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I have a theory about the Master Bedroom. Not just a theory, a rule.
You should focus on your Master Bedroom design first because it is the last thing you see every night and the first thing you see every morning.
And also because if you don’t, it will become the dumping ground for all of the things that you don’t want to put anywhere else.
I think you stand a chance of avoiding that last problem if the Master Bedroom design is “finished”.
You’re not going to add your great aunt’s ancient chair if it’s going to mess up the vibe of your great Master Bedroom, right?
And I Have Broken This Rule for 12 Years
There, I confess. My Master Bedroom is a hot mess. I don’t spend any more minutes in there than I absolutely have to and I want that to change. Officially. So I’m saying it out loud.
And documenting the process to actually get this room to be a reflection of me. Here are the steps I go through when I want to whip a room like the Master Bedroom into shape.
Step One 1: What’s the Style?
I’m better at deciding what I don’t want than what I do want and that’s usually how I end up calling my house a “style”.
It’s not farmhouse, it’s not shabby chic, it’s not rustic, it’s not contemporary. It’s a little Mid-Century Modern and a little Traditional with a tiny hint of Minimalism. And the walls are Navy blue. That’s not changing.
Having a color picked out at this point isn’t essential, though. It can be a nice starting point, though.
If you’re trying to figure out what style you are, this might be an easier way to go, eliminating what you definitely aren’t and settling on a couple of styles that are kind of near to each other (MCM can be traditional and Minimal can look very MCM) so that you aren’t too limited in making choices, but you also know that as cute as that little Farmhouse sign is, it’s just not really your thing.
You know what I mean? Sometimes you go to a boutique or you search through Etsy and you get to a Farmhouse section and it’s like, Oh, but it’s all so CUTE!
Of course it is, Farmhouse is adorable, but is it you?
That’s the question I want to answer with this first step. I can appreciate Farmhouse, 100%, but it isn’t me. So I need to reign myself in and make sure I understand the difference between what I can kind of like and what is really “me”.
For my Master Bedroom, I want it to be modern and sort of minimal.
If you’re curious to see examples of the different types of decor styles specifically for bedrooms, you can check out all of our bedroom decor posts.
Step 2: Inspiration Rooms
The next step to move forward is to start looking at some inspiration. If I started with this step and not the “What’s My Style” Step, I would be lost in a never ending sea of blue bedrooms. Having a starting point of “modern and sort of minimal” means I can immediately skip past any rooms I see that are Farmhouse or Shabby Chic or some other style that I know is not me.
The easiest place to collect your Inspiration rooms is Pinterest. I popped “Blue Bedroom Ideas” into the search bar and got all the Blue Bedroom inspiration I needed.
If I wasn’t already set on a color, I would have just typed in “Modern Bedroom Ideas” or something similar and started saving whatever I liked.
Since I already know the color, I started there.
Here’s what I came up with:
I really love the pop of mustard-y yellow so I think I’ve got one of my secondary colors and I also noticed that there were two ways to go with Navy blue walls.
Crisp and sort of preppy by pairing the Navy with a lot of white linens.
Or more Moody blue with grays and “dusty” colors. That’s more what I’m aiming for.
So now I’m starting to get a clearer picture in my mind of what the finished room might look like. Navy blue walls, modern/minimal and calm/moody colors.
Step 3: Plan the Room
Now it’s time to figure out what exactly this room needs to be able to do. The bedroom is fairly easy to figure out.
I need to be able to sleep, so I’m going to need a bed, linens, a headboard, pillows.
I get dressed in here and I would like to get “ready” in here meaning, I’d like a place to put my makeup on and do my hair. So clothing storage and a vanity will be on my list of things that I need in the room.
I read in bed so I may need to think about a pillow or something that will be comfortable for reading.
I like to have a glass of water and other things nearby at night, so I’m going to need nightstands.
I’ll need some lighting. On the night stands and because this is a HUGE room, I’ll need at least two other light sources. There’s no overhead lighting and that’s going to stay that way.
I don’t have rugs in the room and that’s something I’ll need to consider. I may want to add a Ruggable or two to the room to add some warmth and comfort.
I need some window coverings.
There are also a couple of repairs to cracks that need to be done. One in the ceiling and one under one of the windows, so I need to make sure those fixes are on the list of things “to do” in the room.
So for the bedroom, Sleeping, Dressing and Reading are the activities I need to plan for and accommodate as I continue through the process of designing the room.
Knowing this means I can start to formulate how I want to layout the furniture in the room. I’ll create a zone for the “getting ready” activity and the sleeping and reading will all happen on the bed.
It sounds fun to add a chair for reading to your bedroom, but if you’re like me, that chair will become a pile of clothes in 2.7 seconds, so I am going to avoid adding that at all costs.
Step 4: Start Shopping
Planning the room gets me a pretty good list of things that I’m going to need to complete the bedroom design.
And shopping doesn’t mean I’m going out and buying every single thing that I mentioned on that list. First, I’ll shop my own home and see what I already have.
I have shades for the windows that just need to be hung, for example so there on the list as needed for the room, but I don’t have to buy them. I have closets and dressers already, so I don’t need to buy those.
I will need to get some new nightstands because the one’s I have are terrible. So, I’ll make a list of everything that I need, figure out what I need to actually buy and start shopping, with a budget in mind.
This seems like the super fun step and I’m sure for many people it is a lot of fun, but it is time consuming and can be confusing. I have a few stores (mostly online) that I love and trust and I try to keep my searching confined to those places so that I don’t get overwhelmed.
I also try not to settle at this stage. If I’m not finding the perfect vanity chair, I don’t want to settle on something that isn’t just right. I’d rather finish everything else and let the chair happen when it happens.
This is also annoying to me because I like to be “Done”, but I also don’t like when I compromise just for the sake of being done.
Step 5: Pick a Paint Color
This can be a completely overwhelming part of the process which is why I don’t suggest doing it first.
I obviously have my paint color picked, Hale Navy from Benjamin Moore. It’s already on the walls and done.
If you don’t have your color picked out yet, this is the time to do it.
You’ve got several inspiration rooms and you’ve done some shopping, so you’ve kind of already got a color scheme happening. You just need to figure out the walls.
You might have an accessory that you can pull a color out of, maybe a vase or a picture.
There are fun tools online that can help with this. Benjamin Moore has a color finder that is fun to play around with.
Don’t be afraid to go with a bold, dark color like Navy blue. I’ve been told over and over that it makes a room look small. It does not.
The Navy blue in my room makes the walls recede and actually feel bigger and the ceilings feel taller.
And if you pick a paint you hate, you just repaint. 🙂
I know that sounds terrible because everyone hates painting but it is at least not an expensive mistake to make, so I say, if you’re feeling like trying something that other people are telling you is nuts for paint, just try it and see what happens.
Step 6: Accessorize
I like to leave the Accessorizing to the end because at this point the room is pretty much done, so you know what surfaces you have available and you have an idea of what spots need a pop of color, which spot needs a little texture and so on.
I also leave it to the end because it is the hardest part for me.
I have a rule that the accessories need to be functional or so stunningly beautiful that I am willing to forgo the functional rule. So this part takes me some time usually.
Finally A Master Bedroom Design You Can Love
The final step is putting the whole room together, but that’s the fun and easy part.
Now that the Master Bedroom design is done, you can take these steps into every room of your home and make them all uniquely you.