Master Bedroom progress

I am excited to show you our new bedroom today! It isn't finished—I don't seem to have a stash of cash to just go out and purchase all the accessories I want all at once, but it is in progress and I am too excited to wait until it is "finished" to show you!

I like things to flow from room to room and feel cohesive. Therefore, I used the same wall color I've used throughout our home, and repeated the accent wall color from our living room. When we remodeled our living room we purchased enough of this hickory wide plank solid wood flooring to eventually do this room also. It sat on pallets in our garage for several years so it felt great to finally get it installed! It was not the most forgiving flooring to lay and it took us several days to get the job done. So happy with the end result!

We formerly had two ceiling fan/light fixtures in this space. We struggled to keep this room cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and knew we wanted to keep a ceiling fan in this room. We opted instead for a simple design with no light, and then added 4 recessed LED lights to the room. We love the new fan. It is so much more efficient and quiet than the old ones, not to mention much more sleek and modern. 

Sources: Paint, accent wall, Behr Dusty Mountain; main walls, Behr Sandstone Cliff; ceiling fan from Wayfair; sconces from Wayfair (no longer available); duvet cover, Thomas O'Brien from Target (discontinued); lumbar pillow, handmade using a Target throw; throw blanket from TJ Maxx; rug from Home Depot; bed from Crate and Barrel; nightstands, vintage.

As a little reminder, this is what the room looked like before. The only place to put the bed was under the windows:

We tore out the closets and moved the bed to that wall. The closet was relocated next to the bathroom by stealing a little space from the office.

We still need to figure out what to use for window treatments. I love the simplicity of blinds, but this is quite a long window. In this case I am leaning towards floor-to-ceiling curtains to provide some softness and an insulating effect in the winter. Something subtle but textural. What would you do?

On the opposite side of the room, this little corner is where I would eventually love to install a gas fireplace. Until then, it houses a dresser (vintage—I bartered with a client to acquire these), and the Eames-style lounger I refurbished.

I would actually like to organize our closet well enough to house all of our clothes, even our underwear and things that are currently held in the dressers in our bedroom. I love being able to go from our bathroom into the closet to get dressed and having everything there in one place. 

Other sources: Paint color, Behr Sandstone Cliff (walls), Behr Powdered Snow (trim and ceiling), Behr Squirrel (doors); wood planter from Target; Union Jack pillow, handmade; magazine rack, vintage from a storage unit sale;  art by Scott Davis, a talented former co-worker—it is hard to tell from this but it features a deer wading through a misty Great Salt Lake.  Here is a closer look:

This was the mood board I put together before the remodel:

We had the bed and nightstands already. A friend sent me a link to the sconces shown above, and I ordered them right away (from Wayfair) only to get an e-mail about 3 weeks later that my order was cancelled. Boo. I had to go to plan B, and found the sconces we ended up purchasing (also from Wayfair, and now also no longer available.) Apparently that is a thing. If you see something you want, snatch it up immediately. 

The pillow in the mood board is from Citizenry (similar). Their stuff is beautiful. And also—expensive. I didn't buy it, but I do rather love the pop of color. 

The leather bench is still very much on my wish list, from CB2.

Finally, artwork. I love these joshua tree prints from Amber Interiors. I wanted to do something original and try to make my own local desert-inspired photos. When the yucca plants were in bloom along the Teton River I shot these images:

I just can't decide what combination to use. A pair of two?

Or one big photo?  Which do you like?

As I mentioned before, we finished the bedroom and office side of this space, and left the old bathroom in tact (i.e. functional) until we can tackle that project. It left some awkward spaces in the meantime. We expanded the bathroom walls by a foot or so, which left a gap between the new wall and old wall. (This is where we hide our stowaways ;) Our closet is temporarily set up where it will eventually go, however the old bathroom walls make it pretty narrow for now. 

Thanks for your input on the bathroom layout! It was helpful to hear your feedback. I am definitely leaning in this direction:

Thanks for following along, and let me know what you think! 

Master Suite project

Well hi there. I thought I would pop in and tell you what we've been up to on our house. Ready for an update?

We finally started in January of this year on our Master bedroom. This is exciting because this part of the house is the first thing you see when you walk in the front door!

Let me throw some awesome before pictures at ya:

The bedroom:

Of course, we moved our own furniture in, but otherwise left things as is in anticipation of much bigger changes when we were ready.

It took us 7 years to be ready. And trust me. We were very ready to rip out that old carpet. 

Back in this post from June of 2011 I outlined my plans for this portion of the house and shared these floor plans of the Master wing:

It fun to see what I was thinking 6 years ago and how those plans have evolved. As you can see, the space is an awkward shape. I translated these plans in SketchUp for some more specific renderings.

