Apt. Makeover: My Master Bedroom

bedroom-decorating-headboardWhen we first saw our late-19th-century condo in Hoboken, NJ, Mike and I fell in love with its original architectural elements: wide plank floors, high ceilings, crown molding, plaster medallion, and fireplaces–but the 21st-century touches weren’t exactly a selling point. From peach paint to shiny gold hardware to wrought-iron fixtures, it all had to go. First, because it was less than our style, but, secondly, we just had to make it our own. Having worked in interior-design magazines for over five years, I couldn’t just unpack my things and move in. I had a decorative itch to scratch, and, fortunately, my fiancé Mike had the patience and power tools to help me do it.

Over the next week I’ll be unveiling a room makeover a day, so be sure to check back (or subscribe to my newsletter on the top right of any page)! Each space has a story, but there is no better place to start than the master bedroom.

bedroom-decorating dontsBedroom Before
As the previous owner had it, you could tell it was lovely room . . . she just had massive pieces of furniture covering the best parts. The fat sleigh bed spilled over the windows and blocked the fireplace from full view; a dark velvet bedspread absorbed the life out of the space; and the excess of dressers created a traffic jam at every turn. Leaving little inspiration for layout or decor, we decided to pick a new palette and go from there.

bedroom-decorating-bedThe Palette
I’ll admit I did not have a crystal-clear vision of how I’d decorate our home, but I knew one thing for certain: I wanted a wallpapered accent wall behind our bed (see the installation). In a large-scale pattern, a paper can in essence become the headboard and a dramatic substitute for conventional wall art. I’ve always loved Ferm Living’s Leaf pattern (it’s even my blog header), and with its olive and dusty blue colors, it makes a gorgeous palette for a room. Taking a cue from the leaf design, we painted the other three walls with Benjamin Moore #HC-143, so when you walk in the room you are greeted with a soothing sea shade; when you turn, the pop of pattern is a nice surprise.

bedroom-decorating-ideas-fireplaceThe Fireplace
Next project on the list: excavating the fireplace. We figured it had been boarded up for a good reason, but the prospect of a hearth in our bedroom was too good not to investigate—and the black piece of faux marble covering it was too heinous to keep. So we ripped off the covering and out spills the chimney. Long, dramatic, dirty story short (click here for the full debacle), nine hours and a thousand pounds of rubble later, we had a fireplace. As for the shiny cherry mantel, we cut out the overly ornate arch, distressed it with a screwdriver, and painted it with a thick coat of oil-based white. We have yet to attach it to the wall because the brick base is a bit tricky, but this project will undoubtedly be in a future blog.

bedroom-decorating ideas deskThe Homespun Built-ins
Each floor in this three-story building is slightly different, and when it comes to our bedrooms, our ground-floor neighbors have the most enviable built-ins. Yes, we could have hired a carpenter to replicate them, but for $100 in parts from IKEA, we thought we’d try and build them ourselves (full post here). The shelves nestle perfectly into the alcove, making the blue of the wall feel more like a painted cabinet. And my favorite part of the setup? The bookshelves continue all the way down to my vintage Stickley desk; its open sides allow for extra storage and a peek of color.

bedroom-decorating-ideas-full room shotWindow Treatments
It wasn’t until two months ago that we put up window treatments—partly out of laziness and partly out of a secret apathy toward curtains. I thought they would feel fussy, would cover my pretty window molding, and be superfluous when combined with actual blinds. Boy was I wrong. These white-on-white geometric curtains have changed the entire dynamic of the room. Sheer, flowy, and textural, they add just enough privacy but allow for the nicest sunlight. They truly finish the room.

See more more of my room makeovers:

The Bathroom

The Kitchen

The Guest Bedroom

And stay tuned for the living room!

36 Comments

  1. Stephanie said:

    I love, love, love the romantic feel of the room. Blue calm meets nature’s seduction; exactly what every bedroom calls for. It’s a wonderful color pallet and I love the exposed brick fireplace. What a shame anyone would ever cover that up! And the birch book-end and the candle sconces are a nice touch. Well done!

    March 25, 2010
    Reply
  2. Timothy said:

    Awesome space! Great to see you dive into that fireplace even though it left a huge mess.

    March 25, 2010
    Reply
  3. ecolgan said:

    This is by far the my favorite room in the apartment. I love the curtains. I think they add a softness to the room and filter the sunlight beautifully. Curtains were the first thing I put up in my new place!

