A Big, Cozy Bedroom Update

June 22, 2015

We believe we should all love where we live.

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Over the last week, we have been working on our bedroom and I am so excited to share some progress photos with you. Even in our last house, we never really really got to our bedroom, so we are investing a little bit of money into this just-for-us space and it has already made such a difference. A bedroom is such a personal space and it is finally starting to feel like it reflects our personality. It feels comfortable, which is of course how a bedroom should feel, but our bedroom has always just kind of felt like where we slept. Here’s how it looked when we moved in:


Over the last year and a half, we tore up the old carpet and laid the same ceramic wood floors, but all the furniture remained the same. We did paint the walls a moody dark grayish blue-green.


Now, only the basics are in place–but the basics are all the big pieces. We ordered new lamps, a new duvet, new bed and new rug (whew!) over the past few months and  last week we gave our old bed to some friends, sold the jute rug that has made the rounds in both of our homes and here’s how the room is looking now that it is starting to come together. 


Wait. Did you guys paint again? Yes. Yes we did. Just over the weekend, actually. We knew there was a possibility we’d need to paint the walls once the new bed arrived. It’s just so hard to read undertones, especially gray undertones!, in upholstery by just looking at a photo online. So after the bed arrived last week, it took my all of 24 hours to decide the blue walls weren’t working with the new bed. It just felt jarring. Terrible iPhone pic coming atcha:


Do you see what I mean by jarring? The undertones just barely bordered on clashing, but since there were so many different colors going on, it didn’t feel restful. I pulled out my paint swatches (that’s the basket you see on my messy bed in the above photo) and sifted through until I found a warm shade that was just similar to the upholstery color but just a shade or two darker. I settled on Benjamin Moore’s Chelsea Gray and knocked it out in just a few hours.


It’s the most calming color–we love it and highly recommend it!–and I think the subtle tone on tone of the bed frame and wall color really add to the overall peaceful vibe. Speaking of the bed frame, we decided on the Mod Upholstered platform bed from West Elm and we are so so happy with the shape, height, the fact that we were able to ditch our box springs for something lower and the details. The upholstery is so beautiful and the piping along the edges really makes it feel like something special and a whole lot more expensive than it actually was.



The rug, we also ended up ordering from West Elm. It’s the Steven Alan Speckled Shag Wool Rug. We were so torn on these options, but in the end West Elm was having a rug sale and I felt like this one felt so classic and soft underfoot. And boy! Did we make the right choice! It is so soft! One thing I didn’t really realize online is that the salt and pepper-ness is kind of ombre in the rug. So it starts off really peppered near the door and then by the window it’s hardly at all (you can see that two photos up.) The whole thing feels like a fresh version of the Moroccan rugs that are everywhere right now.


When searching for bedding, I really wanted something simple and basic and versatile, but also a little special. I found this duvet set (The Hayes Nova White Duvet Set) from Crane & Canopy  and the dark charcoal piping about did me in. It was love at first sight. I’ve been frustrated over a lot of duvet covers in the past, in fact, we gave up on them for a good year because the constant stuffing was so annoying. This duvet cover brought us out of that funk. It has a hidden zipper and an innovative (yes, a duvet is being innovative!) design that rocks. It’s soft. It definitely needs ironed. But we love it.


We decided to hold onto our nightstands and I feel like they are working in here now. Maybe for the first time. But, it could be because of the new lamps.


I have been eyeing the Mantis Wall Sconces from CB2 for a good year now and I finally pounced when I determined they could work in our bedroom. They are a little quirky for a bedroom, and I like that. They aren’t your run of the mill bedside lamp and I guess that is what sold me on the idea of using them here. They aren’t photographing as large as they are in real life (I think our king-sized bed is throwing everything out of proportion a little bit.) But Chris snapped a photo of me on my laptop so you can kind of see the scale of everything. (For reference, I’m 6′ tall.)


What can I say–I am so very intense when I email. Ha! Now that all the building blocks are in place for the most part, here’s a breakdown of what we still plan to do in here.


1. Baseboards. We need them. They are looming over me.
2. We need to address the cord situation with the lamps. I kind of don’t mind the casual look of the cord, but I’d like to experiment with some cable channel painted the same color as the wall to see.
3. Nightstands could use some practical styling–A place for essentials and something easy on the eyes, too.
4. Art! To tell you the truth, After we painted and got everything in place, I wasn’t sure I wanted to hang art. And then I snapped out of it. Art is a comin’.
5. We love sleeping with the ceiling fan on in warmer months, but we’re definitely scouting a better looking one.
6. Pillows and Throws to spice up the bed a bit.
7. Not seen, but definitely needed–window treatments.

So that’s where we’re at now, which after years of just working with what we had–it feels great! We’ll keep you posted as we check more off the to-do list in here in the coming weeks.

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What do you think?

  1. m says:

    Hey there,

    Is the light switch for the mantis scone within reach from bed? Or do you have to get up to turn it off? I”m considering them for either side of a king sized bed as well and i’m wondering about that part. Thanks!

