Bedroom Reveal and a Moss Cottage Giveaway!

February 3, 2014

bedroom makeover

After a harrowing weekend dealing with a hacked website (I’m sorry if you visited and weren’t able to see anything!), I am finally, finally, finally ready to share the reveal of our bedroom makeover! And there’s even a fun giveaway for those of you who make it to the very end! Bear with my photographs, as this room tiny and therefore very difficult to photograph!

Let’s start at the beginning. First, the before photo. Here’s what our bedroom looked like before. It was fine, but so very beige and bland. And although it may not look like it, the new version is much more spacious.



First things first, we painted everything white. No more magnolia cream! Then, one night while Michael was at practice, I moved that wardrobe into our front room (which is also almost finished, so you’ll get a reveal of that in a few weeks). He wasn’t too pleased at the beginning that I was moving things all around, but I think he has grown to appreciate exactly how much better it is to have the wardrobe in another room, both visually and spatially. At least that’s what I tell myself.

bedroom makeover from hall

There are two people who deserve so much credit for their part in this room makeover. First, my grandmother. My grandmother has handmade these beautiful patchwork quilts for the beds in her house. When I was little I used to love running my hands over them to feel the different textures. Who are we kidding, I still love doing that – it’s the best when you find the little squares of soft velvet.

For a few years, I hinted that I might like a “Grandma quilt” of my own. When I received one I was so pleased to get to see all the pieces of fabric that I remembered from growing up – Barbie dresses, Easter frocks, and so many more that I know my mom and grandmother have such sweet memories from.

Now, here’s the only problem. I am very protective of my Grandma quilt. I brought it to Ireland when I moved, and I put it in a basket of blankets in our living room. And I never let Michael touch it for fear that he would smudge chocolate or crumbs all over it. So it really wasn’t living up to its full potential.  bedroom makeover bed 2

But this year, in one of my daydreams about making over our house, I realized I could use it as a sort of headboard if I could figure out how to hang it from the ceiling. Finally, my mother-in-law suggested using a dowel (infinitely cheaper than a curtain rod in this country!) suspended from hooks. It’s perfect! It keeps the quilt out of harm’s way, but gives it a place of honor where I can look at it every day.  bedroom makeover bed

When my mom came to visit last fall, she helped me with some of the other projects in the room. First, she came up with the totally inspired idea to make the two side tables by cutting a taller set of shelves that we already had into two pieces. And then she made me a dust ruffle to cover the hideous box spring. I didn’t want something too ruffly, so she made it flat with pleats. We have drawers for added storage in the box spring, so we needed to have access to them, but I really didn’t want to see it any longer. This is way more classy!

Using a piece of MDF that was hanging around, I made a matching headboard and the two pieces together make the bed look completely different. Rather than pay an arm and a leg for batting to make the headboard puffy, I picked up a cheap duvet from Ikea and staple gunned that around it before stapling on the purple fabric. Then I attached the purple piece to the posts from our existing headboard.

Finally, I sewed a couple pillows to tie in the deep colors from the quilt. The yellow pillow is actually made from a flour sack cloth that came from the farm where my mother-in-law grew up. I love having a piece of Michael’s family and a piece of my family displayed in the room.  bedroom makeover artwork

For the wall opposite the bed, I spruced up this faux fur stool, which you’ll remember from this DIY tutorial. Then I decided to take a quote from our wedding and turn it into a calming piece of art we could wake up to each morning. We were married by a couple who were Michael’s youth leaders when he was growing up, Josh and Debs, and they spoke so eloquently about grace and forgiveness at our wedding. I remember their words so often and I thought I’d like to wake up to these words of wisdom every morning. The words aren’t painted perfectly, but they have already brought me such peace if I’m stewing about something when I’m trying to go to sleep.  bedroom dressers

Our Ikea dressers have stayed in the same spot because there is really no other space to put them – and boy did I try! Eventually we’d like to upgrade them to something more visually pleasing (and less obviously Ikea), but for now they are working fine and are way less dull now that the walls are white! bedroom makeover detail

I’ve started using this little green egg crate for my earrings and rings. I love that it reminds me of the chickens! And you can find the DIY tutorial for the frame jewellery holder right here.

annie sloan

And now for the giveaway part of this post! Jen from Moss Cottage has offered to give one lucky winner a copy of Annie Sloan’s most recent book: Colour Recipes for Painted Furniture. I used chalk paint to make over our little fuchsia stool and just loved the results – and this book is packed full of ideas for sprucing up furniture with chalk paint.

