Coral Headboard bedroom mint wall

Bedroom Evolution: Headboard

I’ve had project ADD the past few weeks. I started a few different things, which was really the perfect excuse to procrastinate on the one thing I wanted to complete – our headboard. A DIY/decor blogger’s staple project, really.

After we painted the room, the previous purple/gray/lemon scheme wasn’t working. I realize I don’t even have a picture of the old headboard against the painted walls, but here’s what the headboard used to be like:

Re-framed mirror after

The purple could even have worked, but that lemon/lime color had to go. Plus, our room is already really small, and the low Malm bed and short headboard were just making everything feel squat and cramped. I knew I wanted a bright combination, and I went back and forth over a bold orange (like this inspiration), and more subtle tan-yellow. I also already had this coral rug that leaned towards the orange spectrum, so I was definitely biased towards orange.

Matt was the one who suggested that a more traditional coral color would look a little more polished while still being bright. The guy has excellent timing, because I’d been eyeing this fabric for accent pillows:

Swavelle/Mill Creek Indoor/Outdoor Maxime Redwood paisley

I’d written it off at first because the coral wasn’t quite orange, but with the new plan, it worked perfectly.

I got to work removing the old fabric and batting, using a flathead screwdriver to get the staples out.

Old headboard removal-1

I also removed my failed attempt at using Ply-Grip.

Old headboard removal-2

If someone can tell me how to use the wretched thing, I’ll be eternally grateful. For some reason, I could never get the staples through the holes in the Ply-Grip – my staple gun’s recoil always messed up the placement.

Anyway, once the old fabric and batting were removed, I attached two pieces of plywood with straight brackets to the headboard. I used two pieces because I wasn’t about to try and attach a 5.5′ long piece of plywood – it would literally be longer that I’m tall. I cut the pieces down so they would extend 18″ above the existing headboard. Before I attached them, I used spray adhesive to attach foam mattress toppers (if you decide to make an upholstered headboard, seriously, go get mattress toppers instead of dropping more than a 100 bucks on upholstery foam). The mattress toppers are 1.5″ thick, and I used half inch thick plywood, which worked perfectly for the Malm’s built-in 2″ thick headboard.

After that came batting, to even out the bumps and patterns on the mattress topper. I was able to reuse the old batting, but I also added a new layer. The trick is to pull tight and staple – same goes for the fabric.

I used a deep coral linen fabric from Premier Prints. I originally wanted to cut a pattern into my plywood, but ultimately decided to leave it rectangular so that the paisley pillows and coral headboard didn’t end up looking overly feminine.

I also liked the idea of  buttons, but didn’t want to tuft the headboard. I guess I wanted to break up the expanse of coral but didn’t want something formal. So I covered buttons in the paisley fabric while marathoning Witches of East End.

Cover buttons

Can’t forget the wine.

You’ll notice from the buttons in the background that I left the threads long – my plan was to sew the buttons onto the headboard surface. The idea was a bit of a quirky take on the traditional tufted headboard, because this way, the buttons wouldn’t be flush with, or sunken into, the headboard surface. I had no clue if this would work out well but I wanted to give it a shot.

It worked pretty decently.

And then I came home to find half the buttons had been taken off by one of the cats. Probably Catniss. That little devil.

I kind of wanted to cry – sewing those buttons on had been a bit of a task. Hell, covering them had been a bit of a task. After some debating I decided I liked the headboard without buttons as well. It’s simple and uncluttered, and the accent pillows add enough of a pattern for it to look good.

So, here goes.

Coral Headboard bedroom mint wall

The height really makes the space shine. It also prevents that painting from looking utterly stupid.

mint bedroom coral headboard

I adore the pillows. I specifically looked for paisley patterns because they’re pretty common in Indian designs, so it felt like a more personal touch, and a nod to my roots. Since the buttons didn’t work out, I may find another way to incorporate that fabric in this room.

Paisley accent pillow bedroom coral

The room is starting to feel more cohesive now, although the new headboard is making our desk area look particularly sad:

The chair's upholstery is one of my first attempts - as you can tell from the bottom.

