Oakland Avenue Home Tour: Master Bedroom Reveal

If there's one room in the house that's been difficult to decorate, it's our master bedroom. It has definitely taken me all three and a half years of living here to figure it out - it's been tough because all the walls have either a window or a door on them (there's a master bath and a small closet off this room), which means there's only one configuration possible, and that's with our bed up against a wall with an off-centered window. This silly off-centered window has driven me insane over the past couple of years, but I'm hopful I've finally found a solution to the problem.

You all caught a sneak peek of our master bedroom in its finished state last week in this post - which was a quick candid Mike caught of Eli and I in the room. I was trying to snap the photos for this post, and Mike brought Eli in to visit after his nap. If you look closely, you'll see Eli has no pants on. Ahh, the life of a baby.

Okay, here are a few more pictures and details on the room's evolution for you. 

When we bought the house the bedroom was - just like the rest of the house - dark, dark, dark. Here it is with the seller's furniture. 
Then we moved in and it looked like this for a while. Like 95 percent of other couples in the world, we just walked into a furniture showroom and said, "We'll take that set," and we were done. The sconces are the same as what the sellers had, but I changed the shades so they didn't look quite so old fashioned. Except I obviously didn't know what I was doing and bought shades that were waaaaay too big for the sconce. 

Clearly, I had much to learn.

There were a couple other versions of the room in between the above picture and the below, but since I was never happy with it, I never took photos of it. I would get geared up and change a bunch of things, but when it didn't turn out quite right, I'd burn out and just leave it in an awkward, half-finished state until I could muster up my creativity to start on it again. It wasn't until I read this post from my sister-in-law after Eli was born that I really got motivated to finally figure out what exactly I wanted to do. It's also taken me about three years to really figure out my style and how to make it work for a house that was built in the 20's - aka thick, heavy, brown woodwork - so that took some time too.

Turns out, getting this room where I wanted it required a whole lotta DIY. Besides basically putting all the springs in the mattress myself, there is hardly a thing in here that I didn't get my grubby little hands on.

If you've been reading the blog for a while, you'll recognize a lot of stuff in the above photo is still around, but has just been moved to other parts of the house now. For example, the light moved to Eli's nursery and the bedding is in the guest room.  

Here's where we ended up. 

Light and Bright Bedroom Off Centered Window

Obvi, my photography skills have also improved, so let's be honest, that helps too.

Okay, here's what went down. First things first, I painted the room a light, bright color to balance the darkness of the wood.

A different sister-in-law and I each built and upholstered our headboards together, loosely using this tutorial. It was insanely easy, but I was glad I had someone else there for moral support. I think it took about two, maybe three trips to Home Depot to finally get 'er done. But we made it for around $75 or so - definitely worth the DIY.

I'd always wanted a big, comfy, welcoming bed like people have in the movies, but I think I had to study about 300 photos of beds to figure out the formula and I still couldn't really tell you what makes the difference. Lots of pillows I guess? (See Mike, they are not a frivolity, they are completely necessary!) For the long body pillow, I just picked up one of those cheap $10 body pillows from Target and sewed that sucker right inside the fabric I wanted.

Light and Bright Bedroom Off Centered Window Over Bed
I took the original sconces to the room and spray painted them gold, and found lampshades that were much, much smaller, better fitting the scale of the sconce. If you're looking for new lampshades in a hard-to-find size, here's where I bought them from for a decent price.  

I painted the art myself (if you follow me on Instagram you caught a peek of it last week) and popped the canvases into Ikea frames to hang on the wall. It's much cooler in person, the camera just doesn't pick up on all the nuances in the colors.
Light and Bright Bedroom

The dressers are one of my favorite Ikea hacks I've ever completed, but I can't take credit for it - I totally copied this blogger, along with about a million other people. The dressers come as unfinished pine and are $35 each. Add some stain, paint and new knobs and no one would ever know. Unless you tell everyone on your blog. Ahh, well. 

Light and Bright Bedroom Off Centered Window Over Bed

I wanted our room to be a tiny bit romantic, hence this chandy. It's from Ballard Designs and I'm in love. Eli is too. Since he was about two months old, he's been obsessed with looking at it. He'll literally nearly back bend himself out of my arms for one last look of it before we walk out of the room. 

I also made the roman shades, using this no-sew tutorial as a starting point (and yes, they are working shades, not just for looks). I'll be the first to admit, they were really hard to make. They turned out awesome and are a fraction of the price of store-bought ones, but it was definitely a test of my patience. I made them blackout by lining them with the old blue curtains that I originally had up in the room. (Scroll up a few pics and you'll see them.) 

DIY Roman Shades

The dresser is yet another Ikea hack. (Are you even surprised?) It's the Ikea Malam 4-drawer dresser. I picked up knobs from Anthropology and made Mikey drill holes for me to screw them in. As I look at these pics, I am just now noticing one of them is crooked - gah! Gotta go fix that. Just keepin' it real over here. The photo is from our wedding and the blue artwork is actually lyrics from the song I walked down the aisle to at our wedding that I just threw together on InDesign and had printed. I'm honestly not one for much sentimentality, but I figured if any place it belongs, it's in our bedroom. 
Ikea Malm Dresser Hack

And finally, a close up pic of the roses because, well, it seems like a good way to end this post. I mean, who doesn't love close up pictures of flowers that are sorta blown out and are too saturated? 

Photography is a work in progress people. If you think this is bad, look at my archives and your eyes will probably start burning.

Okay, please let me know if you have questions!


  1. Oh my gosh Laura I love it! It's so much more light and airy. I love how you used the art to balance the off-center window - it looks so artsy and imperfect-on-purpose. I'm also super impressed with those roman shades. It's such a beautiful room!

  2. What an improvement! I love how open and airy it is... (side note: we have the same duvet). Plus the body pillow sewn into pretty fabric… great idea!

    I'm feeling inspired to work on our master bedroom now! It's been a neglected room around our house as well...

    1. Thanks Melissa - isn't it a great duvet? Good luck with your room!

  3. about that Malm dresser.... I have the same one in the light wood tone. What kind of primer/paint did you use?? I gotta give mine a makeover, desperately. Thx!

    1. Actually we purchased the dresser in white, so we didn't need to paint it - but I'm sure there are lots of tutorials online if you did a quick Google search! Good luck!

  4. What a beautiful bedroom! Great inspiration! Where did you get the lovely duvet cover?

    1. Hi Susan, It's from West Elm - the Pintuck Duvet. http://www.westelm.com/products/organic-cotton-pin-tuck-duvet-cover-and-shams-b340/ Thanks for stopping by!

  5. This looks so gorgeous! Love it. I have lived in my apt for 4 months and haven't hung up any art of photos yet...woops! Wish you could come decorate it for me! ha. btw- I'm nate sanders sister, (Laurie Sanders, his wife told me about your blog! Your honesty in your posts really shines through! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you! I'm glad Laurie told you about the blog and appreciate you visiting! It always takes me forever to get stuff decorated - this room alone took me three years!!! :)