Summer Makeover

Being retired means we get to travel, enjoy hobbies and interest, and pretty much claim time on our terms throughout the year.  But, when our South Florida summer rolls around it’s time to get serious about addressing neglected household projects.  It is brutally hot outside (heat index in excess of 104F) and anything that keeps us busy inside is a welcome activity.

We built our home in 2001 and back then, bold Mediterranean colors were in style – today, not so much. When we last decorated our bedroom, we painstakingly selected several coordinating fabrics, and had our bedding custom made through a design group. It was not cheap. We loved the sunny, tropical look of the room but after fifteen years, it was worn, outdated and time for a change. We have a different approach to home improvement projects  now that we are retired, and our goal was to create comfortable, inviting spaces without a huge cash investment. What we lack in budget, we make up for in our ‘can-do’ attitude. 

Master Bedroom – before

housephoto1 (3)

The Makeover

The newly decorated room includes an updated wall color (steamed milk by Behr) which Malcolm and I painted during a weekend. We found light weight, quality bedding at reduced prices on the internet; multi-layering the pieces to accommodate both summer and winter temperatures in South Florida. Two inexpensive Parsons chairs from Home Goods (a local home accessories store) fit the color scheme and completed the seating area. The old chairs above, along with the wall decor pieces, were re-purposed to other rooms.

The big expense in this room was the floor, but the old nasty carpet had to go.  This project was above our pay grade, so we hired experts for the installation. After shopping around, we discovered that the popularity of carpet is declining and wood impostors, like the one we used, are becoming the norm, at least in South Florida homes. It was actually more economical to use this vinyl interlocking material than to replace with carpeting and, we both appreciate the benefit of fewer dust mites residing in our bedroom!!!

P1900478 (2)

We like the monochromatic palette and find it soothing and more conducive to a restful sleep. The half inch cork base under the flooring makes it soooo comfortable to walk on.  There was a lot of dust created by the installation and I have been cleaning for days, but I think we are finally ready to enjoy sweet dreams in our new comfy room.

One good side-effect of changing the floor is that both our closets had to be cleared out completely. That was quite a chore, but we were both determined to edit our stuff and return only the items that we use. Well, that did not happen, but we did both successfully reduce the contents of our closets by about one third. Some things had to be pitched, but we filled several large bags that will be donated to charity.

From Guest Room to Exercise Room

We have a downstairs guest room that is never used, so we decided to re-purpose that space into an exercise room. Our treadmill clutters Malcolm’s office space, so it made sense to give it a new home. We painted the room, added a new floor and purchased a  rowing machine, to complete the space. Editing the closet of useless stuff was a bonus here as well. And, there you have it – from wasted space to functional.

guest bedroom

Now, this is a room I actually want to spend time in.

exercise room

Did you notice the orange chairs in the corner, those used to be in our master bedroom. I have good intentions of recovering them (one day), since they are useful in the room, but for now they will just be an eyesore.

More to Come

Having set the tone for a softer, lighter look, we have a few more projects in mind. With a hot, humid summer ahead of us and no plans to beat the heat, this will keep us inside, and in motion. Stay tuned.

24 thoughts on “Summer Makeover

  1. A very minimalist and elegant look, I really like it. Fantastic to be able to have a table and chairs in the bedroom. We could have that in our last house, but in our bijou bedroom now it is not possible. Great gym room, certainly a good idea particularly if you exercise regularly. A very successful renovation, well done 🙂


    1. Gilda, downsizing is in our future, so it is nice to purge the house of extra items and head towards simplicity. I do use the exercise equipment, especially on these hot, summer days, so it is nice to have a dedicated space for it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nancy

    Hi Suzanne
    Love the monochromatic look.
    I heard FL had been brutally hot. Glad we are in NH under the pines.
    Looking forward to seeing what other renos you have in mind!


    1. Hi Nancy, NH under the pines sounds really good about now. We just got back from the beach and the temperature was comfortable, but the no-see-ems almost ate us alive. We are meeting with a kitchen contractor next week….if all goes well, that could be the next project.


  3. You are inspiring me to tackle our bedroom which has been a burr in my side for a while. I too like painting and a new coat of paint is transforming … but getting my husband to agree on a colour change is soooo frustrating. I’m liking that “steamed milk” … it’s time to dust off my rollers 😉 Summer is actually a great time to do these projects.


    1. Joanne, the ‘steamed milk’ looked really white until I added the bedding, then it all came together. My motto is “paint is cheap, if it doesn’t work, change it.’ Most paint stores sell samples for under $5. I tried three before settling on this one. Today we are painting baseboards all through the house. Malcolm wants to do doors and trim, but not sure I’m up for that. Heat index is going to be 110f for the next few days though, so maybe…


  4. Tamara R

    Love the lighter palette. We’re pretty much reduced to off white, cream and grey throughtout the house these days, and I appreciate the sense of calm and tranquility it delivers.

    I didn’t realize Florida was in the midst of a heat wave currently, but, yes, I am well aware of the no-see-ums from having spent time on the beach in N. Carolina two years ago. Well, trying to spend time on the beach. We eventually gave up, and hung around the off-the-beach pool instead.

    If you two decide you need a break, we’re at 70 degrees today with a breeze, and no bugs to speak of. Just saying. 🙂


    1. Tamara, we would like nothing better than to hop a plane to California right now. But, you know how it is when you get into a project – no rest until it’s done! Thanks though for the thought.70 sounds wonderful.

      Evening is the only time of day I want to be outside, and I am still scratching the bites I got in 5 minutes at the beach the other night. Hopefully the heat will break soon and we will get relief. Have a great summer.


  5. Suzanne, I am so impressed with your can do attitude and the fact you two painted the bedroom in a weekend!. Well done to you both. No wonder you are happy with your bedroom. It looks so lovely. And re-purposing the spare bedroom is a idea too. I can see you two are on a roll. Perhaps you will be saying bring on winter. 🙂


    1. Estelle, we are indeed on a roll. I don’t tolerate disorder very well, so I have to complete one space before moving to the next. We are looking forward to the end of summer.


  6. The bedroom looks great. You picked a really nice color which goes with just about anything. I prefer the new floor too. Carpet is not my friend for the most part. Kudos for tackling this sumer spruce job.


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