Betsy’s House: The Bed

It took us a while to get our new bed selected, and you guys may have recalled when I was polling for opinions. I thought we had settled on a particular bed… the one on the left.


but then Heffe realized it was upholstered and decided that this was not appealing to him. Turns out, he says he’s thinking more along the lines of a rustic wood.

It is always a bit fun and funny when the dude presents his distaste for what I think are solid choices for our shared life. I do my best to respect his desires, but I’m sure you can imagine that it’s often met with rolly eyes and or giggles if not heavy sighs while I shake my head. But, back to the drawing board I went, this time digging into some full bedroom imagery to illustrate to him my case for the upholstered headboard, and then a few looks into the style that I assumed he was after, for comparison.

First I gathered the rooms, and here is what we looked through. My case included examples from Amber Interiors, that Archiectural Digest feature of Patrick Dempsey’s house (not only b/c I love “Can’t Buy Me Love” but also b/c that entire Malibu house is dreamy,) plus the home of Ione Sky since I was in an iconic 80s actors mood.

I was leaning toward upholstery due to my desire for draping various textiles over the headboard. I felt like a nice neutral backdrop could play well to my evolving obsessions with the pieces of fabric I bring home from time to time.


As I dug, similar themes emerged… white backdrops, neutral upholstery, global textiles, rustic woods and maybe even an accent feature! At least we know what we’re after.

Next up, we thumbed through the beds that I found to suit the style.


So, after all of that storytelling with the dude, we settled on this sweet midcentury design that combined a bit of the upholstered look along with the wood.

drommen-beds CB2 Drommen

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Sheet Search (Not Totally Unlike Star Search)

I rotate two sets of sheets on each bed in my house. Kudos to you if you’re rotating more than that but we’re working with two here and one of them got ripped and I needed a replacement.

This time around I want great quality and style and that necessitates a search. A Sheet Search.


You can read all sorts of articles and read reviews in which people are embroiled in serious debates about thread count vs. types of cotton. I found this article to be helpful and I read other articles like this one too.

The new sheets should include these qualities:

  • Egyptian cotton or Pima/Supima Cotton
  • If “100% cotton” was listed as fabric I’d keep searching
  • 300 thread count or above
  • Simple embroidery preferred
  • Under $200.00

Serena & Lily, Pine Cone Hill, Crate & Barrel, West Elm, and the list goes on…all of these fine sites had great designs but they were all 100% cotton, meaning American Upland cotton.

After sourcing many sites in the seemingly infinite online shopping universe I’ve narrowed the talent search to these sets.

This set meets all of the criteria. Egyptian cotton, embroidered accent and they claim to be wrinkle-free 400 TC sateen. The price…$178.00.


Garnet Hill Signature Wrinkle Free Sateen Sheets

The judges give these sheets…

sheet search 5 stars

My Mom sings the praises of Target’s Threshhold Performance Sheets all the time but these Fieldcrest sheets are superior in construction. They get mixed customer reviews only averaging 3.5 stars on the customer review scale. They are Egyptian cotton, 600 TC but they have no embroidery accent.


Target Fieldcrest Luxury Egyptian Cotton Sheets

After consideration the judges give these sheets,

sheet search 4 stars

These sheets are really, really handsome-I love the subtle tipped edges but I’m unsure about the double flange and how it will wash and dry. This set boasts wrinkle free, 210 TC Egyptian cotton percale with a pretty satin tipped edge. The price on sale now is $205.


Restoration Hardware Italian Tipped Satin Stitch Sheets

The judges give this set,

sheet search 4 stars

Oh these are sumptuous…tipped Belgian linen. I’m not sure if I’m ready to switch to linen sheets. I definitely want to blanket my life in linen most days so it would be a pretty safe and welcome shift. Linen drives the price up and it negates the judges rating system and there’s not a lot of question of how the sheets will wash and wear over time. The price for this set is…$219.00 Final Sale


Restoration Hardware Stonewashed Belgian Linen Tipped Sheets

Because of the price($200+) the judges give this set,

sheet search 4 stars

This is a good find at $170.00 including shipping with a slightly less thread count than the Garnet Hill sheets above. This set is a 310 TC Egyptian cotton with a sateen finish and a simple flax colored ladder stitch accent. It’s unclear from the listing photos if the ladder stitch is also on the pillowcases but we can assume for now that it is.


