The Cool House: master bedroom
Showing posts with label master bedroom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label master bedroom. Show all posts

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Three Gifts

New art in the house

Bob Boreman monoprint abstract landscape

Cathryn Arcomano Mix Media

Yes, I know I should iron the duvet

I never know what to get The Guy for birthdays, anniversaries or the holidays. Unless he specifically asks for something I am stumped. I did manage to surprise him four years ago with the Jamie Geller Dutra abstract painting so when we moved that out of the master bedroom and into the kitchen I thought maybe I could kill two birds by getting him another piece of art that could hang in our room.
I searched, we searched but nothing came out of it. Too small, too dark, the wrong colour; it seemed nothing would fit. Then he mentioned this book and I thought: Problem solved. I ordered the book, wrapped it and hid it where he would never think to look, in amongst the wrapping paper and ribbons in my office closet.
Fast forward a couple of months, I'm wasting time on ebay when I come across not one but three pictures that would fit the wall in the master bedroom and make a unique present for The Guy. I successfully bid on two, one more than I needed but BOGO! I dropped them into the Rockstar Framer at Ripe Art Gallery to work her magic, swearing her to secrecy. Three weeks later I was back to pick them up and then came the difficult part, getting them home, hiding them and keeping my mouth shut for a week until The Guy's birthday. The Bob Boreman piece is oversized and wouldn't fit in my car so I had to stealthily borrow his. It is so large it wouldn't fit in his trunk either but Cherie managed to slide it into the back where it balanced precariously as I drove home at 15 MPH avoiding all the potholes and bumps. I managed to hoist it upstairs, hide it with the other picture at the back of my closet covered them with clothes and held my breath every time he went in there.
The morning of his birthday I pulled the art out of the closet and went to look for some wrapping paper, which is when I discovered the book I'd bought months ago for his birthday... I've told The Guy he can consider himself gifted up to and including next xmas!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sleeping soundly

The Hoffman bed arrived Saturday so we happily traded crashing on a mattress on the floor for a real grown-up king-size bed. Paradoxically, the huge bed makes the room seem larger. I have no idea why this should be but I'm happily embracing the bonus. Better still, switching the furniture around allows me a fabulous view of the white magnolia from my side of the bed - at least until all the leaves on the beech tree open. More importantly we've been sleeping better for the past four nights than we have in the previous four years.

Apart from the art piled up in a corner - and a place to put the BeoSound1 - this room is DONE. For those who need to know how it compares with the original inspiration and the The Guy's updated design, here's the rundown:

Bed: Room and Board Hoffman in Teton, Ink
Bed Linens: ikea Andrea Satin
Media console and Bedside Tables: Room and Board Grove
Rug: Kravet custom
Sofa: ikea (no longer available)
Drapes: Habitat Pixel (no longer available)
Cornices: Custom (Awesome Designer)
Blinds: Smith and Noble Dark Mahogany
Paint: Benjamin Moore. Walls: Titanium; Ceiling: Cloud White; Trim: Bittersweet Chocolate
Original Abstract Art: Jamie Geller Dutra

The entire before and after timeline from Muenster Cheese to Bittersweet Chocolate is available for your delectation here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Something is Missing

When we were choosing fabrics for the Great Room sectional, way back in fall 2009, I pounced on a pale teal or seafoam color chenille and pronounced it perfect for the master bedroom. I had this idea that the I would paint the woodwork dark brown and the other colors would come from the Jamie Geller Dutra painting that I'd bought The Guy for his birthday a few years back.

I wasn't sure whether it would be used as drapes or pillows but eventually I asked the Awesome Designer if she'd make some "valance boxes" for the bllnds and cover them with the seafoam chenille. Being a great designer she found a blue/black trim to subtly enhance the color and suggested we make a third for the Pixel drapes that The Guy refused to replace. Now the beautiful cornices (as I have learnt to call them) have been installed and we couldn't be more pleased with the way the room turned out.

