A Shiny Happy Bedroom Makeover
Welcome to another one of my favorite makeovers ever. A ‘before and after’ that once again makes me want to redo my bedroom and start all over. This is one of the only drawbacks to my job – I leave the makeover to proud of the space and even a little jealous. This time, guys, at our new house I am going to treat myself like a client. I’m going to take the time, money and energy to do it right … because I really want a bedroom like this.
Remember that makeover contest with that I announced a few weeks back? Well, we found a winner of a family and made over the parents master bedroom. The room that was the most neglected, and the one they were dying to deal with the most. It turned out quite beautiful and satisfying if I do say so myself.
So here’s the story. Emily and her husband Gary have 3 very cute and energetic boys (extra fun for me since i’m having one myself), one with special needs (Mosaic Down Syndrome) that takes a lot of extra time and resources. So the parents, like most parents, don’t have the time and energy to put into their own bedroom, their own space because they are busy giving their boys everything they need and want to have the best childhood ever.
The rest of the house was happy and bright, Emily has done a great job, but the bedroom was pretty sad; It was unconsidered, underwhelming and generally just not a space that you were excited to go into. I can’t stress enough the importance of an inviting bedroom, especially for parents who undoubtedly have chaotic schedules, high energy boys and generally a lot of emotional and physical clutter. They NEED a space at the end of the day that feels calm, quiet and just for them. Kids or not, you all need that, actually.
The main problems with this bedroom are as follows:
1. Generally full of lots of ‘starter furniture’ that didn’t look good together.
2. Too much furniture and stuff – trying to get a good nights sleep in a room full of clutter is like trying to do the dishes while you are getting a massage, its doable but the one is kinda cancelling out the benefits of the other.
3. No grown up bed. Everyone deserves a grown up bed once one is grown up.
4. Un-functional and unattractive mismatched window treatments. Great windows, sure, but we needed to make them look beautiful and intentional.
5 . Generally just not a happy, calm bedroom to be in for two hardworking adults that have three kids.
So we started the process by meeting with Emily three weeks ago at their house. We received a list of needs and wants and tried our best to manage them. She was so excited and open to our ideas and really gave us very few parameters which was awesome since we had 10 days to turn around the design (including wallpaper installation). So if she had been picky it could have been difficult, but it was such a pleasure. The whole makeover was just so fun.
That’s me, Emily and Ginny my new totally amazing lead designer and general #2. We went through all the colors they love and hate (no lavender or ‘princess’ colors) and what styles they like. Emily said she was a mix of and which sounded awesome to us. Of course both those brands are kinda feminine so we also had to think of how we were going to incorporate her husband style. The husbands are always cramping my style, except not at all (Plus her husband was super effusive about how much he loved it which couldn’t have made us happier).
We met with our Alla, which I have to admit was such an unbelievable treat you have no idea. I’m about 100 times more of an expert in window treatments that I used to be and probably even more than the average home owner, but i’m still not an expert. There is just a lot to know. I know that looks good, but knowing all the options out there functionally is a totally different story.
Sosends a consultant that brings every option in the world – shutters, rolling shades, blinds, bamboo shades, roman shades, motorized shades, drapes, accordian shades, etc. Then once we decided on what style we wanted, we chose the finish – the fabrics, colors and rods/finials. As a designer it saved me so much time of pulling photos, getting fabric options, etc, etc (which saves the client money because we charge hourly). Having someone come to their house and bring everything with them so we could look at every option possible actually in the rooms, makes so much sense. I’m telling you, you think that readymade is cheap and of course it can be, but the time you spend buying, measuring, buying the rods, installing, etc is a lot. My recommendation – if you are renting or if you want some five year solutions then go for the readymade, but like anything if you can splurge on the investment and get this service you will be so happy. It was my second time using this company and it was awesome.
Plus they measured everything – and I like measuring about as much as I like being forced to dance sober to The Village People at 8am – I can do it, sure, but in general its just not pretty and it just makes me VERY irritated.
