Bedroom Update

Ok, so I mentioned in my last bedroom post that I am planning to do a gallery wall on the wall with my window, which will surround my bed, little dresser, and desk.  However, there was one problem.  I don’t really have much artwork other than my own.  I wouldn’t mind putting a couple of my pieces on the wall, but I didn’t really want to fill it up with all of my artwork, especially since my artwork doesn’t really fit the look I am going for in the space.  And let’s face it, it’s expensive to buy art.  Although I certainly could try to find artwork I love at local antique stores and thrift stores, my area doesn’t really have much of that.  And of the various lawn sales I went to over 4th of July weekend, I didn’t see a single piece of art.  So it appeared that artwork to fill this space might be a bit of an issue.

This afternoon, I went to my grandparents’ after work.  I try to stop by several times each week.  When I was there, I went up to their bedroom to check out some new books my grandpa had gotten at a book sale at our local library.  There was a painting on the wall that I had never noticed before.  I mentioned that I really loved it, and my grandma said she’d put my name on the back of it so I can someday inherit it.  Then she took me into one of the other bedrooms, where she had several other works of art and photographs.  She wasn’t really ready to part with any of that, but she remembered she had a basket full of her mother’s flower paintings under the bed.  She took them out and said I could have any that I wanted.  There ended up being several that I absolutely love.  They are mostly practice paintings, but they are quite amazing for a woman who was never trained as an artist and didn’t start painting until pretty late on in her life.  I was especially drawn to the ones with yellow in them.  Most of them are in excellent condition, but a few are stained.  There was also one embroidered piece, which I also love.  I’ll have to frame them, but I’m so excited to have these for my gallery wall!

In addition to finding the perfect art for the room, I have also made some progress on the painting side of things.  The ceiling has been painted (a moody blue/green/gray), and the tree that I had previously painted on my wall has been primed over.  I have also spackled the many holes in the walls, sanded, and taped off some of the molding in preparation for painting the walls.  My paint has been purchased, and now I just have to find the time to paint!  Hopefully that will occur soon, because all of my furniture is currently crammed into half of the bedroom, and my bed is surrounded, so it isn’t really the most ideal situation for getting into my bed easily.  Patience is a virtue, right?

Project: My Bedroom

There are two rooms that I’ve decided to focus on improving and redecorating this summer: my bedroom and our backroom (which is a combination mudroom/laundry room/craft room).  For both of these rooms, the decorating is going to have to happen one step at a time.  The bedroom I am doing to my preferences, but the backroom is shared by the whole family, so I’m working with my mom (and dad and the rest of the family too!) to decide what to do in there.  We’ve already started some stuff in the backroom, but my bedroom has been untouched so far.


The first step will be to repaint the room.  My bedroom has slanted walls/ceilings, with a narrow strip of a normal, flat ceiling.  It is currently a very bright yellow.  Although it is nice and cheerful, I’m ready for something a little more comfortable on the eyes.  Plus, when I eventually move out, the room will likely be a guest room, so it will be better on our guests’ eyes as well.  I moved into the room three years ago when my brother went off to college and my sister and I kicked him out of his room (he got another room…downstairs…with no doors, so don’t think we’re too terrible of sisters!), and I redid the room at that point.  I have decided to paint the room a soothing light mint/seafoam/sage color.  I want something with a little bit of blue and a little bit of gray in it.  The narrow strip of ceiling will be painted a few shades darker than the rest.  I am also planning to paint the inside of my bedroom door a charcoal color.  It is a faux wooden door (it’s the one on the left in the picture below) and it is right next to the closet door, which is real wood, so I’m hoping painting it will make it seem less obvious that is isn’t real wood.


The next step will be rearranging and changing up the furniture.  For the most part, I’ll be using the same furniture, but will be rearranging almost everything.  I am replacing a flimsy cabinet with a small wooden dresser (which I am currently refinishing) and I’m hoping to find a simple iron headboard, but otherwise, the furniture will be the same.


After a lot of consideration, I’ve decided to move my bed in front of the window.  It’s the only way I can have a real headboard due to the slanted walls/ceilings, plus it will make things more symmetrical and fill the space better.  The little dresser (which will not be used for clothes, but for storage instead) will be to the left of the bed and my desk (which is quite petite) will be to the right of the bed.


My dresser is moving to the wall that the door is on. My bookshelf is the only thing not moving.  My brother keeps an old black (family heirloom) chest in my room, since his new room is small, and that will be placed at the foot of the bed as a bench.


