5 Tips to Help Transform Mommy & Daddy’s Bedroom into a Couple’s Retreat

The “oops I peed in mommy & daddy’s bed” potty training years are over!   There are no more midnight feedings. No more spare diapers, wipes, and Butt Paste on the nightstand. No more rolling over in bed and popping open a Sippy cup lid filled with day old milk.  No more stray Cheerios lingering between the sheets.  No more co-sleeping, except for the occasional “I had a bad dream” or “scary thunderstorm” visitors in the middle of the night. And, truth-be-told, as a mom I actually found myself longing for a “scary thunderstorms” and/or a bad dream because in those moments I was able to reclaim a small morsel of the past.  I thought I was suffering from a serve case of Post-Preschooler Depression. But what was actually happening was I didn’t reclaim my/our space as a couple, what is mommy & daddy’s room without the infant, toddler, preschooler necessities sprawled about? It was time to reclaim our space as a couple. Thus, when my husband went on a business trip for a week I seized the opportunity to take back our space and redecorated our bedroom as an early Anniversary gift for us. And it has been the BEST gift we have ever given ourselves! We now like to go to bed when the kids do, our bedroom has become our own little couple’s retreat, our little oasis.  I highly recommend every couple do the same! Don’t know where to start? No worries, I got ya covered, love.

Ribbet collage_beforeandafter

5 Tips to Help Transform Mommy & Daddy’s Bedroom into a Couple’s Retreat:

1. Inspiration– Don’t just hit up Home Goods and purchase the first comforter, drapes, etc. you see! Do a bit of research. This is often the step that takes the longest but most definitely should not be skipped! Determine what color, design style, and, possibly even designer, that inspires. My inspiration color was blue. I am literally obsessed with all things blue lately. To help you decide on a color I recommend you read up on the psychological effects of color (http://www.color-wheel-pro.com/color-meaning.html  ).brandcolors “Blue is the color of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven. Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect” thus making it a great selection for a bedroom.  Now that you know your color/colors it’s time to decide on a design style.  Here is a site that does a great job defining the different styles, http://www.dwellcandy.com/interior-design-styles-2/.  The design style I favor is Mid-Century Modern and I find myself really drawn to the designer, Johnathan Adler’s work. Here are a couple examples of his projects. sample_adler


Once you have determined your colors and style it is time to move onto the next step.


2. List– This one is super simple but is the step most people forget, make a list of all the things that drive you insane about the current status of your bedroom. Then indicate how you can rectify said irritation.

My list included:

  • Lack of privacy-need to get drapes
  • Lighting is bad- need more light
  • Comforter is torn (thanks to our puppy) – need a new comforter
  • Only have one set of sheets-need a new set of sheets
  • Can’t see entire outfit when getting ready- need a full-length mirror
  • Husband comes in late and tosses clothes on floor- get chair to place clothes on

3. Shop– I like to peruse all my options first. Thus, I hit up Home Goods, Hobby Lobby, Kirkland’s, & JCPenney (all are within a 5 mile radius of one another in Toledo, score!) and each is within my budget constraints. What to look for: Look for items that not only represent the design style and color you wish to implement but also keep in mind the elements & principles of design. Elements of Design: point, line, shape, form, space, color, and texture. Design Principles: balance, proportion, perspective, emphasis, movement, pattern, repetition, rhythm, variety, harmony, and unity. maddybday_bedroom 111

bedroom_2If you keep these in mind when shopping and purchasing items for your bedroom you will have a cohesive design. Note the textures in this image of our bedroom, the shag rug, plastic & woodgrain on the chair, reflective mirror, distressed/weather appearance on the frame of the mirror, each assist in providing a unified aesthetic appearance.maddybday_bedroom 089

maddybday_bedroom 091

Also, note the patterns on the quilt and comforter, shapes and line of all the pillows, and the use of positive and negative space provides a visually appealing design. maddybday_bedroom 125Also, I totally hit the jackpot, when I walked into JCPenney’s guess whose bedding line was there and on sale? Johnathan Adler’s!!!  Lastly, note the undertone of the circle shape and the added texture found on the trim of the drapes and the lamp. Ribbet collage_designelementsThe key is to remember the elements and principles of design when shopping, don’t allow one to dominate your space, balance is key.

