It’s a chilly and dreary day here in Charlotte – I LOVE IT.  After weeks of 90+ degree weather, this sub-70 day is welcomed with open arms.


Breakfast on my very cool patio:


A yogurt mess bowl, which contained:


  • 1/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup granola
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 cup Stonyfield Farm Oikos yogurt <—an awesome Healthy Living Summit sponsor.
  • Drizzle of honey
  • Sliced pear



Design and Decorating, Part III


My goal to get 8 hours of sleep and wake up at 6 AM was an epic fail (I’m desperately trying to get back on a normal schedule).  Instead, I went to bed at 10:30 (already half an hour in the hole) and stayed up for an hour and a half, staring at the ceiling.  This was despite the fact that I was exhausted and DESEPERATELY wanted to fall asleep.


At least my bedroom isn’t the problem.  It’s cozy, it’s relaxing, and I’m almost done decorating.  Here it is!


We bought a very low, dark wood bed from West Elm (the “Terra” style).  I really love the low bed.  It makes rolling in and out so much easier.  :)  I wanted to create contrast between the dark furniture, so I opted for a natural pin-tuck duvet with matching shams and pillows.  Not wanting to get too matchy-matchy, we also have two white pillows and white sheets. 


That’s an IKEA painting above the bed!


I love the simple accent pillows (all bedding is also from West Elm).  I think mixing different textures (one is linen and the other is smooth) and sizes is important.


The bed is my favorite part of the room, but I also love these twig and glass side tables (West Elm) with small paper lanterns.  The twig sidetables are a departure from the clean lines of the bed and dresser, but I think that the room needed something different to keep it from getting too boring.  These table look so organic – like I walked into a forest and chopped it down myself… love them.


Opposite of the bed is a 6-drawer dresser, which we got on discount from West Elm because it was a floor model (always ask about this!).  I love the asymmetrical drawers.  I think the top of the dresser is a little cluttered, though.


And the thing that really finished the room was lush, floor-length curtains from Target.  All of the curtains in our house (so far) are from Target – they are super affordable. 


The curtain below is actually a trick: There is a skinny, ill-positioned window on the wall.  The fact that the window wasn’t centered drove me crazy, so I got a long curtain rod + two curtains and made the window appear bigger than it really was.  Problem solved.


The only thing the bedroom is missing is a soft, squishy rug.  Since I basically gave West Elm my first born child, we’ll be getting “West Elm bucks” back in the mail soon, and I plan to use them to partially finance a rug.  I’m loving this sweater rug, but I’m not committed yet:

Sweater Rug

Missed the other Design and Decorating Posts?



Is your bedroom a sanctuary or does it leave something to be desired?  How would you change it if you could?



  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs August 1, 2010, 8:59 am

    I LOVE that room!! The colours and the furniture and general style are 100% up my street 🙂 My bedroom is almost a sanctury…except it’s not! Only the walls look good lol the rest is wful..
    It’s cold and crap here too – perfect for a 12mile run 😀

  • Jess @ Fit Chick in the City August 1, 2010, 9:13 am

    Love your bedroom! I would double my bedroom in size if possible. Our bedroom is so tiny the Husband and I have to skoot around our queen size bed.

  • Heather (heather's dish) August 1, 2010, 9:22 am

    if i could change our bedroom i would paint it, get new bedding, new curtains, and (if we’re in dreamworld here) make it bigger so that our furniture would fit better 🙂 yours is beautiful!

  • HTP Dad August 1, 2010, 9:23 am

    Everything looks great! I can’t wait to come visit!

    Tips from an experienced insomniac – if you’re awake after 30 minutes, get up for a while; unless you KNOW reading or TV will put you to sleep, don’t do them (OR blog – it makes the bed a work space!) in bed; avoid anything exciting after dinner (even movies about vampires) except Things HTP Dad Goes LALALALALA about.

    Good Luck!

  • Wei-Wei August 1, 2010, 9:27 am

    I love this! BTW: I know you used to be an urban planner, so what did you major in in college? Did you ever study architecture, or interior design?


    • Caitlin August 1, 2010, 9:29 am

      Nope… I learned a lot about architecture on the job though. I majored in English Writing (Non Fiction) and Political Sci.

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin August 1, 2010, 9:28 am

    Your bedroom is gorgeous! It looks so calming and relaxing!

    I’m in the middle of redoing my room right now. I’m going with very light colours (creams, light greys, light blues) so that it has that same calming effect as yours!

