A Master Bedroom Makeover

This picture was taken in December of 2016.

That is when I thought that a master bedroom makeover was imminent. We had moved into our lovely older home in October of 2007. We had 6 children, the youngest being 6 weeks old. We just put together our master bedroom with whatever we had. It definitely wasn’t the decor that I would have chosen. It really wasn’t even a master bedroom. It was one of the smaller rooms in the house, but we chose it because it had a balcony. We didn’t want any of the children to accidentally get out onto the balcony…EVER!

I would day dream about how we would make our room a peaceful oasis. It wouldn’t cost very much money, and it would be so much fun. Month after month, year after year, other things would take up our time, money, and creative energy. We had two more baby boys, both born in this bedroom. We shared the small space with a collection of bassinets and cribs.

In 2015 we had a baby girl. Eventually she moved out of our room and into a room with her brothers. Our master bedroom was cribless! I began to dream of redecorating again. By December of 2016, we thought we were ready! The light blue paint had almost faded to grey, and it was peeling off the walls. Upon closer inspection, Chris noticed that there was quite a bit of water damage on one of the walls. The wall had an outside wall on the other side. It turns out the the chimney was leaking water into our house and we needed to get a chimney liner.

A Chimney liner: the most unsatisfying home improvement expense ever!!!

I had to wait a bit longer for my master bedroom makeover. Slowly over the next two years we found other items to put into our room like a beautiful dresser from Craigslist. My daughter made me gorgeous canvases from photos taken on her trip to Australia.

I was able to get some new bedspreads. A lighter one for the summer months and a duvet cover for our down comforter. Chris likes our room as frigid as possible, but I don’t mind in the winter, as long as I am snuggled under the down comforter.

I also brought a small love seat into our room. Friends of ours gave it to us when they were moving our of state. (Thank you Wander family!) It had been in the boys room, in the loft and then finally in the basement. I thought it was a goner when the furnace pipes started spurting water everywhere and it got completely soaked. Yet it dried out and still had the pleasant smell of dill emanating from it. I think it is a miracle love seat, perfect for quiet times with Jesus and nursing times with babies. All it needed was a blue slip cover!

In 2018 we had another baby girl. There was another bassinet in our room, but it was a joy! Chris and I needed a new mattress badly. We found ourselves rolling into the center of the bed and waking up terribly sore. Finally by February of 2019 we were able to trade in our 22 year mattress for a new king-sized one.

A new King-Sized Mattress: one of the most satisfying home improvement expenses ever!

Chris decided that he couldn’t put a new bed into our room with the awful paint. So he asked me to pick a paint color and soon, “Sunny Veranda” was gracing our walls.

A few months later Chris took an original door from our garage and crafted a headboard for me.

I love it more than any headboard I have ever seen!

I feel like I have an official bedroom now!

I wanted to decorate our room in a beach theme because God had spoken to me so clearly about the Sky and the Ocean before, during, and after our 21st honeymoon at the beach. The beach is where I am reminded to surrender to the God of the wind and waves so He can carry me.

There are pictures from Areli’s trip to Australia,

Areli’s trip to Cyprus,

and our trip to Ocean City Maryland.

I love each little detail because it means something to me. This old box came with our house and is a perfect place for my books. Now I just need to find one for Chris’ side of the bed.

The shells belong to Areli, which I gave to her, which my Grammy gave to me, which Grammy got when her mom and step-dad lived in Florida.

Whenever I lay in this bed and look up at the lovely white ceiling fan, I feel like I am on vacation. I am surrounded by sunny weather and beaches.

What could be more relaxing than that!

And God is telling me to dream again.

To look into my future with His vision and see the endless possibilities.

To tell disappointment that “NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD!”

To hold my dreams dearly but not tightly.

To dream but not make dreams my master.

To dream while praising the Author of my dreams.

What better place to do all of those things than in my new Master Bedroom?!

Thank you Chris for making my oasis possible! I am looking forward to relaxing at the beach with you!

A Bedroom Makeover that took 18 years (and a Mother’s thoughts on the graduation of her firstborn)

I have been dreaming about decorating a little girl’s room for some time now…18 years to be exact.  When I was pregnant with my first child, we didn’t know the gender of the baby.  We chose a neutral Noah’s Ark bedroom set to put on our baby registry.  Our baby girl seemed to be delighted with her bedroom.  This also worked for our next baby, a boy who was born 18 months later.  Areli and Cole shared a room and the animals in muted colors worked great for them.

However, when Areli turned three she became a big girl almost overnight.  She was totally potty-trained and moved into a big bed.  As I searched for the perfect comforter set, I began to dream of decorating a room for her.  Perhaps soon we would move to a bigger home and Areli could have her own room, a GIRL’S room!

