Wrapping up the Bedroom Renovation!

It’s getting there! It’s really getting there!


One of the most gratifying moments of working on my bedroom lately has been finally priming, caulking, and painting the brand-new-but-supposed-to-look-original window casing. I worked hard on that! It was a little difficult to judge how successful I’d been at matching the original moldings when this was a mix of painted, unpainted, and almost entirely reclaimed wood, but now I can confidently say that yeah, I pretty much nailed it. Even though the window itself isn’t a flawless match, it’s very close, and the casing is nearly indistinguishable.

I’m amazing basically is what I’m saying. I’m pretty proud of it. It’s hard to remember that there was just a wall here before! I’ll have to install new base shoe when the floors get refinished. Maybe in year 7? Sure, let’s make that a goal.

I still have to paint the new sashes, but I find that’s easier to do when I can take them out of the jamb. These tilt out and remove easily, but it’s the middle of winter so prob not the best time.


Once the room was starting to really come together, the prospect of “finishing” it without a ceiling medallion started to make me feel so sad! I put “finishing” in quotation marks because I’d like to eventually remove and restore this bad-drywall-job-over-furring-strips-over-original-plaster ceiling. I know! But it could be better, and I like better. This is on a list with a number of other “hopefully someday” kinds of ideas for this room. But a ceiling medallion is no big thing: there’s a great selection out there online of foam ceiling medallions that, once caulked and painted to match a ceiling, look like the real-deal plaster ones they’re meant to imitate.

Usually I use construction adhesive and a couple screws (which I can spackle over before painting) to install them onto the ceiling, but in this case I used regular latex caulk on the back and secured it with some finishing nails—the idea being that if the whole bedroom ceiling thing ever happens, I might be able to pry the medallion off prior to demo and reuse it. Of course by that point I’ll probably have decided it’s the wrong size and style and want to replace it anyway, but I’m leaving the option open for future-me to be less of a pain in the ass than current-me.

Then it was just a matter of spackling over the little nail holes and caulking around the perimeter. The caulk is by FAR the most important step in making it look authentic. I’ve seen people skip this step, and then it kinda does look like you stuck a piece of foam to your ceiling. So, caulk! Smooth the edges with a wet rag-covered finger to really blend the edges of the caulk so it all looks totally seamless. After a couple coats of ceiling paint, nobody will know you’re faking it. Or your ceiling is, anyway.


Yesterday I got the light hung up, electrical outlets and covers installed, plus a new dimmer switch!

I know, I know, I’m so boring with my Nelson bubble lamp—I had the same one in my last two apartment bedrooms! Those with freakish memories who have been here a longggg time might remember that I found a bubble lamp years ago for $65 at the Design Within Reach Annex because it was damaged and missing its ceiling canopy, but I fixed it and hung that bad boy up in my Manhattan apartment bedroom and felt like a fucking king. Then I moved to Brooklyn and the bubble lamp traveled to that bedroom, where it remains. At some point, I think shortly after buying the house, I found myself in the exact same situation again at the DWR Annex and scooped up another medium-size saucer bubble lamp—this one at $89, a little less damaged and with its canopy included. I had to! Again I spent some time bending the inner wires back into place-ish and had myself another imperfect-but-close-enough bubble lamp.

Point is…do I have a point? DO I NEED A POINT? I’m a person who loves changing stuff up all the time and wouldn’t normally use the same light fixture over and over again like this, but bubble lights cast SUCH a warm, nicely diffused light that I couldn’t resist its siren call for my bedroom again. I ain’t sorry.

SO THAT’S WHERE WE AT. Definitely in the home stretch, which means I have to think about how I’m gonna make this room pretty!


Here’s a kinda underdeveloped “mood board” because why not!

  1. Paint! Benjamin Moore “Oil Cloth” (matte) on the walls, Benjamin Moore “Simply White” (satin) on trim, and Benjamin Moore “Onyx” (satin) on the doors and, probably, the radiator. Elsewhere I’ve used Simply White on the ceiling as well, but I had a gallon of “White Dove” squirreled away in the basement that saved me the cost of another can of paint. I find that the more stark off-the-shelf ceiling whites look a little too intense in old houses.
  2. This ceiling medallion from Lowe’s, $40.45. It’s smaller and much simpler than what I used downstairs, which seems appropriate.
  3. Nelson Bubble Lamp Saucer, medium size.
  4. CB2 Alchemy Bed in Bronze, Queen size. I decided a king is just too big for this room. They didn’t make beds nearly that big when this house was built! I’ve never owned a bed bigger than a full size, though, so this is about to feel really fancy!
  5. A nice big rug! This is just a rando aspirational one from the internet, but I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for the foreseeable future for a nice 8×10-ish vintage/antique one that won’t break the bank.
  6. I like the look of these bed linens from CB2. I wonder how the quality is but at the price I’d expect them to be pretty nice.
  7. Jens Risom armchair. I have a vintage one that I bought at auction a couple years ago! It needs a new set of straps (which I think are pretty easy to get directly from Knoll) and I’m guessing they’ll be black.
  8. My antique dresser, which needs new knobs (those ones aren’t original and a couple have broken since that picture).

I gotta admit, this room is kind of tough! Four windows, three doors, and a radiator is a lot to take into account for a room that isn’t that big. I’m feeling a little stuck on a few things (window treatments! bedside tables! will I survive without a TV in there?!) but I’ll just feel it out over time. It always takes me a while to really settle into a room after the renovation part. That’s the fun, relaxing stuff though! Let me move furniture and art around all day and I’m a happy camper.


