What my bedroom reno taught me about appreciation

What my bedroom reno taught me about appreciation

When I bought my house, I was most excited for the bedroom. It’s a cute front-facing room with angled ceilings and a little bay window overlooking the street. I knew that it had potential.



All the walls on the second floor of my house are textured lath and plaster, which at first I was really apprehensive about. And it’s not exactly stylish. It reminded me of the ceilings in Italian nonnas’ houses.



Then something interesting happened: the longer I spent going over those walls with paint, the more I started to fall in love with the texture. It felt classic and European, independent and eccentric without being overwhelming.




Since then, textures and eccentric shapes of all kinds have landed into trend reports from places like Apartment Therapy. Even better!

Before we get into the finished product, let’s dwell for a second on how the room looked when I moved in. The previous owner was super sweet and knew I was a first-time homeowner, so she asked if I’d like to keep any of the big furniture pieces she wasn’t taking to the retirement home. I said yes to all!



I’ve made use out of the furniture left behind: the standing desk is being used as a DVD shelf and home for my camera gear, the double bed is in the guest room, the second shelf is in my linen closet and the washstand/dresser set is being sold on consignment to help me pay for some of the renos.


The first thing I did when I got in was move all the furniture out for a clean slate. It allowed me to see the potential in the room with a clearer eye, and confirm my instincts.

Second, I knew those curtains had to go. The bay window underneath all those layers had a beautiful silhouette, and the curtains covered all the light. They hung too close to the frame to allow anyone to appreciate the architecture. So down they went! I made the decision to only use blinds, in order to get the most out of that window’s silhouette.



Third, that super retro closet unit. Which, had I been a more free-living bohemian, I probably would have embraced, but I have a crisp organic style that needed clean lines. As soon as I ripped it out, I had ideas.



This would be an open closet dedicated to only ethical clothes, as I built out my wardrobe. Keeping it open allows me to appreciate each piece in a more sustained way than just when I wear them.



I love mixing wood into my design in small ways to add warmth to an otherwise cold room. Those natural tones help take the edge off of extreme Scandinavian or modern rooms, just enough to feel lived-in.


I also got really into mixing my warm and cool neutrals. When done right, they can complement each other and balance your colour palette.



I’m notoriously monochromatic and safe in my design, so one day once I’m more comfortable in this space, I think I’ll have some more fun experimenting.





The other thing I learned to appreciate in this room is my IKEA furniture. It took on new life – all the sudden it didn’t feel as cheap when paired with the unique characteristics of the house.



It’s important to make sure your furniture fits your space, instead of taking over it.


I very intentionally decided to keep less in my bedroom so I could build a calm oasis.


For those who are fans of keeping it real: the rest of my wardrobe is in my spare room, which is a mix of moody home office and walk-in closet. I’m still working on that project…

For now? Enjoy the pics of my new space!

Questions about the process? Pop ’em below, or send me a DM @petraalexandra





2 thoughts on “What my bedroom reno taught me about appreciation”

  • I love reading about your home reno! I currently work in Toronto and was also looking to buy in Hamilton. I’m curious where did you get that rug? Do you have any favourite places for finding antique furniture?

    • Hi, thank you so much! 🙂 Hamilton is so down to earth, and has a stellar arts culture. My favourite place to shop for antiques is Ottawa Street (in East Hamilton) – the Hamilton Antique Mall is A++++

      Oh! And the rug was a random find at Pier 1 Imports right before I moved in!

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