The bedroom had two entrances—a small one through the office and the main door across the entry from our front door. It was always a fun dance to climb out of the shower, peek out the bathroom door to see if the bedroom doors were open, streak across the room to the closet and pray that no one appeared at the front door.

The plan was to:

  • relocate the office entrance to the front of the room and close off the side. 
  • make the office smaller to leave more room for bathroom and closet.
  • eliminate the dark room next to the closet (my grandma was a photographer—we just used it as a glorified storage room)
  • widen the door from the office to the bedroom
  • eliminate the front entrance to the bedroom and add a powder room in this spot. (We later nixed this plan. I decided I didn't really need another bathroom to clean).  
  • Remove the closets on the far wall and add a walk-in closet near the bathroom. 

Here is a closer look at the office. Even though the square footage is smaller, we want to maximize the storage by adding cabinetry. It isn't floor space you really need in an office anyway, but I did have to fight Tom for this real estate. ;)

In the bedroom, removing the closets allowed us to place the bed on the far wall instead of under the window. Instead of adding the powder room, we just ran the wall straight across and added a closet that is accessed on the hall side. We would love to add a fireplace eventually on the wall between the bedroom and bathroom because this room tends to be cold in the winter.


The bathroom and closet area was the most challenging space to work out because of it's odd shape. My priorities were to have adequate closet space near the bathroom and a separate room for the toilet so we could still have privacy while the other is using the sinks or closets. Here are a few options I explored:

I thought this last idea had the most potential and flushed it out in 3D. After showing it to my family, however, they felt it was too tight and had too much wasted space. Back to the drawing board.

I thought I might have to resign myself to losing the separate toilet room. This does leave lots of room for everything, including a huge shower.

Then I had an "a-ha" moment. The toilet could go in the same room as the shower and be closed off by a door! In this plan, the shower and closet both would have to be smaller.  The shower is about 48" x 46" in this plan.

As an alternative, the wall could be square with the sink room instead.

Here is a 3D view of this plan. 

(Note: I also moved the wall beside the sinks into the bedroom a bit to leave more room for the vanity. There is a window on this wall that dictates vanity placement. I anticipate doing a lower counter with a stool under the window between the two sinks.)

Construction is done on the office (except cabinetry) and bedroom. Stay tuned for more on that! We knew we would not have time to complete the whole bathroom this winter, so we opted not to demo it. Instead we finished all the walls on the bedroom and office side and hope to tackle the rest when winter comes again. In the meantime, I hope you will weigh in on my bathroom plan options! Am I crazy to insist on a separate space for the toilet?

Wall unit update

I've acquired a pretty long list of furniture for this house from Craig's List. It would be hard to pick a favorite (well, maybe my orange chairs) but the wall unit on the back wall of our living room has to be near the top of the list.


A few interesting things have happened since my original post about this piece, so I thought I would post an update.

I had tagged my post with the manufacturer's name (Kopenhavn), and as a result attracted some attention from other's searching the internet for these wall units, most of them looking for additional parts or sections for their own wall units. 

One reader contacted me looking for extra sky hooks, the metal hooks that attach the units to the wood brackets that are mounted to the wall. I didn't have extras (she was able to have new ones made at machine shop), but during our correspondence she offered to send me scans of an original brochure for the units she had in her possession. Here are a few of the pages:

It's fun to see the configurations offered. And those prices!

Then, more recently, I received this comment on my original post:

Sarah 4 months ago 
The designer of your Kopenhavn wall unit and the miniature furniture maker are indeed one and the same person. Noral Olson is my grandfather. :)

And she responded this to our comments in return:

Sarah 3 months ago 
Hi Joellyn and Debra,
Thanks so much for your comments. It does make me proud that he has designed something that will be used and loved well beyond his lifetime. I can't believe that it's only recently that I have come to know and appreciate his talent (he had already retired from the furniture design business before I was born). You should also check out some of his miniature pieces - they are true works of art, featured in collections around the world - not your everyday "dollhouse" furniture :)
I will pass on your kind words. I know he will especially enjoy your story Debra and be so happy to know that what he helped create was used and enjoyed as I'm sure he meant for it to be.

So even though I already loved this piece, I must say it is even more rewarding to know it has a real and tangible history. 


Craig's List find: Midcentury Motherload Part II

When we visited the storage unit found on Craig's list, we came home with more than we planned on. Actually, I picked out the chairs and desk I wanted and got back in the car to feed Eva, and Tom continued browsing. He's the one who lured me back in. Trouble.