The Room and Board Grove oil-and-wax walnut credenza and bedside tables have a mid-century vibe that fits our style and complements the other furnishings in the house. Everyone (including all the electricians, plumbers and carpenters who traipse through here on the way to the master bath) loves the black glass lamps (also from Room and Board but this time the clearance section - score!) and the skinny navy and white Italian floor lamp. Even the Samsung television has gotten a thumbs up; when it's on the bezel lights up with a red accent, matching a corresponding red stroke in the painting!

There's only one thing we need to complete the room, one very important last final piece to finish our dream space. Can you see what's missing? What would, in effect, elevate this room to new heights? That would give this room the comfort level it needs? Something I need to have positioned before the rest of the art can go back on the walls? The piece of furniture that defines this room won't now be arriving until mid to late April and it can't arrive to soon for me. I'm too old to be camping out on the floor...

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Sneak Peek: Cabinet Hardware*

Atlas Centinel 3" pulls on the bathroom vanity. I had no idea the carpenter had put thses on Friday afternoon because when I went upstairs to check on him he was helping The Guy put the big-ass but slimline TV on its stand. The Guy is in love with his TV while I want to LICK these handles they are so damn good-looking. Looks like we both got what we wanted...

* Yes, I know these weren't on the list when I asked for your opinion interwebs, but when I wanted to look at those in real life one was too shiny, one was too dark and one was unavailable. This pull fitted in the budget and in my hand and looks even better on these vanities than on the board in the store.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Waxed Walnut

I didn't get my way over the walnut bed (yet) but we did agree on a walnut dresser. Sneak peek of the furniture that arrived yesterday evening - solid walnut, oil and wax finish, made in America; magnificently, impressively awesome.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

We are experiencing operating scheduling problems*

So... Day 62 of the master bath renovation. Sixty-two days spanning 4 months and two decades. Seems like an awfully long time, doesn't it? What with sickness, snow days and Palm Springs, a 10 day renovation (Ha! When has a bathroom remodel ever taken such a short time period? Apart from in my dreams and the promises of many a contractor?) has turned into a marathon of delays, do-overs and despair. But this week we have a date that must be met: the master bedroom furniture arrives Thursday (unless they are held up by snow...). So, working backwards: paint touch-up Wednesday; plumber Tuesday; electrician Monday; the carpenter will be here everyday until it's done. It must be done; it will be done. It must be done; it will be done... slowly we are chugging our way to the finish.

*see: Notation for Theoretic Scheduling

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Quick reno update

Before I left for Palm Springs we had a few house issues - tree in pool, missing tile and snow up to my armpits but as of today we have resolved most of those. Steady rain is taking carre of the snow; a man with a chainsaw and a truck came, happily declared "Let's make a mess", chopped down the tree and hauled away the debris. Bonus: more light at the back of the pool so the hollies I'm planning should do well; potential problem - more weeds.

The tile came in, the floor is finished and grouting has begun. We used half a bag of anthracite grout on the shower and floor tiles and two bags of grey (gris) grout on the mosaic walls. Quick pic above of the grout drying before they washed it off the tiles. Got a big thumbs up design-wise from the plumber who came to check it out before he returns tomorrow to attach the faucets, shower fixtures and WC. He wanted to know how we made it bigger! Shower door ordered and should be here in less than "tweaks"*.

Painters already have one coat on master bedroom walls, ceiling and trim and the closet. Today the bath and dressing room get their turn. We also ordered the new bed/furniture and the Awesome Designer is waiting patiently to install the upholstered window valances.

Still to do: Fit vanities (scheduled for Thursday); measure and install counters and re-fit saddle (marble guy will be here asap after vanities go in - turnaround is one week); plumber to fit basins, faucets; electricians to finish lighting and carpenter to attach all the pretty hardware to the wall. I'm still hopeful we can make it so The Guy can take his first shower in there on his birthday but at this stage I'm just happy we're making progress.
*The official supplier/contractor delivery estimator - supposed to equate to two weeks, rarely meets that timeframe.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Chocolate and Clouds...

