‘House of the Year’ Bedroom makeover

This bedroom had quite the makeover, folks. It was totally destroyed by Hurricane Sandy to where the drywall had to be removed, the flooring redone, in addition to (obviously) a redecorating job.

The before is, well, totally in pieces. Also there is a toilet in there that shouldn’t be.


And here’s the after:

teal bedroom beadboard

photography by Alec Hemer, styled by Cindy Diprima

Oh hey, happy bedroom. The first thing we did was add beadboard to give it some warmth and architectural interest, plus this is Country Living Magazine, so we wanted to bring in an element to help it feel more traditional. The ceilings are high so instead of doing the beadboard chair rail height we decided to take it up to picture rail height to help the room feel taller. We knew we wanted to use this dark paint color but it was so dark that we had to make sure it was used sparingly and that it wouldn’t make the room look top heavy. By using the chair rail up to about six feet we only had to paint around four feet and it added drama without adding too much energy since it was up so high. I hadn’t done that before but will again, for sure. It was a total success.

That box on the left was a custom made box to hide the wall unit air conditioner. You just open the panels when it’s on. It’s wildly better than seeing the actual unit, which is painful to my little ojos.

We mixed a roman shade and a curtain, which I do more often that I realize. People feel like you can’t but you can, especially if the windows are really different and the fabric is the same.

rustic ladder

photography by Alec Hemer, styled by Cindy Diprima

We added a storage space above the bathroom door (it’s a pocket door) and then naturally, it needed a pretty old ladder to get to said door.

But most importantly, and to celebrate Shark Week, there is now an awesome plastic (yet strangely heavy) shark hanging above the door that adds soooo much quirk.


photography by Alec Hemer, styled by Cindy Diprima

bedroom details

photography by Alec Hemer, styled by Cindy Diprima

Instead of doing two nightstands, we mixed a dresser on one side and a tall table/chair on the other to  help it feel more eclectic and casual. And by using a large sisal rug and then layering on vintage Persian rug (from ABC Carpet and Home), we got the boho vibe across and saved some dough since that black and white rug acts more like a throw rug and can be small.

All in all, a happy bedroom, friends. What do you think?

Resources: Paint colors: Benjamin Moore Oasis Blue on top, Decorators White on the bottom, dresser $549.99 from Cost Plus, bed $799 from Charles P. Rogers, coverlet, John Robshaw, vintage folding bench from One Kings Lane, chrome lamp from Land of Nod, rug Country Living by Surya Carpet $449, ladder kit (not vintage as shown) $637.55 from rockler.com, sheets $269 from SchoolHouse Electric, black/white rug vintage from One Kings Lane, shark vintage, corner chair Serena and Lily.

  1. I am loving the layered rugs!

    I’m so excited that you took on this project! Can’t wait to see more!

  2. Clementine

    Everything about this room is gorgeous… but the shark is perfection. I never thought I’d be searching for a plastic faux-taxidermy shark to hang on my wall.

  3. Ali

    SOOOO beautiful! I love every bit of this room. Well done!

  4. Heather B.

    The timing of this post is so spot on… I am redoing my 7 year old son’s room and contemplating dark on top [ceiling included] and white on bottom.. This post just gave me the visual I needed to move forward. Now if I could only find that shark… He’s obsessed with them. As always, Emily, top-notch style!!!

  5. Dana O.

    This room is so cozy, but sophisticated. You totally rocked your style in a more traditional setting and I love it!

  6. Haha, that shark is awesome! I love the rest of the house as well, but the shark is really special.

  7. jeannette

    magnificent. really this is one of your greatest hits. i can’t analyze it now, but it has to do with the white, the peacock, and that black checked pillow. you are the man.

  8. Cassie

    The room looks great! I love that even though my taste is not traditional at all, I can enjoy the beauty of this well put together room. That includes the amazing beadboard and paint combo. From the picture with the ladder, it looks like you also painted the ceiling that dark color. Please please please tell me, what did paint the ceiling???