The wall with my main window will become a gallery wall, surrounding the bed, window, desk, and dresser.  I am hoping to fill the entire wall.  I have a tall, thin poster which I think will look great on the back of my door (especially against the charcoal).


As far as projects, I need to paint the walls, ceilings, and door, I will likely have to paint the headboard once I find one, I would really like to make a clothing rack (my closet is very small and I would rather store more unsightly things in there instead of my clothes), I would like to come up with some cool, CHEAP way to “frame”/mount my posters, I need to make curtains, and I need to finish refinishing the little dresser (the “before” is above).

I am really excited to redo the room! I’m hoping everything works out to look the way I’m imagining in my head!

REAL Dorm Inspiration

In August, there was a plethora of ideabooks and blog posts about dorm room inspiration.  However, I was disappointed by them over and over.  They weren’t realistic or even possible.  They showed pictures of items such as curtains and large furniture, which aren’t allowed in most dorm rooms.  Dorm rooms are SMALL and there are very many room codes.  At my college, you can’t have curtains or fabric hanging up on the walls.  You have to be very careful not to damage walls or other surfaces, and you are stuck with the supplied furniture.  Not to mention that college students are usually completely broke.

So I decided to share a real-life example of a college dorm room: mine!  As I mentioned, there are a lot of things I can’t change.  I’m stuck with the furniture, the carpet, the ceiling, the lighting, the paint color, and the curtains.  Please note that I am only showing my half of the room, the other half is occupied by my lovely roommate Linh (she is one of the sweetest girls I’ve ever met!).

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Above is my bed/dresser area.  The quilt on the bed was made by me.  You can see my slowly growing collection of pictures on the wall- frames are nice, but not very cheap, so this is a college version of a gallery wall.  One tip I have for people heading to college is to bring lots of pillows- your bed is also your couch, so it’s nice to have support while you sit against the wall.  I know it’s a little hard to see, but the lamp clamps to my headboard, which saves a lot of space on top of my dresser.  You can also see a bin with books/notebooks/folders on the ground- this is where I keep all of my school stuff, because I do all of my work on my bed instead of at the desk.

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Here is another view.  You can see the couch/bed idea better here.  You can also see my hamper if you look close under the bed (it’s pink)- it has an opening on both the top and side, so it works perfectly under the bed, saving space in the wardrobe.  You can also see the back of my desk.

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This is a pretty bad picture, but this is the top of my dresser.  The turquoise box thing is an old record holder that my elementary school art teacher gave me while I was home over Christmas break.  I use it to corral paperwork, sketchbooks, some reading books, my journals, pencils, and other things I use on a regular basis for homework or on my bed.  On top of that is my mom’s old jewelry box, which my grandma let me take this summer.  It holds makeup (that I rarely wear), spare change, and other random stuff.  On top of that is my little (currently almost dead) plant that I received from my college friends for my birthday.  To the left of the record box is the beautiful frame one of my best friends from home gave me for graduation, which she painted herself.

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This is the ledge behind my bed- it houses a memory board that I use to store jewelry, my schedule, a couple of pictures, and my current (for the past 2 years) knitting project. The memory board is perfect for hanging jewelry without damaging the walls- all I did was use some sewing pins (at an angle) to hold the jewelry.

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This is the other half of my half of the room.  This part houses my fridge, desk, and wardrobe.

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Here’s my desk (sorry for the blurry image, the good one wouldn’t upload).  The chair (which was provided) is weird- it tilts back, making you think you’re going to fall.  The desk has a built in lamp under the hutch, which is actually very bright, so that’s cool.

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This is my wardrobe opened.  It holds my toiletries, shoes, some of my clothing, winter stuff, towels, etc.  The drawer holds what little food I have and some more clothes.  On top of the wardrobe, I store stuff I don’t use all that often (including my butterfly chair).

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And here is my shoe storage- it’s not the best, but at least they are corralled and they aren’t getting anything else dirty.  And yes, this is really all of the shoes I own.  And all of the clothes, for that matter.

So, there you have it- a REAL college dorm.  At some point, maybe I’ll convince some of my friends to let me share their rooms as well.

And I know, 2 posts in one day is pretty impressive for me! I’ll try to post more regularly.

Have a lovely evening!!

P.S. No, my room is not always quite this clean and organized.