Revealing our Winter Bedroom

Please take a moment to vote for Our Little Beehive for an Apartment Therapy 2011 Homies Award.

Since we moved into our little beehive a year ago, our bedroom has been a work in progress, and it's certainly been anything but master. It's funny how often I hear of people updating guest rooms and barely-used reading rooms before finally moving on to the room where they spend a third of their days, albeit with their eyes closed. And of course we fell into the same trap with our "master" bedroom. We can hardly call it a master since we only have one bathroom in our entire house and the closet barely fits half of S's clothes, but we've finally made a few updates to make it a bit more presentable.

I like to change rooms for the seasons; moving furniture, swapping carpets, and of course changing the few trinkets and tchotchka sparingly arranged throughout our hive, so this is our version of the winter bedroom.

Before S and I were married, or even knew each other, he purchased several carpets from a dealer in Bahrain with whom his dad had become friendly with over the years (and by friendly, I mean there's a photo of S's dad holding his Amex on the shop's wall). I'm not a fan of the busy patterns of most oriental rugs, I like simple, clean lines. But I compromised and agreed when we merged our stuff that when we turned our clocks back in the fall, I'd also consider introducing a carpet to our bedroom. I don't think I've admitted this to S, but I do love the way this particular carpet warms our bedroom in winter. I guess I just let the cat out of the bag.
And since I love a little something unique, I threw a couple of sheep down on either side of the bed. 
I've wanted a sheepskin rug since I was 14 and we spent two weeks in New Zealand where sheepskin rugs were sold in all the tourist trap stores. My parents brought home a four-sheep rug that I've coveted ever since, even though I'm one of those people who can barely eat meat without crying. I had high hopes of stealing their sheep when I discovered it stashed under their bed a few years ago. But they've since brought it to their mountain cabin, where it fits perfectly with the papery white bark accents of the "birch" room and its hand-turned bed made entirely of bark-still-on tree trunks and branches. So with all chances of stealing a rug aside, I snatched a pair of our own sheep at Ikea this fall. Which the Feens promptly claimed as his own.

I suppose this is yet another reason to be grateful that we have a dog who doesn't shed. Or chew. I adore the sheep; they're so nice to me when I get up in the middle of the night in our 56 degree house.

In the summer we have teal drum lampshades on our bedside lamps, which I love for the summer, but don't go well with S's carpet or the creamy sheep at all. So I pulled out these cream colored silk shades that I bought on clearance from Pottery Barn several years ago and were sitting, neglected on a shelf in the basement.
We moved the CB2 Eden pendant, which I had hardwired in the little room back when it was an office, into our room where a god-awful ceiling fan that I cannot believe was ever in style, once dominated the ceiling. At first I wanted a chandelier with modern, shimmery glass beads hanging all around, but S and I couldn't agree on a fixture or price.We were standing in the upstairs hallway a few weeks ago when S suggested that we just move the fixture from the little room into our bedroom. Brilliant. Plus, it made room for the funky pendant that we recently hung in the little room.
Our headboard is the foot board of a sleigh bed that has been thoroughly abused during countless moves in its lifetime. I want the Cynthia storage bed from Pottery Barn,which costs just about as much as the materials for our addition of a bathroom in the basement will run, and will definitely not be making its way into our house unless we win the lottery or we stop buying groceries and eating all together. So I covered our footboard-headboard with a super quick and easy fix that I'll post about this week, and stuck a few inexpensive, plastic storage drawers from the Container Store under the bed. Not the same as the Cynthia, but functional for now and the savings means we can continue to post Saturday Supper recipes instead of blogging about the latest flavor of Ramen noodles.

Above the bed and the dresser, we hung a few prints of black & white photos I took in the orchid room at the National Botanical Gardens in the same large frames from Ikea that we used for our wedding photos. The frames are kind of a pain to get perfectly even because their hanging wires are at different heights, but this tutorial shows how we got these two perfectly even with each other.