  1. Ah…..ceiling medallions….you inspired me to do one in my dining room the last time and now I don’t think I can live without one my next bedroom….and yes…if you don’t caulk..don’t bother even doing it.
    As much as I love your “construction” posts , these kind with lots of detail on products are my favourite.
    Can’t wait to see the finished space….and what you are doing with your kitchen!

    take care Daniel.

  2. Looks fantastic :) Excited for more to come!

    As you said, definitely nailed it. (Was that a woodworking pun?).

  3. Fantastic transformation! I have so much admiration that you see some bad idea that somebody had years ago and you just FIXED it instead of finding yet another way to live with it. Like the window.
    We found some great deals on rugs on the French version of craigslist. Seems everybody wants the same Beni Ourain rug and they’re getting rid of oriental carpets. I also just discovered the wonders of antique linen bedding. No fitted sheets, but if the top sheet and pillow cases are linen, it is really heaven. And they’re usually beautifully embroidered by hand. I thought they would be too small for a queen-size bed, but it turns out that back in the day the style for wedding sheets was to have them fall to the floor, so the size works out perfectly. I got a batch of them for €5 apiece (still on the French craigslist). They weigh a ton. I even sewed together some without embroidery to make super-cheap, super-high-quality duvet covers.

    • Yes, I’m keeping my eyes peeled on Craigslist! Hopefully something will turn up!

      So smart about the duvets! I’ve actually never had linen sheets!! I’ve been curious about them for years but the price always stops me from trying them out. I’ll have to keep my eye out for vintage ones. Thanks!

  4. It’s looking so good! I might try out that paint color for my guest room. Don’t worry about not having a TV in your bedroom–it’ll make for better sleep and a more peaceful retreat. I feel you on the challenging walls–my bedroom has windows on three walls and a closet door on the fourth wall and heating vents… It’ll be fun to find nightstands and little lamps and maybe put a plant in a corner! Great work!

    • It’s a great paint color! I can’t believe how much it changes throughout the day. I have to figure out how to make it translate better in photos…I think I’m too used to taking pictures of white-walled rooms and getting this color to come through is oddly challenging!

      (I know, I know about the TV, but watching TV before bed has become a nightly habit that I know is so wrong but it feels so right! I might have to, like, remember how to read.)

  5. Gorgeous. As always.

    You’ll survive without the TV in there, and it’ll make for a much more peaceful existence too. Just the notion of being tucked away, under your duvet, with the sun coming in through the window…. where the real world can’t get you (if you leave your cell elsewhere) – all of that will bring peace and calm in this otherwise tumultuous landscape.

  6. woohoo looking good, i for one hope you get settled into your bedroom soon, i do the kitchen first when i can but the bedroom always comes second it is my place to relax and get away from all the madness, craigslist, habitat, and local classifieds and yard sales can be your friends xx

  7. Lovely. Just lovely. The light in there is amazing.

    Who needs a TV when you can lie in bed and stream on a phone or tablet anyway? Thanks technology.

    • True! But I’m not gonna lie, I do love just laying back with a big-ass TV in front of me and watching trash. My phone or laptop just isn’t the same!

  8. Looks fantastic. So much work! You’ve come so far. Love the mood board too. Question for you about the caulking: I know it looks better but does it actually prevent some wind from coming through as well?

    • Depends on the application, but yes! Especially on exterior walls, caulking small gaps where drafts can sneak in definitely makes a difference, like where the window casing meets the wall, where baseboards meet the floor, that kind of thing. The caulk here is mostly just fill imperfections and smooth things out, but it’s not difficult and it makes a huge difference in how polished the final result looks after painting. :)

  9. Love, love, love everything about this room, Daniel. And I just saw a lot of eight ca.1830s Sandwich glass fluted knobs on Ebay that would be beautiful on that dresser–a touch of era-appropriate glamour that would echo the bubble lamp in form. Please check them out!

    • Ugh yes, that’s what I need! Well, need is a strong word, but I think they’re appropriate to the style/era of this piece and I’d LOVE to avoid buying another set of generic repro wood knobs. If you happen to see this and they happen to still be available, I’d appreciate the link if you can find them again! :)

  10. Lovely looking bedroom coming together there. I wish I still had some spare queen linens. I really like the Restoration Hardware ones and I think January is linen sale month at a lot of dept. stores so you might be able to snag some random high quality ones for cheaper than you think. BUT, AHEM…. Did you not feel the need to mention that little contest thing going on over on Angie’s List whereby a win by YOU would get you moving on that little kitchen project you’ve got going? GET these readers motivated to VOTE–DAILY, LIKE your MOTHER! Like your only behind (at last check) by like 700 and some VOTES!!! So, fellow readers get on it and vote, please because I’m shamelessly asking. Tell your friends and vote for Manhattan Nest–DAILY–right here: https://www.angieslist.com/laundry-room-refresh-contest.htm

    • Voted :)

      Also, re: bedsheets. I’ve been getting my linen bedsheets off ebay (new…!) from a vendor in Belarus for a fraction of the price of the ones they sell at RH. They’ve been washed enough that they basically feel like fleece.

    • Voted! :)

    • Voted!

    • Thanks, Mom! Voted!

    • Oh this is so weird! I looked at the laundry pix and decided which one I’d like to vote for, without looking at the names – and the one I chose was Daniel’s! Definitely the biggest transformation of them all

    • Voted! Mum’s are so often the best cheerleaders – crossing my fingers that you’ll win!

    • Voted! (My favorite is when Daniel blogs and then his Mom comments!)

