A Tranquil Master Bedroom Makeover

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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