  • Megan @ The Oatmeal Diaries August 1, 2010, 9:29 am

    Beautiful bedroom! Mine would be nice if it was actually clean… today might be a good day to work on that! And I am so shocked at this Charlote weather! I stepped onto my porch (to photograph pancakes, of course) and was kind of chilly.

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) August 1, 2010, 9:30 am

    I wish our bedroom was our sanctuary. It is so packed. We didn’t get to pick the furniture because it is company housing but I want to rework it. YOu have give me some great ideas for stuff we can improve without a ton of money.

    Spa and serenity is definitely what I need.

  • Camille August 1, 2010, 9:30 am

    Your bedroom is gorgeous!
    I want white sheets sooo badly, but it just isn’t practical with pets 🙁

  • Marisa (Loser for Life) August 1, 2010, 9:32 am

    It looks beautiful!! Where did you get the pin-tuck duvet? I MUST have it!!!

    • Caitlin August 1, 2010, 9:41 am

      West Elm!

      • Marisa (Loser for Life) August 1, 2010, 10:48 am

        Sorry I missed where you said that in your post, Caitlin! Coffee hasn’t kicked in yet 😉

  • Erin August 1, 2010, 9:42 am

    I wish it was chilly here. I’m so tired of the heat.

  • Babycakes August 1, 2010, 9:46 am

    haha, HTP dad’s comment made me laugh! I totally love your bedroom Caitlin! You have great decorating skills! Also, the floors are beautiful 🙂

  • Lauren @ Eater not a runner August 1, 2010, 9:48 am

    The bedroom looks so beautiful!

  • Exercise and Eat August 1, 2010, 9:50 am

    Pretty! I love low beds:)

  • Amanda- The Nutritionist Reviews August 1, 2010, 9:59 am

    I love the low bed! Perfect for dachshunds!

  • ari August 1, 2010, 10:08 am

    that bedroom is my dream. i love everything about it!

  • little miss pharmacist August 1, 2010, 10:10 am

    Your house is awesome, really nice “zen” and “warm” glow…

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape August 1, 2010, 10:17 am

    I love that wood table!! It is really cute. And the lamp on it matches perfectly.

  • Kendel @ Eating Abroad August 1, 2010, 10:18 am

    My bedroom leaves much to be desired. Knowing that I’ll move within 2-3 years of moving in, I went very minimalistic but now know that in my next place, I’ll make it a sanctuary, regardless of how long I’ll stay.

  • Marina August 1, 2010, 10:20 am

    I love your bedroom! It looks so beautiful and peaceful!
    Mine is always a mess, and needs some decorations, but I actually really like it. If only I would clean it more often 😀

  • Mandy A August 1, 2010, 10:21 am

    I LOVE the bedding!!! It’s gorgeous! And the room is put together beautifully!!

    I wish we had an IKEA close by 🙁

  • Jenn (eating bender) August 1, 2010, 10:29 am

    Caitlin I am in LOVE with the bedding! Seriously, I just showed it to Bobby and we both were like, “Wow!” – we have been searching for bedding we both like for our wedding registry for months! I love the color you got it in and the sea spray I saw on the website is so pretty, too. Thank you for letting us take a peek at your beautiful new home! Off to explore the West Elm site now!

    • Caitlin August 1, 2010, 3:04 pm

      I’m sorry I introduced you to West Elm, you are going to lose all of your money buying pillows now!!! I love that store.

  • Christy August 1, 2010, 10:33 am

    Your room is beautiful! Really love the low bed. Have you thought about putting a shelf above your dresser? Then maybe you could put things up there and not have your dresser look cluttered?

    • Caitlin August 1, 2010, 3:04 pm

      That’s a great idea!

  • Christina August 1, 2010, 10:41 am

    I have the same problem with sleeping sometimes. Don’t worry, it’ll come. 🙂 Sometimes it’s a matter of being hungry or dehydrated- a little carby snack or a glass of water sometimes helps even when I don’t feel hungry or thirsty.

  • tanyasDaily ProductViews August 1, 2010, 10:43 am

    I like the neutral colors you chose for your rooms, they look great!

  • Laurie August 1, 2010, 10:47 am

    Your room is gorgeous. Of course I had to go see the other Decorating posts. You have great style. I was about to go to Ikea the other day, but the last time I invested there it didn’t go well. So, I went to Lowes, had a good experience, but seeing your shelves and brackets, yours were cheaper. Oh well. Once it is up (desk and shelves in my daughter’s room), I’ll post it.
    Still thinking about my post….it’s coming.

  • Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope August 1, 2010, 11:03 am

    Your bedroom is absolutely gorgeous. I love the zen feel of it; nice, calm, and relaxing…just the way a bedroom should be. Definitely giving me inspiration for how i want to eventually redecorate my bedroom.

