Art Above the Bed

Add this to the list of things that took way too long to be accomplished…

I have wanted to frame a large print of this beautiful cloud picture for almost a year. As of last week, that task is finally done.

picture above bed

The space above the bed was painfully blank: taupe walls and taupe headboard. I wanted something to contrast with the sea of taupe. I’m lucky to have an amazing pro photographer as a friend and when I saw this beautiful clouds at night shot, I knew it would be perfect for above the bed.

My favorite thing about this photo is you don’t realize it is taken at night until you look deeper and can see the stars dotted along the deep blue sky.

I bought a 20″ x 28″ Ikea Ribba frame and attached the frame to the wall with Command Velcro strips. They are a great tool for old plaster walls or people who like to change art around.

picture above bed

Once the picture was up it read a little small. I find things tend to read much smaller when they are actually up on the wall. This happens a lot to me, but I have yet to learn my lesson. If I did it again, I would get a 20×30 print to take up the entire frame.

A bigger print may be in the future, but for now I love looking up and seeing this beautiful photo above the bed.

Photo: “Friends” by Ryan Dearth. Check out his website for more gorgeous photos.
Frame: Ikea Ribba in white


Let There Be Lights

The bedroom has been getting lots of attention lately. First a new rug, then a headboard, and now some lights.

brass bedside sconces ashandorange.wordpress.comI wanted sconces instead of lamps to free up some of the very limited nightstand space.

I liked the idea of library sconces with adjustable arms. But they are too big (both visually and physically) for our small bedroom and nightstands, as well as being crazy expensive.

I obsessively searched for inexpensive brass sconces, found nothing, considered making my own, and finally found some $20 brass spotlights at Target when I should have been buying milk. In my defense, the lights are pretty close to the milk.

brass sconces

These lights are perfect. They are small so they don’t overwhelm the nightstands. They swivel 360 around the base plate and can adjust up and down, allowing you to direct the light where you want it. The soft brass color also blends really well with the small brass knob on the nightstand and the brass door knob on the closet.

brass details

brass lights

The cords are the typical clear plastic cord with silver wires inside. They don’t bother me too much, but in the future I may cover or paint them.

brass lights

We Made a Headboard

For those of you waiting for a thrilling sequel to We Made a Bed…here it is.

DIY upholstered headboard

We made a headboard!

My goal for the bed was this beauty from Restoration Hardware. I like the simple lines and linen fabric. It just looks so relaxing and comfortable. The price tag is anything but comfortable. So I decided I could make something similar with the help of my partner in DIY insanity, also known as my husband.

I looked at a lot of upholstered headboard tutorials online (people love making upholstered headboards), and used some of those tips. Most people make the headboard out of a sheet of 1/2″ plywood cut to size, then some 1″ foam, batting, and finally fabric. I went about things a little differently.

First, we built a frame out of 2×4 lumber. The two vertical posts are 56″, and the three horizontal rails are 54″. This makes a 56″ tall and 61″ wide frame (which works for our homemade queen size bed). I wanted the headboard to have some depth to it that wasn’t just foam. That is why I decided to make a 2×4 frame. You get the 1.5″ depth of the 2×4 plus a little extra from your upholstery.

headboard frame

Next, we attached a piece of 1/4″ plywood underlayment to the frame with brads. (We had Home Depot cut the underlayment to 41.5″ tall by 61″ wide).

headboard frame

And now for the upholstery part…I wrapped the base frame with 2 layers of batting. I did this gently as batting tears very easily. The batting (and all other layers) is secured on the back of the frame with staples. I then wrapped the headboard with a cheap sheet. Wrapping the batting in thin fabric before the final fabric gives a much smoother and nicer look, in my opinion.

To finish it off, I wrapped the headboard in my favorite fabric of all time…canvas painter’s drop cloth. It is thick, soft (after washing and drying), and gives a nubby linen look. I did all my upholstering with the headboard standing up so I could smooth the fabric as I went.

headboard alone

The corners are the most difficult part and my method was basically like a hospital corner when making a bed. I cut away some fabric and then just played with the fabric until I got a smooth and sharp corner.headboard corner

The back isn’t pretty but it doesn’t show. I included a picture to help anyone understand the upholstery job.

headboard back

Once the upholstering was done, we attached our new headboard to the bed using two  3″ wood screws through the leg of the headboard and into the leg of the bed frame.

