HOUSE: New Mexico #1

Project two! The bedroom.

Bedroom makeover -

Oh…yeah. This is my new bedroom! It’s in my new house in Tantown, USA. Do you need a moment to appreciate its beauty? Are you overwhelmed with a sense of calm? Do you feel like you’re in a boutique hotel?

Now, I know I haven’t finished the mudroom yet (still waiting for the washer and dryer—it might be a while), but I can’t wait any longer to start on the bedroom. It’s just such a pit of sadness right now, and I’ve been here for four months already. (I do actually own pillows and a blanket, but I took these photos while I was getting ready to do laundry.)

Bedroom makeover -

Nope, it doesn’t look any better from this angle. Shiny, tan, paneled walls. Matted, wrinkled, stained (but clean, I swear) tan carpet. Textured ceiling. Ceiling fan.

Let’s talk about the ceiling fan. I know it’s very early-2000s TLC/Trading Spaces of me to hate on ceiling fans, but whatever. There are four ceiling fans in this house, and I don’t know what to do about it. Yeah, I could put them all in storage and install nice lighting instead, but EVERYONE tells me I’m going to regret that during a New Mexico summer. Usually I don’t listen to reason/common sense and I just go ahead and do whatever will look best, but this time I kind of think that I should probably at least wait the warmer months and see how it goes. Right? In the mean time, I can keep the ceiling fan clean, do something nice with the hanging chains, and avert my eyes slightly downward. Hey, at least it’s white.

Bedroom makeover -

This room used to be an attached garage, which explains why it’s so long and narrow—there’s only about a foot of clearance on either side of the bed. The bed is one of the few things I didn’t take with me from New York, I guess because doing so seemed like it would be overly cumbersome. Instead, I ordered a mattress from Tuft & Needle in advance of my arrival, and then had this simple, white platform frame delivered from Wayfair. I’m quite happy with both!

I considered both Casper and Tuft & Needle for the mattress, but in the end the reviews seemed to be pretty much equal…so I went with the cheaper option. I’ve been sleeping on it for four months now, and so far, so good. It doesn’t retain heat, it’s firm without hurting my joints, and it’s perfect on a platform bed.

The Lunar platform bed was a bit of a risk given the price, but the reviews were solid and the price is tough to beat (plus free shipping!), so I took a chance and went for it. It’s certainly nothing fancy, but once the bed is properly dressed, it’ll just disappear—exactly what I want. The window above the bed is so low that a headboard would never work, anyway. It was easy to assemble, and seems to be well-constructed. I’ve got no complaints.

The sheets have to go. I ordered them in a moment of panic during a Target clearance sale, and even though I like the pattern and color, they’re just really not my style—and that color combined with the tan carpet…no. Not happening. I wish they’d had this super-cute Nate Berkus set back then, because I’d have been all over them! Oh well.

Bedroom makeover -

The window covering situation in this room is horrendous. Apparently someone decided that using brackets to install the world’s cheapest plastic mini-blinds was too much work, so they just drilled through the header with drywall screws straight into the window trim. Alrighty!

Even if my once-beloved ENJE shades from IKEA hadn’t been discontinued (TRAVESTY!!!), I’d have to be looking elsewhere for the big window above the bed. It’s 70″ wide (the widest ENJE was 55″), and if I try to cover it with two rollers instead of one, I’m going to wind up with a gap in the middle because of the mounting hardware. Man…it’s TOUGH to find custom shades at a not-terrifyingly-high price! I know Daniel had good luck with the Allen + Roth solar shades from Lowe’s (and they do look fantastic in person), but the quote I got was still too high for my measly budget. A couple of people have recommended to me, so I think I’m going to give them a shot and see how it goes. I can get a 70″ wide custom shade with 5% openness for about $100—not too bad. The smaller side window is going to have to get a blackout shade, unfortunately—my neighbors have a motion-activated light in their driveway that gets set off by even the slightest suggestion of a spider strolling by. That’ll run me just under $40. Fine. Fingers crossed!

Bedroom makeover -

On the left is some sort of vent on the ceiling that’s not actually venting anything (old heating system, perhaps), framed out with molding?? I don’t know what that’s about, because it doesn’t seem to be attic access…I don’t know. I think I should just paint it all white and forget about it. On the right is the plastic mini-blind currently “covering” the side window. You can see how the neighbor’s motion light would be an issue!

