The master bedroom was one of the last projects we completed.

And here’s the before.

Can you even believe it?


I dredged up some old before pictures from the vault.

From way before.

Back in the day.

The days of red toile wallpaper and ancient grey Berber carpet.

I thought about calling this post….”To Toile or Not to Toile.”

Shakespeare.  Funny, right ?  Get it?


But then you realize that the Shakespeare thing has already been done this week….and by a much more capable writer and in a way funnier way than you ever thought about.  Where does that leave you?


That’s where.

Here’s another after of the master bedroom fireplace.

We completely surrounded the old fireplace with moldings.

I’m sure Shakespeare would approve.


I keep thinking that this armoire should be grey.

Or maybe not.


I’m sure there are other stumped Shakespeareless bloggers like me…..

….so I’m sure tomorrow will be a much better day.

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  1. Image for Beverlu Beverlu

    You can always fall back on "a picture is worth a thousand words" because these photos of your home are stunning. I was sad that Viola didn't win, but I was glad that Meryl did win. You understand. Don't you?

  2. Image for GinaE GinaE

    I'm still thinking of starting a blog and "what to write daily" is the only thing stopping me so far. I am VERY upset Viola Davis didn't win. Love Meryl, but Viola is just as amazing as Meryl and not as celebrated yet. She should be! Viola REALLY deserved this win!!!!

  3. Image for Laura Laura

    I personally think Shakespearless is a wonderful word. I've started a whole book of the words I've made up (collective eye roll from me family here) Your room is gorgeous and speaks for itself :)

  4. Image for Gwen Gwen

    I concur...the Oscars were all over the place. I haven't watched them in ages, but I did for personal reasons this year... But I was glad to see the Muppets in attendance. They are, in my opinion, highly undervalued. However, what was the deal with only two original songs? Is the composing world on a hiatus? Sometimes, dear Thistle, words do not suffice and oftentimes, Less is More...your wit and elegance shine through....

  5. Image for Carol Ann Carol Ann

    Yep. I was one of those collective gasps when Meryl Streep won Best Actress and Viola Davis didn't. Seriously? I guess Viola can take comfort knowing she lost to one of the very best actresses of our time, but dang, doesn't she have enough? That's way more comforting than being one of the four that lost Best Supporting Actress to Marisa Tomei for My Cousin Vinny. Just my opinion. Besides, I'm one of the stupid ones that thought The Iron Lady was a sequel to Iron Man.

    1. Image for Anne Anne

      You see? and I thought Marisa Tomei was absolutely brilliant in that role!! It's all so subjective, why don't they just give Oscars to all the nominees and be done with it?!

  6. Image for Leila Jane Leila Jane

    Omigosh! You feel bad? You feel bad! NO WAY! Just the pictures of your old bedroom with the toile (and most of us still love toile) wallpaper with the original dark stained fireplace compared to your now lovely, painted serene bedroom says many, many words! Honestly! How many of us would dare to paint the original fireplace? But it came out sooooo pleasingly pretty. I love it. In fact, now I wonder who would EVER have installed that dark, serious-minded one! Who else would have removed the toile wallpaper when most of us still love toile? But the plain gray (?) color is so much more serene and restful with the white furniture! I love that serene bedroom now. Red toile is pretty but not serene. Dark fireplaces may be original wood but they are not serene. I want to go sleep in your bedroom! Your pictures say a lot without a lot of words. Who needs a lot of words? Shakespeare was hard to read, after all!

  7. Image for Noelle Noelle

    Your bedroom is fabulously beautiful! Now that's probably an over use of adjectives, but whatever! I love your beautifully white enameled trim around the fireplace, so airy and lovely! You can show beautiful photos all day, who needs profound words?!? :))

  8. Image for Auntlou Auntlou

    Thank you. I needed that. It's a gorgeous day and I have a lot to do. I put a load of laundry in and I crawled into bed. Eating lunch hasn't helped, yet. (I think it's starting to help.) Going on my favorite doll board hasn't helped. Even playing a word game hasn't helped. That site was a mess, but I managed a very low score on Word Whiz. :( I think I'm recharging - but maybe I'm just down. I don't know. On Saturday, I was looking forward to Sunday afternoon and all the blog posts and other fun I was going to do and have. Something interfered and now I don't remember what I was going to do. :( I'll jump up, right now, and get my shower! Oh, no I won't. My son, who has some kind of a bug, has possession of the bathroom. I guess I'll just lie here, feeling stupid. I wish I sucked my thumb. Wait a minute! I have a nearly new bag of Ghirardelli Intense Dark Midnight Reverie 86% cacao Chocolate squares! I don't understand people who have to have coffee to get them going. Busted up the square through the little package. Opened the package and tucked a tiny taste into the roof of my mouth. If things aren't better, they will soon seem so! :) (Hope I gave you a giggle, friend.) ~Blessings upon thee~

