evolution of my house | part 6 | the master bedroom

Marian ParsonsBefore and Afters, Master Bedroom, My House28 Comments

…and now we’re at the master bedroom in this “evolution series” and, oh my, it’s a doozie.  This room made me want to hit my head against a wall for years.  It stumped me.  I kept making stupid, decorating decisions that I knew were stupid as I was making them.  I wasted so much time and money on things I wasn’t in love with…all for the sake of getting it done.  Sigh.  Tell me I’m not alone.

A couple of years ago, though, after yards of fabric and gallons of paint, I finally got on the right path and I’ve been able to see it through to completion.

Miss Mustard Seed-28-2

So, let’s start at the very beginning.  A very good place to start.   Humming along?


Okay.  THIS two-tone mauve wall was definitely NOT one of my favorite things.   And what’s worse than a two-tone mauve wall is adding yellow, red and green to it.  Which is exactly what I did.


I had painted the master bedroom walls in our last house in two-tone yellow vertical stripes, so my bedding, slipcovers and pillows looked great with that.  The two-tone mauve wall?  Not so much.  Throw in a yard sale dresser ($35), hand-me-down vanity, beige carpet (and a stand-up fan), and the result is a mish-mash room that left me at a loss.  And, even if I knew what I wanted to do with the room, I didn’t have the money to do it.  We just lived with it and kept the door closed.


I don’t have pictures of the next two “stages”.  Those were pre-blog.  I removed the border and painted the bottom half of the wall in a deep red (SW Red Bay), that was leftover paint from our last house, and the top half in Dove White, leftover from the dining room.  Better than pink, but still not what I wanted at all.  It was just what I had on hand that would make it better.

I finally was able to buy some paint and I picked a very un-Marian greenish gold.  It was a strange color that I was never able to match fabric to, no matter how many samples and remnants I tried.

So, I went to what I knew and repainted the walls blue.  Again, I picked paint before I had fabric to match, so the hunt began for a pretty fabric to compliment that exact blue.

I painted the vanity and rearranged the furniture and the room was coming along.  At least it was looking better…


I picked up this dresser on Craig’s List for $35 and my aunt gave me the pair of lamps out of her attic.

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The headboard was $5 at a yard sale, the coverlet was $10 and, since I couldn’t find a fabric to match the blue, I made pillows out of a black & white fabric.

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I also slipcovered a $30 rocker in white cotton twill.

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…and painted some yard sale night stands…

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Still wasn’t working for me.

So, time for another wall color.  (You can see how crazy this room was making me!)  This time, it was Irish Cream.

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I rearranged the furniture again and, this time, I decided to deal with the thing that was bugging me most…


…the door that connected what is now Jeff’s office to the master bedroom.  It was smack in the middle of the wall, limiting where you could place the bed and larger dressers.  We moved the bed in front of the door and covered the door with a DIY half-canopy.

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I was over-the-moon in love with that thing.  I bought an aqua toile as the primary fabric and set the color palette at aqua, brown, cream and white.  I also bought some white bedding with a Kohl’s gift card I got for my birthday.  I was working the coupons and Kohl’s cash, too!


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I also painted and added mirrored fronts to a pair of nightstands I purchased for $50 at a yard sale.

master 1


And then, I got sick of the aqua toile and the Irish Cream walls.  We took down the half canopy and moved the bed back by the window.  I bought more aqua fabric to make a skirt and new curtains (for an HGTV.com tutorial.)  And I repainted.  This time, in a pale greenish-gray with a pale blue ceiling.

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Bedroom Drapes - Beauty Shot 2

I bought and customized some sconces with ribbon to use as reading lights.

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I brought in some new furniture pieces and kept rearranging.

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We closed up the doorway on both sides and drywalled over the opening.  After living without the doorway for a while, we knew we wanted to close it permanently.

mbr 12


For my book, I made the upholstered headboard.  Again, what’s with the aqua fabric?!  I am such a blue and white girl and I don’t know why I kept going for that, even after I was already sick of it.  I think I felt stuck, because of previous choices.



The room looked really nice at this point, but I knew it still wasn’t ME.  And then, I had a great opportunity.  Home Good wanted to work with me and they gave me a $1000 gift card to help with a room makeover.  The master bedroom was finally going to look the way I wanted it to!

So, I go to Home Goods, ready to spend $1000 and I came home with this rug.

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Marian, what in the world?!  The choices I made that day were made out of impatience.  I went in thinking blue and white and I walked out with green, orange and a little blue.

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When we installed the hardwoods in the family room, we also put them in the bedroom and that made a huge difference in the look of the space.  We had plans to replace the small closet with more functional built-ins, but we never got around to it and put in trim and doors when we were hoping to sell our house last summer.

