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

Bedroom Evolution: Shelf Life

Decorative hanging shelf

In my clothes rack post I mentioned that I had to remove one of the planks from the top shelf of the rack in order to create a balance. Well that meant that I had a gray stained plank lying around just waiting for me to do something with it. The planks are scrap wood that I got off Craigslist, so I didn’t want to create something too time-consuming or complicated.

I’ve been wanting to put a decorative shelf up in our bedroom for a while. I say decorative because our books are upstairs in our living room, and I wanted a more personal place to keep some decor items/gifts that have meaning to us. Plus it would be pretty. The leftover plank was perfect for a simple, rustic shelf.

Ideally I would attach shelves with brackets but since we’re in a rental, I didn’t want to make too many giant holes we’d regret later. I got a pack of picture hangers and threaded white rope through 4 drilled holes in the plank. It was pretty simple, so I didn’t take photos of the process – you just make sure you measure so that the holes are evenly spaced from the corners, and use a drill bit large enough for the rope you’ll be using. I figured white rope would go well against the mint walls while complementing the gray stain.

Then it was just a matter of hanging it up. The photo above makes it look wonky, and frankly I think our floors are uneven or something. I kept thinking that things looked crooked, but the level told me otherwise so I went with it.

I also had another mini-DIY project that contributed to the shelf – a Metal Earth 3D model of the Black Pearl.

Black Pearl Metal Earth model

I damn near went blind putting it together, but it was fun. Side note: my nightstand top is holding up pretty well, though the cats run around on it all day!


I love that little ship. The gold and crystal pieces were both gifts from family when Matt and I visited India. Turtles are symbols of good luck and the swans are a symbol of love. I actually really like the metal accents together.

The hand-hammered copper pieces in this post have a larger counterpart, which I put a couple of fresh white carnations in. I love having a place to put flowers, and the cats can’t get to them up here which is a great bonus. I don’t even bother with flowers in the living areas any more.

I like how a simple update refreshes an entire room, and I’ll wait a couple of weeks before deciding if I want to tweak anything about the current set up on this wall. For now, I love how cheery this looks.

Hand hammered copper flowers

xo Rucha

Coffee Table Ideas

Okay I lied. I wasn’t able to finish off the updates I mentioned. Can you tell I have some adjusting to do when it comes to my workout-cook-work-blog scheduling?

I went over some ideas I had in mind for the coffee table instead. I mentioned here that our coffee table needs some major sprucing up. The melamine is chipped and I’m not a fan of the brown-black, even though it does go pretty well with our Expedit.

This is just a clever photo

This is just a clever photo.

I want something that’s eye-catching but subtle. I know for sure that I want to paint the whole thing a off-white or ivory to begin with, and cover it with a wood tone top.

Source: Houzz

I mentioned in that post that I didn’t want to plank it, but I’m also not positive about just adding a new top and finishing it. By the way, I totally have a Jigsaw now, which may be the cause for my sudden ambition – my previous plan involved having Home Depot cut my plywood down to exactly what I needed. But with a Jigsaw, I can play around with ideas a little bit.

I spied Design Manifest’s gorgeous barn wood wall during the One Week Challenge, and loved how the staggered planks looked.

Source: Design Manifest

I’m not sure how great that will look with smaller pieces though. I can see a pattern like that looking great with narrower/shorter pieces – on a floor. Or even a wall. But while the staggered look and (hopefully) barely-there seams courtesy of my Jigsaw might get me the modern look, it doesn’t quite feel right.

Source: Design*Sponge

That, I found while going through old inspiration emails I’d saved. I saw that on Design*Sponge ages ago, and thought it was really cool. I don’t think  I can pull something like that off, but it’s certainly a fantastic source of inspiration (and maybe a project for 5 years down the road).

My finishing touch – which will really bring out the contrast between the creamy white and the dark wood top  – is going to be a bar top finish. I know Envirotex Lite has some good reviews, so that’s an option, though I’m concerned about getting a too-thick coating.

Source: Pinterest 

Look how glossy!

A less glossy but equally beautiful option is Tung oil, which I’ve heard is great for finishing wood. That idea is definitely a maybe because it depends on a) if I use real wood/plywood as opposed to veneer and b) if it’s safe for the cats.

Source: Pinterest

Considering how glossy the sheens are, maybe I should just worry less about the design of the top I end up deciding on.

