Master Bedroom Reveal

Over the weekend I shared a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes of our recent master bedroom makeover.  It is something  Audley and I are both extremely excited about and love the way it turned out!  After ten years of mix and match bedspreads and clutter, we have cleaned up, painted, and decorated a fairly minimalist and elegant space that I have enjoyed oh-so-much in the last two weeks!

In case you haven’t seen it, here is the before:

PicMonkey Collage

I saved myself the embarrassment of showing our cluttered dresser  and chest, but as you can see there was nothing welcoming, cozy, glamorous or special about our master bedroom.  In fact I avoided our room as much as possible.

At last, though, we have a space we are absolutely smitten with that only involved one weekend of painting, replacing the negatives and styling.

"Centre Stage"..... not to be confused with "Center Stage" which is school bus yellow!!

First up was color …. “Centre Stage” by Behr paint from Home Depot. We used a gallon and a half of Behr Premium Plus paint for our room.

Audley and Bradley hanging the 75 pound mirror that I also found at Costco.

Audley and Bradley hanging the 75 pound mirror that I also found at Costco.

Prints to go on the wall

Prints to go on the wall; numbered collectable pen and ink sketches from the Biltmore.

While I have not adhered to this philosophy as I would like (mainly because I get caught up in other things way too easily), I firmly believe our homes and especially our bedrooms should be a haven from the world, a place of beauty and peace to reflect who we are.  We all have different styles that represent this for us.  In our case and at least in this space our style was a clean, minimalistic, and relaxing room.

Keeping our existing furniture (that we did not want to paint), working with a strange colored carpet (that I actually like), & having a smallish budget, here is our new master bedroom.

Our new sleeping accommodations

Our new sleeping accommodations


Simply styled nightstand. The little clock was purchased from Pottery Barn and the vase is from the Biltmore Home collection.

I wanted our room to look put together, but at the same time I wanted anything but a cluttered space!  I am really so over clutter and at the end of the day, peaceful is all I require.



The matching lamps were found at Costco for 70.00 as was the mirror.




Believe it or not this bedding was purchased at Costco as a set for 125.00. I actually thought it perfect the first moment I saw it! All of the picture frames on the dresser and nightstands were purchased over timw from TJ Maxx and HomeGoods. We actually used a lot of things we already had in this project.


My organized dresser; I also took this time to clean out my drawers of tee-shirts and other clothes I no longer wear.

My organized dresser; I also took this time to clean out my drawers of tee-shirts and other clothes I no longer wear. The “form” for my necklaces was found at TJ Maxx, as was the decorative jar (for loose change). The candle lanterns were purchased at Chrysalis in Chattanooga, Tennessee a couple of years back.

One of the worst features in our room were these horrible swingy blinds that came with the house over a picture window.  Instead of keeping he window covered with blinds I chose white draperies from Bed, Bath & Beyond to keep our room feeling bright and clean.  We have a smaller window as well, and I used the same style curtains on them.


Clean and neat

Clean, neat, and “airy” We found our white draperies & hardware at Bed, Bath & Beyond; I used a couple of 20% off coupons (and checked out multiple times) to keep the cost down.

We added a book-case to house some of our favorite reads, then also  mounted a television.  I never thought I would have a television in our room, but Audley had a plan.

 We completed our bedroom flip the weekend before I had surgery two week ago.  He knew I would be spending a lot of time resting in our room as I was on virtual bedrest for one solid week and now on limited activity.  He wanted me to enjoy movies and show I liked. This was such a sweet and thoughtful gesture as I know my kiddos have their favorite shows as well and didn’t want to feel like I was the TV commander just because I was “sick”.


My dad built this bookcase 46 years ago when he and Momma first married. I found the mount for hanging the television at Target for $40. The plants and pot were purchased at Home Depot.



Final touches included an orchid on the night stand and a large potted plant.  I’m all about green plants in the house and feel like every space deserves to have greenery.  Audley and my Bradley put together a combination of a couple of plants to fill a pot that complemented our room.

