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Before and After: An Heirloom-Filled Bedroom Redo Preserves Its Vintage Charm

published Dec 17, 2020
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Before: Antique four-post bed with canopy in bedroom
Credit: Catherine S. Vodrey

Sometimes an old bedroom needs a design refresh to bring it into the present, but accomplishing that without losing any of the old-school charm can be a little tricky. So when Catherine S. Vodrey and her husband decided to upgrade from a queen-size mattress to a king, they had to get creative and find unique ways to preserve the rich history and character in their bedroom.

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Credit: Catherine S. Vodrey

Their bedroom was originally outfitted with lots of antique furniture that had belonged to Catherine’s parents and grandparents, including a bed, bureau, and bedside tables. The vintage bed was especially sentimental. “I’m pretty sure the four-poster bed had been in the family for a minimum of four generations,” she says. “I watched the moon landing from the foot of this bed!”

Credit: Catherine S. Vodrey

Over the course of two weeks, Catherine’s decision to upgrade to a king-size mattress turned into a face lift for her whole bedroom. The couple moved the bed into storage, along with the bureau and nightstands, clearing the way for a fresh start. They hired painters to custom match an old Glidden color with hints of grey, lilac, and blue and used it on the walls and the ceiling to give the room a cozy, cocoon-like vibe.

Credit: Catherine S. Vodrey

Next came the new bed. “We didn’t want an upholstered headboard, mostly because they seem to be everywhere and we wanted something a little different,” Catherine says. But after wading through lots of too-expensive or not-quite-right options, they eventually stumbled upon a piece of wooden wall decor and decided to make a DIY headboard out of it. Then to personalize it even more, Catherine used leftover paint from a previous project to paint the cutouts in the headboard.

Credit: Catherine S. Vodrey

Catherine polished off the overall look of the room by hanging lots of art on the walls and even sneaking some into the bookshelves, and layered two king-size quilts over each other in place of a traditional bedskirt. “The room feels so serene and open now,” she says. Between the cooling color palette and personal touches throughout, Catherine was able to transform her bedroom into a modern oasis without losing any of the original personality that made the old room so charming.

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