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Old world meets modern; The Master Bedroom

There are bedrooms and then there are MASTER bedrooms. This is one of those. Maybe its the size, the amount of windows/light or maybe its the beauty of each antique piece – I don’t know. Maybe its the fact that once it’s obsessively styled and beautifully shot it is forever clean and just so perfect in my mind. I’m sure they don’t style the bed each morning and they probably have clothes laying on the bench at times, etc, but in my mind this bedroom always just feels like a pretty boutique hotel room in the South of France. And I want to go to there.

Shana, my client, has great taste and already had some pretty amazing pieces to work with. We just helped with the execution and pulled it all together (check out their living room and guest room)

When we met this room it looked like this:

shauna feste 1

Could be worse, obviously, but it was just big, blue and intense like 1997 prom dress, with less cleavage. We didn’t have to do anything structural to it – it needed to be painted, the floors need to be refinished and that was pretty much it.

shauna fest bedroom

We painted the walls ‘Swiss Coffee’ (a pretty warm white, that goes beige if you aren’t careful), and we painted the window frames that dark gray called ‘Deep Space’ (by Benjamin Moore). You might be surprised that I did that because generally I’m more of a fan of white frames and often painting window frames just creates big squares in the room. but these frames and mullions were wood and metal, and there were other dark wrought iron accents in the house (namely the living room and the upcoming dining nook) that simply wanted to be dark gray. I actually love how it broke up the space, accentuated the architecture and added drama.

We started decorating, by bringing in the pieces that she already had and supplementing with some new pieces. She makes me look VERY good because in this room in particular she had a lot of these pieces already. The bed is from Restoration hardware, and it is big and soft and jut so incredibly inviting, and the rug is a huge sisal that honestly I don’t remember where we purchased (maybe she already had it?). But everything else here is vintage or antique. So we started playing and playing.

shauna fest bedroom

Ready for a really sunny, bright new master bedroom? I rarely gush about my own work, but we just shot this last friday and going back into that room gave me a such a rush of calmness and pride. It’s just so big, warm, high-end and yet totally comfortable and laid back. It’s not the current style in my house but man, there is a huge part of me that wants to buy an old Hollywood Spanish-style house and get my old world on. Next house. Next house.

Click through to see the after …

shauna fest bedroom

There she is. It’s hard to go wrong with a room with 6 double windows, right? I think it works on a few different levels: The finishes are all warm and worn in, so while it is this beautiful high-end bedroom it doesn’t feel crazy luxe and pretentious. There is a good mix of warm tones – the light taupe walls, the wood flooring, the bedding, the theater seats, and cooler tones – the blues on the bed, the gray of the windows and the dark steel of the dresser. The french night stands are really delicate and feminine, and the dark dresser and the theater seats shake it up and keep it from going to girly.

shauna fest bedroom

Really this room is all about a simple neutral palette, with a healthy dose of darker tones and more modern things layered on top of it. Last time we shot it (for the book) it was completely neutral and I kinda loved that, too, but when we came back she had added those beautiful blue linens and I was obviously really happy.  For a neutral room it has a lot of soul – probably because the dresser, chair, side tables and theatre seating are all really worn and aged.

shauna fest bedroom

I found those lamps at Inheritance and man, I love them. Yes, they are planters. She admittedly (accidentally) kills them every couple of months but just replants them, and they add a lot of life to the room. And they are weird and every room needs a bit of weird.

I don’t know too much about French antiques but those nightstands are so ornate and beautiful, what with their caning and all. It’s just refreshing to work with people who are young and hip, but embrace old world antiques. Sure those pillows are clearly hip right now (I sound like a mom, so ‘hip’!), as is the industrial furniture, but the nightstand and the chair take everything into such an interesting direction and I think make this space look really unique, and still modern.

shauna fest bedroom

The dresser is from Big Daddy’s and it makes a pretty good case for aged steel. It’s just so indestructible and has so much character.

shauna fest bedroom

shauna fest bedroom

The theater seats were purchased off One Kings Lane. We played with them in a few different locations before deciding that this bedroom needed something to shake it up and add some edge. These speak to the industrial style of the dresser and media unit, and add warmth with the dark brown tone.

Plus clearly this massive tv needed some theater seats.

shauna fest bedroom

The old Emily wouldn’t have taken (or posted) this shot, but the new Emily (since I’ve had a home) is obsessed with showing all sides of the room because that’s what I want to see in magazines or other blogs. I think it bums photographers out because obviously this would never be in anyones portfolio, but its such good information. Tessa is always an amazing sport and she does a great job of capturing the whole room, tv wall and all.