Trying to make sure that its going to hang exactly to the desired length is really hard – you have to remember to calculate in the inches for the rings/hardware and then measure the sides make sure that you have enough rod to be able to open the curtains completely but not so much that it looks out of proportion. I’m making it sound like it’s easy to mess up and thats because it really is. I have done 30 houses in the last two years and I just started hiring someone in the last 4-5 of them, and its turned out better for everyone. Unless I just have a couple windows and its in a kids room, then I hire that out. Its up there with upholstery and wallpaper installation – things that I leave to the experts. I don’t want to discourage you if you can’t afford this service – window treatments, like upholstery and wallpaper, are absolutely doable but they are just way more difficult on your own.
If you are wondering if you need to have a designer to get the consultant, the answer is absolutely not – its a free service included in the price of the window treatments and installation. Its all inclusive – you don’t even have to think. And sometimes I LOVE just not thinking about minutia.
In this case Alla recommended what she thought would be the most functional for them, and I helped decide on the rest of it.
We decided on the window treatments, took a ton of pictures and notes and spent the next week conceptualizing, shopping, coordinating and installing. It was fast and a challenge, but totally fun. I was in New York working on place (reveal next week!) and Ginny was here mad texting me photos every 1/2 hour for approval, keeping me updated on purchases and generally just killing it. I got back in time to do most of the shopping and install in two days.
Oh, i do love a good transformation:
And now …
Yup. That there is a shiny happy bedroom for two well deserving parents. The room had a ton of potential – it had good light, it wasn’t small and there was nothing too tricky about it architecturally. We started with the wallpaper by which I LOVE VERY VERY MUCH. Its gold knots on a cream background and its so soothing and quiet but at the same time so stylish and adds a lot of texture and depth to the room. Plus it bounces that light around so its even shinier and happier.
Emily and Gary gave us free reign on color palette so we chose to do this nude, coral, mossy green, gold, wood and white story which felt fresh and happy and yet gender neutral. They needed a lot of storage, so we reupholstered their storage trunk in a super lucscious peach velvet and brought in some nightstands that could hold a lot.
Those vintage nightstands were a ‘day before’ score. We had a couple others lined up that were simple, mid-century and cute, but when we found these, with these insane nobs (and lots of storage) Ginny and I both knew they were the winners. The color could be so wrong in many rooms but its absolutely perfect in here – it has a retro vibe but in such a fun, unexpected way.
The wood lamps on top are from my favorite store in LA, and help bring in some masculinity into the space with their chunky woodness. We kept the bedding white and simple and then just mixed some nude and coral textured blankets from in there to soften the huge bed of whiteness.
On the opposite wall we had these two ikea dressers that they liked the size, shape and function of – but we really didn’t like the generic ‘dark wood’ color. We were going for something really bright, happy, airy and clean, and these really dark dressers brought in HUGE contrast which made the room look and feel a lot smaller.
But finding two matching dressers (or two dressers that looked good together) that had the same storage capacity, were in stock in LA, were within our budget and most importantly the style and color that we wanted was virtually impossible.
So we decided to rent a sprayer from Lowes and spray paint them both in ‘Pensive Sky’ by Behr. Its a really light swedish gray, that leans towards blue. We basically matched it to the window treatments to help pepper that color around the room evenly.
It looks like Mike is just sitting back there and staring at the side of the dresser, but he’s not …. unless he is in which case he is actually just watching paint dry and I probably should have told him that that wasn’t necessary. The spray machines are $60 to rent and eliminate all brushstrokes and make everything go so much faster and neater. Its not as effective as lacquer but its wildly cheaper (again having any piece lacquered is normally around $300, big or small).
It seemed crazy to spend lacquering money on ikea dressers ( the delivery and pickup, etc) so this was a really good solution. We did three pieces (the two dressers and a large mirror) for $60 the cost of paint and labor ($200).
