The space, “before”.

am one of those happy homeowners who loves my house. It’s not the structure or its contents that makes it so special, but the community and neighbors that surround me. Our little piece of heaven is a throwback to old-fashioned days of neighbors helping neighbors – a village where you know where every kid you see out sledding lives.

As much as I love my home, I’m not immune to the need for change and updates over my decade-and-a-half there. Call it nesting, nervous energy, or just the need to wake up to a different view, but over the last several months, my bedroom has been the focus of my creative musings.

While trying to decide on a headboard solution for my platform bed, I came across a project – yes, on Pinterest – that incorporated thrift store doilies, needlework hoops, and an old branch. I collected the necessary supplies by visiting all the local haunts for used treasures others no longer need, including several doilies in varying shapes and colors, as well as the hoops in which to display them.

The bare branch, from my yard, was weathered gray with a few cracks and what appeared to be wormholes once burrowed under the bark. In other words, perfect.

Since this project was intended for my bedroom, I wanted the colors to remain on the natural, calming side. Using odds and ends of ribbons, ropes, and other trappings from my sewing room, ones that I had been saving for a rainy day, I started to assemble my headboard art.


        I began placing the doilies into the hoops, some of which were extremely small. For those, I ended up sewing them onto scrap pieces of fabric, which I then displayed in hoops. I used different lengths of ribbons and ropes and started strategically arranging them on the branch. By strategically, I mean moving them around until it looked good to me.

        Using up the rest of my stash, I hung a few strands of shells, some tiny pearls, and random cordage in between my hanging dream catcher doilies, as I’ve started to call them. 

As with any project, you must set a solid foundation. For me, it was a fresh coat of paint.

Ask any realtor and they’ll tell you, paint is the easiest and most cost-effective way to update a space. What began as plain white walls with one denim-blue accent wall, gave way to a barely green shade called dried lichen.                   

It was at this point that I ditched the platform bed altogether and opted instead to use the antique cast iron bed from the guest room. In addition to downsizing from a queen to a full, the new bed was much higher than the old. So, I had to incorporate an old cedar trunk at the foot of the bed so that Cash, my beloved 7-year-old black lab, could get into bed without assistance.

I updated the trunk, which had served as my childhood toy box, by recovering the padded lid with a fun pattern in the rustic bohemian style   I was shooting for.

Loading in the room, I started by hanging my doily dream catcher art above the window, valance style. I centered my new “old”  bed with the window, adding new orange sheets and a hand-me-down comforter from my friend Cindy to complete the transformation.

The change was comforting, and I spent the summer sleeping under the breeze from the open window.

My new space was everything I wanted: a relaxing oasis.

However, I quickly realized, as I nearly fell out of bed while rolling over, that although it was just me and the dog, a full-size bed wasn’t the best choice.

It was back to the brainstorming drawing board.

While shopping with a friend, I came across an upholstered headboard I fell in love with. And, better yet, it was on sale. It had a subdued, beachy feel that seemed to speak to me. I could picture it with the backdrop of my dried lichen walls.

I failed to mention, that after my bedroom renovation and before I realized I was merely surviving in my tiny bed, I had moved on to another project. An updated master bedroom, must be followed by total bathroom redesign, right?

I had already picked out this wood-looking vinyl plank flooring for the bathroom and was beginning to blend the two projects. Picture my weathered, wood-looking floors flowing seamlessly in my new master suite.

Perfect! But, since I had already purchased my dream bed and scheduled delivery, the window in which to pull up 20-year-old carpet and lay a new floor was pretty tight.

Luckily, I come from a family of handymen and have some pretty great friends. Together, we were able to pull it off with only a little yelling, and the results were better than I hoped.

Face it, even when simply rearranging furniture in the same room, that first try is rarely the best.

All I need now is to install some new baseboard trim, reinstall my closet doors, load in a dresser or two, and then I’ll be ready to tackle my already gutted bathroom.

The joy of homeownership is the project that never ends.

By: Charity D. Stewart

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