Emily Henderson Header Image Emily Henderson

A new E-design

Master Bedroom Refresh Plan


I’ve had the pleasure recently of doing these 1/2 hour consultations for people who gave a substantial amount to the shelter as a perk/thank you gift (THANK YOU, AGAIN). They send me a PDF that has their photos and their needs/wants, and then over the phone I whisk through quickly what my advise is for each question. They want honesty, I give it to them gingerly and it’s all very satisfying, hopefully, for both of us.

One such project, Breigh’s master bedroom, seemed like a really good opportunity for a quick design post – not as thorough as an E-Design and more involved than just a ‘Design Agony‘ question but I really felt like I could help with just a few hours of shopping online and having someone from the team pulling together a quick plan (in this case Brady).

Here’s what her bedroom looks like:

EDesign_Breigh_Before 2

Clearly she’s doing ok, and nobody should feel sorry for her. That bedroom is more pulled together than 95% of American’s bedrooms. BUT, she wasn’t psyched about a few things and wanted help. She felt that it looked too impersonal and dark. She was ‘over’ the bed (too shabby chic for her), hated the dark and graphic pattern of the curtains, wanted updated lamps on the nightstands and then just needed a few things to help dress up the space (rug, art, lamps for dresser, etc). I tried to talk her out of wanting a new bed but when you are done with something you are done with something (lord knows I know how that feels).

EDesign_Breigh_Before 3 EDesign_Breigh_Before 1

Here was what she and I came up with:


We wanted to make it slightly more modern, help it feel more stylized and give it a bit of soul.

Breigh_Kenley_E_Design_Dresser EDesign_Breigh_Blue and Cream_Moodboard_numbered

1. Upholstered Headboard: She was sick of the the faux traditional rustic bed that she had and wanted something that was a bit more modern and updated but still provided a cozy place to lean her head up against at night. We opted for this simple upholstered bed rather than something with tufting as we already had tufting in the room with her existing benches.

2. Brass Table Lamps: She did not like her existing table lamps and because she wanted to keep her existing nightstands we wanted something that was lighter, brighter, and visually less heavy to go on top of the already heavy wood nightstands.

3. Existing Mirrored Nightstand: Great storage, she loved these so no need to change. 

4. Art: We needed something to fill in the space above the bed and continue your eye up to the beautiful ceilings. We found this beautiful (and totally affordable) print which helps pepper the blue that she loved throughout the room. On the site it shows it vertically but as it’s abstract, and we loved it so much, we decided that we would flip it horizontally and use it above the bed that way. This might be an insanely controversial thing to do, I realize, and ideally it would be hung vertically, but listen, we did it and we are moving on.

5. Existing Tufted Benches: She/we loved these so no need to change. 

6. Persian Rug: She desperately needed something on her floor to cozy up the space, as all that wood (although beautiful) was so heavy and cold. We went with this antique inspired Persian rug as the room architecturally leans more traditional and it brings in a quiet pattern. It also was our jumping off point for the color palate of the room as it has the blues, creams, whites, browns and taupes that we used in the rest of the room – which was her request.

7. Cream Roman Shades: Breigh was ready to ditch those black and white lattice patterned curtains and go for something cleaner and more streamlined which also provided a way to block out all of the natural light that she was getting (you know for those mid-day catnaps we all need every so often). So we found these natural colored shades which can be backed in blackout fabric and help to rid her of all that fabric that is currently covering the windows.

8. Existing Duvet Cover: Requested to keep. 

9. Cream Euro Shams: She was in need of a new pillow situation so we went with these large euro shams which help to balance out the height of the headboard and also bring in the cream color that is found in the rug, on the shades, and in the benches.

10. Indigo Batik Bolster Pillow: Because everyone needs something that is vintage and blue. We also went for a simple bolster pillow to pair with the Euro Shams and her standard pillows to keep the bed simple as her duvet cover already had quite a lot going on visually.

11. Tufted Grey Side Chairs: These grey chairs add a shade of grey against the grey wall that adds depth without being too fussy and the curves work organically with the curves of the existing white dresser that she had. We would get two of them and flank the dresser on either side, or you could opt for one and throw a fiddle leaf fig on the other side of the dresser. Not every bedroom needs a chair but if you have the space for it then its certainly a lovely inviting luxury to have.

12. Brass Table Lamp: We wanted a little bit of metallic to pop off of the grey walls and the traditional dresser and chairs. These are simple enough that the space doesn’t get too fussy

13. Round Wood Mirror: She needed something above her dresser and we opted for a mirror which will help to bounce the light throughout the room. The dark wood frame also brings in the dark wood from the nightstands that sit on the opposite side of the room.

14. Existing Dresser: Pretty and classic, no need to change. 

15: Blue Throw: Simple, Blue, and brings some more of that indigo blue color into the room.

Breigh, thank you so much for donating to the shelter and I hope this quick mockup helps you towards the bedroom of your dreams.