Bedroom makeover -

You know what this is? It’s a hinged door covering the circuit breaker!!! Whoever converted the garage to a bedroom back in the day went the extra mile when they put up the wall paneling, haha. It’s better than looking at a circuit breaker, for sure, but I think I can come up with some kind of solution for making this thing look like a feature without getting carried away and turning it into the focal point of the room.

Anyway, here’s the plan!

Bedroom makeover -

WALL PAINT: Valspar Swiss Coffee (same as the mudroom)
BED: Lunar Platform Bed / Wayfair
BEDSIDE LIGHTING: Eduard Sconces / Schoolhouse Electric
BANNER: This Must Be the Place banner / GIRLBYE
CROW: Krummi hanger / Ihanna Home
FLOOR LAMP: Arne Jacobsen/AJ lamp
VASE: ¿adónde?
PAJAMA BIN: Storage basket / H&M Home
DIRTY CLOTHES: Parkay hamper / CB2

Fortunately, IKEA is going to ship their stuff to me (Brand Ambassadör perks, hello!), which is a huge relief. I already own a lot of the small stuff (the floor lamp, the vase, etc.), so the big thing for me to really focus on now is PAINTING. I have a ton of freelance work I need to get on top of today and tomorrow, but I’m hoping that I can somehow have the whole room painted by the weekend. Maybe giving myself a deadline will help me get started! If I can do all of the prep work on Wednesday and then prime and paint on Thursday and Friday…well, we’ll see. Painting always takes so much longer than I think it’s going to!

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  • Reply Charlie February 8, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    LOVE the plan! Can’t wait to see the result! And thanks for sharing that basket– I’ve been looking for a replacement for one that I got at Ikea that I sadly had to toss after using it at a craft show and an unfortunate incident with a dog…

  • Reply Rdonnelly February 8, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    Thank you for posting…. What a Before & After this’ll make.

  • Reply Rachel February 8, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    Oh man, that tan! So painful. Along with the sad window covering situation. Love your plan and now I want that mirror and rug!

  • Reply Amy @ The American-Made Guide to Life February 8, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Have you considered a white, modern ceiling fan that’s more design-oriented? We have had one in our NYC bedroom for years and couldn’t imagine living without it at this point.

    • Anna @ D16 February 8, 2016 at 6:06 pm

      I did briefly, but I don’t think I’d make that kind of investment for a rental, since it’s unlikely I’d want to take it with me when I (eventually) move…especially since there are four ceiling fans and it’s a small house.

  • Reply Katrina February 8, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    The only thing I have to say is What The F… I know too well the joys of living in ugly surroundings. My living room was red wainscoting, and a very similar brown on top and the ceiling with no lighting. I can’t wait for the after, as I’m sure you can’t wait either! So many wtfs!

  • Reply cait February 8, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    Can’t wait to see the final results!

    I am also in the process of fixing up my place since I just moved back into my house after living overseas and losing everything I owned to a fire at the storage facility where all of my things were. I had a Tuft and Needle mattress that I had slept phenomenally well on but I didn’t like how squishy it was for laying in bed reading and the edges were so squishy that it felt like the bed was smaller than a queen. For my new mattress I did a ton of research and went with the Wink Bed and I love it. It is a little firmer than the T&N thanks to internal springs and I think it has a good amount of bounce while minimizing motion transfer.

    I got some solid grey Threshold sheets from Target for my guestroom and I am blown away by how nice they are. I had low expectations but they were cheap and I needed extra-long twin sheets. They wash beautifully, feel great and have a extra rim of elastic on the fitted sheet so it fits under the mattress and doesn’t shift around.

    • Jen February 9, 2016 at 2:36 am

      My heart dropped when I read the bit about the fire. Sorry for your loss, Cait.

  • Reply Susan February 8, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    Anna, don’t despair! We are just 4 months moved and today I finally found a box of clothes! It takes time. Lots of beige out here in California too, and all carpets are tan. Does it make one feel cooler.? I’d stick with the fans right now, they are a blessing on hot summer nights, I remember this from living in Florida. Love the baskets too, been needing some! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Cindi M February 8, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    Oh, I remember trying to live in a converted garage. You are earning your stars in your crown by showing everyone in the world that such a place can be nice. And that ceiling fans can be useful if not chic. Thanks! Cindi M

  • Reply Hayley February 8, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    I can’t wait to see the AFTER pics!! You have such great taste!!

  • Reply kim February 8, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    Oh it’s going to look lovely! I am also sad at the devastating lack of Enje – if I’d known they would be discontinued I would have actually taken then down from my last place after we sold. I’d be tempted to run curtain rails all along the back wall behind the bed, hotel style, and cover the whole wall with white sheers (I’m thinking IKEA Kvartal ceiling mounted, wall to wall, and IKEA Teresia, and maybe if it was the triple rail track, a white linen over that for sun/cold?) The idea might not suit your overall aesthetic, but I think it could def work with the lovely things on your mood board up there. Just a thought. I bet you’ll have it looking stunning in no time.

    • hello February 10, 2016 at 4:30 pm

      Great suggestion. Also Yay Door Sixteen for the early-00’s Trading Spaces shout-out! Laughed out loud…

  • Reply Jennifer Manzano February 8, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    Have you ever tried sleeping with a sleeping mask? I couldn’t live without mine, and it’s enabled us so much more flexibility with window coverings (or not. But we’re not on the ground floor). I love this one:

  • Reply Keyse February 8, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    Thank you for sharing with us! I love what you will do with this place! I have this mirror in my bathroom, its beautiful. Ikea at its best. Concerning those fans…if you come across one on clearance, just replace the one in the bedroom so you lay in bed and look up 🙂 Good luck lady!

  • Reply Lea February 8, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    Moving from NY to here one would hope you could get a bigger bedroom! I mean, that’s the major perk of moving out of the city. Good luck with the transformation!

  • Reply Lizzie Modern February 8, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    When in doubt, glue a picture frame to the ceiling! Good luck with this, it’ll be fun to see the after photos.

  • Reply Emily February 8, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    Anna, have you seen Ikea’s Bruddans cellular shades? They filter light (and heat and cold) very nicely and mostly otherwise disappear into my window frames. I have only seen them in store, not online, but I got one for a fairly huge window at my last house.

    • Anna @ D16 February 9, 2016 at 12:12 am

      Hi Emily, BRUDDANS were discontinued and replaced with HOPPVALS, but unfortunately neither came in a wide enough size.

  • Reply Gabriela February 9, 2016 at 12:16 am

    I have to say – this is one of the most inspiring turn-it-around posts I have read in awhile. So many people start renovating with good bones or have the power to make huge changes, it’s refreshing to see a project post that is so realistic to so many renters. I’m excited to see how this turns out!

  • Reply Kate February 9, 2016 at 3:54 am

    I can’t wait to see what you do with this room – the board looks great! Congrats to you for sleeping in amongst all that tan for four months already. Are you planning to do anything with that wardrobe door? It looks so tiny and awkward for the big cupboard space behind it! Although perhaps when it’s all de-tanned it’ll look more in proportion. Whatever, enjoy the painting!

  • Reply Amiechan February 9, 2016 at 5:44 am

    In looking forward to seeing the new room! Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply Florian February 9, 2016 at 8:58 am

    This will probably be a quite rambling comment. I apologize in advance.
    Oddly enough, the room does look very calming in that beige / tan combination. But oh my, such rough details! I once saw a movie by Danny Boyle called “Trance” featuring James MacAvoy, it wasn’t spectacularly good, but it had very gorgeous set design, a psychotherapist’s office all in tan and light blue. Extremely soothing and calm. However, that room also came with copious amounts of space, stunning art and furniture, and ceilings about 5 m high. Anyhow, your bedroom immediately reminded me of that. The office in the film also had these ever so slightly sheer and ever so slightly billowing curtains.
    This probably made me wonder, why not run a very simple curtain rail all around your bedroom and hide all those slightly awkward details behind a simple, good looking curtain, that would let in the light, but also afford you privacy? So there. That’s my idea. Sorry for the overly long comment.

    Looking very much forward to your updates! Best wishes from Berlin!

  • Reply Shannon February 9, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Your landlord and mine must have shopped at the same paint and carpet store! Beige R Us? Can’t wait to see it after some paint!!

  • Reply Sonja February 9, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Can’t wait to see the finished product! You are going to feel so much happier about the space with just the simple change in wall color. I see it with my eyes but it is still hard to believe it is soo tan 🙂 Good luck with painting!

  • Reply Alanna February 9, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    I don’t WANT to be a hater, but you picked one of the weirdest houses in the world to rent. I guess it’s to our benefit, but I still suspect you may be mildly crazy.

    “Yeah, I could put them all in storage and install nice lighting instead, but EVERYONE tells me I’m going to regret that during a New Mexico summer.” YES, YES, CAN CONFIRM. DO NOT GET RID OF CEILING FAN. (Central Texan here and occasional New Mexico visitor). I cannot even fathom a life without them. So necessary. But, you could look into a much prettier ceiling fan!