      • Me too! I always laugh when Mom gives Daniel a (joking) hard time. They’re just like my family! :)

    • Voted. I love Mom.

    • So, FYI, Daniel, either you’ve decided this little laundry room thing just wasn’t your best work and you don’t want further recognition for it or get off your ASS and instagram to your bazillion followers or you are going to lose to some ugly ass laundry rooms. You know how I hate half assed effort.

    • Ha, mother!! I will tell people, I will! OK! I’m sorry! I love you.

    • Thank you for voting, everyone! I’m flattered! :)

  11. E Bay, auctions and estate sales for the rug. I have had great luck with auctions for rugs as long as they do not have a reserve.

    • Yes, I think auctions are where the action is! I have to be careful around them because I could so easily spend ALL THE MONEY but I’d like to start going to more local ones.

  12. I applaud your use of Bubble Lamps. They glow so cheerfully and compliment most styles!
    Your house is coming along beautifully. I appreciate that you are sharing your experiences and tips with the public. Many of us dream of tackling something like this, but have never seen it done. I hope it is a signal that we are moving away from the habit of hastily throwing together some trendy materials only to rip it off and tack up another look in 10 years. You are truly an inspiration! Thank you, and keep up the good work!

  13. Moms are the best. Exhibit A: I just voted for you!

    Also, I know the #blogger thing to do would be to put up the TV and try really hard to fade it into the walls by use of a gallery wall or hiding it behind the dresser when not in use, but I roll my eyes at that. If you want a TV, put a TV! It’s your room, right, so you do you.

    And the moldings? Perfect match.

    • Moms ARE the best! Mine especially. :)

      Ha! Fortunately or unfortunately, I don’t think there are any walls in there where I could do that effectively even if I wanted to! I think what I’m maybe leaning toward is some kind of antique cabinet, where the TV could be concealed easily behind closed doors. I’ve had a TV in here almost as long as I’ve owned the house, just plopped on top of that antique dresser…not a good look! That didn’t matter so much before renovating, but now I feel like I need a more elegant solution.

  14. Love it! Tho I’d love to know how you got it wired into the ceiling. I just bought a coop in Manhattan and was super excited to replace a light fixture–only to discover that the wiring and electrical box are probably original to the apartment. So back up went the old fixture…any tips for dealing with old wiring?

    • Argh, I’ve run into that in the past! The wiring and electrical box in this room are actually new—I had them installed a couple of years ago during some other electrical work, so it was all easy-peasy. I’m actually lucky that I don’t think my house was electrified until pretty late in the game, so I haven’t come across any electrical work in my house that isn’t at least very similar to our modern standards.

      ANYWAY. It kinda depends on what’s going on up there, which I’m not sure I can tell you from here! Luckily in Manhattan there are great lighting supply places downtown (there’s one on Broadway around W 4th-ish that I used to use a lot) that may be able to sell you hardware that will work with the existing electrical box. If you can take a picture of what’s there, that may help them to help you. Otherwise, I know it’s not what you want to hear, but if you’re in doubt DEFINITELY call an electrician…you don’t want to mess with safety and electrical! A licensed electrician shouldn’t cost you very much just to swap out some light fixtures, and they’re used to working with the old wiring that’s common to NYC.

      • Ahh, that’s lucky for you! My apt is from the 40s, so kinda modern-ish compared to some places in the city, but a Google search got me confused if I needed to upgrade the box/wires when I replaced the fixture or not (and what kind of box I would need). Luckily, I have a live-in super, and he said he’d help. I hope to learn a thing or two, since there are other fixtures that need replacing too!

        If you’re interested, I wrote a post about it on Monday: https://househomehannah.wordpress.com/2017/01/23/house-a-change-of-plans/

      • Oh good! Let the super have a look. I think you should be able to buy the right hardware to work with what you have. Upgrading the wiring itself is a big deal and shouldn’t be necessary, and replacing the box could be OK but might be difficult without damaging the ceiling or the existing wiring—old and brittle wires and the insulation around them can get easily damaged with too much manipulation, which can make a safe situation into a hazard. And yes, wire nuts!! It’ll be OK! Electrical stuff so often seems like it’ll be quick and easy and ends up taking a lot of frustration. Been there!

  15. Just voted! And bedroom looks AMAZING!!!!!!!!

  16. My house is a youngster at 75 years old, but I have a similar situation in my bedroom (very small, two awkwardly placed windows and two doors). I used a simple, off-the-shelf white roman shade and I’ve been very happy with the look of it. Mine are an inside mount so they really don’t distract from anything else in the bedroom. Just a thought!

    • Yes, I’ve been considering roman shades! I think they’d look nice in here. What’s holding me back is that I think whatever I choose will likely be lowered almost all of the time just for a little privacy. I’ve had some cheap IKEA solar shades hanging in here for a few years and I’m not THRILLED by the look of them, but they’re very clean and functional for that. I feel like romans look better when they’re open or at least halfway open, but not so great when they’re lowered. I think some higher quality solar shades are probably my best option, but for some reason I feel compelled to do something else…I’m just not sure what that would be!

      • I’m so glad to hear you say that about roman shades- you’ve validated me! I feel the same way but have not been able to articulate it well to my husband who thinks they “look fine” closed – he hates curtains and wants to avoid those. Thanks for all your great posts- it’s inspiring to watch your progress!

      • I cannot recommend PotteryBarn or PotteryBarn Kids roman shades highly enough.
        They are stringless. There’s a pull hidden beneath the bottom of the shade. Give it a tug and they raise effortlessly. They look nice and crisp. And they’re blackout.

  17. You mentioned a long time ago that you were considering moving a bedroom wall — something in conjunction to your plan to add a window to this bedroom. What was that?

    Does the bedroom seem very different with the added window? Brighter? More airy?

    • Oh man, that’s a long story and kind of a pipe dream! Definitely the subject of a whole post, but basically it’s possssssssssible that someday down the road I’ll decide to shift around some walls to rework the second floor a bit. Right now the layout is sort of awkward and all the bedroom spaces could be improved with some fairly minor changes. I don’t think it’s worth the effort and expense just to do it for myself (although having the guest space would be nice), but I can imagine deciding to do it down the line if my family were to expand. For now, it’s nice to know that the potential is there, but there are no immediate plans to do anything about it. :)

      And yeah, it does seem much different with the added window! Definitely brighter, since this is the south-facing wall with no big trees obstructing light like there are on the other walls, and I think the room overall just feels more balanced and symmetrical, which is pleasing. I wouldn’t say it feels bigger or smaller, just different! It’s a change I’m very happy with. I think it’ll become more apparent when I set it up with furniture and stuff!

  18. Lovely room, perfect paint colors, wonderful new window. Just voted, never would have known about it if not for your Mom.

  19. Your blossoming bedroom details and photos have lightened my heavy heart today, Daniel. I’m a perfectionist, too, but unlike you I become paralyzed by fear of screwing up and by indecision, and consequently do nothing but plan, wish and live in my unfixed fixer-upper. I love the way you decide that you want something to be just so and then you make it happen. And you explain how you made it happen. So inspiring!

    To Daniel’s Mom: Thanks for the heads-up about the contest on Angie’s List. You are a great motivator! I voted for Daniel and hope that he wins.

    • Aw, thank you, Ginger! Even if it doesn’t seem like it, I really do understand how you feel!! The thing I CONSTANTLY have to remind myself is that it’s very hard to really irreparably, irreversibly mess something up, so usually there’s no harm in trying except the generally small expenses of materials and my own time. The house isn’t going to fall down because I made a mistake (I’d have to make a pretty huge mistake!), and it’s almost always fixable. And it does get easier and easier…I recommend starting small with things the things that feel most approachable, and challenging yourself to scale up as you go. As you check things off the list, your confidence builds and it all feels less scary, I promise!

      Thank you for your vote!! <3

  20. That casement looks so boss. Like, perfection. You’re my scrap-saving carpentry spirit animal. And I’m one of the ones that remembers the original bubble lamp, which I still love. They look great pretty much everywhere. I remain impressed, hope your winter is mild.

  21. I can’t wait to see the final reveal! The progress you have shown so far is amazing. That Benjamin Moore Oil Cloth next to the white trim is gorgeous.

    And omg, CB2. I am occasionally tempted by some of the stuff on their site, and I wish they had a store near me (do they have brick and mortar stores?) I’m good on bedroom furniture, but I’m keeping this in mind when I need a entertainment center/credenza: http://www.cb2.com/changes-console/s516862

    • Thanks, Erin! Yes, CB2 does have brick and mortar stores! There’s a store locator on their site. I’ve generally been extremely impressed with their quality particularly considering the price point. I think the only criticism I’ve ever heard was concerning the quality of a fabric on an upholstered sofa that a friend of mine bought, which wasn’t HORRENDOUS but not great either. I ordered the bed without seeing it in person and was concerned it wouldn’t be as nice as I was hoping, but it actually well exceeded my expectations now that it’s arrived! Very solid and sturdy, super easy assembly, nice finish…no complaints at all! That credenza is so glam!

  22. Your bedroom’s well on its way to being an oasis of serenity. Thanks, as always, for bringing us along for part of the ride. (And if you manage to squeeze in a quickie update on Olivebridge Cottage or Bluestone Cottage, even a couple of Instagram photos, well, even better. ;D )

    Thanks for the heads up about the Angie’s List contest, Daniel’s mom. Will vote daily through Jan. 28.

    • I know, I seriously owe some updates on those fronts! Totally my fault, I swear I’m getting around to it!

  23. beautiful daniel! that grey paint is wonderful. ten bucks says you’ll never redo the ceiling.

    • Ha! I wouldn’t be so sure!! There are very few limits to my insanity! People said the same thing about my kitchen and pantry, and those only lasted like 3 years and 18 months, respectively. I can’t be trusted!

  24. I know you are in NY, but there’s an local shop in Seattle that has on online shop as well called Homestead. They have beautiful vintage and new rugs, and what I think are really reasonable prices! Not sure what the shipping would be!?

    LOVE that wall color. So calm. Great for a bedroom!

  25. It looks so good! I love the grey with white trim (and the window totally looks like it’s always been there), and the black is gonna look so sharp! That bed frame is super cool! Oh, you’re gonna feel like you’re at a hotel in your own home once it’s done!

  26. 1. Love it! Good luck settling in—you deserve to relax.

    2. Check out http://thesweethome.com/reviews/best-sheets/ for seriously scientific sheet suggestions.

    • Thank you! I love that! I’m a total sheets junkie. I noticed they didn’t include my current favorites, though (on a budget, the options are limited!), which are Target’s Vintage-Washed Percale Sheets which I vastly prefer over the Threshold Performance ones that they mention. I’m definitely a cool-and-crisp kinda guy, and these low thread-count, no-frills sheets make me so happy!

