Category: Design Projects

A Tranquil Master Bedroom Makeover

I just wrapped up a master bedroom makeover in Marina Del Rey, a beachside neighborhood in Los Angeles. My clients’ original decor was sparse: a matching dark wood bedroom set and a light Ikea Malm dresser. Their windows were dressed with vertical Venetian blinds, which had been installed by the landlord, and translucent black and cream floral curtains.

My clients wanted their new bedroom to be sophisticated and tranquil. They asked for contemporary furnishings, a neutral backdrop, and pops of vivid color. Their existing furniture was functional, but they were missing a few key items: a workspace and a comfortable place to curl up with a book.

IMG_0316_560px IMG_0312_560px     IMG_0321_560px IMG_0318_560px

My first recommendation was to buy a new bed. I am not a fan of matching bedroom sets because they lack personality and distinctive flavor. My clients kept gravitating towards inspiration images of upholstered headboards, so I suggested we go in that direction. I hired a local craftsman to make a custom winged headboard with deep, diamond button tufting and silver nailhead trim. We were able to hand pick the upholstery and specify the exact dimensions, and it cost less than half the price of similar beds from retail stores.

IMG_0850_3_560px2 IMG_0826_560px2 IMG_0840_560px

My clients had a beautiful Turkish rug in storage, which I used to anchor the bed. I pulled the palette of putty and cornflower blue directly from the accent colors in the rug. The old room did not have adequate lighting, so I added a contemporary polished nickel chandelier above the bed.

The room has one very large window, which looks directly into a neighboring building. I replaced their original curtain rod with an extra-long brushed nickel double curtain rod hung at the top of the wall. Translucent white sheers allow light to enter the room, but still maintain privacy. Gone are the dated vertical blinds!

The 100-inch window was far too wide for standard drapes. My clients’ originally solved this problem by hanging three panels, one on each side and one in the middle. But this arrangement broke up the window and blocked a lot of sunlight. We could have ordered custom curtains, but they would have eaten up a big part of our budget. So instead I bought four panels of readymade drapes and had the seams sewn together to create two extra-wide panels.


I had throw pillows custom made by seamstress Suze Hopper. I bought a bold textured blue and white pattern for the front and a soft blue velvet for the back.


My clients wanted a workspace in the bedroom, but they didn’t want it to scream “desk.” So we opted for a secretary style desk and hutch that would provide a lot of storage and hide electronics from view. This secretary is part of the Ikea Hemnes line, but we wanted to personalize it. I painted the body in Benjamin Moore’s Glacial Till and replaced the black knobs with polished nickel hardware.

An antique bergère chair provides a cozy place to lounge and read. I found this chair at Magnolia and Willow in Long Beach for an incredible $140! The upholstery was in perfect condition. A West Elm standing lamp, which I found on craigslist for $65, will allow my clients to use the chair after the sun goes down.

IMG_0890_2_560px- IMG_0817_560px

On the other side of the room, the Ikea Malm dresser was also transformed. I painted the dresser the same Glacial Till color, and I added 3/4″ panel molding and brushed nickel pulls on the drawer fronts. I will post a step-by-step tutorial on this dresser makeover soon. A large landscape mirror reflects the window’s light, helping to brighten the entire space.

IMG_0921_2_560px2 IMG_0996_560px

I just wrapped up a master bedroom makeover in Marina Del Rey, a beachside neighborhood in Los Angeles. My clients' orig...

Read More »

Quick & Dirty Bachelor Pad Makeover

We all know guys like my recent clients: three bachelors who have been out of college for a number of years, but their apartment is still outfitted with broken Ikea furniture and family hand-me-downs.  My clients had a very small budget for decor, but they knew it was time for an upgrade. So I gave them a quick and dirty living room overhaul.


When I design on a budget, I like to outline general parameters for the room without setting my heart on anything too specific.  In this case, I wanted to create a sophisticated, but unfussy space, filled with natural materials and vintage accents.

My first purchase was a vintage leather couch on Craigslist for $400.  I love the warm medium tone of the leather.  We paired the couch with a grey loveseat, which we found at Target for $430.  The tailored look of the loveseat is a nice balance to the informality of the leather couch, but the loveseat’s tufted back is still a nod to the traditional. 

LoveseatBeforeAfter Trunk My next find was an antique wooden steamer trunk for $50 on Craigslist.  It has beautiful detailing– leather and nailhead trim, brass hardware, and an old monogram– and the dimensions are perfect for a coffee table.  Opposite the loveseat, I placed a pair of armchairs from Home Goods and a small antique table.  I found the 8×10 rug at Tuesday Morning for $235; it adds some much needed pattern to the room.  Lastly I picked up a few throw pillows to bring in more natural textures and pattern.  

There is still work to do, but this living room has taken a big step forward!

  PairChairs Pillow Overview

We all know guys like my recent clients: three bachelors who have been out of college for a number of years, but their a...

Read More »