ORC: Cozy Neutral Bedroom Week 2


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Well it’s week two of the One Room Challenge, and I am dreaming up a few more ideas than I originally intended for our bedroom makeover! If you missed it, I decided to give our room some much-needed attention and am participating in the ORC, you can catch up on week 1 here. It has been so awesome already seeing what the other participants are dreaming up, stealing some tips from talented bloggers and designers, and the support from everyone is such great motivation!

So, what have I been doing this week? Well, mostly logging hours on hours of browsing time and finding ways that I could spend waaaaayyyy too much money. And then spending some of it. I am trying to be somewhat budget-conscious on this project. We don’t usually have a few hundred bucks laying around without a purpose. I try not to pay full price for anything, we budget everything from bills down to grocery trips to SAMS, and we have been kicking ass on paying off debt. Actually, I will be making my very last partial payment on my car in November. I’ll have some extra cash just for one month before my entire debt payment amount goes into an emergency fund. So it’s great timing for a hard-earned splurge, and I thought the bedroom would be the perfect project!

I don’t have a firm budget in mind, but I will try to be transparent and let you know what I spend on all of my finds.

Our room doesn’t really look much different than the before pictures I posted last week. HOWEVER. I do feel like I have found some seriously awesome stuff so far, and am getting a clearer picture in my mind of what this whole thing is actually going to look like.

Here is what I have been up to:

The search for the best white paint. I was thinking that we would just paint an accent wall behind the door, where the wall is recessed.

ORC Bedroom Before - Recessed Wall

I’ve realized over the past couple of weeks that the yellow-beige color that is everywhere in our house is wearing on me a lot more than I thought. It is a nice neutral(ish) base for the house, but the cozy calm vibe that I’m going for is begging for white walls. Our room is also quite small (calling it a master is a stretch) and surprisingly dark – which I didn’t realize until I posted photos last week. So the white should really brighten it up and make the room feel larger – I hope.

I knew there was more to white paint than just picking up a bucket o’ “white”. My highly scientific Pinterest research shows that everyone and their mom likes Benjamin Moore whites (top choices that I saw were Cloud White, Simply White, White Dove, Cotton Balls). I really liked this post on remodelista, and this one goes into detail on the slight differences in three of the top “off white” tones. Unfortunately, neither Home Depot nor Lowes carry Benjamin Moore paint (at least in my town). We have painted some accent walls in the kitchen and dining room, and we had good luck with Behr Ultra so we decided to stick with that. I had to search a little harder to find a couple of recommendations on the best Behr whites. I came across Behr’s Swiss Coffee a couple of times, and was also intrigued by Behr Mineral, a so-called favorite “greige”.

So off I went to Home Depot, where I learned that there are groups of white tones for every color in the rainbow.

Home Depot Cheyenne Behr Paint Selection

It’s a bit overwhelming, but I found I was leaning toward the yellow-toned whites. I definitely didn’t want to end up with something that looks white, until the entire room is painted and all of a sudden it’s horribly pink. I bought samples of the Behr Cotton Blossom, Swiss Coffee, and Mineral (which is an older color and was not available in a color chip, but can still be mixed on request). Here are the three on the wall:

Behr Whites, Cotton Blossom, Swiss Coffee, Mineral

I think the Mineral (right) is just a bit too gray for this room, and the Cotton Blossom (left) is a little bright. We’ve decided to go with Swiss Coffee. It’s a nice medium between the two, and I’m hoping it will be a touch darker than the existing white trim. We dug out the extra paint that previous owners used from the furnace room downstairs, and found a Valspar Semi-Gloss “Ultra White” that we think is what was used on all of the trim and doors. I’m not planning on re-painting the trim, ceiling, or doors so I hope what we choose works with what is there.

The search for affordable gray linen bedding. So I reeeeeeally have been wanting a gray linen duvet cover. I mean. This. All of it.

Source: 1, 2, 3

Apparently linen bedding is durable, gets softer with each wash, is warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and is supposed to lead to the best night’s sleep. I think it’s just damn plain gorgeous. It’s also prit. tee. pricey. Most places.

After my Home Depot trip, I made stops at Kohls, TJ Maxx, and Target to scout out their home sections. I wasn’t planning to buy much this trip, but to get an idea of my options in town compared to what I’ve found online. Every time I go to TJ Maxx, I realize that it is fricking awesome and wonder why I don’t go there more often. Then I find a $100 pair of boots that I definitely need, and I remember – that’s why. I had to refrain from browsing more shoes and the clothing racks.


I did not find a linen duvet cover at any of the three stores, but I did leave TJ Maxx with a few steals.

So I went back to the cyber drawing board. If budget is no obstacle for you, it sounds like Restoration Hardware’s Stonewashed Belgian Linen is the shiz. I’m not ready to fork over $225 (on sale) for a duvet cover alone. Here are some of the other more affordable options that I’ve found for queen size linen duvet covers:

  • West Elm – $199. Super dreamy, but still out of my price range.
  • Target – $144 on sale. I was really tempted by this one, but 2 different reviews I read said that the gray is actually much more of a blue color. Nope.
  • Ikea – $80(!!!). I’ve read good reviews on this, and would have done it in a heartbeat. EXCEPT, they don’t have gray.
  • Amazon – UPDATE: I legitimately don’t know why I was not shopping Amazon when I wrote this post, but more recently found this super affordable option ($59.99)?! with great reviews.
  • H&M – $129. Sign up for their emails and save 20% – bringing it down to $103. Now we’re talkin.

I don’t live anywhere near an H&M store, but I was slightly obsessed with their ridiculously cheap affordable clothing while I lived in Copenhagen for a semester. I do also realize that, like Ikea, it’s probably not of thee highest quality. It’s also slightly scary that the thread count is 104, but linen is a loose weave, and thread count is kind of a BS number, IMO. Considering the fact that our bedding is not totally safe from our dog and may get torn some day, I am ok with taking a risk on less than perfect linen to start out. SO I pulled the trigger and ordered the H&M linen duvet set in dark gray. I ordered on Sunday, and it shipped on Monday. I can’t wait to get it by the end of the week!

I’ve got a few other things up my sleeve, but I’d hate to spill all the beans in week 2.

Here’s a look at my spending for the week:

  • Home Depot Behr Paint samples, foam brushes – $13
  • Bowl from TJ Maxx (for a DIY I have in mind) – $6
  • Dresser Organizer Tray from TJ Maxx – $13
  • Calvin Klein ivory cotton sateen sheets from TJ Maxx – $40
  • H&M Queen Linen Duvet set – $109

Total damage so far: $181

And how I’m doing on my to-do list:

  • Paint – chose a color. Need to purchase and you know, paint.
  • New bedding – big progress made. Need to find a bedskirt and maybe some shams.
  • New curtains
  • Update artwork/wall hangings
  • Organize tops of dressers – In the works.
  • Possibly a new rug – Search in progress.
  • Possibly update lighting/lamps – found some awesome stuff that I can’t wait to share next week!
  • Plants?
  • DIY Headboard – yes, this one is new this week. I told you I’m getting myself into more than I probably should!

Hope you’re all having a great week!

Check out Week 3.

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