  9. Image for katie goldsworthy katie goldsworthy

    You are a wonderful writer. I feel like I'm at a loss every time I write a post. Geeesh, I used to feel I was a fairly decent writer, but there are so many bloggers who write beautifully. There words flow so well, that I just want to keep reading! Again, I think you're a wonderful writer and I enjoy reading your posts :) --Katie @ Creatively Living

  10. Image for Anne Anne

    I have two questions - what's an "activites" (from your Pinterest link) and who's this RTM Connect who takes all your photos?? And so far, so good for me on the lack of a writer's block. I experience 'creativity' blocks, as in "what the heck am I going to create for my next blog post???" moments that sometimes go on for days until I am hit with an inspiration & have only hours to create something for my blog post... blogging is fun, yes? lol Have a great day

    1. Image for thistlewoodfarm thistlewoodfarm always make me smile....I'm sure there are lots of great "activites" in addition to plenty of "activities" in that link :) PS RTM is a photographer who works for a local magazine here. He took the pictures, so I wanted to give him credit :)

      1. Image for Anne Anne

        Hmmm is that like having a "pool boy"??? I would really love to have a "pool boy", do you think it matters that I don't have a pool?? Mind you, I do have a kiddie pool for my dog... I'll have to start taking applications :) Hurry up Spring!!!!!!!!

  11. Image for creativeinchi creativeinchi

    Your before and after photos are all the "words" you need. Doesn't look like the same room which is the essence of a fabulous renovation! I like looking at pictures rather than reading blog posts anyway ... does that make me bad??

  12. Image for cassie cassie

    i think you should have called it "toile's quiet on the western front". he he. and i think the gray would be great on that armoire... do it. (did you notice i didn't even use any exclamation points? and it wasn't intentional)

  13. Image for Karah @ thespacebetweenblog Karah @ thespacebetweenblog

    Holy Toile! Great space now though!! And writers block all. the. time. I've learned to pull over to the side of the road when I have a thought about a post, because thoughts are fleeting and sometimes don't come when I sit down to write. :) I love the armoire, it looks great as is...and could look awesome grey... Karah

  14. Image for dee dee dee dee

    Like a breath of fresh air... your bedroom draws stares... The beauty of the space Speaks for itself in this case... Though words were hard to find... I didn't really mind.... Because with a room like this You could never, EVER... miss! Ok Karianne, I live with habitual writers block.... every post for me is a lesson in letting go of that little voice inside my head that say...."you can't write.... etc" and just jumping in! You my dear..... are gifted, talented and blessed! have a wonderful day! dee dee

  15. Image for kim kim

    Oh, you don't have to say a word when you are sharing a beautiful room like yours. wow. I love it. I was mad that Viola didn't win, too. I haven't seen Meryl's movie and I am sure it is good, but The Help did not get enough recognition.

  16. Image for Laura Laura

    AMAZING bedroom makeover. The room is completely different and so light, airy and relaxing. All I can say is, I really, really like your style of writing. It just flows so well with the pictures you post and the style of your blog. Your Shakespearless was enjoyable to read and leaves me thinking "Why can't I write like that?". My writing is as exciting as watching paint dry on a wall. Seriously. Btw, I took the plunge on the smocked drapes. My dining room will be the first to get redecorated.

  17. Image for Vee Vee

    (I was here earlier and was interrupted...hate that. Just wanted you to know that I had read every word.) Who needs words when you have such great photos? The former was heavy and now you've made it light and lovely. What a refuge for you at the end of a day...

  18. Image for Taletha Taletha

    Good greif, Charlie Brown. That transformation confirms you are not just a skilled decorator - you are a magician. Your room is gorgeous! (With an exclamation point - or three) Thank you for sharing. I love your blog.

