A little back story (as they say in the movie biz): When husband and I first moved out East from California, we rented a tiny little cottage on the property of a much bigger house. It had two small bedrooms upstairs. We used one as an office/studio. Our landlady was a lovely person who didn’t mind that we had dogs – believe me, that was a rarity. Anyway, after about a year of living there, our landlady had to sell the house. She worked for Enron…need I say more? We were unsettled by this news, of course. One day she came over to our cottage to explain that try as she might, the town powers-that-be were insisting she take down the wall that separated the two bedrooms – also the doorways – and it had to be done before she could sell the property. Something about no record of a permit, blah, blah, blah. We were very upset, needless to say, because now we would have no place to put the dogs if we needed them out of the way for say, a repairman. We also would no longer have two separate rooms and the privacy that brings – or a way to shut out the noise from downstairs if either of us was sleeping in or sick. The contractor came and tore down the wall and the doors. All of this was happening while our dog, Winston, was suddenly critically ill and had to be put down. A terrible time.
Since I wanted to keep one area of the now large room for the computer, etc. and one for the bedroom and there was no longer a wall to place the bed against, I made a headboard. Using some two by fours and a big piece of plywood, I hammered away. The plywood was padded and covered with some fabric that coordinated with the quilt we were using at the time.
And this is the way the headboard has looked for quite a few years now, even though I’m tired of the check and it really doesn’t go with my pale blue coverlet. But then again, the bedroom sorely needs some decorating.
Fast forward to yesterday. I seem to have two methods of getting through the day. Either I’m a slug or I’m at full throttle. Yesterday was full throttle. I decided to mow. I’ve mentioned before that we have lots and lots of lawn to mow and we don’t have a rider mower. I have to do it in sections over the course of a few days. You can see where this is going; I mowed like a crazy woman, did way too much which resulted in sore legs and aching back. No sooner had I taken a shower and had a bite to eat – exhausted, by the way – when I started to obsess about the headboard. I remembered this vintage fabric that I bought last year:
I had a sneaking feeling there was enough to cover the headboard and there was. Husband was consulted – did he like this potential new look? Yes.
Here is where it gets ugly. We have the type of attic bedroom with eaves and sloping ceilings. The bed can only be placed against one of the low ceilings. It backs up to the sloping ceiling, creating a space between the bed and the lower portion of the wall. Does that make sense? Since we are sadly lacking in storage space, I stash our luggage back there. Let me add that the bed is difficult, make that impossible to move. Working back there in that minuscule area requires crouching and the ability to contort one’s body into the shape of a pretzel. So there I was, staple gun in hand, yelling for husband’s help as I tossed out pieces of luggage and crawled around like I was in a fox hole. Every time I had to crawl back out for something annoying like loading more staples, my body cried out in pain. I had just taken a shower and was now sweating like a pig. I would shout out to my husband – who was downstairs by this time, no doubt trying to escape me – from my position behind the headboard that I needed more staples, I needed a hammer, please bring up the vacuum!
I was obsessed and determined. Husband has been through this with me before. I finally finished and duck-walked my way out from behind the headboard. Much painful straightening of my back. Vacuuming ensued, luggage was put back. Here is the transformation:
I obviously didn’t style this shot – just threw the pillows back on the bed – and no, I don’t iron my pillowcases. I need some new throw pillows, but you get the idea. It really brightens the room. I’m sore, but happy. Here’s a view that gives you an idea of the placement of the bed against the sloping wall. And our tiny windows. And my yet-to-be-painted walls.
By the way, back at the rental: our new landlords graciously agreed to re-build the wall and put in the doors. Several months later, we had our two rooms back and all was well. And we got a headboard in the bargain.
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