Life List: Make my bedroom the perfect place to be a girl.

3rd December 2012

Oh, hey. I didn’t know you were coming over.

Have you ever watched that show In the Bedroom? It’s about a therapist, Laura Berman, who helps people repair their sex lives. She considers bedrooms a good barometer of what’s going on in a relationship, so the first thing she does is open the bedroom door. Then she says something like,

“So I notice there are no windows and everything in here is grey. Okay. Do you realize there’s a nest of opossums living in your partner’s side of the bed? How long has that been the case? … Since the baby was born? Mmmhmm. I see. And your side seems to be covered with your son’s action figures?… Oh. Those are your husband’s? Okay. How often would you say the two of you sleep in here together?”

I’m paraphrasing. Anyway, it got me thinking about what my bedroom is communicating. As you can see from the photo above, it’s a mess. Cluttered with suitcases I haven’t unpacked, clothes spilling out of my closet, boxes of unprocessed paperwork, and the lightbulb attached to the switch has been burnt out for months. Aside from the mess, there’s not much else in there. Nowhere to read or write, nowhere to get ready for my day — in general it’s spare, and it says two things about me:

1. I haven’t been spending much time on myself.
2. I used to live here with someone else.

Ugh. It’s time to make a comfortable bedroom that looks like it belongs to me. And I have a narrow window before a man whose opinion I care about arrives to veto pink walls. So I added it to my Life List on Go Mighty:

Make my bedroom the perfect place to be a girl.

And now, to my huge relief, Olay is kick-starting the project. They hired my impeccable friend Victoria Smith from SF Girl By Bay to help me redecorate just in time for Valentine’s Day. I’ll be keeping you posted on our progress, and asking for your advice in the coming months.

Go have a look at our plan on Go Mighty, and tell me what your bedroom is saying about you. Do you like what you hear?

19 thoughts on “Life List: Make my bedroom the perfect place to be a girl.

  1. Rebeca

    I love the idea of pink walls! Such a flattering color for all skin tones, and I’ve been dreaming of ballet-slipper-pink walls for years now. I so look forward to your after photos!

    Our bedroom currently says “we don’t have enough room and we’re waiting for something bigger”. We bought our starter home 8 years ago, expecting to move on up and have babies more quickly (haven’t moved, haven’t had the babies yet). So we’re in the same spot. I finally splurged on an Anthropologie quilt/shams I love, and I like my hand-me-down furniture, but I could do without the magazine piles (mine), the random filing piles (his), the receipts and dry-cleaning ephemera (his), and the shoe-hoard (ours). It feels small and cramped, and someday I’d like a headboard. We have managed to keep computers and televisions out so far, and that part is good.

  2. Colleen

    Do you have some special camera lens, or is that bedroom quite large by San Francisco standards? I’m eager to see the “improved” version!

  3. Martha

    Can’t wait to see it! Pink seems like it would be a challenging color–awesome if you get it right, but so easy to go into a bad shade.

  4. kayemgi

    When I was single and finally living by myself, I painted my bedroom walls raspberry pink and it was divine. All my friends were jealous. It was the best bedroom ever. Now that I’m married, the walls are a deep peacock blue, which I also love, but I will never forget my pink bedroom! (And it really does make your skin look lovely. Such an ego boost when getting dressed!)

  5. Sumo

    Your internet persona always seems so together that this picture really surprised me. But it makes sense. I know a woman who, after her divorce, moved into the den and rented out the master suite.

    In my single days my bed would not be made on most days and there would be piles of stuff on all the dressers. As a married man, my wife mostly makes the bed if there is time and I restrict my clutter to one dresser top.

    I’m sure your new look will be fab!

  6. Andrea Davis-Cetina

    I can totally relate on having a so-so bedroom. As far as decorating goes my bedroom gets whatever is left over from the rest of the home. I have wanted to freshen up my bedroom for over a year now …. no progress yet ;)
    Good luck!

  7. Marlene Mingo

    Earlier this year I found a decorater to come in and help turn our bedroom into the Perfect Bedroom. I’m married, the bedroom is not large, and it’s not pink but every time I walk in that room I smile! No more messes, no more piles, really organized closets, nothing under the bed, it’s my Happy Place!!
    I’m working that magic into every room in the house very slowly. Clutter Free is the Way To Be!

  8. denise

    “narrow window of time” do you have someone or is this being optimistic? i’ve been divorced for 5 years and haven’t found anyone and i’m about to give up. any advice on romantic relationships? anyone? i meet someone i really like about once every 5 years and maybe once every 10 years he likes me back. in the meantime there is a lot of heartache.

  9. Laura

    Maggie, I want to throw 100% enthusiasm behind this item on your list. I am swearing to you now, based on my own experience, that doing this has very real and big potential to change your life and your relationship with yourself. Finally doing this for myself as a single lady brought me so much joy and pleasure. It was a creative outlet and (this is going to sound super weird-o-rama but it is the perfect description): it put me into a dialectic of sensuality with myself and my surroundings. (And I don’t mean in a velour and feathers-sex den of satan-kind of way.) In fact, it’s a little hard to explain without sounding goofy, but girlfriend, it was huge. Especially in the wake of the end of a relationship.

