The Reveal: A Master Bedroom Loses Its Blah

Are you ready for another reveal?? With this post we're moving across the hallway in my Roosevelt Craftsman project to the 4th space I designed (go here to read about the den, teen room and landing) in this house - the master bedroom!

Two things to know about this master bedroom - it has western exposure, which means it stays quite bright long after sunset (especially in the summer), and it's right on the hallway on one's way to the bathroom. That means that there’s good light and, if the door is left open, it is on prominent display when entertaining. So, you can go dark without going dungeon and you want to create a pretty space because it’s going to be on display often for my clients, who are busy and frequent entertainers.

Client ask: Create a masculine room that retains the existing dark wood stain of the trim, closet doors and built-in dresser. Accommodate a Sleep Number mattress.

The Before:  

Roosevelt Craftsman Master Bedroom Before.

From the before, you can see that it's a room rich on blah. The stalactite ceiling HAD to go. You’ll see it in the before shots of the other two main floor spaces in this project, but that’s for another couple of posts. I have no idea what the person who did that was thinking - it’s just not a good lewk. The wall color made the whole space just feel muddy, especially combined with the dark trim. Normally dark trim is quite lovely in a Craftsman home, but in this room, with that wall color, it seemed so very lifeless, boring, blahhhhhh. It’s in need of some major spice! In this state, it’s definitely not ready for a glimpse on the way to the little guest’s (bath)room.

 So first on the agenda: remove that ceiling issue. Can you imagine being instilled with a momentary jolt of childishness and decide to jump on your bed only to be impaled by a plastercicle? That ceiling is not only an eyesore, but it’s a potential eye sore! Do you see what I did there? hahaha. I can only hope that I amuse you a fraction of the amount I amuse myself, because then we’ll both be happy campers, yes? Anywhooo, my clients tackled the plaster removal themselves, because it’s just the sort of delightful weekend project they are wont to embark upon. Folks, do not try this at home. Unless dump runs are your idea of a cool date activity, leave it to the pros. My clients truly enjoy that sort of work and I’m happy to encourage them in their endeavors. They ended up literally with TONS of plaster waste to take to the dump. It's enough to make popcorn ceilings seem like a minor detail in comparison. Note to builders of the 1910s - just say no to meringue-ing the ceilings of your projects with globs of plaster. Future residents of your projects and landfills everywhere will thank you.

 The After

After seeing the other three projects in the house, are you surprised that I returned to the blue and orange palette? As mentioned in the other reveals, my clients wanted to have a connective thread that ensured the house flowed together and really wanted that thread to be color. Easy enough for me. Even with a connective thread, it was important that each room still feels like it has its own identity. So my clients wanted a dark blue room to make it feel extra cozy int here, so I chose a dirtier, warmer blue than the cooler more vibrant blue in the bedroom upstairs. Yes, blue is a cool color, however, it's possible to make it feel a little warmer, but that's getting into color theory, which is an entirely different post.

My clients have some drawings they'd collected on their travels and made the wood frames and floated the art in the glass. These pieces provided me with the perfect focal point above the bed. So as not to distract from that focal point, I chose wood framed mirrors to hang above the nightstands, which hold vintage large-scale cork lamps. They are almost out of scale with the more diminutive nightstands, but I love the contrast between the vintage cork and the modern shiny tables.

 The bedding is bold - the boldest hued item in the room, in fact, but I loved the heavy linen comforter and how it brightens up the space with a nod to that connective thread.

Room Reveal: Master Bedroom Loses Its Blah. Designer: Rebecca Rowland Interiors. Photographer: Julie Mannell. | #navywalls #masterbedroom #moodydecor


My clients really liked all of the dark trim and the original built-in dresser, so we left all of those items unpainted and in their current state, save for the addition of new pulls a combination of fun brass animal pulls from Anthropologie. Adding brass pulls helped to connect to the brass sconces, the room's source of light. The clients opted to keep those too, liking the age it brought to the space. That brings up an important point. When you're renovating or decorating a room, you don't have to change everything to make it yours. It's better that you don't - keep some soul of the house. That's why you bought an older home, isn't it? The person who lives in the house after you will thank you. Improve upon but don't erase - that's my mantra, and I love it when it works and my clients supports it. Not every house can just be improved, sometimes you do have to take things to the studs, and that's okay too, but keeping the essence of the home, not deleting it, is the best course, in my humble vintage home loving designer opinion.

Room Reveal: Master Bedroom Loses Its Blah. Design by Rebecca Rowland Interiors. Photography by Julie Mannell | #wallpaperideas #vintagedecor #darkwood

 Across from the bed is the built-in dresser. For the nook, I picked out a lovely wallpaper to make the space feel a little more special and combined it with a vintage dresser, because no space should go without something vintage.

Room Reveal: A Master Bedroom Loses Its Blah. Design by Rebecca Rowland Interiors. Photography by Julie Mannell | #vintagedecor #nightstand #orangeandblue

 So there you have it - remember, make the space you, it should reflect you, of course, but leave some of its identity in place. A room doesn't have to be coated in paint if it doesn't need to be - you can leave some of those original trims or even wood paneled walls alone, because it's sooo sooo hard to go back. If you're having trouble deciding what elements to change and what to keep, never fear, I am here! Reach out for a consultation and I can guide you through the best way to keep some DNA of your space while making it a shiny transformation that works for you!

Room Reveal: A Master Bedroom Loses Its Blah. Design by Rebecca Rowland Interiors. Photographer: Maple & Plum | #styling #designerlife

The Reveal: A Bedroom is Transformed into a Cozy Den

My clients wanted a cozy spot to curl up and watch television, and because the den that came with the house was in the basement, which was being rented out, they opted to designate a main floor bedroom for that purpose. My goal was to make the room feel larger than it was and that it made sense as a den and didn't feel like a bedroom turned TV room. Did I succeed? Check it out then let me know in the comments!

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