4. Assemble– Most items you purchase for a bedroom are straightforward. You know how to place sheets, comforter, pillow shams, etc. on a bed and how to assemble a light fixture (don’t forget the light bulbs), place a mirror, etc. But the HUGEST mistake people make is hanging drapery. Most people hang it too tight to the window frame and not high enough. Please, please take the time to hang drapery correctly; it is a matter of good vs bad design. Here is a great illustration of what to and not to do when hanging drapery. hang curtains

5. Maintenance– Take a few moments to soak in the beauty, post a few pics to Instagram, etc. but don’t get too comfortable yet. The last step is just as important, and again, this step is one that individuals totally bypass while basking in the glory that is their new space. Maintenance is vital. How are you going to maintain this new, fresh, gorgeous space? And yes, dusting, vacuuming, and laundering are going to be important but in order to truly preserve the space rules and boundaries must be implemented.

Our rules for Mom & Dad’s Bedroom Retreat include:

  1. No fur-members allowed- I thought this one would be more difficult for me to uphold but I must be honest kicking the dog out of our room has led to many sleep filled nights and rest filled mornings. Also, I have found that I don’t have to vacuum/sweep or dust as frequently.
  2. No more watching Netflix in Mom & Dad’s bedroom- kiddos used to watch a show upstairs while we had “date night” downstairs, those days have passed.
  3. Ask permission before entering Mom & Dad’s Bedroom- this is something we are working on in general throughout the house. Knocking on doors and waiting for the person to answer, not entering someone’s room when they aren’t there, basically respect and privacy.

Disclaimer: There is a chance that you will adore your new kid-free oasis, couple retreat bedroom so much that you might find your family expanding by two tiny feet. Lol!

True Love is…a smoldering dishwasher, puking child, & exhaustion!?!

Based upon the title you might be thinking what kind of twisted freak is this woman? Lol! And trust me; I would have thought the same thing just days ago, Sunday to be exact. On Sunday life was perfect but of course I didn’t realize that because I was frantically getting ready for the week, meal planning, doing laundry, helping kiddos with their Valentine’s, etc. I am a sucker for all holidays and Valentine’s Day is the Olympics of holidays for me. I find so much joy in smothering all my sweethearts with love, heart shaped everything, gifts, surprises, and of course a fabulous meal. I had everything planned out perfectly, this year I was going to surprise the kids after school with balloons in the car, take them to a movie, and come home to a dinner table adorn with heart shaped waffles, eggs, strawberries, X & O shaped bacon (yep, I am that mom…coming to terms with it is the first step), chocolates, etc.


It was going to blow them away; it would be my best surprise yet (even better than taking them to Boyd’s for the Retro candies for school), we are talking Pinterest Perfection!  But life had other plans, turns out the surprise was on me!


Sunday: Nothing like traumatizing the kids during bedtime!

