redoing the master bedroom

Our bedroom was the first space to be gutted and remodeled nearly 4 1/2 years ago. The room is modest in size and we didn’t have a big budget so we opted to keep things simple. Sure, the finished space was a drastic improvement from the day we closed (ack!), but as we continued to remodel the rest of our home we came to like our bedroom less and less.

So, time for a redo!


If you follow me on Instagram, you may remember a teaser photo of an empty bedroom from several weeks ago. Maybe you thought we were repainting (a good guess and logical first step), but no…we got a new bed! Our old bed frame was IKEA and purchased when we moved to Seattle in 2004. The mattress itself was Kyle’s from college and our first DIY project. He wanted a TempurPedic, but we were young and had no money so the guy at the mattress store tipped him off to a little secret: buy the 3″ high-density foam topper (that’s meant to go over conventional mattresses) and then pick up an inexpensive foam mattress from the Army Surplus Store to go underneath. Bam! Instabed! The mattress served us well but after 10+ years it was time for an upgrade.

[We also took down the birds. It was time. The twine was held by some nails in the corners so Kyle quickly spackled over those areas (hence the darker spots you see in the photos). We’re not sure what the new art will be just yet, but will likely let the rest of the room dictate.]


We did some shopping and tried out other mattress types but ultimately came back to the TempurPedic. They’re definitely an investment, but we were able to buy a floor model (looked new to us!) for 20% off. (Woo!) Our old mattress and bed frame were a queen, which fit nicely in the space. Although we dreamed of upgrading to a king, the room is too small so we settled on a California king (which is narrower but longer than a king). It’s still a whopping 12″ wider than a queen, which feels downright luxurious. You’ll see we also had to rotate our nightstands (Offi tv stands that have since been discontinued) 90 degrees – it works for now, but we have other plans.


One of our concerns with getting a wider bed was how Bailey would react. He’s used to sleeping on the floor between the side of the bed and the wall, with his head fully under the bed. The metal frame is now too low for his head and the space too narrow for his 95 lb. body. We were feeling a little guilty about the situation until we realized that Bailey actually preferred to just sleep in the new bed. So, problem solved? Guess that’s why we got a bigger bed.

We still love our IKEA Pax wardrobe system but the brown curtain and tension cable were a last-minute solution that has never really worked as we hoped it would.


So here’s a rundown of our game plan:

Paint: In 2008 we had not yet discovered Benjamin Moore’s “super white” and painted our bedroom and bathroom an off-the-shelf white from a home improvement store. Yeah, I don’t know what we were thinking either. It seemed ok until we found the perfect white for the rest of the house and now it seems really yellow. There was also an incident during our 2010 demo where a crow bar went through the bedroom wall. We had the drywallers patch the spot but when I went to repaint I grabbed the wrong sheen from the basement. UGH. So, we talked about painting the room a color but with only one window (that faces north) we need to make it as bright as possible.

Flooring: The fir floors in the bedroom are original to the house and during the first remodel Kyle sanded and refinished them. Well, fir is soft, Bailey has claws and the finish we used wasn’t durable enough. Seriously, there’s a divot where he sleeps. Even if we took the time to refinish them again, the wood isn’t all that nice to begin with so we’re planning to do Flor carpet tiles on top. To save a little money, we’ll omit the tiles that would go under the bed. (Our design ideas for a new bed frame will accommodate this.)

Bed frame and nightstands: We’re still working out the design details, but basically we need a new bed frame to accommodate a bigger bed and new nightstands since our previous ones no longer fit like they’re supposed to. (We’ll probably move the Offi’s down to the basement to use as side tables.) Ok, technically we have a simple metal frame already but we have plans for a DIY headboard and skirt of sorts.

Wardrobe: Kyle and I keep debating the best solution for the wardrobe. The storage itself is great, but we need a better option to conceal all of our clothes, as the current tension cable is too saggy and the curtains are too small to look good when closed. My vote is to do something similar to the nursery, where we buy a ceiling-mounted track and sew custom fit curtains. Kyle wants to make custom drawer fronts and cabinet doors (out of a cabinet-grade maple plywood) so it looks more like a built-in. (We vetoed the idea of just adding IKEA doors since it would be a two-step process to open the doors and then pull out drawers. Does this make us lazy?) I like the custom doors/drawers idea but am worried it will end up being a labor and time intensive project.

Window curtain: We still like the way the window curtain can slide back between the wardrobe and the wall when not in use, but it’s suffering from the same saggy issues as the wardrobe curtains. We have a translucent roller shade that provides privacy while letting in natural light, but for the part of the year when the sun rises early we need a way to make the room darker. And yeah, we’re over the brown. I’m feeling lots of warm gray (I know, I’m getting crazy and straying ever so slightly from blue-gray!), but I know we need some color too.

