Have you ever had a genius design but struggled to figure out the execution?? Hi, I’m Mallory and let me tell you about my current design dilemma. Now I’m not a “DIYer” per se, but I’m attempting to be one for the sake of the blank wall above my bed. It’s 50/50 if I will die by staple gun, but it’s a risk we’re gonna have to take. Let’s dig into the situation at hand.
You may remember I’ve been designing my studio apartment and have come a loooong way from the mattress on the floor we started with (no seriously, I did not have one piece of furniture when we moved in. Even the mattress was freshly purchased). Let me set the stage: it’s a 500 sqft studio apartment with some very “white box” architecture (it’s a new-ish building so let’s just say it’s not dripping with charm). So you get it, I’m in a rental apartment that screams “rental” and I’m on a mission to make it my own. The design style we’re going for? Thank you for asking. The vibe is “Palm Springs, fun, with a smothering of sexy+ Hollywood, and California cool”. I want it to be indisputably Californian (as you can probably tell from the description lol) but also full of personal charm. I LOVE the feeling of being in Palm Springs hotels, homes, and the all-around aesthetics, so I’m hoping to bring some of that “Googie” vibe into this space as well. SO with that, I OBVIOUSLY could not just leave the wall above my bed blank!! This is a design blog after all and I’m just not that kinda gal. So after much deliberation and drowning in wallpaper samples, I figured out the plan. Almost.
When I saw this photo I freaked. The cane bed is MAGIC and I wanted to create something that would feel as luxe and awesome as this. One option would be to just make a custom bed, but that’s pricey and I wanted this to be a fun renter-friendly solution that incorporated the entire wall. Also, I’ve been wanting to add wallpaper somewhere into my main living space (I already wallpapered my bathroom which I’ll show you very soon and I’m IN LOVE) because it adds an incredible amount of personality and style. Plus, I’d like to do a magic trick where we all see the white box disappear before our eyes – please and thank you. So, with that headboard inspiration and a wallpaper inspiration from the Sands Hotel, Pink Cabana by Martyn Lawrence Bullard, it was time to draw up my dream and make it become a reality. But first, we had a bed situation to take care of.
The Bed Debacle
Remember when I said we started out with nothing but a mattress on the floor? Our second purchase was an incredibly necessary one: the bed for the mattress. We needed it fast and cheap, which narrowed down our options quite a bit. Surprisingly, we scored a blue velvet bed from Wayfair for $150 that was INCREDIBLE for the price, but not so surprisingly, two years in one of the legs snapped off and we were sleeping at a diagonal for longer than I’d like to admit. I ended up propping it up with a wood block where the leg would be (bc I’m such a little DIY girly) and that got us through until we could find the bed of our dreams (which was a journey trying to find), first let me show you a photo of the old bed.
She was so good to us and if the bed was better quality I probably would have pushed to keep her, but the reality was that at any given moment our bodies could “plop” onto the bed and immediately land on the floor. The screws were also coming loose, so I lovingly referred to her as “Rickety”. She was there for us at a pivotal time in life and we learned so much from her, but it was time that our relationship with Rickety had to come to a close. Here’s our last photo together:
So sweet. The mems were good, but we were ready (even in this photo that front leg was so wobbly it was only a matter of time). So, I went hunting for the perfect bed that ideally had legs that could hold human weight (seemed like a reasonable ask). While that was a baseline request, we also had some other boxes this bed needed to check, and those boxes were so fricken specific that I don’t know where to begin but I’ll try.