DIY upholstered headboard

DIY upholstered headboard

It turned out really nice. It is not super cushy but it is soft and feels just fine to rest your head on while reading.

As for cost:

  • 2×4 lumber:  $13.41
  • 1/4″ underlayment:  $13.95
  • Batting:  $6
  • Sheet:  $4
  • Drop cloth:  $11.88

An upholstered headboard for around $50. I’ll take it!

Old Rug New Rug

Part of my office cure project list was to add a rug. After lots of searching for the perfect rug, that was also very cheap, I found a perfect option: the rug in my bedroom. It was very cheap (free) and it works perfectly in the office. We purchased the rug at Target, about a year ago, after the untimely demise of our previous bedroom rug by a sweet dog with a upset stomach.

Criss cross rug in badroom

It worked great in the bedroom. It is very plush and soft. The plushness does go down a bit after walking on it (think old teddy bear), but it still has great weight and feel on your feet. The neutral ivory and gray goes with everything and the rug is a steal at $130.

I like it so much that I considered buying another one for the office. That was until I spotted this amazing rug on Jenny Steffens Hobick’s blog. I would have never considered it from the picture on, but the pictures in her blog show how beautiful it really is. It’s neutral with great accents of rust, navy, and lilac gray. I have wanted a persian looking rug for a while but they are always too expensive or my husband and I can’t agree. But everything worked out with this rug. It was under $200 (not bad for a 5×8 wool rug) and both of us really like the pattern and colors.

After some interesting maneuvering to get a 5×7 rug out of a 9×9 room, the criss cross rug found a new home in the office and the persian rug a new home under the bed.

The office:

criss cross rug in office

and the new rug in the bedroom:

persian rug in bedroom

bedroom rug

Our nightstands are a vibrant red-orange laquer. The rust tone in the rug works well with them. My favorite part is the navy blue accents.

Bedroom rug detail

It smells a little chemical-ly but it’s fading. It’s very dense wool and feels nice underfoot. Lucky for me, I have an in-house model to show how comfy the new rug on rug

Still lots of projects to do in both the office and the bedroom, but it feels good to at least have the rugs done and another project checked off of my office cure list.


Criss cross rug (now in office): Threshold Criss Cross Fleece Rug, 5×7, from Target

Persian Rug: Handmade Treasured Sand Wool Rug, 5×8, from

Nightstands: Turned leg nightstand in Vermillion, from West Elm, no longer available (I found one of mine through craigslist)

We Made a Bed

We are currently drowning in laundry room renovations, so I thought why not add another project to the mix? Living in a 90 year old house with no cooling system gets pretty hot in the summer. Especially if two adults (one large, one small) are sharing a full size bed.  As the temps soared, the bed seemed to get smaller and smaller, hotter and hotter. One night at 2 a.m. I decided I had enough. It was time for a queen bed! This plan was riddled with a few problems: 1. Beds are expensive and I am the cheapest person in the world. 2. We live in a house made for tiny people and tiny furniture. Our master bedroom is only 9 feet long. We are limited to a bed with a maximum length of 84 inches in order for the door to open and do special things like walk around it. This greatly diminishes the choices. Many of you are probably thinking, “Why not get a cheap metal frame and just have the mattress and box spring?”. Tiny house wins again, a queen size box spring won’t fit through our tiny hallway and 78″ high door frames. Then I googled, “DIY bed frame”. So many tutorials! My fellow crazy people making their own bed frames. Saving money, risking divorce… seems like a great idea. I drew up some plans, convinced my sleeping partner, bought a lot of 2x4s, and we were in business. The words “Why aren’t we BUYING a bed?!”, were only yelled a few times. Repeatedly answered with “Because I am cheap and insane”. I based my bed frame off of this really nice plan for a West Elm inspired bed on Decor and the Dog blog. I even bought a Kreg mini jig to drill pocket holes. It was very professional. DIY bed frame All in all, it took about half a day, two fights and $45 worth of wood. Totes worth it. (The Kreg jig was an extra $20). DIY bed frame DIY bed frame The raw wood gives that rustic look I am going for. With the lumber stamps adding a graphic touch. I am actually going for something similar to this bed from Restoration Hardware:

Restoration Hardware Parsons Headboard with Bed Skirt

I plan on making a headboard out of a hollow core door, upholstering it with drop cloth, and making a bedskirt that will go directly over the frame out of drop cloth as well. So basically, the insanity continues….