As promised from last week, this week’s post shows the bedroom from beginning to current state along with that earth-shattering Craigslist score I mentioned.

Before getting to the good stuff, it is always good to start at the very beginning no matter how unsightly or chaotic it is. That way the journey can be recognized and the destination (or in my case, a stop along the way to the final destination) can be appreciated fully for how far it has come. That said, let’s get the ugly out of the way.

Here is what the master bedroom looked like before we moved in. Notice it is painted the same greige as the rest of the house. Ugg.

Then we moved into the house in one chaotic swoop. No dressers yet so we were living out of boxes…

…and garbage bags. This is the dark part of the history of this room. The organizer in me feels a little sick looking at these photos…but like I said, “It’s important to show the journey so we appreciate the final destination.” Quick, scroll down farther!

This next part is still not too pretty since a) I was hastily taking the photos and they didn’t turn out well and b) there is still no design or color to the room. This bedroom is about twice the size of our last one and we were so excited to get a queen size bed! We had been sleeping on a full that was scrunched up against a wall and it was a little too close for comfort! Anyway our new bedroom had room for a bigger bed! And nightstands on either side! And even dressers…plural! Amazing huh? Plus there was a closet! Love at first sight!

Ok, maybe not love at first sight, but love at the potential for greatness. At least it doesn’t look like a storage closet now…

Thanks to my previous Craigslist furniture scores we at least had some clothes storage that looked pretty cool, even if it wasn’t a cohesive look for the room. Lets also examine how ugly the window treatments are:

I don’t even want to guess what kind of curtains were hanging from these ghastly rods that look like something from the 1980s. Not what I would choose for a 1962 retro ranch.

Once I had time to fix the room up a bit, the first thing I did was take down the 80s curtain rods. The vertical blinds had to stay (until one suffered an untimely death prior to our new window installation) until we could figure out something else to cover the windows. Then I banished the greige. Sticking with the same type of paint from Sherwin Williams that I have used for the rest of the house, I chose my new color, papaya. Incidently, I had advised my mother to paint the bathroom in her new house papaya about 6 months prior to choosing it for my bedroom. It looks great in her bath, paired with turquoise and has a totally different look than at the Retro Ranch Revamp, where it is paired with yellows, corals and warm wood tones. Just goes to show you the versatility of color!

So back to the painting. Days before starting to paint, I found a posting on Craigslist. It was my dream posting! A Broyhill Brasilia bedroom set including: queen headboard, foot board and bed rails, a long, low dresser with attached matching mirror and a nightstand! It was located about an hour south of Milwaukee. The lady selling it also had a mattress and box spring that were like new, but since I already had mine (and I’m not a fan of buying used mattresses) I needed to coax her into selling it to me without the mattress and box spring. She wanted $800 for the set. I asked her how much for the set minus the mattress/box spring. Expecting to hear number only slightly lower than $800, I held my breath and waited for her return email. She came back at $275. HOLY CRAP. She must value the mattress more than the bedroom set! Yay!

I emailed her back saying, yes I will take it, when can I come pick it up? We set up a time (that was also ok with my friend Jacob who has a truck-same truck that pulled out our shrubs!) and it was all systems go. I was so excited I skipped around  the house for days. The day before we were all set to go pick it up, I got an email saying someone else was going to buy the whole set for the asking price. I was crushed. I replied to her email and expressed my sadness, but also my understanding and reminded her if things didn’t work out with this person (hey, it happens on Craigslist) that I am still interested and would be able to come get it.

I moped. I cried. I wailed and frowned. Jim tried his best to help me look on the bright side. Then the best thing ever happened. I got an email saying the woman who came to buy the set full price tried to low ball her at the 11th hour, was rude and complained of imperfections in the dresser and night stand. What kind of person buying furniture that has been in use since 1960 complains about minor imperfections! Sheesh people! These are not brand new! Anyway the seller was mad and didn’t want to deal with anyone anymore. I begged and pleaded with her to trust me, that I would buy it as is and love it for ever and ever and show up when promised and pay what was promised. We went back and forth for weeks trying to figure out a good time that worked for her friends (she was in Denver, CO so she had to have friends go over to the house and let people in) and for my friend Jacob (it was fishing season and he didn’t have a lot of spare time to drive an hour to pick up heavy furniture) and me until finally weeks after our initial agreement we had a date and time set. Long story short, we found the house, realized the furniture was on the 2nd floor with a crazy staircase (holy dresser down those stairs????), found out the friend of the seller worked as a mover, he and Jacob wrestled the furniture down the scary stairway and loaded it in the truck, I gave the mover/friend some $$ for his trouble, Jacob got a full tank of gas, dinner and beer, we lost the moving blanket somewhere on I-94 and we made it home! I spent the next day polishing, arranging and smiling.

