...because home doesn't happen overnight.
07.30.14 / The Master Bedroom

Once upon a time our bedroom was a very scary place.

master br before 2

From what we can discern, the previous owner used it as a painting studio. The room was home to dozens of canvases and numerous dressers holding art supplies when we first toured the house. The green shag carpet was horribly stained. One corner of the room showed signs of water damage. (We later learned from neighbors that a tree fell and damaged that corner of the house when Hurricane Ike barreled through in 2008.)

master br before 1

The room faces northeast and receives the least amount of natural light of all the rooms in the house. In the summer (shown here and in the “afters” below), the room takes on an eerie green glow.

master br before 3

An adjoining bathroom – albeit small – was the only thing this room had going for it. Please notice the dark trail from the hallway to the bathroom. (!) I don’t even want to know. Let’s hope it was paint.

master br 5

We added foam insulation to the exterior walls, ripped up the carpet, sprung for new windows, laid engineered hardwood flooring, installed chunky new baseboards and had the electrical upgraded to include a ceiling fixture. Among other things. Choosing a paint color for this room proved difficult. Before moving in, we painted it the same color as the main living space but the light hue looked very dingy in this room. I repainted the walls a warm gray with green-blue undertones that play nicely in the dim light. Sometimes it looks gray. Sometimes it looks green. Sometimes it looks blue. But it always feels calm and soothing – even under artificial lighting at night.

Placing the bed under the eastern window was our only viable option in this room. I initially bought a curved headboard but the lines were all wrong under the squarish window. I switched it out for the straight, upholstered one seen here.

master br 6

In each of the bedrooms, we ditched the closet doors in favor of curtain panels hung high and wide. For us, it’s easier to access the closet contents this way. The panels make it feel a little like a dressing experience, too, if that makes any sense. Most of the time, I stand inside the closet to dress. Hanging the curtains outside of the frame gave us a good 6″ of extra closet depth. All of Steve’s and my clothing is in this modest closet. Everything is organized with off-the-shelf wire racks and drawers. We were even able to incorporate two pull-out hampers (one for darks, one for lights) in the closet design. Shoes currently not in rotation are stored in the slim wall cabinet to the right of the closet.

We’ve been pleasantly surprised by how wonderful it is to have a pared down closet. Steve and I both enjoy expressing our styles via our wardrobes and, before living in this house, we were accustomed to large, walk-in closets. What we’ve found though is that we are much more focused on quality vs. quantity when it comes to buying clothing now. We’re spending less money on clothing by buying more long-haul pieces. Since space is limited (we have a set number of hangers and shelves) we subscribe to the “one thing in, one thing out” policy. And the closet is always tidy! Don’t let anyone fool you into believing you need a walk-in closet to be happy.

master br 7

Matching sconces and nightstands flank the bed. Framed prints bridge the gap between the sconces and the top of the nightstands. We don’t keep too much bedside but I love having greenery (I clip it from the backyard) and a stack of books nearby.

For cohesion, we hung the same woven shades found throughout the house. For privacy, we installed blackout roller shades within each window frame. They aren’t visible until we pull them down at night. A nubby jute rug picks up on the woven blinds.

master br 11

I tried to keep the bedding gender neutral with a striped duvet and embroidered hemp pillow. IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: I like stripes and natural textures.

master br 3

A vintage dresser sits opposite the bed. I think it’s my favorite craigslist find of all time. The black and white abstract art was painted by the previous owner. I leaned it against the wall to “try it out” nearly two years ago and liked the casual look so much I left it that way.

master br 4

We rigged the top dresser drawer so that it’s hinged and can be used as a keyboard pull-out. It’s lined with cork so no mouse pad is needed. The “dresker” is the perfect place for Steve to take evening conference calls or work from home when necessary. I keep a wool blanket in the second drawer for freezing winter nights but the bottom two drawers are empty!

master br 12

This is the view looking into the bedroom from the doorway. You can barely see the door frame to the bathroom on the left. The large canvas was a controversial DIY. (You can read more about it via a link near the end of this post. There’s an interesting discussion in the comments section.) I love it nonetheless.

master br 9

master br 10

master br 1

master br 8

It took us every bit of two years to get our bedroom just right. I can still remember the nights of insomnia staring at the ceiling contemplating this room. My goal was to create a peaceful place to retreat at the end of every busy day. I can’t say I won’t tweak things in here ever again but it does offer the calming respite I was hoping for. We sleep well.

