Sunday, November 24, 2013

Our Hawaiian retreat

We have been s-l-ow-l-y addressing each room of the house. You have seen the boys' room, the guest room, the dining room, and -- that's about it. Next on the list was our bedroom.

It was important to me to get our bedroom taken care of. Too often I think we focus on other areas of the house and neglect the room where it is hard enough to get a good night's sleep, and even harder (at least for me) if that space is filled with clutter. In addition, this room was a safety hazard. We had these crazy heavy glass shelves hanging over the bed. In his early years, Hank would come in every morning to do this

He would play with my alarm clock to make it play its odd assortment of "white noise," including a pond of frogs (in computer generated form -- not a single bit relaxing) and ocean waves, which would be fine on their own, except there was also a seagull squawking throughout. That clock was another feature that had to go during the room redo. In playing with the clock or other items on the shelves, Hank would press down on the shelves so that they would come loose in their brackets. It was very difficult to tighten the brackets again based on the placement of the shelves in relation to the headboard. At least twice I woke up just in time to catch the shelf as I heard it sliding down towards my face. I figured it would hit around the bridge of my nose if it ever did hit me. Isn't shattering your nose usually fatal?

In any case, not sure if we totally addressed the safety concerns of having glass in our bedroom, as we introduced a mirror near the bed as well as some hanging glass balls. Could also prove to be fatal here in earthquake country and/or with two small boys in the house. But -- we'll take our chances in the name of style. I was pleased to find the mirror at Home Goods. I visit that store pretty often just for something to do on my lunch break. I envy the women I see walking through the store with overflowing carts. Although I like so many things there, I have a hard time finding anything that fits with our "uber tiki modern" theme. The mirror with its woven frame was a happy notable exception. The glass terrariums/candle holders are from CB2 and contain air plants. We tested the ceiling fan (also new -- design  shows be damned, as we determined that we cannot survive summers without it) to make sure the balls will not hit the wall or each other even if mischievous little boys set it to high.

We have been using the coverlet for some time prior to finishing the entire room. To say I am in love with this design is an understatement. I am sad it is fading so much, as alas it is no longer available online. I have several textiles that I have purchased for the house that I kick myself for not buying at least two to allow for more usage before I change my mind and move onto something else. The aqua throw is new. From Home Goods, naturally.

Above the bed is a framed reprint of a famous Hawaii travel poster. I like to think it is in a dream bubble above our heads. There is also a vintage outrigger paddle. Acquiring this item will go in the annals of my most successful shopping experiences. It took me awhile to land on the use of a paddle as the perfect option for use above the poster. Once I did, I did general searches for the paddles, and kept coming back with some modern day use of them as awards. They are made with a rare hardwood, and go for $300-500. No go at that price. One day we made the trek to Oceanic Arts in Whittier, as surely they would have a reproduction version of a paddle of this type. They did indeed have a sample one mounted to the wall, but alas were not currently producing it, and would not do so unless they had a minimum order of 25. Ever persistent, I would keep doing searches from time to time. I landed one day on a design store that seems to put together temporary displays and then sell of the items they used. One vintage outrigger paddle was thus acquisitioned for less than half the price of the award versions. Note to self: Enter something that has an outrigger paddle as an award.

The side table and lamp are both new. Above the dressers is one of the inspiration pieces for the room. It is a print we bought on our 2008 trip to Hawaii. I love the caption at the bottom

In setting up the room, I figured we would need another print to go with this one. I scoured etsy looking for a good mate, but couldn't come up with one. So, I looked up the artist who made the print we had, and found his website. It was tricky to find a mate, as he does a variety of sizes of his prints. Alas could not find one with an equally comical sentiment, but like the pairing nonetheless. I searched for "carved tiki frame" and ended up finding the large one on ebay and the other two on a poster store site.

One small detail is this wood art piece located by the door to the room purchased on etsy. I have toyed with the idea of incorporating musical items throughout the house. There was a door chime I considered that came with a mallet which allowed you to play it like a xylophone. I looked for some time to find a glockenspiel to hang over the bed. Crazy, I know, but it appealed to me for a brief moment of time to have a fun thing for the boys to do when the piled into bed in the morning, as I have fond memories of Hank coming in to play with that darned clock. Kinda over that now, and more into making a relaxing space that has an as yet never used locking door. The option is there, though. Oh, but getting back to incorporating musical instruments throughout the house -- the wood guitar/ukulele has strings you can play.

One last thing, and then I'll wrap up. I am connecting with my 70s roots and trying to incorporate more plants around the house. They really do help the space look more alive, and I have started caring for them like pets, even talking to them, of course. I was puzzled as to why I hadn't had more plants previously. Besides my self-proclaimed black thumb, it was likely due to our real pets, and not wanting to have one more thing to yell at them about as they gnawed away at the leaves. It would bug me to no end to see leaves with teeth marks in them and/or cat barf with leaf bits in it. With a blissful pet free space (as much as I love them, they are too much work for us right now), we can hopefully continue to add more plants to our decor.

Will there be any additional elements to finish out the space? Still scouring Home Goods for a candle for on top the dressers. Oh, and Brent mentioned purchasing some of one of our favorite tiki artist's carved molding pieces. Ever since he said that, this room looks completely unfinished to me, despite all the improvements we have made...

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