In case you are thinking, ‘Why is there a huge TV in their bedroom?’, I’d like to remind you of two things: 1.they are both filmmakers, and 2. they chose to not have a TV in their formal living room. They have one in their basement, which is a playroom/family room, but this is where they hang and watch movies at night.

Meanwhile on the last side of the room you’ll see the entrance into the master bathroom, which I’ll get to later, but i’d like to be in there right now taking a bath.

shauna fest bedroom

That chair in the corner is funny because during the process there were days where I really wanted to recover it in a simple pretty linen – like a ticking stripe or a solid cream, but other days when I loved how original and old it was. This is one of those days. I think it adds a lot of age and soul into this room. I think when you have a beautiful bed, perfect drapery, matching side tables, etc, the room starts rushing towards ‘perfect’ really fast, and this quirky antique piece just does something really beautiful to the room.

shauna fest bedroom

shauna fest bedroom

Those linens!!! Just so pretty. The bedding is from Nickey Kehoe and the pillows are from Dekor – two of my favorite stores in LA.

Again, most of the pieces in the room are one of a kind, but there are a few items that are new and purchasable (in the ‘get the look’). Remember if you are going to for this look (especially the look for less) that anything too faux aged can be tricky and needs to be mixed with some actual antiques. I think that Wisteria, Restoration hardware and Pottery Barn all do ‘old world’ just fine, especially for large retailers, but getting an old world feel with only new pieces can be tricky (and can look tacky) to say the least so make sure you are mixing in a lot of antiques. They don’t have to literally be 19th century french, but even if they are just more rustic pretty American antique pieces, it will help the room feel more authentic, and give it more integrity and soul. And that’s my lecture for the day.

The only thing I would change is the ceiling fan. This was the one that the contractor already had purchased (probably left over from another job) and they installed it. We had intentions of upgrading it, but just kinda ran out of time (baby came) and will. Do I wish it was a beautiful ceiling fan? Sure, but its so not bad.

We pulled together a couple get the look boards for your viewing and shopping pleasure.


Get the Look Master Bedroom_Combined

Get the Look: Tufted Headboard | Sisal Rug | Nightstand | Table Lamp | Duvet Cover | Indigo Pillows | Metal Dresser | TV Storage Unit | Bench

Look for Less: Tufted Headboard | Sisal Rug | Nightstand | Table Lamp | Duvet Cover | Indigo Pillow| Herringbone Pillow | Metal Dresser | TV Storage Unit | Bench

master bedroom makeover

So, there’s the master bedroom – one of my favorites in all of the land. I’m still working on our bedroom (we’ve had some hiccups) and there are days when I just want to pack it up, crawl into this bed, slowly nudge them off of the bed, roll them down the hallway and put them to sleep in their guest room. I suppose I’d have to drug them first, but then that bedroom will be mine and I will sleep like a little french angel.

See the rest of the project here: Living Room, Reading Nook, Guest Bedroom, Dining Nook,  Kitchen, Nursery,  and Master Bathroom.

*All those beautiful photos are by the lovely Tessa Neustadt


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118 thoughts on “Old world meets modern; The Master Bedroom

  1. I LOVE the whole style of this and the peek into the bathroom looks awesome too. The theatre chairs are cool…but they look straight out of a horror movie. I’d be scared to wake up to 4 ghosts sitting at the end of my bed!

  2. I love that you show the whole room, tv wall and all. There will always be spots in my rooms that are more reflective of real life (i.e. time, kids, budget or lack thereof etc. etc.) than I’m happy about. I’m working on letting that go a bit. Creating takes time, which doesn’t always seem that way in blogland or social media. Thanks for keeping it real and sharing a gorgeous, relaxed, authentic space. It’s great inspiration and why I really enjoy your blog.

  3. Oh Emily, I sure appreciate these posts! You should ask the companies you mention for a share of the profit. I’ve been buying up- to “get the look”. Do you know where I can find the art piece above the bed, or the light fixture on the ceiling in the guest bedroom?

    1. I believe the sailboat print is available through 20×, in the vintage editions section.

  4. Ugh, I am DYING. I MUST have that dresser. This is an incredibly beautiful room. Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. This is just so stunning. I want to sleep there always and never leave. But seriously, you have a tremendous gift that is constantly inspiring me (just bought my first house and can’t wait to get my hands on it!) Keep making beautiful spaces, Ms. Henderson!