    • Anna @ D16 February 9, 2016 at 3:24 pm

      Hahaha!! It’s actually a really cute little house, and despite the weird elements here and there, it’s well-maintained and the landlord is WONDERFUL.

  • Reply LC February 9, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    Ceiling fan + light combos make sense, but always look awkward. At least yours is white? I have one that’s very 80s, ugly brass with faux wood grain and — ugh — woven rattan inserts. It works well, though and there is so much else to spend money on. I’m planning to flip the blades to the plain side, that’ll help a bit.

    • Anna @ D16 February 9, 2016 at 4:40 pm

      LC, you can spray-paint the entire fan white! (Or neon pink, haha!)

  • Reply Susan February 9, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    It’s always a pleasure when you post! Have you considered rice paper blinds (also known as shoji paper roll up blinds)? Way back when I only had a college student budget there was a HUGE window that needed something and it was rice paper blind that worked both width wise and budget wise.

  • Reply J.E. February 9, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    If the bedroom was a garage wouldn’t the floor be poured concrete? I’d rip the carpet out and polyurethane it.

    • Anna @ D16 February 9, 2016 at 5:20 pm

      Hi J.E., I have no idea what’s under the carpet, but I don’t own the house. Carpeting is the norm in this part of the country, and I think my landlord would be pretty upset if I did that. 😉

  • Reply Madison February 9, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    I know I’m about to sound like an alarmist, but I’d ask the neighbors why they have a motion light. I never thought anything of the one on the apartment over from mine until I asked the girl out of curiousity and found out the street has a peeping tom problem (he visited me one night after I had spent about an hour changing outfits to figure out what to wear for work the next day. thankfully my superhero neighbor scared him off, but now I have a motion light, too.) On a lighter note, your style is always amazing!

  • Reply Lori February 9, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    I actually bought that very ceiling fan for my dining room when I gave up finding a flush mounted fan I really loved that was in my price range. It was maybe 50 bucks and the fan no longer works, so not the bargain I thought.

    Anyway, I can’t wait to see what you do with Beige Haven!

  • Reply Sabrina February 10, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    I hate ceiling fans and went 4 years in our house in Phoenix before I broke down and bought a couple of ceiling fans for the bedrooms. It was a miserable process because they’re all so ugly, I eventually settled on this matte black one from Home Depot. It was the least offensive one that wasn’t crazy expensive.

  • Reply Mari February 10, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    I am in the market for a new mattress. I was wondering if Tuft and Needle is better than the Ikea MYRBACKA mattress you had? Any comparisons? I was going to get the Ikea one this weekend. My back is killing me on my old 16 year old Siemens. Thanks for any review you can give.

  • Reply Amanda February 10, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    So excited to see how thus turns out! Paint can create so much positive change – it’s like magic!
    I have a love/hate relationship with ceiling fans too, but I discovered that mostly what I didn’t like were the ugly light fixtures hanging from them – overhead lighting can be so harsh in a bedroom anyway. It’s not tough to take the lights off and see what you think.

  • Reply Joey R February 11, 2016 at 1:58 am

    Your blog is a constant inspiration. I would love to hear your thoughts on moving from an historic house in a big city to a maybe-not-totally-dream house in a much smaller city. I recently experienced the same kind of transition, and while I love my new town and am living in a house for the first time in my adult life, there are some growing pains in that is not “pretty”.

  • Reply Cheryl February 11, 2016 at 11:09 am

    I’m so confused and fascinated. While your bedroom looks like something from a witness protection scenario I have followed you long enough to know there is a method to the madness. I will be here reading-watching and not feeling so alone on my tan rental carpet. My rental also has ceiling fans and VINYL SIDING

  • Reply Kate February 12, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Wow, those flesh-colored walls are scary. They can’t be painted white fast enough! Kudos to you for being able to put up with such a spare bedroom set up for so many months. I think I’d have splurged on a bedside stand and table lamp, no matter how temporary! 🙂 I had a similar situation going on in my first studio, and even though my walls were white, the owners had painted all the trim a bright, oxygen-rich blood red. They thought it was funny when I asked if I could paint over it, but I wasn’t kidding. Still makes me shiver.

  • Reply k February 12, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    What an exciting transition this will be: looking forward to the magic you’ll make out of this wonky Beigeland space. (& thank you for the mattress / bed tips – we’re on the hunt for both. Do you happen to have any sofa recommendations? Another item that has passed its 15 year replacement date!) Happy painting.

