There’s a famous story I tell from the first month Mark and I were married.
We were at Target, trying to pick up a few items to fill our very bare condo. We hit the lamp aisle, where I thought of a fun little “getting to know you” game we could play. I curiously asked Mark, “Okay, which three lamps are your favorite?” Biting my lip, I eagerly awaited his response, guessing in my mind which of his favorites would intersect with mine. And then, he dropped this bomb on me:
Um…. What if I don’t like lamps at all?
Now, this may not seem like a very big deal now, but at the time, as a new bride in a foreign land of Columbus, Ohio, it felt like a soccer ball to to the gut. I am known to have a vivid imagination, so within seconds, all of our future homes flashed before my eyes: they were all dark and devoid of light; clinical environments without lamps, pillows, or curtains. Like the Bat-Cave…but less sexy.
While we didn’t go home with any lamps that day, we did eventually find lamps we both liked. And the lamp story has become my token example for how early on in a marriage, small conflicts can so quickly escalate to feeling like the end of the world. Over time, we’ve gotten less easily offended. More quick to bounce back. More open to each other’s input when it comes to things like home decor.
You see, I married a man who has opinions about those sorts of things, which I love, because it means our house really does feel like our home. But because we’re two different people with two different aesthetics, it means, we’ve had a bit of a journey to find our shared style.
And it gives me great joy to say that after 4.5 years of marriage, we’ve found it in our Master Bedroom Makeover. Our Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover:
Before I give you the grand tour, let’s start with some “before” photos, so you can get a true sense of what we were working with. Annnnd, you might want to put on sunglasses for these next few photos. (Sorry.)
For 4.5 years, we’ve slept on a boxspring and mattress without a bed frame. It’s not that we didn’t want a bed frame; but similar to the lamp story, we didn’t quite know what would work for us. I’m a little bit more vintage and Mark is a little bit more modern. So, until we could find our middle ground, we just decided to wait.
We added some IKEA side tables and lamps along the way…a spring duvet cover to help us cope with the dark Ohio winters before we moved to Florida…but it was all with the understanding that they were place-holders. Temporary solutions. Until we had an ah-ha moment about what direction to take things in.
And do you remember the dreaded metal cubes?
How could you forget them, right? That hot mess was what triggered us to start this makeover over the summer with our IKEA Wardrobe Hack. In fact, I see that wardrobe project as being the lynch pin in helping us find our shared style. We both fell for the beachy whitewashed exterior…
…in conjunction with the rustic pallet shelves and back wall within.
That’s when the snowball started rolling down the hill.
And on its way, it picked up a bed-frame, built by Mark…
…stained by yours truly…
…a headboard we pieced together using reclaimed pallet wood…
…new bedding to accentuate our love of all things nautical…
…D.I.Y. pillows to match…
…revamped side tables…
…topped with reminders of the ocean and the sailors who ride its choppy waters…
…a gallery wall to showcase some of our favorite photos and art…
…with a treasure chest to boot…
…a mirror or perhaps a porthole…
…signs of life…
…and soft spots for weary feet to find comfort.
Whenever I walk into our bedroom now, I can’t help but hear Etta James’ smooth, lustrous voice in my head, singing,”Aaaaaat laaaaaast!”
I’m not sure why it took us so long to get here. To arrive at our shared “Rustic Nautical” style. After all, it was a surf lesson in the Atlantic Ocean when Mark decided he would ask me to be his girl. And it was in front of that same Atlantic Ocean that we were married one year later.
The seaside has always been a place of clarity for us.
In the words of e. e. cummings,
For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea
There are stories behind so many of the projects with this Master Bedroom Makeover…enough stories that I’ve decided to share them with you all through a series of posts over the next month or so. The next post on the docket? A tutorial, How to Build a Custom King Size Bed Frame, where you’ll hear from the handyman hubby himself! So, stay tuned….
And pinners, if you hit the “Pin It” button on any photo in this post, it’ll serve as a home-base for the entire series, as I’ll keep it updated with clickable thumbnails for each post going forward. It’ll be grand! In fact, here it begins:
Other Posts in This Series:
- Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover: How We Found Our Shared Style (you’re here)
- IKEA Hack: Whitewashed Fjell Wardrobe with Pallet Shelves
- How to Stain Wood with a HomeRight Finish Max Sprayer: Video Tutorial
- How to Build a Custom King Size Bed Frame
- So You Want to Build a Pallet Headboard
- IKEA Side Table Hack: Such Great Heights
- The Thrifty Girl’s Guide to Coastal Decor
- Nautical Anchor Pillow Tutorial
- Felt Fish Pillow for the Nautically-Inclined
- Roll-Top Desk Makeover: Business on the Outside, Party on the Inside
- Desk Styling 101: Say Goodbye to Styling Anxiety
- Adding Scallop Stencil Details to a Roll-Top Desk
I thank you, dear reader, for being a travel companion with me on this voyage.
And on that note, anchors aweigh!