mcm house

Our bedroom grew up and became an adult, finally.

Our bedroom has been an evolution of sorts since we were married just over four years ago. Never really a major priority while we renovated everything else in our condo and current home. Common areas took precedent because meh, who really sees your bedroom? Well, I for one do. On a good night, seven plus hours. Or actually a bad night I see MORE of it as I lay in bed wide-eyed, exhausted but not sleeping. The worst. So, I wanted our room to feel less like an afterthought and more like a peaceful respite. A really cozy bed with nice linens and an overall calm feel. I had some time at the end of the year so I put the wheels in motion. 

To be honest, I never really had a plan for this space. A plan for me often involves shopping and I knew I wanted to be budget minded. So the dresser, lamps, chair are pieces we've had for a while that I knew would stay. The other things I've picked up along the way with no purpose in mind, just knowing if I liked them, I'd find a home for them... in our home. That mostly works, btw. The trick is to not have to buy a crap load of other things to make that one thing work.


For the color of the room, we wanted something medium dark. The rest of our house is so light and bright and we wanted this space to feel a little more moody. I chose Whale Gray by Benjamin Moore which can lean a little on the blue side at different times of the day. I love that about it but if you're looking for a more warm medium/dark gray this isn't it.

Above our dresser I added this brass mirror from Target. I recently read to never place a mirror between two windows because it breaks up the view. Since the view is of our neighbor's house and our shades are mostly drawn, I don't think it matters as much. I get the point of that but in this space it works nicely as a vanity mirror. 

The Danish chair is an oldie but goodie. I found it at a vintage store in Michigan for $25. It desperately needs to be reupholstered but has great bones and is still very sturdy. I bought some nubby cream fabric for it this summer but I'm being cheap and haven't pulled the trigger on having it professionally recovered. In the meantime, I put this little throw on top. I dig it.

The planter and lamp are also vintage finds. Mike knows how much I pride myself on what little I spend on home goods. It also drives him crazy to hear it. To him, it's just spending. Anyway, $8 for the lamp, $6 for the giant ceramic matte planter. I'm not humble when it comes to thrifting. I'm just not. And if you're going to decorate anyway, isn't it better to get a good deal and spend less? Yes, it is.

As a married couple we've never had a real bed – no headboard, I mean. Just a mattress on a bed frame in that charming college student sort of way, except we're in our forties now (yeah, that happened) so it's just sad. When we moved in I begged Mike for a proper bed and he agreed it was time to adult up. I love this one. It's low profile enough for the space but the tufting helps to blend the vintage and modern vibe that runs throughout our entire house. 

Do you have that friend that always has the most comfortable fluffy bed with fancy linens and and all the fixings? I do (Erin). I've always been so envious of her beds when I visit so I went out and made that happen. This part is never very budget friendly because bedding just adds up no matter how you slice it. I went with a white linen duvet cover and shams from West Elm, printed sheets from Target, a semi-fluffy mattress cover, new down pillows and a spanking new down duvet. It's so dreamy in that bed now and VERY hard to leave it in the morning. The throw pillows and blanket are from HomeGoods (always a sucker for HomeGoods). Side note: we did the bed in a box thing (Leesa) and it's pretty great if you're on the mattress hunt. 

As for the rest of our decor pieces, they are mostly vintage or from Goodwill with, of course the occasional Target find. I did a crafty thing for the piece above my nightstand. I stumbled upon Mike's wedding vows to me the other day and after a good cry (they are really, really sweet) I decided to see what they would look like framed. Pretty good, I think! I also love how the art honors us because this is our room and our space away from the kiddo... except at 6am when he comes storming in to watch Thomas (grinning + tears emoji).

The nightstands are a craigslist purchase from before we moved out here. I have considered painting them but am kind of enjoying the wood mixed with the brass. For now, they will stay this way. I'll DIY when I must but I don't really enjoy it and I'm not sure I'd do the greatest job. 

For my fortieth birthday Mike wanted to get me something memorable. I decided I wanted that to be a big, big antique Turkish rug. We even went to look at one that was pretty affordable but the colors were just not right. I still pine for one – something to pass down to my kid the way Mike's grandmother passed so many down to his mom and then to us. In the meantime, (until I find the perfect one) I decided a simple jute rug would look just fine here. We have a patterned runner outside in the hallway and then in the bath down the hall so the simplicity of the jute rug mixes better with those. A little tip: you cannot beat Ikea for these rugs. They are at least $150 cheaper than even a more affordable store like World Market. 

