...because home doesn't happen overnight.

barcelona bench 1

The horse blanket isn’t the only new thing at the foot of our bed. But before we get to it, let’s back up for a minute.

barcelona bench 2

Our bedroom is rectangular in shape. We placed the bed on one of the smaller walls, opposite the bathroom, which is really the only feasible location for a bed in this room. I haven’t mentioned it before but the area between the foot of our bed and bathroom is a decent size. And it has always felt a little empty. I’m all for open space in a room but it felt like something should be there – either a bench or a pair of ottomans. Something. I hadn’t taken it any further than that though. I mean, a bench wasn’t completely necessary and we were getting along fine without one.

Then one of my friendly sponsors, Rove Concepts, sent me an email asking if I might be interested in a piece of their furniture. I politely decline the majority of these types of requests because they don’t jive with my purpose and / or aesthetic. And I turned this one down as well. But six months later I received another email from them so I quickly glanced at their inventory to see if anything caught my eye. When I came across the Barcelona bench inspired by Mies van der Rohe, I was smitten. It was the ideal scale and style. I ordered the 52″ length in natural ash with a palermo caramel cushion. It had a twelve week lead time but finally arrived two weeks ago and it’s practically perfect in every way.

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As I was assembling it, Steve and I had a moment. We didn’t feel worthy of this bench. It’s a true work of art. The craftsmanship and attention to detail are impeccable. The bench is one of those forever pieces that’s crazy versatile. It’s sturdy and has a presence to it without feeling heavy…if that makes any sense. I like that it sits up off the floor with open space between the seat and floor. That gives it a lighter feel than, say, a slipcovered bench with a skirt.

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The leather is beautiful. It’s the perfect shade of caramel with flawless tufting and piping. It’s so soft, smooth and supple. Like butt’ah. It will only get better with age and wear. I love the natural patina that worn leather takes on over time. The warm hue of the cushion picks up on the wood tones of the nearby dresser, chair legs and bathroom mirror.

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Our bedroom can be a flurry of activity with three kids who like to romp on the bed and only one functioning bathroom which also happens to be the adjoining master bath.

Fun fact #1: I make the bed every morning but it rarely stays that way.

Fun fact #2: Sometimes there is a line for the potty in our bedroom. 

Our bedroom definitely isn’t a kid-free zone. Often times, all five of us can be found hanging out in here. The bench sorta acts like a buffer for our bed and provides extra seating, too. It’s a welcome addition. (Mabrey loves climbing onto the bed via the bench.)

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I haven’t cheated on my mattress and taken the bench for a sleeping spin (yet!) but the thought has crossed my mind. And that awkward space between our bed and bathroom? It’s not awkward anymore. The bench shrunk the barren area but we still have plenty of room to move around without feeling cramped.

While I’m happily working for and claiming the Barcelona bench, I understand that it may overreach some budgets. If you can afford it, I would highly recommend it. However, if you’re in the market for a similar bench with a smaller price tag, may I suggest this, this or this?

I’m curious. Do you have anything at the foot of your bed? A bench, a pair of ottomans, a trunk? Maybe you prefer nothing?

Stay tuned for a Rove Concepts giveaway later today! I told you those peeps were friendly.

This post was sponsored in part by Rove Concepts. All images and opinions are my own.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

bedroom shoe cabinet 2

Remember when I relocated the shoe cabinet and octagon mirror to our bedroom? Well, after a while that mirror didn’t feel quite right. The shape was all wrong for the rectangular space between our curtained closet and bedroom door. The mirror itself was a tad small, too. And it was difficult to use the mirror for quick once-overs due to the straight dividers that broke the mirror up into four quadrants. So I replaced it…

br mirror 1

…with a larger rectangular mirror. {I’m going to apologize now for the inconsistent lighting in the upcoming shots. Our north-facing bedroom gets the weirdest green haze in the afternoon and the sun kept coming and going as I hurriedly snapped these pics while Mabrey was napping and the boys were reading. Still love me?} I also spray painted the knobs on the shoe cabinet the same gold as our nightstands‘ hardware. I wouldn’t be surprised if our local Home Depot is out of stock on gold spray paint. I can’t help myself.

br mirror 2

This wider shot better shows how the new mirror fills the wall between the closet and door.

br mirror 3

The mirror is very heavy. We ran into a little snafu when it came to hanging it just because we were expecting it to have ready-to-hang hardware on the back. But it didn’t. HH added two picture hangers on each side of the frame’s backside and then it was good to go. This particular wall is plaster so HH used wall anchors to hang the mirror securely.