I found a lovely comforter and sheet set called, “Mariposa.”  It had butterflies on a purple and yellow back ground.  For the next few years I played with decorating ideas.  I would paint imaginary walls in my mind, first bright yellow, then lavender.  I would experiment with different colors of curtains.  I decided that I would frame the adorable Anne Geddes baby butterflies in white frames and put them up all over the walls.   The most beautiful little girl’s room began to take shape, and I was so proud of myself.  Areli was going to be thrilled!

The years passed and we never did get a home big enough to give Areli her own room.  We never had the time or money to paint walls and decorate, and then we rented for several years.  Boring white walls became the norm for us.

Finally we moved into our own home and Areli got the largest bedroom…to share with two brothers.  Eventually the brothers moved out and a sister moved in.  There was even a baby in there a few times.  Yet we never seemed able to patch the cracking walls and paint over the dull and faded yellow.


I still held on to my dream of a purple and yellow room for Areli.  However, Areli was now growing up and developing her own dreams.  I realized that purple, yellow, and butterflies had nothing to do with her dreams.  She preferred green, blue, horses, football, and photography.  She had developed tastes that were totally different from mine!  How did this happen?

This is all that is left of my dreams.


A picture that is being stored in the attic and faded old sheets that used to be purple.

This year Areli turned 18.  She has grown into a beautiful and capable young woman.  She is so very like me, yet so totally different.

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She has different tastes in books, movies, clothes, and interior decorating.  She still loves green and blue and football and photography.  She helps so much around our home.  She loves and serves her family everyday with grace and endurance.

It was finally time for a bedroom makeover – ARELI STYLE!

Chris had a week off of work right around Areli’s 18th birthday.  He spent much of it fixing her walls, painting, and hanging window treatments and decorations.


Areli picked the color “Electric Lime.”  When I saw it on the wall for the first time I thought, “Oh my!  Was that really what Areli wanted?”


SHE LOVES IT!  Her dream had become a reality!  Now she has the perfect girl’s room in which to do her school work, hang out, and rest.  She still has to share it with a younger sister, but I think she feels like it is finally truly a room for HER, designed by her.

Areli graduates from High School in less than two weeks.  She has worked ahead and has already finished all of her classes with straight As.  She is going to work on her photography over the summer and get a job in the fall.  Her plan is to attend a Discipleship Training School with Youth With a Mission the following year.  I am excited for her!  The sky is the limit and the possibilities are endless.  With all the missions organizations all over the world, she could do anything and go anywhere.  Her future potential is boundless!


However, all this is very sad for a mom.  When I think about my home without Areli in it, I just want to cry.  How will I make it without her?  She helps me so much with all the household duties and taking care of the younger children.  More importantly, she is a wonderful friend, an oasis of womanly wisdom in a sea of boys.  She is the person who always understands me.  She is my companion when Chris is working long hours.


The other day I had a precious hour of free time before bed.  I decided to spend it connecting with God, sitting on the love-seat in my bedroom.  I was going to read and pray and write in my journal.  When I entered, I found Areli sitting on my love seat, reading a book that I had always loved, and taking notes in her journal.  I felt my heart swell with joy as I realized something.  Areli had fully absorbed all I have tried to teach her.  She has heeded my instruction, and she has also watched my life and followed my example.  She has taken ownership of her faith and she deliberately seeks out truth.  She has worked to learn and remember what is important.


She is so much like me yet so different from me…and so much better.  My ceiling is her foundation.  She is strong and mature…and almost ready to fly.

I want to whoop and holler in excitement for Areli…the successful efforts of my mothering!  I want to curl up in a ball and sob for the same reason…for the beautiful “Electric Lime” room that will soon be half-way empty and for the vacant place in my heart.

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I am so glad that we finally gave Areli that bedroom makeover that I had always been planning…even if it did take 18 years.  Secretly I am hoping it might help her to stay a little longer, and beckon her to return to this safe haven again and again and again.


A Mini Mother’s Day Makeover

It all started with a suggestion I made to Chris.

“Maybe for mother’s day this year, you could paint our bedroom.”  I said to him.

We did have gallons of yellow paint in the basement, and our blue bedroom walls were peeling.  Chris liked the idea, except he applied it to the living room.  The cords hanging down from the flat screen TV had been bothering him for years.  We had never owned a flat screen TV until I had the bright idea to ask his friends and family to give Chris donations for a TV in honor of his 40th birthday.  They were all so generous (and Chris is so loved) that he was able to buy quite a big one.

Our living room does need an entire overhaul but Chris suggested because of lack of sufficient time and money, we just do a few walls – a mini makeover.  Any makeover is exciting to me, plus I had been wanting to paint a few accent walls…so I told him my idea.


I had been thinking about bright red ever since Christmas when I wanted to buy slip covers for our raggedy sofas.  I couldn’t imagine having guests coming over and sitting on those sofas.