Resources of note:

wall paint – Benjamin Moore half moon crest
trim paint – Benjamin Moore white dove
flooring – Jasper engineered hardwood handscraped birch in Texas brown via Build Direct
ceiling fixture – Robert Abbey axis aged brass ceiling light
woven shades – petite rustique from Overstock
blackout roller shades – Levolor from Lowe’s
curtain panels – Ikea
curtain rods – Target
closet organization – ClosetMaid
bed – West Elm (discontinued)
headboard – West Elm nailhead upholstered headboard in brushed heather cotton, gray haze
duvet – DwellStudio draper stripe
white blanket – Target
embroidered pillow – OrientalTribe11 on etsy
sconces – House of Troy addison swing arm lamp in antique brass
nightstands – Vilas one-drawer nightstand from Overstock (I spray painted the knobs gold.)
wood frames – Target
art prints – printwork on etsy
yarn-wrapped gazelle – Target
Barcelona bench – Rove Concepts in palermo caramel leather
sheepskin – Ikea
9′ x 12′ jute rug – Overstock
shoe cabinet – Ikea (I spray painted the knobs gold.)
mirror – RSI from Wayfair
desk chair – West Elm saddle office chair
kilim pillow – Sukan on etsy
chevron art – DIY
dresser – vintage Willett via craigslist
lamp – Robert Abbey delta table lamp
black and white abstract art – estate sale
faux antlers – One Kings Lane
driftwood sculpture – thrifted

If you’re interested in seeing how this room evolved, here are a slew of bedroom-related links:

FURNITURE

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2012/08/10/recent-purchases-3/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2013/06/11/i-like-to-move-it-move-it/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2013/06/17/wayfair-in-the-house-lets-talk-about-my-bed/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2013/09/06/a-desk-disguised-as-a-dresser-a-k-a-the-dresker/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2014/02/17/a-bench-in-the-bedroom/

DECOR

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2012/03/29/looking-for-a-bedroom-light/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2012/08/31/the-pursuit-of-a-casual-bedroom/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2013/02/27/wayfair-in-the-house-swing-arm-wall-lamp/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2013/06/05/i-dont-want-to-leave-my-bedroom/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2013/06/17/wayfair-in-the-house-lets-talk-about-my-bed/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2013/06/21/our-bedroom-window-treatments/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2013/07/11/his-hers-nightstands/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2013/08/01/wayfair-in-the-house-a-bedroom-mirror/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2014/02/12/the-fruits-of-my-antiquing-adventure/

ORGANIZATION

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2012/06/14/closetsmaid-right/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2013/10/25/making-the-most-of-small-closets-master-bedroom/

DIY

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2012/07/05/hold-the-door/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2013/09/04/diy-hinged-drawer/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2013/10/09/one-ticket-to-hell-please/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2013/10/15/a-date-with-my-doors/

You can access this master bedroom tour (along with a general house tour and individual room tours) under the “See My House” tab in the side bar. I’ll be adding more rooms in the weeks to come. Thanks for reading!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

53 Comments

You definitely accomplished all of your goals in my mind. Lovely!

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30.July.2014

I love everything about this room! It’s tasteful, calm and gorgeous.

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30.July.2014

where’s the monitor that goes with the keyboard? also, can you show us the inside of the closet?

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replied on July 30th, 2014

My husband brings home his work laptop and sets it on top of the dresser and uses the wireless keyboard / mouse in the drawer. It works for him! (It’s mostly conference calls and emailing at home.) There are links under the ‘organization’ category at the end of this post that go into more detail about the closet and show images of its contents.

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30.July.2014

This is a beautiful bedroom and I love the mix of textures, style, contemporary/vintage. Your sleepless nights really paid off! It’s just lovely.

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30.July.2014

THIS is the color that I was going for – I ended up a little too blue, which is a hereditary condition (my family loves any color, as long as it’s blue).

In other news, I read the comments under the diy art post. I bought a canvas from goodwill specifically to paint over and then my husband and Facebook told me not to. So now there’s a giant painting that I hate hanging right inside the front door. But everyone comments about how much they love it. I’m hoping it gets “lost” when we move…

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30.July.2014

Love what you have done with the space, and that bench is seriously rockin’ beyond compare. The amazing thing is that the way you have morphed the spaces in your home, I would never have known that the house is on the smaller side. The spaces feel light, bright, and open. Love it! :-)

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30.July.2014

Thank you for opening your home to us. I so appreciate your thought process behind your decorating style. I have picked up many tips for my own place. One is the color of your bedroom walls. I bought a sample from the hardware store and plan to test it on different walls throughout my living/dining room. I get a lot of light throughout the day so I am looking forward to seeing the effect of the gray. Will it turn blueish? Greenish? Or maybe a totally different color :)

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30.July.2014

I’ve been a long time reader and have obviously seen these photos before – but I read that like it was the first time ever. It never gets old :) I’m enamoured with that dresser and the overall look of your room (and entire house ;)).

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replied on July 30th, 2014

So glad to hear you are enjoying the official “tour” even though you’ve been following along for a while. Thank you!