When it came to designing our master bedroom I had a few must-haves and definitely wanted to share my version of what makes a perfect master bedroom:

1. Three Sources of Light.  In the bedroom lighting is important for a multitude of reasons.  Natural light from windows is perfect for cleaning and day-to-day tasks.  It’s soothing and a way to bring the outdoors inside.  Soft beside lighting from lamps helps to create a peaceful mood as you are winding down for the evening.  The third source of light should be your more powerful overhead lights.  These are necessary when you are getting ready in the mornings or even later in the evening as well.

2.  Window treatments that block light.  Windows treatments are the icing on the cake when it comes to finishing a space, but you want them to be more than decoration, you want them to be functional as well.  I use lined draperies as not only do they keep the room dark for you to sleep at night, they also allow you to sleep in a little longer on those days when you don’t have to set an alarm clock.  Lined draperies serve a second purpose as well; they act as an insulation on cold winter and hot summer days if you chose to keep them pulled.

3.  Luxury bedding.  Now let me be clear here, you can have luxury bedding and not spend a fortune.  Choose good quality sheets of 500+ theadcount for soft sheets that will last longer.  You can find these at HomeGoods or TJ Maxx, or hit the White Sales at your favorite department stores.  Also make sure you have a good mattress that both you and your spouse can agree on so that you will enjoy a more restful nights sleep.

4.  Color.  Choose a color that is relaxing and peaceful to you.  Our bedrooms should be a place we can escape at the end of the day so bring in sea, ocean and earth tones for color that will create a tranquil space.

5. Rugs or Carpeting.  Nothing is more of a harsh wake-up call than to set bare feet on an ice cold floor in the mornings.  If you have hard-wood flooring add a few rugs around the bed to keep your feet cozy and add a little pop of color too!

6.  Personal Items.  Adding personal touches of your life around your bedroom truly makes it yours.  Since our master bedroom is a shared space, I have wedding pictures and other photographs from special moments in our life framed around the room.  Antiques, mirrors, and even figurines that represent the space also make fabulous items for personalizing a bedroom.  We DO NOT have pictures of our kids in our room; simply put, this is our space to retire from the hectic reality of parenting and work.  I don’t want those things to be last on my mind when I lay down at night.

7.  Organization.  An organized space is probably the most important element of a master bedroom.  Keep everything neat, tidy and in its designated space to help eliminate stress and encourage peacefulness.  Purchase pieces for your room that will help with organization, or designate space in your closet for keeping clutter put away.  We have night stands with a “hidden” drawer which is perfect for storing extra phone chargers as well as a notebook for jotting down thoughts or things to do for the next day.  In our closet we have shelves for shoes, and clear boxes for small items we only use occasionally.

8.  Music.  Music is totally optional, but I absolutely love music.  Country, Pop, Classical, Jazz, Broadway, etc…. I enjoy almost all varieties.  And I love to have music available in my bedroom.  I use an iPod, so a docking station is just perfect for projecting music, but with all of the creative ways furniture is made now you can also hide a stereo if you chose.  Music is a great way to set the mood for whatever you are up to.  I love music I can dance around to when I clean.  I enjoy a little Doris Day or Frank Sinatra when I am ironing and in the evenings when I read or am trying to wind down I love soft relaxing music.

I am so happy with our new bedroom space. It has truly been the restful room we wanted as I have spent a lot of time in there to truly experience it.  We also stayed within reason on our budget which makes me like the space even more.  For product info check below the photos of the room.

What do you think?  Do you have any bedroom must-haves?  

I would love to hear them!


Weekend Master Bedroom Flip…. Getting It Together

After nearly ten years, and four moves to three different states, I have a styled master bedroom!  Honestly, I cannot even begin to put into words how excited I am.  When we have moved it has always seemed that other spaces come first and we never quite make it to our own.  Now, at last, Audley and I have a teenager-free space all our own.

Just a glimpse of the nightstand as we were putting everything into place.

Just a glimpse of the nightstand as we were putting everything into place.

