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One Room Challenge: Week 8 - Master Bedroom REVEAL

It's hard to believe eight, whole weeks have gone by already....and it's now the REVEAL WEEK!

After realizing we're going to be hanging out at home for a while in life-during-a-pandemic, we decided to spruce up a corner of our home.

We chose the master bedroom because it seemed almost "there" in terms of scope of work and now I have absolutely no idea what that thinking was. The room wasn't exactly a disaster....but apparently I was in major denial about how horribly lackluster it really was.


(For more "before" photos, check out week one.)

We had been living with the pre-existing wall color from the previous homeowners - which was a very nice, lavender-leaning grey. Our nightstands were from our old apartment and the tab-top, unlined curtains were also leftovers and never really suited for a restful night of sleep. Other bedding and decor items were brought into the room over time with the thought that they "might eventually work" and the entire room just became a mish-mash of unintentional styles, colors and ideas.

Since there were no major changes to the furniture layout and some pieces would be staying, the thought of making over this room seemed not so bad.

We tried to keep cost reasonable, though social distancing made sourcing items and creating a coordinated design a big challenge. Without being able to pop into stores and see things in person for many weeks, and even waiting on samples to arrive in the mail....formulating the final design wasn't the easiest.

Items that are now crossed off the must-haves and wish lists:


Feature wall


Area rug

New bed sheets

New lamps

Removing "mission control"

Chandelier/remove ceiling fan

Ceiling medallion

Solution for bulky TV electronics/media storage

Paint dressers (1 of 2 completed)

Paint walls and ceiling

Seating area

We kept cost down by purchasing a lot of these items secondhand, through Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, re-purposing some of our existing items and then DIY-ing basically everything else. This meant constant revising of the design concept as pieces slowly fell into place.

After having my heart set on wallpaper panels framed in molding, I let go of that idea *for now* - to be revisited when I have more time to search for a pattern I really love. We ended up installing the wall molding sans wallpaper and I have to say....I'm not disappointed with the outcome in the least.

Huge credit is due to Justin for meticulously installing it according to my scribbly, bossy, super specific sketches.

With wallpaper eliminated now, the visual constraints for how the molding could be dimensioned out were freed up slightly and my previous dimensions based around wallpaper panels would have looked odd. So, we adjusted the dimensions a few times to ensure the molding would visually align well - as a feature in it's own right - with the bed, nightstands and adjacent walls.

We planned on adding crown molding as well, which was also factored into the wall molding layout, but couldn't squeeze this in under the deadline. We'll add that along with *more* wall molding (on account of the fact that I'm now obsessed) in the coming weeks.

We also installed a ceiling medallion. And by "we", I mean: I found one on MP at the 11th hour and Justin stayed up until 5:00 a.m. installing it on the ceiling after a long day of measuring, cutting, installing and painting wall molding.

I'd say it's just a little bit better to look at than a brown water stain and a builder grade ceiling fan:

While the nightstands I found in week 2 didn't make the final cut, the 2nd pair I found did. I had an almost empty, existing can of Benjamin Moore's Advance paint in "Vanilla Milkshake" and thought this color and finish would be perfect - if only I could stretch the last little bit of paint left. I put one coat of paint on each and, despite a rapidly approaching deadline, was immediately doubting the color.

(FYI: Advance, unlike traditional latex or oil based paints, is a water borne alkyd paint.....which is not inexpensive and not always super easy to work with, but gives a really nice finish and is zombie apocalypse proof when it cures. Perfect for surfaces that get a lot of use, like nightstands.)

Out of panic at the thought of not getting the nightstands finished in time and now scraping the bottom of the paint can, I ended up settling on purchasing more Vanilla Milkshake. I painted one more coat on each.....and was hating it.

For these very modern nightstands, it just looked TOO cold and industrial. They were looking too much like the nightstands we were trying to replace.