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I love the solid wood frame of this mirror. It’s really simple – no mitered corners, no ornate details – and the finish is a warm, rich cognac. So, so handsome.

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It ties into the hardwood floors, nightstands and dresser really well. It just works.

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I added a few things to the top of the shoe cabinet last minute. Just stuff I already had on hand.

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The picture frame was {yet another!} HomeGoods clearance find – $7. I slipped a picture of HH and me inside. The votive was from Target. I clipped the flower from my backyard. The number tiles are the house’s original house numbers. {I switched up the order for privacy reasons.} I took them down last week when I started cleaning up the front entrance in preparation for a little makeover. They are soooo small! I’m not entirely sure you could even see them from the road. Our new house numbers will be much LARGER. I might end up gluing the old ones onto a piece of reclaimed wood or something but I like seeing them in our bedroom.

br mirror 8

The gold dipped bowl is a Nate Berkus piece. {You can see more of the votive and bowl here.} His stuff just keeps getting better and better if you ask me. HH empties his pockets into the bowl at night. I pulled the little plant from a container on our back patio and plopped it into a smaller IKEA pot.

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The best part about the new mirror is that it reflects way more light from the opposite window. Our bedroom needs as much light as it can get!

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You can’t see it yet but this view into the mirror will reflect large scale art one day. Isn’t that blank wall just begging to be artsified?

br mirror 11

Finally, I’ll leave you with this blurry teaser shot of a corner in our bedroom. There’s an empty dresser that we want to transform into a little workstation {HH works from home sometimes and needs a quiet spot to take conference calls} and we splurged on the super comfy saddle chair. It’s so comfy that I’m seriously contemplating the counter stool version as an upgrade to my $10 stopgap stool. Which begs the question…can one house have too much chevron?

Can’t wait to share more as we slowly make progress!

The new mirror is part of a monthly collaboration between House*Tweaking and Wayfair. All selections, images and opinions are my own. Thanks to Wayfair for supporting my habit.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

nightstand 1

I’m calling it. The nightstands are done. Until I tweak them. So, really, what I’m saying is that this “done” business doesn’t mean a thing.

nightstand 2


nightstand 3


nightstand 4

In general, I think guys tend to like less stuff on their nightstand. And they want the majority of what’s there to be practical. Think alarm clock, good lighting and a few good reads. To add a little life, bring in some greenery, manly animalia and masculine art. I also used a wire {versus woven or fabric} basket on the bottom shelf of HH’s nightstand for an industrial look. One thing I learned during this fun styling project…HH prefers no blatant pictures of kids in the bedroom. Apparently, it can be distracting? {I guess I need to find a new home for this one.} He said he heard about it on Bob & Tom.

his nightstand

sources: swing arm lamp // driftwood frame // tribal print // one drawer nightstand // brass rhino // wood alarm dock

nightstand 5

Women, on the other hand, like some pretties on their nightstand. Think fresh flowers, jewelry, photos and shiny objects. I’m a book-in-bed kinda girl so my nightstand holds books galore. I put framed photos on the bottom shelf of my nightstand to keep HH from feeling weird.

her nightstand


sources: swing arm lamp // driftwood frame // modern geo print // one drawer nightstand // Threshold yarn-wrapped gazelle // two-sided picture frame

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If you’re looking for a foolproof his & hers nightstand decorating recipe, try keeping the basics {nightstand, lighting, any wall frames, etc.} the same then cater to different gender needs and wants with a mix of tabletop accessories and artwork. You get a balanced but not perfectly matched look. Of course, using non-matching nightstands and lamps is great too! Either way, try creating height next to the bed – either with lamps or wall art – and then fill the space between the higher objects and nightstands with accessories.

nightstand 7

I used swing arm wall lamps and non-matching framed prints to create height next to the headboard. I used clipped greenery {from my backyard}, stacks of books and other tabletop accessories to bridge the gap between the higher items and the nightstands.