To start, my boyfriend, Chase had literally one dream for this apartment and that dream was a black velvet bed. He truly wanted nothing else, just a black velvet bed. Should be an easy request to fill right? WRONG. Retailers are not interested in selling black velvet beds, and if they did the dimensions were be all wrong for our very small space. So let me tell you about what else this bed needed to have:
- Black velvet fabric
- 7″ legs so we could store things under the bed (critical for 500 sqft)
- A shape that wasn’t just a boring square
- A tall headboard so we could comfortably sit up in bed without our backs being on the wall
- Fit a queen mattress
So our “little, simple dream” became a very complex journey, but I was determined to get it right so we wouldn’t end up with a bed in a landfill in 2 more years. I scoured and scoured until my scourer was sore. I almost bought this Target bed (but the headboard was a bit too low for us although the price is IDEAL), this Apt2B bed was a consideration (but it didn’t have the curved headboard I was so horny for) and this bed was another consideration but it had no legs at all (sigh). Then I found a bed that sent my heart straight out of my chest: the Berlin Bed from Modshop (one of my favorite furniture stores ever!!) The only problem? Well it didn’t have legs either and it didn’t come in black on the website (soooo close!!) BUT THEN I read the fine print and had heart palpitations again “don’t see what you want? email us and we can do any fabric you want.” I screamed. I sent a pleading email asking if they could create the black velvet bed of my dreams and throw some 7″ legs on it and was surprised to see a response that said “of course and let’s partner while we’re at it!!” For transparency, this post is not sponsored but Modshop did gift us the bed of my dreams and I am literally still screaming with excitement that this all fell into place. LET ME SHOW YOU THIS FREAKIN AWESOME BED!!!
Unreal right?! I still can’t believe it and feel so lucky to be able to work with this brand I’ve always loved. So with that, I knew I had an even stronger obligation to make this feature wall as epic as possible as you can imagine. So are you ready to see my design plan?? Note: I have 6 versions and need your help narrowing down the details but here is our first rendering!! DRUM ROLL PLEASE.
Eh?? EH?? What do we think?? I honestly love the way that this looks (and btw some of these options are real life and some are photoshopped). We started doing the DIY with foam, velvet, and a staple gun but then stopped so we could decide exactly how we want to proceed, and because I’m not that great at DIYing. It’s still up for debate if I should go to an upholstery place to get that black curve line professionally made because mine is looking a little jank in real life. BUT the cane and wallpaper are for sure going to be DIYed (I have a way to make wallpaper removable that I’m planning on using). So anyway, this is Option 1, the next option is nearly the same but the cane on the sides is a little lower, a subtle difference but I’m planning to hang pendant lights (I think these) on the sides of the bed so I gotta figure out if I want them to line up with the cane or live above the cane. Here’s what I mean:
Like I said, a subtle difference but one that I care about. Which version is best?? The next option is also a little different (look at where the black lines meet). Basically, the vertical line goes all the way down and the horizontal line is shorter, let me show you:
So that’s a line joining option to think about, and then of course we could also go for no horizontal lines at all, like in this option:
I think this one looks a little wild and takes away from the cool wall-to-wall thing that was happening but I figured I’d throw it in for fun. Same thing with this next one which I thought was interesting but not necessarily my favorite:
It would look better with the pendant lights hanging there, but still not one of my top options. Lastly is one I’m highly considering (but not sure how it would look having to join these pieces of cane together without the black velvet foam outline thing:
Alright, so those are the 6 options. Tell me what ya think in the comments please and thank you!!! I can’t wait to show you the full reveal SO SOON –– this is the last big step!! AH OKAY SEE YOU IN THE COMMENTS!! xx
Option 3! It’s the sleekest. (Option 6 is good too, but harder, as you said.) Especially looking at all six options side by side, Option 3 strikes me as the most natural, and doesn’t jar the eye like the others do. To me, at least!
Yep, me too -#3! I like that it engages the entire wall aaand that the horizontal line joins the black of the window frame (though I can’t tell if it’s a functioning window or not..?). My goodness that black velvet bed is AWESOME!
WhooHoo for MOTO’s!!!