I can’t believe what a difference it makes. Its instantly such a prettier piece that says ‘hey put clothes away happily in me’ not ‘i’m a huge black generic box breaking up visual lines in your room’. Of course we had to replace the knobs, too, and bought these $2 nobs from that brought in the coral color from the rest of the room. Here’s a secret: Anthropologie has AWESOME knobs, truly, some killer pieces. But Cost Plus has some that are almost identical for literally an 8th the price. They don’t have my favorites (that were like $22 a knob and i’m not sure who can afford them) but they have really good versions of others of theirs.
For the windows we had to deal with 1 sliding glass door and one high horizontal transom window. Two different windows that needed two different treatments – and a lot of love and attention. Now, these don’t necessarily need to match in style, but I am a fan of making them match in color/fabric so they look cohesive and speak to each other. We chose a curtain for the sliding glass door and roman shade for the transom. We like how the curtains added even more softness to the space whereas a roman over the sliding glass door would be really big and expose all the hardware of the door which isn’t as pretty as the moulding around the transom window.
We chose a simple traditional pleat to give it some fulness and femininity but then we put it on this really modern rod situation that I LOVE and that modernized the whole window. I think it’s what I’m going to do in my house. I love how it edges up those curtains a lot and it still hides the rings/clips or hooks – I wouldn’t know what is back there because I DIDN’T HAVE TO INSTALL THEM. I don’t think you understand what a treat that is. I often think that the reason that you hire a designer is to avoid doing things like window treatments, rug pads and storage solutions – all the things that can be super un-fun, technical, laborious but very necessary. Once they are done you are soooo much happier, just doing them can be stressful and something that you put off for years.
I love how this fabric has this herringbone texture to it – in the color ‘Ryland Mist’ from . We went with something neutral and soft to again make the room feel bigger and brighter. Something with a high contrast in color could look great in a photo but wouldn’t visually be as calm. We lined it with a medium weight lining – enough to filter the light and make it so they can sleep in, but not black it out completely. Sometimes black out drapes can be just so heavy and block too much of the light during the day unless they are slammed totally open. As a morning person (when did that happen?) I like to be woken by some natural light (rarely an alarm) so I actually don’t want blackouts in my bedroom although it would probably be really good for me to force me to sleep more (but why is sleep so boring?). Something in between a really light lining and a blackout is perfect. brought like 15 lining options so we chose a medium weight white option and its perfect.
For the transom above the bed we did a simple flat panel roman shade, with horizontal pleats to give it some texture in the same fabric and lining as the curtain. Sometimes the straight flat panel can look really dead when it’s totally down, so we wanted to make sure that up or down it looks awesome. We chose outside mount to make the window look bigger, of course.
I have to say that this shade is extremely strong. I’m always skeptical of roman shades – they are so expensive and often still break, but these are first of all guaranteed, and secondly feel really indestructible compared to mine at home. You can really tug on it and its not budging at all.
Of course while I’m doing any project I’m designing my own house mentally and I’m just fantasizing about my window treatments. They hit the floor in the perfect place. They feel strong, durable, grown up and so high quality. I know that its tempting to use ready-made, but when you see what professionally made and installed custom treatments are like, i’m telling you, if you can make the splurge it’s absolutely worth it.
I mean, look how happy they are about the curtains:
Hanging out on a bed with three boys, while you are 8 months pregnant and asking them to ‘jump but just this once’ is a wildly dangerous but exciting endeavor. I’m going to wrestle so much with my little one I just can’t wait.
Well there you have it. The whole makeover was just awesome; the family was so deserving and so lovely to work with. The room turned out just so calm, sophisticated and pretty, and because it was a free makeover it took away a lot of the designer/client stress. Free makeovers are pretty much the best. 🙂
Thank you so much, for sponsoring this makeover. It was such a perfect partnership because I got to do what I love (design and style) and they helped by bringing in the expert in something that even I put off doing – really good window treatments.
That there is what we call a ‘Win, win’, folks and such a shiny, happy bedroom makeover.
Now go and get the look (below) and stay tuned for the video from tomorrow!
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Resources: 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 Painted in | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33
This post was in partnership with , but all designs, words and thoughts are mine. Thank you so much for supporting these companies that support the makeovers we do.
All ‘before’ photos by the lovely and all ‘after’ photos by lovely