Tuesday Get an (Eco) Peek

I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world. ~George Washington

So now y’all have seen our bathroom, our kitchen, and our garden and how we try to live green in all those areas of our home. Now we’ll get personal and show you where the magic happens! Okay get your minds out of the gutter, we’re just showing you our ec0-bedroom and how we have incorporated sustainability into where we spend 1/3 of our lives and the closet that holds our favorite duds πŸ™‚


Our pride and joy is, yep, this beautiful bed. Last year we upgraded from queen to king, which is beyond rad. Yes, it’s awesome. Yes, it takes up the whole room. And no, we don’t care. The ability to roll over and not fall off the bed? Priceless. The fact that our prior comfy bed is now the world’s greatest guest bed? Awesome. Here’s the details of our bed:

  • This beast we ordered from Crate & Barrel is made from sustainably-grown mango wood, and is solid throughout – it can hold up to 800 lbs, y’all, so bring on those kiddos! It was pricey, but we consider it an investment piece that will last for decades, as the old frame we had from Overstock.com? Well let’s just say you get what you pay for. And while this was spendy for us, we were bowled over at how freakin’ MORE expensive most eco-friendly king beds were – I’m talking double and triple what we paid for. While we could have gone more eco and bought second-hand, honestly this is one thing I want to be the first owner of – that’s just my own thing πŸ™‚
  • The Nature’s Spa mattress is a godsend and is even more eco, made in the USA from non-toxic natural latex, organic wool and cotton, silk, and Pennsylvania Amish wood, sold to us by the super sustainability focused local guys at the Mattress Lot. We have discovered that our 40-something selves want nothing to do with anything even slightly resembling soft, and really did our homework this time, doing what they advise and actually laying on one mattress for 15 minutes to let our bodies really get used to it. This one was the firmest one of the line and yet, after laying on it for a while, we knew it was the one. Nowadays, I can’t imagine anything softer – this one we still feel like we sink into – yet have the back support we need, yay!
  • The funniest part was buying this bed was of course realizing, “oh crap, we need to buy new sheets!” Well, my philosophy is that you buy one high quality item rather than two so-so items, so that translates to, yes, “we own one set of sheets”. Taking advantage of their promo to sign up on their mailing list and get 15% off our first purchase (and free shipping), we went online to Coyuchi and bought the most delicious organic cotton jersey knit sheets. They’re SO nice…like buttah. Of course with summer just around the corner eventually I’m going to need to get a second set of sheets that are better for warm weather sleeping, but I’m going to hold out as long as possible πŸ™‚



Everything else in the bedroom is pretty simple, with no furniture beyond our steel drum end tables that are also from Crate & Barrel (killer deal – floor models on clearance – best way ever to get great furniture for a tiny price!), and were what I once used in the living room for years.

Our curtains were a big deal for me to buy, as I’m a cheap bastard when it comes to these things and for real I’d had the same Cost Plus curtains since college on the windows here. So buying new curtains was definitely outside of my comfort zone, to put it mildly. I’m not a throw pillow – window ‘treatment’ type of person, not even close, y’all. And I’ll say, the curtain rods? They’re still the ones from college because, hey, they still look just fine so why not. I can’t say these are terribly eco, as they are actually faux linen and quite inexpensive, coming from big box hell -i.e., Bed, Bath and Beyond. But I think they look kinda awesome in our minimalist bedroom and husband agrees. Behind them are blackout roller shades from Ikea that usually work but totally freak us out when they don’t – i.e., they will randomly roll all the way up in the middle of the night, scaring the crap out of us.

Our hardwood floors came with the house, fortunately, and are in great shape. I had them refinished and stained a darker shade when I first arrived and am SO glad I had that done before moving in any furniture!

The walls are painted in zero-VOC paint from local paint company Miller’s Acro-Pure line, in “Iron Horse” – love this color SO much!! Such a nice soothing neutral to wake up to – especially considering at move-in every room minus the kitchen was light yellow. Bleah! When it comes to painting by the way, I outsource that – I am really good at taping, but the detail work that comes to getting a room to look perfectly painted? Not something that I’ve ever perfected – I get distracted or in a hurry and it’s quite unsightly. And there’s ALWAYS someone out there who you can pay $20/hr who’ll do a good job (think starving musician…). Fortunately, husband is GREAT at this kinda stuff and even painted all the white trim when he came to visit before we were married!

