Before and After The Scenery House

The Blush Bathroom Gets Custom Roman Shades

April 3, 2019

This post is in partnership with Alva

Our blush bathroom was one of the first rooms in our home to get a makeover. The previous owner had 3 different window treatments on these windows and we swapped them out for just 1: a light diffusing roller shade. After a while, I noticed that our roller shades just weren’t providing enough privacy for all the things one does in a bathroom. The bathroom sits at the front of our house and looks across the road at our neighbors. Although I don’t think our neighbors spend a lot of their time trying to look into our bathroom, I’d like to just save everyone from every kind of embarrassment. Once I realized the true need for privacy, I started dreaming of adding a custom flat roman shade.

The original windows in our home are one of my very favorite features and they deserve something special. I’ve always loved the look of roman shades in bathrooms so I was so excited to partner with Alva for my first ever window treatments made just for me.

How to Order Custom Window Shades: Order Swatches

To get started, I ordered free swatches (order your swatches here) from Alva to compare 5 different colors of their Belgian flax linen. I ordered graphite, spruce, natural, oyster, and mist. I was drawn to the graphite (a deep charcoal color) thinking it would complement the bathroom’s pencil tile and black accents. I also picked two neutrals, natural and oyster, because you can’t go wrong with a neutral. Oyster is a warmer, creamier shade of white vs. Alva’s optic white, which is a truer, bright white. For fun, I added spruce to my sample order, I liked that it had just a hint of color while remaining on the neutral side. And for a very safe, can’t-go-wrong-with-gray, option, I picked mist.

The samples arrived in a matter of days and I paced around the bathroom wondering which to pick. When in doubt, take it to Instagram — I put it to a poll in my stories and it was a dead heat. 50/50 between natural and oyster, 50/50 between mist and spruce. BUT I got the most excited, passionately decisive DMs about the spruce (I see you, Yellow Brick Home). It was a favorite of mine from the start because while it’s pretty neutral, it’s got the right amount of special to it. And I cannot resist pairing green with blush. AND I can’t stop using green throughout my home, and I hear that cohesive design is a thing, so my gut told me spruce was the way to go.

How to Measure for Custom Roman Shades

how to measure for custom window shades

I decided on an inside mount for my shades and measured using Alva’s measuring tips as a guide. Chances are your windows are not perfectly square (especially if you have an older home like mine), so it’s really important to take 3 measurements of the height and width of your window and to go with the smallest of the 3 when you order.

Choose Your Cord Control Option

roman shade cord options

Alva offers cordless, cord lock, continuous loop, cordless, and motorized cord options but there are some limitations based on the depth of your window – our windows are 3″ deep. I went with a cord lock (minimum 1 1/2″ window depth) because continuous cord requires a deeper window depth (minimum 3 1/4″ window depth) and I also wanted a white cord that would blend visually into my window frame. I also decided against the motorized option (minimum 3″ window depth) because the shade would be installed in a high-moisture space.

Alva’s shades are lined by default, which helps add privacy and gives the linen more structure, but you can also order your shades without lining. I wanted the extra privacy and wanted to keep a consistent look of white treatments on the outside of our house.

I ordered my shades and they arrived 13 days later. As soon as they shipped I received a tracking number and a couple of days before they arrived, I got an email with assembly instructions. I really appreciated the heads up, if I had needed to pick up a new drill bit size I would have had time to prepare. The email also let me know that linen is a wrinkly business and that steaming is recommended. You know I love to steam textiles.

How To Install Roman Shades

Installing roman shades

Drilling pilot holes for roman shades

The blinds were safely packaged together in a single box and included easy to follow instructions. The first step is put the included screws into the mounting holes, lift and center the shade in your window with the front edge at the front edge of the window frame, and use the screws to mark where to drill the pilot holes. Use an 1/8″ bit to make the pilot holes, then line the shade up with the holes and secure it in place with the screws – this step is much easier with two people.

Although I ordered two shades with the exact same window measurement, my shades arrived with slightly different widths. The larger shade was a tight squeeze but fit into our window, the smaller shade was no problem. Mistakes happen and what matters is how they’re handled. I wrote to Alva to let them know about the discrepancy and they let me know about the Alva Happiness Guarantee: in the event of manufacturing errors, they will send a prepaid FedEx envelope for you to return your shade and they will remake it for you at no charge. Because ours ended up working out, I kept them and everything is working properly. In the event that you make an error measuring your windows or just don’t like what you ordered, they will work with you to make it right.

Detail of linen roman shades

Linen roman shades with leaded glass window

I love that because our shades are the exact length for the window, we aren’t left with feet and feet of extra cord, dangling around looking messy and being dangerous for children. The cord pull is made of wood and painted white.

Good to know: Because I went with a cord lock, the shades came with a TON of warnings for baby safety. Cords are very dangerous for babies. Alva sent a plastic cord cleat that would keep the cord wrangled, but I chose not to use it.

Spruce green linen roman shades

I am so happy with how the spruce linen looks, the color is unexpected but beautiful and the texture is perfect. The flat roman shades really elevate the look of the space – I love that the mounting hardware is hidden.

Blush bathroom with linen roman shades and classic tile

This is what the shades look like installed and open. The cord lock moves smoothly and locks easily by moving the cord to the right, making it easy to pick exactly how much shade I want to keep down or up. I like to keep them open at a height that lines up with the bottom of the first row of our leaded glass panes.

Blush bathroom with shades drawn lit by sconces

And here is the bathroom with the shades down, granting me all the privacy in the world.

Are you ready for a custom window treatment of your own? Alva is giving away a $300 gift credit to one lucky winner. Sign up for Alva’s newsletter below for a chance to win. Sweepstakes is open to US residents only and the last day to enter is Wednesday, April 10th. One winner will be randomly chosen and notified via email on April 11th.

Interiors Inspiration Shopping

I Love the Internet

March 8, 2019

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of my links, I will receive a small percent of the sale at no additional cost to you.

There’s so much good stuff on the internet and sometimes I get my act together to gather up my favorite things from the week to share with you. Here’s what I’m most excited about this week!

[ Room for Tuesday ]

Sarah and her husband Emmett recently moved into a newer, builder grade home and have just revealed their first bathroom transformation. They took their very boring, very dated, and very chopped-up guest bathroom and turned it into a layered and detailed traditional gem. I really can’t get over how gorgeous the floor tile is and am endlessly impressed that she and her husband tiled everything themselves AND got all of their tile and fixtures from Lowe’s.

[ The Gold Hive ]

Ashley from The Gold Hive has been planning and replanning her kitchen layout for FOUR years and she is narrowing that biz down. She thinks about moving walls in ways my brain can’t and is working around special limitations due to her home’s historic designation. She’s got two fantastic options (one with indoor/outdoor bar seating. WHAT.) and is asking you to vote for your favorite. Go for the renderings, stay for the floor plans.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by STACY | Blake Hill House (@blakehillhouse_) on


Stacy from Blake Hill House is an absolute old-home-restoring powerhouse. I’ve been glued to her progress as she refinishes the floors in her 1880s fixer-upper. And I can’t get over her gorgeous dining room and am totally mesmerized by this timelapse of her clearing the room in preparation. She is definitely one to follow if you love old homes.


West Elm Hudson Lamps

[ Black + Brass Floor Lamp with Fabric Shade | Black Floor Lamp with Brass Shade | Brass Floor Lamp with Fabric Shade | Brass + Black Table Lamp | Wood Base Floor Lamp with Fabric Shade ]

I blinked and missed some stunning new lighting from West Elm. The Hudson Collection stopped me in my tracks (and by my tracks I mean the extremely speedy way I scroll through the internet). I’m not sure how long this sale will last but right now, West Elm is offering 25% off + free shipping for one item (exclusions apply) with code YESWAY.

Sunroom with arched windows fiddle leaf fig

[ Our sunroom as seen on Style by Emily Henderson ]

A really wild thing happened this week, a tour of our home was featured on the Style by Emily Henderson blog. I have looked up to Emily forever and am endlessly flattered that she chose to share this little place of ours with her readers. And if Emily helped you find me, I AM SO GLAD YOU’RE HERE. I am overwhelmed by the response and all the kind words and by how much everyone really loves the sunroom wallpaper. Thanks to an EHD reader (thank you, Frances!) I finally know the source of that famous wallpaper – it’s the Lillian pattern by Thibaut. If you haven’t seen the tour yet, please check it out!

Blush Bathroom Restoration - The Sweet Beast Blog

[ Blush Bathroom Reveal | Paint Color ]

And somehow ANOTHER great placement happened this week, our bathroom is in the April 2019 issue of HGTV Magazine. If you grab a copy be sure to tag me, it’s so crazy to see our home in print! If you haven’t seen our blush bathroom transformation before, check out the full reveal.

And finally, I want to leave you with this:

“None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an after-thought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else.”
— Nanea Hoffman
(via swiss-miss)

The Scenery House

My Home is Featured on Emily Henderson’s Blog!

March 5, 2019

The title above is something I never thought I’d be lucky enough to type. I am so flattered and still in shock that Emily Henderson has even seen a picture of my home, let alone wanted to share it with her readers. I’ve been chatting with Arlyn, Emily’s amazing Editorial Director, since November about doing a tour and I had a million excuses as to why my house wasn’t quite ready just yet. But it was ready, it IS ready, it will always be ever evolving, slowly being undecorated and restored, reinvigorated and redesigned. I’m so proud of the work we’ve done here and I am so grateful for this opportunity to show it off.

Emily Henderson’s designs have been a guiding light for me in my own work for as long as I’ve had a space that’s my own. All of this to say, I feel like I’ve won an Oscar.

A million thank yous to Emily Henderson and Arlyn Hernandez for seeing me, seeing my home, and sharing it. See the full home tour on Emily Henderson’s blog here.

And thank YOU my friend, whether new or old, for being here. It means so much to me and my little family.

If you want to see all the rooms in my house in one place with links to more info about them, check out my House Tour. If you’re interested in learning more about the Green Guest Bedroom featured on Emily’s Instagram, check out the reveal post.

If you want to see where we started with this house, there’s no better place than my tour of the first-floor listing photos and the second-floor listing photos.

If you aren’t already, please be sure to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest and sign up for my newsletter on the right and you’ll never miss the good stuff!


DIY Interior Styling

How to DIY a Large Scale Modern Art Triptych

February 25, 2019

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of my links, I will receive a small percent of the sale at no additional cost to you.

diy large abstract art living room

Figuring out art for above our sectional has been a long process. I even wrote a post about what to do with that big blank wall almost exactly a year ago and have done truly nothing about it since. OR HAVE I? I have. But only recently.

moody living room with large triptych
corgi on couch mid century dresser living room

[ Lamp | Sectional | Rust Pillow | Paint Color: Benjamin Moore Raccoon Fur ]

Our IKEA sectional runs along the longest blank wall in our whole house, and it’s been a bit of a challenge for me. I considered building a gallery wall, a grid gallery (like the grid gallery in our bedroom), painting one large art (something like the abstract art in our guest bedroom), or just framing a large photo. I even considered a very long shelf. And then I saw this art in a CB2 catalog.

The Inspiration

[Source: CB2 Catalog]

It’s clean, not too busy, modern, and totally DIYable. The components are pretty simple: a frame, a mat, a solid piece of paper, sketchbook paper, and a drawing on that paper. Once this idea was in my head, I couldn’t let it go, so I set to planning. I went to my local JOANN and Michaels to find their largest, slim black frames. I found my favorite option at JOANN with the large-wall-friendly size of 40×27 inches. I went back home and dropped that size of frame into a SketchUp model of the living room and decided that 3 frames would fit quite nicely above the sectional. My next step was to figure out how much of the frame I wanted to fill with a mat, how much space should be solid paper, and how big my sketchbook paper should be. I’ll walk you what decisions I made and how I put it altogether.

DIY Large Framed Art Triptych Supplies:

  • 3 40×27” frames (measurement is of the inside, frameable area)
  • 3 Custom cut 40×27″ mats with a centered 16×25” window
  • 3 Sheets of 19.5×25.5” Canson colorline art paper in cream
  • 1 Top-spiral watercolor sketchpad
  • Pencil
  • Charcoal
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Spray fixative
  • Rubber cement
  • Masking tape
  • Ruler
  • iPad Pro (very optional)

How to Make Your Own DIY Abstract Art Triptych

Planning is important! I use SketchUp to plan things like this but you can easily do this with good ol’ fashioned paper, pencil, and measuring tape. If you need help visualizing the scale of things in your space, it never hurts to map things out with painters tape. My plan told me 3 40×27” frames would work nicely above our KIVIK sectional, but you can make this same art project and in whatever multiples you want. 

I picked up my frames at JOANN and put them in a tiny cart. I found some Canson Colorline art paper in cream (plus gray and white as back-up options) as well as a small watercolor paper sketchpad.

I saved an image of my mat diagram to my phone to have as a reference. It has the exact outside frameable area (40×27″) and a window of 16×25″. Always make sure that the dimensions of what you’re matting are larger than the size of your mat window so you have room to secure your art.

I waited in line at JOANN to have mats cut but overheard the person at the counter say that they send out their matting and framing work so there would be a few days lead time involved. Your girl is impatient – if I want to wait a few days for something, I’ll order it online FROM MY HOUSE. So I paced the aisles, putting all my measurements into for a base price, and then called a nice person at the framing desk at Michael’s who said he’d do same day mat cuts for me as long as I didn’t show up too close to closing time. The price was $39.78 with oversize shipping included and the gentleman at Michael’s quoted me at $44.00 per mat. I wanted to wrap up this project up over a weekend, so getting the mats same-day at a higher cost was worth it to me.

Back home from my shopping adventure, I started sketching out some simple line-drawing abstract art ideas on my iPad. I wanted to create a fluid line, so I drew connecting loops and lines with interesting bends without worrying about making something perfect.

If you’re less comfortable with drawing freehand, a simple geometric shape or stack of shapes would look great. Abstract art is just that – it’s abstract and imperfect. Another idea is to make no-look line drawings of objects in your home (lamps, vases, plants, etc.) or people. To make a no-look line drawing, just put your pencil down on your paper and look directly at what you’re drawing, make one continuous line to draw your subject and never look down at your paper until you’re done! This is a fun way to stretch your brain and not focus on perfection.

Once I had 3 that I liked, I used my iPad as a light table, placing the paper on top and then tracing my drawing with charcoal. You can skip the iPad entirely and just sketch out your art with pencil and then trace. 

I smudged my charcoal in a few places but was able to clean it up perfectly with a kneaded eraser. To make sure my art would last and not create anymore smudges, I tapped my paper over the sink to release any loose charcoal and then sealed my work with a spray fixative. 

While the fixative dried, I secured my large paper to my mats using tape. My art school days will have me recommend acid free masking tape, but scotch tape will do the job. Tape opposite corners first, securing all four, and then secure the top, bottom, and sides.

Once my drawings were completely dry I distressed the spiral-torn edge a little by bending the ends and tearing a few so that it looks like it was swiftly torn from a sketchpad. Super casual.

I used my quilting grid to clearly mark the placement of my art without having to make any marks on the paper. Next, I laid them face down on a piece of cardboard and coated the backs with rubber cement, all the way to the edges. I quickly and carefully placed the sketch paper using my quilting grid as my guide. To ensure perfect adhesion, I placed a book on top of the paper while the rubber cement dried.

Once the rubber cement set, I placed my art in the frames by first removing the backing cardboard and then placing my matted art inside the frame. I secured the backing board back in place and then the artwork was ready to hang!

diy large scale art corgi on couch living room

My SketchUp drawing told me I wanted the edges of the outside frames to a few inches in from the edges of the back cushions of the sectional and for there to be 6 inches of space on either side of the middle frame. When hanging artwork above furniture, a good guideline is to have the bottom edge of the art fall 8 inches above the top of the furniture.

diy abstract art triptych
close up of diy sketch art
view from living room into entryway

And that’s it! The new art has made our living room look much more finished and cozy and was the perfect minimal, modern touch it needed.


Gift Guide: For the Ceramics Collector

December 4, 2018

Abstract Art Mid Century Dresser Vignette

I am a ceramics enthusiast. Vessels, jewelry, doesn’t matter. If it’s breakable, opaque, and beautiful: I love it. If you have someone in your life who collects ceramics (or you are this person and need to tell people what to get for you) I hope this gift guide is helpful. I’ve included objects from small makers, some Pittsburgh-made faves, and larger store finds for a range of prices and styles.

Gift Guide For the Ceramics Collector

Gifts for the Ceramics Collector:

  1. Ettie Lamp in Pink | $228 $126 on sale today
  2. Oatmeal Shop Sand Union Knot Necklace | $50
  3. Winnie Round Black Planter | $40
  4. Spotted Ceramic Vase | $12
  5. Clay Factor Court Mug | $50
  6. Trent Wind Chime | $35
  7. Eleonor Bostrom Matchstick Dog Black | $80
  8. Hand-Thrown Cocktail Plate | $18
  9. W/R/F Lab Ceramic Mug | $28
  10. Chock A Block Necklace in Sand/Clay | $66
  11. Bombabird Small Grooved Container | $34

Hey heads up: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.


Black Friday Deals I’d Share with Friends

November 23, 2018

Euro pleat curtains

I’ve worked in retail, e-commerce, or e-commerce-adjacent internet for my entire working life. Because of this, I have mixed feelings about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and how stressful these events are for the people that put them together and the people that shop them.

That said, I still like a good deal. I found myself combing my email as deals arrived in my inbox, archiving most emails but saving some to check out. And then I found myself sharing specific deals and new products with friends and I thought, maybe I’ll do a post to share deals I’d send or have already sent to my friends.

You’ll see a lot of Black Friday + Cyber Monday deal roundups this weekend, so here is mine also.

My Favorite Home + Personal Care Deals

Food52 Shop Black Friday Deal

[ Double Oven Mitt | Ceramic Match Striker | Steel and Wood Blanket Ladder ]

The Food52 shop is extremely well curated and has become one of my favorite spots to find gifts and kitchen items. We have Farmhouse Pottery Double Oven Mitt in Oatmeal Chambray (that’s the light blue/gray one in the middle) and LOVE it. I highly recommend a double oven mitt because they provide extra protection, are easy to drape over an oven handle, and it’s always easier to find one thing than to find two things.

I’ll take any excuse to buy a pretty ceramic thing so as our candle and palo santo collection grows, a nice looking matchstick holder and striker seemed justifiable. Each Farmhouse Pottery Ceramic Matchstick Holder has grooves on the bottom to act as a striker and comes with a simple glass jar full of matches.

You’ll probably recognize the Steel and Wood Blanket Ladder from both our Guest Bedroom Reveal and the Master Bedroom Reveal. It’s just that great.

Get 20% off $100 with code EXTRAHELPING

Leif Pine & Cypress - My Favorite Winter Candle

[ Pine & Cypress Wood Wick Candle from Leif ]

My favorite winter candle is 20% off through Cyber Monday with code ONCEAYEAR. I love the sound of a wood wick candle – I would probably buy a sound machine if it just made that noise – and this one smells amazing. The Pine & Cypress Botanist Candle is the perfect winter scent with just enough pine and woodiness without smelling like one of tree-shaped car air fresheners. Leif is a great shop all around with a variety of price points and goods makers of all sizes. It’s a great place to find gifts when you remember you should probably be shopping for other people instead of just yourself (this is me talking to me, here).

Record Shelves with Vintage Rug

eCarpetGallery Black Friday Sale

[ Left Top  $397.80 with coupon | Left Bottom $130.20 with coupon | Middle $264 with coupon | Right Top $234 with coupon | Right Bottom $280.80 with coupon ]

The vintage rug in our living room and many others in my home (including the BIG rug in our new master bedroom) are from eCarpetGallery. For Black Friday, they are offering an extra 40% with code EXTRA40. I’ve gathered 5 of my favorites above – I’m am extremely tempted to grab that runner in the middle, please someone else buy it before I do! I find the best things on their site by searching by color – I usually try pink and then blue – or by narrowing down the search by looking for a specific size. I also frequently check their clearance.


[ quip All-Black Metal Toothbrush ]

When I sent this to the first person I knew would care, my friend Marne who already has and loves her quip, she said: “WHY DID YOU SEND THIS TO ME.” And then “Well, it’s been done, I just paid $55 for a goth toothbrush.” I knew I wanted to repeat that experience for as many people as possible, over and over again.

I have a quip and have used it for probably close to 2 years now. The refills are affordable, though I can’t say I can get through the toothpaste fast enough to keep up with the every-3-months refill schedule. I broke my quip and customer service was great – they educated me on how not to break it again and sent me a new one for free.

Bonus good feelings about buying this goth toothbrush – “Every All-Black quip sold will help provide oral care access and education to disadvantaged families in collaboration with the ADA Foundation.”

The All-black quip is not eligible for discounts but if you want to try a regular plastic or metal quip for 20% off orders of $65 or more you can use code GET20.

Euro pleat curtains

[ Oatmeal Check Pillow | Bed | Quilt | Lamp | Nightstand ]

I used Juniper Studio pillows in both of my One Room Challenge bedrooms and I highly recommend them. The quality is excellent and for Black Friday, they are 30% off with code GIVETHANKS now through Monday. I have the Oatmeal Check pillow cover in our master bedroom and the Rose pillow cover in our guest bedroom. Remember that these are just the covers, inserts aren’t included. I used this hypoallergenic pillow insert.

Andy has the above pictured Fellow Stagg EKG+ kettle and he LOVES it. I love it because it looks sooo good. It has variable temperature control, an LCD screen, option to hold temperature and an app (the EKG+ has app access, the regular EKG does not) for extra control. If you’re looking for a kettle but don’t need that fancy pour over spout, they also offer the CORVO EKG with a traditional spout. Fellow is offering 20% off your order + free US shipping on orders over $100 until 11/30, no coupon code required.

My Favorite Fashion Deals

COS is offering 20% off select items until midnight tonight. This is one of my favorite stores for clothes but I almost always wait for a good sale to purchase. Their end of season sales are usually deeper discounts (40-50% off) than what they’re offering today, and with a larger selection, but that didn’t stop me from ordering a few things. COS typically has a quick 14-day return window but it has been extended for the holidays. My experience with COS is that their ship times are quick and they process returns and refunds quickly, which is helpful because I almost always ship a few items back. Some of my favorite sweaters, cardigans, and dresses are from COS. I ordered the Speckled Oversized Cardigan (I already have one I ordered a couple of years ago but I am worried about ever being without it so I ordered another one today) and the Oversized Wool-Blend Cardigan.

Everlane has partnered with the Surfrider Foundation to remove plastic from beaches before it gets into our oceans. “For every order placed, we’re donating $13 to Surfrider to fund beach cleanups across the country. They did the math, and one order will get a pound of plastic off the beach. Our goal: $260,000 (or 20,000 pounds).” I ordered the Easy Chino in Washed Black and Ochre.

A List of More Black Friday Sales:

Happy shopping, bbs.

Hey heads up: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Before and After One Room Challenge The Scenery House

One Room Challenge Week 6: Master Bedroom Reveal!

November 7, 2018

Hey heads up: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Master bedroom with fireplace

It’s a wrap! I successfully finished our One Room Challenge master bedroom makeover JUST in time for today’s reveal. If you’re not familiar, every spring and fall, 20 featured designers selected by the ORC team participate in a 6-week challenge to decorate one room. The event is hosted by Linda Weinstein of Calling it Home and Better Homes and Gardens. In addition to the featured designers, hundreds of other folks with blogs (and Instagram this season!) join in on the challenge as Guest Participants <— that’s me.