SAME!!! 3 is visually the most interesting while engaging the whole wall and feeling very balanced (to me) 6 also looks cool, but as you pointed out harder to execute and I actually think 3 just looks plain better? Also love the bed, so happy for you that worked out!! And a big YES to those pendants!!!! You can already tell this’ll look stunning when its done – good luck with all the DIY-ing you got this!! 🙂
Nope, actually I’m going back on my word XD I meant 1!!!! though 3 is also pretty cool and it’d definitely be a third option for me, but looking back up at the pictures I apparently got my numbers confused 😬
yes it is functioning! And thank you1!! So excited for this journey (it’s almost done!!)
thank you for the input!!! I wasn’t leaning toward that one, but now I’m rethinking!
Option 2 is my favorite! I love this design plan.
I say option 2 also! I think i like the dimensions
3 for me!
3! And I love the way the horizontal lines match the window.
1 looks most like a hotel to me (a good thing imo).
I like that Option 1 emphasizes the wall-to-wall look, instead of re-stating the curve of the headboard as exactly as 2 and 3. Or, to say it in another way, in Option 1, the headboard shape looks cool AND the wall-to-wall caning looks cool, instead of the caning looking like it’s just a frame around the headboard, with a little tag on on each side. I think in 2 or 3 (or any of the others), the lights you choose will look more like they need to be in an exact right spot, whereas with Option 1, you have a great backdrop for anything else you do in the room.
Mostly, though, well done on the choices so far, Mallory! The concept is fantastic, and you are executing it really well. Love fiddling with details like this too. 🙂 Excited to see where it lands!
So hard to decide. I was fully set on 2 (I’m trying to articulate why I like the lower side caning better and all I can come up with is it works better with pillows?) until I saw 6. My vote is 6 but I think 1, 2, 3, and 6 would each look great once styled. Good luck!
2 or 3! It’s going to look amazing! The side tables are sleek, but if they were black (spray or regular paint?) they would mimic the black strip above. Too much?
Scratch that – just noticed they tie in with the gray in the palm trees and closet doors.
I like option 2
Option 6! It’s the most simple visually and you have so much else going on.
bit it will look great no matter which one you do.
Agree! Another vote for option 6. Also like option 1. Those two options are far and away my fav two!
thank you!! I like 6 a lot too…leaning toward that if I can figure out how to join the caning in a clean way!
I like option 6 best, but option 2 also seems good to me.
Funny how your eyes/mind can play tricks on you. As I went through the options, I liked almost all of them with no strong opinion. Once I saw all six together I immediately said “Option 2!” I like how the caned parts behind the nightstands are roughly the same width as the caned parts showing behind the headboard. And it sounds like it might work best for your light placement too! So glad to see an update on your apartment Mallory – I’ve been wondering if I missed a reveal somewhere along the way! Can’t wait to see it come together.
Agree for exactly this reason!
thank you!!! And thanks for following along this journey –– it’s almost done ah!!
What ever you choose will look amazing, but 2 gets my vote.
Option 4 and 5 is what appeals to my eye the most! Can’t wait to see what you do!
Option 3!11 Second choice – option 1. And I know you will be hanging pendant lights but where did you get the adorable lamps on your nightstands in the first photos?
They are the Scrunch by Kara Mann from CB2: https://www.cb2.com/scrunch-table-lamp/s620883
KJ, would you ever consider doing a guest post on your method for tracking down sources like this? It might very well be your photographic memory and incredible knowledge of design and inventory but if there’s any tricks you use it would be so helpful to be able to find things ourselves in places where we don’t have you to rely on!
90% is really just pointing at the photo with the Google app and using Google Lens to find the item. The remaining 10% take a little more sleuthing. For instance, someone below asked about the leather piece at the end of the bed which Google Lens couldn’t find. But I remembered the post Mallory originally did that had the link in it. https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/how-to-make-your-bedroom-look-like-a-hotel
yes you nailed it!! Such an awesome skill!
6! It would be the hardest but is the most visually simple and sleek and really frames the bed elegantly. Gorgeous bed btw, so awesome you persevered your way to the bed of your dreams! Excited to see how it turns out, and the bathroom reveal too!
thank you!!! I have a wallpaper up in the bathroom and I can’t wait to shoot it and show you!