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When I had everything I picked out from Home Goods in the room, my heart sank.  I tried to talked myself into loving my choices, but I had done this too many times and finally returned everything and started over.

And then, I had another chance to get things right.  HGTV asked me to write some DIY tutorials for bedrooms.  I sent a list of everything I wanted to do in our room to my editor…  a fabric wall, painted nightstands, French-pleated drapes, planked ceiling, crown molding, a bolster pillow and ruched shams.  They hired me to do all of them, so the bedroom makeover was on and this time, I learned my lesson.  Everything would be blue and white and I wouldn’t make choices out of impatience.

I bought the bed of my dreams.  I had been eyeing the Vienne bed from Restoration Hardware for years and it went on final clearance and we were able to buy it.  This was also the time I started my partnership with Pine Cone Hill and they sent me some beautiful linens for the bed.

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We planked the ceiling, added crown molding, painted the walls in BM Simply White, traded out the ceiling fan for a vintage chandelier and started getting the bones of the room in place.

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I moved the bed back to the wall that once had the door and starched fabric to the wall to make it a focal point. 




The “bed wall” was perfect.  I now needed to get the rug and the rest of the room sorted out.

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Here are a few things I tried…

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I finally decided to go with a jute rug, since they are inexpensive and neutral.  I needed a 9 x 13 rug, so this was the only one that was in my budget.  I also found a gorgeous French wardrobe on Craig’s List – one of my best finds ever.




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Here are a few pictures of my Christmas 2014 home tour…

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Miss Mustard Seed-256

Miss Mustard Seed-262

Miss Mustard Seed-280


And from my recent summer home tour…








Whew!!  This room has come a long way since the beginning and really tested my decorating endurance!  I think it’s a great example, though, for how off track you can get when you make quick decisions based on what’s available that moment. If I had just left things alone, squirreled away some money and taken my time to shop around, I would’ve saved myself a lot of angst over this room.

Well, I was planning on sharing the master suite all together, but the bedroom had quite a history!  So, up next will be all three of the bathrooms

If you missed the other room tours, here they are…

Part 1 | Living Room

Part 2 | Dining Room

Part 3 | Home Office

Part 4 | Kitchen

Part 5 | Family Room

Part 6 | Master Bedroom

Part 7 | Bathrooms

evolution of my house | part 6 | the master bedroom

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28 Comments on “evolution of my house | part 6 | the master bedroom”

  1. I love these peeks into your room histories! Every phase is so interesting and different from the one before it and the final product is lovely. Wish I had your sewing skills to make slipcovers!

  2. Believe me you are not alone! I think back on some of my ghosts of decorating past blunders and have to ask myself “What was I thinking”? That first picture you posted of your bedroom wall painted in a two toned mauve let me know that I was in good company!

    That being said, your bedroom looks absolutely beautiful today!

  3. I forgot to add to my comment above that the one thing I learned the hard way (just like you) is that I don’t do jewel tones!

  4. It took me 14 years to FINALLY come to terms with my room…and do something about what I disliked the most. I tell people…your bedroom should be the NUMBER ONE room in your house where you feel relaxed. No work, no laundry, no stress. But it always seems to be the last place were we put our time, money and talents…because we know other people will see our living room and kitchen. This goes back to your previous post…WHO are you decorating for? If you are truly decorating for yourself, you will FIRST create a bedroom (private) space that is comfy and soothing! A REAL stress free zone! Make your bed every day, keep the space free of clutter and “work.”

  5. I just love these histories. I can’t believe how much work you have put into your home! It is amazing. I feel a little spoiled to get to escape into these posts.

  6. This room has really been through some changes! The nghtstands you have now, I’ m guessing you painted/ stenciled them? Could you comment about the colors or where there is more info about them on the blog? I really like those colors.

  7. Truly transforming! I totally agree with you about the impatience decorating. Regretfully, I have done that a few times myself. It’s no fun for anyone! I have a room in my home that is a major dilemma. So for now it sits as is.

    I love your “new” master bedroom. It is so cozy and relaxing.

    I started following you way back during the mirrored side tables 😉

  8. Hi Marian

    Thanks SO much for sharing your journey through the years of trying to get your bedroom right. Over the months that I’ve been reading your blog, you have mentioned so many times one piece of advice that has really resonated with me – only buy things that you LOVE and don’t settle for something just to get the job done.

    Since I became interested in home decor, I have stupidly purchased lots of bits and pieces in my quest to make a home out of my house, and I’m now finally beginning to find my real style, so over the coming months, taking your advice to heart I plan to gradually get rid of the bits that aren’t quite right and WAIT for the pieces that really sing to me. Shame I didn’t find you sooner as I might have saved myself a whole lot of cash, but then I guess learning is part of the fun.

    Have a great week

    Judi in the UK

  9. You are such an inspiration to me! I think the thing I love most about all of your rooms is that the pieces have been acquired over time so there is a true collected feeling. You are fabulous!!