If you’ve hopped over to this post from the ORC website – welcome! I’m Emily, this is my blog, and I’m working on undecorating the 1929 tudor-ish home I share with my husband, Andy, and our corgi, Penelope. This is my second One Room Challenge (last season I made over our guest room). I am glad you’re here!

If you’d like to travel back in time and see each week’s progress:

Week 1: The Master Bedroom Plan

Week 2: The Fireplace Plan

Week 3: Curtains + Rugs

Week 4: Gallery Grid

Week 5: The Last Details

These last 6 weeks flew by and I am so happy with how much we accomplished. I can’t stop smiling at the fireplace I built with my dad – it’s the focal point in our the bedroom and I love it. And upgrading to the most beautiful king size white oak bed has been amazing. Ok, let’s take a quick look at where we started and then I promise we’ll get to the good stuff!

The Master Bedroom Before

White wall master bedroom mid century

6 weeks ago our bedroom was cute but under-furnished. We had a queen size bed paired with mismatched lamps and nightstands and art hung just a little too high. The fluffy shag rug was great underfoot but not easy to keep clean. Our Dyson had trouble handling it and our new Roomba, Clementine, wouldn’t even try it.

The room had already come a long way from what it looked like in the listing photos and from when we moved in. We had the floors refinished, removed a chair rail, and painted the walls Benjamin Moore’s Simply White in matte. Our master bedroom was also much improved by switching out a frilly chandelier for the Cedar & Moss Conifer Flush Mount from Rejuvenation.

dark shag rug white walls mid century dresser

This was the view looking into the room. I had a small 3 drawer mid century dresser that I still love and haven’t been able to part with. The dresser and mirror combo is nice and all but I couldn’t help but wonder, what if it was a fireplace instead?

The New Modern Traditional Master Bedroom

Modern traditional bedroom with fireplace

This view! I love it so much. I’ve always dreamed of having a fireplace in my bedroom so my big project this season was building one! I designed a fireplace surround that was a modern nod to the craftsman and Tudor style of our home. My dad and I spent about half the challenge building the fireplace on weekends (plus some weekdays my dad gave up to work on this solo because he’s the best). I picked a pale blue irregular tile with a crackle finish that mimics the original tile in our blush bathroom. The fireplace is painted the same color as the walls, Benjamin Moore’s Simply White, in a satin finish rather than matte.

I added a midcentury chair from our living room and small drink table to create the perfect spot to enjoy a cup of coffee while basking in the heat of the fireplace.

Modern traditional mantel styling

I originally planned on adding art above the fireplace but at the last minute asked Andy to lean this arched mirror on the mantel instead. I picked it up at a thrift store almost 10 years ago and it used to hang in the entryway of our apartment. You may recognize it from my Pinterest-popular SVALBO hack. I styled the mantel with my favorite gray vase from Pittsburgh-based ceramicist Bombabird along with a vintage brass vase, a candle holder from CB2, and a vase and tray from Target. I clipped a branch from a tree in our yard and popped it into a vase to add the perfect touch of greenery.

Electric fireplace insert gif

For the electric fireplace insert, I chose a 23″ insert from Dimplex. It acts as a space heater with the added ambiance of a fire. I can control the temperature and the robustness of the flames via remote control. I like that I can choose to just have the flames on without the heat for warmer months.

If you are thinking about adding an electric fireplace to your home, I have a few pieces of info for you that I learned during this process. Electric inserts like these can be directly wired or plugged into an outlet. Essentially, electric fireplaces are just fancy space heaters and space heaters like this should be on their own dedicated circuit for safety. If you have an older home like ours, you may not have grounded, 3-prong outlets and that’s also a problem. We are addressing these issues with an electrician and won’t be using the fireplace for heat until we have a safer electrical solution in place.

Rejuvenation perkins spindle bed

Just like in our guest bedroom, our master bedroom works best with a layout that places the bed under/in front of the windows. The trick for placing a bed in front of a window and having it look intentional is picking the right bed or headboard. A piece that lets the light shine through (think spindles in wood or metal or a woven rattan headboard) will complement the windows. Alternately, you can choose a low bed or headboard that hits just under the window or at the same height as the window sill. I have wanted the Perkins Spindle Bed from Rejuvenation since I first saw it in Emily Henderson’s bedroom reveal. I chose the white oak because I wanted to add lightness and contrast between wood tones and in this room.

A new king-size bed means a new mattress and there are so many mattress-in-a-box companies to choose from! We picked the Leesa Sapira mattress because I like anything that’s described as luxury. We are really liking it! The bed is dressed in my favorite Target sheets, Dobby Ladder Stripe Duvet Cover, Belgian Linen Quilt, and oatmeal check lumbar pillow from Juniper Studio.

For our new and improved bedroom, I originally wanted 2 rugs for the two “zones” in the room – the bed area and the fireplace area. A few kind internet friends asked me – hey – why not just 1 rug? And then I asked everyone to weigh in on stories and the answer was “please, just 1 rug!” So I set to searching the internet high and low for the right giant rug. It wasn’t easy but I found a great vintage overdyed rug at my favorite traditional rug source, eCarpetGallery.

Crate and barrel keane nightstand

Euro pleat curtains

I still can’t believe we have matching nightstands. For the first time. Our guestroom got a set of matching nightstands in last season’s challenge and now I’m hooked. I’m also hooked on furniture with secret electricity. These nightstands from Crate and Barrel have outlets and USB ports hidden inside a drawer. Technology!

Just like last season, I gave IKEA curtains a major makeover just by adding a good pleat. I removed the tabs and sewed a Euro Pleat into basic LENDA curtains to give them a tailored, modern traditional look. They took forever but they were so worth it.

For the curtain rods, I chose Pottery Barn’s PB Standard Drape Rods in the .75″ diameter with an antique bronze finish. The finish is nearly black and the brackets have a nice curved shape that echoes the casement fasteners on our windows. If you choose these rods for your home, know that you’ll have to purchase the finials separately, I picked the simple Endcap option. To save some cash where I could, I ordered these curtain rings in black from Amazon which matched the antique bronze finish extremely well. I ended up removing the clips (but keeping the wire hooks) from the rings and attaching them to the curtains using pin-on drapery hooks.

Crate and Barrel Keane Nightstands

Finding the right lamps was another challenge for me. Andy doesn’t like reaching inside a lampshade to turn it on because that’s where spiders live. I wanted something large that was the right scale for the large nightstands and big king bed. It was a challenge to find lampshades that weren’t too bright white or weren’t too close to the color of the curtains. I ended up finding these Roar + Rabbit lamps at our local West Elm just in time and am so happy with them. They have a crackle glaze that nods to the crackle finish on the fireplace tile AND a little dangle pull that means secret spiders are out of luck.

Grid Gallery Wall

We added a grid gallery to the long wall beside our bed using black and white prints of our travel photos and frames from Amazon. We had the oversized mats custom cut to add extra breathing room around the prints. It can be hard to figure out what to do with a big blank wall like this but a tidy, monochromatic grid can make a big impact.

Kent Coffey Tableau Mid Century Dresser

We are still shopping for a new dresser for Andy (we love this mid-century piece by Kent Coffey but are looking for something with larger drawers) but gave this side of the room a little bit of a spruce up. I put together a quick and easy DIY art project by sketching out art on my iPad, having it printed at FedEx Office, and popping it into an IKEA frame from our dining room. Sorry, dining room.

Mid Century Dresser Abstract Art

The lamp is from CB2 from a few years ago and the vases are both from Target. The blush necklace on the wall is from Sasha.

Abstract Art Mid Century Dresser Vignette

The small pink vase is from Bombabird and the taller spotted vase is from Studio Arhoj. I borrowed the blanket ladder from our guest bedroom and hung some of my favorite ceramic knot necklaces on it from Oatmeal.

I am so in love with our new master bedroom. While we didn’t make huge changes with the wall color or layout, we now have a room that is much cozier. Our bedroom felt large and empty before but now feels comfortably furnished. I’m so glad I was also able to bring in some of my favorite vintage accessories to round out the space and add age to the room.

Remember to check out the Featured Designer reveals as well as the Guest Participants reveals!

One Room Challenge Guest Participant