Ebay Peacock Alley Ladder Egyptian Cotton Sheets

The judges give this set,

sheet search 5 stars

I love the simple fretwork on this set but with a lower thread count of 275, no wrinkle free claims and a price of $229.00 this set won’t make the cut.


One Kings Lane Hamburg House Fretwork Sheet Set

The judges give this set,

sheet search 3 stars

Enter the simple hotel style sheet which arguably never goes out of style but I’m a little bored with it. This set is a 300 TC Egyptian cotton with deep pockets and embroidered lines. The price is $85 and the average customer review on Overstock is 4 stars.


Overstock Pointehaven Egyptian Cotton Percale Sheets

Although it’s a clean performance, the judges subtract for stage presence and give this set,

sheet search 4 stars

This set is a 406 TC Egyptian cotton percale which Sferra describes as having a chamois-like softness which like Restoration Hardware’s sheets are made in Italy. No wrinkle-free claims and these sheets bust the budget quickly  just with the flat sheet alone. You know what that means…


Horchow Sferra Embroidered Percale Sheets

The judges give these sheets,

sheet search 3 stars

We held a tie-breaker and the Garnet Hill sheets edged out the Peacock Alley sheets with a more soulful performance. The winner is,


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Shaken Not Stirred Print

Pinned and pinned again, this bedroom with iconic photographic print of Roger Moore downing a martini keeps popping up everywhere.

shaken print in bedroomshaken print

Get the print at OKL.

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Laney’s Big Girl Custom Bed

A twin bed was most certainly the best option for Laney’s little converted attic bedroom. With way too many “shin walls” (that’s an official term now), meaning walls that are only as high as an adult’s shin–we’re pretty short on space in here.

laney room progress

Not only did we need a twin bed but we needed a bed with added value…storage. So I looked at all the storage bed options out there like,

bed PB oxford captain

PBTeen Oxford Captain’s Bed

bed PB belden

PBKids Belden Bed

bed avery room&board

Avery, Room & Board

These beds range from $799 to $1700, the Belden being the cheapest of the three. I just couldn’t swing that so I cruised around on the internet some more in every place I could think of, Overstock, Target, unfinished furniture retailers –you name it. I came up with no real bargain.

So then I started looking at DIY plans and I found Ana White’s site that had detailed plans complete with material lists for Pottery Barn knockoffs and a lot of other great DIY furniture projects. Now don’t get all excited thinking that I was going to build this bed– that was never the intention. I printed the queen bed plan and the twin plan and had a little chat with my favorite carpenter Joseph. Joseph’s price was right and so he got to work.

bed PB knockoff

Laney’s big girl bed is a fusion between Ana’s queen and twin bed plan because I wanted drawers only on the sides, none on the ends. Because of the dimensions of the room and a small and winding staircase, Joseph had to build the bed in sections that could be bolted together once the pieces were carried upstairs in to Laney’s room. We also added casters on the bottom because if the bed is placed against the short wall an adult cannot make the bed.

To help you can get a better idea of how space challenged we are in this room, here’s me at a whopping 5’2″ standing in the room.

Sarah Laney's Room

Joseph delivered the bed recently and it looks great so far.  Laney gets a bed that’s made from solid pine not MDF and we know the bottoms of the drawers won’t fall out when we load it up with clothes and linens. Now I just need to paint it. It needs a little paint prep like puttying those nail holes and other joints and then the plan is to paint it Benjamin Moore’s Simply White which is the same as the trim color in the room.

I also still need to add a headboard and some drawer pulls and this image stays in my mind.

bed storage inspirationYou can follow the other design inspirations for Laney’s big girl room on my Pinterest board.

Images via Pinterest unless specified

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By Sconce Light

In my search for a small sconce for a tight space to put over Laney’s bed in her big girl room, I kept seeing these modern sconces sometimes paired with a slightly traditional look in the rest of the room. The introduction of the modern sconce in these rooms is one little piece of the puzzle that makes the room a little more eclectic, it gets at that magical mix that everyone is after…including me.

