rental house: master bedroom design board

living in a rental and dreaming about our future home, i still want my current master bedroom to feel like me.  and as it turns out, “me” has been evolving style-wise over the last couple years.  i updated our master bedroom a bit in our last house, but stopped when i realized we were going to sell and just simplified things.


this was the “before” of our master bedroom.  i loved that wall color (flax by restoration hardware), but it was feeling a bit dark for me and i was ready for a change.


the “after” is with fresh paint, crisp linen white by glidden.  i slowly pulled away from color, leaving mostly neutrals with a bit of color here and there.


i have all the same white bedding, but we sold the bed.  i loved it for so long, but after 12 years I was ready for something new.  and new for us has been our mattress on the floor!  actually, sean and i have both oddly really liked the change.  my favorite dresser/bedside table has sadly migrated into silas’ room (i’m hoping to get it back in our next house – i love it!).  i am so over the lamps.  still very pretty, but not at all what i’m leaning towards.

wanna see what i am leaning towards?!

master bedroom design board

sources, clockwise from top left:  1  //  2  //  3  //  4  //  5  //  6  //  7  //  8

texture, neutrals, natural wood, modern, bohemian, and slightly industrial.  wow, thats a weird sounding mix, but after looking over the design board above, i really really like it!  i want warm and cozy, romantic but still masculine.

i refuse to buy anything that can’t work in another house, but is also an inexpensive fix to the blah that i’m in right now.

here are some pics of our current room:


oh, such a bad picture!  this was the day we moved in.  but you get the idea right?  i really like symmetry so it made the most sense for me to center the bed under the window, flanked by borrowed side tables from my parents’ loft.  i also tried the wall to the right of the bed, but the dresser and sean’s desk wouldn’t fit.

that layout was ok, but sean’s desk, which is his office when he’s not on the road, was shoved in a corner, furthest away from the window.  considering he spends more time in here than i do, i thought i’d try to adjust it a bit to serve him better.


ignore me (and the pile of clothes, and the mess), but you can see the bed is flipped to the wall opposite the window now, and the layout is better.  i don’t love it, but its better.

so here’s the plan for fixing this room up:

1 – make macrame hanging for over the bed (done!)

2 – get stumps for bedside tables (waiting for us at my parents’ house!)

3 – make new bedside lights (parts are being shipped…)

4 – order grey linen duvet cover (its sitting in my cart)

5 – make a simple headboard from distressed wood (i already have a pile of old fence wood that will be perfect!)

i am more than slightly tempted to paint this room.  the whole house is some sort of a creamy white, but its been badly touched up so many times that there are actually several shades of slightly different whites all over.  and its flat paint, which is so bad.  it shows so much – dirt, imperfections, nail holes… but i think sean would kill me if i told him i wanted to invest time and money into something we can’t take with us.  we’ll see…

so to the details:

master bedroom

1  //  2  //  3  //  4

these images are my jumping off point.  they are what i want the room to feel like.  so what do they have in common?

– natural woods.  i love a good painted piece of furniture, but natural or stained wood can do wonders for warming up a space and giving it more character and history.

– greys.  i’ve always tended towards an all white bed, but i find myself drawn to these mid-tone grey lately.  still neutral and safe.

– low beds.  done!  thats what happens when you sell your bed and don’t replace it!  we’ll eventually get it off the ground, but i think i’ll lean toward a lower height than usual.

– hanging lights.  i’m still unsure as to the height that i’ll hang ours from, but i’m ready to ditch the lamps.  besides, there won’t be much room on top of my wood stump side table ;)

i’ll check back in soon once i’ve made some progress!

client flip #3 – before & after


i have been blessed to work with some friends on a few fix & flips.  They call me in on some tricky or rushed jobs and i give my opinions, choose the finishes, then they do all the work – dream job, right?!  this is the 3rd house i helped with, but i haven’t shown you the second yet because my computer’s hard drive crashed and i lost a ton of pictures, including all of the before pics of the second house – darn.  here’s a quick reminder of flip #1 – it was pretty cute.


i’ve been big on white houses lately, but the contractor/flipper already had some of this sage green color on hand, and it actually turned out great.  its also really similar to the color of our last house, which i always loved.  i make all sorts of suggestions, but its up to the contractor in the end.  just a note:  i don’t choose all of the finishes.  sometimes they opt for something else for various reasons.  no big deal.

this house had a major lack of curb appeal before we started.  since this was going to be a very quick flip, i suggested just clearing out the front yard completely and adding in some grasses (this is in a beachy town) and bark.  if this were my own home, i’d definitely do things differently, but it just needed to look better.


there was just too much and not enough going on all at the same time.



the best part of this older home was its open concept great room.  this was the before view from the front door.  while it wasn’t great, it also wasn’t bad and it was open, with vaulted ceilings and skylights.


wow!  look at this!


i did really love the beams, but it was so nice to remove the odd wall anchoring the corner of the kitchen (which held up the beams).


the kitchen was completely gutted, but the general layout stayed the same with the appliances.  the huge island was a nice addition and created a great flow for the space.  the white shaker cabinets are a great choice for flips – they always look nice.  other features are the grey caesarstone counters and the carerra marble subway backsplash.


this was an odd space, almost 2 spaces.  maybe a dining space next to the kitchen, and a den/office space near the back door?  we decided to ignore it and treat the whole great room as one space and let the future owner decide on their own.


this is the reverse view, back to the front door, to the left of the fireplace.

(pendant light)


this was actually a really great space and just needed cosmetic fixes.


new paint on the walls, new door, painted bricks, tile hearth, painted fireplace surround, new flooring, and a new clean line mantle made a huge difference to this space.

floors: callistoga collection (“pier”, i think)

wall color: stone white by glidden

trim: ultra pure white by behr (my favorite bright white for trim and cabinets)


everything in this house was original. everything!


everything in the bathroom was gutted except the tub.  this isn’t the best pic, but the floor tile was large grey rectangle tiles.  caesarstone counters and the same white shaker cabinets as in the kitchen make for nice continuity in the house.  and with this neutral base, the homeowner will be able to add their own colors and style to the space without having to change anything major.

(undercount sink, towel bar, faucet, lights)



new white subway tile freshens and cleans everything up!


bedroom 1, before

i’m not sure why they didn’t keep the carpet?  its so nice ;)


paint, new trim, carpet, lighting and closet doors made a HUGE difference in all 3 bedrooms!



bed 2, before


bed 2, after


master bedroom, before


master bedroom, after – !!!!


and now for the best part of the house… the PINK master bathroom!  but wait, it gets even better…


with matching pink tub!  oh man.   so bad, yet so good.


you’d never know these were the same bathroom!

(mirrors, faucets, lights)



i didn’t get a before pic of the smallish back deck, but the new deck is so nice!



i love a good before and after, don’t you?