Shit I Should Have Done Sooner: Bedroom Update

You know that moment where you get all of your painting gear out, pop the top on a brand new can of paint, and just before you go to roll it on the wall, realize you really should skim-coat the walls one more time if you want everything to look right? No? Is that just me? It’s probably just me.

I would be really excited to finally get to the painting and tiling stage in this bathroom, but it wasn’t meant to be last weekend. Too many new drywall joints too close together, and it has taken forever to finish them. So I didn’t paint the bathroom. But, you know, since I had the paint out…


So, here’s the thing. When I moved in to this house almost 3 years ago (3 years? That’s crazy right?) I told myself I would never, ever sleep in the upstairs bedrooms while there was still carpet in them. (I hate carpet. Obviously.) So for a while I slept in the entryway, and then I slept in the downstairs room that is now my office, and finally, finally decided that carpet is not the devil and moved one of the bedrooms upstairs.

It was supposed to be temporary.

(I need a t-shirt that says “it was supposed to be temporary” because it’s applicable to every ridiculous thing I’ve done in the last decade.)


This place is not a “bedroom.” This is the place where my mattress happens to be. There has been a red thumbtack shoved into the wall above my bed for the last two years that I’ve never removed because I’m not working on this room, you guys. I’m just sleeping here, okay?


Ugh. (Also, points if you can spot the cat in all of these pictures. He’s like the Where’s Waldo of my bedroom.)

I mean, it’s a really good-sized room, with really awesome windows, but the sum-total of the things I’ve done to it include: moving a mattress in, moving a bakers rack in to hold my clothes, storing some unused to drawers (that go to ikea dressers I never assembled), and then upgrading my mattress to a better mattress. That’s it.

But last Saturday morning I’ll be dammed if I didn’t take one look at those depressingly beige walls, then look at the paintbrush in my hand, then… well… you know what happened then.


I was determined not to turn this into another unfinished project, so I literally would not let myself go to sleep until the entire room (and most of the trim) had two coats of paint. Which means that the more and more tired I got, the more I did things like this…


And this…


And (on two separate occasions) this…


And, of course, while trying to balance with one foot on the step ladder and one foot on my mattress… this.


It was a looooong night.

Also, in the middle of all that painting I took some time to fix the window I cracked with my hard-ass head a few weeks ago…

Since I only had half a pane to work with and didn’t want to pull the whole window apart in 16-degree weather to take accurate measurements, I estimated the size of the piece of glass I would need to replace. Which ended up not being a great idea.


The window was out, and the replacement glass was about 1/4″ too long to fit in the opening. My options were to spend two hours putting the window back in, then driving from the middle of nowhere to Lowe’s to have another piece of glass cut, OR this…


I’ve always had this deep-seeded urge to make things, and back before I focused all that energy on building houses and/or farms, I did a lot of art. Painting. Ceramics. Metal casting. Lampwork. Stained glass.

As it turns out I’m a mediocre artist (a little better than average with some luck and alcohol, but on the whole… eh… ) but I’ll be dammed if a lot of those art-related skills can’t be transferred to house-related projects. Turns out digging up an old box of stained-glass tools? Totally gave me the ability to accurately score and snap this pane of glass and saved my window-pane-replacement project…


So… yay?

That was actually pretty awesome. After the whole plexiglass debacle related to the barn window, I did not expect this to go well, but it took about 15 minutes to find those tools that I packed away 7 years and two houses ago (and haven’t touched since) and cut the glass. Points for being a tool hoarder.


Then I fit the new piece of glass in place, bent the tiny little metal clips over to hold it there, and replaced the glazing on the entire window.


I’m not awesome at re-glazing windows yet, but I intend to be. For now I’m passable.


I’m also going to add “thorough window cleaning” to my 2015 list, because, uh, there’s a small difference between the new pane and the old here…

Until that happy day (sometime next summer), I’m just going to be glad that none of my bedroom window panes are made of cardboard. And since with the new window and new paint I’ve reached a whole new level of classiness in this room, I decided to add a few finishing touches.

One of them was this rug…


It’s been balled up in a closet awaiting the master bedroom remodel, and while it’s a little weird to put it on top of the ugly beige carpet… actually, no. Anything that hides that carpet is totally normal.

Protip: I’m talking to my dad at the same time I’m trying to roll that 8×10 carpet out under my king sized bed, and he was like, “well just put the bed up on some blocks and roll the carped under it.” Okay, so, I don’t think he meant “He-Man your bed up with one arm and drag a lawn chair that happens to be in your bedroom under it with the other” (big thank you to my trainer who has been making me lift awkwardly-heavy shit for the last 13 months despite my frequent protests, which allowed me to do that) but it still…


Don’t judge. It worked.

I also hung some curtains, and because the space between the curtains was looking a little bare, decided to put some of those other old art skills to work.

Actually, I opened a bottle of wine on a Friday night, and dug a blank canvas out of one of my closets…


And I decided to paint a bluebird. Except, as it turns out, I don’t have any blue paint in the house. So I did this instead…


I think it’s a wren? I googled “watercolor bird” and this was similar to some of the results.

And, this is right when I decided that using watered down acrylic paint to get a “watercolor effect” (with a canvas on an easel) was a bad idea.

