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Need help with MBr

sotodogApril 6, 2012
I would like to get some help with our MBr. I would like to soften the colors in our MBr. I'm including 1 picture of our room as it currently is with the yellow and red accents and what I like which is more of the yellow with the greys and whites. I am not planning on buying new furniture but I can buy some accents. The room also gets very little sun so it seems kind of dark most of the time.

Can I keep the yellow walls (less painting)?
What do I do with the accent wall red color?
How can I better decorate the shelf/mantle?
What do I do about bedding and curtains? I am thinking of a simple white matelasse coverlet with accent pillows and blankets. What do I do then about curtains?

Thanks for your help
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BTW, I get hung up on the yellow walls if bedding/curtains are ivory, beige or tan. Does that work or does it depend on the specific colors or should I stick with white?
    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 6:47AM
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Charmean Neithart Interiors, LLC.
I would definitely change the red accent wall. Yellow and red are not a great color combination in my opinion. If you want to paint that area, I think your first instinct of gray is fine. I would take all the things down from the shelf. Seems a.little precarious up there over your head. Just go with a nice piece of art or a starburst mirror over the bed, that's all. As far as the bedding, stick with bright white and gray. If you want another color with those two, then try a burnt orange, but no red. Try to relocate the dresser to another wall if possible. It is competing with the scale of the bed and throwing the balance off. Two nightstands on either side of the bed with lamps will help the symmetry. Try a coverlet with a duvet at the foot of the bed. Two shams and any type of throw pillows, and you're done. Try to find lamps that coordinate with the room and make sure to choose a lampshade that fits against the wall, not too big of a diameter. Hope that helps. Charmean Neithart
3 Likes    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 7:03AM
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Manon Floreat
Hi, sotodog. You can keep your yellow walls. Yellow, grey and white work well together as shown in your inspiration photo. I think Charmean's suggestions regarding bedding, shelf decor and furniture placement are right on.

Depending on your tastes, you may want to opt for Euro shams to match the duvet along with traditional shams and throw pillows. It'll give the bed a full, layered look - like in the inspiration photos.

For window treatments, you can go for panels like the ones below from West Elm, or tailored Roman shades - depending on your windows and preferences. Roman shades are pretty simple diy project:


Etsy also has an abundant selection:


I really like your head board. Have fun!
    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 11:11AM
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i agree with Charmean and Manon. especially about the objects over HEAD :) i wouldn't be able to sleep..(posted by she who has a large framed picture over her bed)
and for me? i need to have a clear path from the bed to the door, having once kicked the bed post and thought i was going to die :)
i think once you remove the red and some of the other things, you will be able to see more clearly what you want and what would look nice. also, if you purchase something that doesn't work you can return it and exchange until you find what works best.
1 Like    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 11:22AM
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Definitely paint the red to either light grey or even a darker slate grey color. That will keep the drama in the room. And agree on moving that dresser (maybe to the wall where the white door is?) and finding or reclaiming a lower nightstand -- the nightstands need not match but it helps if they are approx the same height and there will be a feeling of symmetry for the bed which is calming for a Mb. One simple piece hung on the wall above the mantel will suffice or a mirror which will help with creating light in what you say is a dark room.
    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 12:12PM
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Katharyn Hansche Interiors
Hi Sotodog,

In looking at your inspiration photos, it looks as if you are drawn to black headboards. I suggest painting the mantle/headboard trim a black semi-gloss, as well as, the red accent wall. It will create the illusion of a very tall and grand headboard.

As someone else mentioned, nothing should be placed on the mantle, and the tall dresser has to go somewhere else. The height and style compete too much with the headboard.

Check Dwell Studio for fun gray and white prints for pillows and drapes.
2 Likes    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 12:19PM
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Kisarau Architect, LTD.
The tall dresser caught my eye. I agree with Katharyn (above)
1 Like    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 1:16PM
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Barnhart Gallery
Agreeing with all that's been said, I add this. Whether you leave it white, paint it silver/gray, black, or mahogany to go with your dresser, I'd suggest treating the elements of the headboard as one rather than the two-tone it is now.