    First, I tossed all furniture & art that did not make me feel swoony when I looked at it. This was pretty much everything. Then I painted and bought new window coverings. This was not expensive. Then I bought new sheets, a bedspread & pillows (laaddyy pillows)! This made me love getting in bed every night. It made me like making my bed every day. And finally, it made me feel excited about someone else getting in my bed someday. Then, I bought a couch, for my bedroom. I realize that not everyone has room for this, but I have done it twice now, for two different bedrooms, and even if it is a small fainting divan, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Then, I started trolling antique shops. When I found the luscious, French, book-matched burl walnut chest, mirror and desk of my dreams, I forked over all my money and took them home and put them in my bedroom. Where I admired them every day forever more. Then, later, there were lamps and mirrors with lovely ornate frames and paintings. But the first few steps were the most important (and the hardest) because they cleared the palette of the room and made it (and me) ready for later fabulousness.

    I’ve commented before here about the wonderful friend who helped me do the painting. I’m so excited for you that you’ll be working with Victoria Smith. It so helps the project keep momentum to have a friend (with good taste) working with you.

    I’m being light-hearted about the process but no joke, it had a profound effect on me when I really needed it. You are absolutely right in your thinking that this is a solid-gold window of opportunity to create a gorgeous, feminine space for yourself. And taking the time to do that will be a great gift to yourself (and good modeling for Hank). It will make you feel that you think you are actually worth the money, time and care of creating something beautiful and nurturing just for you. That room should be your damn oasis, sister.

    Whether or not anyone else ever sets foot in that room besides you, it is a project that has the potential to bring you both strength and comfort. Creating my lady-bedroom is one of the nicest things I’ve ever done for myself and I still have so many happy memories of it even though I’ve moved on to a different house and time in my life. It’s now a symbol for me of all the happiness I found in being single, or just in being myself. But I’ll also say that for me, creating that room had the magical and delightful side-effect of removing the last of the emotional/mental stops I had put in my own way to successful dating fun-time.

    So, all of that is to say that I love this item on your list and I’m so excited for you. Good luck and I will be absolutely cheering you on! (Also, I totally painted my kitchen pink around this same time. It was the palest pink and it was gorgeous and I miss it so much in my new kitchen.)

  10. the other denise

    I noticed the “narrow window of time” too and wondered what that means…any deets?

    I got divorced over 12 years ago and I still have the bed frame that the ex and I picked out when we were engaged. Maybe’s it’s time I changed that. I don’t hate my bedroom but if I’m honest I don’t really love it either.

    I use the excuse that I rent an apartment so I shouldn’t really get nice stuff because I’ll only be moving it again at some point and it might get knicked or messed up in the process. As a consequence most of what I own is hand me down…the dresser is even missing a knob.

    I did buy a new, lovely, super pricy (for me) couch and damn it, I love that couch.

    You and the other commentors have inspired me. I’m going to get to work over the new year to create a bedroom and an entire apartment that I really love.

  11. danielle

    When my niece turned 10 years old in May, her gift from her parents was to redecorate her bedroom. She has two older brothers and most of the house is overwhelmed with sports-related EVERYTHING so this is the only space that’s really hers. So she chose bright pink walls and THEY. ARE. FABULOUS. I’m jealous, actually. If I could paint the walls in my rental, I’d be doing it right now. She also got a little chandelier and frilly, girly curtains and even at 10 years old, I can tell what I difference it’s made for her. Can’t wait to see your ‘after’ pictures!!

  12. Annabelle

    Sounds like fun! I’m more a turquoise wall girl than pink, but either way, the male veto can be a serious problem. Looking forward to seeing the results.

  13. AnthroK8

    My mom made me a Strawberry Shortcake comforter cover and curtains when I was in first grade. My parents painted my walls pink, too. When we moved into that house (after a less-than-thrilling move from rural England to dreadful-ville IL), that pink room made such a difference in my 1st grade state of mind.

    Also… opinion you value, eh? I am assuming Tim Gunn isn’t invited to NYE or anything?

  14. Lynn

    You just inspired me to rip down the the wallpaper in the bedroom I share with my boyfriend (without warning him). I moved from my house which I spent a zillion hours decorating, making every decision by myself, to his teeny apartment halfway around the world. Unfortunately he has opinions about the space, which makes things more difficult since we often don’t agree.

    So until an hour ago, the bedroom walls were covered in blue flocked wallpaper. Except now that I’ve taken it down, I realize there was no paper in it — it was more like wall carpet. He’s had it for over 10 years, and since we both seem to have allergies, I finally said this has GOT to go.

    The thing is we’ve now gone from ‘grandma’s house’ to ‘crack den’ and now I need to figure out how to get to romantic, dreamy sanctuary. At least we have a catalyst…

  15. A Day in May Design

    I can’t wait to see what your room will look like after the new changes you make! Yes, the bedroom is such an important space. Everyone needs a space to call their own and that feels like a sanctuary. Kudos to you for giving yourself the gift of finally having a space you truly love to retreat to.

Comments are closed.