Category Archives: bedrooms


light it up: new wall-mounted lights

13th January 2014

If you’ve been a reader of this blog for a while, you might have noticed that in addition to the new mirror in our bedroom from last week’s post, there was also a switch up with our lighting situation. For quite a while, we have had two task lamps on either side of our bed. I still love those lamps, but the bases were really quite big and when the baby made her arrival, we realized we really needed the space on our nightstands much more than we used to. Bottles, blankets, books, creams, etc. were all taking up mad real estate. No room for a nicely styled book + plant + light combo anymore.


So we decided to move out the lamps for now (we plan to re-use them elsewhere down the road), and landed on these Hektar wall-mount lights from IKEA for $20 a pop.

Dan did the installation. One of our little tricks for reducing the mess when you’re drilling is to fold a piece of tape in half lengthwise. Then stick half onto the wall and have the other half as a little “shelf” for the dust from the drilling. It’s not going to pick up all the dust, but it does cut the mess down a whole lot.


They aren’t the most amazing lights ever or anything, but I’m pretty happy with them. They cast a nice bright light for reading, and the look is simple and unassuming. I would have preferred hard-wired sconces where the cord doesn’t show, but getting finicky with our electrical right now just wasn’t in the cards.


The black finish is nice and matte, and plays well with the grey walls and black picture frames we have going on in the room.DSC_1202


It’s really nice to have all that space back on the nightstand. The baby clutter has reduced somewhat lately as Maya has given up the night feeds (yessss!!), but it gives plenty of room for lotions and potions, etc.

What do you guys do for lighting in your bedroom? I am digging the sconces for sure. In our future bedroom (post addition/reno), I definitely want to hard wire some in. I have also seen some people do these stellar hanging lights beside the bed that have an industrial and cool vibe. Thoughts? 


a new bedroom beauty: the EQ3 ‘Conner’ mirror

8th January 2014

When EQ3 got in touch recently and selected me to be their December “blogger of the month” I was ridiculously flattered. I’m crazy for the Canadian store – did you know it originated in Winnipeg and they still manufacturer most of their products (including all upholstery pieces) there? Love that. And don’t forget the EQ3 Reverie sofa that I have been so pleased with.

I was gifted an accessory from EQ3 as part of this series, and I quickly chose the ‘Conner’ mirror in white (it retails for $99). I have been keeping my eyes peeled for a round mirror for above our bed for a long time now, and the Conner couldn’t have been more perfect.

It’s a pretty big mirror, so it’s easier to have two people on hand to do the install. The hubs and I measured out where the center spot on the wall would be, eyeballed the right height, and then broke out the drill. We do the paint tape trick of folding it in half and sticking it below the spot where you’re drilling to create a little ledge where (most) of the debris should fall. It definitely helps with the clean-up.


The simple round shape of the mirror plays off the straight lines of the bed and headboard perfectly. And it’s big enough to have a presence up there, rather than feeling too small and rinky-dink, you know? DSC_1174

I like the way it reflects the chandelier and the art display around the TV on the opposite wall. Again, the lines on the opposite wall are very rectangular (frames + TV), so it’s really nice to have the rounded shape of the mirror to add some dimension.DSC_1184

And the symmetry that the mirror + light fixtures + pillows provides in the room is much needed with our off-balance windows.DSC_1192

One of the features I really like about the mirror is that it is inset quite deeply within the painted wood frame. Somehow it makes it feel more luxe that way. It gives off a bit of a nautical feel, don’t you think? DSC_1202


Sometimes it’s just one piece that can make a room feel a whole lot more complete, you know?  And although I used this in our bedroom, the scale and look of the mirror would be fab in so many different spots. I can picture it looking gorgeous in a bathroom above a vanity, in an entryway above a narrow table, above a fireplace, or on a big wall in a mixed gallery wall.

Thanks a million to EQ3 for having me as the blogger of the month, and for this lovely mirror! I couldn’t be more pleased.

PS. I owe you guys a few other bedroom updates. More on those wall-mounted lights and bedside table soon.