  9. So you can mix white curtains, a white Roman shade and white curtains for the closet? You make it work! I love everything about this room. Great job, Emily. And it’s making a family VERY happy right now.

  10. Leanne


  11. Melanie

    I couldn’t have pictured that dark color looking good above all that white- but it looks AWESOME. love it all!

  12. Look amazing, cozy & collected. The wall colour is slightly unexpected & looks fab & the shark over the door way is amazing! {www.thepinkzipper.blogspot.ca}

  13. Leanne

    One more thing – is that picture frame on the dresser vintage? Or can you purchase it somewhere?

  14. Kimberly

    This is one of the reasons I love your blog so very much. Obviously there is only so much room in the magazine so they have to pick and choose their shots carefully but addicts like myself need to devour every square inch of your work. I love that we get to see more images of the space through your blog. I love the mix of playful and traditional in the space. It really works. I can’t wait to see more pictures of the space.

  15. What a great idea making the custom box to cover the a/c unit. I also love how you brought the beadboard to 6 feet to make the room taller and the dark color not overwhelming.

    Job well done!

  16. Ash B

    That shark better STOP! He is sooooooo cute.

    Great work as always Emily!

  17. Such a beautiful space, and that shark screams “Emily was here!” Glad to see it. :)

  18. Emily

    Great room, Emily! I’ve got a question about silk rugs under a heavy bed. We have inherited some beautiful hand woven silk Persian rugs and I’m scared to put them in the bedroom with a heavy bed on top. Do you worry about furniture, especially those iron bed legs, digging a hole in an heirloom rug? Does the sisal layered underneath help to cushion it? Thanks!

  19. tess

    beautiful work, love the oasis blue paint,

    just last week, I was debating between it and jade garden for 2 walls in our living room, jade garden won and I love it, feels like we are in an underwater grotto

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  21. So peaceful! Love the colors and rugs.. and of course all the accessories that you have picked for this room :)

  22. Katy

    So super-duper beautiful! If that was my bedroom, I’d wake up feeling like I was on vacation every single day. Nicely done! Also, where did you get the striped throw?

  23. Oh gosh, I have storage above my closet similar to that – actually in a home my family has lived in (and had as a rental) for the last 20 years. NEVER did I consider a library ladder. Now I’m obsessed with the concept (and want to put a second one to reach similar storage in the hallway.) Can you point me to the nearest Ladder Addicts Anonymous meeting, please?

  24. I love that you’re such a versatile designer! This is so different than your normal style and yet it’s still so beautiful. There are a lot of people out there doing interior design whose rooms all look the same and that’s okay, but your sensitivity to the real needs, desires and tastes of each individual client really make you stand out.

  25. Yes and yes. Love the wall color!!

  26. Elise

    It is just beautiful!! Great job! Although I confess I almost cried when I saw that the shark is vintage. *sniff* I want one so badly!!!

  27. Cash

    I love the vibrant green on the wall!

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  29. Kelly

    Great job as usual. I watched the video from Country Living, and it said that the rolling ladder was made. Would love a tutorial on where to buy the wheels, etc and how to make. Library ladders are otherwise so expensive.

  30. Pingback: House of the year, Kitchen makeover | Emily Henderson

  31. This blog is awesome! I just discovered it and I am loving it! The before and after shots are incredible! Thank you for creating such a fun womens trendy fashion blog!

  32. Julia @cuckoo4design

    Love everything but my favorite is the shark above the door ;)

  33. My first thought upon seeing this was literally “Holy #$%&!”. The white with the delicious dark paint is so gorgeous! I think you’re also convincing me that black accents are not so bad after all. Thanks for that. :)

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  36. Joan

    Emily you ROCK! I love your style! Your style is so fresh and fun. I spent the entire summer learning about you as a designer. xoxo

  37. EvoVCk I loved your article.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.

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