To enter, leave a comment and tell me if you have used something that reminds you of your own family in your home decor. I’ll pick a winner on Monday, February 10th.



  • Reply Abby Nolan February 3, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    I have an old wooden library table I use as a desk. I think once, it was part of an actual library but then belonged to a great aunt. Growing up, it was in my parent’s room, peppered with bills and papers that almost hid it, but I always loved it. I had more than once mentioned that it looked like a good desk to write a book at. When my parents moved several year ago, they gave it to me. To write a book. And while I’ve yet to finish a novel, I certainly work at it at, writing at the desk with the constant reminder of the desk’s history and the encouragement from my parents.

  • Reply Kate Hogan February 3, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    We have ‘upcycled’ Jonnys cot from when he was a baby for Kayla to sleep in…its a lovely colour called walk in the park green! So special for her to be sleeping where her daddy slept 30years ago 🙂

  • Reply Trish Phillips February 3, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    My father used to mend our shoes when I was little. I can remember him at his bench cutting the leather and hammering away at the soles of the shoes. I have the set of lasts he used, (like little metal shoes); I painted them black and keep them on my decking as garden ornaments.

    • Reply lois February 4, 2014 at 3:27 pm

      Trish, how neat!

  • Reply Denise February 3, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    when packing up my parents house we came across so many vintage B&W photos of the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s when they and my grandparents were growing up. I’ve framed our favorites along with a B&W photo dad took of mom when they were in college. They’re such great conversational pieces and I always feel like my family is here with us.

    Love the quilt!

  • Reply Gerry Boyle February 4, 2014 at 12:55 am

    I know I’m probably disqualified for the giveaway, but we have an oak chest brought to America from Ireland by my grandmother. It’s in a place of honor, with the grandparents’ library table, the grandmother’s ornate flamingo chair, the couch from the Biltmore Hotel in Providence, and a Colby chair that belongs on the other side of the pond. And on and on.

    The landmarks of our lives.
    Lovely post, Emily.

  • Reply Andie Fuller February 4, 2014 at 3:53 am

    What a creative way to showcase your Grandmothers quilt. I have one of my Grandmother’s quilts too and I won’t even let the cat lay on it. I think it’s a special thing to be so protective over things like those. Anyway, loved your make-over and all the deep purple- it’s such a calming color.

  • Reply Elizabeth February 4, 2014 at 11:39 am

    My mom always did an incredible job of being festive for most holidays. She often has a unique plate set for major holidays, so I’ve started my own Valentine’s Day plate collection! They are white porclein with a red heart pattern around the edges. I’m hoping to start a Christmas set this December!

  • Reply Isabelle Norman February 4, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Oh where to begin! Plants, plants everywhere. My dad often doodles on the back of a cornflake box lids or random bits of paper so I’ve had some framed. A big pine kitchen table that reminds me of my parents table which is covered in holes of kids being naughty with scissors or knives or pencils (This has happened my table too so I’ve convinced myself that these are memories not marks!)

  • Reply Suzie Brennan February 4, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    When my grandmother passed away I took her old china display cabinet, I stripped it back & distressed it, it now takes pride of place in my bathroom displaying all of my lotions&potions! It’s beautiful, and has lovely memories just like your quilt!x

  • Reply lois February 4, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    I don’t know if this qualifies as “decor” but both my mother and grandmother were great bakers and cooks. All my wooden spoons come from them and I use them constantly and keep them in a container on the counter; also, they had the same metal measuring cup set. I got my grandmother’s measuring cups when she passed, but it was missing one. When my mother learned of this she gave me the one from her set so mine would be complete. They hang in the kitchen and remind me of both my mother and grandmother.

  • Reply Anne February 4, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    I love what you’ve done with your Grandmas quilt, so much better to get the benefit of seeing it without the worry of anything happening to it. OMG I love the fluffy stool, wow. It was definitely to cramped before and is now roomy and airy, better for relaxing in.

  • Reply kerri February 4, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    I love seeing the quilt used that way – safe, but useful. I only have one thing from my family home, a sweet little dresser that belonged to my Nana. My mother gave it to me when we needed a dresser when my daughter was born. My husband refinished it and it’s gone everywhere with us ever since.

  • Reply Katie February 4, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    A lobster crate sits in front of our couch and serves as a coffee table (and storage container!). My dad came into possession of the lobster crate when he was in college, and in my childhood it was my brother’s toy box. Though the rope is frayed, I love this piece and hope it can live on for many more years. It’s a great conversation piece, too!

    Beautiful apartment updates, by the way!

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