What do you guys have hanging over your bed? Anything? I always find it a difficult spot to decorate. Leave just the headboard, add a mirror, mixture of frames, some antlers or other more arty object, etc. So many choices! Oh, and I always make sure to hang things really securely…wouldn’t want anything coming down in the middle of the night!

painted trim on closet doors-feature

painted sliding closet doors: faux trim effect

10th September 2012

Do you have any of these closet doors in your house? You know, the sort of flimsy sliding kind? Well I do. And they happen to be in our master bedroom. I couldn’t handle looking at these ugly things anymore, so I decided to paint the sliding closet doors with a faux trim effect.

First step was to wash down the doors to remove any residue or dust. I didn’t need to sand since these doors aren’t wood, but if you have wooden closet doors you would want to use a medium and then fine grit sandpaper to prep the surface for paint (like these 3M Advanced Abrasives). To wash down the doors I just used some basic soap and water. If they had been glossy or had some other finish, a de-glosser might have been necessary.

Then I needed to measure out where I wanted the rectangular boxes to go. I started by measuring out the box and putting X’s where the corners would meet. I marked 3 inches in from the outer edges for each door. See that faint pencil mark in the photo below?

Next up I grabbed my ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape (the kind with the edge-lock paint line protector) and taped out the boxes. I cut the edges of the tape at the corners to make sure they were nice and crisp. Since I wanted to paint the inside and outside of where the tape is (and then take off the tape to reveal a white box), I needed to make sure the corners were perfect.

And then it was paint time. I used my leftover pot of paint from the walls (Coventry Gray by Benjamin Moore), my mini-roller, a paint mask, and got to work. This was an older can of paint (before the low-VOC paints were so easily available), so I made sure to fully open the windows and wear a mask to ensure I didn’t inhale the paint fumes. You can find various kinds of masks to use when painting, sanding, or even cleaning from the 3M TEKK Protection series.

But after some easy-peasy pealing of the ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape (the stuff came off like butter… soooo smooth), I was left with nice crisp white lines. The pattern totally looks like molding and makes the doors look way much more upscale.

Doesn’t it add a nice bit of pattern without being over the top? It’s simple, but feels classic and adds another layer of interest to the room. The bedroom is slowly getting closer to what I’d like it to look like. I still don’t quite know what that final version is, but it’s fun to add different elements over time and see how it comes together.

They just sort of blend in with the room now and actually make the space feel a bit bigger. Such an easy and quick (half-day) project, with great results. Even if you don’t happen to have sliding closet doors like these, you could use the same technique and pattern on any other kind of door or even a piece of furniture to give it that two-toned/molding look.

painted trim on closet doors

And just for kicks, I tried out my very first video tutorial. I feel a little bit mortified about being on camera (who knew I said “uhh/umm” and “so” that often?!), but here you go! It’s got the full play-by-play of the project with some extra tips and tricks. Promise you’ll still like me after watching, k?! Ha.

This post is a collaboration with 3M DIY, but all opinions and projects are my own! To enter to win free samples for your next DIY project, visit Also be sure to check out 3M DIY on Facebook and 3M DIY on Twitter and 3M DIY on YouTube.

Product provided by our partner, 3M DIY.

a TV gallery wall

23rd May 2012

So remember how we gave our bedroom a little upgrade with our new DIY upholstered headboard?

Well, the other side of the room was crying out for an update. It was just feeling very ugly-duckling across from the snazzy headboard. Cluttered shelves, knick knacks, and random artwork just wasn’t cutting it.

So we decided to do something about it. Part of the reason for the overhaul was also because we were gifted a new TV. I love, love, love watching movies in bed (there isn’t anything cozier!), so we asked our families to pool together for both of our birthdays (back in March) and get us this TV. First up was to take the two bookshelves down and decide where the TV should be mounted. As usual, I taped it out to be sure before knocking any holes into the walls.

Then DIY Dan did his thing and figured out the technical stuff. Oh and those darker gray outlines from where the shelves were had to be painted over. I was too lazy to take the shelves down when I originally re-painted the room a while back.

