A Master Suite Refresh

(Post 129 of 263. Thanks again to those who participated in the Fundrazr. As I mentioned in the post announcing Bast’s passing from COVID, I thank everyone for your generous donations to the original Fundrazr campaign, which resulted in sponsored 263 posts. I will continue to honour the commitment to write those 263 posts, but I will not commit to more. The link above is to a new campaign to help Bast’s family.)

I can’t believe the day is finally here that I get to move into my refreshed master suite!

It’s crazy that I’m doing the master bedroom post before the office, but I’m still waiting on office bits. Such is one’s fate when one orders custom things! I’m actually still waiting on something for the bedroom, but it could take several more weeks, so I decided to do the post before I move in, while things are still tidy, and update later.

Of course, I never took a before picture, but this is a good representation of everything that was wrong about the room — too bright, too empty (so loud and echoey), and not cosy. The little bed eventually went into the corner under the picture when I started sleeping in the hammock.

And here it is now, cosy, comfortable, and appropriately furnished.

I picked up the shawl in Teotitlán del Valle when I was in Oaxaca last year. The bag above the desk was purchased in Baščaršija, Sarajevo’s old bazaar.

It was never my intention to do a complete master suite reno when I decided to change the flooring in the bedroom and master closet room, as well as paint them. Nothing happened to the bathroom, there were changes to the closet, but the bedroom itself, oh my goodness, that project’s scope grew! I haven’t had a proper bedroom or slept in my very own bed in five years. My sleep isn’t great. Maybe turning my bedroom into a proper sanctuary, one that is quiet and dark and climate controlled will help. It’s certainly the first thing my doctor wants to try before medication.

One thing that surprised me as I was shopping for furniture is how my taste has evolved to suit the dusty humid climate here. I wanted non-fussy furniture with clean lines that would be easy to keep clean. I also wanted new things, to walk into a store and say, “I want this, this, and this,” and just get those things. I haven’t had much luck with average used furniture here — again, damp climate — and the “good” used furniture, antiques made of wood like cedar or mahogany, is just too fussy for me. Being in a position to get new things was such a luxury. I can then add personal and handmade items over time.

I decided to go with custom blinds because I only have two rooms that need them, so it would be relatively affordable and save me the hassle of trying to find the right solution and then someone to install them. With the master bedroom being such a bold purple colour, a neutral for the blinds made more sense than another colour, and that surprised me. Turns out that while I do love bright colours, I don’t need bright colours everything. I hate to describe my taste as having “matured,” as that is colourphobic language, but my taste has evolved. And I certainly want my bedroom to feel calming, which the bright pink blinds I had before certainly weren’t. So when the decorator suggested charcoal, the room came together in my head. I love charcoal. It’s my favourite neutral and what I prefer in my wardrobe over black. It is such a warm colour.

The item that I’m missing for the bedroom is a padded headboard to match the blinds. I was at spending fatigue and low funds when I ordered the blinds and the headboard felt frivolous, so I didn’t order it. But as I started to furnish the room, I realised that the headboard was going to have a practical function beyond aesthetics — to help tamper some of the echo in the room. As soon as I replenished the funds after my very expensive Liverpool shopping spree, I sent a deposit for the headboard and was told it’ll come in early September.

Finding linens for the bed was work. It’s so hard to get good linens in Mexico, even if you’re willing to pay a lot for them! I tried on Amazon and the ones I got were garbage, not the 100% cotton advertised, and the colour ran. Augh. But I did find a use for them. The fitted sheet went around my boxspring and I used the pillow cases under my “good” pillow cases. I went back online to see if I could find something that wasn’t white. I’m so over white sheets. Sears ended up having a sale on all their “beds in a bag,” and I decided to have a look there even if all the beds in a bag I’ve seen here are polyester. So I wasn’t too optimistic. I read through every description. Polyester, polyester, and more polyester. When I found the perfect set, aesthetically speaking, I was so bummed because whatever I ended up finding could never live up to it. This was a complete set of a duvet, top and fitted sheet, two pillow cases, and two pillow shams, all fitted for a tall queen size bed. The pattern of pasta tiles in tones of grey fit with my colour scheme and also my locale. The description claimed that the whole thing, including the duvet was… 100% cotton. I couldn’t believe my luck. And the set was deeply discounted to around 2,000 pesos, less than the price of the sheets I was going to buy at Costco!