  • AngelaOSG August 1, 2010, 11:06 am

    I LOVE your bedroom! Great work!
    Thanks for the tip about floor models…I had NO idea some places do that.

  • Marie August 1, 2010, 11:14 am

    I am definitely loving your bedroom–that bed and those tables are excellent! I love the natural colors. If I could change anything about our bedroom it’d be the mattress… it was a hand-me-down (along with the bed) and hurts! My back is always a little sore now. Saving my pennies for a new one 🙂

  • Ashley Solomon @ Nourishing the Soul August 1, 2010, 11:17 am

    Your room is beautiful. Definitely looks like a place to retreat from the world, which is perfect! My husband and I are moving in a few weeks and I can’t wait to create a whole new feel in our new bedroom! Might steal some of the ideas from yours.

  • jassy August 1, 2010, 11:21 am

    i love how you arranged your room…it really looks cozy and i feel sleepy just by looking at it 🙂

  • Kerry August 1, 2010, 11:22 am

    love this room! looks so expensive yet cosy!

  • Run Sarah August 1, 2010, 11:23 am

    Wow, your bedroom looks great – I love the simple, comforting feeling to it.

  • janna @ janna's keeping it real August 1, 2010, 11:24 am

    you bedroom looks so peaceful and cozy! I just love it!

    I have been looking for a plain white duvet for months (i feel like everywhere i look thinks lace and embroidery is “in”….maybe if you’re 87???). This one looks perfect though!

  • Britney August 1, 2010, 11:28 am

    My bedroom definitely leaves something to be desired. It’s way too cluttered! I need a more efficient organization system for the things that need to be in it (we don’t have enough storage space in the bathroom for toiletries so I keep make up and hair stuff in my bedroom – on the dressers) and I’m not a naturally neat person so I always have things everywhere. I am going to clean it today, so I’m hoping I find lots of things to toss.

  • Stacey@ August 1, 2010, 11:31 am

    Love that night stand, so unique.

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople August 1, 2010, 11:32 am

    I love how uncluttered your bedroom is! My bedroom has way too much stuff in it, because there is just not enough room in my tiny apartment! My husband and I are looking for a house and it will be so nice to spread out a bit!

  • Danielle (Runs on Green) August 1, 2010, 11:37 am

    I LOVE your duvet! My bedroom is realllyyy boring. Probably because I don’t spend a lot of time in there except for sleeping. But when I get my own house I def. want to decorate it up!

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie August 1, 2010, 11:39 am

    Your bed spread and pillows are gorgeous! I love white bedding. I have a white down comforter that truly makes the winter months a pleasure.

  • Molly August 1, 2010, 11:45 am

    i have the same duvet! i loooove it. i love west elm.

  • Steph August 1, 2010, 11:46 am

    Add a shelf! You’re dresser looks great, so does the entire room, but adding a nice shelf above your dresser would look awesome and anchor the space UP, because everything is kind of low. Then you can put your gorgeous orchid up there, and de-clutter your dresser a bit. 🙂

    • Caitlin August 1, 2010, 3:06 pm

      Truly an excellent idea!

  • Stacey @ Tipping the (Kitchen!) Scales August 1, 2010, 11:52 am

    I hate not being able to get to sleep, it drives me crazy especially when I feel really tired and my eyes are aching. If I can’t sleep I find that going into another room and watching some boring TV or reading usually does the trick. I go back to bed and generaly fall alseep within half an hour or so afterwards.

  • Lana August 1, 2010, 12:01 pm

    I’m loving the room design and layout!! Is the pin-tuck duvet from West Elm? I have a plain white duvet (well, now its off white, lol) and I’m looking to replace it. I love the natural, clean look!!

    • Caitlin August 1, 2010, 3:07 pm

      Yes it is!

  • Hollie August 1, 2010, 12:51 pm

    your room looks great!!!, but just a decorating suggestion that I thought of about your cluttered dresser top…..maybe put the orchid plant on the right side and the the wedding photo more to the left/center with just one of the small candles near it and move the jewelry box somewhere else…..try it and see what you think? it may help! 🙂

    • Caitlin August 1, 2010, 3:08 pm

      Yes, I think the jewelry box needs to go… I just don’t know where to put it!