The chair’s upholstery is one of my first attempts – as you can tell from the bottom.

The cats chasing each other also resulted in my mirror coming apart, so that needs to be fixed.

mirror wood frame diy

At least the reflection is pretty.

But overall, I’m pretty happy with how the room is coming together, and how warm the coral makes everything.

mint coral gray bedroom headboard diy


xo Rucha

knubbig nightstand

Bedroom Evolution: Organizer Cube to Nightstand

When I got my job last year, it came with some perks, such as corporate discounts. One of the stores was Go-Organize, which was basically made for me. That’s where that organizer cube shown in the bedroom mood board came from. It worked fine in our previous apartment, which had a closet with shelves that could hold organizers and the like. Our current closet definitely doesn’t have shelves, and since we got rid of the nightstand from our old place, I just used the cube. Of course, the cube looks miserably bad as a nightstand, and something had to be done. I debated for a long time what I wanted to do; my initial idea was to build a door to the opening. But that would have also involved adding casters (can you imagine opening a nightstand door directly over wall to wall carpet? Eurgh) and the thin MDF wouldn’t have put up with much. So I decided to flip the cube on it’s side and add a hinged top.

I had some leftover wood from the mirror project, so I cut it down to size. It took ages. I think I might be in the market for a power saw, people.

hand saw wood

The organizer cube itself came apart easily, so I sanded down each side, and used one of the shelf inserts as a base for the planks. This insert was even thinner than the sides, so the planks came in really handy when it was time to screw in the hinges.

different size screwsCatniss screw


Catniss was terribly interested in the screws.

The screws that came with the hinge set were too long for the thin MDF, so I substituted shorter ones I had for the side that would go into the cube itself.

This part was a bit of a nightmare. Drilling in the holes was easy enough (you just tape off the drill bit where it should stop i.e. the length of the screw), but I somehow got my measurements wrong on the shelf insert/future nightstand top.

Hinges go in

You can see in that photo I’d already glued the planks on. I simply aligned them to make sure things were more or less right – I say more or less because hand sawing is far from accurate, and some of my cuts were a little angled. I also think the planks moved a little when I glued them, resulting in all four being slightly off, but it wasn’t too bad. Also for those of you wondering – I plan on storing things in here that won’t be used frequently, so the hinged door won’t necessitate constant displacement of whatever’s on top.

My next hurdle came in the form of painting/sealing. Staining the wood planks went perfectly smoothly, I used the same Minwax Provincial as I did for the mirror. I debated over the paint color for ages. I thought of making it a really deep purple to complement the headboard, but I slowly started dreaming up different color schemes for the room itself. More on that later.

I finally settled on Sherwin Williams Grays Harbor (though I did get a sample of Black Swan as well, a wonderfully deep, rich, purple). What my sleep-deprived, post-workday brain didn’t notice until I got home is that the paint store guy thought I was pointing to the color a step down from Grays Harbor – Dark Night. At first I went with it, it’s a pretty gorgeous color, and on the paint chip it reads a deep navy with hints of green. It looked really good painted on as well (I failed to take photos here). Then I tried sealing everything. Here’s a tip: when you read about expensive but good quality brushes for polyurethane or polycrylic, DON’T assume that a cheaper brush will do. The polycrylic went on decently over the stained wood, but got horribly streaky over the paint. Part of it, I think, was also due to some of the texture of the nightstand itself. I ended up hating how the sealed paint looked, so I sanded everything down to the first coat.

At this point I figured what the hell, and went out and got myself a sample (a quart!) of Grays Harbor. It went on like a dream, and looked gorgeous. And then, after a week of ignoring my project other than sniffing around a bit, one of the cats – Catniss of course – decided to jump in and knock it off the stool. A bottom corner was chipped – not just the paint, mind – and there were two giant scratches on the side.

By then, I really wished I’d bought a nightstand from Target. Hence the photography post from Monday.

I slept on it, and the next day, touched it up and sealed it with finishing wax rather than polycrylic. I also knew from the beginning that the front of the nightstand would look too plain without some sort of hardware or accent, so I added some nailhead trim. And finally, finally, it worked out.

