Friday, October 26, 2012

Bedroom Remodel and Friendship

Me and my closest friend
One of the kindest things somebody has done for me was to help me remodel my bedroom. My bedroom, to say the least, was a mess. I once heard a decorator say that most people never do their bedroom - it's the place with all the leftover furniture, and a space where you throw all that old junk you don't know what to do with when you are picking up the house.

Mine was like that, only at some point years ago, I got it in my head that I should paint an "accent wall" a dark raisin color. Let's just say, it made a dark room even darker and there is a reason I didn't go into interior design. But I lived with it,  as a bedroom isn't a priority - nobody sees it.

Then, my oldest and dearest friend proposed a visit to see me, but not just any visit. She, who has electrical, construction, carpentry and design skills, was going to do a room makeover on that room.  She acknowledges what is hard to say: I likely will die in that room, and she wanted it to be a peaceful space for me.  And, she said she could do it in three days.

I wanted to see her and I really doubted we'd get any work done as it has been about a decade since we've managed to fly to each other's city, and there was a lot to catch up on in the short time I'm awake.   But it was fun to plan and dream. I set up a pinterest board with the style I wanted - Hollywood Glam. Because the room is so dark, I wanted to add lots of light and sparkle with mirrored furnishings, sheen on the bed, and crystal accents. And, because my husband's favorite color is purple, I decided that it would be the accent color. After all, he's going to have to live with it a lot longer than I will.

My friend came out and to my surprise - we worked! Actually, she and my oldest son and husband did most of the work, but I still managed to paint some trim. So, here are photos (testing the new panarama feature of the iPhone)  of the before and after on the bedroom.

Ugly raisin red colored back wall, fake brass bedrailing, red and gold colored bedding- some clutter is because we were moving things out and putting boxes in before the remodel, but also - it was cluttered.  

After.  gorgeous silver and mirrored furniture, bedding with plum, we spraypainted the headboard silver.!

Look at the panels she did on the wall, with wall paper that I painted purple.  The chair was a later find and now there are two of them, which is a story unto itself.  We spray painted an old chest of my husbands's and she put that fabric on it.

What you can't see is the crystal light fixture above the bed. It is just drops of crystal and she put it on a dimmer switch. At night, we leave it on the lowest setting and I look up and see beautiful firework colors. During the day, it throws light around in rainbows, just the way I'd hoped.

Because we were so successful, my friend found her passion. She is going to start a non-profit, fixing up rooms for the terminally ill. She will need to get materials and companies on board with her (I paid for the materials myself but she wants to do this for people for free or minimal costs), and I think it's a fantastic idea. (Her initial website is  I find such beauty and peace every time I go in there.  It's clean and calm and pretty.  As soon as the non-profit is in place, I'll include it in my links of charities to give to.

In the meantime, I have the bedroom of my dreams, to match the friend of my life.


  1. That's my kind of friend. What a GREAT thing to do and a great idea to take it further. You've officially had your feng shui'd, Ann. And don't you feel better now? If only we could obliterate cancer with a little paint & elbow grease...

  2. AWESOME, and her idea for a non-profit is fabulous

  3. Nice long room, so you are able to have some "areas" of interest, and not just the bed as focal point. Looks like there is plenty of room for a walker, should you need that. Do you have a CD player/ipod in there?

    The softening of the colors and fabrics really changed the feel. Having a lot of outdoor light is also great. This lovely change should do a lot for your mood as winter sets in!

