Before & After: A Masculine Feminine Master Bedroom Retreat

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The bedroom is a sacred place in the house.  None of us spend nearly enough time in it, but once you have kids the importance of parents’ master bedroom becomes very clear.  For our master bedroom I wanted to create a retreat, a place that was calming and soothing, yet warm and inviting.  A place where you would want to take an afternoon nap, or curl up with a book. I had that vision in mind when I set out to plan our master bedroom.  Here is the Before and After master bedroom reveal, that I’m sure you’ve been waiting for.

The big change in the bedroom from before to now is that we doubled its size by taking down a wall between the two adjoining bedrooms.  We decided to relocate the fourth bedroom to the lower level, so this would give us a large  massive bedroom, a full en suite bathroom, and plenty of storage.  In the Before and After picture below, you can see where the floor was patched to connect the two rooms.  This gives you an idea of how much more expansive we made the master bedroom.

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I don’t design any spaces without sketching and figuring out my furniture placement. When confronted with such a large space, I knew this step was even more important.  It helped me figure out how things might fit in the space and what pieces I might need to buy.  I didn’t want to buy a new dresser or bed frame, so I wanted to work in the set purchased nine years ago from Crate and Barrel.  Lucky for me, the dresser and bed frame are stained in anthracite, essentially dark gray. Did I mention I’ve always liked gray? However, the headboard required some DIY intervention see here, as I had previously reupholstered it in a chartreuse green and it was originally a brown microsuede.

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Figuring out how the rest of the master bedroom was going to come together did not happen overnight.  I didn’t want to create a case of the matchy-match, so I’ve been taking my time. I wanted to layer the design of the room and make it both masculine and feminine.  I decided that the large rug from West Elm that we bought a couple of years ago for our old family room would work perfectly in our bedroom.  It has has gray, but also brings in taupes and creams, a perfect canvas to start layering upon.  I also knew I wanted a pendant/chandelier above the bed but wasn’t quite sure what to go with, then I found this vintage brass pendant and I knew I had to use it.  The lamp has a certain femininity and romanticism about it that I love.  I also adore the shadows it casts on the ceiling when it’s dark. The introduction of the brass lamp pushed me in a direction that required me to pull in other gold/brassy elements, but I wanted to play that card carefully and not go all Liberace.  I already owned a vintage French gilded mirror and a pair of vintage Hollywood Regency style oversized urn lamps, so we were in business.

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There was really only one place for the bed and we decided that it was better to have a full wall of closet space opposite the bed, than trying to fit in an average walk-in closet. We made our IKEA Pax closets look built-in by filling the space between the top of the closet and the ceiling and painting it the same Benjamin Moore Cement Gray color as the rest of the room. With this set up we created super functional his and hers closets on either side of the door that leads to our master bathroom.

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Getting back to design, I knew I needed to tie in my grays and my brass, enter the curtain panels.  I tried a few different panels until I found the ones that hit just the right note, with just the right warm grays and taupes and creams.  Ours are from Target.  I love that the abstract pattern looks almost like an Aboriginal painting and adds a nice organic feel to the room. The bedside tables were another vintage score.  Originally I had planned to paint them, but once in the space I loved the warmth the wood tones added to the room.

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Recognize that chair by the window?  That was one a DIY revival I featured a while back. The gray ikat pillow is an outdoor pillow purchased years ago from West Elm.

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As you can see, for the most part I managed to reuse pieces we already had, or found inexpensive vintage pieces that added patina and style.  But when it came to the little seating area that I had envisioned I knew I had to buy a new piece that was suited for the job and when I saw the Sutton “sofette” from West Elm, I knew I had a winner. Slim arms, random width stripes, petite proportions, what was not to love?  I bought it the minute it first came out.  Many other people must have fallen in love with it proportions because West Elm has since vastly expanded the choice of available fabrics. I paired it with a white leather floor lamp that we’d also bought from West Elm a few years back, but for the longest time I simply couldn’t find the right coffee table. I thought I would go with something vintage and scoured craigslist, but nothing spoke to me.  Finally I settled for a marble top contemporary piece from JC Penney when I saw a classic design go on clearance. I think the sofa and table work nicely together and the chrome legs also play off the chrome handles of the closet. Repetition, repetition.

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So there you have it for the large pieces.  But of course, the small details really bring life to the room, like the Fin ceramic vase. The artwork above the bed are original pencil drawings that I scored at an estate sale.  They came with a mat and as luck would have it, I already owned a bunch of frames that would work perfectly .  The bedding was another story.  I could not find sheets or a quilt that I liked at the right price until two weeks ago, when I came across the Raw Edge quilt collection at Target. The gray quilt was just the right warm gray with an element of casualness from the raw edge. Finding the right gray quilt took a lot of trial and error, (read buy and return), but I knew I needed something to break up all the white of the beddings.

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Deciding on a large scale piece of art that would balance out the TV took time.  Finally I settled on the ubiquitous For Like Ever print in metallic gold.  I like the sentiment especially since it’s for the master bedroom.  Did you notice a complete lack of photos of our kids?  Yep, I did that on purpose.  I celebrate our kids throughout the house, but in our bedroom I wanted it to be just about us, so the photos are of the two of us, just the two of us.

ReLocatedLiving_MasterBedroom_21 copyI think I’ve succeeded in creating a master bedroom retreat that balances masculine and feminine, linear and organic, modern and vintage.  Now, if only I could spend more time in there.  Maybe next year, once Monkey starts preschool…

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Jackie - Absolutely stunning job. The master bedroom should be a tranquil retreat and you made that happen with your choices of color, texture and shapes. Love it. Wish you could do our house.

dorelle - Just found your blog via House Tweaking. Love your kitchen and also your master bedroom. I was trying to find the bedroom curtains you got at Target. I hit your link but it just went to the website. Went on their curtains site but could not see them. Do you know what they were called or pattern number or such. They look gorgeous. Are they cotton?

isadorag - Hi Dorelle,
Thanks for stopping by. Yes, they are cotton, but unfortunately I think the pattern has been discontinued. I often check the curtain aisle and haven’t seen them there in months, same for the curtains that I used in my room, also discontinued. I think the curtains in the bedroom were a “shell” pattern. These floral panels,, are not the same, but do tie in the greys and the golds.

Katherine - This room is so beautiful!!! Very inspiring. I love it.

isadorag - thanks katherine 🙂

Mariah - Hi —
Found your blog via West Elm Sutton Sofette. You have made a great choice and I’d love to buy the same but can’t find the fabric choice now. Was this special ordered or custom made? Also is the dark color a black, charcoal or dark blue?
PS I like the way you detail your thought processes about everything. And that overhead chandelier is fantastic.

isadorag - Hi Mariah,
Glad you our little sofette. It’s just the right size. At the time I bought the sofa the white and grey stripe was actually the only fabric available through West Elm for that sofa. They’ve since expanded their fabric options. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but it seems West Elm no longer offer the white and grey stripe. You could always go custom, but that would really add to the cost…
Good luck.

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