  10. wow !!!!!! you have come a long way…..absolutely stunning !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! perfect !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. I’ve been on this ride for quite a while, and I love the way your bedroom is now…the whole house actually. Side note, did anyone else have trouble reading this, the page kept jumping to the video commercial at the bottom…annoying, continued even when I was commenting.

  12. I too have had the same issue with our bedroom. But my question is , when you painted your bedroom red (bottom half of the wall), did you have to prime it to covet the red up? I’ m facing that issue in my living room painted, Bing Cherry! Of course it’s the biggest room in the house, but I’m determined to get it done and hopefully it he red won’t bleed through! Thank you f

  13. Oh, my gosh, Marian! What a journey you took with that bedroom! The thing you did that surprised me most was buying that patterned red/multi-colored rug! That REALLY wasn’t you! It just made me chuckle, I guess because it made me feel better about some of the “not-me” choices I have made! But you finally got it right with the blue and white.

    I really like what Beck said about making your bedroom a priority when you decorate. I really struggle with that. My bedroom is basically to my liking in terms of furniture and wall colors, but the extras are really a hodge-podge and I have a very hard time keeping it neat without piles of books and laundry–clean and not clean. My house is so small so when I clean for company I put everything I want out of sight in my bedroom. How awful is that! I’m not sure how to solve that problem, but I suspect—no, I FEAR–it has something to do with purging! But you keep inspiring me to not give up, Marian! Thanks for that! And for the great history tour of your beautiful house!

  14. Wow. How can I say this-gently? You sure have come a very long way! Thanks for sharing the evolution of your bedroom. I have been enjoying your series of the evolution of style throughout your whole home, but this post was really a “page turner”! I must admit- I couldn’t wait to see just how bad it could actually get! I suppose it made me feel a little bit better about my own “What was I thinking” decor decisions. Thanks so much for sharing your foibles and baring all to us! This was a really meaningful and truly genuine post on your part and you really out did yourself- in not only creating a beautiful bedroom once you listened to yourself- but also because you encouraged US to do the same! You truly have a gift- not only for decor- but for sharing the heart and soul of your home with us in such a productive way. It is no secret – you love what you do!

  15. What an interesting and lovely post! I have truly enjoyed your “evolution” series. I like to come to your blog for inspiration with my own home. I, too, am a blues girl! I was wondering if you could tell me more about the fabric accent wall in your bedroom? And possibly where to find a similar wallpaper for an accent in my own home? I love painting, but wallpapering is a new world and I don’t know where to begin! 🙂
    Thanks, Marian, for the inspiration!

  16. Wow that’s a crazy transformation, I can see how that room was frustrating. I know all to well in getting things done just to be done or out of impatience/frustration. I’ve done that and I was left exactly the same way. I’m also starting fresh in my apartment right now, which I am totally excited about! Thanks so much for the inspiration and the feeling that I am not alone.

    I love your style and your bedroom it’s beautiful and what a creative way to use fabric!

    Lauren Baxter | LB Designs

  17. Wow!!! This room is beautiful. I really like your style. It is always amazing to me how a room can be transformed and take on a totally different feel just by the way things are arranged or what things are put together. It also amazes me how one can be “CREATIVE” but have no clue how to decorate!! That would be me!!!! Watching this gives me hope on my projects. They can be so overwhelming in the beginning.
    It was a treat seeing the transformation!!

    Michelle Strait

  18. I feel like I went on a roller coaster ride with you and the bedroom, Marian. I so admire your perseverance! Let me plead with you on one thing I read somewhere else on your website. Please Please Please do not paint the bricks on your house! You have a jewel box there and don’t know it. I’ve never seen such beautiful brick. At least ask a couple of realtors what they think. If you want to change things up, work WITH the brick to complement it instead of painting over it. Your website is wonderful. I could spend a whole week soaking up your great ideas and accomplishments!

  19. Hi Marion
    I was so encouraged when I read this post. I am basically a blue and white girl too and I have tried other colors on a whim because I got a good deal on something or just because I needed the change. Every time after a short while, I am not happy with the results. My latest is red and white added to my living and dining rooms. It is very cheerful, but every time I walk into the room it just feels wrong. Fortunately I can make slipcovers, so I can repair the mistake with not too much loss of money.
    I just got a great bargain on some lovely beige and ivory toile, so I am making curtains and an upholstered headboard for outer bedroom. Hopefully it will look good with the blue and white I have to go with it! We shall see… Rhondi

  20. Ok, just my 2 cents here, but I think you should have kept that pink and blue rug, the one in the picture with the rocking horse, left it outside to weather for a month; resulting in–most likely–a faded blue with just a hint of pink and whitish rug that would complement the room better than the super-neutral jute. Just my guess.

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