rental house: master bedroom

6 months back i shared with you my plans for our master bedroom in our rental house.  since we’re not here long term (a couple years total at most – hopefully) i didn’t want to invest too much time or money into our room.  but since it is where i tend to retreat to, i wanted it to feel welcoming and cozy.


this design board really gives a pretty clear idea to the direction i was headed: warm and cozy, lots of texture, white & grey with natural wood tones to warm it up.  over the last several months i had been gathering supplies – i already had the rug, i got wood stumps from my parents’ house, i made the “macrame” wall hanging, and ordered the supplies for the lights, as well as the bedding (duvet cover).

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

i am really pleased with the results!  everything that i purchased will move with us into our next house, so i don’t feel like any money has been wasted.

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

since we sold our bed frame used in our last master bedroom when we sold our house, our box spring and mattress have been sitting directly on the floor.  and i kind of love it!  maybe a few inches higher would be nice, but its free so i’m happy!  i didn’t get to making a reclaimed wood headboard yet, but that is high on my priority list.  i haven’t decided yet if i want to go with clean and simple linear boards, or come up with a fun design.

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

as much as i love all white bedding, i was ready for a bit of a change.  i ordered this duvet cover and pillow cases from H&M, and still use white sheets and in the cooler months a coverlet that we got as a wedding gift.  the throw is from marshalls or homegoods, and the throw pillow is from target (no longer available).  the cross sheets were from target but are no longer available.  one of my favorite purchases and i wish i got another set!

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

i do miss having a drawer in my night stand, but i love the way these stumps look!  the bigger one has a good amount of surface space (without a lamp taking up any room), so its been great.  because our outlets are located in funny spots, i have a power strip tucked between our bed and the larger stump to charge my computer, phone and to plug in the lights.

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

these stumps are extra special to me because they came from my parents’ neighborhood, where i grew up.  any time i can have a piece of Bass Lake nearby, i’ll take it!  also that plant – its nearly dead!  that is the only species of houseplant that i have not been able to keep alive and i don’t know what i’m doing wrong.  i’d love suggestions!

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

we just got some new family pictures taken, so i am looking forward to adding more to our room once i get them printed!

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

sean’s side of the bed is simple – my favorite detail is the wooden jar that my dad is “loaning” to me.   i think it was his grandfather’s!  it holds coins in it just like when my dad used it.  i still “borrow” coins out of there just like when i was a kid!

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

now for the lights!  there are a few tutorials to make these brackets and thread the light cords through, but i found the brackets and lights at ikea and just wound the cord around the brackets, rather than rewiring them – so easy.  since i don’t have an ikea close, i was able to get the brackets shipped to me, but had to find the lights from a reseller on ebay.

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

and they are so pretty at night!  the lights have a switch that falls just behind the stump for easy access.

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

i spotted this macrame wall hanging and wanted to mimic it.  then i remembered i don’t know how to do macrame.  and i didn’t want to spend a fortune on cotton rope.  and i wanted to do something right away.  so i improvised and started knotting and unknotting thick yarn strips until i came up with a pattern i liked.  its kind of like making a giant friendship bracelet!  i’ll create a tutorial sometime…

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

this wall seemed a little bare, so i nailed up a few empty gold frames i have, and added this print from barn owl primitives (i don’t think the print is sold any longer, but here’s the sign).

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

i think some family pics may go here eventually.

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

this is the view from the door and our bed.  you can just barely see sean’s stand up desk in the right hand corner.  i purposefully chopped it out of the picture because its U G L Y and messy.

and you may notice the oddly placed area rug.  i know, its weird.  it is definitely too small for the room, but i love having something warm under my feet when i wake up in the morning.  i’d love for something huge, but i just can’t justify that kind of investment right now.  large rugs can get pricey so that seems like a huge decision to me!

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

i still have plans to refinish/strip this dresser, but i just don’t have the time for it.

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

i grabbed another fiddle leaf fig, this time from home depot and its going strong!

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

after i photographed the whole finished room, i added this hanging plant from a macrame hanger i bought from native fern on etsy – fabulous quality, and the creator behind the shop is just 14!

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

you can see the lighting in here is kind of funky.  the house is a split level, so you walk in the front door and are at a set of stairs going up and a set going down.  the master bedroom is downstairs, with a 2nd story deck hanging over the one window, causing some funky striped lighting.

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

we’ve had these hooks and moved them in every house we’ve lived in!  they are just so practical.

light switch cover

the previous tenants left this lovely switch plate, but it just wasn’t my style, so i swapped it out with a new white one – so much better!  you can also get a glimpse in these pictures of how bad the paint job is in here – the square of old paint around the switch.  there are all sorts of that fun stuff throughout the house.  i am seriously considering repainting this room if we’re here for another year, maybe year and a half.  i think $20-$40 for paint is worth it.

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

i am really happy with how far this room has come!  i still have a couple projects i’d like to do in here, but overall i think it works!

duvet cover set //  similar throw //  similar sheets // similar stumps // similar coverlet //  lights //  brackets  //  similar macrame wall hanging  //  similar wall hooks  //  macrame plant hanger  //  similar clock


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!