Door Room: Senior Year

It’s taken me awhile to post this year’s dorm room tour, but here it is!  I’m living in an on-campus apartment this year, but today I’m just going to share the bedroom I share with one roommate.  It’s quite small, definitely the smallest room I’ve had in my four years here.  That said, the wardrobes don’t fit in the bedroom and all 5 of us keep our wardrobes in the living room of the apartment.  It isn’t ideal, but at least the living room is big, and it works.  (Also, I apologize for the poor-quality photos- at this point I just didn’t want to wait to take better ones)
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe bed sits against the wall, and I store a bunch of stuff underneath the bed.  My dresser stands next to my bed.  I store my lotions and such on top of the dresser.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAbove my bed is a photo collage that I’ve added to throughout the year.  There is a small nook between my bed and my desk, which is where I put my hamper, garbage, and yoga mat.  Above those are my whiteboards/bulletin board.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe top whiteboard/bulletin board is where I keep a bunch of inspirational quotes, as well as a countdown to my Peace Corps departure (only 103 days- eek!).  Below that is a calendar for all of my school-related stuff and some of my jewelry storage.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy desk has a double shelf on top, which I love!  On the side of my desk, I used command hooks to hang a clipboard and smaller whiteboard.  On the wall by the door is my Katie Daisy calendar- which I love!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn the shelves, I keep photos in frames, a few of my ceramics, my journals and sketches, and such.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s another view, where you can see the bulletin/whiteboards to the right.  I still want to hang something above the desk, but haven’t figured out what yet.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe top of my dresser.  For awhile, all of my lotions and such were just randomly scattered all over the top, but I finally got a little basket to corral everything.

So, there you go!  Hopefully, I can get some photos of the rest of the apartment up soon.

Bedroom Makeover Reveal!!

About two years ago, I decided my bedroom was in need of a major overhaul.  I painted it, and then it sat, waiting to be finished, until this past week!  I am so, so happy with it, even though my original vision is quite different from what I ended up with.  After many long months and hard work, I finally took some photos to share.

Without further adieu….

2015-07-20 15.37.39To remind you what it looked like before, here is a photo of a similar view:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs much as I loved the yellow, it was a bit much, and the arrangement of the furniture made the room feel really big and empty.  I painted the walls a light blue (I was really going for more of a mint color, but I ended up with a light blue, which ended up working out just fine).  I also painted the ceiling a slightly darker shade of blue than the walls.  I then rearranged the furniture, eventually settling on putting the bed in front of the window.  2015-07-20 15.15.22
Because the room has slanted walls, the only place for the bed that really made sense was to center it on this wall, which meant placing it in front of the window.  I made some curtains from fabric I got on clearance at JoAnn Fabrics.  To make the bed seem less awkward in front of the window, I hung the curtains so that they would be wider than the bed.

2015-07-20 15.16.57This is the view of the room as you enter from the hallway.  Instead of nightstands on either side, I utilized the flat wall (there are only 2 in the room) by placing a desk on one side and a small dresser on the other.  You can also see the ceiling in this photo.   Because the ceiling is such a narrow strip, I didn’t want it to stand out.  I considered painting it the same color as the walls, but thought that might be a bit much of one color, so I painted the ceiling a shade darker than the walls.  I really like how it looks.

2015-07-20 15.18.42The desk is rather petite.  My dad and grandpa refinished it for me when I was a little girl, so it means a lot to me.  The desk top was getting rather crowded, so I mounted a couple of small wooden boxes to the wall to create little shelves that can hold pens, markers, and other odds and ends.  The chair is a simple dining room chair that I painted a beautiful dark charcoal color.

2015-07-20 15.22.52On the other side of the bed is a small glove-drawer dresser.  This was one of the biggest projects I did for the room.  I got this dresser for free from a neighbor.  Although very solid, it had been stored in a barn for quite some time, so it was grimy and had lost a lot of its luster.  I cleaned it up, painted it a bright yellow (my favorite color) and added ceramic knobs.  I am SOO happy with how it turned out.  Above, my junior and senior prom pictures flank a flower painting that my great-grandmother painted.

2015-07-20 15.24.49This corner is my favorite part of the room.  I love the way the bright yellow looks next to the curtains and the black bed.

