Planning My Master Bedroom Refresh

I’ve spent the winter months mulling over what I want to do to our master bedroom. I can’t really change any of the big things right now—like furniture or flooring—nor do I need to or even want to. The bed is relatively new, as is the carpeting. We repainted about the time we made the other upgrades, and I still like the wall color.

The only major change I know I want to make eventually is to replace my nightstand with a dressing table, but I’m still thinking through what would work. I need a piece that can hold all my lingerie, plus the odds and ends I keep bedside. For now, I plan to stick with refreshing the bedding and window treatment.

I keep coming back to 3 rooms as inspiration…

Though I don’t want my room to end up looking exactly like any of them. But there’s something about the feel of each I do want to capture.

Inspiration #1: Purple passion

Via Indulgy

I like the eggplant purple in this room. I don’t envision the color on my walls, but I’d like a color palette that includes purple—perhaps a print with a little purple in so I can use it as an accent. I LOVE these lamps and would be overjoyed with ones this exact shape and color.

Inspiration #2: Nature and velvet


This is such a warm and sunny room. I like the gold and green used and how all the colors present in the accessories are found in the artwork. I think the black lampshade is elegant, as well as the use of velvet for the bed’s upholstery. I wish I could find a velvet coverlet at a reasonable price to use with a patterned quilt, but no luck so far.

Inspiration #3: A world of textures

Katie Leede

Here I love the mixture of textiles and textures that give the room a global feel, but also make it cozy and inviting. I love teal, and it’s already present in my room in artwork, which I don’t plan to change unless absolutely necessary. I’d like to use a faux fur throw and perhaps one fur accent pillow in fall and winter, changed out to something more lightweight in spring and summer.

Here’s my canvas…



Additional storage furniture and décor (facsimiles) I’ll be keeping include… 

Our actual nightstands and armoire are from our previous bedroom set, which is no longer manufactured, but these examples resemble them. Our nightstands are a bit wider (wide enough to have two knobs per drawer), and our armoire has shorter paneled doors, with three wide drawers below. I have styled it on top with blue-and-white Chinoiserie jars and vases.

Additional non-storage furniture (facsimiles) I’ll be working with include… 

My two chairs and tiered end table are vintage pieces from my husband’s family. Thankfully they aren’t tufted gold crushed velvet. However, mine were just as garish as these in olive green before we had tufting removed and reupholstered with an aqua and beige tweed chenille. The aqua is subtle and the chairs read as beige. The fabric hasn’t held up well to Maisie-Cat’s claws, so I’d like to have them redone but don’t know if that’s in the budget for now. Chair frames are pecan, and the table is mahogany. The mercury glass lamp, of course, is modern.

This seating arrangement faces the foot of the bed, several feet away so the bed drawers can be accessed. A 48-inch flat screen TV hangs on the wall overhead.

Also ran

I originally purchased this rug to lay over the carpet and span the space between the foot of the bed and the sitting area…

Pretty, isn’t it? But after a long discussion with my husband, I won’t be using it. He’s afraid I’ll trip on it and possibly fall. I already have knee problems because of previous falls and went through reconstructive foot surgery a few years ago, so after some thought I agreed with him. We’re going to use the rug instead in the living room in a place I’ll be unlikely to trip.

I’m a little sad about this, since as soon as I laid the rug down in the bedroom, it transformed the space. (It even looked good with my existing bedding!) But after thinking about it for a couple weeks (and tripping elsewhere during that time, though I did not fall) I’ve come to the conclusion it’s the right decision. I’m clumsy and it’s not worth risking anymore injuries.

Moving on to bedding

After much searching and nail-biting, I finally ordered this quilt set by Greenland Home Fashions. The pattern is called “Persian.” I needed to see it in person to be sure it would work, and I’ve decided to keep it.

I don’t think I’ll use the shams, and my plan is to tuck the quilt in on all three sides for a more modern look and to show off the beauty of the bed platform itself.

Here’s a closeup so you can see the color mix and the patterning of the quilting…

The red backing is darker than it appears here—closer to burgundy. But the front is a mixture of red tones—burgundy, coral and rose—with bits of tan, brown, sage green, aqua and lavender. I wasn’t sure my idea of purple accents (a deep, plummy purple) would work, but when I held up a purple kantha quilt I wanted to use at the foot of the bed, the combination looked absolutely stunning. I don’t usually think of mixing purple and red, but I’ve seen it done, and the key is to use purples with more red than blue.

I wasn’t so sure about letting red back into my bedroom, and I was also leery of a print. I want to keep the room cozy and restful. The bedding I have now is also a patterned quilt. It replaced a solid aqua quilt I LOVED (so much so it had grown shabby), and I’ve never been quite satisfied with my bedroom since. Even though the color palette is the same as what I had, the pattern is large, and on a king-sized bed seemed overwhelming and busy. Plus, after four years, I’m tired of so much aqua and was quite taken with this pattern when I ran across it online.

