Gneiss House

Low-pressure home metamorphism

Interlude: furnishing and decorating

Once the floors were done and I could put things on them, it became clear some redecorating was necessary. I didn’t have appropriate area rugs for most of the rooms (the exception was the guest bedroom, which I decorated more or less like the master bedroom in my last rental apartment), my old futon was not a good fit for the living room, and I didn’t have two bedrooms’ worth of furniture, though I had a spare dresser. I definitely didn’t have enough shelves. My parents were getting new couches and I was happy to take theirs for the living room, though, so that was a good start.

Enter numerous affordable shopping options:

  • Ikea: New mattress for the master bedroom. I also got their queen-sized bed foundation because it’s thinner than a box spring, and I knew my stairs were narrow. It was still too big, though, and the deconstruction/reconstruction project that ensued was an excellent lesson in Just Buy A Split Box Spring. (For the record: Ikea bed foundations contain a fabric layer that is attached with about one million staples that are not very fun to remove.)
  • Ikea: New bookshelf, DVD shelf, and sideboard-like horizontal shelving for two rooms
  • Craigslist: Beautiful new-to-me queen bed frame, with headboard and footboard (needs minor repair)
  • Overstock: Three new rugs
  • Flor: One modular, washable, recycled-plastic-fiber rug (and most of the rug squares were on clearance!)
  • Bed, Bath, and Beyond (with accumulated coupons): New lamps, a couple curtain rods, blue towels (in an attempt to balance the unfortunate intensity of the harvest yellow tile with complementary colors)
  • Marshalls or TJMaxx or Homegoods type places: New curtains
  • Amazon: New shower curtain (also with blues)

See pictures of the outcome below. A friend also suggested a clever design for mounting the dog gate in the stairway but giving the cats full access to the second floor. Limiting basement entry to the cats so the dog can’t access cat food/litter, however, was complicated by the door. I settled on a pet door with magnetic collar entry (the dog is as small as the cats, so size is not a limitation), though the only options available fit poorly on doors with uneven molding shapes, so some creative mounting was necessary. Someday I have to believe that my second cat will figure out how to use the magnetic key.

The bathroom is a little small to photograph, but nonetheless: shower curtain with blues to complement the yellow. There are also blue towels.

The bathroom is a little small to photograph, but nonetheless: shower curtain with blues to complement the yellow. There are also blue towels.


Guest bedroom. Most of the decorating came from my previous rental apartment. Soon after this picture I replaced the curtains (which are too long for the room’s windows) with brighter red grommet panels.


The guest bedroom is also the declared hobby space: musical instruments, yarn crafts, jewelry making, sewing, papercrafts. The mirror is now mounted on the wall above the dresser, which my parents found at a yard sale and refinished for me. Long term plan is to paint the wall behind the dresser (and only that wall) a rich red to complete the theme.


The office (third bedroom), complete with curtains, new loveseat cover, and rug. The walls now have a movie poster and bulletin board, and the plan is to paint them all an almost-periwinkle medium blue. Also I’ve added some scratching posts to deter my naughty little cat.

The master bedroom also has rich purple curtains.

The master bedroom also has rich purple curtains. (Photo predates rug addition.)


Master bedroom, with new bed frame and mattress. The wall behind the bed is planned to be a grayish lavender, with a framed print containing purples/lavenders/greens (when I find just the right one). The new rug is a modular recycled-fiber carpet from Flor.


Living room with my parents’ old blue couch and chair, and new dark blue and gray rug. Walls will be a light, bright yellow for cheery complementary colors.


Second view of the living room. The DVD bookshelf was new from Ikea.


Dining room design with rich browns, including new curtains and new rug. There is a rich, dark brown bookshelf on the right (not shown) and the shelving on the left is acting as a sideboard, both from Ikea.


Author: Lumberjack Lynne

Geologist by trade, redesigning my little piece of property so it's greener, friendlier, and my very own.

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