Bedroom Makeover: Before and After

We’ve lived in our house for a little over one year now, and our bedroom has come a long way. There was certainly nowhere to go but up! The only good thing about this bedroom’s original purple paint is that it makes the after photos look so much better.

Let’s start in the landing, which you can also see in my bathroom makeover post.

Before:Bedroom Landing Before.JPG

After:Bedroom Landing.jpg

I’m still loving those new black hinges, and the rest of the bedroom is looking pretty good these days, too.

Before:Bedroom Before.jpg

That sign taped on the sloped wall was for our painter: it says “Paint angled walls Irish Mist.” The ceiling is a flat off-the-shelf white, and the walls (including the slanted sections) are Irish Mist from Behr. The room looks much less choppy and steep without the stark contrast of purple vs. white.


This room is hard to photograph because the window is so huge – which is one of those good problems, as far as I’m concerned (e.g. “my gold bricks are too heavy”). These were our curtains for a couple of months:

Bedroom Sheet Curtains.JPG

Which was still somehow better than what was there before:


I hung IKEA curtains. It’s a double-rod, and there are actually eight curtains up there: it’s such a wide window that it required two panels per side. So, four white curtains in front, and four blackout liners in back. (If anyone’s interested, I can do a more detailed post with specifics.) We’re still using the same furniture and lamps from our previous apartment bedroom, with two changes: the rug and the bed.

Bedroom Window.jpg

The rug is a wool kilim I found on eBay for only $88 from I think the color it adds saves the room from looking too sterile. It is very thin, so a nice rug pad was a necessity. I like dual surface rugs pads: the scratchy felted side grabs the rug, and the latex side grips the floor.

Our platform bed is the P-Series Basic Bed from Night & Day Furniture. It’s nothing fancy: solid wood, sturdy, and cheap. We bought it for around $300 nearly 10 years ago from Right-On Futon in Chicago; I’ve also seen them online on Amazon and Wayfair. I used it previously with my DIY upholstered headboard, but a wall-mounted headboard wasn’t an option here because our bed is in front of a window.

I decided to add a simple, low-profile headboard to our existing platform bed instead of buying an entirely new bed. Thankfully, this furniture company still makes this line, so I was able to buy a headboard that fits the frame perfectly. I went with white, and painted the bed to match.

Bed Painting.jpg

I lightly sanded the original finish, primed with oil-based primer, and then rolled oil-based white paint with a foam roller for a smooth finish.

White Bed.jpg

In the end, you don’t see all that much of it, which is what I wanted:

Bedroom Nightstand Window.jpg

The IKEA RAST nightstands that I stained and painted for our apartment are holding up great. Jarrod’s side of the bed features a Chicago hawk illustration by Diana Sudyka, commissioned by WBEZ for a web feature. When he’s not out birding (like he was when I took these photos), his binoculars hang on the peg rack.

Bedroom Nightstand.jpg

My side of the bed includes a vintage dresser, plants, and a photograph of my mom and my aunt taken in the 1960s. I picked up the perforated metal tray at H&M last week. They have some really nice home items these days and, if you’re in Chicago, the newly-redesigned Michigan Avenue store is much less of a hellhole.

Bedroom Dresser and Plants.jpg

Bedroom Dresser.jpg

The closet area is pretty much the same – the mirrored doors don’t look as bad now that the purple is gone, but I’ll probably replace them at some point.


After:Bedroom Doors.jpg


After:Bedroom IKEA Dresser.jpg

This clearly isn’t a fully finished room! Those IKEA storage bins aren’t part of my forever plan, and someday I’ll get around to unpacking that box.

My long-term plan includes:

  • Remove the light kit from the fan. The fan is fine as-is: it’s inoffensive, and it’s quiet, but I do not need an additional three overhead lights on top of the four recessed lights. No one wants seven overhead lights in a bedroom! Removing the lights will make the fan even more inconspicuous.
  • New/vintage nightstands
  • New/vintage dresser to replace the IKEA bins, and/or reconfiguring the closets to maximize storage space
  • Upgrade to a king bed. Eventually, this white queen bed will move to the guest room (which currently has a full size bed), and we’ll ascend to a kingdom.
  • Unpack that box

There’s no urgency for any of those things, however. Especially that box. If I haven’t needed anything from it in a year, maybe I should just bring it to Goodwill and let them unpack it…


Maplewood Planning: Guest Room

The goal for the guest room is to have it not turn into a catch-all junk room like it is now.  Having a third room for catch-all junk purposes should make this possible.  I want the guest room to be simple and always ready for guests.  Because we love guests.  Seriously: if you’re reading this, you should come stay with us,  even if you live in Chicago, but especially if you live in Columbia, Iowa City, Minneapolis, Ankeny, New York, Rich Hill, Raymore or Newport Beach.

Here’s what the guest room looks like with the current tenants’ stuff:

And here are my goals:


Obviously, paint is a top priority.  Am I going to need a primer to cover up that yellow?!  Gah.  I’ll either choose white or the same shade of light gray I use in the rest of the apartment.


Bed: I bought a simple, used West Elm platform bed on CL last week – picture this one, except taller and without the headboard.  It came with a nice mattress.  (I then sold the existing guest room bed with the headboard I spray painted a while back.)   I will probably make a headboard to use with the new platform bed, similar to the one in our room.

Storage: Something small and functional for guests.  One of my dressers (there are several from which to choose!) or one of our two C&B Sloane bookshelves.

Decorating – The room doesn’t need much.

Full-length mirror for the back of the door: check.

Hook rail: check.  All guest rooms should have a bunch of hooks.  Or taxidermied deer heads, which serve the same purpose.

Rug: check.

Window treatment: something cheap.  Possibly some fabric made into a roman shade.

The bedroom door and the closet door are back to back, which I find problematic.  I may remove the closet door and replace it with a curtain, if possible.

I do like the ceiling fixture!

The overall aesthetic I’d like to achieve is Daniel’s bedroom over at Manhattan Nest.  (This room makes me want to paint everything white.)  I already have the chair!

Image from Manhattan Nest

I’m sorry if planning posts are super boring for everyone but me. If so, you should just skip the next five to six posts.