  19. Image for Vanessa Vanessa

    LOL! I'm thinking there needed to at least by an exclamation point after "here's my fireplace in the master bedroom". ;-) Because this room requires TONS of exclamation points in my humble opinion. It is seriously gorgeous!!!! Vanessa

  20. Image for Heidi @ Decor & More Heidi @ Decor & More

    I totally needed a chuckle today ~ it's been a doozy, complete with laptop crash and burn. Can I just escape to your toile-less oasis for a spell? Or you want to swap teens for a week or two? Mine will come with a REALLY bad attitude due to lost privileges. To sip wine, or not to sip wine... THAT is my question!! xo Heidi :)

  21. Image for Lisa Lisa

    Who needs to be Shakespeare when you have fabulous pictures like these, showcasing your amazing talent?!! Words, schmurds!!! (Uh, yeah, I just made that one up!) But seriously, Oh. My. Gosh. Your master bedroom is STUNNING!!! And, I have to say, I am more than a little jealous of your gorgeous fireplace! Did you paint the floor yourself? What am I asking...of course you did! See? TALENT!! It looks beautiful. And, I'm guessing that you are one step closer to that photo home tour your are wanting to add to your blog! Have a great day! xo-Lisa

  22. Image for Sheila Sheila

    So sorry to hear about your writer's block. Not sure if there is a pill to take for that. Your bedroom is beautiful as is the rest of your home. I personally like the white instead of the dark wood. Have a great week. Sheila

  23. Image for Heather Heather

    Your bedroom is beautiful! What a remarkable transformation. I love toile, but, boy, it was all wrong in the before photos!

  24. Image for lynn lynn

    wow-what a change! what a gorgeous change, at that! your room is just lovely and you didn't ask but that cabinet would be wonderful in grey:)

  25. Image for Jen (Arriving) Jen (Arriving)

    Wow, you weren't kidding... that was a BIG job! I think toile is always better as an accent.. like a pillow :-) Love the fireplace surround painted white. You've given that house a new life. You may be Shakespeareless, but you got your post up anyway. Seems like you are doing just fine to me.

  26. Image for Jo @ To a Pretty Life Jo @ To a Pretty Life

    Wow, your room looks gorgeous! I love the cream/grey/white combination, and your fireplace looks beautiful and fresh with the cream-coloured bricks! My in-laws recently painted their brick fireplace cream, and it looks so much better! I liked the red toile and wood decor too, but it's much fresher now.

  27. Image for Kelly Kelly

    I love your bedroom. It's so serene and tastefully put together. I do think that armoire would look great painted grey though. You're so lucky to have a fireplace in your bedroom! That's a big room and you've made it feel very cozy.

  28. Image for Susan Susan

    Hmmm, I think you did pretty good considering you couldn't think of something to say! :) You have such a beautiful home. Wish I had the decorating touch you have. PS: The armoire would look beautiful gray!

  29. Image for Emily Morgenstern Emily Morgenstern funny. I hate it when I'm at a loss for words. But, hey, your beautiful room speaks for itself! ;-) I'm following you on linky and I just "liked" you on fb!! Looking forward to getting to know you!

  30. Image for NanaDoll NanaDoll

    I just love that room. I miss our old house with all the elements we ever wanted that we put into our master bedroom/bathroom addition. It was a beautiful room. But my husband became ill, we thought we would lose him, so we downsized and now, he is better and our house is tiny, but day by day we make it work. I especially love the plates above the bed tables and the old mailbox and the floors. Wow. You didn't need Shakespeare at all!

  31. Image for Zolane Zolane

    I agree with so many of the others. With a room as beautiful as this one, who needs words. Well, except for where did you get your curtains, rug, chair, etc. :) Another great job!

  32. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    "To be Shakespeareless or not to be Shakespeareless"...Is that the question?...But my answer is quite clear with no writer's block at all, that your bedroom should be a backdrop in "A midsummer's Nights Dream"...I have seen your bedroom in a prior post and it is "a dream"..... Spent most of my day today attending an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, in my "expert" opinion..I think your armoire would look fabulous in grey... Love, love reading your are positively "The Merchant of No Words Left Behind"....

  33. Image for Sonya Sonya

    What a beautiful, relaxing space! Oh, to have a fireplace in the bedroom. I know exactly what you mean about writer's block. Sometime's I'm amazed at how many different ways I can begin a post until I hit on just the right one. Some just write themselves, others seem to take forever. Personally I love the way this post was written! Beautiful job for a beautiful room.

  34. Image for Connie Lenden Connie Lenden

    What a lovely home you have. Yes, what to say is common in my house quite a bit regarding blogs. That a good time to just show pictures and comment in between. Once you get going, you just roll with it. Meanwhile I have had your problem for months, now and need to make a decision, soon. Ah ,life and it's little problems. It is frustrating, though............ Personally, I love your whole blog !!!