And it is quite lovely indeed.

Deciding what to do with our room has actually been an ongoing process for right at a year now.  Color decisions, budget, and a lack of time to actually pull it all together were the largest factors in our delay.  Then a few weeks back, Audley & I finally just made it happen and lets just say sometimes you say forget the budget and pull out the credit card.

Color…. well, it just doesn’t happen for me.

Here is where we started..... Not a very welcoming or cozy escape for Dad & Mom

Here is where we started….. Not a very welcoming or cozy escape for Dad & Mom

 This is what we started with.

It was not a very welcome space for exhausted parents to escape to in the evenings for sure.  In fact, it was such a miserable space for me that I even hated folding clothes and putting them away as often as I should because I couldn’t bear to be in there.


This is the color of the walls when we moved in.  I could’ve dealt with chocolate-brown, even with my dark furniture, but this lackluster color of brown reminded me of too many diapers I have changed in my life.

I love the Kentucky Derby print of Audley’s, but let’s be honest, hanging it with horseshoes over the bed was not the best design choice I ever made.

I just wanted something on the walls.

MasterBedroom Before

And if our room wasn’t unattractive enough we had these awful swinging blinds hanging over the picture window that came with the house.

Oh how I despise these blinds!

Oh how I despise these blinds!

When it came to budget and color the two actually had to work hand in hand. We have a very strange aqua colored carpet throughout our entire house.    While I do like it to some extent, it does make for challenging decorating decisions.  While one day I would like to replace the carpet, it’s definitely not in our budget now.  Nor is new furniture.

The bedroom suite Audley and I have now is 12 years old.  We saved and saved to purchase this making it very special to me.  It was very traditional in style and with its dark wood.  I wanted whatever we decided to do in the bedroom to accommodate our existing furniture. While painted furniture is pretty I do not like an entire room of painted furniture, so the dark wood is completely my style.

Using our aqua colored carpet and dark wood as our base we started thinking and wondering what would look the best.

That was actually easier than what I thought it would be. As I was walking through Costco (of all places) I found a 6 piece bedding set for $125.00 that just spoke to me.

Sometimes a bed-in-a-bag set can become the perfect inspiration for a room.

Sometimes a bed-in-a-bag set can become the perfect inspiration for a room.

It really did.

Gray and white became the perfect color solution for our bedroom.

So I bought the bedding set,a nd headed home where it sat for almost year waiting on us to make time to finish making choices and do this room!

When Audley and I decided to just take a plunge and do our weekend makeover I spent several hours at Home Depot matching color.  We are very partial to Behr paint, so I didn’t even consider another brand.

Wouldn't you just love to have this ring of paint samples on hand at home all the time?

Wouldn’t you just love to have this ring of paint samples on hand at home all the time?

After pondering over the different shades of gray in our bedding set I finally settled on Behr’s “Centre Stage” as the perfect color for our space.  I purchased two gallons of the silvery color in Behr’s Premium Plus formula.

"Centre Stage"..... not to be confused with "Center Stage" which is school bus yellow!!

“Centre Stage”….. not to be confused with “Center Stage” which is school bus yellow!!

While out and about getting ready for our project we also purchased plastic drop cloths to protect the carpet, Frog tape for the trim, a small Purdy paint brush for cutting in the edges and corners,  paint rollers and pans, and rags for clean-up without ruining towels or wash cloths at the house.

Frog Tape along the trim in our room

Frog Tape along the trim in our room

Audley moved all of the furniture with the help of our son.  I dusted the trim so we could apply the Frog tape (very necessary if you want your painters tape to stick), and we laid the plastic drop cloths out to keep our carpet protected from paint.  While Audley cut in the corners and around the doors and windows, I began rolling the walls.  We debated whether or not to use a paint sprayer, but decided the space was too small.


Audley hitting the corners with a paint brush

The only other “tool” we needed for our little project was this platform ladder made by Werner that has become a fixture in all our home projects.   We purchased this one at Lowes about eight years ago and couldn’t do without it!