Once we had the TV up, I grabbed some lone black frames (these used to be hung above our bed) and got the placement of them just right around the TV. Please don’t mind the sideways photo – I hadn’t put in the new artwork yet! You’ll also notice the new mirror in my vanity area, to the right of the gallery. I was never very fond of the frilly white mirror that was there before, which came with the dresser. If you don’t recognize the new mirror, it was the bathroom reject (remember how we went with a slimmer dark wood mirror instead?). Well, I was so in love with this rustic beauty and couldn’t bear returning it, so I found a new home for it here. I like the juxtoposition against the glossy white dresser, and it just feels a lot more like me.

Once I switched out the artwork to a more cohesive set of prints, and we tucked away the wires in one of those plastic tubes (which I painted the same colour as the wall), this is how it turned out. So much better, right?

The TV doesn’t exactly “disappear” in the gallery of frames, but the artwork definitely distracts from the big black box and doesn’t make it feel so out of place. Oh, and the hubs is going to throw together a little box out of scrap wood (which I will paint white) to hide the cable box sitting on the dresser.

The artwork was really fun to pull together. I wanted to make sure that it felt cohesive, so tried to stick with the grey and yellow theme (a little turquoise snuck in there too… whoops!). The top two are a print from vol. 25 which a friend gave to me, and a vintage Paris map we picked up when we were there last year.

I downloaded this New York state outline from The Vintage Lemon and added a heart over the spot in the Adirondack Mountains where the hubs and I tied the knot last summer.

This oil painting came back with us from our travels in Vietnam in 2007, and is a great reminder of a spectacular trip we had through South East Asia.

And lastly, this sweet little love print is a freebie printable from superstar blogger Mrs. Limestone (download it from Brooklyn Limestone here). I printed it at our local Staples on 100 lbs. cardstock for around a buck.

It’s now a really nice sight to wake up to and makes that side of the room feel really pulled together and so much bigger. We still have other projects we eventually want to tackle in this room (artwork above the bed, crown molding, something with our plain closet sliding doors, etc) but it’s getting closer and closer to the finish line. Or whatever kind finish line a constant house-tweaker like me can handle.

What about you guys? Ever wall mounted a TV? Or put up a photo gallery lately? Any other tricks to try and disguise those big black boxes? Do tell. 

DIY upholstered headboard - the sweetest digs

DIY an upholstered headboard: the easy how-to guide

14th May 2012

After our labour-intensive bathroom renovation (see the final reveal of that here), I was in the mood for an easy, high-impact project. A “quick win”, you know? I have had ‘make a headboard’ on the to-do list ever since we moved into our pad in 2009, so I figured the time had come. Here is how I made our new DIY an upholstered headboard for less than $100.

DIY upholstered headboard - the sweetest digs

Here was our bedroom before, looking pretty sad. ?

After humming and hawing for way too long about what the accent colour in our gray bedroom should be, I have finally decided on yellow. Such a happy colour that pairs nicely with gray.

I knew I wanted to do a basic upholstered headboard, so I waited for a sale day at my local fabric store, and went on the hunt for some yellow fabric. Sometimes I have no luck, and then other times I hit the jackpot. This was one of those jackpot moments. I came across this pretty gray and yellow ikat fabric by Richloom. The original price tag was just over $25/meter, but sale day meant 40% off. Everything was comin’ up Gemma!

I thought I had seen the fabric somewhere before, and realized when I got home that Sherry and John posted about on Young House Love quite a while ago…

I couldn’t find the exact gray and yellow fabric on Amazon to link to here, but I found other fabrics by Richloom that are similar (I LOVE the quality of the Richloom fabric we got – heavy weight and gorgeous… highly recommended!).

Here is the orange version (Richloom Ikat Marlena Orange Home Decor Fabric):

richloom fabric - orange

Another style in gray and yellow (Richloom Kashan Lemongrass Home Decor Fabric):

richloom fabric - gray and yellow

And this other beauty in blues (Richloom Ikat Django Turquoise Home Decor Fabric):

richloom fabric - blues

While at the fabric store, I also grabbed some hypo-allergenic extra thick batting. I didn’t want to shell out for foam AND batting (some people use both for upholstery projects), so I made sure to grab the really thick double-ply stuff.

For the actual headboard, I went to Home Depot and got some 1/4 inch plywood. They are able to cut it to size in the shop, so we brought our measurements with us and walked away with a piece ready to go. Definitely do it this way – saves a lot of time and hassle. Plus, it means you don’t need any special power tools.