  2. Joan Grabel says:

    Hi. We are thinking of buying the West Elm ‘Mod Upholstered Platform Bed’. Have you had any problems with this bed in the way of the construction? You have had it now a few years, holding up well – the upholstery and frame? I would so appreciate your review of this bed before we buy it. I searched online for reviews and got to your site.
    Thank you.

  3. Thanks for sharing this excellent article. This is some of the very best interior design writing I have seen for quite some time.

    I strongly agree about the bedroom needing the reflect your personality. This is the one place where you need to feel comfortable and at ease, especially given how tough days at work can often be.

  4. I think I agree that this colour pallet is the best for bedrooms. You need to feel cosy and warm, especially in the winter season.

  5. Anj Ami says:

    I love the room! Question for ya..I’m thinking of purchasing the bedframe from West Elm. I’ve only found 1 review on the bed posts splitting after 9 months. Have you had any issues with it? It’s a lot of $ for it and I want to make sure it’s a good investment. Thanks for your help!

  6. Stan says:

    The final result looks very nice. Well done :)

  7. Love the floors and the neutral colours! Lovely job

  8. Some people think that grey isn’t appropriate color for a bedrooms, but actually it is quite relaxing and creates a peaceful atmosphere. In combination with the white carpet and the dark floor(which brings coziness) looks great! Good job :)

  9. Max says:

    I’ve been looking at the CB2 Mantis sconce myself and loves the way that it looks but several reviews have said that the wood wall plate is pretty insecure and doesn’t stand up to much if any movement. Was wondering how you have found the stability of these lamps. Do you move them at all or are they always in the same position? Did you mount it as it came or add anything to make it stronger?

    • Julia says:

      Good question, Max! We don’t move the arms of the lamps really at all, just the heads. So I can’t speak for the wood plate being insecure or especially secure. They are pretty long, so I do see how that’s possible. We just keep the in place really and move the head to where we want the light to shine.

  10. Sam says:

    Sorry for the way late comment! But do you have recommendations for good duvet inserts? It’s so hard to find one that doesn’t bunch up over time or sleep too warm! Any guidance would be helpful!


  11. elaine says:

    Have you had issues with the rug shedding at all? I read a lot of bad reviews about West Elm shag rugs shedding all over the place.

  12. Liyana says:

    What a wonderful bedroom! It looks so cozy and calming. We bought the West Elm bed after going through your blog (the only review I found so far) and cannot wait to have it delivered. Thanks for the review!

  13. Jo says:

    Hi Julia, same question as Katy. How is the bed holding up? Some reviews online say West Elm’s beds are shoddy but loving the look of this one – any issues? Thank you!

    • Julia says:

      It’s holding up great! I had 6 friends over last night to watch a show and we all piled on no problems. :)

    • Shannon says:

      I actually have the same bed and it is a nightmare. We had to have two beds replaced because Westelm did not put them together correctly and there was also a defect. When it was time to move we went to take the bed apart and found that the person who installed the bed completely stripped all of the bolts. We had to go to 5 different hardware stores before we found replacements. Also, one of the legs has broken on the inside. Like the wood just snapped in half on one area. I would like to add that our bed is for guest use only and had had very little use. Its been nothing but a nightmare and when we called Westlem they said that they had no idea of knowing that it was their employee who stripped the bolts. So they took zero responsibility, wouldn’t send replacement parts and were just rude. I am totally shocked because we spend a ton of money between Westelm and Pottery Barn.

      • Julia says:

        I love the way it looks, but the person that put it together did a pretty poor job on ours. Chris has fixed it but it still isn’t perfect.

  14. Katy says:

    Hi Julia, just wondering how the bed is holding up after a few months? I LOVE this one from westelm and seriously consider buying it but its hard to find any reviews online! Is it very sturdy? and are there any center support legs in the middle? thanks for your time!

  15. emily says:

    love the gray on gray…very serene! and, i have a similar set up in my bedroom and held off on placing art above my bed for so long…i finally put a big canvas above my bed and love it! and, with your talent, i’m glad you decided to do it…i hope you paint something for that space!

    • Julia says:

      I’m working on a painting for our entry right now, but curated a pretty amazing (completely subjective) gallery wall of prints for above our bed–which is not for everyone, but I can’t wait to share it!

  16. LOVE IT! (but then again I’m a huge fan of grey’s, so how could I not!)

  17. Lindsey F says:

    Julia, Julia, Julia….
    I have been trying to pick a grey (not too warm, not too cool, not to green, not to purple, don’t match the neighbors faded siding from the 70’s) paint for two hole years. That’s right, 730 days! My neighbors have had the pleasure of seeing a never ending array of color samples painted on the back of my house. I get the occasional point and stare from them, the slow drive-by creepers and “what color is it today neighbor?” shouted from the guy who walks his dog 72 times a day past my house. But… after I saw your new bedroom color, I knew I had found my match. Chelsea Gray by Benjamin Moore. She’s everything my dreams are made of.
    Julia, once again you are my paint spirit animal. Without you, my world would be all creepy neighbors and sloppy paint swatches. Thanks for your help, now off to the paint store!

