Ah, the master bedroom. When you have kids, this seems to end up being the space that’s decorated last. It’s the most unloved room, a place to crawl into and sleep when the kids have finally fallen asleep.
In our new home we’ve decided to reverse this trend of ours, and the master bedroom might end up being the second room we finish. Over the next month or so we’re planning a bedroom makeover to take this space from a dull shell to a calm, relaxing oasis.
To kick things off, I thought I’d share an update on where we are, what we’ve done so far, and what our plans are for the room. 🛏️
Slow and steady progress
It wasn’t our plan to start with our bedroom. I wanted to get the kids’ room sorted first, but we ran into issues with the state of the walls so we put it on hold. We’ve been doing bits and pieces in different rooms, taking a slow approach. Mostly because juggling parenting, school runs, mealtimes, working from home, and decorating isn’t always easy.
Earlier this month I had a moment where all I wanted to do was sort through my clothes, declutter my wardrobe, and finally get the bedroom organised. But I never did it. The furniture we have doesn’t work well for us, the walls are still half painted, and it felt like a patch up job on a room that wasn’t close to being organised.
Instead of parking the idea, I felt inspired to do something about it. We sat down and discussed the room – the furniture, the layout, the colours we wanted to go for. It wasn’t working for us, and with it being both our bedroom and my main workspace, it made sense to tackle it and restore a sense of calm.
From dark to light
The one thing we knew we wanted was for the bedroom to feel light, calm, and relaxing.
It’s a dark space, a North-facing room that’s definitely starting to feel the effects of the gloomy Autumn days. When we moved in, the room was painted in a strange dark, warm beige, and it felt so oppressive. We lightened the walls with a hastily applied coat of white paint, and that’s how it’s stayed until now.
As well the room not being too bright, our furniture’s also quite dark. The bed is a dark faux-leather storage bed, with an oak-coloured chest of drawers either side. Add in a matching, yet comically small, wardrobe, and my tiny white desk in the corner, and the room feels like a mishmash of things that just don’t go together.
Our main goal is to lighten the master bedroom up. Walls, furniture, textiles – everything. Taking inspiration from where we live, we’re thinking soft blues, greys, blue-greens and natural elements.
We’re painting the walls in a soft, slightly blue colour all over. The woodwork will be brightened up – either in the same colour or a white. We’re bringing in a new bed, white this time, and hopefully a new bedside table or two.
One of the biggest changes will be how we store and organise our clothes.
At the moment we have two chest of drawers and a small wardrobe, which somehow house all of our clothes, plus a few of the kids’ things too. The plan is to sell or donate these, and replace them with a larger wardrobe and under-bed storage. I’m so excited about this – not only the practical side of having better storage, but what follows in decluttering and replacing with things that we care more about.
The other major change in our bedroom, and something that’ll be central to creating a relaxing space, is that we’re changing our mattress. Our current one has seen us through babyhood, sitting up for night feeds, toddlers jumping on it, and it’s finally given up. We’re going to be working with Leesa on a review of their mattress, and I’m so looking forward to it. I’ve heard such great things, and I’m slowly realising that a good night’s sleep is even more important these days than ever.
What we’ve done so far
We’ve moved quite quickly on this project so far. The desire to finally have a calm, relaxing space has had a lot to do with it.
There’s been a lot of staring at tins of paint, walking around DIY stores, and painting tester pots on the walls. As it’s a dark room, everything comes out darker than expected, so we went looking for an almost-white with a hint of colour.
I loved Crown’s Splash of Pepper on paper, but in our room it came out lilac. We picked up a few blues and seafoam colours, but again they all came out darker than we wanted. Eventually we settled on Dulux’s Cornflower White, which is actually pretty blue-toned in our space. It looks soft and cool, so I’m hoping it’ll turn out well.
I wish we’d been furniture shopping… it’s more like furniture window shopping, and more than one visit to IKEA ‘for a look’.
After wandering through the showrooms and looking at everything in detail, we’ve decided to go for a Malm bed frame in white. I love the way the storage boxes look so seamless, and although there were frames I liked the look of more, this was the most practical.
The wall where we can place our wardrobe is an annoying 190cm, which makes it harder to make the most of the space. I got the tape measure and calculator out and started working out which wardrobe and chest of drawer combinations would work best.
Although the Trysil wardrobe and matching drawers would fit perfectly in the space, I really didn’t like them in person. The gap between the sliding door and frame just wasn’t for me.
I’d initially discounted the Pax wardrobe system as I thought it’d be too expensive. True, if you add in shelves, drawers and lighting the costs rise, but we ended up pricing up a wardrobe for a similar price to the free standing ones. No frills, no fancy things – a few rails and shelves, but that’s perfect for living with the space for a bit to see how it works.
While I’d love to pick up everything at once, the reality is we’ll probably end up changing our bed first and investing in the wardrobe sometime soon.
Preparing the room
We plan to make a move on preparing the walls and painting soon. We’ll need to move furniture out, paint behind, and somehow still keep the room usable in the meantime. The plan is to get most of this done while the kids are at nursery and school, and have it all done in a week or so.
My inspiration board
If you’re planning a bedroom makeover and want to find some inspiration for a calm, relaxing bedroom, here’s my moodboard on Pinterest. It’s where I’ve been collecting ideas, photos I love, and inspiration for colours, patterns, and textures.
See what’s happening
To follow the progress of our bedroom makeover, make sure you’re following me on Instagram at @nicolasays!