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I noticed texture on your ceiling from the before pics – plaster?? Our master bedroom ceiling has the same, and it’s the only ceiling we haven’t skimmed. Did you skim it or drywall over it? I couldn’t tell from the after pic. I’m tempted to demo it out, but it’s not the most budget-friendly way to go. Thanks.

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replied on July 30th, 2014

It’s plaster but the texture wasn’t horribly bumpy (not like those popcorn ceilings you hear about) so we just painted over it. Steve and I both like it, actually. We demo’d the plaster on all the exterior walls to add insulation (and update the electrical) then had drywall hung on those walls. We hired a guy to match the texture of the original ceilings around the perimeter of the room after the new drywall was in place. We heard getting textured ceilings just right takes experience and we have NONE so, yeah, we hired it out. It wasn’t that expensive – a few hundred dollars if I remember correctly – and the results are believable so we’re happy with it.

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30.July.2014

I love Before and Afters! Beautiful job, well done!

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30.July.2014

I Love your room! So calming and cozy. If you did not have the window above your headboard what would you place there?

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replied on July 30th, 2014

Hmmmm…I never considered that. Maybe a shelf that extended the entire width of the wall? With art and pretty stuff on it but not too cluttered. That, or a large black and white photograph.

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replied on July 31st, 2014

Interesting you said that Dana, about the shelf above the bed! Our bedroom has high ceilings and the bed is not on a wall with windows. Earlier this year, I had my husband hang a large shelf above our bed that had been sitting in his workshop unused for over a year. I painted it white and he had made custom cherry shelf brackets. It fits beautifully in our bedroom now (we have a cherry bedroom set). Wish I’d thought of it sooner! I spray painted a wine cork wreath white that someone had given me as a gift years ago that wasn’t working in it’s former state, and a small vase and a twig spray painted black from our yard (our bedroom walls are light gray).

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30.July.2014

Still hoping for a post talking more about the bedside light install – how did you figure out the right height, etc. :) I like the space saving idea and want to consider it for our bedroom.

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replied on July 30th, 2014

Oh, shoot! I forgot about that! It’s on the to-do list.

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30.July.2014

dana, first let me say you have been my inspiration from the moment i found your blog. Slight girl crush.
I even recreated your “controversial” DIY art :)

I have the same jute rug, and wonder how you clean/vacuum it?

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replied on July 30th, 2014

I vacuum the rug with the rotating brush turned off to protect the natural fibers. Jute rugs are inherently “dirty” meaning they drop fibers and dust. I take the rug outside once a year and shake it and vacuum the bare floor underneath. It’s usually pretty messy!

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30.July.2014

I’m more in love with this room every time I see it. The mix is perfection. I was surprised to see that several of the items are definitely out of what I would call the “budget decor” range, including the Dwellstudio duvet cover. How do you make the call on where to spend a bit more (other than furniture investment pieces)? Beyond sheets and staples, I’m always unsure with bedding whether there’s an appreciable difference between $100-300 price points.

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replied on July 30th, 2014

Admittedly, the duvet was part of a collaboration with Wayfair but I did claim it for tax purposes so there’s that. We had used the same inexpensive Ikea duvet for years before “upgrading” to the one shown here. I try to think about the longevity of items when considering a splurge. If it’s something I know I’m going to want to replace in a year, then a splurge doesn’t feel right. But if it’s something I’ve been drooling over forever (like this particular duvet) and the quality is great and I am confident I’ll still love / use it five years down the road, then it’s a worthy splurge to me. Hope that makes sense.

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30.July.2014

One of my fave rooms in your house. (That wasn’t meant to sound creepy. Ha!) I kinda dig the original curtains. :)

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30.July.2014

The picture of the chevron art and chair is one of my most favorite images i have ever pinned, but I never clicked through to see the full room or who it was attributable too (Sorry!) So happy to see this post come up on bloglovin and to have the chance to see the full room and the chair and art in context. You have great taste!

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30.July.2014

Most definitely a peaceful vibe.

This post is really timely for me… we are (if all goes well) moving into a house with small closets. I’ve been spoiled by our current rental which has a walk-in in the master. I am not a clothes horse, but I never throw stuff away… and as you get older, it just accumulates! I’ll be looking to your closet post for inspiration–

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30.July.2014

I cringed when I saw the before photograph. Scary!! I could never accomplish what you did! Bravo! It is an amazing and lovely transformation.

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Serisously. Your house pics never get old Dana. Not ever. Love all the choices youve made in this space. Its such a beautifully curated and collected room.

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Your design aesthetic is my very favorite, Dana . I absolutely love and admire your home! <3

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31.July.2014

Not that those original curtains are nice, but at first glance I saw them as subtle polka dots and maybe some tasteful polka dot fabric would look nice in our house. Inspiration!

