most everything else in our room was a gift or a second-hand score (besides the bedding- which has to be high quality).The quilt was a store-bought deal-10$ at Sears years ago. I do love quilts, especially if they have history or are handmade. Favourite bedroom decorations: a shell from my bestie that she found in the ocean and gave to me when I was sick and stuck in a hospital bed in Montreal, and a framed vintage photo of my Nana on the beach from my sister. Most loved piece of art was found on the side of the road in Montreal and is an old poster ad for a show at the Musee de Beaux Arts from the 70's (pictured in first pic beside the mirror). My style is classical, vintage, boho-chic. Or something like that.
We don't have enough shelving to store all my books. Pintrest tipped me off on this great idea: just stack them. By the bed. However you want. You can't go wrong with books (or plants, by the way- the last thing our room needs). I love being surrounded by my books. Books are my favourite thing and I think they look beautiful stacked. Very bohemian. Shelves can wait.
The most challenging aspect of decorating this apartment has been the carpet that covers the entire upstairs. It is a hideous brown thing- maybe a rattan. (I'm no carpet expert. Give me wood). I pinned some great articles about covering carpet with rugs. I looked into rugs, I even bought a white shag one but it was too small so I put in the girls room. Those things aren't cheap, especially the nice ones. Our local wellness centre a few doors down was moving and was giving away a ton of stuff. I grabbed a bunch of great finds, but this rug, which was rolled up and ready for the taking, was way too heavy for me lift. I called Marc, who was working from home but he refused to come. He didn't want a throw-away rug. But this wasn't just any throw-away rug, I pleaded. It was a 10"10 woven throw-away rug and it was clean (I asked). Plus it would have been so expensive brand new! He still refused. So feeling defeated, I left it. Later that night, Marc asked me what I was thinking about and my answer was "that rug." "Fiiinnnneeee" he sighed. If it was still there, he agreed we could take it. It was! It is so big that it almost covers the entire brown monster underneath. I adore it. It adds the boho, mid-century modern look that I was going for. Thrift for the win, always.
The bedroom set was also a second-hand find. It's all teak and I got the bed frame, dresser and bedside table for 2 hundred. If you know teak you would probably agree that it was a steal. You just can't find decent prices for second-hand teak anymore, now that it's so popular. It needed a lot of love. It probably lived in a kids room because it was covered in little hand prints (which creates a sticky oil that is difficult to get off). It came from our next door neighbour. We didn't know them but they sold their house and everything in it in one big house sale. From our kitchen window we saw some other great teak pieces being carried out so we booted on over. I bought this set right away and it was so convenient, I just had one of their movers help Marc carry it upstairs while I scooted to the bank and it was mine. Then I had to figure out how to clean it. I had never cleaned teak before.
I found this oil at the local hardware store and it worked like magic. Just a basic teak furniture oil, but it finished it up lovely after a good scrub. Marc tried to get some white paint off of the headboard and ended up scratching it and leaving a stained spot that was much lighter than the rest of the wood. The oil restored it so well that you could only notice it if you were looking for it. Also, one night I set the diffuser and forgot to add the top piece. I didn't realize until the next day that it had leaked all over the dresser. I freaked! Luckily the oil restored that water stain to where you can barely see it. It works like a charm.
The last part is our sunny window alcove where Marc has his desk. He can work from home and thankfully he has a gorgeous old desk that I love (and that I damaged by putting a plant on- oopps). I begged him to get a new chair which he did (his old one was falling apart). He also had some broken blinds on the windows that I always hated (yes, I have been a difficult girlfriend to move in with, but I make no apologies because it's so much nicer now!) We found some nice, white, black-out curtains and the last thing I want is a little hanging garden in there and then it will be done.
Through this I've learned that decorating as a couple is so much harder then when I was single. You have to work together and in my case, I had to work around major elements that I never would have encountered on my own (carpet, for example. Carpet was always a renting deal breaker for me). When I moved in with Marc I had to adjust, work with what we had, and to change my perspective. I had to just be greatful for what we did have, instead of what I wished we had. I had to put my beloved bed in storage, including all of my art and books and things so that I could live here with him and his 2 young daughters (and all of their stuff). I missed my things. I really need to be surrounded by what I love but there just wasn't the room at first. His entire life was still in boxes in the hallway. I remember when we talked on the phone the first time after we met, he warned me about his apartment. "It isn't cozy. Don't judge me." (Impossible) but actually, I was impressed. It was clear that a man lived here. A real man. A man that clearly adored his daughters. A man who boiled cinnamon sticks to scent the place before I arrived (I would later find out...swoon). This guy had promise. He had plants and he could cook. He didn't like the way I did the dishes and I liked that. He loves his cookware, and he has a stellar container collection. He will be embarrassed that I wrote that but he knows I think that his love for all things kitchen is one of the sexiest things about him. Any woman would be silly not to love a man who knows his way around the kitchen. Also, this man has been changing diapers for 13 years and yes, he hates it. But he has a little girl with special needs (who we can't get potty trained for the life of us) and he parents in a way that I just adore. So yes, I found a stand-up man and all of this is to say that I would have moved into a cardboard box with this guy if it meant we could be together. I have never been happier.
Having said that though, we still have opposite tastes. He wants a condo downtown, I want a house in the country. His happy place is New York, mine is a cabin in the middle of the woods. He would rather stick needles in his eyes than stay home on a Friday night and I would rather throw myself down the stairs then go to a bar. His soul is 23 and mine is 83. Still, we make it work. (I keep having to remind him that Paula Abdul was right when she said that opposites attract). Decorating a space with a partner can be tough. We are our own people, and I like that about us.
I love this idea of a 'love corner' that I read about on apartment therapy. Choose a corner and post up a picture, a note, a framed a memento, something to remind yourself everyday of who it is you choose to share your nest with. A simple love shrine, if you will. Ours is a framed valentine's day card from our first year together. Anything that says sentiment, I am there.
Hope you enjoyed, reader! Happy nesting!