Making Progress on our Master Bedroom


Our much-neglected master bedroom is finally getting the decor attention it so desperately needs!

I have this theory about master bedrooms. It all started last summer when R and I were in the thick of our search for the house that would become our future home. We must have walked through dozens of houses (and clicked through hundreds more on Zillow), and as we studied these homes… I noticed a very clear theme.

It didn’t matter how old or new the home was; it didn’t matter if the kitchen and bathrooms had been recently renovated, or if the downstairs was beautifully decorated… it didn’t matter if the home was a new-build with a top-of-the-line stainless steel kitchen and smart home technology. All of these homes were just as likely to fall prey to the Master Bedroom Effect.

In a nut shell, my theory is that homeowners focus their decorating efforts on areas that are most likely to be heavily trafficked by guests: that means well-groomed gardens, shiny kitchens, awesome living rooms, enticing entryways… even nurseries and playrooms are treated to top-notch themed decor. (I’m not saying it’s GOOD decor, but decor nonetheless…)

But time and time again, I noticed one room that was almost always neglected: the master bedroom. Hence, the Master Bedroom Effect.


After we moved into our home, we realized just how easy it is for a master bedroom to fall victim to this trend. With the exception of upgrading the dirty Berber carpet and buying a bed, this space remained completely untouched as our efforts were concentrated on other projects around the house.

That meant that, somehow, these ‘colloidal oatmeal bath‘ colored walls managed to escape our house-wide repainting efforts. And, even though it offered ZERO light (and therefore had ZERO redeeming qualities), that hideous ceiling fan remained firmly anchored to our ceiling for months after move-in.

On one hand, leaving our bedroom untouched meant that we always had a safe (albeit ugly) place to crawl when we were exhausted and covered in grout. On the other hand, I was getting pretty sick of waking up in a room that didn’t reflect the progress we were making elsewhere in the house. So finally I decided to make a stand against the Master Bedroom Effect and reclaim our space!

The first step was removing the ceiling fan and replacing it with a proper light fixture. We got lucky and snagged this awesome oil-rubbed bronze chandelier on clearance at Lowes (it was literally falling out of the box, and the cashier had to tape it up for me so I could carry it out to my car!)


Next up: painting the walls. We knew we wanted to keep our bedroom in the grey family, but we wanted something slightly darker than the shade we had used throughout the rest of our upstairs (“Passive” by Sherwin Williams). Our original plan was to go with “Peppercorn” (the same color we used in our dining room and office), but we reconsidered after deciding that we didn’t get enough natural light in our bedroom to pull off such a dark shade of grey.

I must have spent nearly an hour camped out at our local Sherwin Williams with a giant cup of Starbucks, analyzing paint chips and having an absolute personal crisis. In the end, I made my decision on impulse: “Chelsea,” a shade similar to “Passive” but with a little more oomph.


Though the colors didn’t look too different when I compared the paint chips side-by-side, “Chelsea” looked a lot darker when I started rolling her onto the walls. And real talk? I was totally digging it!


That’s a moody grey, right?!


Once the walls were painted, it was time to decide what we would do about this little strip of wall in our tray ceiling. (Is there a name for that?!) Initially we figured we were supposed to paint it grey to match the walls. But when I climbed up there and realized what an absolute pain in the ass it was going to be to tape off the trim and reach up there… I came up with a plan B.

Judge me all you want, but I tracked down a bucket of leftover white paint and I just used my handy dandy 1″ trim brush to cover up the cream with a fresh coat of white… sans tape. (I fully expect that this will be among the list of sins that I must answer for when I reach the Pearly Gates someday…)

R wasn’t initially digging the white, but the more I saw it, the more I fell in love. I feel like keeping this bit of wall white puts the emphasis back on the molding and emphasizes the shape of the ceiling. I also think it makes our ceiling look a little bit higher, and is overall a much more polished look than if we had gone with grey.


Once the paint had dried I hung our curtains (same ones we’ve used throughout our house — I’m in LOVE with these!)

I love the French doors leading to our bathroom. We have a similar door downstairs that leads to our backyard, and we painted it black. I loved the way that door turned out, so I decided to bring the same approach to these chaps.


Since I was in the middle of a hardcore House of Cards binge, I decided to take the time and mask off the windows this time around.

We replaced all of the doorknobs in our house with these modern brushed nickel levers. I think the modern look is a little more subtle throughout our house (which is pretty much a hodge-podge of modern and classic elements), but the contrast between the elements is really noticeable here… and I love it.


The last step (thus far) was building a pair of nightstands to match our wooden bed frame (you can read about how I made these all out of 2x4s here!)



We’ve still got a ways to go with our bedroom, but for the time being, I’m satisfied that we’ve broken the curse and managed to create a space that we feel happy to wake up in every day! (p.s. if you want to find out more about our bedding, I shared the entire look here!)



About Accidental Suburbanites

Just a couple of kids turning a house into a home, one Pinterest fail at a time.
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2 Responses to Making Progress on our Master Bedroom

  1. karissatippens says:

    LOVE!! You did such a great job of pulling it all together! AND, I totally get the master bedroom effect. When we moved in the house, we decided to sell all our bedroom furniture, but have YET to decide on new furniture! We are literally sleeping on a mattress on the FLOOR! AHAHAHA. Talk about #decorconfessions!


    • Thank you!! Yep, that sounds like the master bedroom effect alright! 😆 You gotta resist!
      Take back control!

      p.s. we totally slept in our guest room for a month (or three) before we got our new bed delivered, and since the pups insist on sleeping IN our bed (under the covers, heads on the pillow, the whole nine…) that meant all four of us were sharing a tiny little queen size bed 🙈 that’s some #DecorConfessions right there!


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