...with a glint of metal... After all the selecting, culling and final editing and the twenty 12" x 12" squares in 7 different colors I painted on the master bedroom walls we have finally (maybe) come up with a paint palette* that pleases both The Guy and picky me.

Benjamin Moore Titanium to be precise. A warm pale gray with a greenish undertone for the master bedroom walls

Benjamin Moore Cloud White a cool creamy white, soft and billowy on the ceiling and inside the closets

Benjamin Moore Bittersweet Chocolate brownish black. Tasty on the trim to match the dark vanities.

By the way designers and decorators, Benjamin Moore has just launched a couple of exciting projects- new showrooms in New York and Chicago that have variable lighting to mimic those pesky north and east facing windows I'm currently dealing with and huge color blocks so you can truly imagine your finished design. The NYC showroom is painted in Cloud White, a shade I've used very successfully at The Cool House that provides a neutral background to the color chips.

Additionally, the "Designer's Colors" Virtual Fan Deck, a design-tool launched a couple of years ago with Kravet fabrics and furnishings is now available online making complimentary color choice a snap.

Benjamin Moore has also added an e-commerce section to the website so you can buy all the supplies BM offers, plus the sample pots in 600 colors, without stepping away from your computer. Shipping is free on orders over $75 and for 4 or more Color Sample pots. My local paint store is only offering pint samples these days - great for touch-ups or small areas, not so economical if you want to try out 3 or 4 colors on the wall. If you have any painting dilemmas there is a problem solving section too: Learn How that incorporates tips on faux-painting techniques and a calculator so you know exactly how many gallons of paint to order.
*For those keeping count - during the master bedroom project I have spent countless hours using BM's Personal Color Viewer, made innumerable trips to the paint store, bought 5 Color Sample pots, three pint size pots and 50 chips - all to find that what works best is a color scheme I used here, here and here. Ironic, no?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Notes on a Television

Lots of off-blog comments on the size of our bedroom TV - and a posted one. Apparently a 27" screen doesn't cut it; we must miss all the fine details of the programmes and we are surely harming our eyes squinting at the teeny-tiny screen. I must thank everyone who expressed concern for our well-being and inform you all that this TV is ... shock, horror.... the one we used as our sitting room set from 2000-2008.
Until summer 2004, when we moved into this house, we didn't even have a TV in the bedroom, a fact commented upon by every realtor that walked into the master suite - I know, it's a wonder we ever sold our last house - but what we didn't have we didn't miss. Then we came to The Cool House and I thought how nice it would be to lie in bed and watch movies so I lobbied hard to put in our second set, a 23" CRT TV that was, I'll admit, a little challenging to view, in the bedroom.
Over the course of the past five years I got used to having the black box in the room, watching food porn early on Saturday morning or house porn late at night. Then last weekend these Scripps channels were pulled off our local cable provider, which coincided with our temporary move to the guest bedroom that (shock again) has no cable outlet. I was staring down a black hole of six weeks or so without a TV to snuggle up to. I almost balked at the thought but eventually agreed to a television-free period. Well interwebs, I have to tell you that it's been a week and I haven't missed the TV for one second. We read magazines, books both in print and on Kindle and listen to NPR. It's just like the good old days - except now we know what we had.
The question is: When we finally move back to our bedroom should we replace the teeny teevee with a big LED/LCD flat screen or should we just not bother with a television in the master at all?

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Unexpected Benefits

Since moving the bed into the spare room last Sunday we have slept better than we have in years. Five years to be precise. Turns out we had not installed the spacers correctly when the movers brought it into the house. Even though we have changed the room round four times since we moved in and flipped the mattress at least 10 times it never occurred to us to check we had those things in the right position. Roughly 1800 nights spent tossing and turning to get comfortable, complaining about the ridge in the latex mattress, blaming old age and wear and tear on the joints and it turns out we could have solved all our problems in, oh, TWENTY SECONDS FLAT! At least we can guarantee future Cool House guests that we have a very comfortable bed for them to crash on...

