room reboot

I’ve been all about the DIY lately (D-ingIM for Doing It Myself?) That means lots of this:

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And this: (Particle board because poor)

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I think it was due to a combination of factors. I went home and my mother has very nicely left my childhood bedroom mostly preserved so I go there and it’s a beautiful cantaloupe color and it has pictures that make me happy and it’s big and there are pretty views of the park out the window and NICE. And then I’d return to NC and go in my room and go, Meh.

Then, while moving in my sister, I remarked upon all the nice little details she’d gotten to make her room cozy and cute. (And found a home for some of my old furniture in her room).

So here are some inexpensive, not overly challenging (believe me, I have no carpentry/sewing/whatever skills whatsoever) little things one can do to improve the coziness of one’s room.

Step 1: Deal with the excess of mirrors.

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My roommate had cleverly dealt with the hall of mirrors in her room by disguising them with a shower curtain. I decided to do the same, and economize by getting one at Ikea! My mom and I have for many years eagerly read the Room Makeover column in the Washington Post, and they mentioned that a room inevitably looks like it has higher ceilings if you have curtains that go all the way down to the floor.

So after a fair amount of trips to the dollar store and a variety of extender tricks involving twine, my curtains touched the floor! I lovvvve the pattern, it’s in all my favorite colors and so cheerful.

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Why yes, that does look nice and fluffy!

Step 2: Soft and cozy rug
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I wanted to step into my room and have my feet be made happy. Rugs are absuuuuurdly expensive, though, so instead I opted for what is actually a throw, from Ikea. $20 instead of like $300. Score. It needs to be flattened out more than a rug with fancy matting, but so what? It is still so soft and fluffy and covers up a remarkable amount of my ugly carpet.

Step 3: Big ol’ bookshelf

I love to read a lot a lot. I only have a relatively small portion of my book collection down here in NC, but even that was totally invading the tiny shelf I had before. So I bequeathed the shelf to my sister (and its narrowness nicely suits her current room) and I bought this big one at Target for a princely sum of $34. And I built it myself, holla!

I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.

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It is right next door to…

Step 4: Get a functional, pretty desk
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I was unhappy with the size, shape, and color of my old desk, so once again I passed it off to my sister (whose room it suits quite well). I got this one for $30 at a thrift shop. It has good bones and it’s the perfect size- small (it fit in the backseat of my Camry!) but with deep drawers (since I have so much random school stuff I will probably never need again but I hoard just in case). The only thing was, the knobs on it were old and janky.

Step 5: New knobs

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Instead of spending a small fortune on knobs from Anthropologie, I got some from Amazon! They bring me great joy.

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They came all the way from India! And I think they’re hand painted. Each design is a little bit different.

Finally, a few notes that were not a specific part of this makeover:

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This was a little project I did a few months back using a thrift shop picture frame (I think it was $1?) and some postcards with pretty flowers on them from a bookshop (I think 50 cents each?). I like it!

These I made out of random pretty postcards I got out of various museum trips I’ve taken (collage on the left) and pictures from an old planner my mom gave me that has cool advertisement pictures from the Mad Men era. They both make my room look a little juvenile, but I better try to seem young while I can, eh?

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Finally, this painting was a gift from my grandmother and I love it but as you can see the picture frame, never too structurally stable to begin with, gave out. So right now it’s lovingly propped against the wall on the ground. I am not yet enough of a grown up to have a picture framing place.

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So that’s my little mini room makeover! While it wasn’t cheap per se (my August credit card bill, between this little DIY adventure and all the traveling, almost gave me a heart attack) it was a lot less than I could’ve spent, and it makes me happy for my room to be a little more of a sanctuary,

the welcome wagon

If you come see me in North Carolina, I’m going to try to convince you to live here. One because I miss all my boos up in Virginia. Two because I think everyone would be happier if they lived here!

I convinced my sister, obviously. We do things like go to the beautiful tea house in the countryside on a random Wednesday.

There are beautiful cups of tea infused with herbs grown on the premises.

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There are beautiful doglets who want nothing more to have you throw the ball for them.

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There is a playground for romping, and lots  of outdoor seating. (Live music, too, though not on a random weeknight.) Also note the adorable doglet sitting near the swings going “Friendship! Friendship! Come play with me!”

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Another way to enthusiastically welcome one’s sister to her new home is to take her to dinner at Myra and Alex’s, where there is more cute canine company and there is QUALITY FOOD.

This meal ended up being at least 50% cheese, which was obviously amazing. Myra made amazing savory waffles with cheddar and herbs, as well as an oh-so-cheesy zucchini gratin.

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Then, with no prior planning, I brought more cheese as my contribution to the evening, as well as some fresh figgies!!!! Served on the daschund cutting board 😀 (Yes, I also brought Newman-Os, seen in the background).
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I tell you what, friends, if you haven’t had cheese in your waffles, you really haven’t lived.

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There was also wine (as usual), and veggie bacon! Gah I could eat this meal every day for the rest of my life. (It may not be a long life, but it’d be a happy one!)
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When I started my job back up at school I was feeling flush and craving Mexican, so I treated my sister to delicious delicious Mexicanity one random Monday night. This place I love so much- their food tastes so FRESH! I got some deliiiiiiicious chicken enchiladas. Came with lovely rice and beans.

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Two meals, easy. Just look at all that cheese and crema! The place is no frills but family owned and SO cute!

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Then more friends came to town, and had to also be convinced to move! I took them straight back to the tea house, and we posed prettily by a yurt.

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When are YOU coming to visit, friends?