I have a hard time leaving store bought furniture and accessories alone. I always find something to tweak. Here, I spray painted the nightstand knobs gold. Originally, they were black and lost against the dark wood drawer. The gold knobs are like gold stud earrings. Simple, classic, easy. I also spray painted the two-sided picture frame {99¢!!} gold to dress it up and tie into the other gold objects. It looks like it should cost at least $5 now.

nightstand 8

Our new bedroom setup might be detrimental to the blog. After the kids are tucked in for the night, all I want to do is jump in bed and put those swing arm lamps to good use. READING. I’m talking about reading.

Do you have any tips for his & hers nightstand styling?

PS – To all my gay and lesbian friends {no DOMA!}, any feminine men and any masculine women out there, sorry for the stereotypical post. Feel free to read this as Masculine & Feminine Nightstands and apply accordingly. 

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

bedroom window tx1

Since posting updates of the bedroom, I’ve fielded many questions about our window treatments. Many of you have questions! I thought it might help to turn my answers into a bona fide post. But first up…

bedroom window tx2

…I finally got a chance to hem the curtains on the window…

bedroom window tx3

…and on the closet. They are the RITVA 118″ panels. If you look closely, you’ll notice I hemmed the four closet curtains {94″} a few inches shorter than the window curtains {96″}. At the closet, we open and close the curtains daily to gain access to our clothing so it helps that the curtains graze the floor instead of pool onto it. At the window, we never close the curtains so a little pooling action gives a luxe, relaxed look. I prefer to sew my curtain hems versus using the popular hem tape. Sewing is cheaper and I think the curtains fall better with a sewn hem. But that’s just my personal preference.

Our ceiling in the bedroom is 8′. In a room with 8′ ceilings, you might be inclined to buy the 98″ version of the RITVA. However, if your plan is to hang the curtains floor-to-ceiling, once they are pre-washed there’s a good chance you could end up with flood water curtains. In my experience with IKEA curtains {and I’ve had quite a bit}, you lose about 4″-6″ of length after pre-washing and drying. Of course, it depends on the material you choose but either way you are going to lose some length and that needs to be considered – especially when you account for 2″ for your actual hem. I know it sucks to spend more on the longer version but, trust me, buy the longer version if you’re in doubt.

So the curtains are hemmed. Now to address the popular window treatment questions.

bedroom window tx2

Source list: RITVA curtains // black cafe curtain rod // petite rustique bamboo shade // Levolor room darkening shade

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The bamboo shades are functional but we don’t close them. Our windows are wide but relatively short so the 54″W x 74″H stock size woven blinds are a bit heavy and cumbersome to raise and lower daily. If we don’t close the curtains or the bamboo blinds, how do we maintain privacy at night? On all bedroom windows in our house, we use Levolor room darkening shades. Anything to catch a few more zzzz’s!

bedroom window tx5

We bought the inexpensive Levolor shades at Lowe’s right after we moved in last summer. They can be cut in-store to your desired width. Just be sure to measure each individual window opening precisely. Even if all of your bedroom windows are 52″ wide, you need to measure the exact opening where each shade will be installed. The smallest of measurements can throw off the fit and function of the blinds. This is coming from someone who measured one window then had all the bedroom shades cut to the same width. Guess what? They didn’t fit. Luckily, we were able to recoup our cost by selling them on craigslist and then re-measure EACH WINDOW for a proper fit. Now you know.

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When closed, they do a great job of blocking light and providing privacy although they aren’t much to look at. The tension needs to be readjusted sometimes, too. When a shade loses its ability to recoil completely, I just roll the shade all the way up and reset it into the metal holders within the window frame. It’s not difficult but it’s something I thought you should know. If you’re thinking of trying these shades out, expect a good price and great room darkening capabilities but also expect loss of tension over time.

bedroom window tx8

To disguise the roller shades, I don’t pull the bamboo blinds all the way up. The blinds are installed outside of the window frame and close to the curtain rod to make the window look taller than it really is. Lots of window trickery happening in this little brick ranch! When adding woven blinds, typically, I like to see them mounted outside the frame of windows without molding and inside the frame of windows with molding. There are always exceptions though.

I’m still hunting for trim to add to the curtains. I’ve checked out every possible option near me but nothing has really caught my eye. I’m happy to wait it out until I find “the one.”

I think that covers everything pertaining to our bedroom window treatments. If there are still questions, post them in the comments below and I’ll try my best to answer them.

Check back later today for five things I’m doing next week. It’s going to be a fun one!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking