Planning Your Dream Bedroom

#MyHappyPlace: Creating a Bedroom Oasis You Love

This post was sponsored by Cocoon by Sealy, though all opinions are courtesy of yours truly.

Now that so many of our big exterior house projects are finished or near completion—we primed the picket fence we built this weekend and will finish painting it over Memorial Day; we’ve also replaced the roof, cedar siding, all 66 windows, added skylights, rebuilt the wraparound porch and Juliet balcony, landscaped, installed a finial and performed hundreds of other menial tasks—interior design is finally on the horizon.

I’ve been waiting my whole life for this—or so it seems.

Planning Your Dream Bedroom

But if you’re like me and not blessed with the innate ability to Pinterest the heck out of your home, it can be tough to figure out where to start.

An interior designer friend gave me some sage advice upfront, and that’s: Take it one room at a time; if you have a half-dozen projects going at once, you’re going to get frustrated and never feel like you’ve accomplished anything. We’ve tried to take her words to heart when possible, though the extreme Type A in me just wants to do all the things at once.

Planning Your Dream Bedroom

When we first moved into our old Queen Anne Victorian nearly four years ago, we had no furniture. We’d sold or given everything away back in San Francisco and only kept what could be confined to a 16 x 8 x 8 pod (which was, admittedly, filled with books, memorabilia and electronics for the most part).

Planning Your Dream Bedroom

So we were starting with a clean slate, which was both a blessing and a curse: a blessing because we could begin the design process from scratch, but a curse because we owned nothing—and filling a four-bedroom house is expensive, y’all. So for everyone who asks me “when is your house going to be done?” I respond: “in 2025—or when I win the lottery. Whichever comes first.” At this point, we do all the work ourselves to save us the labor costs and tackle projects as we have the income to purchase all necessary materials.

Planning Your Dream Bedroom

In other words, we’re working with a modest budget here.

For me, the most important space to finish right off the bat was not our own bedroom but the guest room. We have so many friends and family passing through Tennessee that we’re constantly hosting, and I wanted our guests to live in the most comfortable space they could get. I’m not gonna lie: Ella and I both spend a lot of time in this room, so I’m glad we made it a priority!
Planning Your Dream Bedroom

The queen of the household is not complaining either. In fact, I think she’s rather fond of her room(s).

Planning Your Dream Bedroom

Other than the need for a big piece of art and some window treatments, the Lemon Room is about 90 percent done, and currently we’re setting our sights for our master bedroom, which could definitely use some help. But when it comes to laying out a bedroom, I’ve learned a thing or two in my four years of owing a project house:

Sort out your bed situation first. We already had a mattress for our spare guestroom—the queen we used in San Francisco—and knew we’d be investing in a California king for our own quarters. Once we had the spaces figured out, we blue-taped off the dimensions on the floor to make sure they’d fit then got to work researching bed frame and headboard options online.

For our room, we chose to go big or go home and blow the bulk of that budget on a really awesome frame I found online and tracked down in a store in Northern Alabama. Three years later, I don’t regret this decision one bit.
Planning Your Dream Bedroom

For the Lemon Room, we wanted to have ample space for our guests to move around—particularly given that the room is an interesting octagon-ish shape—so we decided against a full-on bed and purchased a simple frame and headboard instead, allowing our linens and pillows to bear the brunt of the design.

Planning Your Dream Bedroom

Pick an accent color. Because our house is full of such dark trim and floors (mostly original, I should note), we had to paint all the walls white. We tried color and would love to do a bold wallpaper, but it darkened each room dramatically. This is less than ideal for a garish color lover like me, but when you own an 1899 home, you work with what you’ve got. Instead, we’d incorporate color in other ways.

Planning Your Dream Bedroom

Before we ever moved in, I was out antiquing in Shelbyville when I found the perfect piece to build the Lemon Room around: a bright yellow chandelier that only put me out $40. I built the entire room around that one piece; from there, everything else just seemed to fall into place.

Planning Your Dream Bedroom

Who knew yellow accents would find me everywhere I went?

Planning Your Dream Bedroom

You may have noticed I like me some yellow. Just a lil bit.

I wish our own bedroom had been so easy. For our sanctuary, we chose purple—our mutual favorite color that was also incorporated into our wedding—as the accent color. The room is still a work in progress—hence why you’re only seeing small vignettes of it here—but so far we’ve incorporated it with subtle touches in the linens and the home decor accents. Eventually, we may get gauzy window treatments in an eggplant hue (if we can find the right fabric that currently exists only in my mind, it’s beginning to seem).

Planning Your Dream Bedroom

Add a statement piece in each room. I’m all talk and little action when it comes to this step, as I’ve been fretting over what to hang above each mantle for three years now. In the Lemon Room, I’m toying with the idea of making one of our travel photos into a huge canvas—I just don’t know which one yet.

Planning Your Dream Bedroom

 

What I do know is that big blank wall needs some TLC.

For our bedroom, we recently ordered an oversized canvas via Etsy from an artist in Israel that will hang over this mantle (and we’ll hang my cousin’s artwork in a more space-appropriate room). Don’t you just love it?
Planning Your Dream Bedroom

We also used the fireplaces in each room as statements. The Lemon Room was this ugly red Chinese pattern; we found a safety yellow subway tile and went to town replacing it—while the master bedroom was crumbling.

Planning Your Dream Bedroom

Before we added a single piece of furniture to these rooms, we got to work making the fireplaces really stand out.

I find tiling therapeutic—and dare I even say fun—and for just $300 in cost per room, it really made a huge impact on the overall aesthetic.
Planning Your Dream Bedroom

Layer. This is the fun part! You need to soften the space and give it some pizazz. This can be by adding window treatments, blinds, rugs, pillows, a fluffy white dor or any of a number of items that really give the room a polished, unique look.

Planning Your Dream Bedroom

Personalize the space. Many of you may know that we have a globe obsession collection that’s 60-something deep. As such, you’ll find tokens of our travels in every nook and cranny around the house, including in the Lemon Room, which boasts just one lone globe (for now).

Planning Your Dream Bedroom

We also have a trio of Bird Ave. prints that depict each place we lived: New York for me (when we met), San Francisco for him (where he grew up and where we shared our first home for four years), Nashville (my home pace, our current location and where we will reside for the rest of time, amen).

Planning Your Dream Bedroom

Add some greenery. Our downstairs is rife in window and air plants—SVV has more than 50 in the kitchen alone—but for the upstairs, we’ve just added a succulent or two and some fake flowers as to make things as easy on ourselves as possible.

Planning Your Dream Bedroom

Throw in a few surprises. Close the door to go to sleep at night? BAM! A surprise splash of color hiding in the corner.

 

Planning Your Dream Bedroom

We clearly still have a lot of work to do in creating my ideal happy place, especially when it comes to our own master bedroom, but baby steps, y’all. Baby Steps.

Planning Your Dream Bedroom

For those of you who are still grappling with the early stages of designing your bedroom, I have something fun to offer you: If you order a Cocoon by Sealy mattress by May 31—they start as low as $549 for a twin—with the promo code CHOCOLATE50, you’ll receive a $50 cash gift card. Who doesn’t love free money?

Planning Your Dream Bedroom
Planning Your Dream Bedroom

Also, since I’m always looking for tips, tell me this: What would you do to liven up my master bedroom? I have so many ideas and just don’t know which direction to take, so I welcome in and all input! Pretty please? I’ll let you come visit when it’s done!

COMMENTS
  • May 23, 2016

    I think your bedroom looks really cute! I’m busy thinking of styling my new apartment and I’m having a hard time trying to pick one style! One room I’d like romantic and the other room Arabic – at the same time I like industrial modern. I think you’ve done well with the bedroom it looks like a peaceful place but it’s also cheery with pretty colour accents.
    Dominique recently posted..Staelduinse Bos – Bat Route 3,5kmMy Profile

    • June 10, 2016

      Thank you, Dominique! I love me some Arabic design, too. Wish it fit in with our old house! You’ll have to post photos once you’ve designed your own so I can see them 😉

  • May 23, 2016

    Oh that is so dreamy. I love the yellow and those fire places!!! I’m just about to fly for two days to get to a smaller island in Indonesia…I’m sure I’ll be dreaming about the pics of that bed!
    Tiffany recently posted..Finches with Cool GoPro photos in VermontMy Profile

    • May 24, 2016

      Thank you, Tiffany! I’m sure you’ll have an even dreamier room in Indo…I’ve still never been, but obsessed with the design of all the villa and hotels I’ve seen in that part of the world!

  • May 23, 2016

    This is all so pretty!!

  • May 24, 2016
    Tonya Wariner

    I am the same way. I have the goal to decorate the whole main floor (where people will most likely see) before we move up to our master bedroom, and it’s taking me forever. Much longer than I thought it would. I’m such a perfectionist. It’s a slow process but I’m determined to do it. Right now I’m trying to pick out throw pillows and vases for the living room. I love your rooms! And appreciate your advice. The statement piece in my living room is definitely the mirror we got from Z Gallerie.

    • June 10, 2016

      Nice! We looooove Z Gallerie. Bought both of our couches there and a lot of our master bedroom accents. Wish I could outfit my entire house from Z Gallerie!

  • May 24, 2016
    Teresas

    Love the purple in your master bedroom. I think you should hang a beautiful picture of a field of lavender in bloom above your bed. It would help to pull together your purple colors. I love your home and enjoy reading about your renovations. We are doing the same thing room by room.

    • May 24, 2016

      A field of lavender is such a great idea! Thank you for that input. We have a window directly behind the bed (another tricky part of the house…so many windows!) but plenty of other blank walls in the bedroom where that could go. I even have some shots of bluebells we took this spring that would look great if blown up!

      What room are you currently working on in your own house?

  • May 24, 2016

    So, so pretty!!!

    xox
    Feisty Harriet recently posted..Confessions of a Bookaholic: Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and the Jazz AgeMy Profile

  • May 24, 2016
    Teresa

    We just finished our master bedroom and we are now working on the den. It’s painted brown with brown valances, yuk. Hoping to brighten it up with a new coat of paint and new furniture. Our situation is very similar to yours. A little bit at a time!

    • June 10, 2016

      It’s crazy what a bit of paint can do to completely transform a space, right? The walls in our house was every different shades of Fruit Loops—lime green, bright yellow, watermelon red and everything in between—when we moved in!

  • May 24, 2016

    I love it!! I’m a major fan of yellow and you’ve created a gorgeous room with the yellow shining and not being too bright.

    I don’t think Nashville has enough home renovation and flip shows. Time for you to host your own!!

    We’re slightly addicted with home reno shows at the moment, probably because I don’t have my own so can live vicariously through others. When we do finally settle in the US somewhere (fingers crossed) I’ll be getting one of those comfy matresses!
    Caroline Makepeace recently posted..When social media steals away travel moments and memoriesMy Profile

    • June 10, 2016

      Well, perfect since you and Craig will have the Lemon Room and the girls can take the Green Room downstairs 😉

      And funny enough, I actually have been talking to HGTV, not about a show but about social content for their channels!

  • May 25, 2016

    I love both bedrooms, but especially the lemon room!

    I’m about to completely decorate my new apartment in Bordeaux and am not bringing any furniture or textiles with me. Can you please come be my decorator?
    Jennifer recently posted..Italy Off-the-Beaten-Path Road Trip: ViterboMy Profile

    • June 10, 2016

      Ha! I mean, if it comes with a trip to France, then YES! P.S. Can’t wait to see what you decide to do with your new pad!

  • May 28, 2016

    Really good article and more informative. Thanks for sharing.

  • May 30, 2016

    Your room is just gorgeous. I am about to get a new apartment, too, so I will use some of these ideas for inspiration!
    Valen-This Way To Paradise recently posted..Things To Do In Athens: An Athens Food Tour With Greeking.meMy Profile

    • June 10, 2016

      Thank you, Valen! I appreciate the kind words. Design is definitely not something that comes easy for me.

  • May 31, 2016

    I absolutely adore this 🙂 from the colors to the tiny treasures and details maybe i could give this a try hmmmm 😀

  • June 18, 2016

    Hi Kristin, you bedroom is relay so cool:)
    Kerala Packs recently posted..MARARIKULAM BEACHMy Profile

  • October 5, 2016
    Anj

    Oh my God I love your bedroom! Especially the bed and the sheets! I wish I can do that to my room as well.
    Anj recently posted..10 Reasons Why Petcube is the Best Remote Wi-Fi Pet Camera TodayMy Profile

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