So here is the rest of our loot:


These white lamps were $5 each. I need to find some drum shades for them, but I think they are a great find. The drafting table lamp was Tom's pick. We hope we can find florescent bulbs that fit it.

Cattails, thrown in for free. (One set on e-bay currently listed for $17.99. I have 3 different sets, not all pictured).

This magazine rack really raised my mom's eyebrows. That's because they had (have?) one just like it for years that held my piano music. (I just realized it is missing one of the wood pieces in this photo, but I have it.) I think it features my Atomic ranch mags and Eames book nicely, don't you?

This Zenith radio actually works! Quite well, in fact! I think it cost me $5.

These candy dishes currently hold pretzels and nuts that are a bit too convenient for our holiday snacking. I lost track of how much he charged me for all these little items. I ended up just making a pile of everything I wanted and he named a price for the whole lot.

I bought these canisters—wait—I believe he said "oh, you can just have those"—inspired by Modern Thrifter. I'm not quite sure if I will paint mine or not. I kind of like the original patina. And this wooden vase, well, I'm sure I'll find a use for it somewhere.

Finally, this oil and vinegar cruet. He said they were a rare find unbroken because they are rather fragile. A quick search of my own didn't reveal anything quite like it. But they are useful if nothing else!

That's about it. I did leave most things there. Really. He had artwork, a million lamps, lots of dishes, furniture, etc. The list goes on and on. Tom has been looking through my Atomic Ranch magazines and on eBay to see if there are any treasures we left behind that should have been snagged. LOL :) The more he looks into it the more he is amazed at what a craze midcentury design is. There was a middle-aged man looking through the storage unit while we were there and Tom asked, "Are you looking for someone else or are you into this for yourself?" His answer, "I have a '61 Atomic Ranch." So apparently these savvy people do exist in Montana, behind the faces of very ordinary people. Not everyone in MT has to own rustic log cabins. Yeah! I'm glad we beat him to the storage unit. Ha!

Actually, there is one more item I forgot to photograph, so I'll have to save it for a later post. So, what do you say? Cuckoo or brilliant?

Craig's List find: Midcentury Motherload

I have a habit of scanning Craig's List every few days (obviously). Around here it is small enough to scan every entry and not have to filter your results by type. I think this is the equivalent of "impulse shopping", or scanning the goodies lining the checkout stands. Because you often find appealing things that you weren't actually looking for.

This time it was an ad for Eames chairs. What???? That doesn't come up on Craig's List every day around here! Unfortunately it had a been 2 days since the ad had been listed, and I was sure they would have been snatched up. And the stuff was in Great Falls so I wasn't sure when I would be able to get away to go see them anyway. Nevertheless, I called on them and they were still available. Even better, the guy had a storage unit full of midcentury goodies.

(I've ceased to complain about the fact that Craig's list is so under utilized up here. Because you know what I've learned? That means there is less competition when something great is listed! That and nobody up here would give a hoot about midcentury modern furniture anyway. What's that?)

The storage unit was in Cascade, another 25 miles past Great Falls. So I made a special trip to go see this jackpot of midcentury furniture. My family rolled their eyes but my husband kindly accompanied me. (After all, meeting some strange guy at a storage unit by myself generally wouldn't be advisable). Turns out, the guy was a designer dude who lived in California and helped manage a midcentury furniture gallery. He started his collection there and then moved back home to Cascade where he stored his entire collection in a storage unit. Recently he up and decided to move to New York City for a new job opportunity and can only take, like, one piece of furniture with him and a suitcase full of clothes. So, he is liquidating the contents of his storage unit in a rush. His loss was my gain, right?

The chairs in the ad were these:

He was asking $40 each for them. They have the original stickers and Herman Miller emblem on them. (Look up Eames shell chairs on e-bay to see what they normally sell for. Typically between $100-$300). I was planning to buy 2, but ended up with all 4 for $120.

Then there was this desk:

This is a Paul McCobb desk. My family isn't impressed. But look up Paul McCobb Planner Group desk on e-bay. (Original condition: $600+, refinished: $900+). Tom needs a desk when we finish our basement and confiscate our current office furniture for my craft room. He can use this for now (until we can buy something he likes better) and I can refinish and sell it for a significant profit. They'll be laughing at me then, I'm sure. All the way to the bank.

By the way, I purchased the desk for $100, and got him to throw in this Danish modern chair for free.

I love this chair. The designer dude said he recently re-upholstered the seat, but I think it deserves some cuter fabric. Like something by Orla Kiely perhaps.

My family thinks I'm a little nuts and some of you do too, I'm sure. :) Abby ran by why I was taking pictures, sat down in the chair, and said "Mom, this is comfortable!"

At least someone is on my side.