One Room Challenge Week 4: Making the Bed with Custom Monograms

I'm going to be one of the many who start their posts wondering how we are more than halfway through this One Room Challenge thing.

 I was on a business trip last week and didn't get to post an update, so I'm going to throw a whole bunch into this entry. Last time, I got our guest room cleaned and painted. I also bought a rug at Tuesday Morning.

My trick for getting rugs on the floor over their rug pads is to tape the pads down with painter's tape. The pad stays put while the rug is shifted and then the tape comes up pretty quickly.

My next purchase was a bed. I found myself looking at beds that were almost exactly like our gorgeous king bed by Vanguard, but custom upholstery would take too long. Then I remembered a bed I had always liked seeing in the Ballard Designs catalog, the Claudette bed. It was too whimsical for my own bedroom, but I loved the idea of using it in a guest room.

 The guest room is tiny, so was relieved to see that the Claudette bed has a headboard-only option.

I debated the color for a day or so, even searching other blogs for mentions of Ballard and Claudette to see other rooms that might have the bed in them.  White would be very pretty, but I worried that it wouldn't really work with the rest of the house, where I have a lot of traditional wood and upholstery.

With a 15% off coupon for Ballard, I placed my order and was delighted when I saw that the shipment was just an hour away in Richmond a couple days later. It took a couple weeks for the headboard to make it to our house due to a strange system at the shipper where they couldn't change the phone number they were calling to confirm the delivery (it's a long story, but I'm so glad we finally got the package!).

Here she is on our back sun porch after we peeled back all the layers of packaging:

The little bird is my favorite part!

 As soon as the headboard was in, I ran to a local furniture store call Grand where I knew there was a huge mattress section. Grand is known for giving you a bottle of Coke on the way in the door and having very good service. They also carried Shiffman mattresses, which are handmade mattresses that are made pretty close to where I grew up in New Jersey.

When I got to Grand, I was told that they no longer carries Shiffman, but the salesperson had plenty of other options. He started with two mattresses that he said were most popular for guest rooms. Without trying any other beds, they were fine, but when I asked to try something a little nicer, he took me to the main part of the department to try a mattress he would have suggested if I was looking for my own bed. His point was that guest room beds only get slept in once in a while and don't have to be as nice as the beds in other bedrooms. I imagine that our most regular guests will be our mothers and our friends, so I wanted that mattress to be as good as the beds they'd be sleeping on at home. A nice bonus was that an anniversary sale was going on, so we got a discount that covered the cost of a bed frame and deliver was free.

Grand is a pretty small, regional chain and the mattress was in a warehouse about 45 minutes away. They had it in our house three days later and it was set up in a matter of minutes.

At this point, I was relieved that even if nothing got done, my first house guest (my mother) was going to sleep in a bed.

 I already had a duvet cover and one sham from Pottery Barn. I quickly ordered a second sham and a bedskirt on ebay because, as we all know, Pottery Barn moves on to new designs in the span of about six weeks. One purchase, the bedskirt, was perfect. The other, the sham, was not. The envelope I got has a throw pillow cover in it, not a pillow sham. I wrote to the seller and she said that she would "allow" the return "just this once." I was too busy to dwell on how silly that was, so threw the pillow form back in the mail and am waiting for my refund. The next purchase was some Peacock Alley sheets from Tuesday morning along with a mattress cover.

I do embroidery work and monogramming linens is one of my favorite types of projects. Like so many others who do this kind of work, I rarely have time to embroider my own items, but I really wanted to do something in the guest room. I decided to do a monogram with a floral wreath around it on each pillowcase. First, I pulled together threads that would work with the pattern of the duvet cover and shams.

I wanted to use as many colors from the pattern as possible in my embroidery, so the floral wreath was the perfect design. I was able to use all six thread colors and give one of the blues the most prominent place in the middle of the design.

After a frenzied search for a quilt or coverlet for the bed, I found a beautiful one in a peacock blue color at West Elm. It was only about $65, which had me a little worried about the quality, but it was exactly what I wanted. It reminded me of my Restoration Hardware coverlets.

I'm not going to share a big picture just yet. I hope to have nightstands and drapes next week and the room will be ready for some photos!


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