Monday, January 04, 2010

We call it progress!

We have temporarily lost a bathroom (although that tub still has to be hauled out)

Gained a "media room"

Refurnished the spare bedroom.
(Thank you to the house elves for dismantling/moving/reassembling the bed)!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Climbing the walls

Lots going on, some things I want to make into a special post, others are barely worthy of a tweet let alone a line on this blog but for the moment here's a quick update:
We have granite pavers as an apron outside the garage, we do not have asphalt meeting that because the sealant places close for the winter. Check back mid-March for after photos, one "during" photo here.
The electricians returned to patch the hole in the wall. Apparently they are not carpenters so normally they'd just leave a big hole! Good to know that in advance because I would just have left the old outlet there. Also, where I come from this is known as being bloody lazy! The white cable down the outside of the house was "temporary" as one guy had run out of black and they knew they'd be back in the New Year to work on the master bath! This might have worked as an excuse had I not agreed with the other guy that there were three possible ways to do this:
a) pop off the baseboard, run the cable, tap back the moldings.
b) run a new cable in the wall from basement to the new outlet
c) run the cable up from the old outlet, through the void space and down the other wall.
The electrician favored option c but couldn't fit self into void so decided not to bother with a or b but to go outside and DRILL HOLES IN MY REDWOOD SIDING. This is the easiest fix and is known where I come from as being an idle bugger; this is also the reason we don't let Verizon anywhere near out house. I think they understand now that no one touches my redwood siding, OK? And surprise, they decided option a was the best way to remedy the situation. I guess I'll be paying for their time twice though...
New extension brackets for the wood blinds in the master bedroom have been mailed and these guys are really sorry...
We have the big blue sectional and rug in place... but you'll have to wait for Friday for the big reveal. Until then: sneak peek
The tree is still outside...

Monday, November 09, 2009

Unique Animal

The Guy nixed half the bedroom inspiration. I had done all the prep work, all he had to do was tell me which of the three options he liked the most. I don't think he quite understood his role in the mission to redo the master bedroom/bath. Or maybe he decided "master" meant he was in charge of decorating decisions? I don't know, but he took one look at the George Nelson sconces and said "Huh? Yeah. NO"! A totally visceral reaction that was so loud he had the sales guy and two customers chuckling away. I was unamused. He then showed zero enthusiasm for any of the gorgeous walnut beds I'd been lusting after and eventually, after looking at and lying on a zillion beds in a few thousand stores (ok I exaggerate but it was a long day) he pointed at one across a room and said "That one".

"That one", the Hoffman at Room and Board, appeared to be everything he always said he hated about furniture - especially bedroom furniture. Firstly it was upholstered - he has allergies and we have a bunch of kitties that leave fur everywhere. Wooden and leather furniture you can wipe down with a cloth but fabric? All traces of dust or kitty have to be removed with a vacuum or roller-ball. Every. Single. Day. Then there's the style - it has buttons. The Guy hates trim of any kind and that includes buttons. I decided he was so hungry he must be hallucinating so I dragged him off to Mercer Kitchen for some lunch, where, I swear, he spent 90 minutes talking about the damn bed. I have to admit his reasoning was good - there was already a lot of wood in the room and sitting up to read in bed would be more comfortable.

We went back after lunch to see if his feeling for the bed was true love or a mere infatuation. The temptress had more tricks in store - we he could choose the upholstery, including the retro inspired fabric above and the legs and it fitted with the Grove night tables, a pick of mine that he likes. When he found a mattress that felt like his beloved Swissflex he was sold; apparently he has never felt like this before. Not even the salesman's remark that Long Island is a unique animal and we'd have to pay extra shipping to have it delivered to the Incorporated Village deterred him. He has to have this bed. Is this a mid-life crisis? Should I be worried?

