Category Archives: Master Bedroom

Master bedroom makeover: The ugly beginnings

Almost a year ago, I showed you our master bedroom in it’s best looking state – rather embarrassing to say the least. But now the demo is done and I’m excited for the ideas floating in my head and can’t wait to show you an after that will erase all memory of how it has looked for almost 4 years. Yep, we do things slowly!

First to happen was removing the old sliding door that we never bothered to slide across because it was such a cranky old thing. Now we have a glossy white hinged door and despite it missing a door handle it’s still pretty awesome! A door on your bedroom after four years is a big deal.

Note: These next few photos most accurately show the current colour of our bedroom, and believe it or not… it was once worse. Just wait…!

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(A saw hanging in your front entrance… totally normal)0508_0013So with that done, I was itching to get stuck into the wallpaper. I just had to know how easy it was going to come off.
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Short answer: not that easy. So I ignored it for a few more weeks.

But then we finally moved out into the “green bedroom” and the excuses weren’t cutting it anymore!

So, here’s what we “started” with this time last week. An empty room with beige painted bubbling wallpaper, ugly light fittings and a behemoth of a useless wardrobe. (Plus a spare bed that has nowhere else to be, and a writing bureau that is awaiting its fate on Trade Me.)
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It’s a good feeling to use a hammer and a crowbar on a room you have no attachment to, despite sleeping in it for years! And despite Andre’s nervousness about me wielding such tools, he showed no reservation when he came home last Thursday and saw I’d got started. He was into it and there was nothing left for me to do…0508_0970 0508_0975 0508_0997

…but sweep up the mess. Don’t let this next photo fool you. Neither of these two did any sweeping (I just caught them having a very short-lived sweeping lesson), although to be fair, the little one did a great job of helping me cart all the pieces of timber and gib out to the trailer.

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But that’s where all the fun ended. Because now we have the mammoth task of getting all that nasty twice painted wallpaper off.

But first – something else a little scary ugly.

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Not only is our room now a hideous apricot-beige, but prior to that it was purple… complete with glow stars. I can only hope it was once a young girls room. Before that it appears it was green, and originally it was wallpapered with storks (thankfully stripped by some poor previous owner, but we found a remnant stuck under the sliding door pelmet).

But we are moving on!

This room is in the least sunny corner of the house, and is therefore a bit damp and icky. So without going into too much revolting detail, in the extra icky parts like the back of the wardrobe and by the south side window the wallpaper came off super easy. No spraying, scraping or picking required. But fortunately/unfortunately (I can’t decide which because the first means less mould, the second means endless hours of work) in the rest of the room the paper appears to be well stuck and it’s a tedious process of removal. Which is why we’ve buried our heads in the sand not made much progress.

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The problem with painted wallpaper is it’s completely sealed and no amount of spraying any kind of solution is going to work until it’s given a way to seep into the backing of the paper. So the theory goes.

This strange looking tool is called a Paper Tiger and it’s specific purpose is to score the wallpaper so whatever you spray on will penetrate beneath the paint.

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At this point I can say it is definitely doing it’s job. The spray is getting under the paper. So far we’ve tried a detergent/cold water spray (just because I always have a spray bottle of that sitting around for everything from ants to cockroaches) and a vinegar/hot water. But either the spray or our technique or some other force is working against us and the wallpaper is coming away in the smallest peelings. I have not yet had the satisfaction of grabbing one loose edge and hauling from top to bottom. It’s a sad state of wallpaper stripping.

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So either we try something else or we keep chipping away for years to come. Either way, I’ll let you know!

But here’s at least some progress for you. I present to you… all four walls, as of this morning:0508_1126 0508_1128 0508_1129 0508_1130
Guess what we’ll be doing this weekend?!

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Interim measures

I’ve been at it again… making ugly furniture into something a lot less ugly.

And this time it was easy! No dramas like that time with the kids table

But first, a little back story:

A few weeks ago I couldn’t help myself – I started picking at the wallpaper in our bedroom. I just wanted to know, y’know, how easily it was going to come off? Or not. So it’s uglier than ever and I hate it. But thinking ahead to the time when I’ll love it, I did that “Buy Now without consulting the husband” on Trade Me, and got us our first EVER piece of real furniture (that we haven’t built ourselves or amateurly upcycled from something awful) and it kinda set the ball rolling on a couple of other teensy updates that alllllmost make me forget the wallpaper for a second.

Here’s a little sneaky peek of our grown up furniture:

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I can’t show you any more than that because it gets ugly again if I zoom out!

