The Apartment Project: Serene Master Bedroom

As I logged on to Design Cents just now I was shamed to see that the last post was from Christmas. Yikes. How does the time slip away like that? I don’t even have kids yet! The tricky thing about having creative interests in more than one area, and, ya know, “dreams” that you’re still attempting to pursue at 32, is that you can so easily get stretched in several directions at once until you’re spread so thin you can’t even look up to see where you’re going. Suffice it to say, between working a full time job, auditioning for plays, working on graphic design projects, being a wife-sister-daughter-friend, serving in church, etc., my writing has sadly been neglected like an orphan that was in the back of the food line and there was nothing left by the time she got to the front. Sad analogy, I know, but that’s how I’ve viewed my little inner creative writing child – like I just have nothing left to give.

And you know what, that’s okay. I believe there are seasons for different things, especially when you have many different passions. It’s okay to focus on one thing for awhile and try to do it well rather than forcing yourself to split your focus so much that you’re not doing anything well. Just be sure to listen when you inner creative child is calling out for attention, and make some time for it when you can. So, in answer to my creative child, here we go…MB prep

There were a few things I knew I had to work with when decorating the master bedroom – we were not going to buy any new furniture, and we were not going to paint the walls. We already had a good, quality wooden bedroom set that Hal had inherited from his grandfather, and we didn’t want to have to repaint too many walls when we decide to move. So my main focus was the textiles and wall decor.

MB bed straight onThe blue-gray/turquoise color theme was carried through from the rest of the apartment. It is such a soothing, beautiful color, and really helped to create a serene feel in the master bedroom. I searched high and low for an inexpensive duvet cover that I liked, but sometimes you just have to pay a little more to get what you want. The porcelain blue lattice duvet was from Pottery Barn.

MB windowsThankfully, I was able to save a little money on the curtains, which I found at Target. Between the curtains is a lantern with a thousand paper cranes in it that we received as a marriage blessing from a friend.

I fell in love with an olive leaf and lavender wreath that Pottery Barn was selling, but it was around $80, so I decided to get creative and make my own. I purchased all the supplies from Michael’s for about $20 and put it together in less than an hour.

MB side tablePlaying with shapes can help to create visual interest. The two square mirrors above the side tables help balance the circular wreath, as well as bounce light around the room.

The art on the walls is a mix of very inexpensive options. Under the wreath hangs a handful of notecards of Impressionist paintings clipped to twine with clothing pins. We have a large poster of Monet’s “Water Lillies” framed on one wall, and a small print of “Le Printemps” by Pierre August Cot on another. Once you’ve seen the originals of these amazing works of art at the Met, they leave a lasting impression. For one of my birthdays, Hal printed and framed the poem, Ode to a Woman Gardening by Pablo Neruda, so that hangs on another wall.  MB angle with Monet

Our master bedroom is now a place of serenity and relaxation. We worked with what we had, adding a few key pieces in a soothing color scheme that makes it all cohesive. In the morning, the sun shining through the turquoise drapes almost makes it seem like we are floating under water on a sunny day. MB whole

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The Apartment Project: Lovely Living

The living room is the place where we invite guests to come, sit, have a cup of tea and share their troubles. It is where Friday night pizza and TV marathons take place. It is where we cozy up for cheap date nights, or take a nap on Saturday afternoon. Parties take place there, with Mario Kart tournaments and even Corn Hole being played. As the central, most visible and highly used spaces in our home, I knew it was worthwhile to spend most of my decorating energy (and budget) there.

TAP LR9In New York, we lived in a teeny-tiny apartment that didn’t have a functional living room, so we almost never had anyone over. We knew we wouldn’t stay in that place for long so we never settled in. It was not a home for us, it was a temporary necessity. In preparation for moving to Florida, I recognized that home is a choice. A mindset. A concept that we are free to embrace no matter where we are or how long we will be there. We have the power to transform our environment with whatever means home to us. We are the ones who endow a place or object with meaning.

With our new apartment, we made the decision to settle in and treat this as home, even though we only planned to stay for a few years. To us, home means comfort, serenity, a place to unwind, filled with love, good food, soothing smells, lovely colors, order, and of course, a flat screen TV with DVR.

The living room was essentially a bare, white box when we moved in. To add a sense of serenity we painted the walls Benjamin Moore’s Wedgewood Gray. A few pieces we already owned, like the coffee table, standing lamp and chair. The rest of the furniture we had to purchase.

The Pottery Barn Comfort Sofa- a gift from my mother-in-law- replaced an old futon, and what a welcome change it was! Of all the couches we tested it was by far the most comfortable, and reflected the beachy cottage/farmhouse style that I had grown to love in the Hamptons. Also from my mother-in-law, is the original oil painting that hangs above the couch. I made the throw pillows myself, with material I had picked out months prior while I was daydreaming about moving.

The side-tables were a Homegoods find. I couldn’t believe how well they matched the wall color when I brought them home. The mercury glass lamps add some bling to an otherwise casual space. Family pictures and accents in my favorite color (turquoise) help to establish a feeling of home for me.

Sturdy wood pieces in warm, dark brown hues add a cozy, farmhouse aesthetic. Size is a key factor to consider when purchasing furniture for an apartment. Some media cabinets are enormous, and could easily overpower a space, making the room feel lopsided. The X design along the sides of the bookcase were what attracted my interest when deciding what to buy. Varying up the shelf displays with differing book positions, pictures and objects is a great way to tell a little of your own story. You are what you read, right? So the things you choose to display reveal something about yourself. My bookcase says that I’m spiritual, artistic and imaginative. What does yours say about you?

Next to the media cabinet there was just enough space to create a little “moment” that suggests reading nook. Hal had inherited the chair and lamp from his grandfather. Rather than buying another side table, I used a pile of books to elevate a potted plant.

Our apartment living room was transformed into a piece of home through a coastal palette, comfy couch, dark wood furniture, and family photos. It evolved from being a stark, empty room into a relaxing, lovely haven. What does home mean to you and how does your living space embody that?