And that is the end of our bedroom story. I still have a plan to update our closet door which I've purposely left out of photos but I'll get there. I'm happy with how this room turned out. Even though I didn't really have a plan and we went dark on the walls, the decor still flows very nicely with the rest of our house which makes me feel like hey, I have a style and it's working for us. It's a good feeling. Now, onward to our final room remodel. I cannot wait to show you what's happening in that little space. It's going to be so fun!

Exterior updates and other ramblings

Most days I love our home. Other days I want to pack up and move back to the city where a condo association takes care of most housing woes. The other day was one of those times. What began with about one hundred phone calls to Nest complaining about a faulty thermostat ended with a defeated version of ourselves agreeing to the install of a new AC unit. And although an AC unit is necessary and nice to have, you can't really brag about it or show cool before/after photos (although if you ask, I will gladly snap a photo of that bad boy). So, while that purchase has me wanting to start packing, I need to focus on the stuff I'm beginning to love about our home. Here's an update on the exterior changes we've made so far.

This is where we began almost exactly one year ago. Many shades and finishes of white on the wood siding, shutters, fake grilles on the windows. I should have taken more close up before photos had I known I'd be blogging about it a year later. It wasn't a bad exterior but the home was never meant to look this way. Some owner along the way wanted to wipe the mid-century look – our goal was to honor it's roots and help to restore it. 

For the design, I put together a mood board that I shared in an earlier post

To start, we badly need new windows and we are finally moving forward with that (hooray!). In the meantime, when we moved in, I knocked out all of the little pieces of wood trim meant to look like grilles or separate panes. I am positive this was someone's labor of love. It was a total DIY that I managed to destroy in a matter of an hour but it had to be done for the sake of period appropriateness. 

Next, we moved on to paint the exterior. I had been eyeing a home not far from ours (but far enough to not look like we were copying them) that had a shade of dark gray that I was going for. Selecting paint for the exterior of your home can be challenging. You might like how a sample of it looks on your home but how will it translate on the entire house? This felt safe to me because it looked so pretty on theirs. For color matching, I used this really high tech app on my phone and voila. Or, I knocked on their door and they were so lovely to invite me in and meet their kids and interrupt their dinner while they went to find a leftover paint can. People are crazy nice sometimes. The color is Grizzle Gray by Sherwin Williams and it's a warmer dark gray - so pretty.

Once the house was painted I moved on to the front door. I'm sure this was a real gem at one point in time. In fact, a neighbor stood by patiently while it was being removed to haul it home - storm door and all. People are also really funny sometimes. I've mentioned this door in the past – it's a 90's relic. To replace it, we chose something with a mid-century feel that didn't cost a fortune (that is surprisingly very hard to come by!). Mike will say it did cost a fortune but it can be his thing to make up a number in his head of what something should cost without any frame of reference. I'm trying to be real in these posts so I will say it was not a pretty few weeks of "discussion" but ultimately I got my way and he loves it. Phew.

As for the storm door, I had that removed for good. They are so nice to have and let in tons of light but I didn't want to take away from the beauty of the new door. I miss it but ultimately, I love the way the door looks without it. And looks really are everything, right? ;) I've finally pulled the trigger on a new door handle but I haven't been able to bring myself to install it (DIY fear). The same day our AC broke down, in a sick twist of fate, our door handle busted. I can't say I was sad. I went with the pretty brass one from the mood board. It's not really mid-century but has classic lines that I think pair nicely with everything else. If you haven't checked out Rejuvenation for fixtures yet - go. They good. 

I found that bench at an antique store years ago. I'm so glad I held onto it. I stained it black and stole our pillows from the back deck for a little added interest and height. That plant/flower/birch arrangement was an experiment. Mike says birch branches are for winter...I say it's pretty year round. In my previous life I pretend I was a florist. 

We updated the rusted out mailbox and front door light for something cleaner and black to match the door and bench. It turns out spiders love our mailbox new or old. Eh, nature. Lastly, we added these brass house numbers. I bought them as a little house- closing gift to ourselves last year. Literally ANY excuse to buy home goods. 

Here's where we're at now. I think it's much cleaner and truer to our style and the original style of the home. So, while we miss the ease of condo living, it feels good to breathe new life into this house even if it is one room, facade or AC unit at a time.