  27. Beautiful recreation of the moulding! But wait…..did you leave a George Nelson bubble lamp in a rental??

    • Only kind of! My ex still lives there! I’m sure he’ll take it with him when and if he moves. :)

  28. I got the alchemy bed in bronze last year. The finish on it is amazing, but be aware that it is a lot lower to the ground that I originally anticipated. I’ve always had platform beds, but this was even shorter to me. I can’t fit any “under bed storage” down there anymore, and I had to find a new home for my tupperware of spare linens.

    • Yes Allison, I had the same reaction! I’m totally capable of reading dimensions but even still, it is lower than I had expected! I don’t need underbed storage anymore, so luckily that’s not an issue, but yeah, it’s low, and part of what makes the bedside table thing more challenging!

  29. Daniel,
    You rocked it! So glad for you to finally see things coming to fruition for your side house/bedroom. I know what you mean about having rooms that feel in balance. Despite all the openings the symmetry will be so gratifying as you live in the room.
    Also happy to see you venture into a non white walls :) I have recently used BM Grey Horse which isn’t the same, but has similar aspects of moodiness/depth/interest.

    • Thank you Michelle! I don’t think I’ve ever seen that color before—it looks beautiful and yes, very similar to Oil Cloth!

  30. Since I never open the curtains in my bedroom, I made fake roman blinds – hemmed the top and bottom and used a tension rod to put it up. Then I could highlight the beautiful trim and it wasn’t too much work. Roman blinds would also be nice if you plan on opening them :)

    • Definitely an option! I do want to be able to open and close them easily, but realistically whatever I choose will almost always be closed just for privacy. My goal is to keep as much light as possible (I actually don’t like a dark bedroom—it means I could sleep FOREVER) but still have enough privacy to walk around naked after a shower, ha!

  31. Ohhhh, you totally nailed that new molding around the window. I’m so proud! It all looks so good with everything patched and painted!

    I am also super jealous of your bubble lamp. There are so many lights I like aesthetically, but I’m suuuuuper picky about light being soft and diffused unless it’s a task lamp, which makes it hard to find pendant lighting I like at a price point I can afford. I’d have Chinese lanterns in every room if it didn’t make me look so much like a broke college student. Also, I laugh every time I hear “Design Within Reach.” Like…did they mean that name ironically? Because it implies “within reach of the average person,” and those prices definitely…aren’t.

    And on a completely unrelated note, I nostalgically read that old post about your apartment bedroom and the hated bookshelves…what DID you do with that maple burl under the bed?

    P.S. Voted for you in that Angie’s List thing. Your mom totally busted you, man, bc I totally recognize those architectural details. Sorry, Daniel. ;)

    • Thanks Lori! Bubble lamps are great but yes, expensive at full retail cost. Paper lanterns have a very similar effect, though, and I think can look awesome! I totally hear ya on the soft/diffused issue. It’s a challenge!!

      Not that it changes anything, but I *think* the “Within Reach” part refers more to the fact that DWR carries a lot of stuff manufactured by Herman Miller and Knoll, which I think used to be much more challenging to buy as a regular non-designer consumer. I think. I spent some time looking into it a few years ago and it seems like the vast majority of those items have always been expensive for a number of reasons (and prices have increased more or less with inflation)…the quality/cost of materials, the places of manufacture, the demographic of the consumer since these pieces used to be FAR more common in big corporate offices than homes. I hear ya, though! It’s too spendy for me unless I can find discounted/vintage/secondhand. The good thing with mass production is that the discounted/vintage/secondhand is totally out there if you have enough patience and persistence!

      The burl! My ex kept one piece and put hairpin legs on it and now it’s his (very cute!) coffee table, and I ended up selling the other one. Ah well! I do love some burl, but just couldn’t figure out what I’d do with it so it seemed silly to keep it around.

      Thank you for the vote! :)

  32. You are doing a GREAT job, Daniel!! Myself, a serial renovator, I am in awe of your skills, and what you take on. GREAT!

  33. Long time blog stalker, first time commenter.
    I am so jealous of all of that light!

    • It’s a bright room, that’s for sure! I think if I’d painted it white, I’d want sunglasses during certain parts of the day!

  34. Looking great! I don’t know if you saw, but Ikea’s brought your roller blinds back.

    • I’m not sure if we’re looking at the same thing, but unfortunately I don’t think they have! They discontinued the ones I liked (ENJE), and then introduced something else that was very similar (I can’t remember what they called it) and I bought them for the upstairs windows. They’re HORRIBLE! I mean, if you ever have to raise or lower them, which I think shades should be able to do. A few have also just straight up broken for reasons I don’t even understand, so I think I originally bought 6 and only 3 remain! Ugh! The old shades (ENJE) used to have a chain to raise and lower them, but IKEA got rid of that due to safety concerns, and I find the new spring-loaded ones basically inoperable. They look very similar though, which just adds insult to injury! Now they seem to have discontinued those and introduced SKOGSKLOVER, which is ALSO very similar looking, but still spring-loaded and I don’t want to take the gamble this time given how it paid off last time! Sigh. Luckily I’ve found very nice solar shades from Lowe’s that are not cheap but not prohibitive, and I’ve had good experiences with Blindsmax.com for custom, good quality solar shades at the cheapest prices I’ve found yet. I’ll probably end up ordering from them for this room, but I’m a little immobilized with indecision!

  35. My first thought on seeing the new window: Hot damn! Looks so good! Love the plan for the room, I’m sure it’s going to look great and feel even better to end each day in a “done” room. Good on ya!