Once I moved it to the floor…


This took about 90 minutes. The bird turned out okay, the branch is incredibly awkward, the placement and spacing on the canvas could have been a lot better. But, you know, for a bottle of wine and two hours of my life, I’m pretty happy with this thing.

And, in the end, instead of waking up in a room that looks like this…


I get to wake up in a room that looks like this…




(There’s a cat in that one. Because cats.)

Other than the rug, I bought a new nightstand (the Aiden end table from World Market) and replaced one of my glass jug lamps for this ceramic version (a hand-me-down from my grandmother, plus some spray paint.) And that was the sum-total of the changes to the room at this point.

This was a great side project. And a great lesson that “it’s just temporary” in my life means “you’re probably going to be doing this shit for a year or two” and I might as well just spend the time up front to turn those temporary spaces into sometime a little more awesome and functional.

My current bedroom still has a little bit of work (for clothes storage) in its current state, and–if the ongoing bathroom remodel is any indication–I’ll be staying in this room for at least another year before the master is done. But I’m still happy to have this room feel a little more “me” in the meantime.

28 Responses

  1. I think you should post a house tour! Not like all the fluffy perfect everyday I put everything away neatly blogs, but just a house tour. im having difficulty envisioning your entire square footage;)

    1. It’s a great idea. The last time I did a house tour video was when I first bought the place (you can see that here) but it’s time for an update!

  2. Your bird turned out great! Yes, it did much for the room. You draw well. I can kinda draw a stick man but like dancing, it takes more than a couple glasses.

  3. We have a black cat and dark brown floors (yeah, shoulda planned that better) so we just say he’s playing ninja and step carefully. He’s very trusting and awfully good at being a ninja.

  4. Love it!

    My husband and I rent a townhouse. I didn’t think we’d be here this long (over 6 years, renting places over 11 years), and so I waited to do things, like hang curtains, because this doesn’t feel like my home. We didn’t even have real bedroom furniture until 6 or 7 years of marriage, and it’s just IKEA. I finally threw my hands up this year, and (with landlord permission), started replacing hinges and doorknobs and door pulls, etc. because I couldn’t take it anymore. (Still no curtains.) It’s going to take forever, because every screw and hinge and switch plate in this house has been painted over, but in the mean time I have some nicer fixtures, which will also hopefully help our landlord rent the place when we finally move. (Stuff in this house is original…over 30 years old. And cheaply done to begin with.)

    Little things make a difference. Why did I wait 6 years?

  5. I’ll say it again ….
    You Are My Hero!
    It’s 2:09am. I can’t sleep. I’m so glad I have you to entertain (and teach) me …..
    Thank you

  6. Found cat on bed in 3rd and last picture! Looks like a comfy place now. Love your painting. If that is “eh” talent, I don’t think I can draw a stick figure! Great job, Kit.

  7. Genuinely laughed out loud at the face paint pic. I maintain it is impossible, nay, incorrect to paint a room without getting at least a little bit in your hair. How else do you show people the colour?

    The room does look great now though, and I’d love to see an updated video tour! You’ve worked damn hard, show it off!

  8. The room looks so good! And I’m jealous of your artistic abilities! I painted a canvas once… Lots of circles and dots. ha! I call it my abstract art.. 🙂 Also.. that t-shirt idea is a good one… We have been “temporarily” using an upper cabinet, turned on its side, as a base cabinet in our kitchen……. for the last year… 🙂

  9. Big improvement already! I really like the yellow bird with the yellow rug and the blue lamp. I also love the side table. I adore World Market, but am eternally devastated that they (along with practically everything cool) do not ship to Canada =(

    At least you only painted yourself – I remember during one of my many all-night painting marathons I stumbled sleepily off my ladder and knocked over the entire can of paint. Onto my non-tarp covered floor =O Dreadful.

    Have you ever been to any the bricks&mortar World Market stores in Michigan? I live about 4 hours away from Lansing/5 hours from Portage (both of which are actually closer than the drive to Ottawa, which I did every few months for years!), so I wonder if it might one day be worth a trip. I’ve never done over-the-border American shopping because I’m not massively interested in clothes (I have a fantasy Pinterest wardrobe instead) or electronics, but the home stuff? Sign me up.

  10. I – yes. To all of it. To the paint all over ones self, to late night painting, to “it’s just temporary” lasting years… yes. The room looks great, and I’m glad you get to enjoy it!

    And lawn chairs are totally valid for holding beds up.

  11. Your bird is perfect, it goes with your rug! But this line made me laugh, “And I decided to paint a bluebird. Except, as it turns out, I don’t have any blue paint in the house. So I did this instead…”.

    That sounds like something that would happen to me!

  12. Nice mini makeover for your room! I love that rug, any idea where its from? And I think you did a fantastic job on the painting. The yellow bird ties in with the rug. Yay for happy accidents!

  13. I LOVE that bird painting! I don’t think the stick is awkward at all. Nice job!!! You inspire me to try something similar… The bedroom looks fantastic! And your cat is awesome. I can tell he finds it satisfactory that you are updating his house *nods*.

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I'm not interested in a mediocre life. I'm here to kick ass or die.