Before and After: A One Day Master Bedroom Makeover and 5 Tips To Transform Your Own!

August 8, 2017

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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A couple weeks ago, we completed a one-day bedroom makeover for a couple that had been having trouble moving their bedroom from a post-college look to a more sophisticated, grown-up, cozy room. It all started when Ralph Lauren Home reached out and asked us to do an Instagram campaign with their bedding–which could have really just been us making our own bed–but we love to pay it forward when we can. So, we got AllModern on board (thank you!) to donate a few key pieces, hired a videographer to shoot the whole thing, decided to do it live on Instagram and purchased a few things ourselves to really help the room come together for them. In just a few hours, we transformed their whole room into this:

That same morning, before we started, it looked like this!:

Same room! Even though we shared the whole makeover in real time on our insta-stories, we brought in a videographer to document the process of the day so we could share that with you all here.

There were 5 big changes that really helped the room transform.

1. The wall color. Before the room had gray walls, which is a popular choice. However, even though the room had a window, it didn’t get a ton of natural light and the gray was making everything feel a lot colder. White, in here, would also feel cold and shadowy because of the lack of natural light. By choosing a lighter, warmer-toned paint (Benjamin Moore’s Edgecomb Gray) it made the whole space feel warm and sunny without the presence of the sun.

2. Adding High, Wide, and Thick Window Coverings. The window was wide, but a little squatty so the proportions of this wall were feeling off. We hung bamboo blinds to warm things up (our long ones didn’t arrive in time, so we made due by hanging two side by side, but have since swapped it out) slightly above the window to cheat it up a bit. Then, we hung 4 curtain panels (two on each side) from the ceiling to the floor, and filling in each side for a really luxe, soft look. This doesn’t have to break the bank either–the curtains are from Target! (All sources listed at the bottom of the post).

3. Adding a Headboard. You don’t have to buy a whole new bed to up the sophistication factor in your bedroom. We attached this wingback headboard to their existing king metal frame they were rocking and it instantly (I mean instantly!!) made this room 1000x more cozier. Not to mention it made the room feel taller and overall more grand.

4. An Area Rug (even over carpet!) is always a good idea! We were going for a calming, tone on tone color scheme, but didn’t want it to fall flat. This area rug added a lot of interest, a little bit of color and an extra cushion under foot. Since the room was a modest size, under their king size bed, we laid an 8×10. If your room is a little larger, a 9×12 would work!

5. Lighting is Everything. This tip belongs on every makeover tip list everywhere, but we definitely had some obstacles to overcome in here. Besides there not being a ton of natural light, we really wanted to address the heavily textured ceiling. As in, make it go away without doing a bunch of construction. By swapping out their flush mount (that highlighted every bump) with a semi-flushmount that kept the light away from the ceiling and focused below–the room looks so much softer. Here’s a gif to demonstrate (really look at the difference in the ceiling!):

And because every room needs at least 2-3 light sources, we also added two fantastic (matching!) table lamps to their nightstands that add height and interest and a modern element to the space.

We kept the decor minimal. Simple frames with black and white photos. I cut the greenery from their tree in the front yard and added a little (faux) succulent to the other nightstand, along with my favorite budget-friendly wood vase sculptures.

At the end of the day, we could barely remember where we started because the room felt totally different. It felt soft and cozy and sophisticated and grown up and cleaner and approachable, too.

The whole family piled into bed and the boys jumped up and down a hundred times and it was the most rewarding thing to see. With every makeover we do outside of our own home, I always finish thinking “I want this to be MY room” and this space was no different. I hear it’s kind of their new place to gather and hang out as a family–and I don’t blame them one bit!


Wall Color: Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray
Headboard: in Linen Talc | Target
Bedding: Lauren Ralph Lauren Home | Macy’s
Duvet Insert | Amazon
Bedside Lamps | AllModern
Semi-Flushmount Ceiling Fixture | AllModern
Frames | AllModern
Wooden Vase SculpturesMcGee & Co
Faux Succulent | Target
Nightstands | AllModern
Area Rug | AllModern
Bamboo Blind | AllModern
Curtain Rod | AllModern
Dresser (seen in video) | AllModern

Special thank you to AllModern for donating so many wonderful products for the makeover. The turnaround time was so fast (we had to get this project done before Polly was born!) and I can always find just the right things on their site. And also to Ralph Lauren Home for letting us showcase their product in a way that helped others. Such a fun project!! 


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What do you think?

  1. Cynthia says:

    Love the transformation! Can you explain how you hung the curtains? Did you use clips? And I loved your last podcast BTW!!!

  2. Kristine says:

    I love the makeover, it looks great. But, did you really paint and then hang curtains and art the same day? I’m always paranoid about making sure the paint is fully dry. How long do you wait?

    • Chris says:

      This paint only took a couple hours. You can add some fans to the room to help, as well. While the paint was drying we put furniture together, swapped out the light and did other things that didn’t require the paint be dry.

  3. Johanna says:

    I’ve been waiting for this post since I saw it “live” on Instagram (such a great idea btw, LOVED to sneak in during the day to see what you were up to!). I love the transformation, it turned out great. And also; SO MANY useful tips, thank you!