First step was to lay the batting out.

headboard pic 1

Then I put my sheet of plywood on top and started stapling. Make sure to check the depth of your staples before you start. You don’t want to use ones that are too deep and stick out the other side of the headboard.

headboard pic 2

Just staple your way all around the board. Super easy.

headboard pic 3

Once the batting was all secured, I laid out the fabric with the patterned side down. I gave it a quick ironing to get out any wrinkles before starting.

headboard pic 4

Now it was time to start stapling the fabric. I started off by doing the two long sides. I made sure to pull it tightly as I was going so that it wouldn’t be too loosey-goosey in the front.

headboard pic 5

The corners are the part you want to be careful with. My technique (and I’m not sure if this is the “right” way or not, but it worked) is to approach it like I was wrapping a present. I get one side stapled, and then fold it in to the un-stapled side. Then I bring that piece up and pull it really tightly and staple along the seam. It takes a bit of practice, but I would just do it a few times until I got the perfect seam and then staple ‘er down.

headboard pic 6

upholstered headboard - the sweetest digs

Here she was all stapled and ready to go.

headboard pic 8

Now came the tricky part of actually hanging it. We wanted to attach it directly to the wall rather than to our bed, so we went through a few different options. We could have hung it using heavy-duty picture hangers, but we worried about it being wobbly and un-level. So we searched around and finally came across this heavy duty E-Z Ancor french cleat. It’s 18 inch and holds up to 200 pounds. I couldn’t find the same brand on Amazon, but this OOK Hangman French Cleat is the exact same in terms of dimensions and weight as the one we used.

headboard pic 9

You attach one piece of the cleat onto the back of the headboard, and one piece onto the wall. Then you slide them in together – they have grooves that fit into each other and snap in firmly.

headboard pic 10

headboard pic 11

Level and snug on the wall, that baby isn’t going anywhere.


We’re really happy with how it turned out. The colours are just right and it’s nice to bring another textile into the room. Now I’m on the hunt for some zippy yellow throw pillows to tie it all together!



The headboard itself is really soft and a nice spot to rest your head against while reading. We couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out!

And the budget breakdown? Not crazy cheap, but considering upholstered headboards usually run a couple hundred dollars, this DIY version definitely saves a bundle of moola by coming in at under 100 bones.

  • 3 meters of fabric + batting: $70
  • plywood: $15
  • staple gun, staples: $0 already owned
  • French cleat for hanging: $13

Grand Total: $98

What about you guys? Any DIY headboards under your belt? Or any other upholstery projects? I think the best part is picking out the fabric. I’m like a kid in a candy store at the fabric shop. 

collin’s condo redesign: the after part 2

1st March 2012

Alright folks, you saw the after pics of the living room of my recent condo redesign project earlier this week, so I’m back with the rest (check out all the before shots here).

Here is the kitchen in all it’s after glory. Not too much changed here (the cabinets and finishes were already great), but we needed to amp up the cozy factor. I added artwork (photos, a Homesense find, and notice the chevron canvas which was a recent DIY project?). The canvas actually covers up an ugly electrical box on that wall. If you have a feature like that in your place, a canvas is a great custom way to mask it (you can find all sorts of sizes at your local arts shop).

The barstools were a favourite find of mine. I love the pop of white and chrome, and they are oh-so-comfortable (purchased for $118 on sale at Blueprint Home). The leather also means that they are easy to keep clean and will age well.

There is a small den in a nook off the main living room. I put in a sleeper sofa and this bookcase to make it feel more like a library. By day it is a sweet reading space, but at night can be turned into a guest suite at a moment’s notice.

Collin (the condo owner) didn’t have a lot of things to display other than books, so I went out to our local thrift shop, spent $30, and came up with a bunch of “chachkies” (the globe, vases, candle holders, etc). They add some interest to the bookcase styling, and he can replace them over time with more meaningful items.

The bedroom was a sore spot when we started. It was an icy baby blue that didn’t add any warmth or maturity to the space, and all of the furniture was hand-me-down and ready to be donated. See what I mean?