  36. Oh for heaven’s sake, Daniel–we shouldn’t have to wait for your mom to come in and tell us you’ve done something cool. (Hi, Daniel’s Mom!) We like you and want to support you! Tell us when we can! That laundry room is hella cute now.
    Also I’m so happy about your room. It’s good to have a place to cozy up, and it’s looking so lovely.

    • I KNOW I KNOW FOR SHAMMEEE! I’ll try to put a post together tonight!! I didn’t know when that contest was getting posted (I submitted it several weeks ago) and the past week has been super busy so I just haven’t have time. But thank you! :) :)

  37. I was thinking if you wanted to make the new window trim fit in, you could always beat it up bit, so it has some of the dings the original windows likely have. Then I saw it was already painted – looks good!

    My two cents on the rug – while it is a trend to put large rugs in bedrooms, when I did (I love rugs and have a lot of them), I found that having a portion of a big rug under a bed just collected dust. Because I don’t vacuum all that often. I moved the larger rug to another room, and for my bedroom, which is shaped kinda like yours, where the bed takes up most of the area, and there were walkways on three sides of the bed between the bed and the dressers or other furniture along the walls, I found three skinny runner-type rugs that cover the area I walk on (all the floor that wasn’t under furniture, except at the corners where the rugs met near the doors) were something I liked a lot better. It is much easier to just dust under the bed with a dustmop when I do clean – there’s no dust sinking into a lovely rug. (I don’t know if feng shui principles have anything to say about this – I like its idea of not storing things under a bed – but the feng shui feeling of my bedroom improved when I moved the larger rug out – I like giving the wood floor breathing space under the bed.) And, while I have wool rugs in all my other rooms that aren’t kitchen or baths, I prefer simple cotton rag or woven ones for the bedroom – they are machine washable, which is nice, as I do tend to spill stuff in my bedroom more often, and they have a simple, plain, shakerish vibe which I like in my bedroom for some reason, though I like traditional persian rugs in other rooms. Also, washable non-pile rugs are better for bedrooms if you are allergic to dust. And wool rugs are more likely to get munched on by moths or beetles where they are under furniture than where you walk on them constantly.

    If you still want a large rug, consider a solid cotton rag one – they come in some really nice solid colors, as well as multicolor if you don’t like a solid (or made from denim like the runner rag ones I have now-I haven’t tried washing them yet) – or a cotton woven one – they don’t collect as much dust, and I used to wash and dry a 6′ X 9′ cotton rag one in the triple washer and large dryers at the laundromat, so they are easily washable, and they have that same simple, serene plain look I like. (Flat kilim rugs also collect less dust, but I have ruined two by spilling coffee on them in my bedrooms.)

    I also have done a lot of thinking about window treatments in a similar room, with similar windows and trim from 1910 (in my case, tho windows and three doors) Here’s what I came up with – definitely shades installed inside the window frame – they can be the roll-up type, the pleated cardboardish or fabric type, or, as I landed on, the small honeycomb type – because I wanted to provide some insulation against hot and cold air transferring through the window panes, and because I wanted to block out the intense sunlight that came in early in the morning, and you can get the honeycomb ones with foil blackout liner in the middle (the exterior still shows white). I think you can get other types of shades with blackout liners if needed – smith + noble’s website is a good place to see what’s out there. Whichever you get, get the kind that can be lowered from the top as well as raised from the bottom (called top-down, bottom-up) because you can let light in the top and still have privacy from the lower windows, which is nice to have in a bedroom. My preference is to have have the shades as close to the window trim color as I can get, though a just slightly darker shade of something can work. If you are good with these, then that’s all you need, and you can admire your molding.

    In my case, I opted to put lined curtains over the shades, as I needed to block out the intense sunlight that came in at the edges of the shades, and I also needed to keep the cold air from coming in the drafty windows at night. So, a curtain rod, mounted high over window trim and wide (so you can draw the curtains all the way open and see the whole window pane during the day) with simple curtains, hung on rings on the rod so the curtains are easy to open and close (using drapery pins that hook into the little eyelets on the rings.) You don’t need curtains with fancy pleats in them to use the drapery pins and rings – you can buy simple curtains, that come with rod pockets and just stick the pins in at even points, I even did it with some with some unlined tab-top Ikea ones a living room where I didn’t need to block light but just wanted the look of long curtains – I just pinned the tabs to the back of the curtain with the drapery pin and used them to hang on rings, as they move more easily on rings than tab-top or rod-pocket curtains on the rods. If you pin and hang them carefully, you get a nice, simple pleated look without actually having any pleats. My rule of thumb for curtain colors is to match them to your walls – in your case, I’d go with a shade of something grey-ish that is lighter than your walls but looks like it would be on the same paint chip strip.

    A third option I like, and had in one bedroom as they were there when I moved in, are those ones that are like shades in that they roll up, but are actually two thin pieces of fabric with fabric vanes between them, so when they are down, they can be opened or closed to let in light and act like blinds. Hunter-Doulas’s ones are called Silhouette, if you want to look them up, but other brands make them as well. The only drawback are that they are more expensive, and you can’t use them if you have window AC, as you can only roll up the shade when the vanes are closed – so you can’t open the blinds to let just some light in above the AC when the AC is in the window and the shade is pulled up to expose the AC unit – you have to pull up the shade further and get full light through the portion of the window that is showing you want any light at all. If you don’t have window ACs, don’t need to block out intense sunlight that comes in at the edge of shades, and feel like spending, these are a nice choice, sort of a shade/blind combo.

    • The great thing about using all that scrap/reclaimed wood is that I didn’t really have to fake the wear and tear! I thought about that too but it just wasn’t necessary!