  4. Katie says:

    I LOVE this space! I have a low/small window like this in my house and haven’t known what to do with it. I’m for sure going to hang some curtains wide and tall – but I wonder what you think of hanging the blinds a little higher, too? Is that even possible?

  5. Amanda says:

    Such a beautiful space. Can’t believe what a difference the new lighting makes!

  6. Kara says:

    I love the color edgecomb gray. This would be my ideal wall color, but our floors are a honey oak hardwood. They’re original to our 1903 house and we don’t have the budget to refinish them.
    Any tips on a similar color that could pair with warmer toned wood floors?

  7. Beth says:

    What are the dimensions of the room? I also have a modest size master and can’t ever decide if our king bed actually fits in the room. This room looks great. The king bed doesn’t seem to take over.

  8. susan says:

    That light fixture change and its affect on the ceiling is amazing! Really great tip to minimize those textured ceilings. Thanx!

  9. Laurie says:

    Beautiful! It’s hard to tell from pictures, but in your opinion would that rug work with a gray duvet cover?

  10. Natalee says:

    I asked this on insta too, so no need to double answer, but is there a way to prevent the rug from buckling? I have the exact same situation and it drives me insane. I want the pretty rug, but carpet plus a heavy bed means that sucker buckles within two days of re-stretching it.

  11. Lisa says:

    What a beautiful transformation Chris & Julia! It’s so sophisticated and serene now. It definitely felt very dorm like before. I am sure they are loving it! The video was a great touch too! I enjoyed it ????

  12. Bonita says:

    This is absolutely beautiful and so cozy! I love your style!!!

  13. Brittany says:

    This room is gorgeous! We just can’t seem to keep white looking clean though! Do you have suggestions for keeping white bedding spot/stain free?

  14. Callie says:

    This might be one of my favorite makeovers you all have done (and everything you’ve done is gooood!) So fresh, but still warm, clean and classic! Great work!!!

  15. Alison says:

    That family photo with the finger in the boys nose is priceless, ha! Lucky family to have a new room. Much better after.

  16. I cannot believe you did this only a few weeks before you met Polly! It’s beautiful and so, so serene. That video made me smile the whole way through.

  17. Danielle says:

    What were your thoughts on the duvet insert? We’ve had down for years and I’m sick of feathers leaking out and clumping, but don’t want to give up the fluffiness.

    • Julia says:

      We have this same insert for our own bed! It’s the best.

    • MelissaB says:

      I sleep with down because I find that being a light sleeper all the down alternatives end up being too noisy or hot for me. I have a high quality all season down insert but it does still leak tiny feathers when I change the sheets weekly so I bought this:

      Total game changer!! No more feathers at all when I change the sheets or in general (okay maybe like one feather every six months but it’s really really rare!! I highly suggest it and the zippered enclosure ensures that none leak out. I use the protector and then a linen duvet cover over that. The linen cover gets washed weekly and the protector probably every 6 months.

  18. Nancy says:

    I had that exact same striped duvet cover in the before bedroom! I agree, it definitely felt “dorm room”. Thank you for the ceiling lighting tip! We have horrible popcorn ceiling right now and desperately need to minimize it.

  19. Aubrey says:

    The video is amazing! I smiled the whole way through, this is definitely the way you guys are setting yourselves apart! I watched the bedroom happen on Instagram so i wasn’t sure how much I’d get from this post when it popped up in Feedly, but the video is definitely value-added! Enough to make me click over to the site that comment. So glad you were able to get some things donated so that you could hire the videographer! Keep ‘me coming!

  20. Lindsey says:

    What did you use for a bedskirt to cover their old bedframe? And any chance you can tell us the different sham sizes used?

    • Julia says:

      We just used a cheap white, clean-lined bedskirt from Walmart. As for shams, there two euro shams in the back, king sized pillows and standard shams.

  21. Holly says:

    I LOVED watching this on insta-stories. Updating from a “post-college” feel felt like it hit the nail on top of my head as we’re struggling with that in our own home right now. These tips are so great! I do have one question though: what does one do with so much bedding? We both run hot when we sleep so for practical purposes we don’t have a comforter/duvet or really any blankets and I can’t for the life of me figure out what people do with all that bedding and all those pillows when they go to sleep? I feel like I sound like Ben Stiller in Along Came Polly with the throw pillows…

    • Julia says:

      Every couple and person is different when it comes to temperatures in sleep, that’s for sure. The sheet, bedspread, duvet combo should cover all the seasons for them. They can layer it all on in the winter or less in the summer. And I know exactly what scene you’re talking about in that movie! That made me laugh. Ralph Lauren sent all the bedding and I heard from the homeowners yesterday, they are still fixing their bed like this every day–sometimes things looking luxe and pretty is enough motivation to do something.

  22. Shelley says:

    That last picture is great…they all look so happy! I can’t get over the difference the window treatments and the ceiling light make and the bed looks so luxe now. You guys did an awesome job!

  23. Lu says:

    What a beautiful transformation…

  24. Lu says:

    What a beautiful transformation!

  25. I love the way this bedroom came out! Really it looks so sophisticated and grown-up and almost like a different space entirely. How did the other side of the room come out with the bureau? Did the TV go back or did they go with artwork?

  26. Theresa says:

    This looks great!! Thank you for practical tips that I can try at home ????

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We believe we should all love where we live.

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