    March 25, 2010
    Reply
  4. themarionhousebook said:

    Love your idea of slowly unveiling each of your room makeovers. Looking forward to checking back and seeing the whole house revealed!

    March 25, 2010
    Reply
  5. cynthia said:

    so lovely! may i ask where you bought your curtains? they're just what i've been looking for, particularly thanks to your comment about how they let in sunlight while allowing you some privacy… congrats on having created an enviable bedroom!

    March 25, 2010
    Reply
  6. So nice of you to say! The curtains are actually from IKEA; they are called Stockholm Figur and go for a ridiculously good price of $30 for a pair.
    Here's the product link if you'd like to take a closer look http://smal.in/ncr

    March 25, 2010
    Reply
  7. trendoffice said:

    A great example of making a house home!

    March 26, 2010
    Reply
  8. KitKat said:

    Where is the bedding from?

    March 26, 2010
    Reply
  9. I am revealing the bargain hunter in me with these comments…they are from Home Goods by a company called Bella Lux Fine Linens. Surprisingly pretty for bed in a bag, right?

    March 26, 2010
    Reply
  10. Ludmila said:

    I just love those wallpapers, that mix of colors makes me drool!!! May I feature your home on my blog? Please let me know what do you think!

    Best,
    Ludmila
    http://www.creamylife.com

    March 26, 2010
    Reply
  11. KateBladt said:

    Wow, this is a stunning concept! I love the colors you chose and the curtains really do finish the room off wonderfully. Can't wait to see more!!

    March 26, 2010
    Reply
  12. manny said:

    Great post…..great photos
    I believe in designing your bedroom with comfort in mind. While buying a house may be the biggest financial investment we make, buying the right bed is one of the most important

    March 30, 2010
    Reply
  13. manny said:

    Great post…..great photos
    I believe in designing your bedroom with comfort in mind. While buying a house may be the biggest financial investment we make, buying the right bed is one of the most important

    March 31, 2010
    Reply
  14. I absolutely love the blue you have chosen to paint. I’m looking for a color just like this one for my room! I’ve been looking EVERYWHERE and can’t find it. What’s it called????

    November 12, 2010
    Reply
  15. Kitchen said:

    I love the curtains. Blue calm meets nature’s seduction; exactly what every bedroom calls for. It’s a brilliant colour pallet and I am liking the exposed brick hearth.

    March 19, 2011
    Reply
  16. Anonymous said:

    As for the bright cherry coat cut that overly it saddens them, ornate arch with a screwdriver and painted white with a thick coat of oil-based. You don’t have it install because the brick base is a bit difficult on the wall, but this project in a future blog without a doubt.
    Web design rochdale

    March 28, 2011
    Reply
  17. SEO Chester said:

    The fireplace is beautiful ! A lovely design all round :-)

    June 6, 2011
    Reply
  18. Lipo said:

    In the above existing post your master bedroom are looks really awesome. The architecture of your bedroom is really looking with full of elegance. I like your wall print and curtains. Thanks !!

    June 9, 2011
    Reply
  19. Anonymous said:

    This one is really looking one of the best post about incredible home impression. As the content and features are really looking most informative about it. And this one is really looking promising. I really like the window treatment information of this post. Thanks for sharing some mind blowing information. Please keep going.

    custom window treatments

    June 17, 2011
    Reply
  20. Anonymous said:

    test

    July 15, 2011
    Reply
  21. Robert James said:

    I loved the way table is converted into the pallet.. Really, in this way anyone can change anything of their house hold into the pallet.. An innovative idea.. Thanks for sharing.. 

    pallet racks

    August 4, 2011
    Reply
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    September 8, 2011
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  27. I have appreciated reading your work. You ought to implement a GooglePlus button in your site, for folks to save it.

    February 13, 2012
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  28. Even if that may be an old post, I found it’s however up to date. Thank you!

    February 13, 2012
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  29. Robin Lacagnina said:

    The room looks amazing!  I especially love the round mirror over the mantle.  Where did you get it?

    January 9, 2013
    Reply
  30. vietnamvisa said:

    This room is so beautiful, I really like decoration of room, especially the bed is so wonderful. Looking the bed that I just want to lie on it. Wishing I have a room like this in the future.

    June 21, 2013
    Reply

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