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31.July.2014

The bedroom looks amazing! I love the piece at the end of your bed that you can use to sit on and put your shoes and socks on. I also really like the window that sits right above the head of your bed. It lets the sunlight in and wakes you up naturally in the morning.

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31.July.2014

What a change from the old painting studio days.
Is it annoying having curtains for wardrobe doors though? Do they get in the way when accessing your clothes?

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02.August.2014

Oh, wow. Mission accomplished! LOVE your bedroom! Those sconces are dreamy! And your whole design aesthetic, in general, is lovely. It just speaks to me. I love that you warned against being fooled into thinking you need a walk-in closet to be happy. :) Okay. And it’s cracking me up that that fabulous DIY artwork could be controversial! I haven’t read the comment thread to that post yet, but I am just amazed that it could spark controversy! Ha! People are crazy!

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03.August.2014

Looks so good! How did you spray foam the exterior walls? Though the attic? Are all of the walls in your house insulated that way? Was this a DIY or did you hire it out? Would love to do the same thing. in our 1950s ranch. The exterior walls are not insulated at all.

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replied on August 4th, 2014

More info of the spray foam insulation here…

http://www.housetweaking.com/2011/11/01/in-case-youve-never-seen-foam-insulation/

We hired it out!

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03.August.2014

Yay! I now know what to do with our closet. We have these 7 or 8 foot tall doors that I swear are from the 70’s. Our house was built in 82, but they are the most hideous closet doors I have ever seen! I hate them. I will take them down and put up curtains. That will look better and make getting into the closet easier. I am also going to copy your ideas with the windows. I love what you did. All of our windows still have the original curtains in them that came with the house. I keep meaning to getting around to changing that. I love your shades and the idea of the light blocking ones as well. Thank you for posting where you get your stuff. It’s nice to know I can DIY our house myself.

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07.August.2014

I love how beautiful and calm the space is without being sparse. We are renovating a home now and looking for a new bed. I’m debating between buying a whole bed or just a headboard. I see in your list that you have a bed and a headboard. Is the bed basically just a platform bed that you can’t see?

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replied on August 7th, 2014

It is a platform bed but we use a box spring to raise the mattress. (Steve doesn’t like low beds.)

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07.August.2014

Ok, oops. I explored the links you posted and saw your post about the bed. I’m still nervous about a platform bed because I worry I’ll be smacking my shins into it all the time!

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13.September.2014

This room is absolutely gorgeous. It is similar to what I have been trying to achieve in my master, but your’s is just so pulled together and perfect. I love the idea of gold sconces. Gold isn’t a colour I usually use, but it really works in the space.

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16.September.2014

What is the size of your master bedroom?

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replied on September 16th, 2014

It’s ~11′ x 15′.

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16.September.2014

You don’t have an Overstock link to that awesome jute rug in your master bedroom, do you? I’d love to grab it for myself but am overwhelmed by the number of jute rugs on the site (!)

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replied on September 16th, 2014

Here’s the link…

http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Hand-woven-Sahara-Boucle-Weave-Jute-Rug-9-x-12/6605480/product.html

It is the most expensive rug we own but the quality really shines through! I give it 5 stars.

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replied on September 17th, 2014

Perfect– thank you!

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19.September.2014

Gorgeous space! Well done! I may have missed it, but where’s the striped chair from? Also, is the jute rug easy to vacuum and soft to step on or is it a bit rough like sisal? Thx/Christine

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replied on September 23rd, 2014

It’s the saddle office chair from West Elm. The rug isn’t like sisal at all. (We have a few of those.) It’s nubby and chunky but the fibers are silkier. I vacuum it without the brush rotating. It works great!

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replied on September 28th, 2014

Funny story. So my notifications about your replies went to my junk folder and I’m just seeing them now. But I was at West Elm yesterday looking for curtain panels and saw the chair! Thanks for your reply.

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19.September.2014

Me again! Regarding the embroidered pillow…would you happen to remember who the seller was on Etsy? I love the colours and pattern and wouldn’t mind sourcing out same or similar if possible. Thanks/Christine

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replied on September 23rd, 2014

OrientalTribe11 – hope that helps!

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replied on September 28th, 2014

Yes, that helps, thanks very much!

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30.September.2014

? for you – how large is the master? and would you mind if I ask how much space is on either side of the bed between the walls? we are preparing to jump from a 480 square foot master (I know its cray cray, but its in a bungalow with sloped ceilings for it doesn’t feel that large) to a 13×11 master on the first floor and we’re a bit apprehensive on our king bed and a few other small pieces fitting. you have created such a lovely and stripped back room that I am confident we can do it, too. thanks a bunch!

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replied on September 30th, 2014

It’s roughly 11′ x 15′. Our bed is a queen and is located on the 11′ wall. That leaves us with a little over 3′ on either side of the bed. It doesn’t feel cramped. Hope that helps! Good luck with your new bedroom.

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