Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Master Bedroom Makeover: Architectural Detail (and Budget!)

That awkward moment you realize you never posted the 3rd part of a 3-part post...

Well, here it is. The last time I'll make you listen to me blather on about our master bedroom makeover. (Part I - How to Brighten a Room, Part II - Making a Small Room More Functional).


Wall Panels

Our 1970s home is plain and boxy--it lacks architectural detail. So, my #1 plan of attack for our master bedroom was to
add wall panels. I felt this classy traditional element would take the level of style up a notch. My first instinct was to do beadboard or wainscotting, but since furniture covers most of the bottom half of our small bedroom, I needed something that would be visible on the top half, otherwise you'd never see it (and, as you know, I'm all about maximum effect for minimum effort).

Inspiration for walls: Restoration Hardware Catalog: Small Spaces: San Francisco Victorian

We bought the panel molds from an awesome local company for $0.55/ft. We also added baseboards, a chair rail, and crown molding. Figuring out how to cut crown molding at the corners can be a total beast (it seems simple enough, but I kept having flashbacks to middle school geometry). We may have recruited a friend or two to help us figure out that part. The wall panels themselves were pretty straight forward: I drew some guides on the walls (at the corners). From there, it was a lot of cuts, wood glue, nailing, caulking, and painting (thank you, Husband). But I love the end result. Here's what our moulding-less walls looked like before:

And after:


My DIY headboard has its own post, so here I'll just say that my expectations were really low before starting this project, so I was totally pleased with how well it turned out. I don't consider myself a very crafty or  Do-It-Yourself kind of person. The truth is I made it myself because when I drew up the budget, I had very little left over for a headboard, so DIY it was. My husband and I were able to build this completely from scratch for $150. See tutorial here.

Our bed before (eek!):

During (My husband Bryan was out of town the night I did most of the nailing, so I put on some chick flicks and went to town . . . 480 nails later, I was done):


This is Money Hip Mamas, so a post like this would not be complete without talking budgets. One of my favorite HGTV shows is Design on a Dime where they have $1000 to redesign a room. That was my goal, but I did go a bit over (anyone else suspect that HGTV shows go over-budget all the time and just pretend they didn't?). Anyway--a thousand dollars is a ton (in my book), but I definitely love this room that much. Plus, since we may very well outgrow this home, I feel like some of the room's elements (e.g. lighting) add actual value to our home, should we ever resell. Either way, for inquiring minds that want to know, here's the breakdown:

And that's a wrap! We finished this room right before my second son was born. That means we've been in the room seven months now and still haven't quite gotten over how happy we are with the end result. So I'm going to call this makeover a success. My next project is the boys' room (I'm planning a nautical theme), but that won't be until I put them in a room together, so who knows when that will be. They're both sleeping through the night, but I want to keep it that way. :)

In regards to my last paragraph, any advice from parents whose kids share rooms?


  1. As far as the design on a dime show... I met the lady that ran it at a design show and she said one of their tricks (for staying in budget) was that they had a stockroom of stuff that they found on sale at earlier dates- so technically they didn't go over budget on items but it is pretty sketch since they didn't "shop" for it in the time frame they sort of promote. Love how it turned out- way to go!

    1. Nice insider information! I find that's actually the best way to decorate on a budget, too: Do it over a longer period of time, knowing exactly what you want and giving yourself time to be picky about price. That way, you're not at the mercy of what's in stock/on sale at one particular moment in time.


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