Monday, March 28, 2011

The Weekend Bedroom Makeover

As I've mentioned before, I never much liked the aesthetics of our old apartment. The place was just run down and bleh, but I still did whatever I could to make it presentable and not a total embarrassment. I painted the living room, the dining room, the kitchen cabinets. We got new furniture. We hung pictures. The bathroom got a pretty wall decal and a snazzy new shower curtain. But I never put in any effort in the bedroom (that's what she said?).

Seriously, that room was horrendous. For the whole time I lived there it looked exactly the same as the day I moved in, put my stuff wherever I could, and said, "I'll deal with this later." It was just dingy, and uncoordinated and uncozy. At least at night it was dark and I didn't have to look at it. But sometimes in the mornings I'd wake up, look around and just think "UGH."

So when we moved into the new house a year ago, I vowed to make the bedroom my first priority. I hurried to pick out everything I'd need to assemble the perfect sanctuary/love nest.

Turns out, rushing to decorate a room produces only marginally better results than not decorating at all. And for the past year, I've been suffering with this:

The gray paint didn't really turn out to be the right color. I wanted something richer.

And speaking of the wrong color... how about those curtains? They didn't seem that bad when I bought them, but even as I was hanging them up I was having second thoughts. By the following morning, when the sun was shining through them and the whole room was bathed in a lime green glow, I concluded they might have been a mistake. To add insult to injury, one of the curtain rods is bent and partially ripped out from the wall from the time someone locked himself out and had to climb in through the window.

That wall decal hanging above the bed does absolutely nothing for me. It was an impulse purchase at Ikea that I thought would serve as a placeholder until I could find something better.

The mattress and box spring are on a metal frame with wheels that, even when locked, roll around on the hardwood floor to such an extent that when I wake up in the morning I'll find I'm not in the same place in the room as I was when I fell asleep. Also, because there's no headboard, two dark gray splotches have appeared on the wall, one on either side, above our pillows. Apparently we produce a great deal of soot while sleeping.

About the only things I like in this picture are the duvet cover, the bedside tables, and the cats (and even one of them is on thin ice).

Even though this room was meant to be my pride and joy, it received less care and attention than literally every other room in the house... and this includes the second bathroom which is used almost exclusively to house litter boxes.

And so in the spirit of spring cleaning and adhering to my New Year's resolution to generally be better in 2011, it was time to do something about this monstrosity. After some online perusing and a reconnoissance mission to Ikea, I finally had a perfect plan.

On Thursday after work, I drove to Ikea and picked out everything I needed. A bed, new curtains and curtain rods, some closet organizers, and a Kvartal panel system to hang some textured fabric on the wall behind the bed. Saturday morning I went to the Do It Center (my favorite place) to pick up some paint. And also back to Ikea to pick up some Kvartal pieces I forgot to get on Thursday. Whoops.

By the time I got started on the project, it was already 3pm. But I promised myself I would get it all done by Sunday night, come hell or high water.

Ready... set... go!

Bedroom Redo In A Weekend from Briana Mahoney on Vimeo.

For those of you playing at home, take a drink every time you catch a frame with a cat, an inadvertent close up shot of my butt, or a look of total despair on my face.

This is actually my favorite frame from the whole thing:

No, that's not a ghost. It's me, delirious on Sunday night, getting tangled in the duvet cover while making the bed.

The process went smoothly enough, I guess, though not without random small cuts on my fingers, extraneous holes in the wall, and a bed which may spontaneously collapse in the middle of the night.

And although it's cliché to point out that assembling crap from Ikea can lead to insanity, self-loathing and divorce, I still feel the need to complain about the Kvartal curtain rod, which came with no instructions. And the regular curtain rod, which came with instructions that started out all, "Yeah you should just have some screws laying around if you're going to do this." And the bed, which had holes too small for the screws it came with. I definitely had my moments when I wanted to claw at my face with an allen wrench.

Shut up, Ikea instruction booklet guy. Your illustrations are ridiculous.

Hey! Uncalled for!


By Sunday evening, I had finished nearly everything I'd set out to do. I meant to also organize my closet and hang some pictures, but enough is enough!

Bring on the before and after pics!

Here's closer look at the curtains and new paint color:

It's hard to tell in the picture, but the paint is really closer to black. It's actually called chalkboard black. I only painted that one wall, and I think it makes a nice complement to the lighter gray walls.

And a blurry look at the panels behind the bed.
Of course last night as I lay in bed, I noticed we could really use some shelves on the opposite wall. But I think that can wait.


  1. Whohoo! Good work, that is a sexy-looking bedroom!!

    - Anne

  2. I love it!!!!! I'm exhausted just from watching you run around and do all of that, but it totally paid off. Looks great :)


  3. love it. loved the little movie too.

  4. LOVE it!! I can't believe you did all that in one weekend. Also, I laughed out loud on the subway this morning when I read that was you in the duvet cover.

  5. It came out so nice. Makes me want to relax. perfect bedroom emotional reaction. zzzzzzz

  6. wow! love it! i've got a room that needs some makin', you should come over and do some stuff in Boston.

  7. You really helped me thank-you! good to have a visual as the instructions suck!