I loved living in Manhattan. But my bedroom was also my home office, so when we moved out to the ‘burbs of Boston I dreamed of having a beautiful master bedroom. Year after year, another project always seemed to take priority. We decorated the main living spaces and then we tackled the kids rooms . . .and then we finished our basement. After living in our house for almost seven years, I decided it was finally time to do the master, but we were on a limited budget after our massive basement project. There is nothing like a room that is custom designed by a designer, but since it wasn’t a reality for our budget, and I had spent so much time thinking about the look I wanted to achieve, I was confident I could decorate it with a mix of low-cost options and a few custom touches. My goal was to create a room that was sleek and sexy, but also super cozy and comfortable.
Where were we starting from?
There was zero sexy about the before. The furniture was from our first condo, and it followed us to NYC and out to the ‘burbs. We had thankfully already upgraded to a king bed when we moved out of the city, so that is the one piece that was staying. Here is the before:
So, how’d I achieve the new look?
It’s a pretty big space, and I planed to redo everything but the bed. The one thing my heart was set on was incorporating a Galbraith and Paul fabric in light blue that I fell in love with. I love the clean and crisp look of white, so I pictured using a lot of white and light blue. Given the goal of soothing and sexy, and my style throughout the house already, I knew the room would need to be a combination of modern and traditional.
Starting with the furniture, I did all of my shopping online, at sites like Wayfair.com, Overstock.com, and onekingslane.com. I don’t really enjoy shopping in general, and didn’t have much time available given how busy I was with clients. Shopping online allows you to see a huge number of looks and pieces of furniture very quickly. If you can wield a tape measure, it’s pretty easy to picture the pieces in your home without seeing them in person. I was on the hunt for two nightstands, a dresser for some of my husband’s clothes, a bench for the foot of the bed, and some sort of cozy seating option for under the window by the TV.
What did I find and where?
Nightstands I was really excited to find nightstands at Overstock. They are the perfect size, with a crisp modern look. The Lucite legs and handles add a bit of glam.
Bench I had seen some great benches at our local Home Sense store. And when I saw the one pictured, I knew it was perfect for the space.
Lamps We found this set of lamps that go perfectly, and completed the setup with small white cube alarm clocks, which fit right in and don’t glow throughout the night.
Dresser The dresser we found was just the right size. While it didn’t initially have a glam look for the room, I figured it would be good enough because it is set off by itself, balanced out the feminine with its more masculine look, and gave us a spot for the TV equipment. To connect it better to the rest of the room, we replaced the knobs to match the nightstands, and it was perfect!
Chaise Our space allowed for a small love seat or an oversized chair. It was a tough one to find, because I wanted it to look good but it had to be cozy. This is the one spot in the room that I know would look better with a custom piece to perfectly fit the space. But considering this is right off the shelf, the spot is super cozy and has become my favorite place to lounge in the house.
Beyond the furniture, the project required bedding and pillows, an area rug, drapes, and art for the walls. With all of the items above being either white or neutral, it was time to bring in some patterns and color.
Bedding My plan for the bedding was to have crisp white linens, which I find so soothing. I decided that the perfect place to bring in the fabric I loved was with the throw pillows! I would have loved to use it for drapes, but the cost was way too high. All of the bedding came from Bed Bath & Beyond, and I had the pillows custom made at an interior design store in my town.
Rug Ordering rugs online has always been a bit of a challenge for me. I find that the colors in person never quite match how they look online. However, I was confident that this one from One Kings Lane would look great even with a little variation in the color, and fortunately it did! It is one of my favorite pieces in my house and works with all the furniture.
Drapes I have tried and tried to recreate the look of custom drapes with off the shelf options, and I have yet to succeed. So it is the one area where I am always willing to put my money. Given that we had a lot of window to cover, I went with a relatively plain and inexpensive fabric, but added the blue tape to bring in color and dress up the room.
Art I found these two pieces online at One Kings Lane. They are by Christine Flynn, and both have that calmness that I was looking for. The lake piece really pops with blue and livens up the entry way to the room.
There was tons to buy for this room. While working with a designer likely would have made the project go faster, it would have been 3x more expensive. And it would have required me to spend a lot more time on it during the day, which I didn’t have given my organizing commitments. Doing it on my own allowed me to do all of the shopping and planning at night when I had the time. I am so happy with how it came out, and I feel extra satisfied when I lounge on the chaise, knowing I did it myself and on a tight(ish) budget!
What’s your favorite piece? Let me know in the comments below.
You can shop most of the items below! Just click on the pictures.