Giving New Life to a Suburban Master Bedroom

Giving New Life to a Suburban Master Bedroom

Before and After

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New Englanders love blue. Last spring I was approached by a long time neighbor who had seen a blue and white guest room I designed in the Boston Globe shown below. She wanted to use it as the inspiration for her master bedroom.


Here are a few before pics of the clients’ bedroom.  After years of working hard and raising a family, they were ready to create a special retreat for themselves.

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Most of the furnishings had been there for a long time. We repurposed the large dresser in their Berkshire vacation home, and it looks great there. Most everything else was donated.

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Here is the bedroom transformed and how we got there!

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The clients had a wish list – a mix of traditional and modern pieces in the room with an upholstered bed, a chaise, floor length draperies, makeup table and a light fixture with “bling”. I drew up a floor plan to make sure we had room for all of their wants and needs. A floor plan helps us know the size of the pieces in the room and how they look in proportion to one another. Ideally I like to chose the rug and bed – the largest pieces in the room – then build everything around them. So the starting point was a custom wool rug from Landry and Arcari. Once the clients approved it, I pulled together a couple schemes for furniture and fabric. We selected a custom upholstered low footboard bed with a 48″ high headboard. Since the ceilings are about 92″, a lower headboard would allow room to place something above the bed. We also added nail head details to the headboard.

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Here is the bed without the mattress so you get a better idea how the whole thing works. I prefer the top of the bed and night table to be about the same height. The rest rail where the box spring sits is 8.5″ from the floor. From the rest rail to the top of the rail is 6″. We used a 5″ low profile box spring so it wouldn’t show above the railing. Knowing all this, I sent the clients to purchase a mattress they found comfortable – and in this case – 14″-15″ high.

From there we measured for lamps to fit the clients’ lighting needs and aesthetics.

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A lot of customizing happened in this room. Custom draperies can be a little pricey, but it’s worth the investment.

We hung them right under the crown molding to make the room look taller. The floral fabric feels both traditional and modern at the same time. It blends beautifully with the chaise I designed for the client. What gives the chaise a modern feeling are the brass legs. We gave it a smaller profile to make sure it fit perfectly in the space. You can also see the beautiful wool rug made in India and the custom framed black and white botanical prints from Lussier-Lavoie in Boston. By the way, there are eight patterns in the room, not including the porcelain. It’s not overwhelming because except for the draperies, they are all blue and white and end up blending well together. The large pieces-the bed, chaise and furniture are all solids-so there’s a balance.

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Here is a close up of the draperies and hardware. The drapery style is a double inverted pinch pleat. It has a more modern feeling than a French pinch pleat which is a traditional style.

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We paired a modern dresser by Made Goods with an antique silver mirror and vintage blue and white porcelain from Autrefois Antiques. The lamp is a vintage ginger jar that we electrified and topped with a crisp paper shade.

If you notice, we mixed gold, silver and bronze metal finishes throughout the room. What unites them is that all the finishes are matte, so they blend together beautifully.

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The bedding is a favorite pattern from Sferra, and the side tables are by Made Goods. The lamps are from Berkshire Home and Antiques. The bed covering is an antique Suzani textile which gives the room a worldly feeling. I like to add a large lumbar pillow to prop a book/ipad for comfortable reading in bed. The clients wanted a decorative element over the bed, so we found a hand carved gilded wood sculpture at Berkshire Home and Antiques. (There is one more available, by the way!)

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A small table can have multifple functions- a place for flowers and favorite treasures, a makeup table or a quiet workspace. Our client uses it to do her makeup and hair and benefits from the natural light coming in. The table was custom made. The plaid wool throw on the chaise is from Mackimmie Co in Lenox, MA, one of my favorite places in the Berkshires when it comes to finding ways to stay cozy-especially in New England.

Let us know if you would like to update a space in your home. We’re happy to help!

Photography by Jared Kuzia

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