Believe me, I know all about “bleh.”
When we moved into our house, our master bedroom looked like this:
The freshly-polished floors were lovely, but the walls were still the original scuffed dirty-white, and we had a floral flashback to deal with in the form of that half-broken curtain.
Basically, the room was bleh. Very dinghy, very bland, and with way too much brown in our furniture and decor accents. We’re talking brown cushion, brown bed runner, brown side tables, brown lamp bases, and brown floors.
Oh, and when we unpacked, we hung our wedding picture on a hook that was already in the wall. For the next year, every time I walked into that room, that too-high, off-centred picture irritated me.
Besides which, we had a very uninviting blank wall to look at from our bed, with a (brown) tallboy just stuck there in the corner looking all awkward and out of place like a pimply teenager at a dance.
When I was pregnant with Allegra, my nesting hormones kicked into overdrive. Suddenly this room update could not wait a minute longer. I HAD to fix this room, and not just this room but the boys’ bedroom and of course the new nursery. I spent weeks with a paintbrush in hand, balanced sideways on a ladder, because my enormous belly wouldn’t fit front-ways. I’m hardcore like that.
So, I’m going to show you what I did with this room – and then I’m going to give you the 5 tips I learned along the way for taking our bedroom from bleh to boudoir!
My first step was to paint the walls a dark, sexy, smoky grey. At least that was the plan. The colour on the wall had a slight purple undertone in some lights, but I liked the richness of it, so I kept going.
And what a difference it made. I love how painting all the walls a dark colour had the effect of unifying the whole room. There’s enough light pouring in from the balcony, and enough crisp white bedding for contrast, that the dark-toned walls don’t feel overbearing. Here’s the after shots:
Let’s break down how I got there. After painting the walls and trims, my next step was to tackle these babies. We bought them from Target when we were newlyweds, which was, um, *cough* thirteen years ago. (Gosh, we’re old.) And just like us (ha!) these little side tables were showing their age. They were scuffed and scratched and tired-looking. Plus, the orangey-brown wood tones were seriously dating our room.
So, I slapped on a coat of primer and then took some white paint to them…
So much fresher! I went for a “chippy” distressed look, which involved taking a sanding block to the edges and random other bits in a wild and haphazard fashion. Very therapeutic. I liked the chalky, matt finish, so I didn’t seal or varnish over top.
The last step was to switch out the old handles for some new cast-iron knobs from Bunnings. The black against white gives a classic little punch of contrast that I love.
I then shopped for a few key decor pieces to freshen up the feel of the room. A lovely breakfast cushion from Adairs, to continue the contrast of black against white:
And a turquoise throw rug I ordered online from The Home, to add a splash of accent colour.
I scored these lamps from Target for only $10 each on sale! They were marked down from $40 each. I love the texture of the black linen when the light shines through. And the glass bases with the cord coiled inside is funky and chic at the same time.
Above the side table I hung a vignette of Sid Dickens memory tiles.
I just adore these. It took me years to collect five of them. (One is hanging in our kitchen.) I asked for one for each birthday and Christmas for a while there. They’re not cheap! I just love the artsy, vintage feel they bring to the room.
Let’s take a look at the other end of the room. My biggest issue was taking that awkwardly-placed tallboy and making him feel more at home. Look how handsome he is now that he’s centred on that short wall, instead of lost in the middle of the long and empty one.
Hanging a mirror nice and low over the tallboy helped to anchor the vignette. Mirror sourced from Target for under $50 (can’t remember the exact figure, sorry). I then added a birdcage and some pillar candles we already had kicking around the house. The only item I bought especially was the little white candle, to bring a dash of freshness to that corner.
Here’s a detail shot of the edge of the mirror. I love finding items that look high-end but were actually really cheap.
I also added a tall vase and some artificial greenery to bring some balance to that corner. The tallboy sticks out less with something shorter just beside it.
The last step was to re-hang our wedding photo lower and centred on the large wall. We now have something much more inspiring to look at than a blank dirty-white wall. I wanted to also add a bench-seat under that photo, but I never found anything exactly right, and now it’s too late because we’re about to move out.
My favourite thing about this room is lying in bed with the balcony door open, looking out over the trees and mountain. It’s such a peaceful room.
So, here are my five hard-won tips for taking your bedroom from bleh to boudoir:
1. Paint the walls a new colour.
It’s the quickest and cheapest way to give your whole room an entirely new feel. In a master bedroom, you can afford to go for something a little dramatic. Why not take a risk and try something totally different? Go on… you know you want to.
2. Update existing furniture with paint for a fresh new look.
Bedroom furniture has a way of hanging around for eons. Take a look at the finishes in your room. If you have a bunch of different wood finishes that clash with each other, or the finishes are dated (like yellowy pine, or heavy dark mahogany), a whole new look could be just a can of paint away.
3. Dress the bed.
Crisp white bedding is a classic, fresh and romantic. I usually recommend avoiding busy patterns in your bedcover, and instead adding pattern and colour in the form of accents like Euro pillows, cushions, throws and runners. This way it’s easy to change your look seasonally, or when you just feel like something new.
4. Incorporate a reminder of your love for each other.
A bedroom is a place for romance. A wedding photo, a treasured photo of the two of you together, a framed copy of your wedding vows – all are ways to personalise the space and make it a celebration of your marriage.
5. Add mood lighting.
Nothing kills a romantic mood like those glaring overhead lights. Incorporate lamps with soft linen shades, lanterns and candles to create a soft atmospheric glow.
The master bedroom is often the most neglected room in the house when it comes to decorating. Why not make it YOUR space, a sanctuary to retreat to at the end of a busy day and a romantic haven to share with your partner?
Here’s one last before and after shot so you can see how far we’ve come.
I hope you enjoyed this room transformation! I’d love you to leave a comment so I know that you were here. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for the next big room reveal – a sweet baby-girl nursery makeover! I can’t wait to share this one with you! If you don’t want to miss a post, why not subscribe below to receive my posts by email? And make sure to like my new page on Facebook!
Your turn to chat – is your bedroom more bleh or boudoir? Anyone else ever painted a room while heavily pregnant, or am I the only crazy person around here?
Linking up at Get your DIY On: Room Revamps!