  4. The room looks great, and what an amazing friend!

  5. There isn't a lot of light but changing the paint and putting in reflective things did a world of good. It looks airy now and it was heavy and dreary before. I wish I had the talent and energy to do things like this - I told her next time, she needs to do my guest room! :)

  6. WOW! Your friend is awesome, and the room looks lovely. It is a reminder that our bedrooms should be a haven.

  7. Dear Ms. Silberman,
    It is unfortunate that your valuable message in the Sacramento Bee today in the second half of your editorial, was misleading at best in the first half of your editorial. It is true we have made little progress in treating stage 4 breast cancer, and about 40,000 women will die from breast cancer this year. It is also true that screening for breast cancer with mammography will save lives, and that only about 60% of women in California are getting regular mammograms. Your statement, "Catching breast cancer early does nothing to stop it from progressing to stage 4, the deadly stage" is not true. Treating preinvasive breast cancer and early breast cancer that is confined to the breast will prevent most deaths by treating it before it spreads and becomes incurable. I am sorry you have recurrent and metastatic breast cancer. It is also sad, however, that in one editorial you do a service to
    people that need bone marrow transplants and a disservice to ongoing efforts to decrease the number of women who will die from breast cancer. Unfortunately, I believe the angry first half of your editorial which is damaging to women will be remembered more than your valuable message on bone marrow donation. In my opinion, and the opinion of many cancer researchers, which you may not want to hear, is that the majority of world health efforts, money and research, not just in breast cancer, but in all cancer, should be focused on prevention and early detection. It is unlikely in the near future we are going to significantly decrease the rate of cancer mortality world wide if we focus our efforts on treating late stage disease. Just like in infectious disease our greatest success has been in prevention with immunizations.
    I wish you the best and hope your treatments are successful.
    Dan Herron, M.D.
    Fair Oaks, CA

  8. Dr. Herron, this conversation should be had under a different heading; the one where I posted the Bee editorial. If you read and respond, let's do it there - unfortunately, I cannot move comments.

    But, perhaps you can explain to me why approximately 30% of early stage women - women who caught their cancers early, who did their treatment, whether it be mastectomy or lumpectomy and rads, and often chemo, discover sometimes years later that they have had a recurrence of their cancer? If catching cancer early always helped to control it, I and many of my sisters would be cured now, right? But, we are not.

    I didn't say women should not be treated but rather, that the treatment doesn't always lead to a cure. Why is that?

    What is the reason these 60% of women (if true) do not get their mammograms? I imagine many just don't feel like doing so. Some may not have insurance and don't want to take the time to find the places they can go for free. Some are too busy. The one thing I don't believe is women lack the knowledge that they are supposed to get a mammogram. They don't for a myriad of reasons: time, fear of pain, magical thinking (won't get me), time constraints, "don't wanna-itis", but certainly not because they are unaware of breast cancer. I don't buy it. Awareness, as I said in the article, has been achieved. I worked in an elementary/middle and high school level - there isn't a kid who doesn't know about breast cancer.

    I think we should focus our efforts on research. Find out why DCIS becomes invasive in some and not in others. Why some cancers spread and some don't. Why some respond to treatment and others don't. Sure, focus on early stage, that's fine with me. I know my days are numbered - I would like my daughter to have a long life.

    I just think this silly pink party called "awareness" with money being funneled back into other pink parties and literature about more pink parties should instead go to YOU, the researcher who is actually going to solve the problem of cancer. Whether it be with a vaccine or prevention, that's fine with me. Awareness hasn't saved one woman. That woman with Stage 1 and no nodes? Five years from now, she could find it in her liver. It happened to me.

    So, let's figure out how to stop that from happening. I'm with you there.

    But, the point was really that there is one certain thing we can do right now, today, to save a life. And that is get on the marrow registry. I suspect a big turnout for Kurt tomorrow - I hope to see you there.

  9. What a lovely friend you have! And her idea for a non-profit doing the same thing is inspired! I'll be visiting her website soon. I hope you'll be enjoying your new bedroom for a long, long time.

  10. Ann, What a great post. No, what a great friend! Things turned out beautifully. Enjoy your new bedroom!

    And what's up with the doc's comment above? As you said, it's really misplaced here on this post...

  11. What a beautiful room, and done with such love! Your friend and your family (and you!) did a great job. Enjoy that room.


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