Thursday, November 8, 2012

{p,h,f,r} Master Bedroom Challenge

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~ with the lovely ladies at Like Mother, Like Daughter

God bless Auntie Leila! She knew that a project was exactly what I needed to help pull myself out of this funk I've been in. So she said, "Make your bedroom beautiful and useful!" and frankly, it's the beautiful that has been lacking. The useful we've got plenty of!

You know, I wish my house was a cozy house like Auntie Leila's. I've never been there, but the feel I get from her pictures reminds me of my grandparent's tiny farmhouse and all the stories wrapped up in all the charming little things scattered here and there. It seemed like everything in my grandparent's house had a story behind it. But that's not my house and I'm ok with that. God gave me this house to live in... suburban neighborhood, built in the late 80's ranch style house (which is very different than a ranch house!). It works for us and we are thankful for the space and shelter it provides, but sometimes, it feels a little stark, a little utilitarian. I find it hard to make "suburban" feel cozy but that doesn't mean I shouldn't try.

"It's a gift to your creativity as a woman to be finding ways to make all sorts of things, especially humble things, more beautiful." ~ Auntie Leila
Decorate with what you have is the lesson I learned from Auntie Leila. Her beautiful little red box inspired me to pull out this one I had hidden away in my jewelry box. When Sean worked for a Franco Italian based company, there was one year that they sent him to France for a week. I would have loved to go with him but we had little little ones then. He came back with a pair of pearl earrings for me tucked away in this dainty red box. Well, opening up my jewelry box to find it brought squeals of delight from my girls and mumblings of curiosity from my boys. I realized... here were lots of stories! The pearls my husband gave me as a wedding present with matching earrings. The Belgian lace handkerchief I carried on that day that I purchased when I was in Belgium the year before I even met my sweetheart. A charm bracelet with charms representing all of my children. Stories to share with the sweet ones who gaze and wonder...

Opening up that jewelry box also reminded me of a project I've been wanting to do for oh...maybe... 18 years!

When I went to Rome my sophomore year in college, I collected earrings from the places I visited. I have always wanted to come up with a way to display them. Last night, I took a cheap wooden frame that was actually in the Goodwill pile, touched it up with a little metallic blue paint and stretched a piece of sheer fabric between it that I pulled out of my stash box. It's got little sparkles on it which catch my eye when the sun comes in.
Venetian glass earrings from Venice in the middle. Mosaic earrings from Ravenna on the far right. Fashionable (at the time) earrings from Paris (bottom right). Tiny little floral earrings from Berlin on the far left corner that I purchased in a train station on my way out because I almost forgot!
 More stories!
 I even found a way to hang my Scottish thistles which are clip-ons that I found in an antique shop in Edinborough by attaching a piece of ribbon on the back and letting it drape over. The little pearls dangling from the gold bow are the earrings Sean brought from France. I thought they deserved a place on this display too which allowed me to put my wedding earrings in the tiny red box.

This funny girl likes to put things on her head and say, "Hat!". Things like towels and toys and my underwear, everything!!! (Need to move my drawers to a drawer she can't reach, I guess.) Everything that is... except an ACTUAL HAT!!!

Real is this...
and this...
Right now, our room is not totally our own. It's Cupcake's too. And that's OK. I know Auntie Leila would agree. Beautiful AND useful is the balance we strive for.


  1. Love.

    We share a room with our punkin, too. I think I need to get in on this Master Bedroom challenge. Goodness knows we could use it! I need something to do with my hands besides pulling my hair out over election results. ;)

    1. Get in there and beautify your bedroom for you, your hardworking husband and your precious punkin and leave your hair alone! :)

  2. so pretty! And I am sure that Auntie Leila would approve of you using something from the Goodwill pile to organize your space

  3. Love the earring holder! How fun that they all have a story!

  4. Wow! I can't believe we had the same idea of making an earrings organizer! Your earrings are far more stunning than mine, though. Those thistles!

  5. I love the idea of the Master Bedroom Challenge but this is not the week that I can do it. So it's nice to be able to look at yours. I love the earring display! It makes me wish I'd been more systematic in what I collected while in Europe. It also makes me want to create some kind of display for the little things I do have.

  6. Just lovely! You make me wish I had done a better job at keeping sentimental treasures from my travels and girlhood too...although I'm not sure my boys would want to sit around and listen to stories about where mommy got her jewelry, well I might be able to muster up some mumblings of curiosity I suppose :)

  7. Your jewelry looks lovely on display!

  8. I love this post! absolutely love it!!

    And I think you have a very cozy home, which I am dying to visit again... ;)

    Now to go see what I can do to my bedroom... I somehow missed the memo and my {PHFR} post for the weekend didn't fit with the theme... Whoops. :(

  9. Love what you did with your jewelry, especially the earring display! I might have some sparkly tulle around to do that with.

  10. I really enjoyed seeing your photos, Charlotte. What a great way to freshen up your room and make it pretty. I, too, was inspired by Auntie Leila's post. It was something productive and uplifting to make me forget my post election blues. I love the frame repurposed to display your earrings. Very lovely. Honestly though, our master bedroom is such a absolute wreck that I've had quite the job this week in getting it back to just tidy. Maybe next week I can focus on ways to actually beautify it. ;) …also another thought that's been nagging me…if I do have to go on bed rest I DO NOT want my room to be in the shape it's in now. We're talking serious mortification.

    Thank you for the inspiration!

    1. Oh, and half of our room is still Little Man's domain, too. I think we've had a baby/toddler in with us on and off since we started having children…hmmm, I guess that would be for almost 15 years now! Wow, I've never really thought about that before now.

  11. Charlotte, what a great post. You found the contentment and the beauty! I love all your earrings, and I love how you displayed them. What a joy to have the children there to hear your stories! Give that baby an extra cuddle from me!

  12. Oh how I just LOVE that earring display. What an amazing idea to collect earrings at each place you visited. Brilliant way to display, remember, and wear! Make sure you wear them :)

  13. Oh your earring holder is genius. I never would have thought of the fabric and it is such a beautiful choice!


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