I kept the space fairly minimal and more masculine than the living room, but the end result is nice and crisp. I went for a warm gray on the walls, replaced the old furniture with IKEA pieces, added cozy bedding, some artwork including the big piece above the bed (again from HomeSense – hello, affordable!), and some bookshelves.

The bathroom (which leads right off the bedroom) had been originally painted the same icy blue. Again it felt cold, especially with the black floors in that space. We wanted to add a pop of colour, so an earthy lime green was just the ticket. It adds the pop, some warmth, and just makes the bathroom feel more fun.

So there is it – a redesigned condo. I think I can safely say that the owner loved the end result and feels much more at home now in his new space. I can also attest to the fact that it is a fab space for entertaining (a few dinner parties have already taken place!).

If you are looking to re-decorate your space, feel free to drop me an email to I’d be happy to help!

office makeover step 4: headboarding

25th November 2011

Earlier this week you saw how we added some DIY artwork to our office/guest bedroom as part of its recent makeover. If you looked closely, you may have wondered why we hung the frames so high in relation to the bed… well it was because we were also in the midst of making and installing a headboard. Since I wanted the bed to look more like a daybed (remember it’s a dual purpose room), I figured a length wise headboard would do the trick.

So out came the same wood, stain, and varathane as our other recent projects (like the DIY desk and these wedding signs). The wood (9.5 inch wide boards) came from Home Depot, where you can have the wood pre-cut to size. Then it was just a matter of applying my fave Minwax Dark Walnut stain, followed by a couple coats of varathane.

Once it was all dried and cured we brought the 3 boards inside (remember – you don’t want that stuff to off-gas in your house, so make sure you do the painting in a well ventilated area).

Then we figured out where on the wall the boards should be placed, made sure they were level, and then just drilled away.

We thought about trying to find some brown deck screws so that the screws wouldn’t show up so much against the dark wood, but then realized that we really didn’t mind the look of the silver screws — it looked a bit more rustic and they really aren’t super noticeable.

One, Two, Three boards… and done!

It definitely makes the bed seem more ‘meant-to-be-there’ and less ‘just-shoved-in-with-the-office’. Using the dark wood also ties it into the desk (same wood tones) on the other side of the room.

We’re hoping to get a few more of the little details on this room done in the next few days, so we’ll be back next week with the updates. Oh and happy thanksgiving to all of our American friends out there! Have a great weekend everyone!

headboard hunting

6th April 2011

I’ve been collecting ideas for headboards over the past few months as I plan on making two of them when we get back to our Canadian digs (master bedroom + guest bedroom). I was originally thinking of just regular fabric upholstery but seeing all the other options out there, I am starting to second guess myself. From wooden planks to doors to blankets, there are so many materials you can use to make a sweet headboard. Here are a few of my current faves:

I’m especially in love with this first one probably because it comes with a bit of national pride. The Hudsons Bay Company is a historic Canadian store and their iconic blankets are a favourite. This grey version makes a perfect soft headboard that adds some visual interest and texture to the room.

via canadian house & home

via canadian house & home

Using shelving units behind the bed is especially useful for a small room as it does double duty by acting as a headboard and storage space.

via better homes and gardens

via better homes and gardens

How great is this next one?! I think those must be old screens/shutters that have been spray painted. I always have my eyes peeled for stuff like this in people’s garbage (seriously, you can find great stuff walking around your neighbourhood the night before garbage pick-up).

via create h design (

via create h design (

These next two are simple but so effective. They are blankets or wall hangings that are just hung on a curtain rod above the bed. Perfect if you’ve brought back a wall hanging from some travels and aren’t sure where to hang it.

via design sponge

via design sponge

via better homes and gardens

via better homes and gardens

This purple guy is super sweet. I love the bold pattern and bright colour. I think it would be tricky to DIY something like this as you can see the white part of the design is raised, but you could do something really similar with a stencil (or freehand) and some paint.

via Living Etc

via Living Etc

The next is a West Elm beaut (check it out here in the dark wood version). I’m not sure if Samantha Pynn (the designer of this room) painted hers light blue or if they actually sold the headboard in that colour at some point — either way I’m totally digging it.

