master bedroom plan (& before photos)

February 15, 2016

There are a ton of things I love about our 1983 home, and several that I’d rather change. Some of them we can do eventually (larger cosmetic projects like replacing laminate flooring & new backsplash in the kitchen) and some of them we’re stuck with (mostly small windows without a ton of natural light).

Regardless, I am viewing it as our forever home because we have no plans to go anywhere. Every room is in various stages of being decluttered, furnished, and decorated. Although I wish it would be “done” now, the reality of time and budget is that it’s going to take awhile to get there. I do want to make forward progress though, so while I KonMari all of our belongings I’m also focusing on fully decorating and setting up one room at a time.

This year I chose the master bedroom (not including the bathroom because it’s seriously stuck in the 80’s and it’s going to need a LOT of help). Let me show you its current state, which is a decent blank slate but far from feeling complete. I didn’t do anything to the room before taking these photos (that will be obvious, but I still wanted to let you know)!

Master bedroom before

master bedroom before

This is what you see upon entry. We painted the walls and ceiling white a couple years ago, and the carpet is pretty new. Straight ahead is the entrance to the bathroom. It doesn’t have a door, so we make do with a curtain. It’s really annoying because the cats play with it and the tension rod falls down a lot. I’m not sure what to do instead, though.

master bedroom before

Looking to the left where the dresser and window are. Sorry for the terrible lighting, but I had to close the blinds and turn on artificial light to get this to show up. I still like the curtains and the dresser is staying. It’s not the best thing ever but it was free and it’s functional! I’d like to change out the knobs and restyle the top. The basket and mirror situation on the right is temporary and need to be changed.

master bedroom before

Here is a portion of the top of the dresser. I made this black burlap table runner and I loved it, but it’s very faded now and the cats have torn up the edges. I’m not sure what to do to cover the top of the dresser now; it’s in pretty bad shape under there.

master bedroom before

There is a small built-in bookshelf right as you enter the room. This needs to be decluttered, organized, and styled.

master bedroom before

Here is the far wall. These three lonely frames were going to be the start of a gallery wall, but that’s not happening. I have a different idea for this space. Also, I’d like to replace the old ceiling fan.

master bedroom before

The main event: the bed! I love our bed and we just got new white sheets. The bedding needs some help, as do the nightstands and the wall. I also want a bench for the foot.

master bedroom before

My nightstand. I love this little table; my dad and I painted it together. It really needs some touch-ups and new knobs, and I need to clean off the top of it. I also want to redo the cord situation. There is an old baby monitor that’s not even plugged in hanging out down there.

master bedroom before

Here’s David’s side which is pretty sad. We don’t even really use that ugly clock so it can go. We basically just pile kids’ books on this TV tray.

master bedroom before

And this is the last wall, which doesn’t need much done to it. I’m a fan of that print and little mirror, and I love that basket which I use for dirty linens.

To-do list:

  • New bedding
  • A second nightstand
  • Bench for the foot of the bed
  • Headboard?
  • Decorate the walls
  • Change out ceiling fan
  • New knobs for all the drawers
  • Restyle the top of the dresser
  • Deal with the built-in bookshelf
  • Change the curtain to the bathroom situation?

DIY Ideas:


Hanging plants in front of the window.

Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Veneer Designs.

A macrame wall hanging as a headboard. (Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Veneer Designs.)


Framed engineer prints of the kids on the wall.


Giant crocheted blanket. My mom is already working on this for me, but with different colors!

I’m on a spending freeze during Lent, so I’m going to try to take this time to completely declutter the bedroom. You can see there isn’t much there, but it will probably still take longer than I expect. And I’m going to price some of the things we need to buy, and make a plan for the DIY stuff. I’d love to hear any ideas you have! Thanks for following along as we build a happy home. :)

Posted in: home

Comments on master bedroom plan (& before photos)

  1. 1

    From Nora:

    My first thought on the door to the bathroom situation: a sliding barn door! Not sure if that’s your taste at all or not, but i think they look so cool and they are easy + functional. If we had more room in our master bedroom we would do that for our door to the bathroom ( we have a pocket door currently, but the wall where our bathroom is isn’t quite large enough for a barn door).

    Can’t wait to see what you do to and for the master bedroom!

  2. 2

    From Marina:

    WSS^^^ I also thought sliding barn door. =) I’m excited to follow along with your process. Redoing our master bedroom is a big priority for me this year and we have similar to-do list and a similar style. Thanks for sharing!

  3. 3

    From San:

    Same first thought as Nora and Marina: a sliding barn door in front of the bathroom would be perfect!! I love how you showed us the different areas of your bedroom and how you want to re-do them. I definitely need to do something about our bedroom too.

  4. 4

    From Nikki:

    We got a $5 door from Habitat Restore that I painted white that we are using as a headboard. I actually don’t love it any more because it was never big enough for our room / bed, but I’ve left it up because I haven’t gotten around to making an upholstered headboard. Just a thought – maybe try an old door! The one I got was more like a cabinet or closet door, not a heavy room door, so it was easy to handle and hang. I can take a picture if you want!

  5. 5

    From Melissa:

    Yay! Can’t wait to see what you do! I also want to work on re-vamping our MBR this year. Ours is in a sad decluttered state :-/

    I’m loving your ideas – especially the DIY hanging plant. I have that exact photo pinned I believe. I agree with the sliding barn door comments above! I didn’t even think about that, but once I read it my head nodded a big YES. :) Maybe you can find an easy DIY tutorial. Do you know anyone that’s handy with tools? The Habitat idea is great too – my SIL cruises through our habitat for humanity store all the time looking for potential projects.

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