You can stop with paint, but I think you have a tremendous opportunity to put something very dramatic where the red paint is:

1) If you decide to leave it white, you could purchase an extra white matelasse coverlet and upholster a board to fit.
2) If you choose gray, you might fill that space with tin tiles from MBoss, and those overhead/undermantle lights will make it sparkle.
3) If you choose black like in your photos, or the brown of your mahogany, I'd again have a board cut to fit and upholster it in black or brown mock croc.

I'd start with a fabulous fabric or art piece incorporating your colors; your selection will tell you where to go with your various color choices.
1 Like    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 7:02PM
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Bond Girl
I haven't figured out how to attach an image from within Houzz, but if you type in "mantel headboard" you'll see one for "The painted cottage" where there is an upholstered headboard inset in a mantel. This is an excellent example of what barnheart is suggesting.

I agree with Manon, Euro shams will be a big hep. Your mantel is tall in comparison to your bed, the Euro shams will help with scale.

I love your inspiration pictures. When you're making your choices, remember you don't have windows flanking your bed, so you won't be able to play off a simple bed with more graphic window treatments. You will either need to get that with more pattern in your bedding, or an upholstered headboard. Good luck!
    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 7:20PM
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Thanks everyone for your time and input. I really appreciate the ideas and encouragement to do this.
    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 5:39AM
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All good suggestions - I would paint over the red with a dark slate gray and a lighter gray for the walls and then use yellow to accent with lamps, pillows and such. A darker color on the walls would make those accent lights really more dramatic. With that, you can always switch yellow to another complimentary color without much rework. I do not like red in bedrooms - too loud. I love the lights in the headboard. Need taller pillows on the back of the bed.
    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 6:35AM
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You have great comments and ideas.
I am gonna toss my 2cents in.....
Paint walls a clean hint of grey, headboard all black, bedding all crisp white.
Bring color in using accent pillows, chevron stripe of white and yellow would rock the space. For accessories nothing on top of mantle, keep your dresser, can it be placed on other side of room?
Seagrass rug would be great. Happy decorating!
1 Like    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 9:08AM
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Jessica Roloson
all great ideas something i was thinking of in seeing this is the white "mantle" is very stark against the dark dresser so if the dresser must stay in this location taking that to a darker tone would be more balanced.

