...because home doesn't happen overnight.

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When I started this blog my family was living in a builder spec home. The finishes were cheap and I was doing my best to put my stamp on things. I turned to the internet for inspiration but was disappointed in what I found. Most looks weren’t achievable in our house. We had nondescript carpet and vinyl flooring – not hardwoods. There were no particularly alluring architectural features. We also had practical things like ceiling fans and light-filtering window shades. Tweaking that house taught us many things. Eventually, we came to value quality over quantity which prompted our downsizing adventure. But it also taught us that you don’t have to wait until bigger, future projects (i.e., installing new flooring) are completed to start making little changes that better reflect your preferred aesthetic.

“Nothing you do for your home is ever wasted.” – Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan for Apartment Therapy

We never did install new flooring in our previous home. But we did paint the walls & kitchen cabinets, install new countertops & a backsplash, experiment with furnishings and hang curtains & artwork. By the time we moved, the space definitely felt more like us than it had when we moved in.

All that to say, you don’t have to wait until you can do everything to do something.

And that’s what this makeover is all about. My clients moved into their home less than six months ago. They would love to upgrade the flooring, redo the kitchen, install statement light fixtures, fully furnish each room and improve the bathrooms but, as with most newly acquired houses, those things just aren’t in the budget right now. Instead, they’re tackling smaller projects as time and money allow, injecting their sense of style as they go. So far, they’ve painted nearly every room in the house and I recently helped them revamp the master bedroom. (You can read about my plans for the space and see a mood board here.) It’s a real room with carpet, blinds, a ceiling fan and even a TV. I hope it inspires you to do something.

BEFORE:

arhaus bedroom before 1

AFTER:

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BEFORE:

arhaus bedroom before 2

AFTER:

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We made a lot of changes but, in my opinion, rotating the bed, painting the walls a deep charcoal and bringing in mismatched furniture were the game-changers.

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Relocating the bed to a blank wall makes it a natural focal point and lets more light pour in through the windows. The tufted headboard makes a grand statement. I love how the sides turn in for an intimate effect. So cozy!

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My client’s style is decidedly more luxurious than my own. When she requested sequins, I cringed a little. But this Moroccan wedding blanket was the perfect solution. It jingles ever so lightly! I wanted to take it home with me. I searched high and low for a vintage one that was large enough to fit the king bed but not a bazillion dollars. I kept the rest of the bedding simple with a linen duvet and lumbar pillow. The bordered euro shams are a nice detail and tie in to the khaki stripes on the Moroccan blanket.

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Patterned sheets are a fun surprise when the duvet is pulled back.

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X-based campaign-style nightstands pop against the moody walls. The geometric lines contrast with the headboard’s curves. I LOVE the lamps. They’re oversized to match the scale of the headboard. Anything smaller would have been dwarfed. The wood bases warm up the white nightstands and bedding.

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I turned to one of my favorite artists, Clare Elsaesser, to fill the void between the windows. I’ve always loved her work. The rich color combinations, tangled poses and fluid brush strokes create a dream-like quality making her pieces ideal for a bedroom. I framed the large print in a poster frame spray painted gold to match the curtain rods (also spray painted gold). At the eleventh hour, I decided to add black ribbon trim to the leading edges of the curtains for a little drama. It was more work but not expensive and totally worth it.

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I think a TV in the bedroom is a personal choice and my clients choose to have one in theirs. To make it less conspicuous, we mounted it on the wall above one of the vintage dressers I rehabbed. (The dark walls go a long way in hiding the TV, too.) An accordion-like bracket allows the screen to be angled toward the bed for easier viewing.

I was the teensiest bit apprehensive about the dressers. I absolutely LOVE how they turned out and knew they would look great in the space. However, when I met with my client initially, she told me she didn’t like gold and preferred “rustic” furniture pieces. The minute she saw them, she was sold – on the gold and the midcentury style. I was so glad because the clean lines and warm wood tones were very much needed in the space. I made her a believer! (Her husband loves them, too, but I knew he would.)