Looks like the same mid-century inspired fixture in these rooms,

sconce wallpaper

sconce pink2

sconce pinkHere’s what I call the eyeball fixture,

sconce gold

The lucite/acrylic bedside cart is a repeat performer as a bedside table.

sconce CostelloSara Ruffin Costello

I’m pretty sure Amber used this sconce in this little guy’s room that she designed,

sconce amber interiors

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Laney’s Big Girl Room

“After I get finished with my big girl bed, then I’m gon’ get a boy bed”

These are the types of conversations I have with my 2-year old daughter Laney about her future transition to a big girl bed. She thinks it’s fun to kid with me about wanting a “boy bed”. We are preparing to move Laney to a different room in the house but the room needs a little work before we can do that. I’ll be sharing that room tune up after we begin the work but today I wanted to share my inspiration for the room and a rough plan.

laney amber interiors

laney attic room

Laney Dunham room

laney glow room

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

laney pink stripe

laney suzani room

Laney Tarses roomimages via Pinterest

And here’s a little design board I worked up for the room,

Laney's Room

Feist / Dresser / suzani / hooks / sconce / headboard / sheets / quilt / bed / blanket / stool / fabric / rug

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Master Bedroom: Almost Complete

You might remember the master bedroom project I was helping my friends with a few months back. We took a fairly large bedroom, awkward sitting area and a messy walk-in closet and turned it all in to a true retreat complete with an open dressing area. I finally got a few moments to take some photos now that the construction crew is gone.

We are still working on decor and finish details but you get the idea of how this all shook out.

My friends and I worked on the mantel and fireplace surround together. I knew we needed a “book nook” to occupy that space to the right of the fireplace surround and they knew that they wanted glass front cabinets on the bottom of the built-ins. The sconces are Visual Comfort and the picture lights mounted above the shelves are the Merrick from Hudson Valley. We wanted to create many different levels of lighting, between the directional recessed lighting, lamps, sconces and picture lights I think we’ve got it covered. The wall color is Benjamin Moore’s Pale Smoke. It is more subtle and a bit smokier in real life.

retreat built-in

The bed is the Turner and the duvet, sheets and bolster are from Matteo. The blue quilt is just temporary until we find the right textile, my friend saw a great antique suzani textile at ABC Carpet but decided at the last minute it wasn’t the right thing.

retreat master sheets

A closer look at those beautiful custom closet doors that my carpenter Joseph made. The closet holds the bulk of the lady’s stuff. There are custom shoe racks, cubes and hanging racks galore in there.

retreat closet door

The corbels under the mantel were purchased from Pro Wood Market. My friends knew they wanted the TV to be recessed and there was a bit of a snafu in the building process but everything turned out great in the end.

retreat mantle TV

A lot of this project was centered around creating a dressing room that would be open to the bedroom and would accommodate some of his and mostly hers. This space was created out of what was a porch in the 1970s, a nursery in the 80s and then most recently a cramped TV room/junk room.

retreat dressing

retreat dressing3

retreat dressing2

I called in Quality Cabinet Company to work up the plan and make it a reality. The cabinets are shaker style, painted Benjamin Moore’s Simply White–which by the way is my new favorite trim color. The hardware was my friend’s choice and it is from Restoration Hardware.

retreat hardware

We purchased that beautiful vanity mirror from a local antiques consignor in Southern Pines called Page Furniture. We wanted to warm the space and I think the mirror helped us achieve part of that goal.

retreat vanity mirror

You can sit in this area, fold clothes on the carrera marble counter and take in all of the light that comes in through those windows.

We’re continuing to search for just the right art and some more accessories to complete the space. Overall the room turned out to be pretty fantastic. It truly is a retreat for them. When I visit I kind of wish we could hang out in there.

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Trends: Guatemalan Fabric

In the chunk of items that Sarah added to the Teot Etsy Shop, she included this Guatemalan fabric. I’m feeling a little wanty.

I get the visual appeal of exotic textiles in all my favorite girlcrush colors, I’ve had my flings with fantasies of gypsy caravanning across the nation in a camper with nothing but a Newfie. I’ve imagined myself important enough to wake up naked on the isle of Ibiza…. but being boho is more than JUST traveling the world in hemp kaftans and Tom’s shoes. It’s also about EXOTIC FABRIC THROW PILLOWS!

Mix a bunch of these vintage fabric babies among the throws on your couch. Buy the Guatamalan fabric and sew up your own. It’s easy, it’s just a square! :)



This is seriously a style that I have to approach a bit more strategically these days (ie within the confines of Pinterest). Heffe no likey hot pink & purple…. but nothing will stop me from shopping at Cost Plus’ World Market.