Original nightstands in the room, before:

New nightstands with two coats of Vanilla Milkshake:

So......I ended up buying even more Advance paint, this time in Cloud Cover, which I realize is super anti-climactic since it's literally another off-white -- but the slightly warmer hue of Cloud Cover really did warm these pieces up and was the perfect off-white to keep them from looking like office furniture.

As a bonus, the original hardware didn't even *need* to be replaced. The hardware on these nightstands is what came with them!

Next up: lighting.

The vintage wall sconces, purchased in week 3, were a steal but a bit scuffed. I wanted to paint them white anyway, inspired by a much higher end wall light, so I painted them white and was really loving how they were turning out so far....

But then....

......after weighing the pros and cons of my faux-coral chandelier, we bought another MP chandelier with the intent of painting it all gold.....

....and, after painting parts of it gold....

....I was sorta liking the emerging two-tone effect. I had envisioned a lighter, more delicate look, but this was pulling me in.

However, I felt the white sconces were now competing with the black chandelier, especially since both would be accented with gold. This threw me into agonizing inner conflict.

Tie breaker: Justin LOVED the two-tone black and gold chandelier and pleaded with me not to change it. The man went on every MP run with me, near and far (including twice for nightstands and twice for chandeliers), gave up his beloved, ugly, ceiling fan, sanded down walls and nearly broke his toes with a nail gun.

He deserved a black and gold chandelier.

This meant the sconce color needed to be changed so I considered two-tone black (like the chandelier) vs. all gold. I landed on black and, once again, I have no regrets.

(Side note: a attachment piece for the chandelier canopy - the top part that's closest to the ceiling - was missing, so the chandelier currently looks a little wonky at the top, against the medallion.)

Back to furnishings....

I didn't get to repainting our existing, faux-bamboo dresser yet, BUT I painted the tall dresser and added new, extra-wide pulls, purchased through Amazon. The overall paint color palette was thrown into a bit of tailspin by eliminating wallpaper from the plans, so I ran out of time to select a perfectly coordinating color for the dresser -- but the week 7, trial coat of BM Chelsea Gray definitely had to go.

I ended up improvising with another existing can of leftover paint from our garage - this time, Knight's Armor by Valspar.

Knight's Armour looks great with the wall color (Benjamin Moore Timber Wolf), but slightly "off" with the ceiling color (Benjamin Moore Pale Smoke). So, I plan to live with the dresser color a little longer and then decide if I should repaint it.... again.

You may have noticed by now I also ran out of time to hang artwork on the walls -- this task is definitely happening in the immediate future and I'm super excited about that.....because....."Mission Control" is GONE!

Before pics of the almond colored, intercom speaker with its obsolete, alarm panel buddy:



Look at all that wall space!

While we still have a lot of loose ends to tie up, it REALLY feels like a completely different room already.

The area that still needs the most work now is the side of the room with the TV:

Post deadline to-do list now:

  • Add crown + ceiling molding; paint

  • Hide TV cords in wall

  • Finish sewing velvet lumbar pillow (in the concept since week 1, but taking longer than anticipated)

  • Sew a skirt for a small, round, side table that will hide electronics (the table is a thrifted find, purchased several months ago for this purpose, that I nearly forgot had been sitting in my office all this time - pictured above, next to the bamboo dresser, with fabric over it)

  • Sew a bed skirt from more fabric I bought

  • Make or buy additional throw pillows

  • Hang wall art

  • Paint faux-bamboo dresser

  • Re-upholster our new chair -- another MP find!

  • Fix some wonky electrical in the ceiling

  • Buy new plant for giant planter

  • Complete styling + finishing touches

This has been one crazy time and I am so immensely grateful for the ORC, and the push it provides to get a room completed. It's so easy to keep putting your own space on the back burner and wait for more time, the perfect timing, a bigger budget, better options, the forever home or...fill-in-the-blank. I'm certain we would still be sleeping in a sad, not very cozy, super lackluster bedroom.

I can't wait to get the rest of this room pulled together and hope you'll check back for future updates!


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