And finally, I sewed valances for the two windows from white matelasse fabric I bought online. We had originally hung long white curtains high above the windows only to discover that I risked ripping the curtains and their rod from the wall each time I passed them on my way to my side of the bed. Plus, the window by S's closet is flush with the wall so the curtain on that side of the window couldn't open all the way and blocked quite a bit of light. I liked the look of the long, floor-length curtains, but our room was just too small to support them. I love these little valances in comparison to the just-the-wood-blinds look we've been sporting for a while, they look kind of like bonnets for the windows. And they really could not have been easier to sew or hang: just a couple of straight seams and a cheap valance bracket from the Depot.

We're still on the hunt for a winter duvet since our old gray flannel one seems too dark and dreary in the small space; definitely not the feeling one wants to conjure when the beautiful afternoon light lasts for about twenty minutes before disappearing before four.

I have a few bedding options bookmarked right now. First, we need this pillow from Pottery Barn, which does not work with the teal dots of our summer duvet, but could work well with the winter rug making it our winter accent. I plan to buy the bee version in dark blue as soon as possible, before the snow outside starts to melt and I start contemplating rolling the winter rug back up for storage.
 (image from Pottery Barn)

West Elm is having a sale on duvets right now and I'm considering these three: the pintuck, square tuck, and matelasse, all in white. I like to switch duvets twice a year, it keeps things from getting boring and in the long run I think it saves money to have a rotating fresh look every six months. At least that's what I tell myself.
I can't decide which one we should buy for this room and I may have to buy the bee pillow and all three duvets to try out before deciding. The detail of the matelasse could work with the matelasse valances, but it's a totally different stitch pattern so my heart's not set on it. Which is your favorite duvet? Or do you have a favorite white duvet from somewhere else? I'd love to hear your opinion before I hit "buy" or trek over to the mall.

And just as a point of reference, this is how our bedroom looked when we bought the house (with the previous owner's furniture since we don't seem to have any photos of this room from during the first few weeks after we moved in.) It had darkish green walls and ancient roller shades with fabric trim that was ripping off and which would just kind of disintegrate when you touched their edges.
And here's a shot a month after we moved in, after we painted the room gray, chopped off the frou-frou bottoms of the roller shades and when I started to remove the ceiling fan, thinking  for a hot second that I could cover up the fixture with a cheap shade and make it look slightly better. Uh, nope, just as bad in a whole different way.
Much better now, no?

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  1. Just FYI: I found mixed reviews on the pin-tuck/square-tuck (I love the looks of both!). Some people absolutely loved them and others said the tucks tore easily...which made me a little nervous.

    Cute room!

  2. Hi! First time commenting long time lurker. I like the square tuck. The pintuck doesn't seem to jive with your style IMHO.

  3. Anonymous1/31/2011

    All to fru-fru. i dont like any. S.

  4. I'm super impressed that you have a winter and summer bedroom scheme. So clever!

  5. Oh! I love what you've done! Brilliant!

  6. Your bedroom is gorgeous! I literally just sent this post to my SO as we're planning out our future bedroom and this is exactly the vibe I was going for!

  7. Very pretty! Love it!

  8. Anonymous2/01/2011

    My husband and I recently bought CB2's Eden pendant to hang over our bed as well! However, we don't have the metal ceiling cover you do...do you mind sharing where you got it? It looks great!

  9. Hi Anon,
    The easiest way to hardwire the CB2 is to buy a pendant kit like this one (just use a CFL bulb since it's a 60W max fixture):

    We give a full tutorial here:

    and here:

    Best of luck!

  10. Hi - Tried to find your email address to no avail - I just saw your black stairs and fell in love and just posted it in my blog - I would love to know how you did the black stairs! Hope to hear from you soon - you can email me!


  11. Anonymous2/01/2011

    Hey, thanks for answering my question! You're great! :)


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