s a child growing up in Ukraine, I always slept on a convertible sofa bed. Every night, our children’s room went into the night mode when we click-clacked our couch into horizontal position and put pillows and blankets on it. Every morning, away went the linens and the bed became a couch again. A couple of mattresses and box springs were my family’s first purchases for our empty apartment in Brooklyn when we came to the US. They were nestled in the obligatory metal bed frames, no headboard, no footboard.
When I moved to North Carolina, I spent $600 of my meager grad-student stipend to buy a new mattress, box spring and, you guessed it, metal bed frame. Finally, when Mike and I moved to Massachusetts almost three years ago, we moved our combined grad-student-style stuff, mattresses and bed frames in tow.
A week ago, we got four heavy boxes delivered to our doorstep and spent an evening putting together this bed:
We got it on big sale for just under $360 with free shipping! Here’s how it looks in our room:
Our bedroom is gigantic (we think) and doesn’t quite feel warm or cozy. The poster bed helps balance out the room a little bit, but still feels a little cold and hotel-like. So, I am thinking about adding a canopy, either covering only the top or curtain-style. Here are some canopy bed ideas that inspire me…
My dilemma is this: the bed is black, the walls of our bedroom are sky-blue (partially contributing to the cold feeling), the curtains and the dresser are brown, and for a while now I was planning on putting up a burnt-orange blanket on the wall at the head of the bed. What colors should I use for the canopy fabric? I guess I can treat the black of the bed as a neutral and match the canopy color to the rest of the room’s colors.
By Oklahoma Farm Girl via Flickr
n my childhood home, spring cleaning was usually finished in time for Easter. Well, I am almost a month late with spring cleaning our apartment. Our window films (transparent insulation film that we put over our windows for the winter) have been to blame – anyone who lives in our neck of the woods will tell you that March and April here are fickle and you can expect a couple of freezing nights and chilly days to warrant keeping the window films on a little longer. At this point, be that as it may, I am washing windows and tackling other spring cleaning projects to make us breathe easier.
While there are no tutorials and how-to’s in this post, in the spirit of renewing things, I thought I’d share a couple of natural cleaning product recipes that I am using in this momentous undertaking. Plus, sharing my spring cleaning process with you might (just might) help me stay on track and finish all of it within reasonable time!
Washing the shower curtains:
Our shower curtain liners get quite grimy here – some sort of rust sediment from old pipes and salts in the water. So instead of replacing the liners, I learned that it is possible to wash them in the washing machine – who knew! Here’s how I did it:
- In the washing machine, dissolve a cup of detergent, a cup of white vinegar, and a cup of baking soda in warm water. Let the machine fill with cold water to the brim.
- Add a couple of old terrycloth towels – they will act like scrubbers for the curtain liners.
- Put the liners in and let the machine finish the cycle.
- With the liners and towels still in, set the machine to rinse cycle and add a cup of bleach.
- Let the liners dry over the tub, back on the curtain rods – do not dry in the dryer.
Cleaning the cast iron tub:
Our old apartment has a cast iron clawfoot tub that is wonderfully deep and big for a long soak. The tub is also old and has dents and scratches here and there, so I can’t even think of making it perfectly clean. However, here is a recipe I found to be effective at making the tub look reasonably good:
- Start by thoroughly scrubbing the tub with a brush.
- Sprinkle the bottom of the tub with baking soda.
- Now, add a small amount of white vinegar to the baking soda. The resulting bubbles will deep-clean the tub. Before this step, open windows and doors and make sure that the area is well ventilated, because the smell of vinegar in large quantities can be quite offensive.
- Scrub with a brush some more, rinse thoroughly with water, and dry the tub to prevent water stains from reappearing.
These are NOT the pictures of our bathroom! Just some inspiration to get the creative juices flowing:
By StyleMakerTV via Flickr
By xJavierx via Flickr
Next up, washing the windows. What are your spring cleaning recipes? And what keeps you motivated?