A Post-Dorm Style Room to a Bright, Fresh Traditional Master | CLJ Mood boards

July 10, 2017  —  Written by Julia 

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Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

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I got so many encouraging emails and messages from you over the weekend about my inquiry of sharing mood boards occasionally for other people’s spaces–including some of yours! I get so many requests for online consultations and while that unfortunately doesn’t fit into my day right now, hopefully as we select a few to share here every once in a while, everyone will be able to benefit, or be inspired or pluck something from the ideas.

While they will mostly be digital projects, the one that we’re sharing today is actually a bedroom Chris and I will be doing in a day on Instagram Stories in just a couple weeks as part of an upcoming project! Here’s how the master bedroom looks today:

I think it’s a very relatable before photo for a lot of people, perhaps especially in their mid to late 20’s. I love that there is effort made here–the mismatched nightstands are painted the same color, the printed off artwork was a a good effort in making this space something more. But what this couple expressed to us that they really wanted was to move pass the post-dorm style and transform this space into something that felt polished, bright, soothing and like a retreat.

First, we gathered some inspiration photos that had elements that they loved or a general vibe they connected to:

IMAGES 1, 2, 3

I noticed immediately they all had a light, bright neutral palette and soft, tall, cushy headboards. While there bedroom will still have carpet and lower ceilings, unlike the inspiration photos–I knew we could inject a lot of the same luxe tone on tone vibes for a lot less than the inspiration photos.

Here’s what I came up with:

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

1. A tall, wingback headboard like this will not only add height to the room, but it will completely change the way they relax. Just going for a headboard, instead of a full bed is a great way to save some money, too!

2. An 8×10 Peachy-blue traditional rug. You can spend a fortune on a Persian or Oriental rug, but this one is actually mass-produced and very affordable! An 8×10 will take up a good portion of the existing carpet and really disguise it.

3. Stacked frames above a nightstand is another great trick to bring the eye up and make the room look taller, especially if there is a lot of white space. These budget-friendly frames have large white mats and we’re gonna pop in photos of the couple.

4. The window is actually pretty wide in here, but we’re going to use this pewter rod, hung high and along the majority of the window wall (it goes to 120″ wide!) to make the window look even larger.

5. We purchased 4 panels of these budget-friendly striped curtains so we can hang them high and wide and fill up that wall with a lot of soft layers.

6. These nightstands are sturdy, with clean lines and most importantly, have storage! It’s easy to fall for a nightstand that looks good, but if you’re the kind of person that stores a lot of things bedside–it’s always a good idea to look for something with concealed storage and looks good so you’re not constantly fighting clutter. These fit the bill.

7. The warm, aged brass of this semi-flushmount fixture repeats in the dresser and bedside lamps. I love a good flush mount!

8. Opposite the bed, there’s currently a giant, crumbling armoire that was at the top of the list of what had to go (we’ll be sure to give you the full visual when we tackle this room in person). This dresser adds some contrast to all the lightness without being overwhelmingly dark. I really love the drawer handles–and the price!

9. Almost every inspiration had a modern element (something I whole-heartedly love injecting into our own spaces, too!), and these lamps are the perfect modern touch.

10. Layered, tonal, cushy bedding like this will absolutely transform the feel of their whole room.


We’re so excited to see this room transform and to bring all of you along for the ride. We haven’t nailed down a paint color just yet (waiting to do that in person), but I’m leaning toward a warm white like Sherwin Williams Alabaster or Benjamin Moore’s White Dove. Anyone else have a room like the before photo? Hope this gives you some ideas!



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What do you think?

  1. Nicole says:

    Love the rug! What program do you like to use to create your mood boards?

  2. Candice says:

    Beautiful room design. Quick question… is the target headboard linked here the same pictured in the bedroom redesign with the RL bedding? If so what was the color? I really love how it all came together!

  3. Nicole says:

    That bedroom IS sooo relatable! I can’t wait for you to get your hands on it & to see the finished room….???? I just found you two a few months ago from a YHL podcast and have listened to ALL of your podcasts and have obsessed over your house…I wish I would have been on the CLJ bandwagon so much earlier! ????????

  4. Lauren D says:

    Love this so much! I’m always thinking about the way that paint, furniture and decor can transform a space without major reno…this is such a beautiful example in a ‘real’ space. It’s fun to see you apply your eye to a project in someone else’s home. Looking forward to more in this series!

  5. Jessie says:

    Wow!!! What a complete transformation of that room. Looks amazing!!! Thank you for this amazing opportunity!! ????

  6. Jenny Free says:

    Those new night stands will be perfect for storing their quad scriptures ;) But joking aside, I think you nailed their inspiration photos in a real life space and budget.

    Love everything you guys do!

  7. Morgan says:

    I can’t wait to hear the background on this room makeover. I know that it will be such an improvement!

  8. Brittney says:

    I relate to this so, so much. Right down to the quad chillin on the side table ;)

    My husband and I have good jobs now, but we’re still in a condo saving for a down payment with our two kids as we house hunt. Our bedroom looks so much like this (mismatching side tables painted the same color, DIY art, no headboard), but we’re waiting til we’re in our own home to rid ourselves of the hand-me-downs and splurge on pieces that really reflect us. Love this inspiration board and the price points!

  9. Samantha says:

    Thank you so much for sharing!!

  10. I’m so excited to follow along! This will be such a fun before and after!

  11. Carly says:

    Great inspiration!

  12. Jackie says:

    Really like that nightstand but I dislike the legs. When you’re putting them together/putting them in the room – it would be super helpful to know whether it would be possible to use alternative legs or if the way they are attached prevents that option. Thanks!


  13. abby says:

    beautiful! love this idea and can’t wait to see the room come together!

  14. Christy Anderson says:

    Looks amazing- love that you’re doing this!

  15. Erin K. says:

    #8 is the same dresser I just got for my bedroom. I love it! The handles are my favorite thing ever. It is pretty heavy, and took longer for us to put together than I thought it would (even though we are old IKEA building masters). But I did appreciate the instructions suggesting getting nachos as an optional step! I can’t wait to see how this room turns out.

  16. Kristen Johnson says:

    Well done! The mood board is perfection. Love! Can’t wait to see the finished room.

  17. Patricia says:

    Just looking at the before, the inspiration photos and the mood boards gives me a great picture of where you’re going with this bedroom. I’m looking forward to the actual install.

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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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