September 11, 2017

Our Master Bedroom Transformation: Inspiration & Design

Over the last year, we've made some repairs and improvements to our master bedroom. Now in the stretches of feeling like it's in a final state, we're ready to share all the details behind the transformation of one of our favorite spaces.
After completing a series of restorative repairs to address water damage that included bubbling plaster walls in our master, we had the chance to completely reimagine this room. In a future post, we'll detail out the entire restoration work that went into the master; today I wanted to share the ideas we gathered along the way with a peek into my process for gathering inspiration when thinking through the design of a space.

During the restoration phase, we needed to completely clear the room, which ended up being a great way to rethink the space altogether. For some context, our master spans the length of the front of our home — it's a large room with three windows and a fireplace along the furthest wall. When we thought about what a retreat would feel like to us, we used the following image from a West Elm catalog as the main source of inspiration for our design.

We love it for so many reasons — it's an expansive room with well-defined zones, it has a mix of furniture styles that work together as one cohesive design (both cozy and modern) and the picture railing extending the reach of the ceiling just makes me swoon.

We had blank canvas aside from a few favorite family pieces we wanted to work into the overall design — an antique rug from my family and a set of mid century dressers that Tim grew up with. We'd also decided to upgrade our bed to king size, and this iron bed was topping our list in both style and price.

While I loved all of these pieces separately, I wasn't sure how they'd come together being in three different style categories. This is where my design process kicks in. With these pieces in mind, I started a mood board for inspiration and to generally organize all the ideas and elements we liked in one space. I typically use a combination of sources to gather inspiration, primarily Pinterest, Instagram and direct mail catalogs.

I like to start a mood board by collecting a few pieces I already have or am thinking about sourcing. Then I use those items as a starting ground to search for visual examples of how others are styling these same elements. This process helps me imagine what could work in our space and settle on a cohesive color palette so it's easy to pick colors and finishes when bringing everything together.

For example, although I loved the look of the iron bed and the dressers as separate pieces, I was really struggling with whether or not an iron hospital style bed could work with mid century furniture. To help solve the problem, I searched Pinterest with the terms "iron bed mid century modern" to see if others were doing it and if so, how. It turns out plenty of people are mixing these styles and they look pretty darn good if you ask me:

I also knew we'd want some seating space since the room is large enough to accommodate it, and loved the way Ikea styled their stocksund chair in their catalog. We have a corner in our bedroom with a tall window and iron radiator in the same format, so seeing how the chair is placed with a tall floor lamp and long window panels helped me envision how we could create a cozy nook in our own space. Ikea carries an upholstered bench in the same stocksund series, which could bring additional seating and storage at the foot of the bed to match.

Just to the side of this bedroom corner, we have a beautiful old fireplace and mantle, which acts a nice anchor and focal point for the room. It was Instagram where I discovered how good a mid century dresser could look next to our nearly identical fireplace and how the reds and blues in an antique rug like the one we have can help everything pop.

Once all of these main elements felt full-formed in my mind, it was easier to think about some of the smaller, fun details like accent lamps, window dressings, bedding, plants, and decor. These are things that bring in personality and can be like the final puzzle pieces that help tie the entire look together.

In terms of timeline, we finished the restoration portions of the room right around this same time last year. Since then we've slowly been bringing it all back together — first with our own pieces, then layering in the new ones that have made it feel like the retreat we'd originally hoped for.

We'll plan to share a recap of the master restoration and final reveal of how the space has evolved over the next few weeks. In the meantime, you can get a few sneak peeks from our Instagram snaps if you like — this before shot, the paint color we chose, assembling the iron bed, Basil's bedroom nook in front of our mantle, and this little corner of how our room looks today.

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