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The feather finish tops were a hit, too.

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I brought in a bench and mirror for easy dressing and quick once-overs. (A hallway leading to his and hers closets is located just to the left of the bench.) The mirror actually came with the dresser I used in my boys’ room. I had no use for it but hung on to it because it’s a solid piece. It finally found a home! At night, the Moroccan blanket can be folded up and placed on the bench.

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My client had her heart set on a chaise for the adjacent sitting area. She imagined it as a quiet space for lounging with a book and / or a glass of wine.

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A metal accent table picks up on other gold details in the room and provides a surface for reading material and a drink. Layered textiles create a relaxed vibe. The kilim pillow repeats the color scheme of the artwork in the sleeping area. The hanging planter fills vertical space and adds life to the vignette. We treated the two smaller windows as one large one (one curtain rod, two curtain panels) to make the space feel lighter and brighter.

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I paired the other dresser with black and white abstract art to give the sitting area a modern edge.

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The best part? My clients absolutely love the room. I can’t tell you how good it feels to witness people go from detesting a living space to not wanting to leave it. I’m so grateful they allowed me to put my spin on things. Not everyone is willing to go dark or try things outside of their comfort zone, but they were game. Thanks Maggie & Jeremy!

Resources of note:

wall paint – Benjamin Moore kendall charcoal, color-matched in Valspar Reserve
ceiling fan – Amazon
headboard – Mariah headboard in taft pewter, Arhaus*
Moroccan wedding blanket – etsy
linen duvet, lumbar pillow – Ikea
euro shams – Ralph Lauren in polished bronze, Macy’s
sheets – Target
nightstands – Overstock
wood lamps – Lamps Plus
ring holder – Target
curtain rods – Amazon (spray painted gold with Rustoleum Universal pure gold)
curtains – Ikea
black ribbon trim – Amazon
large print – “Unclasped” by Clare Elsaesser, etsy
poster frame – Amazon (spray painted gold with Rustoleum Universal pure gold)
dressers – vintage, DIY
pierced hurricane candleholders – Target
woven basket – Target
bench – Overstock
mirror – vintage
chaise – Audrey chaise in tumble natural, Arhaus*
black and white abstract art & wood frames – Minted*
jute plant hanger – Amazon
olive throw – Overstock
kilim pillow – etsy
metal side table – Urban Outfitters
hide & sheepskin rugs – Ikea
task lamp – Ikea
ivy planter – thrifted

*Denotes items provided specifically for this project. This is NOT a sponsored post but I would like to thank Arhaus and Minted for providing the items listed above. I am grateful to be in a unique position to pass along quality products to my clients to help stretch their budgets. You can see more pictures of this space and read my tips for creating a beautiful bedroom over on Arhaus’s blog, Greenhaus.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

61 Comments

This turned out amazing and is giving me so much inspiration while we are in the final stretch of our own bedroom makeover. You are always so on point with warm accent colors (the shams and kilim pillow especially–I always lean blues and you have me wanting to branch out!). Also, the photos are stunning. New camera? Or maybe you are just getting better and better!

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replied on June 26th, 2015

I am in love with your bedroom – and it isn’t even finished yet! Also, I have big heart eyes for your laundry room. I used the same camera and implemented some of Alison’s (Deuce Cities Henhouse) photography tips. It was an overcast day, so that helped but the light was fading fast by the time I staged everything the way I wanted it. I really want to invest in a new lens. I think I’ve mastered the one I have, but it might have to wait a while longer.

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26.June.2015

Beautifully done Dana!

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26.June.2015

I spotted the same brown leather ottoman you have in your own home yet I didn’t see it listed in the list. Did you bring it in for staging purposes?

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replied on June 26th, 2015

Yep, just for staging to fill in gaps here and there in the photos ;)

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26.June.2015

Love this room. Totally gives me confidence as I tackle our long awaited master bedroom revamp.

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Wow, totally love this and how real the space is! Great job!

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26.June.2015

This bedroom turned out amazing. Your style is definitely more modern than my own, but I am always so drawn to your home and work. Now I’m fully contemplating painting my own master a dark color! I love the wedding blanket and moody art. Beautiful!