It’s a clear option 2. Best proportions and balance for my eyes. It’s gonna look great
I like 2 the best.
Option 1 for sure!
Here for option #3!
Option 2 looks the most integrated to me. Love the look!!
Option 1! Good mix of clean lines and curves. If there’s any light overlap that could add a nice layered look for a bedroom.
Option 2 is my vote!
Love this idea! It’s going to look great.
Another vote for option 2! Option 3 is almost as good but something about the contrasting direction of the lines (above the nightstands) is making option 2 seem more sophisticated to me.
(And thanks for sharing your rickety bed saga. I think we’re all always aiming to get the right, permanent piece for the space… but sometimes you are just in a situation where you need to go with the $150 option. The upgrade is going to be amazing!)
thank you! And of course I’m so glad you enjoyed reading it!!
I love 2 and 6! But all would look great. This is such a cute idea!
I was picturing what you did in #6 from the beginning. Seeing them all together I think I like 2 or 6.
#3 for me. But others are good too.
Option 1 or 2! They remind me of a hotel. Option 3 is also good and feels more home-y.
I like 1 and 6 the best!
I would do Option 1!
Option 2 (first choice) or Option 1 (second choice). Those are the two that look the most intentional and custom crafted to me. It’s your call depending on the pendant lights, I think the lights could hit either in the textured cane field or above the black field and look great. Or, can you get pendants with an adjustable cord to raise or lower?
I love your current lamps too.
It’s a brilliant and pretty design!
And kudos to you for including your partner’s heart’s desire, black velvet.
thank you!! xx
3 is my favorite!
I like the simplicity of # 5. I think it gives you the most flexibility in pendant height and nightstand styling. Once you hang the pendants and place a few essentials on the bedside tables, the others would be too busy for me.
2 or 3 for sure!
Just wanted to say, if you’re planning on doing the temporary wallpaper method that Caitlin linked to in her wallpaper post (that uses painter’s tape) I would HIGHLY advise against it! Learn from me! I tried it out and it does not lie flat against the wall-it’s passable with a super thick wallpaper, but really really not cute with a thinner wallpaper!
Agreed! Total fail. But I’ve had a ton of success using liquid starch to temporarily adhere wallpaper and fabric on walls. You just roll it on like paste and the paper has stayed up for over a year for me….even in a bathroom with tons of steam.
I’ve actually done it before and found a hack! 1. you have to put the tape close together (the first time I did it the painters tape was too far apart) and 2. if you use a credit card to smooth down the tape it helps a lot!! Not sure if you’ll attempt it again, but those are my findings if you do!!
I will say I saw that exact wallpaper on Etsy in removable. I had been considering it and assumed this was that. He will do any custom color too. https://www.etsy.com/listing/752024433/
1 or 2, NOT 6
Option 4 is well styled and the cleanest to the eye.
Option 2! I am so curious how you are attaching all the upholstered pieces to the wall.
Option 3 and 6 look best to me. Something about the horizontal line going behind the bed (or is it?) is stressing me out. I like that option 3 makes it look like it’s part of the bed frame, while option 6 feels a little more quirky and fun.
Option 4, but please tell me you will center the bed! Or make it so the width on both sides of the bed is the same!
I feel strongly that options 1, 2, or 6 are the best. It helps the walls feel wider and gives the illusion of more space, plus whatever is on the nightstands won’t rub up against the black velvet (which could be a real pain to keep clean)
2 is my favorite, but 3 also looks great.
I like option 2 best. The reason is “because I do”. Gut response. But here’s something that’s bothering me. The bed doesn’t look centered on the cane. Am I a crazy cockeyed kookoo or is anyone else bothered by this?
it’s not perfectly centered because this was a piece of foam with velvet wrapped around it that we had temporarily put up so we could get a photo and play around with the design. It took so long to hang & we had to get the picture fast so it was a ‘good enough’ for rendering purposes!
Option 3, but maybe lower the horizontal part so it’s at a similar height as in option 2 (my second favorite)? I love how option 3 really frames the headboard.