And oh my god…. in order to do this right, I gotta get myself a gypsy dog. Just look at him! Miss you Poll. Love you my deardeardog.

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Master Bedroom: Waiting on Cabinetry

Checking in on our friends with the master bedroom remodel that I previously posted about here. Carpentry, flooring and paint are complete and we’re waiting on all of those glorious built-ins to make the dressing room and the project complete.

Last time we checked in we were at this point with temporary mantel brackets and no paint,


And all painted, wall color is Benjamin Moore Pale Smoke and the trim is Simply White. The sconces are the Reed Double Sconce from Visual Comfort, ordered here.


The lighting that we ordered to light the bookcases was a failure–too big. So we’re back to the drawing board there and we’re considering some different options, you can follow along with the selection process on this pinboard.

Custom closet doors that my carpenter Joseph Locklear built,


And here they are ready for hardware,


The walk-in with the old boob light still hanging by a wire

Master bedroom closet before paint

New flush mount ceiling fixture is installed, fixture is from Visual Comfort. All of the custom shelving has been painted Simply White. Not being very patient the homeowner has already started loading the shelves.



We’ll check back in when the cabinets are installed in the dressing room.

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Master Bedroom: Renovation Progress

I’m helping a friend remodel their master bedroom. The regular crew and I are taking a break from the Grout Cottage and lending a hand to this transformation from ho hum bedroom to master and commander with a dressing room and super organized closet.

This is the only true before image that I have.

Embedly Powered

via Flickr

Before it was a regular bedroom with a cathedral popcorn ceiling, a walk-in closet that was packed to the gills with not only clothing but also a huge water filter, two unnecessary windows and a boob light. Another tiny early 1900s closet and an adjoining closed in porch that was being used as a small junk room rounded out this space.

First order of business was to blow out that old 1900’s tiny closet and the wall separating the bedroom from the small junk room. Here’s a list of how the rest of the demo went down:

  • Demo cathedral ceiling to reveal 11′ original ceilings
  • Demo original yellow pine flooring, made floor system structurally sound
  • Demo fireplace mantel
  • Remove water filter and strip out closet
  • Eliminate two windows in walk-in closet
  • Eliminate existing window and move higher
  • Remove old windows in junk room
  • Remove old bi-fold closet doors to walk-in
  • Remove old builder’s best brass door hardware
  • Remove & discard two ceiling fans
  • Remove baseboard and shoe molding

The space in the before image above now looks like this,


Here’s what else is happening in this room, custom closet doors


book nook,


Brand new fireplace with spot to recess the flat screen, the mantle is just up there temporarily on closet brackets. We ordered brackets from Vintage Woodworks. Sconces ordered from here to flank flat screen.


Brand new casement windows from Jeldwen flood our soon to be dressing area with sunlight,


I’m trying to get a feel for what size pendant we need in the dressing area,


Here’s a snapshot of the inside of the walk-in closet, you can still see the old boob light hanging on,


Larger view of sleeping area,


Flooring is scheduled to arrive late this week, my friends selected hand scraped, hard as nails Hickory. We are in deep on paint color selection so stay tuned for that.





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Sarah’s Picks for Houzz: Masculine Bedroom

So it appears that my recent Ideabook for Houzz for a masculine bedroom spot generated more opinion and comments than I would’ve guessed. People are pretty opinionated about some of my picks. Check it out and tell me what you think.

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Coming to a Pinboard Near You

Not so long ago I happened on the Etsy shop belonging to Gypsa.

I’m immediately impressed by the look and then equally impressed by the variety and to round out the range of emotions– shocked at the affordable price tag on such lovelies.

I’m thinking which quilt would look best on my own bed? Could I pair those shams with the linen duvet I already have.

For gypsies and mix masters of style everywhere,

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Assembling a Master Bedroom for

Check out the latest ideabook over at, where Sarah pulls together a list of must-haves to create a soothing space in your Master Bedroom.

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I’m thinking side by side photographs is just the right thing for over my bed.

Now I’m a bit embarrassed to show you this because I need a new everything here…but this is the spot. You’re thinking yeah that room needs something and its not just art–that’s what I’d be mumbling to my computer screen right now if I was you.

This is what got me on the right track,

design by Hillary Thomas & Jeff Lincoln via House of Turquoise

I was reminded of the pair over the Ruffalo’s bed in Domino,

and then my mind quickly shifted to these prints,

Jennifer Squires Productions


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