By Julie C.
My home is my favorite hobby – or if I’m honest, maybe even obsession. In May 2009 my brand-new husband and I moved into our forever home a month after getting married. He thought the house was nearly perfect ‘as-is’. Silly man. Ask any HGTV-watching, blog-reading woman if their house is perfect “as-is” and they would all agree with me – our spaces are never, ever done! Our homes should reflect our lifestyle and our personalities and need to evolve along with us. Thankfully, during the last four years of projects the Husband has gotten on board, albeit reluctantly, and has taken on many projects, mastering some of his own DIY skills along the way. YAY me – I’m his number one fan!
For many of us, time and money dictate whether our projects are complete renovations, face-lifts or just makeovers. Our master suite project was the latter two, and just like us – is still a work-in-progress. Our 1999 custom ranch’s open layout did not need changing, but the décor throughout was dated or non-existent. For the Master Suite make-over I began with a limited budget and planned a cohesive design to give me the cozy retreat we wanted by focusing on color coordination and textures, starting with the walls. By now we all know that the most impact for the least money in any room is paint. Whether it’s bright, soft, neutral or white, it’s a very personal choice and should not be dictated by fads or friends. And I’ll be honest – it took months to decide on a palette for our master suite because I know me – I tire easily of bold and specific color schemes. After I considered the room’s purpose and amount of natural light I chose Sherwin Williams Sandy Ridge 7535 for the bedroom’s walls and ceiling, and Creamy White 7012 semi-gloss for the trim, doors and built-in armoire.
After deciding to paint Sandy Ridge on both the vaulted ceiling and the walls, the Husband got really ambitious and decided to spray-paint. While that decision required a lot of prep work and set-up, it really shortened the time and work needed to apply 3 coats of paint. The trim and doors were another story – going from oak to painted woodwork was a nightmare that nearly killed us; sand, prime, first coat, second coat. It was right about the time we completed the trim that this project got a tad more complicated and it was really the Husband’s fault. All I did was mention how wimpy and small our IKEA dresser was for the scope of the room, and then showed him my little sketch for a double armoire to surround the flat-screen tv and a small gel fireplace. Guess what. He went online and got plans, pre-made doors and lights and we ended up with a 10’ x 10’ beauty that truly makes the room! And I remain his number one fan….
The new built-in armoire, painted Creamy White, really made your eyes go up – but then there was nothing else up there to see except can lights in a 14’ ceiling. Hmmmm….. how ‘bout some ‘jewelry’? I found a great buy on the Lucie Chandelier from Ballards’ Design that gave me the oversized look I wanted for those high ceilings. Enter our ‘Guy’ (if you don’t have one – get one!) he and the Husband installed the chandelier dead on center and it ‘wows’ the room! For window coverings I caught a great sale on Restoration Hardware’s Belgium Linen, lined drapery panels (discontinued color, but flax and natural are almost the same). I matched the drapes to the walls to keep it monotone enough to change the whole look with just pillows, throws and accessories – deep plum in the winter and soft pink in the summer so far! The bed linens also stay neutral and get swapped out often – my favorites are from West Elm.
In the master bath I really had to compromise by getting the most style for the buck. I’m so not a fan of the jetted tub, shower or layout – but it’s quite amazing how updating key elements and eliminating the oak transformed the space! We continued the same palette as the bedroom, using Sandy Ridge for a couple of accent walls and Creamy White for the remaining walls and trim. The bathroom had endless oak trim that just overwhelmed the space – now that it’s white it looks so crisp & clean! We painted the oak vanities black for contrast and our Guy swapped out the fixtures from silver/gold (ugh!) to antiqued bronze. We added 2 Pottery Barn Francis Sconces (great price) and 2 West Elm Antique Tiled Mirrors in place of the dated medicine cabinet and plain mirror. I hid the builder grade shower with a Ballards Design monogrammed burlap shower curtain. These were all just simple changes and the amazing thing is – we love it! Although it may never be in my budget to do a complete renovation, in the future we may swap out the sink and counters – and maybe even splurge on a glass tiled shower with a rain head shower.
About the Author:
Julie Choquette must decorate! Must paint! Must re-purpose! She has retirement dreams of turning those passions of painting, decorating/design, reading, writing and photography from part-time endeavors into something grand.
Julie’s been told she’s ‘Best Nana Ever’, and works hard to keep that title! She loves being a nana, mother and wife. She really loves being an empty-nester with her husband, feeling blessed that she was given a second chance at love/happiness/life! She has worked as a director/department head & grant writer for a government/non-profit agency for 20 years, but is more than ready to see what the next phase brings.