Thursday, February 9, 2012

My Perfect Master Suite

I wouldn't consider myself a feng shui master, but I think there's something to be said for a balanced bedroom. Or a balanced room in general.

It's hard to get completely comfortable and fall asleep blissfully when you have ugly, mismatched furniture glaring at you or piles of clothes encroaching on your comfort zone. That's why there are a few key components to a obtaining the perfect bedroom: storage, function and simplicity.


Storage: For most people, the bedroom is an extension of the closet. This means, that frantic morning routine where you try on - and rip off - several articles of clothing before settling on a suitable outfit, can wreak havoc on your zen den. It's pretty unreasonable to expect yourself to neatly hang up each item before running out the door to work, so it's important to have easily accessible baskets, bins or "clean clothes" hampers at the ready. Case in point: my perfectly functional closet:

Here, I have a few baskets right underneath where we hang our clothes in the closet. I have labeled them "Hang Up," "Fold," and "Hand Wash." The first basket is where I throw my "reject" clothes in the morning, before I hang them up that night. The "Fold" basket is for miscellaneous clothes that need to be folded, including items I've tried on in the morning. The "Hand Wash" basket is self-explanatory. You can label whatever works for you, but the point is that labeling will encourage you to keep things up, because everything has a nice little place.

You'll also notice my handy plastic storage drawers from Target. They provide just enough extra stroage for our closet, for things we can't fit in our dressers. I don't have a fancy label maker, so I just typed up and printed out some "labels" on the computer and used some good old scotch tape to ID the contents of each drawer.

This was a cheap and lazy take on a Pinterest idea. The example was painted and cuter, but this is just inside our closet so I didn't put that much effort into making it look pretty. I just got some peg board and hooks from the hardware store, and screwed the board onto the wall behind our closet door. I hang my necklaces, headbands and scarves on here, and it works great! Plus, I'm more likely to wear stuff when it's visually displayed for me, and easy to grab and throw on.

Function: Keep your daily essentials where you can easily grab them, and be realistic about putting them back. For example, you'll be more likely to put your often-used hoodies and jackets away if "away" is a convenient hook behind your door. And you'll be more likely to put your toothbrush away if "away" is a designated shelf inside your medicine cabinet where it can easily be tucked away.

Simplicity: No matter if you've got a small space or a large space, less is always more when it comes to decorating a master bedroom. You want this to be the most serene, calm place in your entire house, so why junk it up with too much stuff on the walls? Pick neutral, organic colors and keep your nightstands and dresser tops free of clutter. This can be achieved by using baskets and bins to corral your odds and ends into a central location. When the bins are full, carry them around and put all of the contents where they belong.

This is our master bedroom. The headboard was made out of a footboard we found on clearance, elevated about 2 1/2 feet by being attached to some 2x4s. (My mom did this for us, so you'll need someone with knowledge and experience in woodworking). Then, she painted the whole thing a glossy black. We secured it to the wall with a few strips of heavy duty Velcro, of all things, and it just stands alone.

Our bedroom set is from Target, purchased several years ago. It wasn't exactly dirt cheap, but obviously very affordable compared to designer stores, as it came from Target. My philosophy with bedroom sets is: look for deals, but don't settle for mismatched pieces that you don't love. A matching set will not only give the room an instant "designer" look, but create a feeling of continuity that will be pleasing to look at, and therefore relaxing to your tired eyes. (r.e.: you'll feel good, so you'll sleep good!)

This is another one of my mom's creations. She used wood glue to secure eight black-framed mirrors from Ikea to particle board. Then, she bordered the whole thing with wood borders from the craft store (painted black), also secured with wood glue. To finish it off, she placed three button-looking wood accent pieces to the inside corners, almost reminiscent of a "tufted" look, if this were a fabric headboard or something. The whole piece is very cheap, very elegant and just the right touch of masculine and feminine.

Remember what I said about functionality? Well this is an example. I used a black paperclip (the clampy kind) to run my phone charger cord along the placemat on my nightstand. That way, I never have to search for the cord on the ground between my bed and the stand! I saw something like this on Pinterest and had to do it :)

We have four large picture windows in our bedroom, which is great. It's not so great for sleeping in, however, so I hung floor-to-ceiling blackout drapes along the entire wall, layered with some cute white sheers I got on clearance, to add some softness to the institutional-looking blackout drapes. Now, the drapes not only give us a nearly pitch-black room during the daylight hours, but they function as a statement wall with the graphic pattern on the sheer drapes. Function + style = love.

Here is our dresser:

And here is our armoire:

Nothing too exciting to report here, except the fact that I like to keep the furniture tops free of clutter and excess decorations. I just have two baskets on the dresser for holding miscellaneous stuff that comes out of our pockets, and obviously the TV takes up most of the space on the armoire. In the near future, I would like to make a custom TV "frame" out of crown molding, maybe painted blue to match our bedding. We will need to mount the TV on the wall first, then attack this project.

But for now, thanks for reading my little tips and going through my design process with me!

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