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26.June.2015

what a transformation! i really like how you utilized the space in the two rooms. great job!

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26.June.2015

Amazing transformation! Exactly what I needed to start painting my own bedroom, thanks for giving me the inspiration!

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26.June.2015

THANK YOU for sharing this! We’ve been in our builder boring house for almost 3 years now. We’ve made most of it “us”, but our bedroom is seriously neglected (as seems pretty common). I’ve felt stuck on what to do for a long time and this really got my wheels turning. Such a beautiful makeover!

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26.June.2015

Great before and after!

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26.June.2015

Looks so good! I’m enjoying seeing your style applied to other homes. Hope to see more of this in the future!

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26.June.2015

Great work Dana!! I love everything about this room! the blanket, wall color, lamps, plants & the beautiful dressers you did!! A+ Job i bet that client will sleep well! :)

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26.June.2015

Great job! You have such a great eye for design, I love your style. I can imagine your clients are thrilled.

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26.June.2015

Wow!! Your transformation looks amazing and your photography is AWESOME!!

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26.June.2015

You did a spectacular job. You are so right about doing “something” even if it is not everything you want. We find ourselves renting after nearly a decade of pouring our energy, money, and meager talents into making our first starter house a lovely home. I’m having a hard time picturing how I can help make the rental house homey without painting, changing light fixtures, and installing permanent features. But I need to start doing “something” with what I have instead of complaining or just dreaming. Thanks for the inspiration.

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I had our master bedroom re-do fairly well planned out in my head, and then you go along and post this. Darn you for making me re-think it all (and I mean that in the best way possible)! :)

Great, great job!

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replied on June 26th, 2015

Sorry? I hear you though. Suddenly I feel the need to paint my bedroom a dark color.

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26.June.2015

Wow, Dana! This is truly an astounding and amazing transformation. You may have been a good pharmacist, but I think you have found your niche as a stylist/decorator. And it looks like it would be a lot more fun!! Would you be able to divulge how much they spent on everything that is in the room? Not what you charged, and not the paint- just all the décor that made this space so special. I don’t know how you resisted the wedding blanket; I don’t think I could have!

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Oh my geez, what a relaxing, tranquil space you made them! Those walls just totally make that space (the headboard is a close, close second). Awesome job Dana!!

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26.June.2015

This is one of my favorite rooms ever! You seriously outdid yourself! L O V E everything about it!

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26.June.2015

I love how this room came out. Its very relaxing and inviting! It looks like a great place to escape and I love the wall color!

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26.June.2015

beyond gorgeous, truly.

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26.June.2015

I love what you did with this room. I’m not usually a fan of grey walls, but I think it looks beautiful and soothing here. I could even imagine having it for myself. The mix of elements creates a peaceful, simple and elegant environment.

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27.June.2015

Wow – what a difference! I really love how you incorporated the luxe but also grounded it with simple, modern touches. So luxe but also so warm – it’s a great space now!

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27.June.2015

Very nice work, Dana! Even the sequins!

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27.June.2015

All the heart eye emojis possible. SO SO beautiful!

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WOW! This is just stunning! What an incredible room, and I just *love* that charcoal grey. You must be incredibly pleased with how this has turned out. You are very talented :)
x Sam

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replied on June 30th, 2015

Thanks Sam. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to take the wedding blanket, lamps and dressers home with me ;)

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27.June.2015

That bedspread is stunning!

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29.June.2015

stunning! I love the contrast of the dark walls and lighter bedding with those rich wood lamps. very luxe, but totally liveable.

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29.June.2015

A beautiful, real life makeover! I love Clare’s piece in the room and the dressers most of all. Great work and inspiration! Thanks for sharing.

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29.June.2015

Good call on moving the bed. I would have never thought to do it, but it’s definitely the right spot for it. I’m now obsessed with that giant art. And those lamps!!! Way too big for my nightstands, but OMG. And I can’t believe that price.