My trustworthy pal for almost all our home projects from improvement to holiday decorating

My trustworthy pal for almost all our home projects

Since Behr Premium Plus paint is such great quality, we were able to cover the old brown color fairly easily with one coat, which dried in two hours, then we quickly rolled a second coat to make sure all the lines and streaks were blended.

By 9:00 Saturday evening we were putting furniture back in place and added the accessories to the walls and tabletops on Sunday afternoon.

Audley and Bradley hanging the 75 pound mirror that I also found at Costco.

Audley and Bradley hanging the 75 pound mirror that I also found at Costco.

Since this was a budget makeover, I was excited to not only find a gorgeous contemporary mirror at Costco, but also a gorgeous set of crystal lamps with ….. gray shades!

I loved the formal look of these lamps!

I loved the formal look of these lamps!

I used Cree light bulbs in our lamps.  Yes, I know they are a more expensive option, but after being introduced to these fabulous bulbs at the Haven Conference last summer we have slowly been transitioning over to them.  Our house is 35 years old, so the wiring is often not our friend.  Cree bulbs are the new energy-saving bulbs and where we were blowing and changing traditional light bulbs monthly throughout the house, we have not changed a single Cree bulb in nearly a year.

So overall they are saving us money.

Prints to go on the wall

Prints to go on the wall

We also had a couple of pen and ink sketches of rooms from the Biltmore Estate that we wanted for our walls.  I love these collectible prints and the element of old that they added to our semi-contemporary space.  Mixing elements is something I really like in decorating our home.

Final touches to the room included a TV mounted on the wall, something I swore we would never have in our room (I’ll explain the reason we decided this when I reveal the entire room) and green plants.

I think greenery totally completes a space.

I think greenery totally completes a space.

This is just the behind the scenes of our new room.  Stop back by this weekend for the full reveal!


Making a Winter Wreath

After all of the Christmas decor is packed away and stored in January, our home always feels so empty.  In some ways I am relieved to have things back to normal, but then again I miss the color and twinkling lights that brighten up many a gloomy day.

Sometimes I add fresh flowers in the living room or kitchen for a little pop of color, and even weave twinkle lights through houseplants,  but this year I decided to make a couple of winter wreaths; one for the front door and one for our kitchen since these two areas receive the most traffic in our home.

With Punxsutawney Phil predicting 6 more weeks of winter I figured there was plenty of time left to enjoy a winter wreath, so I thought I would share a few tips for creating your own wreath.

Making a winter wreath is actually quite easy and you can utilize a few Christmas items to help create a little color that celebrates winter.

Making a Winter Wreath

To make a simple winter wreath you need an evergreen wreath, stems of red berries or other colorful floral stems, Floral decorations such as winter birds, etc, small twigs or branches, contrasting greenery (real or artificial), pine cones, or any other “fluff” that fits you decor or personality, artificial snow for flocking, wire cutters, 22 gauge wire, a hot glue gun, and an optional focal point.

supplies for making a wreath

I chose a focal point for both of my wreaths; a monogrammed “J” and a miniature pair of snow skis.

Assembling the wreath is quite simple.  If you are flocking your wreath with  artificial snow, do that first and allow time for it to dry.


While the “snow” is setting, can begin cutting apart the floral stems with wire cutters; you can leave them in clusters or singles depending on the look you want.

floral picks

I used a combination of real and artificial “fluff” for my wreath

Using odd numbers of floral stems (3, 5, or 7’s) work from the outside in, to begin framing your wreath.  Work in one direction (I aways work clockwise) and if you have chosen to have a focal point, work away from it.

Work from the outside in when framing you wreath with floral picks.  Make sure all of your elements are going the same direction.

Work from the outside in when framing you wreath with floral picks. Make sure all of your elements are going the same direction.

Add texture to your wreath using holly leaves, etc., and contrast color by using multiple shades of green and red.  On the kitchen wreath I used fresh holly and for the front door I used sparkly green twigs.  If using twigs or branches for texture, make sure they have a little personality.  Using fruit, artificial birds, lotus pods, pinecones…. also make great focal items.  You don’t have to use a ribbon!