* Hi to all Homedigz visitors. All other visitors, go check out the Thanksgiving Blog Party over there

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Changing the Axis

I got madly bored on Christmas morn and switched the bed around. AGAIN. This is a better configuration in every way except one: The Guy has a lot less room between the bed and the window, which is apparently challenging when negotiating the room in the dark! For me - I can honestly say I have slept better than I have in months. Perhaps it's because the bed is now on a north-south axis rather than east-west? Anyone else feel this connected to the earth or is it just me?

Friday, September 12, 2008


Suddenly they are everywhere, Pixel designs. But remember where you saw them first - master bedroom October 2004

The Pixel Couch. Designed by Cristian Zuzunaga for Kvadrat, July 2008

Pixel by Habitat bed cover, London, UK, NYT Spring 2008

Pixel by Habitat, UK curtains. Fall 2007.

And I am totally in love with these Tetris tiles, inspired by the video game. Custom made where? The UK of course.

Friday, August 22, 2008

We're softening up

I seem to have been a little remiss in keeping you up to date with the master bedroom decoration. (You thought I was going to say master bath remodel, didn't you? Now, we're just not going to mention that, ok?)

Some weeks ago on that pillow buying spree at the Pottery Barn outlet out east I picked up a huge bargain and casually tossed it into the cart. It was a super soft 5' x 8' wool rug that we thought could go in our room. As it was 40% off $199 I thought it was too good to miss. And when we got it home and actually walked on it in bare feet, it felt so luxurious that I knew I was going to have to go back and get the larger size to go under the bed.

So last Saturday before the unfortunate lobster incident we stripped the soft top off Beach Car and headed back to Tanger Outlets to get it. Can you imagine my joy when I found out that the 10' x 8' was the same price as the smaller rug we had purchased three weeks before? No, the price hadn't been reduced. They were selling both sizes for the same amount. I don't know why. I don't question the sale gods, I just thank them.
Lovely, silky 100% wool rug that will keep my toes warm when I step out of bed this winter, I love you. And for only $120. Thank you very much, it's perfect.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Lobster Day: what went down

Here was the plan:
1) Drive 45 minutes on the Long Island Expressway (east) to get The Guy's neck checked by Insurance Doctor. This was necessary because he'd had 12 sessions of physio after the accident. The car insurance medical assessor assigns a doctor that is impossible to reach unless you have your own car and have the means to put gas in the tank. The letter inviting The Guy to the appointment made it clear that YOU MUST VISIT AT THE APPOINTED TIME. NO EXCEPTIONS. FAILURE TO DO SO MAY RESULT IN YOUR CLAIM BEING DENIED!
2) Continue on to the Lobster Roll, eat lunch
3) Call at Tanger Outlet and buy rug for master bedroom
And here's what actually happened:
We arrived at the doctor's office 15 minutes early. The room was filled with people completing their info sheets. Sample questions: What is your date of birth? How old are you? Are you a minor? I'm not even kidding. An hour later we were still waiting and so was everyone else. It was hot. There was no water. People started getting restless. Questions were asked. Voices were raised. Accusations were leveled. Things got tense. Groups formed; some people were angry, others defensive. While interesting from a sociological standpoint it was not a good situation.
Someone came out from the back office, left and returned bearing boxes of donuts, coffee, juice and water. The crowd was placated. People were seen. Two hours after The Guy's initial appointment he was called in. Four minutes later he was out with a recommendation to continue the physio for another twelve sessions. That means he has to go through this again in six weeks. Not necessarily at this doctor's office. I will not be accompanying him.