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replied on June 30th, 2015

I know. I had been eyeing those lamps for over a year.

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29.June.2015

The bedroom looks amazing. It really is a great transformation. I really appreciate your thought process on how you balance a space. Those lamps are amazing.

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30.June.2015

Wow – just Wow. This is lovely.

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30.June.2015

LOVE what you did there! My bedroom is definitely lacking and being able to see great clear photos and read about why you chose what you did is super helpful and inspiring! I have a deep charcoal wall in my bedroom and plan to hand some art in gold frames on it and I can tell already that I’m going to love it. Now if only I had enough room for those wood lamps…..

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01.July.2015

This bedroom is so stunning! You made it look so cozy and comfortable like how a bedroom should be. Awesome job!

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01.July.2015

I love everything about this room. This is spring-boarding me into finally doing our master bedroom, after 10 years of being in the same house. Finally. Thank you.

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01.July.2015

So beautiful! Does IKEA sell those curtain with the black strip on each side or are they white IKEA curtains and you added the black strip? If you added the black strip how did you do it? I have some white curtains and I’m looking to add a little character to them and these look like just the thing.

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replied on July 7th, 2015

I sourced the curtains (plain white) and black ribbon trim (separate from Amazon) in the source list. I just sewed the ribbon trim on to the leading edges of the curtain panels.

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replied on July 8th, 2015

I didn’t even see the ribbon trim. So sorry. Thanks for replying. :)

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replied on July 8th, 2015

No worries!

02.July.2015

As always Dana, you make a room look inviting and polished! So much inspiration in one post!! You have such a gift for design! xoxo

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02.July.2015

Absolutely stunning! That nightstand is to die for! :)

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02.July.2015

I love this headboard! Could you suggest a rug to use in the bedroom area?

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03.July.2015

Dana!! This room is gorgeous. You had me at moody walls and wedding blanket. #sogood. You did such a fantastic job friend.

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replied on July 7th, 2015

Thanks lady! Those moody walls have me seriously considering something similar in my own bedroom.

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04.July.2015

That’s great advice, Dana! My husband and I just moved to San Francisco from Australia and we’re totally starting from scratch in terms of furniture. Our bedroom has zero storage and I want to make the room have a little more form and function. You’ve motivated me to get started on putting up some open shelving above my dresser, even if that’s the only thing I do for now :)

I started a blog to document our adventures in a new country so you can actually see my plan for the shelving at http://keepingupwithkeegan.com/2015/06/23/absent/.

The bordered Euro shams are my favourite bit of your makeover. So pretty!

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04.July.2015

The finished product looks absolutely stunning. Congrats on a fabulous job!

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replied on July 7th, 2015

Aw, thanks!

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06.July.2015

This is absolutely gorgeous! You can come to Zanesville and design our remodel!

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06.July.2015

Wonderful work! I’ve loved watching the evolution of your style and can’t wait to see more in the future. I am always impressed by your ability to source great materials and pieces. I’d love a future post compiling your go-to design choices (online stores, pieces, paint colors, accents, etc.) for those of us who don’t always get it right or feel totally overwhelmed by the choices.

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[…] Get the ball rolling and start somewhere […]

12.July.2015

Do you happen to have a link for the bench? I love it and it would be absolutely perfect in my space. I’ve searched for it on Overstock, but can’t seem to find it.

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replied on July 14th, 2015

No link because I couldn’t find it on Overstock anymore either :( Must have sold out.

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04.September.2015

Any particular “vendors” you like to use for kilim pillows on etsy? Thanks!

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replied on September 8th, 2015

I’ve bought from several etsy shops. I usually check the reviews to make sure I’m working with a reputable seller. I’m not committed to one particular seller. If there’s a pillow cover I love and the reviews look good, I buy it!

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04.July.2016

I really love the transformation!Love everything here ! Very gorgeous bedroom. What I really like the most is the headboard, very unique and catchy to the eye. Good job, this is such an inspiration.

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07.December.2016

Hi! It is One of the best makeovers of a room I have ever seen!

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