The 6 Year Evolution of Our Bedroom

April 22, 2019

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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
Area Rug
Bed Frame
Window Pane Sheets
Duvet Insert
Striped Shams
Textured Pom Pom Throw Pillows
Abstract Art
Table Lamps
Wall Sconces
Faux Eucalyptus
Leather journals
Glass Display Box
Sonos Speaker
Floor Mirror
Bamboo Blinds
Ceiling Fan
Framed Horse Art
Fiddle Leaf Fig
Small Waterscape
Blue Throw Blanket
Frame TV

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What do you think?

  1. Arianna says:

    Hi, love your room especially the nightstands in the first photo. Could you please let me know where I can buy them? Thanks a lot

  2. Liz says:

    I’d love to know where the area rug is from! The link is unavailable but you guys totally helped me choose my next bedroom wall color!

  3. Shannon says:

    Hi! I’m a new reader and I’m looking for an area rug just like the one in your master bedroom but the link doesn’t work :( Can you tell me where you got your rug?

  4. denise rodriguez says:

    This post is so freaking good! I love the evolution! I felt your joy in each phase.

  5. Say says:

    I needed to hear this right now ???? all 5+ years later

  6. Elizabeth J. says:

    Lovely relaxing space. Thanks for sharing! Would you also please share your source for the curtains? I have not had any luck finding a good source for lush-looking curtains.

  7. Lindsey says:

    Where are your dark grey curtains from? I can’t seem to find any that shade. Thank you!

  8. Kirsten says:

    Gorgeous! I love the idea that you can keep changing a few things in rooms that are mostly “finished” to bring new life to it. I feel like I’m constantly shifting things, re-hanging art, and changing pillows for a new look, but I’m definitely going to try new linens and see how that goes!!

  9. Betsy says:

    Life wouldn’t be any fun, if we weren’t constantly evolving! This includes our homes. Looks, great!

  10. Brittany says:

    I LOVE a good evolution photo. Jest gets so much better, and so many lessons learned. I totally aee this in my own home, and wish I had taken photos

  11. Jennifer says:

    Hi Julia and Chris–I love your style aesthetic and really appreciate the evolution of your room. I would love your input with a post about more budget-friendly copy cats (like a side by side) for some of the pricier items. I know you’ve opted for some high quality investment pieces for your home, but I’m not at a place in my life where I can do that yet. Can you advise? Thank you!

  12. Erin says:

    Great post! Thank you for sharing. I love that you acknowledge what isn’t you. With so much inspiration out there it’s hard to remember that just because you like it or it’s a popular look doesn’t mean it will work in your home. We’ve been in our home for five years now and it’s nowhere near where I’d like it to be but with three young girls and a full time job, I have to celebrate the advances and process and not harp on what we have left to do.

  13. KB says:

    LOVE this evolution! Thank you for sharing! I can completely relate and really appreciate your how and why for all the changes – it helps me to think through the tweaks I can make in our own house. I absolutely love your dark, dramatic curtains, but didn’t see a link- Could you possibly share where you found them??

  14. Candice says:

    Would you post a link to your dark, dramatic curtains? I love them!

  15. Carol Costello says:

    How hard was it to add the electric fireplace? Any rrxthere?

  16. Sarah Z says:

    Okay so we bought this same decent cover from Crate and Barrel and it looks great except there are always soooo many little fuzzies and pilling on it! How do you guys avoid it/get rid of them and keep yours looking so nice?!

  17. Jackie says:

    I love your current bedroom but I’m also really digging your eclectic blue pillow and gray/black throw combo. I think I could actually get my husband on board with that look :)

    Do you remember where you purchased those?


  18. Joanna says:

    This type of post is super comforting for me. I was always feel like I have to do a room just right from the beginning or nothing at all. I love the fact that you lived through the “just plop everything down” stage. It’s also great to see that you weren’t afraid to mix it up. As someone who gets
    change paralysis, it’s inspiring.

  19. Margaret says:

    Are there additional legs under your bed? Also, it looks like there is a platform under your mattress. Was this customized by you? Or is this the way the bed came? It looks different on the West Elm website.

    • Julia says:

      Somewhere in the room progression we got a Sleep Number bed and it has its own platform and base. So we had to take off the slats from the West Elm bed that we were originally using and place the base for our mattress inside. Definitely not the norm but glad we could make it work!

  20. Jessica Merrill says:

    I liked your room when it had all the art above the bed, but that one painting with the man looking downwards… it ALWAYS makes me think of Michael Buble :D watching you while you sleep…

  21. Syl says:

    Beautiful room! I am moving in to a new apartment in a week it’s a small 1 bedroom but your bedroom decorating ideas have really inspired me to look in to how I could make my new bedroom nicer and stuff

  22. Angie says:

    Think you’ve milked your bedroom for pretty much what it’s worth by now ;) It’s acctually OK to not write a post if you’re out of content while waiting for other projects to finish or waiting for new ideas :)

    • Aminah says:

      This is really not a repeat post at all, if you pay close attention and appreciate the details of room evolution. I actually find this post quite an encouraging read, regarding the fact that my own master bedroom is also not what I would consider “done” after two years of having moved into our first home.
      I think it might not apply to everyone, but then Julia does post a variety of content and if you feel like skipping over what you might consider is “another” bedroom blog post, no one is stopping you from doing so.
      Also on a side note “it’s ok not to write a post if you’re out of content” is such a weird statement. This blog is their livelihood, so I don’t think they would see it the same way you do…

    • Christian says:

      Brand new reader here, so regardless of how many times these guys have posted about their bedroom or not, I appreciate the post as I’m moving into my new apartment last week and needed inspiration. Plus, it’s their blog and they can post whatever they want, however many times they want. No one is forcing you to read the post.

    • Lisa Riker says:

      Wow Angie. Why so bitter? Some self-reflection may help that.

  23. Stacey says:

    I loved seeing the evolution of your bedroom! I live in a small apartment, and about every six months I move things around, playing with the configuration. Always makes the space feel fresher. In the photo of the rattan chair, there is a beautiful wall lamp. Do you recall where you got it? I’ve been looking for something just like it!

  24. Mjbythebay says:

    Thanks for sharing….it’s great to see what changing up even one element can do (paint or rug or bedding or art). What is your rule of thumb for the scale of the art over a bed? Thx!

    • Julia says:

      I usually go for 2/3 the width of the bed, but lately I’ve been seeing so many small pieces of art over a bed that are so intriguing and bring you in. So no rules!

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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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