Friday, October 3, 2014

bedroom on a budget: part one

 (yes, I am slowly cleaning out the "draft post" folder)

It was Spring of 2013, and I had decided that IT WAS TIME for our room to feel...I dunno...less temporary? Sparse? Make do-ish?

A week after we moved in, a coat of "Belgian Waffle" got slapped onto the walls to fake light in a perpetually dreary room. The sun shines in gloriously for 2 hours in the afternoon, but the rest of the day this space is a cave. There were wonderful plans swirling around for the someday-after-the-rest-of-the-house-is-done phase, including some sort of wood/molding treatment for behind the bed, and that would happen e v e n t u a l l y, as all wonderful things magically do.


So here we were, 5 years later, sitting at the intersection of Loads of Motivation and Empty Wallet.

As there had been far too many injuries - including one overnight hospital stay - from that tall foot board, a plan was hatched. Perhaps I could *try* to sell the bed for $150 on Craigslist and just see what happened? That was fifty bucks more than we paid for it, and if there were no takers, we could adjust the price accordingly.

Two hours after posting the ad online the bed was gone. I now had a fistful of money to make it rain fund THE ROOM OF MY DREAMS.

(I can't type that without hearing it said like this. "My name is Kid Float, and I will be doing the Funky Periscope.")

(Also, this amount will no doubt make some people giggle, and I realize that there are many who may have $150 to throw at just sheets, or curtains or lamps or whathaveyou. I can respect that. I just can't relate. In my world, any budget over $25 is downright indulgent. $150 feels like the lottery. Not sure if that's refreshing or pathetic.)

I got to work searching for my ideal bed that met the 3-C test: Chunky, Curvy {because I'm all about that bass}, and Cheap. It's safe to say that this $40 sexy beast passed with flying colors.

If you're painting a piece of furniture a deep color, for heaven's sake get your primer tinted something darker than the bright white straight outta the can. Some girls never learn...but then again, some girls just use what they have on hand because it's free.

A few coats of soft black (leftover from this wall) and it was perfect. You know what else was perfect?

The $110 left over to finish the rest of the room.

Even though Roger and I are drawn to rich, delicious earthy hues, that just wasn't an option in a room this dark. The khaki color second from the bottom was the winner.

(the hallway nook before it earned it's stripes off in the distance)

No doubt that will invite even more pointing of fingers and mockery as beige is no longer ON TREND (oh the horror!).

Tip: disregard what other people are doing and surround yourself with what you love.

Fashion always changes it's mind anyway.

Oh it would be lovely to change out those aluminum blinds for something else.  Anything else. Unfortunately 72 inches of even the most basic plantation blinds would've blown the remaining budget. 

Remnant trim from the garage is a great distraction. Plus it's like my love and don't cost a thing.

{in progress}

About $65 was spent on the same kind of wood used to make the ginormous wood map, just cut into strips. It took me awhile to bite the bullet because planked walls have been EVERYWHERE in the past few years. Each time I saw someone talking about it, my heart screamed like a hipster fangirl when her favorite band ends up on mainstream radio.


In the end my husband guilted me into following my own advice: disregard what other people are doing and surround yourself with what you love.

Golly that's hard. Pride = swallowed.

Another helpful tip: don't finish the rest of your shopping while the sweet new guy at Lowes cuts your wood. 

If he stacks up too many pieces at a time, the saw will skip or push back or whatever you call it and not cut straight. At the very least, don't assume that if the top pieces of the stack look good, they all are. Lesson learned. A good 25% of our planks looked like this.

Suffice it to say that the wonky pieces went where they would be covered by furniture.

(the circles are gone!)

Some primer on the knots to keep them from bleeding through the paint,

a little screen molding to finish off the raw edges,

and then we stood back to take it all in and realized one itty bitty factor had been overlooked:

we live in north Texas.

Houses here are built on moving soil ---> shifting foundations ---> 46 year old walls aren't flat, straight, or in any way level. Imperfect planks on an imperfect wall meant nothing was really sitting flush.


It doesn't look horrid in this photo, but trust. This is the deep, dark reality of DIY - not everything turns out like you think it will. 

After brainstorming possible solutions for days (i.e. burn the house down and start from scratch), I was thinking that maybe if there was a little caulk in between the planks, it would soften up the horizontal bulges and gaps while still leaving the seams visible. The wood needed another coat of paint anyhow, and at that point I was willing to stake my bets and risk messing up the whole freaking thing. 

Luckily the Angels of Mercy were shining down upon us. That's a good thing since that first coat of green paint over the black nightstand also needed some saving.

::Part Two on Monday::


  1. It is looking great, can't wait to see how you pull it off!

    1. Don't put your expectations too high - you'll be terribly disappointed :)

  2. Okay I'm in love with this post! Can't wait for part 2!

  3. Ooh! A cliffhanger! Can't wait to hear/see how it all turned out. And $150 is a FORTUNE! And if anyone can turn into something awesome, it's you. I have faith :)

    1. HAHA! No drama intended, just WAAAAAY too many photos for one post. Cliffhanger does sound infinitely more interesting though...

  4. I bet it turns out looking great. Who wants perfect anyway, right?!?! Character, that's the name of the game. Funny you should be posting about this, my friend told me last night she's thinking of 're-doing' their bedroom while her hubby is on a business trip, but doesn't think she should. Figures it will cost around $200 and doesn't want to have to spend that much. With 6 kids, they have plenty of other expenses. We're with you on the budgeting thing. Ya gotta do what you can, with what you have. Can't wait to see the final "product" Thanks for another great post.

    1. My go-to {aside from just moving things around} is to just CLEAN. Is that awful? Sometimes just purging things makes me feel like it's a whole new space and costs NOTHING. Husband's like it too :)


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