      Totally know what you mean about the rug! The whole dust-under-the-bed thing kinda bothers me too, but not a lot, and I think it’s what’s going to look the best/make me happiest, particularly before being able to refinish the floors. The more coverage, the better! But yeah, a flat-weave and/or cotton might be nice…I’m open to options so hopefully the right one will show up!

      I think I’m leaning toward sticking with solar shades…very minimal, and just enough to soften the light/view and provide some privacy. I actually LOVE waking up in a super bright bedroom and can very easily (TOO easily) sleep through morning sun, so I think that’s going to work out best for me. And yes, it keeps all the moldings exposed, which I like! The window placement in relation to the corners of the room, and in relation to the radiator, makes curtains feel super super tricky anyway.

  38. As to nightstands, I notice a lot of vintage and antique ones (singly and in pairs) that are much smaller than modern ones (probably because bedrooms were smaller then) so might fit in your space well, and add some nice style. And they aren’t nearly as expensive as other old furniture – whether because they are smaller, or because people don’t want them, I don’t know. Some of them aren’t as tall as modern ones, either – maybe because mattresses weren’t as thick then.

    • True! I think good nightstands and side tables are some of the very hardest things to find, and with that super mod bed I think I need something that leans old. And short, because the bed is very low! Keeping my eyes peeled, always. :)

      • Yes, the right nightstands can be very hard to find. After looking for over a decade, I finally had some made to my exact specifications, about 14 years after I bought my bedframe (I didn’t like the ones that came with the bed’s furniture line – they weren’t at all as nicely designed, or as good quality (as in, not solid wood, as the bed was.) They ended up costing about 2.5 times what I paid for the bed frame, unfortunately – but I don’t regret them at all. I have this very fixed idea that nightstand should be the same, or nearly the same–at most an inch or two off–as the height of the mattress – I’m afraid if they are too high, that I will spill water or whatever I place on them on me, or bump my head on them in the night, and if they are too low, I fear that I won’t be able to read with a good light over my shoulder from a table lamp on my nightstand, not without having a freakishly tall lamp anyway, which I would also think would make a lamp easier to topple over. Like the little bear, I want it my bed to be juuussst right!

        Remember, if you get something leggy, even if it is too high (as most old nightstands are for really low beds), you can always chop off some (or all) of the legs, or replace them, to lower the height (assuming that doing so doesn’t totally wreck the look of the piece(s). If you go back a few decades to when everybody had platform beds with thin futons on them, you can find some lower nightstands from that era. Alternative items that weren’t made to be nightstands could also work – like those old card cabinet files, or other such old pieces of storage furniture that are lower than nightstands, like little chests with drawers meant to be used on top of a table or desk. Have fun hunting – I hope it doesn’t take you as long as it did me – though I love furniture shopping, and I did use various other items in the intervening years – an old, too-low nightstand I bought when I had a futon frame a few inches from the ground; a cedar chest (not so useful because it was only good for long-term storage, not the easily-accessed storage I like by my bed, as you had to clear everything off the top to open it up; an old small wood idea chest I had, and various chairs.

      • I know exactly what you mean about the height of the mattress:side table ratio! Yes, and I want storage. That’s the problem! I feel like it’s not out there, so I’ll probably have to either make them or hack something.

  39. It looks so neat and graceful. I think I would use smaller dressers as nightstands to save wall space. I like some type of roller blinds but I also like velvet curtains pooling on the floor You’ll figure it out–this is really the fun part. I voted for you-good luck!

    • In theory I love that idea, but unfortunately this bed is sooooo low that I think they really have to be nightstands probably with just a single drawer. I’ll probably get fed up with looking and just make something!

      Thank you for the vote!! <3

  40. Daniel: this is so awesome – just so much AWESOME! Love the wall color.

  41. The wall color is wonderful. The ceiling medallion and finish work on the extra window look great. Voted too, thanks Mom.

  42. All coming together nicely now. Beautiful wall colour, looks so good with the crisp white. I also remember the bubble lamp purchase…. I am now looking at my grey wool blanket covered headboard (totally copied from this post back in the day http://manhattan-nest.com/2010/07/23/a-whole-mess-of-staples/) and wondering if I now need an upgrade too…

  43. Hold sh*t. You are the bomb. And that’s a fact. Alternate fact. The truth however you spin it! I had to check your blog for some sunshine after watching today’s news, and you completely cheered me up. Those windows are absolute perfect imperfection! Love love love how well you matched them! And now that you have your big boy color pants on, you can sit back and really see your brilliant work. Love love love.

    Re all the fun decorating options…. Love the bed. I vote either a wall mounted shelf from your wood stash — I’m sure there’s some gorgeous slab that you can use. Otherwise, I’m a fan of magazines/books. They’re free, and you have them in you’re house bc you like them, and they hold a lamp! Re: rugs, I wish I could have rugs (my pigs think they’re pee pads), but may want to consider a few small rugs or a runner just to make it easy to clean under the bed.

    You are awesome. Can’t wait to see more.

    PS Mom, I can’t decide who is more my fave, you or your talented son. Hugs to you both! Xx

    • Aww, thank you, Melissa! (I lol’d at “alternate fact”….I mean seriously, can you even?!?!)

      I like those options for the bedsides, but I LOVE having at least a drawer of storage! I think it’s because I’m garbage person and don’t like to leave bed unless it’s required, so I like having all kinds of little things within easy reach. I can’t stop thinking about just making something uncomplicated, but…more projects!! Exactly what I don’t need. Ha!