Also, rather than the red that is currently as your headboard there are many great wallpapers you can get from crown, graham and brown, and cole and son that incorperate grey, white and yellow beautifully and typically one double roll would be enough, so it is a minor expence for a custome look.
1 Like    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 11:05AM
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Joni Koenig Interiors
Of course you can keep the yellow walls, but for little time and expense you could change to a soft light grey. Grey is fantastic contrast against white and therefore would really make your headboard frame stand out. Yellow can become your accent color and replace the red behind the bed--try a softer yellow than what is currently on the wall. Incorporate Gray drapes in a slightly darker shade than the walls and add a soft yellow trim on the leading edge. Keep the mantel clear of objects and consider black and white prints for above. Try art.com for affordable options. Maybe you could check out Craig's list or neighborhood sales for a smaller scale chest of drawers..something that doesn't distract from the bed and headboard. You are on the right track with the linens..don't overdo with pillows which then can look cluttered on the bed. Good luck and show us the finished room!
    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 2:54PM
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I agree with most of the comments - the wall color is great as is and a white coverlet or duvet will brighten the whole look. Have you considered wallpapering the red area? You could go with a dramatic print in any yellow/white/gray tones. The dresser needs to be moved to the side or to another wall as suggested. I recently made some similiar changes in our bedroom and it looks new and fresh with very little money spent. Do one thing at a time starting with changing the red accent wall and everything else will fall into place even if you change your mind along the way like I did. Go slow and have fun!
    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 4:10PM
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With your peaked roof, the white trim looks like a doorway. I would the trim and red colour completely. You can come up with all kinds of inexpensive ideas for headboards - like an old door or an upholstered headboard complimentary to your wall colour, etc. I like red and I like yellow - but not together and definitely not together in a bedroom - it just isn't a very relaxing combo. Your current wall colour is fine - but if you do change it, go for a tone that is soft and relaxing. I would also paint the ceiling the same colour since it is peaked - give it a bit of a cocoon effect for more coziness. Go for white sheets - with a complimentary trim to whatever wall colour you choose - it will make the bed look more inviting - but keep a coverlet at the foot of the bed in a complimentary colour to the walls. Also, is it possible to move that dresser elsewhere? I'd prefer to see night tables on either side of the bed - both with access to lighting.
    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 6:22PM
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I would add white bead board paneling to the inside of the accent area. If the molding around the bed is going to stay. It will make it seem more like a head board. The yellow walls are fine. Add the grey in with the bedding. Maybe white sheets and grey comforter set. Not sure about the windows because you didn't picture them.
    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 8:14PM
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Marie Hebson's interiorsBYDESIGN Inc.
Hi sotodog, Marie here - I'd go with your soft gray and yellow palette - if your energetic, add some wainscotting around the perimeter of the room. Doesn't need to be fancy, can be simple chair moulding, with some smaller trim for squares, then paint all of that the same colour white as your baseboards. Add crown moulding for sure - then paint the red out either white, or darker yellow or better yet a soft dove gray. Change out your bedding to reflect the yellow and gray palette you love. I'd even white wash your dressers to an antique white to soften them - very pretty palette. Bit of elbow grease and you've got your dream space!
    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 11:17PM
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Marie Hebson's interiorsBYDESIGN Inc.
Hi sotodog, some imagery to back up my recommendations - good luck!
    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 11:18PM
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I definitely agree the dresser needs to move! But something tells me you wouldn't have placed it next to the bed unless you were lacking another space! Or you have a ton of other brown furniture in the available spots?
I always tell clients the first key to a great result is prune your "stuff"!! Clean out the closets, any clutter, clothes you no longer wear.Be ruthless! If possible, get as much of your clothing into the closet as you can, so you can limit the need for bulky and dark storage pieces. Sometimes it's as simple as double hanging in an older home, or seasonally rotating your clothes out. Second, are you going for restful and serene..... or do you want spice and drama? The lower the contrast between primary and accent colors, the more restful your result. If you have finance limitations, paint can work wonders combined with a few yards of fabric.
You mentioned the room gets little light. Don't be afraid of a deep grey on the walls! It will "soak up" dark furniture, and I would "paint out" the headboard too. With crisp white bedding, and your favorite yellow accents......some adequate side tables and a pair of great lamps....a darker room can be sensational.
Actually, a little truth telling here? Ouch. Not loving the headboard. I think a lower upholstered headboard, that competes less with the pitch of the ceiling (and feels less like a fireplace that was covered) might be one of your BEST investments. Good luck!
1 Like    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 3:34AM
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I agree that the red has to go--red and yellow is not a pleasant combination. For drama, black and yellow is classic, and if you're into French Country, then blue and yellow is beautiful.

I also agree that the dresser has to go. Two matching dressers with more substantial lamps on either side would bring balance to the room. I have transformed this dresser from Ikea dramatically with black gloss paint and silver pulls.


Keep your colours to no more than 3 in the room--wall, accent, and trim.

Can the "mantle" part of the headboard be lowered? It is too overwhelming for the room and for the bed.

