Some rooms in our home have barely changed over the 6 years we have lived here, and some are constantly evolving–our bedroom is definitely the latter. (Along with the living room evolution and the reading room–talk about a glow up!) Last week, we cautiously deemed our bedroom finished, so I thought it would be fun to look back and see all the stages this room has gone through, what we learned from each and if we would change anything.
This was our room when we first bought our house back in 2013. We plopped our bed and whatever pillows and furniture and lamps we had in place and called it good for quite some time.
A year later, it was still looking pretty close to the same, or maybe even worse. We still hadn’t painted. But I did update the pillows (thank goodness!) and hang a piece of art over the bed–which I stand by is one of those things that will instantly make you feel more at home. The biggest change was at this point, in early 2014, we had updated all the flooring on the main level to faux wood tile. So while it’s looking a little rough in here now, with part of the wall ripped out, along with all the baseboard, the floors look a little better?
Side note: Were we playing princess and the pea orrrrrr?? The look of a boxspring on a platform bed looks so silly to me looking back!
Later in 2014, for a brief period of time, we painted our bedroom Valspar’s Flannel Gray. Maybe we were inspired by the already blue accent wall, but this deep gray-ish blue color is still so good. It’s a beautiful, soothing tone (that now graces the interior of the coat closet!) but didn’t last long in here because around the same time we ordered a new bed (and passed this one to our friends the Pugmires–remember?!?!?!) and the colors clashed.
Lesson learned (for the 100th time) don’t paint before the furniture arrives! In a weekend we repainted the walls Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray which played nicely with our new platform bed and modern wall sconces. Note: At this point our ceiling fan was still horrendous and I was just cropping it out of every photo. Trick of the trade? Also note–still no baseboards. haha!
I remember being so happy with my bedroom at this point. It felt so serene and calm and cozy. I was hesitant to hang anything on the walls because I loved how soothing the tone on tone felt. But what’s a Julia without art I guess, because I pretty much went the furthest you could go in the opposite direction and hung all the art above our bed. Here’s the post about hanging that gallery wall.
I still love a lot of things about this version of our bedroom, and I remember the photo above got really popular on Pinterest and Instagram, but for some reason (it’s a sickness!), I just kept fiddling with it. Note: I can still see the ugly fan in the photo below.
But! Eventually! We swapped it out and I added a cool pillow I found on Etsy and well, the nightstand styling is bad. Mostly the bright pink flowers–they’re so not me and yet they’re in this photo. For me, the below picture is a lot of good things, but together, it’s not good.
I rarely shot other angles of this room (probably because they weren’t finished) over the years, but in this iteration, I do have a photo of a large Ikea mirror (that I spray-painted gold) paired with a small blue bench. Practical!
There was also a point in time where we had a cool, structural rattan chair in the corner and while I love the look, we have learned over the years that chairs collect clothes. Period. We don’t have a dresser or chair in our room now because it’s tight with one and because it helps keep our sleeping space tidy.
I must have felt myself getting carried away, because the next version of our bedroom was more simplified. Fresh bedding (I love the feeling and possibilities of fresh linens!) and some solid pillows brought our room back to me.
It stayed like this for awhile, until one afternoon I was craving something lighter altogether and I stripped our room back to almost a starting point again. Most of you thought we were crazy. But after 5 years of a darker room, I was ready for a change. If you feel a room is not working, try taking everything out of it and only put back the things you really love. As always, paint is powerful and easy and cheap. This time, we went with Benjamin Moore Olympic Mountains. And it basically looked like we just moved in.
We eventually got some nightstands that were a better scale for our king sized bed and I borrowed art from the guest room and dressed the bed with fresh linens.
We exchanged a bench or chair for a column of art and the shag rug for a lower, smaller rug in a move that shocked even me.
Our smaller room was swallowed up by a 9×12, but I love that the 8×10 allows the walls to breathe a little easier.
Eventually I got the master bedroom its own art (and returned the clouds to the guest room). It’s big and abstract and feels calming to me, despite the high contrast.
And then we added an electric fireplace over a weekend…
And 6 months later, finally decided on dark and dramatic curtains…
And the finishing touch? Swapping out our mismatched bedside lamps for matching ones and adding sconces to our floor mirror.
I wouldn’t say it took us 6 years to be happy with our room, every step we took we were happy and excited about! But I think each step took us closer to where we are today–a master bedroom we’re both over the moon with. It’s cozy and restrained in the right places, with still a lot of dark drama that I clearly didn’t want to rid the room completely of.
If there was a takeaway from this, I hope it would be: never stop progressing. Don’t be afraid to switch things around. To try something new. Even if it’s just pillows or a paint color. A centerpiece. A lamp! Give it a try! Literally the worst that could happen is the whole internet sees how you clashed magenta carnations and a tribal pillow back in ’15. NBD. Worth it.
Wall Color- Benjamin Moore Olympic Mountains
Window Pane Sheets
Textured Pom Pom Throw Pillows
Glass Display Box
Framed Horse Art
Fiddle Leaf Fig
Blue Throw Blanket
We designed the Charly line of sofas, chairs, and ottomans with perfect proportions for comfort — with wide arms, a loungey depth, and stylish and practical lumbar pillows. Available in 70 kid-friendly, pet-friendly fabrics, this line was created with families in mind.
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
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.
Almost daily I get asked what I would call my home style. I don’t like to box myself in, but I definitely lean Modern Traditional with an emphasis on comfort when it comes to our home. This especially came up when I shared our Powder Bath Reveal on the blog. I think it changes slightly […]
Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!
Make yourself right at home