Bettering the Bedroom

The last time we looked at the bedroom things were in a pretty embarrassing state.

Just for fun, I’ll remind you:


Yikes!! If you can avert your eyes from the clutter (disclaimer – I was not dreaming of posting this on a blog for all the world to see at the time) I’ll point out the key pieces of furniture in the room and the decorating challenges I was facing.

Most notably, is my off-white antique dresser.


It was love at first sight when I came across this beauty at my neighborhood second-hand thrift store. I had just moved to NYC, signed a lease and owned no furniture at the time.  Naturally, my first official piece of furniture was a gigantic antique dresser – not a bed or kitchen table, like some logical person might have chosen. Since I had loved it longer than I’d known my husband, I insisted it make the move twice to end up at our current apartment.  It has a commanding presence, and nothing else in this bedroom was measuring up just yet.

The other pieces include:

  • My husband’s dresser – Craigslist: far too ugly to photograph at the time (I’ve since given it a bit of a facelift)
  • My miniature nightstand – the perfect size to allow the closet doors to open when pushed close together with the bed and Mike’s nightstand – classic New York furniture arranging tactics.
  • The “bed” – aka box springs and a mattress on the floor
  • My husband’s nightstand – Craigslist: matches the unfortunate dresser and therefore did not seem photo worthy at the time.

Mom and I had originally planned to make our own upholstered headboard like this, this, or this while she was visiting, but with the added effort put into the stencil debacle we ran out of time and energy.

So, when this guy just magically appeared at TJ Maxx for $150 we jumped on it!



I wished the detailing was in oil rubbed bronze instead of silver, but I knew that it was the best deal at the right time and the silver doesn’t bother me as much anymore.

Now that I had the fancy dresser, a classy headboard, and my pretty duvet cover and shams (arriving soon from the wedding registry) I needed a bit of artwork above the bed to balance the height of the dresser.

I was hoping to accomplish something like this:

or this:

or this:

I didn’t want to spend a lot money on frames so I headed out to Kmart in search of some inexpensive frames I saw on their website. I knew I wanted frames with a white matte and these looked really classy. I knew they had to be plastic for the low price of 4 dollars, but they were worth a trip.


When I got there, I found the frames pictured above along with a larger version (11×14) that had a segmented matte for a dollar more. The plastic frames looked wooden from a distance, though I had to be selective about finding frames with less of the cheap a gold shimmer paint that varied from frame to frame.  I stared at the larger ones for a long time before realizing that I could remove the divided matte to allow the matte to frame an 8 x 10 photo!

For example, the frame below is divided to hold 7 small photos. If you make 6 short cuts to detach the inner dividers along the edge of the matte you will end up with one large square! I cut mine with an x-acto knife to be as precise as possible.


My frames and mattes ended up like this: (now containing the most “un-wedding-like” wedding photos we had)


The mats aren’t that high quality, but since they are over the headboard no one really gets close enough to tell. The frames even look like high quality wooden frames until you lift them off the hook and realize how light-weight they are.

The middle photo is of a stamped box that held our wedding favors at each place setting. I’m pretty tickled that I figured out a way to have our monogram over the bed, without having to pay a premium price!


Here’s the final (but very far from finished) product:


Now that’s a lot better that where we started! More updates on their way!

(Wedding photos courtesy of Day of Bliss Photography)

One thought on “Bettering the Bedroom

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