Get rid of the knick-knacks--very dated. Black and white photography in black frames would look stunning with the yellow!
2 Likes    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 4:50AM
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Good ideas from others. I would add this-find an amazing print in wallpaper to put in the space that's now red. It should have grey, white, yellow, etc and it can also have some navy and pink and whatever else you like. This will give you options for accessories and pillows. Yoiu can do white bedding and grey curtains or visa versa. nightstands with lamps will help balance everything. leave the mantel bare; two large paintings/photos/artworks above it will add to the symmetry. Love your inspiration pix-have fun redoing your room!
    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 8:53AM
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Brenda Bloods
if walpaper isn't something you like the idea of, fabric would work fabulously and be very cheap! get a piece of cheap plywood and cover it to make a padded headboard and fit it into the existing headboard area (if it's too hard to take down/move) so you'd have a sort of framed soft-ish headboard. foam can be expensive, but batting is dirt cheap and would make making it tuffed (with buttons) really easy - however maybe lumpy if not done tight enough/well enough... maybe just stick to foam ;) you could paint the boarder of the headboard black and also paint the dresser and change out the drawer pulls... just based on the view of your room, i would think to put the dresser on the left wall - alongside the door. here are some various black and yellow fabrics - millions to choose from.






Bright Cornflower Yellow and White Traditions Damask by Home Lush · More Info



have fun!!! :)
    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 10:23AM
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Okay, back again and have a couple questions:
First, is the bed in the best spot, or the only available? I ask, as I am not sure if those are closet or entry doors I am seeing in the picture! Second, upload a few pictures of the rest of the elevations, ( the other three walls). Third, describe the carpet!! Is it in good shape, and what is its tone?
On the topic of curtains: I tell clients to skip them UNLESS they are going to be custom made. Failing that, there are some very inexpensive sheers out there, (ready made) that when tripled or quadrupled for fullness, can look pretty darn great. But woven wood shades are also super, and give you a very finished look all by themselves, and come in a million textures and tones. No dust! Excellent if you are allergy prone. I stand by my earlier comment on the headboard, but I get a feeling the room may have other issues to be considered......? I think it is the dresser that makes me think I may not be far off the mark. Pics please!
    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 10:58AM
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Christopher James Interiors
I would make several low depth upholstered panels using a dark grey chenille or plush fabric. 8 total panels. U could make them easily yourself and fit them into the red wall area. Remove everything off the shelf and do a set of three pices of art incorporating the colors of the bedroom...white, yellow and grey. Move the large dresser to another wall and use end tables or Nightstands in place for better scale. To view the bed panels view my portfolio to see how I used these upholstered panels in black going up the entire wall behind the bed and over the bed at Www.NewportCoastInteriorDesign.com/portfolio. Happy decorating!
    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 11:23AM
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I too like what everyone is saying about grey instead of red for the headboard. The upholstery idea is cool. The dresser needs to move to another wall or room. I think you need larger nightstands. No knick-knacks on the mantle, just a long, horizontal picture on the wall above it. Have fun!
1 Like    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 6:03PM
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Neutrals are a must to create a relaxing bedroom. I just designed a bedroom that might help give you some ideas http://wp.me/p2eJhs-32
    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 9:31PM
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Here is the other wall. I've also attached the floorplan of our house. We did move the door to the walk in closet to inside the bathroom. The other dresser is where this door is shown in the floorplan. As far as we can tell, the bed is in the best place. The 'headboard' is built on the wall like a mantle.

I know the dresser is the wrong size but right now I have no other place to put it. I actually would love to change the pulls on the dressers to something a little more contemporary or at least not so traditional. I am just unsure of how to do it if I can't match the holes up or behind these pulls it doesn't look nice. This dresser is probably filled about 50% but with kind of useless stuff.