Sherwin Williams Grays Harbor Nightstand

You can see from the shadow that the planks aren’t aligned perfectly, and the nailhead trim is a little wonky (next time I think I’ll go for upholstery nails throughout rather than the pre-made ribbon of trim), but I love it. The gray looks perfect against our walls and the top looks gorgeous.

Catniss polycrylic planked nightstand

All in all, this project really took some work but hey, I have stronger arms for it and a story to tell. And of course, a beautiful nightstand.

knubbig nightstand

xo Rucha

Bedroom Evolution: Mood Board

I hoped to have a completed painted room by the time I wrote this, but when both you and your partner have full time jobs (Matt even worked this weekend) and busy weekends, it’s a little hard to do. Our Saturday focused on painting and pretty much my least favorite part was getting the painter’s tape around all our trim and outlets. It was also my first time doing it, so I went a lot slower than Matt would have liked, so I told him to relax while I finished up taping. I couldn’t reach the ceiling with our small step stool, but he figured he could work without it. Which brings us to the current beige-grey stripe below the ceiling that’s been driving me insane for the last 2 days.

I didn’t take a picture of the stripe because I’m trying to pretend it doesn’t exist, but here’s a glamor shot (notof me mid-paint job:


I think you can actually see a bit of the stripe on the upper right hand corner. At least it distracts from my extremely weird angle.

Anyway, since we haven’t quite finished up painting, I turned my attention to the other things that need fixing up in this room. Well apart from the carpet, which is another thing I try to pretend doesn’t exist.

Last week I fixed up our mirror, as you can see in the above picture, our headboard is upholstered. It’s called Cascade in Agate and has hints of purplish-navy, lavender, various grays and lime. The lime looks pretty faint for the most part so it doesn’t clash with our mint walls, and the focus remains on the purples/blues and grays. Since we have a deep brown stained wooden mirror frame and a gray-brown Hemnes desk, I want to stick with somewhat classic furniture and decor. Which means I need to get rid of this MDF monstrosity that’s been doubling as my nightstand for the past couple of months:

Storage Cube

Adding the to utter blah of it all are these black out curtains:


I know they look kind of mauve, but they’re really kind of olive-brown. Now, the fact that they’re black out curtains is fantastic, because they cover up a full glass patio door that our neighbors can watch us sleep through. As can the people living in the building next door. But I hate the color, and I hate how they let in absolutely no light if I want the slightest bit of privacy.

I wasn’t kidding when I said the room needed some love.

Safe to say I’ve been going over ideas for how to fix up my not-quite-a-nightstand, and what I really want to do about the curtains. The carpet is unfortunately something I’ll have to deal with because we live in a rental. So I whipped up a mood board (and by whipped up I mean I finally learned how to make one, hooray for new skills) so I could get my ideas together.

Mood Board Mint Walls Decor

I’m toying with adding both venetian wood blinds and curtains, and I love the pattern and style, it’s one of Kate Riley (Centsational Girl)’s fabrics on Spoonflower, but I’m not sure I’m sold on the gray. I also prefer the brown Lindmon blinds at Ikea, but they’d defeat the purpose of switching out the curtains, while white ones would brighten up the room.

I think tackling the nightstand might just be my next step, while I mull over everything else!

xo Rucha

Golden Forest canvas

Bedroom Evolution: Color Therapy

A few days ago I shared my mirror framing project and showed how it looks in our bedroom. The thing about our bedroom is – I like it, but I don’t love it. It’s cozy, decent-sized and has a door leading to the patio. But it has a door on each corner – patio door, bathroom door, bedroom door and closet door – which ends up limiting space in terms of furniture and decor. It also doesn’t get much natural light (the door to the patio is the only “window” and it has blackout curtains since our neighbors can see inside otherwise), and is painted a grey/tan color. I think. Honestly, I still can’t really tell what the paint color is but all in all, the room gets kind of cave like. And since I have a desktop computer, I can’t just take my work/internet browsing to our far brighter living room, which can get a bit depressing.