Food for thought, y’all: keep a Google doc where you can, as soon as you paint a room, write down what brand, color, and finish the paint is. Invaluable years later when you want to touch up or simply mimic that color elsewhere. I also do this every time I plant something in the garden as I don’t like tags everywhere and I forget 10 minutes later what the darn thing is half the time! πŸ™‚

Our art? Always photographs in the bedroom. It’s a personal space, ya know?

In the first photo that shows our bed, we have an entire wall of black and white photographs of us. We love waking up in the morning and lying there talking about the memories behind the pictures, from when we first met in Melbourne to his first trip here to Portland to our vacations in both countries, along with our most recent adventure in Paris. It always calms me to sit in there and look at them πŸ™‚ Above the bed I had a photograph I took at the Oregon coast blown up to 16×20 by Shutterfly – SO inexpensive and a great place to store photos. The photo series in the above picture are from a self-portrait series I did of myself back in the mid 1990’s. Yep, that’s moi.

  • Side note: so yeah, at one point in my life I had abs that were close to six-pack statusΒ  and allowed me to wear low rise, high cut shorts with zero thigh rub and zero cellulite (something about working out 5 days a week at the gym and doing weights and not having a car…go figure, LOL). Note to my female readers in their 20’s who are rockin’ single digit sizes: do yourself a favor and have someone with a good photographic eye take black and white photos of you, go as far as tasteful nudes if you’re brave enough (I wasn’t so I did this series, so glad I did). You will NEVER regret having these later to look back on – even if you think your body is imperfect now, trust me, in 15-20 years you will crave that past body.

The Closet!

My very first order of business when I bought my house 10 years ago, after buying a refrigerator, was to take advantage of this weird hole in the bedroom that called out “walk in closet…walk in closet…walk in closet…” to me. What appears to have happened is there was one small, narrow, crappy bedroom closet that was butted up against a coat closet in the entryway of our home, and at some point, someone tore down the wall. When I bought the house, there were basically a few shitty racks literally TAPED to the wall. So I started getting bids. I nearly choked when California Closets wanted $1,700 to put two shelves and a clothes rack in. Really, fuckers? Yes, ripoffs like that bring out the pottymouth in me. Fortunately, I found a great company, Closet & Storage Concepts, who worked with me to create this awesome closet, with multiple sections for clothes (including two on the left size at different heights, one for dresses and the other for coats), plenty of shelves for shoes, and oh yeah, a built in dresser. Freakin’ dreamy, y’all.

And just over a thousand bucks for the whole thing. My bulky dresser was donated immediately to Goodwill and life became much, much more organized from that moment on. If it gets crowded, that means it’s time to give something away. Currently the thoughts are being mulled over in my head about a couple of pairs of heels that are damn sexy and in damn good shape…yet, sadly, damn dusty from never being worn!

We also happen to have a window in the closet. Why? No clue. So because it faces right across to the neighbor’s kitchen window AND the streetlight outside perfectly points through the window into my eyes as I lay in bed, I had to get a little curtain set from Freddy’s to keep that dark at night. Oy. But with my horticulture-y husband adding actual living plants to inside the house (I am not known for my indoor green thumb skills whatsoever), I now am getting this sudden obligation to ensure there are living things in pots in every room! Whoa. So yep, for this sunny spot it meant cactus and sedum πŸ™‚

Finally, with all this space we’ve got room right in here for our suitcases. Well, we do have one ‘beast’ suitcase in the basement leftover from Dan’s move to America (got it for $5 at the Op Shop in St Kilda…the best way I swear to do it if you’re doing a one-way move!), but otherwise for little weekends we’ve each got our own little vintage suitcases. This one I got at an antique shop decades ago and all of the stickers except for the obviously bright “France” one on it are original. It’s stayed in great shape and while I’d never put it in checked bags (one too many 20/20 stories about how they treat suitcases), it’s great for carry-on and quick escapes to the beach πŸ™‚

Next Up?

Well, not too many spaces to go in our little urban homestead! Next week I will show you what us eco-folks do with our basement, and the following week we’ll finish up in the living and dining rooms! I’d have shown you the latter already but husband and I have been working on our bookshelf project that we mentioned last month, and are almost done, but in the meantime all of our beloved books have been stacked up in the dining room with painters tape on the wall in our living room where the shelves will go! Husband has sanded them and we’ve shared in staining them so now we just need to figure out brackets…homemade from repurposed materials, or storebought…? We shall see.

Until then, have a great week y’all!



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