The Guy had to make a business call. I shopped for the rug while he worked. I scored the softest cream rug at Pottery Barn, a cardinal red throw, a bathmat, huge candlesticks, paper napkins. A bunch of stuff, in fact. The Guy finished his call just as I was checking out. It was 3:30. We were STARVING.
Twenty minutes later, a shared plate of puffers and a glass of chardonnay before us and lobster rolls ordered, The Guy announced we'd have to hurry as he had to go out to dinner at the other end of Long Island. At a lobster restaurant.......
So dear readers, I got indigestion. The Guy got puffers, lobster roll and a 1 1/2 lb lobster in the space of three hours. He didn't seem to suffer at all.
I feel a little cheated.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Friday Night Fun

Because we'd taken advantage of the fabulous weather on Thursday evening and taken guests to Prime Restaurant for a sunset seafood and fish dinner on the deck overlooking Huntington Harbor we forwent (really, forwent? went without? denied ourselves? Whatever) our usual Friday night booze fest Martini and meal in town and made this vegetable thin crust pizza (recipe over here) instead. OK I had a Martini and some olives to start but it was basically a low-calorie supper.

Then because it was still early I had a crazy desire to get a jump start on the weekend by putting up the curtain rods for the drapery panels I bought.

Of course the previous sentence makes it sound as if I was actually wielding the drill when we know my role is to take photographs and alert The Guy to the fact that the middle bracket is 1/4" off center.

You'd hardly think from his smiling face that he had a drill in his hand and it was menacingly close to my eye, would you? Still, in the end it all went off quite smoothly. I believe the drink before dinner helped, and the pizza, of course. There's nothing worse than tackling projects with a rumbling stomach, is there?

There was only one teensy-weensy little problem. When the curtains went up. I HATED THEM. They're definitely oatmeal not pearl and I hate oatmeal. What was I thinking?

I couldn't bring myself to fess up to The Guy that I thought they were a mistake, especially as he didn't want drapes in the first place, so I lived with them until Sunday afternoon but in the end they had to go. We tried them in the our bedroom but they were still oatmeal. Not every plan is a good plan and I'm admitting this was not my best but at least we know what won't work in both the den and the master.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Or how I tried to decorate the master bedroom and ended up back in the den.
In the package of pillows I received from Crate & Barrel last week were two Taylor Panels in Pearl that I thought would be a good replacement for the non-functioning roller blinds in our bedroom. Damn inaccurate computer monitors! They were more oatmeal than pearl. I was going to return them when I remembered we had never come up with a solution for the large window in the den that looks out on the back terrace. We wanted something that would co-ordinate with the roman shades without being too matchy-matchy. So I held them up against the window and whadya know? They look awesome. I even got a clothes hanger, draped the panel over it and and hung it on the built-ins so I could see the effect from the other side of the room. Inventive, no?
Of course I now needed to get a curtain rod and the ones we bought in 2005 have been discontinued, but with the aid of the internets I tracked down the last Pegoda rods at

If The Guy will help on Saturday I'll attach the hardware and hang the drapes and take photos. Until then there's a polyvore mock-up above.
The Crate and Barrel curtains are really nice quality (and in the Outlet section) so it would have been a pity not to use them but I still have to find something for the master bedroom so I can open the windows without a roller blind falling on my head.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The dressing room light

Of course if you are going to take down the light in the dressing room to use in the powder room you have to put something in its place. Luckily (or part of my devious master plan to drive The Guy crazy) I had a spare halogen light fixture from the master closet light improvement project. Unfortunately when The Guy removed the fixture he revealed a circle of Navajo white that didn't match the surrounding super white paint. But luckily again, I had a can of that left over, so all we had to do was give the circle a quick coat of paint and voila. Right?
I'll spare you the photos because here's how it went down.
"What's the quickest way to do this, we don't want to go get a roller do we?"
"I've got a touch-up sponge you can use, but it could get messy so just strip off your shirt and jeans and I'll get it"
That was the luckiest thing that happened all day because you'd be surprised how much paint those sponges can hold. When The Guy jumped on the chair dressed only in underpants and socks and pressed that sponge to the ceiling there was....
Let's just say the clean-up took far longer than the touch-up.