Looks pretty greige

Looks pretty greige to me

What I do love, is that we have landlords who don’t mind us painting our room. I’ve never had a rental experience that allowed me to paint so needless to say I’m psyched. I’ve also never painted a room before, so while Matt insists that it’s a pain, I’m still excited. I’ll probably curse this whole idea when we actually get to it, because I’m sure he’s right.

Our initial plans were to paint it a light lavender/purple shade, something that would complement the purple and gray in the headboard and pillow. I also wanted to paint the walk-in closet mint to make it a little brighter. My inspiration was the Kitchen Makeover at Two Twenty One, which showed up in my Google search for mint rooms:

Mint Condition Two Twenty One Blog

When I suggested the mint closet idea to Matt, he decided he loved the idea of mint for the whole room, which I was totally okay with. After looking at a bunch of Sherwin Williams swatches, we ended up going with Mint Condition (the same one used in the above makeover). Part of the reason I picked the deep stain for the mirror frame was because I figured the deep tone would go beautifully with the airy mint.

The walls of our room are also a little bare at the moment, and we’ve been meaning to get something to hang above our headboard. We picked out an stretched canvas print of Carolyn Renolds’ Golden Forest because of the beautiful golden colors and the hint of blue-green sky that I think will go wonderfully with the new wall color:

Golden Forest canvas

We picked the art out before pinning down a paint color, so it factored into our decision. I briefly debated DIYing some art at first but I’m really glad we picked this print out instead. I doubt I could recreate anything along those lines!

We’re planning on painting the room this weekend, so I’ll post with updates!

xo Rucha

Re-framed mirror after

Bedroom Evolution: Mirror Mirror

This past week, I finally conquered my fear of working with wood after drooling over the beautifully stained bar over at Jenna Sue Designs. Difference is, I live in an apartment and have a hand saw, rather than an awesome power saw. Which is precisely why that saw has been sitting in a trunk for the better part of two months and I’ve been putting off any project ideas I’ve had. But last week I finally decided to get started on giving our bedroom a little love, beginning with our mirror.

mirror frame makeover - before

We got this mirror right before our wedding last year because I realized we had no full-length mirrors and I really needed one to get ready on the big day! It’s just a standard mirror with a cheap plastic frame and when we moved into our current apartment in January, I just stood it up next to the bed. The frame was really starting to bother me though, and I considered getting it reframed before deciding it would be a fun DIY woodworking project to start with.  I went to our neighborhood hardware store after work (a block away, so convenient!) and got a couple of cheap 1×4 planks. They weren’t in the best shape but I didn’t want to risk good quality wood in this initial venture. Plus, I thought a slightly weathered looking frame might work out well.

So I brought the planks home and got to work sawing. Matt was working from home that day – which was great because I was able to get his help. Hand-sawing wood is hard, and he’s a lot stronger than I am. I did most of it myself but caved in to his offer to help by the last cut. I made straight cuts rather than mitered cuts; I could have gotten myself a miter box but I wanted the frame to look a little boxy.

Mirror frame glued

I used tape instead of clamps for this and it seemed to hold up pretty well – but clamps would have resolved the gaps between the planks better. I’ll invest in some pipe clamps soon enough.

I’d bought Minwax’s Provincial stain a while back for another project (which I’ll get around to doing now that I’m less scared of the hand saw!) and used it for this frame. It turned out to be a gorgeous deep, warm color and I absolutely love it. What I realized though, is that even when you wipe excess wood glue off, it won’t be completely gone, and it’ll prevent the wood from staining. My frame had a couple of blotches around the upper left seam, but overall it turned out well. I think I might try sanding those areas next time.

Minwax Provincial

Yep – I have to use my living room as my workshop, and I was terrified I’d get stain on those floors

I left that overnight and used Minwax Paste Finishing Wax to seal the stain. It was my first time using finishing wax, and I might go over the frame one more time with more wax, because I’m not sure I got enough of it on there.

And here it is, leaning up in our room!

Re-framed mirror after

I love how much warmer it makes everything look.

Like I said, the room needs a little more love, and it should progress in the upcoming weeks! Stay tuned.

xo Rucha