  • jayme August 1, 2010, 12:57 pm

    your room looks heavenly!
    i love those little woodsy tables.
    you definitely have a knack for design/making things look pretty.

    it’s not really fair to say my room needs a lot of work, because its mostly unfurnished and in boxes, but when everything is set up i hope to get a new bedspread, a pretty bedside lamp, and a rug to pull the room together. 🙂

  • Caitlyn @ A Spoonful of Life August 1, 2010, 12:57 pm

    Your room looks like a picture from a design magazine! My room, on the other hand, needs a wee bit more work. It’s realaxing and simple, but needs different art for the walls. I really want to paint my own art, but just haven’t gotten around to it. I think I’ll make that a project for next weekend!!

  • Maria @ Oh Healthy Day August 1, 2010, 1:00 pm

    Oh your room is just gorgeous! I love the organic look of it and it really does look like a sanctuary. My room needs some serious help. It contains mistmatched Ikea furniture, no bed frame and one falling apart dresser. Its next on my list to be tackled.

  • Ellen @FirednFabulous August 1, 2010, 1:03 pm

    Ohh your bed looks so cozy! My bedroom has much to be desired. I’ve lived in my apt for five years and I’m just totally over it. I just don’t have any money to put towards sprucing it up!

  • Natalie August 1, 2010, 1:06 pm

    It’s FABULOUS–i absolutely love it! SO bright and yet cozy. Adorable. We love our bedroom too. I think ‘grown up furniture’ really helps it feel adult like and like a sanctuary more than mis-matched furniture left over from college or hand me downs, which is what we started outw/ when we got married!

  • Sarah for Real August 1, 2010, 1:07 pm

    Oooh love love love the dresser. Do you know if west elm does a catalog or are they store only?

    • Caitlin August 1, 2010, 3:08 pm

      They have an online shop!

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter August 1, 2010, 1:25 pm

    I swear I got the exact same comforter at Target. It’s so elegant.

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers August 1, 2010, 1:31 pm

    Your place looks great!! The only things that keeps my bedroom from being a sanctuary is the constant mess I find it in 😉

  • Robyn August 1, 2010, 1:52 pm

    Hi Caitlin,

    I’m no stranger to the I-can’t-sleep-but-I’m-exhausted-what-gives? feeling. The BEST thing I’ve found (I use it if I haven’t fallen asleep in an hour) is Sundown Naturals melatonin. I bought a small bottle at Lucky several months ago and it’s been SO helpful when I truly cannot fall asleep. It’s a vegetarian formula too, so us meatless wonders don’t need to worry about shellfish in the sleep aid. 😉 I don’t take it often, but I like that when I do, it feels like I’m just falling asleep naturally.

    Anyway, something to consider if sleeplessness is something you see more consistently. 🙂

    P.S. Your bedroom is GORGEOUS. I’m taking notes . . .

    • Caitlin August 1, 2010, 3:09 pm

      Thanks for this suggestion. I definitely think I need to try it or something like it!

  • Paige @Running Around Normal August 1, 2010, 1:54 pm

    Beautiful! There’s something so classy about fluffy white bedding:)

  • Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun) August 1, 2010, 2:13 pm

    Your bedroom looks beautiful! It has a real modern, zen look to it. Those curtains frame it perfectly.

  • SheFit August 1, 2010, 2:20 pm

    I love your bedroom! I wish our bedroom was a sanctuary. My husband is a resident director for a university dorm so we live in the dorms… aka- our bedroom is our storage room. Cluttered and and full of boxes. Oh the day that I can have a room like urs 🙂

  • Anya @ Fitness & Sunshine August 1, 2010, 2:28 pm

    What a cute bedroom! I definitely like my bedroom to be as much of a sanctuary as possible, even though that isn’t always possible in college. 🙂 I make the best of it though!

  • Jackie (Peaces of Earth) August 1, 2010, 2:30 pm

    I love those side table!! My bedroom is definitely too cluttered for my taste since it’s so tiny. MY roommate is moving out so I’m going to snag hers. 🙂 More space = less clutter, I’m so excited!

  • stephanie@Avocado Nation August 1, 2010, 2:31 pm

    Love your room! Right now, I am living in my boyfriend’s apartment with him and it is a total bachelor pad. If I had any money to redecorate, I would move the guitars and Hendrix album covers buy some nice bedding. Sigh. One day we’ll have enough money to buy nice things.

  • Kelly August 1, 2010, 2:41 pm

    Your bedroom looks so comforting! For never having “done up” a home, you’ve made your new look amazing. It just looks cozy. I have the same West Elm bedding. A word of caution…the duvet cover is very touchy and the little pin-tucks can rip/tear easily if you sit on it/move on it/get down and dirty on top of it/play with dogs on it. I randomly like to crash on top of the bed and read, but if you move any which way, the pin-tucks become not pin-tucks anymore. So, now, my once cozy and cool looking duvet is too long on one side. I’ve been meaning to take a simple needle and cream thread to it, but I think the damage may be done. You may want to consider this for yours, though, just as reinforcement threading since yours is still together and beautiful looking. 🙂

    • Caitlin August 1, 2010, 3:12 pm

      Ok, I am definitely going to reinforce it later because I noticed the same exact problem. Rip, rip, rip!

