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 We loved the sunny, tropical look of the room but after fifteen years, it was worn, outdated and time for a change.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
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!!!
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.
Now, this is a room I actually want to spend time in.
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.