The matching nightstand is in my daughter's room which I am also looking to redo so I might be able to reclaim it. If I do that though,I have no place to put this dresser. I guess I could just get rid of it.
    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 6:12AM
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Feeling your pain, but this is a bath picture I see! Don't see the floor plan either. Hard to help without more pictures of the whole room. I think you need to purge "the fifty percent useless stuff" and ask yourself if a new lower drawer chest next to the bed, with a few drawers would solve the problem. I can tell you the mahogany stuff is not worth much energy in resurrection.....and I think you are looking for a cleaner, simpler, less fussy room, and a style change. I think money is an issue, so keep it very simple, and do the most important things first. A simple upholstered headboard will cost less if your local upholsterer fabricates it, and delivers. Simple woven shades. Junk out of the room.... the drawer chests next to the bed, which would be nice with some open space below, a couple drawers, and guessing size of about 36 inches wide, 20 inches deep and no more than 30-32 high. That is a great size for bedside, will give you style, storage, and a good height for lamps. Since we're going simple.... match the lamps, and the drawer chests. Chests could be black! Great white shaded, crisp lamps, some new bedding.... paint , and bye to the mantel headboard and the dresser!!!!!! Hope that helps!
    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 6:46AM
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Not sure what happened with the pic. Let me try again.

the floorplan was a PDF and I don't think those upload???

The room is 13x16. There are no openings on the bed wall as you have seen. Facing into the room, on the left is a double folding door closet maybe 72". On the right side are 2 windows side by side, maybe 36" each. On the wall opposite of the bed you can see that we have the entry way doors and the bathroom door. It seems to me that there are limited options for the layout.

I am a little to pragmatic to be a good decorator (sorry I am a cost analyst at heart and by day and from an engineer family). I cannot justify spending a lot of money to replace things that work perfectly fine even if a little outdated. Will you be willing to help me anyway? :-))
    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 7:19AM
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Brenda Bloods
at the least you could move the dresser to the left wall - so when you look at the bed you see the side/thiner profile of it.

here's a pic of the use of wallpaper in a VERY similar spot like you have - i would be tempted to just staple (descretely of course) fabric up there. it'd be so easy to change out anytime you want!

still no floor plan :) you could try saving it as a jpeg...?
    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 8:24AM
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I must keep selecting 'mba1' instead of 'mbr1'

Let's try one last time.
    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 8:30AM
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Woohoo. Here is the floorplan as a jpeg too
    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 8:32AM
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Okay... I am from the brutal truth, because its always the shortest route to great results. The dressers "don't work perfectly well". They are both tall, dark, dated, and not the most effective storage, or a pretty proportion for the room you have. And I don't think you will miss either one of them. If you're looking for results, here are my tips and you take for what they are worth. Sort of like a trip to the doctor..or what I would tell a paying client!
First...don't start till you rid the room of all unnecessary clothes and "stuff"
Second, take a good look at the interiors of closets after you purge. Can you get more in there?
Now... a king bed is 80-82 inches in diameter. Your mantel headboard is a foot??? wider than it needs to be. That takes space from nicely proportioned side chests, or tables that you NEED, for style and also storage. Assuming you need storage after you purge!
What is the folding table near the dark chest and fan??? No.........!!! please no.
The television is at nursing home/hospital height. There are great , inexpensive buffet height storage options... or even a long dresser maybe...72 x30 high and mount the tv above on the wall.
The goal is to think simpler, less clutter, more tonal, and smoooooth it out. That can be your soft grays, with whites and a pop of yellow! Evaluate your carpet and tone of that too. You only need app 23 yards of carpet ( plus the closets). There are great things out there that could start your scheme, that are not pricey. You want the wall color, and the carpet to complement one another.
Take all the pictures you used for inspiration, and pick them apart! Ask yourself WHY the rooms feel good to you!
Don't be afraid to acknowledge when a thing has served its time....the joy of a great result is worth the wait, worth a little financial effort. Get it right the first time, and don't waste time, money, or energy on outdated proportions..... and dated furniture. Do it once, think it through... and get some help!! It's worth the money you will waste on mistakes and a lesser result. More opinions will just confuse you, but that is mine. Keep it simple, concentrate on impact from less. Design is always about taking out...before you add one thing. In a word..it's editing.
1 Like    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 9:21AM
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