Before and After: A Dark, Dramatic, and Totally DIY Master Bedroom

published Dec 7, 2019
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About this before & after
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Talk about a blank slate: Aside from the bed—er, mattress—a rug, and a little furniture, Brianna Thomas’s bedroom didn’t have a lot going on. “For two years we lived with an empty bedroom with a mattress on the floor,” says Brianna. “To make it a little less sad we tossed in an old rug and a chair we didn’t know what to do with. Besides that half-hearted attempt, it was basically a blank slate!”

Like many of us, Brianna put her design focus on gathering spaces in her home. “It’s so easy to go all-in on the public-facing spaces of your home and neglect your own personal retreat,” she says. “As two working parents with adorably rambunctious kids, we needed a restful, beautiful space of our own.”

Armed with a favorite abstract oil print and a vintage Persian rug as inspiration, Brianna set to work designing a dream space fit for dreaming.

First, she gave the walls a coat of deep, dramatic navy (Polo Blue by Benjamin Moore). On the wall where the new bed would go, she used a shibori-pattern stencil to create an intricate wallpaper-inspired accent wall. The small details in the pattern meant the project took more time than anticipated. “I’d budgeted a single afternoon for stenciling but it took 10 hours!” Brianna says. “It was well worth the effort given the huge impact it makes the second you walk into the room.” Once it was done, Brianna upgraded from a floor mattress to a real bed frame and installed gold sconces on either side for reading.

Finding a space for hanging guitars was a must, since Brianna’s husband wanted a dedicated spot to play guitar. Hooks hold the instruments up off the floor, serving as part storage, part wall art.

IKEA dressers painted black almost blend into the wall; Brianna fitted them with black metal legs to give them a lift. “For finishing touches, I lifted the palette up a bit with some pops of blush in the accessories, and brass and white marble in the beside and dresser lights,” Brianna says.

“I love that it feels so finished. We’ve never gone all-in on our bedroom and it was so worth doing!” Brianna says. And she has some advice for future DIYers: “If you stencil, double the amount of time you think it will take you!”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.