2015-07-20 15.25.53Here you can see how everything works together.  The bed was another big project.  I knew I wanted an iron bed in here so that the light from the window wasn’t blocked, but my bed is a full, so I ran into a lot of trouble finding one that would work.  My dad was rummaging around in the garage of his office building (he owns a real estate business) and found this frame.  We measured it and it was a perfect fit!  It needed a lot of scraping and sanding to remove the old, flaking lead paint.  Then I spray-painted it a glossy black.  I can’t believe how nice it looks now!

2015-07-20 15.27.52This shows the wall to the left of the door as you walk in the room.  Because of all of the weird angles of the room, the closet was actually built into the room, which creates the bump-out you can see here (it doesn’t look too bad on the outside, but the closet has some super weird angles on the inside from the various roof lines meeting).  The small slice of wall to the right of the closet door is the perfect place for an antique mirror.  The closet is very small and has very short, slanted ceilings, so it cannot hold longer dresses.  I bought an over-the-door hanger several years ago in the hopes that I could hang dresses inside the closet, but the door won’t shut with it there, so the dresses hang outside the door.  They actually give the room some nice color, so I really don’t mind it. The chest to the right of the closet is actually my brother’s.  It is a family heirloom.

2015-07-20 15.28.15Because there are only two walls that artwork can be hung on, I wanted to make sure I took advantage of them.  This wall holds my dresser and a gallery wall.  I’m really happy with how it turned out.

2015-07-20 15.28.25This corner is my reading corner.  A simple butterfly chair is a very comfortable spot to read.

2015-07-20 15.29.41The closet also creates this little nook.  A small bookshelf holds my shoes and some board games and the top functions as my vanity area.  A wire hung with thumbtacks is the perfect place to store my earrings, and a hook holds my necklaces.  The beautiful painting was done by one of my super-talented college friend, Jess.

2015-07-20 15.31.27The right side wall holds my large bookshelf and some artwork.  The shelf was a perfect find by my parents many years ago.  It fits right under the slanted walls and holds a lot of books.  I painted it black several years ago.

2015-07-20 15.32.28I love the bright pop of color the books on the shelf add.  The bookshelf also holds my turtle collection, two of which you can see here.  The Hogwarts crest was a painting I did in middle school and it sits next to a print I made in a printmaking class at college.

2015-07-20 15.37.07The same wall, looking the other way.

2015-07-20 15.45.28One of the things I love most about the room is the large skylights.  With only one regular window, they make a big difference and flood the room with light, especially in the summer (during the winter, they sometimes get covered with a bunch of snow).

I am so, so happy with how the room turned out (even if it took me two years to finish!).  The best part is that I spent very little on the transformation.  I think all in all, including paint, the room cost under $200.  The biggest expenses were on paint for the walls and ceiling, spray paint for the bed, and paint and knobs for the yellow dresser.  The only other things I purchased were a few yard sale frames, a curtain rod ($3 from Dollar General!), and fabric for curtains (maybe $15 on clearance).

Wood floors will be installed in the entire upstairs of the house, which will take care of the only part of the room I dislike- the ugly, 30-year-old, dust allergy inducing carpet.  Woohoo!  I really can’t wait (I’ll be sure to share pictures with the new floors…someday).

And just one last before and after to show the transformation (sorry, can’t help myself!):Bedroom before and after

Dresser Makeover- Part I


I’ve been hard at work trying to finally finish my dresser makeover.  You know, the one I talked about well over a year ago?  I got an old dresser from a neighbor for free.  It was filthy but I could tell it was solidly built and I really liked the size and shape of it.  For the past year, I’ve spent 15 minutes here and there attempting to sand it down to the natural wood.  I’m not sure what kind of paint/stain was used on it, but it was taking forever.

I’ve been thinking for awhile that I really wanted a pop of bright yellow in my bedroom.  I came across an image of a yellow buffet in a dining room, and I loved it.  So I decided to paint the dresser instead of refinishing it by sanding it completely down and staining it.  After all, if I was willing to sand it down now, I can always strip it and get it back down to the natural wood in the future if I want.

Painting it also seemed like an easier option for now than what I was originally planning.  I washed the drawers really good the other day, but the dresser has been on the second floor of our garage/barn for the past year, so I was unable to get the actual dresser down on my own.  I figured my sister could help me get that down this morning, but she refused to help because the stairs are super steep and narrow.  Being the stubborn person I am (and making me realize how like my mother I am), I decided that was going to get that dresser down on my own.  Which was very possibly insane.  I told angrily told my sister that if I wasn’t back in the house in fifteen minutes to call the ambulance, and then proceeded to drag the dresser carefully down the stairs.  It wasn’t easy (and definitely not smart), but I did get it down all in one piece (and without injuring myself).  I’m waiting for it to dry now after I hosed it down, and then on to the actual painting!  Stay tuned for the actual makeover post!