Furniture for the room started with a similar list to what I had before — a bookcase, a desk and chair for journalling, but two night stands rather than just a little table. It was impossible to find night stands tall enough for my bed. I was surprised that there was literally nothing at any price tag. I asked my decorator and she confirmed that they would have to be custom items. Or why not consider console tables, which would be the perfect height, fill out the back wall, and, again, help with reducing the echo in the room? After spending time looking at design blogs, I realised that this option would work well. Liverpool had the perfect pieces to fit the space, and deeply discounted too. I also picked up there a small desk and a chair.

I decided to add a blanket chest to have another padded piece. This one was from Coppel and very inexpensive. I gravitated to it because it had feet, so it felt airier than the pricier and custom ones I’d seen, and the rich teal colour would go well with the purple. I’m super happy with how it looks and fits in the space.

Finally, the bookcase. I wanted one with glass doors so I wouldn’t have to constantly be dusting. I couldn’t find anything in stores and found one on Facebook Marketplace. It was rustic but not too rustic and super affordable. I’m glad that I have one piece that was commissioned of a local carpenter. I have a near matching one downstairs as my new curio cabinet.

I didn’t do anything in the master bathroom except upgrade to better towels and tidy up. I’m not showering up here until I redo this bathroom, so the new towels are going to be enjoyed in the future! I just took advantage of a sale at Bed, Bath & Beyond (I had no idea they exist in Mexico. Thanks, Facebook ads!).

Finally, the master closet room got new floors, a fresh coat of paint (same purple with white mixed in), and I removed the cabinets that turned out to be very smelly! I kept my dresser, just orientated it differently, and brought in one of my three pine bookcases for extra storage. I really don’t need more than that. Maybe if I start going out into the world again and have a bigger wardrobe I’ll want to invest in a custom closet, but for now, this is just fine and better than the mess than I had before!

I can’t wait to go to bed tonight. I just hope all the improvements live up to the hype and send me into a blissful slumber!

A Reading Nook

(Post 128 of 263. Thanks again to those who participated in the Fundrazr. As I mentioned in the post announcing Bast’s passing from COVID, I thank everyone for your generous donations to the original Fundrazr campaign, which resulted in sponsored 263 posts. I will continue to honour the commitment to write those 263 posts, but I will not commit to more. The link above is to a new campaign to help Bast’s family.)

Today was the day I’ve been waiting for for weeks, Décorama guys came by to install the new window coverings in the upstairs landing/mezzanine and my bedroom!

The direct sunlight this space gets made it unusable during the day. A new tower fan helped a lot, but replacing noisy vertical blinds with curtains is going to make the biggest change.

This space was a catch-all of good intentions for the longest time, with a table and bookcases holding LEGO, art supplies, and all manner of things I didn’t know what else to do with. I have to say I’m starting to regret not redoing the floor at the same time as the bedroom, but I also have some pretty grand plans involving the roof over the living room and I didn’t want to risk having to start all over with the floor. Painting is also on hold until some exterior issues are dealt with. So this might not be the prettiest new space in the house, but it is comfortable and functional. I love having a dedicated reading space again, away from my office, like I did in the motorhome!

Some sharp-eyed readers might wonder about lighting. I mostly read on my iPad, so a reading lamp isn’t a huge need. I have a little book lamp that I can clip to a paper book, which, frankly, provides better lighting than most “reading lamps” I’ve ever had! I do think that the next ceiling fan will have a light since the only other lighting in this space is at the far end, above the staircase (I hope that light bulb never burns out).