Sunday night the kiddos headed up to bed after dinner and I prepped leftovers in the kitchen for lunch the next day. I was standing by the sink and suddenly, out of know where, the dishwasher made a spark followed by a sizzle, and then started smoking. The darn thing wasn’t even running!?! I called in my husband for reinforcements and rushed downstairs to turn off the breaker. (Something about water and electricity just didn’t sit well with me). Apparently like most things in our household the circuit breaker is a bit wonky when it comes to the labels. What seemed like a minute to me must have felt like an eternity to my husband because he frantically yelled down, “just turn it off!”.  So naturally, I panicked. I just started flipping switches two at a time, including the one to the upstairs and basement. The high pitched screams that pierced my eardrum were clear indications that I flipped the wrong switch and now not only were the children freaking out in the dark upstairs, but, I too was in the dark downstairs.  Meanwhile the dishwasher continued melting & smoking while my husband stood by helplessly. I eventually managed to manipulate the switches in the dark, turned off the electricity to the kitchen, and turned back on the electrically to the basement and upstairs. As I made my way back up to the kitchen I could hear the dog’s paws rushing down the stairs from above, he had left his post upstairs with the kids to check things out. After knocking a few things over with his cone of shame that he obtained thanks to double ear infections he came barreling around the corner to a dark kitchen with one path of light streaming from a flashlight on the floor that illuminated the cloud of smoke coming from the dishwasher. Once he saw that smoke he started barking ferociously which resulted in the kids practically sliding down the stairs in fright. And there the entire family stood at 9:30pm assembled in the dark kitchen in shock and amazement. It felt like a dramatic scene from a play. The flashlight gave the dishwasher the perfect spotlight and the smoke added a nice dramatic effect.  The smell of plastic burning began to fill the room. Thankfully my husband was able to pull the dishwasher out from under the counter and unplug it, but when doing so the dog saw this great beast of a smoking appliance as a threat and tried to attack, retreating in fear each time but none the less barking his cone of shame head off. Crisis mostly averted.


Monday: She’s upstairs puking!

Monday night after dinner I cleared the table and carefully stacked the dirty dishes on top of the other dirty dishes…I am getting quit good at balancing them; it’s almost an art, lol! And then I sat down with my 5th grader and we put the finishing touches on their Valentines for school the next day. valentines201All three kiddos were super excited for their Valentine’s Day party the next day, since they kind of got robbed of their party at Christmas time due to a snow day their anticipation was super amplified. They checked the forecast for the next day and let out a huge sigh of relief when they saw that fog, snow, and ice were nowhere on the radar. Each sat out their clothes…pinks, reds, and even a tutu with gold glitter hearts was the preferred apparel for our little fashionista.


Everything was going so smoothly and then it happened. My husband came downstairs to let me know, “She’s puking upstairs”. My heart sank. I knew what that meant; someone wasn’t wearing her gold glitter heart tutu tomorrow, wasn’t passing out Valentines, and wasn’t going to be attending her Valentine’s Day party.

Tuesday: Calgon take me away!

So here I sit, Tuesday morning and I am absolutely exhausted after getting up 8+ times with my poor baby girl. My kitchen counters are filled with mountains of dirty dishes, laundry needs to be done, rooms need to be cleaned (and sanitized), that darn dog just managed to annihilate his cone of shame, and my Valentine’s Day plans that I was so looking forward to are a bust. And yet I am over the moon, and no, that’s not just the ridiculous combination of exhaustion and caffeine talking.

This year I finally get it! I finally realize the true treasures of Valentine’s Day, granted I had to go on one twisted, crazy, exhausting scavenger hunt to find them but find them I did! And it turns out they have been here all along but I have been so distracted by my own expectations that I couldn’t see them. The dishwasher dying it’s slow smoky death revealed a part of my husband I had taken for granted, he is not only our family’s provider but our protector, he is willing to risk his life for our family…there is no amount of roses that can equal that!  I learned that in my regimented ways I have missed out on precious moments…sitting with my 5th grader and putting together Valentines while talking about life brought me more joy than a million boxes of chocolate.  But the biggest take away from this crazy week (thus far-God may have more lessons in store!), and it was something that dawned on me when I rushed to my daughter’s side for the 5th time at 4:30am, I learned that I am enough! My children don’t need fancy balloons, food shaped like hearts; the best gift I can give them is my unconditional love, day, or night, no matter the circumstances, no amount of store bought anything or fancy food can replace a mother’s love.  Thus I am over the moon, bursting with blessings & love sans the typical Valentine’s Day garb.

I know it sounds so cliché but this Valentine’s Day the gifts I am most thankful for is my husband, children, my family’s health, and all the amazing people in my life…dishes be damned! 😉

Happy Valentine’s Day, loves! Cheers to finding the REAL treasures in your life!