And we hung a mirror! This is a big deal. We’re those people that hate putting holes in walls, because what if we change our minds?! But mirrors and 3M command hooks don’t do so well together. So… out comes the drill. And then, the strangest thing happened. Andre drilled straight into that wall – not once, not twice… but something like ten times! Hah! And still no stud/nog to hang that mirror on. I guess knowing you need to replaster a room sooner rather than later is a little liberating. So off to Bunnings to buy a wall anchor. Another big deal. Andre doesn’t do wall anchors.

But it appears that now he does and I’m very thankful. Because now I can see more than a reflection of my chin in this mirror.

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So now for the amateur upcycle of a watermarked and ugly old petticoat table project (because one piece of grown up furniture is enough for a few months). I shared this one on Instagram and got a little debate going about whether or not I should add some metallic bling. So… did I?

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No I did not!

I’ll tell you why in just a minute, but first here’s the pretty after photos (again, zooooomed in because you really don’t want to see any more).

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Since we sacrificed my bedside table to become the kids play kitchen I’ve been living with this nasty mdf and pine petticoat table, complete with lumpy and water-stained top.

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A quick sand, prime and painting of the top in high gloss white and it was looking a million miles better. But the question remained – what to do with the legs? Paint them white and dip them in coppery bling-a-ling? I wanted to. Oh I really did, but I also didn’t want to ruin the simple freshness of the white top and timber legs. A smart young Instagramming gal by the name of Katrina suggested painting just the edge of the table with copper.

So I did. At least I started to. But you can see in this quick repeat for a photo after I wiped the first attempt off in a panic that it just didn’t look good. Maybe it would have looked better with a couple of coats? My paint was just artists paint after all, not really designed for the job, but I just wasn’t liking the colour. It really clashed with the bare timber legs.

0415_3253 I tried another colour – bronze I think this one was called. And it was marginally better (less red) but still not enough that I let it dry!0415_3254So I’m sticking with white and like it rather more than I thought. This temporary fix up might end up hanging around longer than planned? Although I would prefer a drawer rather than the baskets for those little books and bits that collect around a bedside. We shall see…

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For now, I’m enjoying these small snippets of our bedroom, because we’ll be moving out soon and really getting stuck into that wallpaper stripping and wardrobe demo. If it rains on our pergola building plans over the next couple of (long!) weekends we’ll be right in here!

A few weeks in an “insta”

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Progress has been making slow headway around here, which makes for little blog content. But there’s always little bits of projects on the go that end up on Instagram (@duckeggblueblog). So I thought I’d share them here in case you don’t catch them there. And there are a few bonus pics that haven’t yet seen the light of day!

So… starting out the back which is our current priority, here’s progress in pictures:

0410_0208 0410_0213 0410_3149 0410_3158 0410_3195 0410_3198I’m aware that not much of this will make sense right now, but you have my promise it will in a few more weeks (here’s hoping the weather holds to and beyond Easter!).

Much to my delight we’ve also made a start on the master bedroom, finally replacing the cranky old sliding door with a more pleasant hinged option, and the nightmare of wallpaper stripping has begun…

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Besides this, I’ve set myself another six year deadline to get our travel albums completed. A few short weeks away is the day that six years ago we headed off on the adventure of our lifetime.

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As we lived the nomadic life there was a lot of talk about kids and houses and settling down – and suddenly here we are and I’m wondering if that “big OE” was really the adventure of a lifetime?! Every day is the adventure of a lifetime is it not?! In another six years, who knows… I might even be missing these days of endless demo and painting?

 

That grown-up feeling

If you’ve been a faithful reader (I thank you from the bottom of my heart!) for some time you’ll know we love colour in this house, but we have yet to actually paint anything in something braver than whites or greys (exterior).

Oh but I forget… our door!

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Nevermind that I’m really not besotted with that result and am considering something more… neutral.

But forget that for now. Because I’m mulling over something a little more dramatic for our master bedroom…

We’re not quite done out the back yet, but while one project is trucking along nicely I always have another one or two doing the rounds in my brain, and Andre especially likes to jump around from working on this to that and back again. So as much as I wish we could just pick an area and deal to it properly before moving on, it just doesn’t work out that way.

That’s the long way to say we’ve started on some master bedroom improvements and of course I can’t wait to make some more progress and share it with you.

If you want the bite sized bits and pieces of what we’re up to (like having some fun with steel tube while thinking of a pergola over our deck) you’re best off following along over at Instagram (@duckeggblueblog).

