Sylvia’s Makeover: Master Bedroom
Sylvia and Riccardo’s master bedroom was ripe for a makeover. In case you are wondering who these people are, jump back to this post to learn about this surprise home makeover. Their bedroom was crowded with big boxy dark furniture and empty of style or personality. Like many, many people they didn’t know what to do with it so they never really decorated it.
They had a serious storage issue and their curtains blocked out all natural light. Riccardo (being the gentleman he is) had all his clothes on a rolling rack because Sylvia took up all the closet space.
I knew that we weren’t going to be able to accommodate all of his needs without having 2 dressers and and armoire so I advised them to do a big purge and they did.
Of all the furniture in their house their existing dresser and nightstands were pretty good quality and were new-ish. I wanted to keep at least one of them and while it could have looked good in here, we decided to repurpose the dresser as their TV stand in the living room. The furniture was simply too big and bulky for that room and we needed to lighten it up.
Onto the paneling. I wanted to take these rooms up a notch in style and character. They are fairly basic and I wanted them to look beautiful. I showed our contractor this photo (specifically the one on the right) and said ‘how inexpensive and fast can you make this happen:
He said it could happen and while I’d love to tell you the cost he lumped it in with everything – painting the whole house, ripping up the linoleum and carpet in the living/dining and putting down the new flooring – all the materials for that (a total of around $8k but who likes to think about things like that?) So it’s hard to say how much this particular paneling project cost, but the materials for it were fairly inexpensive. We used simple pre-primed (4″ I think) baseboard for the raised panels and 4′ x 8′ thin plywood sheeting for the base (which would not be necessary if you have a flat wall – theirs was textured) and then we topped the top off with a 1×2 trim. It was very simple and definitely could be recreated in your own room.
They glued the thin plywood to the wall (to create a flat surface), nail gunned the vertical pieces and the top trim then painted them all.
We chose to make the hight of the paneling higher because it would make the room look bigger and because it felt like in a bedroom we could handle it. The only thing to think about is that if you have a lot of art, it’s tricky to hang it at typical eye height due to the paneling. We didn’t have any art, nor did we really want to put a bunch of art so for us the paneling was a really good way to make impact without cluttering the room with a lot of things.
They had to add the plywood underneath because it was textured (as you can see below) and that would have looked pretty DIY/bad. But if you don’t have textured walls you can skip that step.
Just look how fresh this is. It was already a completely different room. I now want to do this in every single house. I particularly love how it’s a way that you can bring in color without having to commit to a big floor to ceiling, all four walls, type of thing. Just that band of color adds so much life, without being overwhelming.
We created a mood board for this room, too which i’m realizing we didn’t really stick that close to. This was created weeks before we actually shopped in store and Peter helped pull together the product boards. I felt like this wasn’t quite punchy enough, even though we did want it to stay really bright/airy. So we changed out the rug, lamps and added more color (pink) instead of blue.
Here is the finished master bedroom!
I love this room very much. It’s so pretty, airy and soft now (even though there is a metal headboard!).
Let’s start with the bed. Previously they had a big black solid wood headboard against that window. Now in a perfect world your bed isn’t against a window, but we didn’t have a choice here so we chose the wall that was the longest in order to be able to add more storage/furniture for them. Having a non-solid bed, letting all the light come through, made it feel so much bigger and airier. I haven’t done that before and have always struggled with the whole ‘bed in front of the window’ situation, but now I know what I’ll do. Then you float it out a bit so you can have curtains. Romans weren’t really an option for this room, budget-wise but I actually love how much softness the curtains bring in and romans wouldn’t have done that.
Also a note about footboards – you don’t have to use them. I think that this bed comes as a full bed as well as just a headboard, and sometimes in smaller rooms the footboard can really stop your eye and make it feel smaller. But I love this bed and have wanted to use it in a project for a while.
The week of the shoot Sylvia told me she liked pink a lot so I was desperate to bring some in and I didn’t want to do it in a loud hot pink kind of way. That blanket, pillow and art did the job ( the flowers, duh).
On the other side of the room was that vintage armoire that I absolutely want for myself. We got it for $350 at an antique mall and it fit PERFECTLY. The wood tones were fine with the dresser and nightstand. Which if you are needing a bit of “style school” in, we have put together this little video to help you style out your nightstands.
The dresser and nightstand are great but I want to warn you that it did take us 5 hours to put together so it tests your ikea-ability for sure :).
We hung the mirror from the picture rail which totally worked. In my mind we were going to use a beautiful vintage chain and have it be a triangle shape but that mirror was HEAVY.
The black of the handles worked so well with the black of the bed. Boom. Likewise the wood of the frame helped pull in the wood of the armoire. We mixed metals – silver and gold, happily in this room and I loved how they looked together.
All in all it was a pretty easy bedroom to design – we kept it light and airy with only small subtle pops of light color and utilized as much storage as possible.
You know I love a good before and after shot! Had I had access to her pretty perfumes I would have put them on her tray (she had everything boxed up). And I told them they could put their TV back in thier bedroom if they wanted but we couldn’t bare to put it in there!
They were really psyched about the bedroom as you can see 🙂 We were, too.
I love how happy they both look here:
But you can see it even better in the video:
So there you have it, Sylvia and Riccardo’s master bedroom. I would take that bedroom in a second. Thanks again, Target for all the beautiful furniture and accessories.
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*Photography by . Great design/styling help from Peter Dolkas, Video by