On to the pictures!

Isn’t the dresser gorgeous?????

Aww…the long dresser and the highboy are friends already! It’s as if they were born from the same set!

And the nightstand!

Sadly, the nightstand is still waiting for his twin to join the furniture family. I have been looking for months and still nothing. Sigh.

I need to switch out the box spring with a “bunky board” so that the overall height of the mattress is lower. That way you will be able to see the headboard and the bed won’t be so dang high. (though I think Jim likes it)

Then of course there is this awesome retro chair.

I actually have two of these. This is the one with the lower back. The other one looks identical except the back of the chair is about 6 inches higher.

Its a great place to sit and put shoes on (since the bed is up so high). I got these from my parent’s friends, who I promised to make a painting for per the terms of the trade. This deal was made approx. 2 years ago. Rosie and Kent, I have not forgotten that I owe you a painting! I have been painting a lot this winter, but I have yet to finish anything that may be a suitable trade. (I’m guessing they don’t want a portrait of my dog).

There is also a huge closet with built in organizers already installed! Yay! I will show you Jim’s side because my side is, errr, full of shoes and looks quite messy at the moment. Closet organization will have to be another post.

Can you see that in the left of the photo? It’s a little bookshelf!

I got this cute little guy on ebay a while back (think he was $45 delivered). It is perfect for Jim’s huge collection of pre-bed reading material (mine is in my brasilia end table).

Then I saw this guy. I told him to wait in the hall since I was taking photographs and it really was okay if he wasn’t in every single one. Look how sad he looks! I bet he is thinking “Are you done yet? We should go for a walk!”

Sorry Leo, I have one more thing to add to this post.

The original light fixture was happily left in this room!

It’s pretty cool and very 1960, but there is one thing I am not crazy about:

That metallic band around the outside of the light that must have split at some point and is now being held on with clear tape. Umm…not a fan of that look. I simply peeled that part off and I think it looks pretty good without it!

See the middle of the light? When you turn the light on, those little holes allow light through and it is very cool!

I used this detail to help me choose the lamps for the nightstands…remember them?

and here is the lamp when it is turned on:

Same kind of feeling, huh? I scored these two lamps at IKEA. It’s a TALLVIK table lamp in Nickel Plated, and was only $24.99. They also have one that comes in a coppery color that I like. In fact, it comes in quite a few colors.

What would I do without IKEA? They have some great mid-century type stuff for a fraction of what it would cost somewhere else.

I will leave you now (so I can take my dog on a walk) with a look into the bathroom, which will be explored in a future post. Until then, happy revamping!



  1. Hi, I am the one you talked to who used to live in Mequon, now in Texas, but moving back to Wisconsin.
    Your bedroom looks fantastic. The furniture was worth the wait. Good job.

  2. KATE! You are a Craiglist goddess! I can’t believe you found the set to match your other pieces. That is crazy. It looks really really nice! I will let you know if I ever find a matching night stand in Pittsburgh and that will give me even more of an excuse to come visit! 🙂 I like the wall color, and the painting and your wedding pic! Is that a pic of you and Phil at the senior opening on your night stand….

    • Haha Thanks Nicole! I would LOVE if you could keep an eye out for the nightstand. It is a Broyhill Brasilia “commode” at least I believe that’s what they call the piece. If ever I see one on the Pittsburgh Craigslist I will email you pronto! (sometimes I check other cities where I know people just incase I find something that they can get for me-though I usually only check the Nashville or Chicago Craigslist because then my parents or in-laws would be the one doing the legwork) They are hard to find….unless you look on ebay but then they are like $400!!! That would be a GREAT excuse to come visit, though you know you don’t need an excuse…you are welcome any time. The pic on my nightstand is from the senior show, but it is my dad and I, not Phil! That would be a little creepy keeping a picture of you and your professor on your nightstand! hehehe. I guess my dad and Phil have the same taste in fashion though…. 🙂

  3. Pingback: HOUSE TOUR – MASTER BEDROOM AND BATHROOM « Retroranchrevamp's Blog

  4. Hi, are you still looking for a broyhill nightstand commode? I am the original owner, have always loved my bedroom furniture and am now thinking about selling it. Judi

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s