  35. Image for Lynn @thevintagenest Lynn @thevintagenest

    wowzer!!!! and that diamond patterned floor treatment.....double wowzer....NO....triple wowzer!!!!! If you are ever stumped again for words.....please consider a tutorial on how to do that floor treatment. I have been thinking of doing that to our front porch in a very subtle pattern but am afraid to start. Happy Wednesday kari. xo

  36. Image for Beatrice Banks Beatrice Banks

    Your bedroom is gorgeous. Your whole house is gorgeous! You're funny but I really come here for the pictures! ;) Thanks for sharing the source of those smocked drapes too! I don't know about my blog, but when my house grows up I want it to look like yours.

  37. Image for Lynne Lynne

    I love your bedroom! I recently did a similar look in my bedroom. I wonder though how your room would have looked, leaving the wallpaper but painting the wood. Not that I think you should have, but it would have been interesting just to see what a difference that would have made. I am new to your blog, but I'll be back!

  38. Image for mylifemystyles mylifemystyles

    Happens to me ALL the time, believe me you are not alone! The Pioneer Woman said to just write, even when you don't want to. So, like you, I try. You are doing a great job. Love your blog!

  39. Image for Barb @ Grits and Glamour Barb @ Grits and Glamour

    Do you know one of the best things I love about your blog - other than the beautiful pics, your beautiful home, your wonderful projects, etc - is the fact that you make me laugh. If no one ever tells you anything else, know that you have a gift for writing and putting words to paper that is uplifting and entertaining. Thank you. :)

  40. Image for Jillian Jillian

    OH my. Almost EVERY TIME I POST! But I come up with something. Not as witty as yours...but something. I would love to join your linky party this week but with all that I have going on I will not be able to link up that day. If only I could hire someone. :0) There's a blog post in of itself! Have a great linky party!

  41. Image for Gina Gina

    Wow! Beautiful!! I especially love the fireplace and painted floor!! Where did you find your oval mirror above your bed? I've seen round but not oval. Everything is just lovely! :)

  42. Image for Tam Tam

    I like to read what you have to say even when you don't have anything :) Love your fireplace. I'd like to send you a pic of my fireplace so you can give me some ideas!

  43. Image for Amanda Amanda

    Amazing transformation! And yes, we've all been Shakespearless at some point (or many points) in our blogging careers! Thank you for sharing and making us all feel better about those times! You've created such a beautiful retreat with this room! I must add...the armoire would be gorgeous in grey! Best Wishes and Blessings, Amanda

  44. Image for Debra@CommonGround Debra@CommonGround

    Oh yes, I'm there every other blog post, but you still had an A+ post. I feel like you about Viola Davis. I love Meryl, but I was surprised she won, too bad they couldn't have had a tie. Miss Davis truly was worthy of the honor!

  45. Image for Kelly @ View Along the Way Kelly @ View Along the Way

    Nope. Never have that problem. MY problem is that I have thousand dumb things to say but NO beautiful pictures to back it up. Maybe we should team up, and you can do the decorating and I'll do the... no... I still like your writing better. Maybe I'll just keep reading your blog a lot.

  46. Image for Whitney Whitney

    What gorgeous photos and a lovely house! I reread your post from Monday and cannot believe you started in December, simply amazing! I'd put caramel on my ice cream the first time we sat down for a chat...and then get seconds 30 minutes in...

  47. Image for Stacey Stacey

    LOve what you have done to your bedroom. You really don't need words although the ones you chose were both true to heart and amusing. Come by my linky party and link this up if you would - I would love to have you! Stacey of Embracing Change

  48. Image for Lori @ coloritsimple Lori @ coloritsimple

    Shakespeareless is my middle name (snicker)..... I am my own worst critic so I get it. But really, you do an amazing job at posting and look at all your comments! I love the room keep up the great work.

  49. Image for Jaime from crafty scrappy happy Jaime from crafty scrappy happy

    Your blog is just so darn beautiful! Seriously I love your style. I love each and every look in your master. And I LOVE seeing the before! I am house shopping right now and that makes me want to really really consider what I could do with any space! :o) Jaime from crafty scrappy happy

  50. Image for Shaunna Shaunna

    Happens to me every month or so...or it'll last a whole week at a time. Bleh. You did just the right thing--you wrote anyway...and it turned out beautifully. (the post and the mantel) :-) shaunna

  51. Image for cheltenhamroad cheltenhamroad

    Wow! That room is beautiful!! And your writing is totally Shakspearfull! And when I first saw the before the Bard line that sprang to my mind was "boil, boil, Toile and trouble" - it must have been a huge pain to remove all that but the results (says the guy who didn't have to do it) were totally worth it. Gorgeous! David (continuing to catch up)

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