Love letters

Ever since we moved into the new [old] house, we have been taking turns giving tours to our houseguests. We proudly walk them through the office that Anthony so lovingly painted, we point out the original hardwood floors and stained glass windows, and we settle our guests into our Paris-themed spare room.

However, we’ve always glossed over our own bedroom, as “nothing to see here.” Because there wasn’t. It was literally a blank canvas.


We’ve been throwing around ideas, color schemes and various thoughts about the bedroom, but it has fallen low onto our priority list as other projects arose. Every night as we sunk into our plain white bed, however, I couldn’t help but wish that our room, the place where we laid our heads, captured more of our personality.

So, one weekend, while Anthony was out of town, I decided to change all that.

The plan had been in the works for awhile, and I decided a surprise bedroom redecorating was in order. Truth be told, the “surprise” for Anthony was only half the fun, as the upgrade was just as much for me. However, I definitely kept him in mind all the way through, as you’ll see.

Bedroom, before

Bedroom, before

I dropped Anthony off at the airport on Saturday morning, knowing that I’d have less then 24 hours to get all of the necessary supplies, and complete all of the projects on my list. It was ambitious, but I was prepared with a detailed to-do list, organized down to the minute, and lofty goals to finish by 9pm that night and bask in my newly-decorated room.

The idea behind the entire “theme” of the room was typography, in Anthony’s favorite hues of earth tones and rusty orange. Anthony had suggested the typographic theme, off-handedly, and as a design-nerd, I totally latched onto it. But for my surprise, I decided to give it a romantic spin, and tried to incorporate as much of “us” in the details as possible.

I started with the duvet cover, which was probably one of the biggest undertakings of the day, but arguably made the most impact. I set out to cover our plain white feather comforter with the warm colors that Anthony loves. I couldn’t find a pre-made cover that really fit the bill (although, believe me — I would have gladly purchased one and saved all this trouble if it were available!), so I picked out some fabrics to sew together. I was going for not-too-florally, not-too-quilty, not-too-country-friends… Not-an-easy task! I chose some fairly simple fabrics, and sewed them in a block fashion, but was afraid of it all being too simple. Knowing that we always like a unique, modern twist on our furnishings, I also created a stencil and used fabric paint to add a bold pop of white. I have always loved the shape of the ampersand, and I thought, what better symbol to adorn our shared bed than that?

The giant stencil I drew and laid out at the corner of the duvet

The giant stencil I drew and laid out at the corner of the duvet

Stencil, after cutting and beginning to spray on the fabric paint

Stencil, after cutting and beginning to spray on the fabric paint

The finished duvet!

The finished duvet!

After the bed linens were complete, I set about to create the piece that sets the grown-ups apart from the youngsters: a headboard.

We had discovered an old door in our crawlspace, which I assume was a part of our kitchen prior to the remodel, painted an obnoxiously bright yellow hue and covered in basement dust and cobwebs. It was the same style as the rest of the doors in our upstairs, and the height of the door just so happened to be the exact width of our king-sized bed. Instant headboard!


After tearing out old hardware, and giving the door a thorough cleaning, it was completely suitable to grace the head of our bed. I added legs to the sides and a plank of wood and a decorative piece of trim to the top to create a small shelf, and painted the whole thing a rich brown.

I was given a brief reprieve in the form of some friendly hammer help and a tequila sunrise. Thanks Teddy!

I was given a brief afternoon reprieve in the form of some friendly hammer help and a tequila sunrise. Thanks Teddy!

Aside from the big bed project, I also included some special details to add to the decor. While gathering supplies, I picked up a plant, knowing that Anthony can never get enough green foliage in his life. It also served as the perfect piece to fill a macrame plant-holder that’s been hanging lifeless and empty in our room for months.

plantOne of my favorite projects, however, was a set of quotes that I designed and had framed, using the typography theme to display music lyrics that had some importance in our relationship.

"In My Life", by the Beatles (our processional song), "Do You Remember", by Jack Johnson (always seemed to tell our love story) and "Is This Love", by Bob Marley (our first dance)

“In My Life”, by the Beatles (our wedding processional song), “Do You Remember”, by Jack Johnson (always seemed to tell our love story) and “Is This Love”, by Bob Marley (our first dance)

Of course, like pretty much all of my ambitious undertakings, there were some unexpected turns. I found myself still up at 2 in the morning (well past my 9pm goal), with burnt fingers, bruised and dirty shins and poked thumbs (yes, only I could come up with that many injuries from a day of crafting), but all in all the end product turned out pretty close to what I imagined.


When Anthony returned home and checked out “his” surprise, his first words said it all: “We have a bedroom now!”

Yes, yes we do.

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