If you are interested in a service like this check out our services page and fill out the questionnaire. For E-design we typically do a more involved plan (pricing, more options, and floorplans – see this post for an example). But we also do ‘Design Agony’ questions which is where we answer a question that you are desperate for help on (this could be finding a specific solution to a room like the right rug, paint color or coffee table). Pricing is based per challenge and quotes are given within two weeks (E-design starts at a $1500 service fee, Design Agony at $150). Our design team is working hard on these and we’ll have more to show you on the blog soon. xx

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  1. Cool plan for remodeling this bedroom! I love the mirrors and lamps you used! I also adore that gray cair and the pillows – wow! Great job!
    x M.

  2. It would be fun if you did a post on your suggestions and then followed it up with what they did. I love that type of thing- seeing what actually happens after the recommendations.

  3. Love the ideas for this room! Definitely think it’ll help lighten up the space and make it feel more like home.

    Josh | The Kentucky Gent

  4. Love, love, love this! I could read this kind of thing all day. I can picture those things in the room, and it will look gorgeous! Thanks for sharing! It’ll be great to see more examples of the e-services you offer!

  5. I love the remodel! Do you have a source to #15 by chance? I am rather fond of that throw. Thanks for such great content!

    1. The link for #15 in the post above takes you to the Threshold Stripe Throw at Target.

  6. Hi Emily!
    I LOVE this room! Especially the RH Roman Shades. Have you ever used them before? Is the quality up to par? They are beautiful and exactly what I’ve been looking for!!!! You rock!!!

  7. I’ve been loving u[holstered beds! We’re looking into redoing our master bedroom at some point this year and the first thing I want to switch out is our bed… and our Ikea dresser that’s falling apart that we got used 4 years ago.


  8. I enjoy seeing these real life mini makeovers! It is so nice to see how a limited number of strategic changes can bring something kinda cold and stiff into something inviting and homey. The rug and art are huge, love them! I take my inspiration from art and textiles too, love!

    As for turning the art piece the other direction: I was just at the Whitney Museum and in the notes on a piece by Jackson Pollack, they described how it had been originally hung (the 1st time it was exhibited by a museum) vertically, even though his signature indicated for it to be hung horizontally, but when they contacted the artist and told him it had been hung the other way he said it was okay. Interestingly, the museum, in preparing the piece to be hung for the current exhibit, hung it up vertically again, since that is how everyone who had ever seen it originally had seen it.

  9. I like your proposal Emily, especially this Persian inspired rug, it will definitely warm up the bedroom. For similar color palette and pattering of authentic antique Persian rugs visit: http://www.dorisleslieblau.com/antique-rugs/antique-persian-rugs

  10. What a stunning room! Love it.

    Anika | http://www.anikamay.co.uk

  11. I love her original dresser. And agree the shades are way to dark and graphic. Even just the new shades will make such a difference.

  12. Ah, the master bedroom, always a neglected spot in my house–too busy focusing on the rooms people see and my kids’ rooms, because who doesn’t love decorating a kid’s room? The master becomes almost a place for lost toys and lost laundry. However, we just bought a 4 poster bed from West Elm, but I totally dig the upholstered one here too.

    XX Anna of Analog House
    I love these pictures. I love England so much and spent several summers within a stone’s throw of Hampton Court, so I never went. Not sure when I’ll be back, but this will definitely be on the list. England looks so great even in the rain!

    XX Anna of Analog House

  13. The link for the chair goes to the throw–but I think I see the chair at Target–for a super-good price. This is a really helpful and inspiring post. It’s especially nice to have all those links. And I love the roman shades, but whoa, expensive!

  14. Love the ideas for the room, and that rug. I wish I could pull off rugs in my house.

    Id love to see a post about how to deal with extra large rooms. Like, twice the size of an average room. My bedroom fits a king bed, two side tables (wir so no need for a dresser) and a whole lounge suite and it still looks roomy. Agh.

  15. When I click on the category of a post from the blog page it takes me to a page that is blank with just “archive.php” on it.

  16. Love this board! Really like the combo of the rug, headboard and lamps. Thanks for posting!

  17. This is so helpful! I’m in the process of refreshing my bedroom as well. It’s amazing how such little touches can make a big difference!

  18. love these kinds of posts! keep ’em coming!

  19. Love the bed, but would like a different color – too much navy for me.

  20. Love this! Can’t wait to see the finished product!

  21. This looks great – It’s amazing how a few touches could make a room completely different!

  22. This is all beautiful. I really love the art and the rug. I’m a little bit of a scale freak though, and I was noticing the largest print size for that piece is 30×40. Since queen beds are about 60 inches wide, do you think a 40″ print is too small? Even with a frame, it will be 43″. That’s not even a 3:4 ratio. Just wondering your opinion as I would love this print in my guest room and you are the professional 😉

  23. Just wanted to say that I have been searching high and low for a blue velvet bed that felt like “me” and your suggestion above NAILED IT. Already purchased and am waiting longingly at the window until the postman arrives! As usual, love, love, love your design!

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  30. Hi Emily,
    I love the bed, but would like a different color – too much navy for me.
    Thank for share this awesome post.

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