designed by Samantha Pynn (of 'Pure Design' on HGTV Canada)

designed by Samantha Pynn (of 'Pure Design' on HGTV Canada)

And now for the ones I’ve been obsessing over since I found them. I think it’s the rough barn-style wood in both that is just totally doing it for me. In this first guy, I love the juxtaposition of the ornate and feminine chandelier, light draperies and frilly white bedding with the raw wood of the headboard and furnishings. Perfect.

via apartment therapy

via apartment therapy

And this one — love. it. If you’ve got yourself some barn boards you should totally copy this idea. You can read the DIY tutorial from house*tweaking here.

via house tweaking

via house tweaking

And that’s what I’ve come up with so far in my “headboards that aren’t upholstered fabric” category. I now wish I had about 5 bedrooms to decorate! Too many sweet options. Any good ideas that you’ve seen or have done? Do tell.


master bedroom mini-makeover: final update

7th August 2010

So over the last month or so I have posted about some of the small updates I was doing to our bedroom to give it a bit of a makeover, getting it closer to what I ultimately want it to look like. I started off by painting the room (twice!), which you can read about here. Then I added some super budget DIY artwork (see that post here). The next thing I did was install some blinds and curtains here. The last item on my “mini makeover” list was to change the seriously awful lighting. It was really harsh track lighting from I don’t know how long ago. Not soothing, not pretty, and certainly not romantic. I would have loved to dish out for a big beautiful pendant light or something else extravagant, but the budget was meager, so onto craigslist/kijiji I went. I wasn’t thinking of doing another chandelier, but when I saw this one on kijiji for $30, I just couldn’t resist.

I picked up my new light, brought it home and went straight for my can of spray paint. Before I could get too spray-happy, I had to remove all the little crystal bobbles and lightbulbs. It took quite a few coats of black Krylon spray paint to get everything covered, but it was so easy-peasy.

My trusty man (“handyman dan” I’ve been calling him), helped me take off the old light and hang the new one up.


I couldn’t be happier – the new light really makes a huge difference to the feel of the whole room.  The first night it was up we kept looking up at this fancy-shmancy chandelier and thinking we were in a luxurious hotel room!

And there you have it, the last of the mini-master bedroom makeover series which turned our bedroom from THIS:

.. into THIS:

Of course I still have other things on the list — a headboard, bigger and more colourful night-side table lamps, and a rug — but for now, I am sleeping soundly in this cozy room.

master bedroom mini-reno update #3: dressing up the windows

26th June 2010

So, after re-painting the master bedroom (see post here) and adding some DIY artwork (check it out here), we still needed to do something about our bare windows. Remember what they looked like?:

a messy master bedroom with bare windows

a messy master bedroom with bare windows

Not only did we want some curtains for aesthetic reasons, we were also getting woken up super early every morning by the beaming sunlight that pours into the room. As you can see, there are two windows. Since the one on the right hand side in the photo above is up next to the closet and sits right above the nightside table, there wasn’t enough room to add curtains there. The other window however, had plenty of room! Since blocking the sun out in the morning had become a fairly high priority, we wanted some dark curtains. Although I thought I might attempt to make them myself with my new handy-dandy sewing machine, I’m afraid when I saw the well-priced duds at IKEA, I couldn’t resist. Hello dark gray beauties!

ikea curtains

ikea curtains

The great thing about these IKEA curtains is that you can hem them yourself with their user-friendly iron-on hemming strips.

Step 1: Hang your curtains and measure how much has to come off the bottom.

Step 2: Lay your curtain out flat and measure amount determined in step 1.

measuring for the hem

measuring for the hem

Step 3: Fold bottom of curtain (iron to get a really good fold) and place hemming strip underneath the fold.

place iron-on hemming strip under the fold

place iron-on hemming strip under the fold

Step 4: Iron slowly and carefully with hemming strip in place to ensure it bonds securely.

fold fabric over and iron across

fold fabric over and iron across

Step 5: Cut off the excess fabric.

Step 6: Hang and admire your new curtains!

We added some very simple (and cheap!) white blinds to both windows for some extra sun-blockage. It is amazing how much difference curtains can make to a room. I look forward to tackling more windows in our house (possibly with my sewing machine next time…!).