  • Miranda @ MirandasJeans August 1, 2010, 2:45 pm

    Great looking room. It really sucks that your sleeping pattern is all thrown off. I’m sure with some more efforts you will get back into the groove.

    Love the low to the ground bed.

  • Jennifer August 1, 2010, 2:57 pm

    I love your bedroom. It looks great.
    I moved into my place in March. So my room is still a work in progress. Especially trying to finding the bed!

  • Erica August 1, 2010, 3:04 pm

    Ooh! I love your room! So beautiful and cozy!
    I’m in love with those end tables and that rug!!!

    I’m currently working on making my room my sanctuary!

  • Tina August 1, 2010, 3:09 pm

    I love your style. We haven’t done much updating to decorate our house. I would love to go out and find a bunch of things to spruce it up. I know we plan on hitting up IKEA sometime before the end of this year and I can see myself going a bit hog wild finding things there.

  • Erika @ Food, Fitness, & Fun August 1, 2010, 3:31 pm

    I love your decorating style – your room looks very calm and serene. My room is just the opposite…plus it’s a mess! Haha! Your yogurt mess looks yum!

  • Megan (Braise The Roof) August 1, 2010, 4:01 pm

    You did an awesome job with the bedroom- I love the dark wood! (ok, I’m a sucker for dark wood- I love it in kitchens, bedrooms, dining rooms, garages. Err…maybe not garages 🙂 )

    The squishy rug is also a great idea- I need something soft under my feet when I get out of bed in the morning.

  • Kelly August 1, 2010, 4:02 pm

    Your bedroom looks great!!! I really need to devote more time to decorating my house- I’ve lived here for a year and a half!

  • Kristine August 1, 2010, 4:38 pm

    The bedroom looks gorgeous- great job!

  • August 1, 2010, 4:49 pm

    im going to be re-doing my bedroom at the end of summer and this is probably thwe best inspiration i can get. breathtakingly beautiful! <3

  • Holly @ couchpotatoathlete August 1, 2010, 5:10 pm

    I think your bedroom looks great, although I prefer a high bed and I like my dressers with nothing on top. I’ve tried candles or a small vase of flowers, and it instantly looks cluttered to me.

    I love your throw pillows — so cute!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) August 1, 2010, 6:04 pm

    Wow _ I love those gorgeous windows in your bedroom!!!!

  • Lisa August 1, 2010, 6:06 pm

    When I lived alone, my bedroom was my sanctuary. Now that I live with the boyfriend, we both make compromises. For example, I’d never have a TV in the bedroom, but he likes it. He would never let his cat sleep with him, but he lets my cat sleep with us. It’s all about compromises. 🙂

  • Maissa August 1, 2010, 6:11 pm

    I love the duvet cover! A few years ago I cracked and bought a nice white duvet cover with light green and brown trim from Restoration Hardware. It cost me both arms and legs, but it was so completely worth it to have a bed I love.

    Actually bedding shopping is what I do when I’m sad. I figure if I like the way I sleep, I’ll feel happier…

    At least that’s what I tell myself as I hand over my credit card.

  • Bron August 1, 2010, 6:29 pm

    Your room looks great Caitlin! Just wanted to let you know that I completed my first half marathon this weekend – with a time of 2hours 2 minutes – very happy with that result! thanks again for all the advice and inspriation 🙂

  • Maren @ Simply Maren August 1, 2010, 6:37 pm

    It looks really good! Just like HGTV!

  • Lisa (I'm an Okie) August 2, 2010, 9:52 am

    beautiful beautiful room! I’m saving this post for inspiration! 🙂

  • Leah @ L4L August 2, 2010, 10:38 am

    It’s such a grown-up room! I love it! My husband and I are still operating with a hodge podge of gifted, used, or cheap college furniture and can’t really afford to go out and redecorate everything even though I would LOVE to.

  • Katie August 2, 2010, 10:49 am

    I just bought the same duvet from West Elm two weeks ago! I love it.

  • Vicky @ eat live spin August 2, 2010, 3:47 pm

    I love the West Elm pintuck duvet cover… I have it in a dusty purple!

  • Jolene ( August 3, 2010, 1:23 am

    Beautiful decorating job!!! My room is very small, but I love it 🙂

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