Once you lay out how you want your wreath to look and are happy with it, you can begin gluing or wiring in the accents to complete the wreath.

Ready to attatch all of my elements

Ready to attach all of my elements

I chose to hang my wreath with the skis in the kitchen ( I apologize for the poor lighting)…..

Kitchen wreath

and the one with a monogram on our front door.

This one is actually quite visable and cheery as you walk up our front steps.... and can be seen fromt he road as well.

This one is actually quite visible and cheery as you walk up our front steps…. and can be seen from the road as well.

They aren’t huge accents (although you can use as big of a wreath as you would like), but are just the right size to add a touch of cozy, winter decor to our home.

Do you like to decorate in the winter or do you just do the holidays?

Until Next Time, 


How I Clean My Makeup Brushes

Why is winter just so dang rough on a lady’s skin?  It seems like all summer and early fall I am breakout free and the flaws of being 40-something just aren’t as obvious.

Then bam…. winter hits and my face is splotchy, itchy, dry and has a tendency to break out.

I thought I left all of that behind in my teen years, but apparently not.

So, it’s up to me to take care of my skin in the harsh winter weather, keeping it clean and moisturized (morning and night using Estee Lauder’s Day Wear & Advanced Night Repair) as well as staying plenty hydrated at least 80 ounces water each day .  While breakouts are often just a part of being a woman, I have discovered that one simple activity can help prevent about half of winter breakouts; cleaning your makeup brushes.

Cleaning makeup brushes is probably the last thing in the world we think about while we rush through our make-up routine every morning.

I love to swish the brush through the flavor  color of the day and paint my face as if it was a canvas never once thinking that I may need to clean the brushes I am using ….. OK, so it’s more like slap on a little color as I race madly out the door, but we can pretend it’s all glamorous & I still don’t think about cleaning the brushes!  

How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Taking a little time to fix ourselves up is so much more fun than the time it takes to clean a mess, but cleaning those brushes that without a doubt harbor germs, dirt, sweat, and dry skin will make all the difference in the world in helping with breakouts and even help your make-up go on a bit more smoothly.

DIY How to clean Makeup Brushes

I have a fair amount of brushes that fit all of my needs from starting with a clean face every morning to touch ups at the gym after a workout and before my next client.  I do try to keep these separate, but they all must be kept clean.

I recommend washing your makeup brushes thoroughly at least once a month.  Set aside 15-20 minutes one morning after you are ready for the day and  wash away.  You can easily purchase a store-bought cleaner from Sephora or Ulta, but I prefer a homemade product just out of sheer convenience.

Two of my favorite formulas are vinegar and warm water, or Dawn (with Olay) and warm water.  That’s it, plain and simple.

I use 1/2 cup of vinegar (preferably white , but I was out….) and 1/2 cup warm water to swish my eye, blush and powder brushes in.  Then I rinse them in warm water making sure the water runs clear before reshaping and allowing them to dry.

cleaning makeup brushes at home

For my foundation and concealer brushes I use 1 tablespoon Dawn detergent with Olay (some people use baby shampoo) and 1/2 cup warm water.  Cleaning these brushes take a little more effort as you know how thick and gummy foundation can become!  I rinse them thoroughly, making sure all of the soap is removed, reshape the brushes and leave to dry on a clean towel.

How to clean you makeup brushes at home

If you clean them in the morning before you head out for work or to run errands, they should be dry by the evening. If not completely, they will be when you are ready to use them the next morning!

Just a little tip… if your brushes start shedding while you are using or cleaning them, it’s time to replace the brush.  I like to find mine on sale at Ulta or Sephora, but I have discovered TJ Maxx carries a brand called Bamboo that is pretty fabulous indeed!

How to clean Makeup brushes

Do you use makeup brushes or the little spongy things that comes with your make-up?  How do you keep your clean?

Until Next Time,