I’m excited to tackle this one in the upcoming weeks!

xo Rucha

Age-Old DIY: Handicrafts

It’s been a while since my last post, and I owe that to jet-lag. Matt and I visited India and London a couple weeks ago. Rather, I flew off right after my conference ended and he joined me a week later. It’s been a crazy three weeks – I recovered from my jet-lag in India just in time to fly to London for a couple of days (for our anniversary, and to visit a dear friend), and then I spent the last week trying to keep my eyes open at work before coming home and collapsing in bed.

So here I am, freshly adjusted to the Pacific time zone, in time to share some of our haul from India. I hadn’t been back in a few years, and it was our first time there together after getting married, so we definitely got a lot of attention – and gifts. And the best thing about India is, you get a lot of lovely stuff that’s locally sourced and handcrafted. Basically, the kind of stuff everyone here swoons over, but anyone back East merely blinks at. Hand-crafting is an old art in India, and in some places, a tradition.

Hammered Copper handcrafted

We received this gorgeous set of hammered copper tea light holders, bought from Coppre in Pune, India. There’s a third, larger one that I haven’t figured out a placement for yet, but right now I’m happy with these two. The detail on them is stunning, and I probably want to retain the shine on them rather than letting them develop a patina.

hammered copper tea light holder

The globe in the center is carved bone, and we bought it from a small handicrafts store. It’s also a tea light holder, and the carved pattern yields pretty shadows when a candle is lit. Another score was from the same shop, but it’s an essential oil burner:

bone carved essential oil burner


I love the detail in the carvings; the leaves are veined and the curves are skillfully done. Mind you, these are all hand made.

bone carved tea light holder detail carving


Adding these pieces to the living room/dining room table really spruced up the living area. I think it’s important to remember that the so-called DIY trend was preceded by people who made a living, or even just spent their private lives, making things with their bare hands. Even here in the U.S., there are plenty of craftsmen whose work should not be forgotten. The wooden trunk we have, for example, was made for us by Matt’s grandfather, and I’d be hard-pressed to find something like that in the market (well, unless it was handcrafted, perhaps!)

Incidentally, the only reason the coffee table has room for decor (or frankly, any room at all) is because I finally installed the mail/coat holder above said trunk. It only took me forever.


Matt also spotted a pair of gorgeous coasters while we were shopping in India, that I snapped up because of the metallic finish and the fact that the pattern tied it to our rug (oh yeah, I switched out the rug). I don’t believe these are handcrafted, but I like the touch all the same.

lattice pattern coasters and woven rug

It feels good to have a room slowly come together. It takes time, but finds like these always remind me that hasty purchases are usually less worth it in the long run. I like interesting finds that mesh with my taste (and Matt’s), and and it’s always satisfying to bring them home and really make a space.


xo Rucha

Pebble Beach sunset twilight

Monterey Musings and Hotel Inspirations

I spent last week at an anti-fraud conference in Monterey, and the location couldn’t have been nicer. I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Monterey, which is a lovely resort-style hotel, with plenty of wood tones in its exterior and spread across a few buildings restricted to a couple of floors. In the crazy schedule of the conference, I wasn’t able to get good photos of the exterior, but I did capture a few things I liked about my room. I’ve stayed in many hotels before but I especially liked how things were laid out in this one, particularly in the bathroom.

Monterey Hyatt vanity

To the right of the sink is counter space for soaps, etc., but as you can tell by the orange and wood ottoman, the space also doubles as a vanity. The large mirror spans that entire wall, and the light is built in behind the frosted glass frame. I love that touch, and it’s something I’m filing away for when we get our own place.

Frosted glass light frame mirror

That hotel was so nice, they even provided toothpaste! That never happens anymore.

The room, like the bathroom, was a soothing palette of neutrals with the warm wood tones grounding everything together.


The wood paneling and shelves are also in my inspiration pile, though a mounted TV would be better. There was another “pop” of color (like the orange ottoman in the bathroom) in the form of a random teal pillow.


As much as I love orange and teal, they did feel a little random in this space so I wasn’t really a fan. Rather, I liked how color was incorporated without it being random and stark, in the paintings above the headboard.


There was also lighting built in behind the headboard, but I wasn’t able to get a good picture of it. Overall the space was soothing and it flowed between the room and the bathroom without any wasted space or unnecessary embellishments, but it also avoided being too minimalistic.

I was able to take my camera along on one of the evenings to a dinner event, which happened to be right on Pebble Beach. The weather was beautiful that day, and the location was gorgeous, so I’m really glad I did!

Pebble Beach field flowers   pebble beach surfing surf

Pebble Beach sunset twilight

My vacation time started after the end of this conference, so I’m actually writing this from India where I’m visiting family. When Matt gets here I hope to go out to some of the beautiful old buildings here that are being restored, and I’ll be posting about them soon enough.

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