But Chris said, “Don’t waste money on slip covers.  We just need to buy new sofas.”

Those new sofas did not make it to our house in time for Christmas.  In fact it was April when we got them.  But what an awesome deal; one hundred bucks for a new looking sofa and love seat.  I was thrilled.  When we got them into our home, they turned out to be so close in color to the wall and carpet that they practically disappeared.  So a few good accent walls would do the trick!

When I was researching red pillows on the internet (back at Christmastime), I found these certain hand-made Pillows on Etsy that I just loved!  I couldn’t get the lovely pattern out of my mind.  I felt silly for being so obsessed with pillows, and $40 pillows at that.  I kept researching and found the fabric at Hancock Fabrics.  I put it on my wish list for my 40th birthday, and my mom was so wonderful to purchase 3 yards of the beautiful stuff!

All we had to do was pick the right red paint to match the fabric.  Chris could paint, and I could make pillows to my heart’s content.

Picking out paint is hard!  I chose two possibilities and put them on the wall.


“No More Drama” and “Circus Red”  they were called.  I looked at the wall for days.  I asked the opinion of all the children.


Finally it was decided that “No More Drama” was THE RED that we needed.

Chris couldn’t just paint it on the walls however.  First he had to strip the wall paper, patch the cracking walls, and skim coat everything.


Then we had our carpenter friend over AGAIN…seems like he helps us with all our projects, and I hope we haven’t worn him out.  He and Chris built a box to insert into the wall.


It would hold the cable box and blue ray player.  This worked great because there is a closet behind that wall.  They ran the power cords behind the wall, and Chris was as happy as a clam!


Finally, on Mother’s day the big moment came.



Once the walls were painted, I loved the look of it; bold and beautiful.  The couch didn’t disappear anymore and the beloved fabric would look great.  Yet…it wasn’t quite the red I had wanted.  In my experience, 100% of the time paint doesn’t look the same on the wall as it does on the card…or the way you had envisioned it in your head.  It looked more like “Circus Red” than “No more Drama”, and I was a bit disappointed.  I want my house to be peaceful without unnecessary drama.  I most certainly did not want to live in a circus!

To make matters worse, one day Chris sat down on the sofa and looked over the house.  From his vantage point he could see the bright yellow in the dining room, the deep blue of the entry way and the BRIGHT RED of our new accent wall.

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“It looks like Romper Room,” he said and stomped on my delicate heart just a little.

“Don’t let anyone make you doubt your vision,” I said to myself.  I had just read that in a magazine in a waiting room that very day.  It was a quote from an interior decorator.  Some rooms she had designed were featured in the magazine, and I must admit that I had serious doubts about them!

My vision was different.  It just had to work out!

Over the next week, I racked my brain for a way to break up all of the BRIGHT RED.  Perhaps if I put some of that lovely fabric on picture frames and hung them on the wall.  I looked up tutorials on YouTube and found something I wasn’t even looking for; how to make wall panels by stapling fabric on fabric stretchers.  That was it!  I ordered those fabric stretchers and stapled away.

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I was very happy with how they turned out.

It took me a month to arrange the decorations in a way that I was happy with.  In that month I attempted to sew my dream pillows.  This scenario always happens when I start to sew, because it is kinda like having a baby.  Once I have those lovely curtains or pillows gracing my home, I forget about all the pain of making them.  Pretty soon I am planning another sewing project.  I start out with big dreams!  I get just the right fabric.  I have to wait until the children go to bed.  I only have a few hours before my bedtime, so I have to hurry.  I begin the process, making sure everything is clean and ironed and lined up correctly.  I begin to sew… and inevitably I mess it up somehow.  Either the stitching is all crocked or the hem is in the wrong place or I break the needle.

Then I become the ugly version on myself, cursing my machine and my materials (by cursing, I mean yelling at them and calling them stupid).  I chide myself for starting this project in the first place.

“Why did I think that I could actually sew?!”  I say.  My husband and sweet teenage daughter try to tell me that it will be OK.   Under all the frustration, I know that it will be OK…eventually…after a lot of hard work.

So I haven’t gotten all the pillows done yet, but they are on their way.  Oh, and I did purchase 4 red pillows at Costco for $30!

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I even have some fabric left over to make a cushion for the top of the beautiful wooden toy box that will double as a bench that we will certainly get one day.

The mini makeover is almost finished.  The living room still needs the ceiling fixed and new light fixtures put in.  The other walls still need the peeling wall paper stripped, then patched, then skim coated, then painted.  The carpet still needs to be replaced.  But we had already accomplished more than I thought we would this year, all for around $350 which included the sofas!

We are still unsure about all the BRIGHT RED.  What do you think?  Romper room or bold and beautiful?

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My eight year old son, Cooper suggested that we mix the two red colors together to create the perfect shade, “Circus Drama.”  That is all we need around here!  More Circus Drama!