Last Updated on October 21, 2020 by Stacy Averette

We find ourselves in strange times. Routines, schedules, to-do lists, and appointments are almost a distant memory for most of us. Though we as “mental health providers” are technically considered “essential” during the COVID-19 quarantine, we have opted to work from home out of respect and concern for the health and safety of our clients and ourselves. Some are taking advantage of counseling and coaching by phone, while others have preferred to wait until this over and resume face-to-face time.

We are thankful to be able to help in the way God has gifted us.

We are thankful for the technology and resources that allow us to work for a few hours each day.

But we are still left to decide what to do for the rest of the time. Our latest project is our bedroom. This is no HGTV-worthy-before-and-after-project. I’m happy to say it is simple and budget-friendly.

the sweetness of doing nothing

Master Bedroom Refresh

For as long as I can remember, our master bedroom has been the most neglected room in the house. Perhaps because we are usually the only ones who see it. I’ve worked at it here and there but never quite finish it. I wouldn’t call it “finished” now—-the walls need a fresh coat of paint and old carpet needs to be replaced but those are “someday” projects that can wait.

Our home is a seventies ranch style and we love it dearly but our master bedroom is quite small. In addition to being small, it’s not laid out very well. Also, the poor lighting plus old cell phone camera equals grainy photos. Sorry.

On the south-facing wall, there is the door coming from the hallway plus the small walk-in closet door (louvered doors) so this leaves very little space for furniture. We have a chest of drawers and a large vintage mirror on this wall.

On the east-facing wall, there is a window that sends morning sunlight streaming through! After much deliberation, our bed is most suited for this spot. Thrifted finds and DIY projects create a “headboard”. My old Royal typewriter takes center stage on the vintage dresser.

(The dresser and chest of drawers belonged to my husband’s parents. I use the dresser and he uses the chest of drawers. One day he said, “You know mama used the dresser and daddy used the chest of drawers just like we do.” I love that he shared that memory. Isn’t life sweet?)

drop cloth curtains; the sweetness of doing nothing

On the north-facing wall, there is another window that overlooks our pretty backyard. We have a great view of a Dogwood tree and a 200-year-old Tulip Poplar. Placing the bed under the window would be an optional space for our queen size bed except for the vent on the floor directly under the window. I’ve considered placing the bed there anyway and covering the vent but according to my internet research, it’s not a good idea.

drop cloth curtains; the sweetness of doing nothing

The framed dried flower prints next to the tall mirror have been sitting in my thrift stash waiting for the perfect spot. I know what colors and textures I like so when I spot something at a thrift store or yard sale at a good price, I buy it,  confident I’ll find a home for it.  Finally, these found a home.

On the west-facing wall is the door to the bathroom. Even though the room is small we’ve always had two chairs in here. (These were given to me recently by my dear friend, Sarah. I think of her every time I sit here.) Having a place to retreat became a priority for us years ago when our home was filled with teenagers. This is our Dolce far niente—the sweetness of doing nothing—spot. You do know that to do nothing is sometimes the best thing one can do?

The Dolce far Niente wall decal is a good reminder and a thrifted, broken clock tells time to stand still while we’re here.

Eric and I love to wear hats and we have quite a collection of new and vintage fedora style hats. Three for him and three for me hanging on each side of the clock feels orderly and balanced. Waking up to this view every morning makes me smile. “Can I take a hat off the wall and wear it?” he asks. Of course!

Even now that our home is quiet—we’re almost empty nesters—we still retreat here every night about the same time to talk, read, watch a movie, or listen to music before bed.

These days “the sweetness of doing nothing” sometimes feels like the sweetness of having nothing to do. I’m not complaining though. Our life was already quite simple and slower than the average pace of most but being ordered to stay-at-home has slowed even our slower pace.

Drop Cloth Curtains

My resolve to declutter this year is timely. I’ve made lots of progress. The stack of drop cloths I used as a backdrop at Maddie’s beautiful wedding reception last November were put to good use as “new” bedroom curtains. They’re simple and lovely.

drop cloth curtains; the sweetness of doing nothing

I had three extra-large ones so after a wash to remove the lint they hold and to soften them a bit, I laid each of them in the living room floor, folded it in half and cut, resulting in 6 imperfect curtain panels.

I hemmed the raw edge using my mother’s sewing machine. (I thought about her while I stitched the straight hem. She taught me how to live simply, make do with what I have, and be content. No doubt she’d learned this from her mother. I tried to teach my children the same important lessons.)

Two sets of dropcloth panels were used in the bedroom and the third set will go on the bathroom window, this week hopefully.

The new curtains nicely frame the old windows that need cleaning. One day we hope to upgrade and replace all the windows in our home, but today we are thankful—-thankful for a home, for sunshine, for the blessing of leftover materials and the satisfaction of knowing how to make-do.

2 thoughts on “The Sweetness of Doing Nothing”

  1. I think you bedroom is super charming. I love all the personal touches you have added, and that picture above your bed is dreamy!

    1. Thank you, Kim. The picture above the bed was a gift from my husband years ago. He said it reminded him of us in my favorite city–New Orleans!

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