Bedroom Makeover: Gallery Wall


Note: The sun shone very little the three weeks I was home and I won’t be able to get better pictures until I’m home again in February, so the colors here are a little bit off.  The wall is a bit more saturated and a bit more green and the colors of the artwork is a little off as well.  I will try to share better pictures at some point (maybe when I do the full bedroom reveal).

Wayyy back, I mentioned that I was going to do a bedroom makeover.  I painted my room and rearranged it, and then it sat unfinished for about over a year.  It’s not done yet, but I finally completed one of the major projects- the gallery wall on the wall of the door.  My room has slanted ceilings, so there are only two walls where it is really possible to hang artwork.  Because of this, I decided that the wall my bed faces would be a gallery wall.  I’m still toying with the idea of making the opposite wall a gallery wall as well, but we’ll see.

Gallery Wall in Progress

This gallery wall has been a very long process.  I started with the large map of Madrid, which has been there for awhile, along with the Jazz Festival poster.  Then added a couple more pieces.   Then some more.  Then rearranged much of it.  I am happy to say it is now complete!  There is one space I’d still like to eventually fill, but it looks fine as is (I think I’m just a little OCD so something that’s not quite balanced looks off to me).  I’m pretty happy with it!

Most people recommend gathering all the pieces you want to use, arranging them, then putting them up.  That is NOT how I went about this.  I simply added as I found the right piece for the right space on the wall.  It worked for me, but also meant that I sat with a half-finished gallery wall for many, many months.  I really wanted everything on the wall to be meaningful or something I really loved, so I didn’t want to purchase anything new for it.  I’ve had the Paris poster (framed), Madrid map, and Jazz Festival poster for a really long time.  They are some of my favorite pieces (I got the Paris poster from A.C. Moore probably 8 years ago, I got the Madrid map from a church rummage sale for a couple dollars, and the Jazz Festival poster was a gift from a friend who attends most years- her mom is from Montreal).  The yellow flower painting and bird embroidery piece were given to me from my grandma and were created by my great-grandma (and namesake).  I made three of the pieces (the dress embroidery piece, the truck etching, and the nude painting).  I’m sure a lot of people wouldn’t want a nude on their bedroom wall, but it doesn’t bother me (and it’s not like it’s in the living room).  The small wooden cross was a gift from one of the ladies at church who is very dear to my family.  The spoons were a Christmas gift this year from my grandma and are family heirlooms.  It was really tough to pick the photos.  I settled on a photo of my brother and I with three of our close family friends.  In the frame with three photos, I chose a photo of my grandma and my mom as a little girl.  People always say I look a lot like my mom and I can definitely see the resemblance in this photo (it’s also just one of my favorites).  I included a photo of my mom and I at a similar age and a photo of me around the same age that I also love.

Here’s the before (before ANY of the makeover started) with the after (all of my before photos are on my computer at home, so this is the best before shot I could find):

Before and AfterMuch better, right? I can’t wait to share the rest of the room (although, to be honest, it will probably be awhile before everything’s finished.  I still need to refinish a bed and dresser and figure out the artwork on the wall opposite this)!  I’m really happy with how this turned out.  By the way, if you noticed things look a little crooked above the dresser, the dresser is actually what is crooked, along with the entire floor (the entire room slopes towards the door).  Oh well!


Bedroom Makeover Sneak Peek

We’re going to take a little break in the Peru posts to share a couple of sneak peeks of my bedroom makeover.  Wayyyy back (last summer), I shared that I was going to redo my bedroom.  Last summer, I made some progress (painting, gathering artwork, figuring out a new layout), but it still had a ways to go.  It’s not quite done right now, but I’ve made some pretty big progress in the past couple of days and I couldn’t wait to share it.

The original plan was to keep the same furniture but change out a cabinet for a different dresser.  I ended up needing some additional storage, so I actually ended up adding two smaller pieces of furniture.  I’m not sure if either will be permanent, but I kinda like them so far, so they might stay.


I also finished dusting/styling the bookshelf (it’s really pretty much the same as before).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m really happy with the progress I’ve made in the past week and can’t wait to finish the room up!  I still need to hang artwork, figure out storage, and finish redoing the dresser that is replacing the cabinet.  To see the before photos, check out this post.