• Stephen & David

One Room Challenge Week 3: Bedroom & Closet Design

Updated: Jun 24, 2020

You know what’s nuts? On average, we spend nearly 33 YEARS of our lifetime in bed. That’s like... a lot. So why were we planning on making the Master Bedroom the last project on our list? Pfff, who knows. But we sure are glad the One Room Challenge has given us the kick in the pants to get this project going! So we can, you know, enjoy the room we spend most of our lives in? Let’s get into how we’ve come to this bedroom and closet design for ourselves.

Hello! If you’ve stumbled across our page from the ORC Site, Welcome! We’re Stephen & David, a Husband-and-husband DIY team based in Boston, MA. Over that past three years we have been renovating our ( previously abandoned ) Victorian home and sharing the process along the way! You can check out a little tour of our home here and we hope you join us as we tackle this Master Suite project!


We LOVE the way the Master Bedroom and its adjoining closets are laid out. The bedroom is wrapped with three large, southwest facing windows that keep daylight to a minimum in the morning and keep the room bright for the rest of the day. All three windows face you as you walk into the room and they are just begging to become a focal point. We plan to give them some extra fancy treatment - the level of extra they deserve. The bed sits on the opposing wall, the longest wall, which makes sense in terms of layout and will need some visual “weight” to balance out the grandeur of the windows. We’ll get to that below. To the right of the windows is the entrance to the closets, and further, the bath. We covered the Bath design in last week's post and will cover the closets in a future post.




One thing you’ll notice in the design section below is that there is a lot of trimwork. Remember, we’re starting from ZERO here... Window trim? Needs to be installed. Door trim? Same. Baseboard? That too. Crown? You know it! Oh so if that isn’t enough LET’S ADD A TIARA!

...Yes that’s a Princess Diaries reference. And by “Tiara”, we mean paneling. Lots of Paneling. The challenge here being… there’s just a boatload of woodwork to do.


In case the woodwork we’ve designed wasn’t challenging enough, the fun part of installing new trim in an old house is dealing with the settling that has happened over the last 127 years. This means our baseboard might be 6 inches from the floor on one side of the room, and 8 inches on the other. It’s fine. Everything’s fine. We’re going to make it work!

We’ll tell you one thing, and we stand by this. A laser level is one of the best tools we’ve ever purchased. We use this guy, but we’ve gifted this less expensive option MANY times and it’s one that keeps on giving. We’ll have to dive into trim-work in another blog post because there's a LOT we could talk about.



Here’s the fun part. We mentioned this in our Week 1 Post, but the overall feeling we are going for here is something that we learned we loved in our Cowboy Room; Subdued, calming, with a few punches of contrast, paired with the warmth of natural woods.


First, let’s talk about those windows. We recently mentioned in our instagram stories that years ago we fell in LOVE with a window panel design similar to this from the amazing Daniel Kanter. It’s a traditional window millwork design that you can find in old homes but it was Daniel re-creating it in his Blog Post that really made us fall in love with it and want to do something similar ourselves. We’ll be flanking the windows with simple linen curtains and dressing them with roman shades.

Way before self-isolation ( There was a time before isolation? ) We had the opportunity to visit our local Calico Corners location where we were able to see and touch ( remember touching? ) all the fabric and wall-covering samples they had to offer. And they had a lot to offer. We totally fell in love with this Heni - 21 Charcoal wool blend fabric that we thought would be perfect for the roman shades we had in mind.*

As we mentioned earlier, when we decided to beef-up the window trim, the opposing wall needed to be balanced out. Additionally, we felt we needed a way to anchor the bed without changing our current bed/headboard. In order to do so, we decided to carry in the paneling detail that we had designed into the bathroom, but taller. This also gave us the opportunity to bring in a punch of contrast in the form of a near-black wall covering we also found at Calico. This Magnolia Home Wallpaper - Grasscloth Sisal* is the perfect solution to bring in the drama while also feeling soft to the touch.

Throughout the Suite we are going with a contrast-trim that ties all three spaces together. We’ve always loved this look but picking the right color is KEY. So much so that we don’t even have a color nailed down to share with you yet! We know we want it to be a mid-grey with warmer tones. Something similar to Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore, a color that is beloved by many. You’ll have to follow along to find out what we pick, maybe you can help!


There is definitely a balancing act when trying to make the 3 (4...5?) “rooms” of the Suite feel cohesive. Like we mentioned with the trim, we want them all to tie together. At the same time we want them to feel like separate, distinct spaces. The opportunity here is in the “portal” between the bedroom and the bathroom. That portal being the vestibule and the adjoining closets. While the walls in the bedroom and the bathroom will be treated with a light Roman Clay finish (Final selection still TBD) the closets will be decked out in the awesome toile wallpaper we came across at Calico. The Homestead Wallpaper by Magnolia home ( Joanna, you got us again!) has this awesome variety grays and black that compliment the palette we are going for throughout the suite. From afar it almost reads like a camouflage but up close:

This scenic toile depicts the rural life of fields and farmyard in a picturesque vintage style. This makes it perfect for both urban and rural spaces.”

If that description from the website wasn’t written specifically for us and our city-boys-turn-farmer dreams, we don't know why they wrote it.

For the closets themselves, we will be fitting them out using the Ikea Pax system - but make it fashion. By lifting the box, applying a face frame, and tying it into the baseboard and crown we are taking advantage of the system’s modularity, flexibility, and availability but making the design look intentional and custom. We’re currently working on this part of the project and we are super happy with how it is coming out! We’ll dive into the how-to's and all things tutorial in a full blog post to come!


Now, in order to make all those pretty things come to life we need to get back to work! Did we mention we are doing the ENTIRE thing ourselves? If you’re not already following along on Instagram - come check it out! We post stories everyday with what we are working on and we love your feedback! See you there!



A Glass of Bovino | Beginning in the Middle | Beth Diana Smith | Clark + Aldine | Coco & Jack

Deeply Southern Home| Design Maze | Dwell by Cheryl | Erika Ward | Home Made by Carmona

House of Hipsters | Hunted Interior | Kandrac & Kole | Kate Pearce | Katrina Blair | Liz Kamarul

Veneer Designs | Rambling Renovators | Renovation Husbands | Studio Plumb | Media BH&G

* Product provided by company in exchange for blog mention. All selections and opinions are our own.