    • Anna @ D16 February 13, 2016 at 11:44 am

      Hi K, I’ve had an IKEA Karlstad sofa for about 8 years now, and it’s pretty great! Sadly, IKEA discontinued the Karlstad last year, and they haven’t replaced it with anything similar (yet). They do have a lot of other options, though, and it’s a lot of bang for the buck—I love that covers are washable and replaceable. I think I’ve changed the color of mine 4 or 5 times now. 🙂

    • k February 15, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      thank you for your reply, Anna! Will definitely check there. Affordable is key (holymoly there are some pricey ones out there!), and replaceable covers would be a good selling point (especially with the dog – he’s a non-shedder, but definitely carries dirt in with him).

  • Reply doorot February 13, 2016 at 7:20 am

    This is the reason why I love reading your blog… you’re an absolute nutter 🙂 but, your readers wouldn’t want it to be any other way 🙂 Can’t wait to see what you do to the place!

  • Reply Olivia February 13, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    This post was a joy to read. I love your writing style! And like everyone else has said, itll be nice to see the after shots, this room could be so cute and cosy, and I love your monochromatic plan for it. Or is black and white duochromatic? \_(“,)_/

  • Reply trotula February 14, 2016 at 1:05 am

    Hi Anna—first of all, I haven’t commented on the last few posts, but I want to say how happy I am that you’re posting again! When I saw your entry about moving to New Mexico, it felt like something inside me shook off years of sleep. After you read a blog for so long you sort of get this falsely-stable image of someone else’s life, like “Anna works at X place, Anna lives at X house, Anna does X things” so to see such a total change felt like a sign from the universe. A few months later, I’m about to apply for my first ever apartment alone, leaving a house I didn’t know when I would ever leave. I think that somehow in the back of my head knowing that you had done it, that you were in some strange new place, figuring it out and trying to decorate around beige rental carpet, made it seem like less scary of a leap. I don’t know what will happen in my future, but I want to thank you for being vulnerable and for continuing to share your life with us. And it is a testament to your photography skills that you’ve managed to make the pictures of this room look so good! Excited to see what you do with the kind of weird canvas that so many of us actually live in.

  • Reply katy February 14, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    Wow I can’t wait to see what you do to the space. I bought a cute set of Nate Berkus sheets 18 months ago and was sorely disappointed – they wore clean through the fitted sheet in the last month. I think I bought them because they were a cheaper 100% cotton option but I won’t buy them again (although, I still think the print is cute and will turn unworn portion into pillowcases).

  • Reply Toby February 16, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    HA!! I love the framed vent. I feel like there’s a lot of magic that could be made with that. What a great canvas this room is.. I’m new here but really excited to see your progress!

  • Reply bean February 17, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    I don’t mind ceiling fans–though there are prettier ones out there. I like the ones from Bellacor:, and, and, and this one makes me laugh,

    But, of course, this is a rental. Perhaps if you just changed out the light kit to something less annoying–or painted the whole thing gunmetal grey against a grey ceiling (since black tones fade into black tones better)? I do have ceiling fans in all my bedrooms (I’m slightly to the east of you), and they are necessary in the summer unless you want a floor fan:

    The plan is great, though–I wish I had your eye for style. When I have to redo my other house (in which the FIL is currently living, so he won’t be living here), I think I may steal many of your ideas–I hope you don’t mind ☺

  • Reply Carole February 18, 2016 at 9:49 am

    Ay yi yi. Quite the challenge you have.

    Some thoughts:
    Do you know what the floor is like under the carpet? I am betting it is cement, since it used to be the garage floor? Any chance you could roll carpet up and store it, and expose the floor? While I doubt they are pristine and would probably need to be cleaned, they might add a level of chic in the space.

    New window trim would probably not cost much, and would be a quick fix to crisp up the window.

    In a couple of places where I have had fuse boxes in awkward places , I have used a piece of canvas art to hang over it. It is hard to tell how deep your particular problem is, but perhaps a similar solution could segues it. I wondered if your Stave mirror might have a recessed back to allow the same type of thing?

    Looking forward to seeing your transformation of space.

  • Reply Ashaki February 20, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Can’t wait to see the After photos of this room! I know it’ll be great.

  • Reply kristenv February 21, 2016 at 8:45 am

    Oh lawd, Anna! That room is so…what a challenge for you! Can’t wait to see what you do with it.

    Florida is a very rough place to live without ceiling fans in the bedroom. Am betting New Mexico is similar. I would definitely wait until you’ve lived through the summer to decide.

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