  18. Katy says:

    I really really love the gray! We’re in the process of buying a home and I’m always drawn to homes that have gray walls. I also love the midcentury pieces that you’re adding- they really do pop with the gray. We’re trying to mix a bunch of vintage and new pieces and they actually have some gorgeous stuff at…Target. No lie.


  19. The room looks great. I think it’s the combination between the white carpet and the dark floor that makes the magic here. Awesome idea!

  20. Rkay says:

    The lamps look awesome! They’ve been on my wishlist forever as well but we’ve never had the room for them in our tiny rental bedrooms. We are moving in to our house soon though and I’m so curious to see if they’ll fit in the space. Is there anyway you can give me their dimensions relative to the bed? Like how high off the floor is the mounting point and what is the length of the sconce arm when extended as seen in the picture? That would help me tremendously as we have windows next to both sides of the bed and I feel like the height may not work. Do you think they can be mounted on top of the bed, with the arm extending the opposite way? Ugh..a paragraph about mounting a sconce. Sorry for rambling!

  21. Carlisle says:

    This is such a great upgrade! Good tip on repainting the wall after the bed came – so much easier to work with figuring out the right color when it’s in the space!

  22. Suzy Ray says:

    I love the new wall color. You guys do moody, rich colors so well. I’m interested to see the fan options you find. I’m looking for a good looking fan for my master bedroom as well.

  23. Heck yes, to those lights! Love them. I love the vibe you have going on… can’t wait to see more!

  24. AnnMarie says:

    I love it! The wall color is so moody and warm, so different from everyone else’s blown-out, bright white bedrooms (not that I don’t love those, too). And that bed! ~swoon~

    About the remotes for your lamps, YHL did something like that a few years ago, here:

  25. Lucas says:

    I have the Fanimation “Zonix” ceiling fan. Its a simple fan that is extremely quiet.

    • Julia says:

      We got a Fanimation fan for our last home’s living room and LOVED it! I’m going to check out the Zonix right now. Thanks, Lucas!

  26. Michelle says:

    Love the new paint color and rug! What size rug did you find works best for your king sized bed?

  27. AlisonG says:

    Wow, the new paint color is soo much better. I am not a blue person. You sure are a fast painter. I would put on the list to invest in a felt rug pad, it will make your rug last much better and it will be even softer under foot. I bought ours on Amazon. The investment is worth it. And the rug was definitely the right choice!

    • Julia says:

      Ooo! I’ve never tried a felt one before. Looking into it! Thanks, Alison.

      • AlisonG says:

        Your welcome. Here is the Title description to the one I bought, it’s very nice quality and thick, and it did not have any odors and made the rug so much more under foot. Well worth the extra investment and free shipping.

        8’x11′ Rug Pads for Less Super Premium (TM) Dense 100% Felt Jute 1/3″ Thick Rug Pad for Hard Floors and Exclusive Rug Pads for Less(TM) Custom Cutting
        Sold by Rug Pad Central

  28. Meagan Briggs says:

    I always thought I only wanted a high off the floor bed (maybe since I’m short, it makes up for the difference? Ha), but I’m LOVING the lower bed frames lately.

  29. Robin says:

    Is it a pain to turn off the bedside lights while in bed? The switches look so far away. I always wonder what the trick is to get a sconce switch convenient to just flick off as you are about to doze off.

    • Julia says:

      I thought the same thing at first. Like, darn, I’m never going to want to get up. Our friend stepped in and introduced us to this push button plug that we are going to get (just a couple bucks from walmart) that you can plug the lamps into and then you can just put the push button on the floor right next to the bed!! I’ll be sure update you on how it works.

      • Amanda B. says:

        I was thinking the same thing, and came to read the comments to see if anyone was discussing it. :) I was going to recommend what we use, which is an X10 remote system. A bit more spendy than the floor-switch solution you mentioned, but so handy, especially if you use a lot of floor lamps around your house. Basically you have a remote from which you can turn on/off anything plugged into the receivers, which are little modules that go between your lamp’s plug and the outlet. I love it for the bedroom because I can turn on both bedside lamps without walking all the way around the bed. Actually, what I do is stand in the kitchen and turn off all the living area lights, then before I put the remote down I hit the buttons to turn on my bedroom lights so they’re waiting for me when I get there. :) I have a second remote by the bed for turning off the lamps when I’m going to sleep.

      • Julia says:

        How have I never heard of this? That sounds so amazing!

  30. Abby says:

    I love it! Everything looks great so far. I have also been eyeing that West Elm bed, but I wondered about the part of the platform that extends past the mattress on the sides. Does it make it kind of awkward to actually get into the bed? Do you feel like you can’t just sit right on it like you would a regular bed, but you instead have to kind of extend yourself over the edge to make it to the bed? Hopefully my thought process if making some sense and not coming across as just rambling :)

    • Julia says:

      No, I totally get what you’re saying. It’s not much wider than my phone–in fact, I’ve been charging my phone there overnight now–perfect! Greta has been practicing her tight-rope walking on it, and it’s perfect for tying shoes. It seems really sturdy, but not in the way at all. I folded laundry standing without feeling like I was extending my arms extra or anything. (This is kind of a funny conversation.)

  31. amanda says:

    I just LOVE this room. Super excited to see it come together!

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We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

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