A beautiful bedroom for beautiful friends

You know when you are brainstorming ideas for your new business with your friend and she mentions that you could use her bedroom as your first project and then you both erupt into joyful cheers while the husbands shake their heads?  That was how this bedroom transformation began!  My friend Anna-Lisa's bedroom was fine.  It was a generic bedroom that needed an update and a dose of my fine friends' personalities. It looked like this:

and this:

and this:

Not bad, right?  However, does it show off the fact sthat my dear Anna-Lisa LOVES reading and cats and colour, and that her husband Scott is a brilliant carpenter who has every Tolkien book ever written, and who also happens to be willing and able to do any project his wife asks of him?  No it doesn't.  Anna-Lisa had dreams of a peaceful space to just be.  Her words.  I also wanted to create a space that reflects them.  This room redecorating really blossomed into something special because of the amazing free labour in the form of the husband.  I had also found some free MDF and Scott had access to some free lumber.  I dreamed of board and batten, a built-in bookcase, and some beams with lots of doses of the Ptolemys thrown in.   Here is the after!

This is the same space as the picture with the air conditioning unit.  Not a bad upgrade.

The total cost of the room came to $402.50.    Here is the breakdown.

Mirror- $15.00
Beams- $27.00
Chair- $30.00
Throws- $20.00
Throw pillows- $10.00
Book page art- $42.00
Duvet cover- $7.00
Bed Pillows- $30.00
Duvet- $50.00
Book page wreath- $.50
Board and Batten- $26.00
Paint- $100.00
Light fixture- $15.00

I always tell my clients that it is amazing what you can find for free or almost free.  Kijiji is one of  my favourite places to find great deals.  The lamps, which were in perfect condition, only cost $30.00 for  both.  Brand new they would have cost over $100.00.  The chair in the reading nook was also from Kijiji, and it only cost $30.00.  That isn't to say that Kijiji is the most efficient tool:  I actually bought three other chairs that didn't quite work out like we wanted.  However, I only buy things from Kijiji that I know I can sell for the same amount I paid (or more)! if they don't work out. Most people don't have the time for this, but that is one of the reasons it is wise to hire me ;)

One of my favourite parts of the room is the mirror.  I found a free frameless mirror on Kijiji along with some beautiful old barn wood.  I purchased some hardware and stain ( I found a can of brand new stain at Habitat for Humanity Restore for $4.00) to put the mirror together, and it came to a total of $15.00.  This mirror would easily cost a couple of hundred dollars from Home Sense.  Scott cut the wood for me and compared it to concrete.  It is going to last for a long time.

The book page wreath was only 50 cents because I made it from a book that I bought from a garage sale.  Art comes in all shapes and sizes, and isn't always what you traditional think of as art! It is also so personal.  You don't have to spend tons of money to hang things that you love on your walls. Thinking outside the box can help you be surrounded by things that you love.  I have found vintage maps, oil paintings, signs, antique mouldings, and more that are amazing up on the wall.

Another significant aspect of the room is the ceiling.  If you check out the "before" shot you will notice that the ceiling was a popcorn ceiling.  We decided that we wanted beams, and when I say we I mean me and Anna-Lisa.  In order for the beams to become a reality the popcorn had to be scraped off.  I would love to tell you that this was an easy thing to do, and for me it was.  For someone else   named Scott it wasn't as easy.  Although this is a simple project, it took time and was labour intensive.  Scott had some leftover lumber for the ceiling, but even if he hadn't I see free lumber all the time on Kijiji.  Another great resource are garage sales.  There is no where else that you can find things for less, unless it is for free off Kijiji. The chandelier was $5.00 at a garage sale.  It was originally a shiny brass.  I spray painted it white with paint I got for free from the eco station.  In Edmonton you can go to any eco station and get leftover paint for free.  We needed to add some new parts so the total for the chandelier was$15.00. I think all the hard work on the ceiling was totally worth it.

Normally new bedding can cost a lot.  I sometimes drop in to Bible's For Missions, which is a great thrift store.  On this occasion they were having a 50 percent off sale, which included all of their linens.  They had this beautiful duvet cover for only $7.00.  It is white with a beautiful cream lace detailing.  After a run through in the laundry it was as good as new.  I kept an eye out for a new duvet for a few months.  I knew that if we caught the right sale we could save a lot of money.  One day I was in a store and found their king duvets on sale for $50.00.  Simply by waiting and researching I was able to save Scott and Anna-Lisa $100.00. At the same sale I found king pillows for $8.00 each and the cases 2/$14.00.  Every time I went into to take pictures of the room I wanted to crawl into that bed!

Throughout the room I added touches of things that represent Scott and Anna-Lisa, including some of their favourite books, a beautiful tool box that Scott built, little touches of cats, and reminders of books.  One truly personalized piece was the art in the reading nook.  Anna-Lisa chose a page from her favourite book and we blew it up.

 I think Anna-Lisa will definitely feel peace in this room, as long as she can keep all the small children she lives with from invading.

Shakespeare certainly thinks it is peaceful.

Now for this project the Ptolemys chose option two (we both work on the room).  This was especially nice because of Scott's skills.  Did I mention that he is a carpenter?  Here is his website www.solidrenovations.ca.  I highly recommend him.  Not only is he one of the hardest working people I have ever met but he pays attention to detail.  He cares about the projects he is working on and makes sure they are done correctly.  A big part of the charm of this room was achieved because of his outstanding carpentry skills and genuine work ethic bringing my ideas to life so well.  So if you haven't gotten the subtle hint: hire the man if you know what's good for you.  If you have any questions or comments about this project please feel free to leave a note on this page or send me an email at reclaiminghome@gmail.com


  1. Katie, You do amazing work. I love that you have given their room their personality coupled with your artistic touches. Wonderful. And, I can't believe the budget! That is patience and knowledge and 'thriftyness' at its best. Can't wait to see what other spaces you will make beautiful.

    1. Thanks for you kind words! I can't wait to share the projects I am currently working on.

  2. Wow!!! You did an amazing job! It looks beautiful and restful. I love that your philosophy is to use what you have and to repurpose! Best wishes for your new venture!

    1. Thanks Diane! It is my favourite part of the process.

  3. Wow!!! You did an amazing job! It looks beautiful and restful. I love that your philosophy is to use what you have and to repurpose! Best wishes for your new venture!

  4. Love that book page wreath!!!!!

    1. The book page wreath is my friend Anna-Lisa's favourite part of the room. It was a very easy project!

  5. What is that paint color? I love it!

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  7. Cathie, I can look up a similar colour for you but we found this paint colour by mixing different paints from the Eco station in town. They give away paint for free in Edmonton. We had to mix two different times before we found a blue that we loved.

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  9. The design of the bedroom and furniture you shared here is beautiful. What else I liked a lot is the color and texture of the ceiling and walls. The paint and polish on wooden furniture are also perfect. When walls and furniture are of good finishing then it becomes easier to decorate. I tried wall painting on my own for my bedroom but it looked patchy at some places, then next time I hired painting services in Calgary. At first, they repair and finished the walls well, then they painted the walls and the outcome was flawless walls. Thanks for sharing such a nice post.


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