For now though, just feast your eyes on this grown-up goodness (all images below from my Pinterest bedroom board or click the picture for it’s original link)…

the design files

Dark (and Surprisingly Soothing) Bedroom Walls

Dark (and Surprisingly Soothing) Bedroom Walls

 

interior by jean liu

Do you get that moody-cosy-romantic-retreat kind of feeling? Or do you think it’s all rubbish and we should stick with light and crispy white for this pretty well sunless bedroom of ours?

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Hmmmm???

A curtain call

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Last week you got a peek of the curtains in the lounge when I got all summery and rearranged it, along with a promise that I’d share the bedroom ones real soon. Is now soon enough?!

I’ve done a bit of less than artful cropping, so my apologies for the substandard photos. I’m just really starting to get irritated by the ugliness slash junkroom-ness of the master and spare bedrooms, so I didn’t even want to see the worst bits through my viewfinder, let alone share them with you all. One day I’ll be excited to show you every little nook and cranny, but not just yet ok?

This is the spare bedroom… all pretty and light with those dreamish curtains over our black out blinds –

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At US$4.99 a pair, these are an absolute bargain, and the smile value for money is huge! Get yours here at Ikea. The only catch is having someone in the US (or Australia or the UK) to help you out with shipping them beyond the edge of the Ikea world to l’il old NZ.

Here’s how they look in the master bedroom:

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Oh I just can’t get over how much of a difference such a flimsy piece of material makes to not just the window, but the whole room. The way they filter the light… oh yes I could get poetic if you let me!

But how about I just show you a couple more close ups instead?

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Gorgeois! (pron. Gorge-wah)

You can see they are quite an open weave, which frightened me a little when I first saw them (like old 80s net curtains) but I’m well over that now, and actually they’ll go perfectly with my macrame plant holder (my eyes are peeled, watch out TradeMe!).

In case you missed the two part story of the DIY curtain rods, you can read it here and here.

By the way, wasn’t it quite the morning with Oracle bringing it to 8-8. I have butterflies and they’re not going anywhere until the final race is over. C’mon boys!

Pin of the day: Romantic florals

Summer Bouquet - Feltex Carpet - Riccarton Collection

What better place to land a little romance than in the bedroom? Feltex Carpets have a range of floral carpets called Riccarton Collection… More than just a nod to the good old days –  they’re downright old fashioned! But everything old is new again, and I do quite like this particular design, called Summer Bouquet. I’m wondering if I could talk Andre into a piece of it made into a giant rug in our bedroom…

What do you think? Love it or hate it? Of course, you’re welcome to go and see what else I have in mind for our bedroom here on Pinterest.

Note: Totally late with this post today, and yes I missed a couple last week too. My sincerest apologies… I’m kinda working on getting some more real (paid!) work going and the blog is taking a wee bit of a back seat right now. Plus Andre is super busy with work and there’s not a huge amount happening around the house! I will do my best to keep up, as it’s my idea of a good time, but some days… you know, we all have them – the things we love to do the most do tend to be last on the list!

 

Tidy up time!

Warning: It gets ugly in here…

There’s nothing like friends coming to live in your house to get you motivated about clearing out the hideous and embarrassing spaces in your home. Thanks guys!

First up was the worst space of all. A space that is probably the worst because it’s not one that gets shared too often. It’s one that visitors, and even extended family keep out of generally, even when the kids are persistently inviting them in to “come and see…”!

The master bedroom. The one that I was too frightened to share even on the Before & Progress page. Because there was no progress.

But last weekend I learnt that even a declutter and tidy up on a large scale can be called progress. This is it:

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This room has become a dumping ground for bits of projects, boxes of paperwork, endless blankets and pillows and cushion inners, and let’s be honest… piles of clothes that never make it to where they belong.

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May this cringe-worthy sight keep me motivated to work towards a master bedroom that is a pleasant place to be!

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As with any good tidy up, things look so much worse in the process. Not only did our bedroom look like a bomb had gone off, but the lounge and spare room got treated pretty badly too. I’m pleased to say the lounge is restored to normal again, but the spare room still suffers… Still some sorting to do there!

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So, here’s how we are looking now (I did get to sleep that night!):

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Tidy…! But there is not a single thing I love in this room. Except for these (temporary) flowers and the digital clock. Sad but so true. It is the least loved room in the whole house.

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After months of living in a room that was not only uninviting, but actually rudely obvious about not wanting to be habitable, it feels good to feel like we at least have a bedroom that is behaving like a bedroom should. We haven’t won it over yet by any means, but this little step of progress makes me feel like one day it might get all friendly and say “oh won’t you come on in and stay a while? – It’s peaceful in here!”

Cheers to unintentional but very strong encouragement to get things sorted, and to a clear space that allows you to see a way forward! Here’s my last thoughts on the way forward for this very important room.