When I’m helping people design and decorate their homes, one thing I run into over and over again is people who want the most perfect and beautiful house right this very second. Well, don’t we all? Rarely do I work with people that have that kind of budget, however. In a dream world we’d all have about $50,000 sitting in a bank account with “house remodel” written all over it. That’s just not the reality for most people. Loving your home just takes patience.
Luckily, Shane and I can have a little less patience since we are DIYers and can stretch our budget a lot further by doing things all on our own. It still takes patience even on our end, though. Having the space of your dreams isn’t an overnight thing. Unless, of course, HGTV knocks on your door. In that case you might be about to get the house of your dreams overnight! Let’s come back to the real world, though…the world of slowly budgeting renovations, quality pieces of furniture, and beautiful decor. Is it ideal? No, but that’s just the way is goes.
Our bedroom is a perfect example of this “real world, snail speed” decorating. I love our bedroom. It finally feels like a space that is totally us and that I love, but it certainly didn’t happen over night.
Let’s take a little trip down memory lane to see just how much this space has evolved.
We started with a full scale renovation…patching walls, custom closets, a beadboard ceiling to cover the ugly stomp ceilings, new paint, new blinds, new light fixtures. This part of our bedroom did go pretty quickly. We did all the dusty, dirty renovation all at once. It was good to get that done and out of the way quickly. Although, I would have liked to have done it about 4 years earlier, but it just wasn’t in the budget until a couple of years ago. It was hard to wait, but let me tell your why I’m glad I was forced to be patient…. I’m a firm believer that you have to really live with a space for a while before you know what your exact needs are. Had we renovated the bedroom a few years ago, I’m not sure we would have done it the same way. We wouldn’t have known what our needs really were for that space at that time. Being patient really does pay off.
Right after the renovation the bedroom looked like this.
We basically put back all of the stuff we already had. It wasn’t that time to go out and buy new bedding, a new rug, or a bed. We had just put money into getting the room renovated.
We didn’t even have a dresser for a time. We just had a pile of decor I would have liked to have used if there were any surface at all to set it on.
Once it became clear that the closet doors weren’t coming anytime soon, I hung some curtains. It was at that same time that my impatience got the best of me and I demanded that Shane make a bed in a weekend. I spent no time really thinking about what I wanted for the space and we let our decision be dictated by a tiny budget and time restraints. This is a BIG decorating no no. When it comes to big ticket items like beds…do your research. Decide what you really want, then be patient enough to save and wait for it. This headboard we made just didn’t work for us in the end. We didn’t spend much on it, but we did waste some money and some time on it. Had we just been patient we could have avoided that.
Once we decided that headboard wasn’t working for us at all, we went back to no bed and I played around with some different very cheap curtains. I was having trouble catching a vision for the room, mostly because I wasn’t willing to spend the money on the room yet. At this stage of the bedroom we were spending money renovating our living room, dining room, and kitchen. These were spaces that were a lot more important to me. Any changes I made in the bedroom were dirt cheap or mostly free. Our house budget was being completely drained by the kitchen, and that was ok. You have to prioritize when budgeting. I did sneak in a color change once we had white walls in the living room in kitchen. It wasn’t until those rooms were white that I realized how much I appreciated the bright light that lighter walls provided. My gut said to paint our bedroom white too, but I hadn’t sold Shane on the white vision just yet. He pushed to have at least one room that wasn’t completely white. I gave in, but I should have went with my gut since ultimately I painted it white. Now Shane loves all the white in our house.
My dad gave us a dresser, (Who doesn’t love free?!) and I bought some frames to go around the TV. We also switched out the chair for a chair we had been using in the dining room, but we decided we didn’t want them in the dining room anymore and would prefer them in places they were seen a little more.
I then played around with some more bedding we already had.
I then decided to paint our dresser white. I had kind of wanted to all along, but I was patient and lived with it as it was for a bit. I’m really proud of myself for that! By the time I finally painted the dresser white I was certain that’s what it needed! the door got painted black to match the doors in the rest of our house and the walls all got a coat of bright white!
By this time we were ready to actually spend some money on our bedroom, but I did it slowly. I didn’t just go out and buy everything at once. I really think buying things one at a time and building and playing off of each piece as you get it really works best. I first looked for a bed. I knew I didn’t want to spend much money, but I wasn’t willing to compromise what I wanted either. I had almost given up and decided to wait out buying a bed a bit longer when I found this bed online at Target. It’s was down to $200 from $400 and WAY cheaper than anything else I could find, but it still didn’t feel like a compromise. That’s important. Don’t spend money on compromises! If it isn’t what you want wait until you can buy what you want.
I had planned all along on getting new bedding for our bedroom. We were using sheets I had bought at Goodwill (They were new in the package don’t worry.) and a too small queen size comforter we already had on our king size bed. I’m glad I waited until the bed came in before I bought bedding, though. The bed was a bit different in color than I expected. Had I bought the bedding before I had the bed and saw it in the space, I might have bought something different.
I bought the new bedding and played around with new curtains behind the bed. I really bought the curtains for the nursery, but since we haven’t put that together yet I thought I would see how I felt about white curtains in here. We also picked up the wall lights from IKEA. We slowly added layer by layer, and each layer we loved it more.
I bought the rug on major sale at rugsusa.com. We almost decided we didn’t like it, but luckily we waited it out and lived with it for a while. Each layer we added to our decor the rug felt more at home. At this point we were really starting to hit our stride. Once you have the budget to buy some main pieces like a bed and rug the rest comes together pretty easily and quickly.
I painted a couple of paintings on canvases we already had.
We added a sheep skin and finially got our closet doors on! (Which was in the plan all along. We just had to wait until we actually had time.)
Then I decided I wanted a bit more of a layered look and added textured curtains.
Then, we finally felt like things were close to done. Will our room ever be completely done? Probably not, but it is super close. Changes will be incredibly small from here on out, but things are ever evolving at our house, and that’s how it should be. The perfect space rarely happens overnight. It takes time and patience. Our bedroom took about a year and a half from start to finish to get it to where we really like it. So be patient. Make little changes at a time. Eventually you’ll get there!
Small things still on our bedroom list:
Of course we still have two closet doors left to go.
Build wood frames for the two paintings.
maybe switch out some of the white picture frames around the tv for some wood or textured frames.
Thinking about some fancy Anthropologie handles for the dresser to make it even more our style.
The two IKEA poufs at the foot of the bed will be going in the nursery so possibly a new bench for the end of our bed.