Ceiling fan: The ceiling fan and light combo is currently centered on the door and window but we’re wishing we would have located it more central in the room. So maybe we’ll move it over? (If we go with doors on the wardrobe it will have to move regardless.)

Bedding: Kyle bought some new sheets that are a pale blueish gray and match our existing duvet cover. We still like the duvet (which is king-sized), but I wouldn’t mind switching it up either. And then there is the question of whether we get new, larger pillows. We’re obviously not into making the bed so maybe we don’t fret about these things too much?

So, nothing too drastic but we think it’s going to bring the room up to the same level as the rest of the house. This will also be the first real room redo since Avery was a couple of weeks old so we’ll see how the juggling of tasks goes. Who wants to repaint? One, two, three…not it!


22 Responses to “redoing the master bedroom”

  1. LauraC says:

    Fun read, I look forward to seeing what you guys decide. One question, if you do the curtain like in Avery’s room, won’t it still be a two-step process of open curtain, pull out drawers? πŸ˜‰

    • Lauren says:

      haha…good point! At least with the curtain it doesn’t really have to be pushed all the way to one side to pull the drawers out. (Wow, we sound *really* lazy!) πŸ˜‰

      • Irene says:

        I’m a huge fan of drawers in our kitchen for the same reason, seems ridiculous to open a door and pull out a drawer. It’s all about efficiency πŸ˜‰

  2. Jeff says:

    definitely excited to see this! I’m enjoying the new found balance between old Chezerbey and Studio Chezerbey πŸ™‚

  3. Barb says:

    Bailey is too cute in that bed.

    You mentioned the floor finish wasn’t durable enough… I think you used Osmo, and I’m thinking of using it for my floors which are oak. Do you think it’s not a durable product or was it your situation?

    I think the Flor will be great for you in there. Looking forward to seeing what you choose.

    • Lauren says:

      I think we probably needed to do one or two more coats, plus the OSMO is more eco-friendly (which is great!) but it’s a wax finish rather than a poly so not the bullet-proof finish you see with other products. (That being said, I know people who have used and LOVE OSMO and haven’t had any issues, so probably just a combination of things in our case.)

  4. Hey guys, I think Ikea a few sells drawer fronts & doors (i.e. you wouldn’t need to open the door then the drawer). I know this because I’ve seen it at the store and always thought it looks better this way, more interesting than plain long doors. Maybe it’s worth checking out and seeing if it works with the system you’ve got!
    For example this one:
    Can’t wait to follow along the master redo.

    • Lauren says:

      Oh! I had no idea this existed! Hmm…too bad it just seems to be offered in the one style. Thanks so much for sharing this, you guys are the best! (And here I was thinking I knew every nook and cranny of IKEA!)

  5. mariane says:

    Hi guys, I think if you go with Flor then Kyle’s idea of the wood front for the wardrobe bring some warmth back in your shack.. I am just saying since I am not the one doing it!!! Anyway, can’t wait to see what you come up with! Good luck!

  6. Mar says:

    I vote for Kyle’s idea for the wardrobe! I think a room darkening shade is what you need for the window. I have them in my bedroom and they work really well. They come in many texture and color options from a lot of scources.

  7. katie says:

    i think that bailey needs to teach our murphy how to leave flor tiles alone. i tried to use them in another room in our house but murphy has a different idea on how they should be arranged (all piled together in one spot). so no more flor tiles for us!

  8. Robyn says:

    Aww! Bails reminds me so much of Ginger when he is all curled up!

  9. sasha says:

    Built-in. Have you seen these bedrooms? I asked a question at the bottom of the post.

    The rooms are bigger, obviously. And the craftsman details would have to be excised to fit your house – I see CVG Fir trim out. But I think they are more functional and efficient. [Secretly, I want you to do this so I can see if it would look good in my house in Ballard].

    • Lauren says:

      Thanks Sasha, those built-ins look awesome. I wish we had the time/funds/energy for something like that but we plan on sticking with our IKEA units for now. We do have a small gap on each side between the wardrobe and the wall (which the curtain hides right now) so not sure how we’ll detail that if we go with plywood fronts. Decisions, decisions… πŸ™‚

  10. Jon says:

    Would love to know which TempurPedic model you went with?

  11. Barrett says:

    Floors look great! I found your blog looking for examples of OSMO on old orginal Fir. I am refinishing some right now (from 1910) and getting a much more red, blotchy hue from the test spot. Did you guys apply any products prior to the OSMO to even out the finish?

    • Lauren says:

      Hi Barrett, we actually ended up covering our fir floors with carpet tiles. πŸ™‚ The OSMO finish on the fir was just too soft for our dog’s paws and he tore it up pretty quickly. I don’t recall having issues with the finish being uneven but it was several years ago so not sure if the product has changed.

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