  44. That window casing is giving me life. Bravo!!

  45. Dear Daniel,
    Although you seem to have no trouble tracking down gorgeous rugs, since you do come down to Virginia, younghouselove seem to have had luck at Amir Rug Exchange in Richmond.

  46. Great work, it is looking amazing! And thanks to your mom’s tip, I’ve been voting for you in the Angie’s List contest :-)

    I love the light too. I’m starting on a nursery (with a subtle space theme) and I think that might be just the light for it! I see they have multiple size options – what size would you recommend for a small bedroom (~12 feet on each side w/ 9 foot ceilings)?

    • I’d say medium! Granted, I like my lighting a little over-scaled in general, but that’s about the size of this room and I think the size feels just right! :)

      Thank you for the kind words and the votes!! <3

  47. Give in to the antiques (or reproductions!), and drop this modern stuff, Daniel! It’s what your beautiful historic house and moldings want!

    • Ha! I like a mix! My perspective is basically that I want to renovate the house itself to a (reasonably) high standard of historic authenticity, but I don’t think it matters when it comes to decorating! Stuff like furniture and light fixtures and window treatments are so easily changed, and I really like how more modern pieces can play in a more ornate/historic setting. Trying to find the balance is the fun part!

  48. You ARE amazing! I love to see your process in making over rooms, and your astonishing attention to detail. I’ve learned so much about renovating / re-upholstering / revamping by reading your posts. One of the most informative, useful and beautiful blogs out there.

  49. I purchased the CB2 Alchemy bed in November and I’m obsessed with it. The frames the perfect mix of looking nice, modern, but it doesn’t take up too much space. You will not regret buying it!

    • I’m so pleasantly surprised by how nice it is! So solid and nicely made. I feel so glammmmmm!

  50. What sheen do you use for your mouldings? We are slowly refreshing our 56 rambler that underwent a series of beigeifications in the 90s. The trim was painted in a mishmash of flat and semigloss and is quite imperfect with thick paint, dents, etc. My boyfriend insisted that as we repaint we do all the trim and doors in semigloss but I really want satin for the bedrooms and living rooms and semigloss for kitchen and bathroom. Since I will be the one painting I get the final call but I worry im making a bad decision. We don’t have children or dogs so I don’t fear crazy amounts of dirt and the satin hides the imperfections a bit…but almost every website says it should be semigloss. Am I crazy? I just really don’t like the shine of the current semigloss.

    • Ahhh…it says in the post. Satin! You have validated me.

      • Yes! There ya go! Paints have improved a lot in recent years so I don’t think the durability/wipe-ability is nearly the concern that it was 10 or 15 years ago. I prefer satin because I feel like it allows the focus to be on the shape/profile of the moldings whereas semigloss is so shiny that it calls attention to all those nicks and dings and dents and bumps. Still has a nice pleasant sheen, but it’s subtle. :)

  51. Hi Daniel! Great work, I love your bedroom! I have a quick question: I also have a George Nelson bubble lamp but I’m having trouble with the light it casts, which always looks rather blue and cold, no doubt due to the fact that it’s a stark white shade. The problem is that it’s in a living room that also has lamps that cast a warmer, yellow-y light, so I’m trying to figure out what bulb to use in the lamp to make it cast more of a yellowy light. Pictures of bubble lamps online always seem to have a nice yellow glow emanating from them but mine is distinctly cold and blue-white, which is jarring and I realize is a question of the bulb more than it is the fixture. Anyway, if you don’t mind me asking, what light bulbs and wattage/lumens, etc. do you use to achieve your warm, diffuse light in the bubble lamps? I seem to have spent an inordinate amount of time and money considering light bulbs and this whole LED thing is confusing me further…
    Thanks so much in advance!!!!

    • Thanks Christina! What a vexing problem!! I’ve never seen a bubble lamp cast cool light—not even remotely! So I think it’s almost certainly the bulb.

      I think what I put in here is a 60W Replacement LED Soft White bulb. There are so many options now, but what you’re really looking for is…
      1. NOT DAYLIGHT, EVER EVER. Typically LED bulbs will be labeled Daylight or Soft White (sometimes warm white—seem to be interchangeable), and the soft/warm is going to approximate the normal incandescent bulb you’re probably used to. I’ve been happy with Cree and Philips brand LED bulbs but they’re getting better and better across the board overall. You’ll probably spend $10-$15. I still think it’s best to avoid the cheap six-pack box of LED bulbs that the big boxes all carry now…those are OK for a basement or closet or something but I don’t think the light quality is as good if you just need a nice bulb somewhere. The more expensive individual bulbs are great overall though, and they last such a long time.
      2. I dislike CFL bulbs, personally. Skip em.
      3. As for brightness, that’s personal preference. I don’t actually turn on overhead lights very often and don’t like using them as a primary light source, so a 60W replacement (meaning, it’s the same brightness as a traditional 60W incandescent bulb, but actually uses only a few watts of energy) is usually good for me. You may want 100W if that’s not bright enough!
      4. If you still want a warmer light, try out one of the LED bulbs that’s meant to look like an old Edison bulb. The light those cast is VERY warm—warmer than the real thing, I think. They’re a little hokey but I like them for some things!
      5. Last thing, I like overhead lights on a dimmer switch! They’re simple to install and it makes a big difference. Most LED bulbs are dimmable now, but check the package just in case if you go that route because sometimes they don’t dim. Again, the pricier ones seem better at maintaining warmth as they dim, whereas cheaper tends to cool/grey out when dimmed or flicker or just not dim at all.

      I hope that helps! Sorry for the slow reply!

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