Turns out the print is small and indistinct enough that it doesn’t look busy. The brown and ivory tones in it connect with my walls, carpet and furniture and look rich, like a patterned Persian carpet. I hope I still think that after everything is combined.

Bring on the layers

One of my goals with this bedding refresh is to layer my bed with several prints and textures for a modern boho-chic look. I also want to incorporate a couple of family keepsakes, one of which is introduced in this next collage.

| 1 | Pick-dot Coverlet, jacquard, natural, from One Kings Lane. (This will function as a blanket.) | 2 | Etched Chevron Sheet Set, percale, violet print on white, from One Kings Lane. | 3 | Embroidered and crocheted pillow slips, made by my mother and grandmother (crocheted edge). | 4 | Persian quilt, from Greenland Home Fashions. | 5 | Crimped edge coral velvet pillows, from Cost Plus World Market. | 6 | Purple embroidered kantha quilt from Taj Hotel. | 7 | Red multi-print kantha quilt from Karma Living. | 8 |Brown patchwork velvet kantha quilt from Karma Living.

My plan is to stack a standard-size pillow in the heirloom pillowslip on top of a king-size pillow clad in the violet chevron pillowslip from the sheet set. I’ll lean the coral velvet crimped-edge pillows (which I’m reusing from current bedding) against the front of the stack. I won’t use all three kanthas on the bed–perhaps two, maybe just one. I’ll have to play around with it to determine which ones.


Beyond the bed

I have several other kanthas, and I may use one or two on either the backs or seats of the side chairs. Again, I need to play around with it.

Also on those side chairs will be another keepsake…

I gave my mother these needlepoint pillows for Christmas 37 years ago. They were expensive, and a bit of a stretch for me to afford at the time, but I knew she’d love them. She always kept them in her formal living room, one on each of two matching wing chairs.

I wasn’t available to help when my brothers moved our parents into assisted living, but I know she had to get rid of a lot of household goods. Circumstances were different by the time she passed away, and I took care of sorting through her personal belongings, dividing some among relatives, and donating the rest. I found these pillows tucked in the back of a drawer and promptly put them in MY “keep” pile.

At 12-inches square, they’re the perfect size to use on my bedroom chairs, and the colors mix well with the bedding. I like having these two items from my mom (one with a tie to my mom’s mom!) incorporated into the room.

Here’s how the chairs look with the pillows on them…

When I can afford reupholstery, I’m thinking of something like this color and fabric…

Tony Vu via One Kings Lane

Cool, huh?

Last on my list

I could get away with using the bedside lamps I have—gourd-shaped, transparent aqua glass—but I would like larger lamps that make more of a statement, give off more light, and emphasize the purple. Here are some I’ve found so far:

TOP L-R: Safavieh Mae Long-Neck Ceramic set of 2 lamps, Safavieh Zoey Double-Gourd set of 2 lamps, Malyne Art Glass lamp. BOTTOM, L-R: Contemporary April Table Lamp with Wood Base, Sturbridge 29-inch Bronze table lamp, Pisa table lamp.

I’m leaning toward the purple Safavieh pair on the top left. I prefer a drum shade, and I like the height. I also dig the art glass lamp on the upper right, but it’s a bit pricey. I’ll wait to decide until everything else is in place, then check out a few more of my favorite haunts. I do, however, want something modern to contrast with the traditional furniture.

I also need to replace the window treatments. Here’s what I have now, on a bowed French rod so that it looks like a pelmet, with a cellular shade underneath that matches the wall.

VCNY Carmen tailored valance

I like this look…

L: Via Gypsybilly. R: Via Apartment Therapy.
I would, however, need to change out the rod to use something like this—not a big expense, just more holes to patch in the drywall. Mine is a single window, so the knot would hang in the center of it.

We don’t get a lot of great light in our condo, but this window faces west and the light is beautiful in the afternoon. I don’t want anything to obstruct that so would need to choose a thin, light panel. I thought I could use one of the kanthas, but now I realize that will be too heavy. I’m also not sure how this window treatment will look with the existing cellular shade, which I need to keep to block out security lighting at night.

L-R: Cordelia curtain, Vining Velvet curtain, Knotted Macrame curtain, Slub Velvet curtain.

Here are a few panels I found at Anthropologie that might work, but I’m still looking. Like the lamps, I’ll reassess the window treatment after I get the bedding changed out. I certainly couldn’t attempt the knotted look with the slub velvet curtains on the right. If I chose those, I’d hang them loose on either side or, possibly, tied back to one side. I might end up making something I design myself.

Here are a few other window treatments I like and could make. The pelmet on the top left is comprised of 35 yards of ball fringe! I would use it without panels. And the one on the bottom right I’d reconfigure as a valance.

Stay tuned

I’m still waiting on two bedding items to arrive, but once they do I’ll dress the bed and post more photos—before and after. I’m open to any and all comments, including advice or recommendations.

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