  6. Love this room, especially those dark windows that let in so much light! Plus all those vintage pieces are stunning. I actually have the same bed – I found it at the Restoration Hardware Outlet a couple year back without slats (an easy repair) for a steal. It’s lovely, but I’ve always had a hard time with how big and bulky it feels. This master bedroom gives me the idea to lighten up the paint and keep everything light and airy around it. Thanks for the awesome inspiration!

  7. I love that the window trim and the floor/crown molding are different colors. Is the molding ‘Swiss Coffee’ like the walls? What paint finish did you use on the walls and trim? Also, I really want those lamps! Most of the big furniture in the room is not my taste, but it all goes together beautifully.

  8. Thank you so much for showing the tv! My husband and I are finally decorating with “grownup” furniture, and it kills me that I can never find any shots that show how people style their tv furniture! In fact, I always thought rich fancy people just didn’t have tv’s until I realized House Beautiful just doesn’t show them.
    Also, I love the high/low feature, for the same reason. Grown up house, but our budget is still pretty adolescent!

  9. I love getting to see your design work, and I really, really love this house! Keep showing walking us through each room — I LOVE IT! And can’t wait to get a whole tour of the bathroom.

  10. I love that you included the TV shot and there is a ceiling fan! So helpful for people like me who want function that is beautiful! You are knocking it out of the park in 2015.

  11. You know it’s weird because I don’t like any of the individual furniture pieces (except the theater seats) but yet you made this room look beautiful. Seriously, this furniture in a regular old house, without your magic, would be blah to me. But, as always, you did an amazing job.

  12. Love the room, the high/low and the photos from all angles. The fan didn’t make me think what and for a fan (which is needed in CA if you don’t want a/c blasting or don’t have a/c as in my case) I don’t find it intrusive from the photos.
    Your new assistant has the cutest smile, with those little teeth showing, his photos are just so cute and perhaps show a little devil may care attitude.

  13. The room is gorgeous! I love seeing you take on a different style than your norm.

    Also I’m freaking out over those planter table lamps.

  14. I second the request for the trim/ceiling color. I can’t tell if they’re Swiss Coffee or not. I’ve been wanting to paint my two story tall walls white but have been wondering what to do with all the trim (there is a lot in the room). Beautiful room!

  15. Love this room! Out of curiosity, what ceiling fan would you put in there? I struggle with that in general – not crazy about ceiling fans in general, but love to have the windows open/fans on when the weather is nice.

    1. Yes, I’d also love to know what beautiful ceiling fans you would recommend! I’m also struggling with that.

    2. I love a ceiling fan, personally. Anything to keep from having the A/C blasting away all summer! Perhaps my standards are a bit low, but I kind of like that ceiling fan! They could do worse!

  16. Young + hip? Really? What about us funsters who are hipsters + oldsters, too?
    I just made up 3 words, but you get my point.
    Shout-out to all the gals “of a certain age” who are still trying to be hip!

  17. Emily, I love Swiss Coffee in this room. What did you mean by “it can go beige if you’re not careful”? As in, it will look beige if you pair it with stark white pieces?

  18. LOVE the light walls/ dark windows effect. It’s so classic and refined. But I’m wondering if it would work as well in a space with fewer windows. My 1924 master bedroom has similar windows – but 1.5 instead of 6. What do you think?

  19. AMAZING! Love this so much! Are the drapes custom? They are so polished. And sources for cheap rods that don’t look cheap?

  20. Tell us more about the pleated curtains pls!! Also maybe a curtain/window treatment post soon??

  21. It’s just so pretty. I’m glad you didn’t reupholster the chair, and I love seeing younger people who appreciate older pieces other than just mcm. Great mix as always, Emily!

  22. Would LOVE for you to do a post on “beautiful ceiling fans”. Do they exist? I have been looking for one for my living room for almost 2 years. Sigh.

  23. I’d love to know more about the curtains. Are they linen? Lined? I’m positive they’re custom and about the rods, too. The draperies totally frame the room and can’t imagine the room without all that fabric on the windows.

    A really great room Emily. Came together beautifully.


    1. I’d love to know where the rods are from too! I’m having the hardest time finding rods I like!

  24. The tray on top of the steel dresser really took my breath away. And although this room isn’t at all my style, the post is such a great read because I am learning from your process. Thanks, Emily!

  25. I would LOVE to know the paint colour used in the bathroom? The bathroom is not mentioned in the list of upcoming posts from this house and I love that colour!

  26. i love these get the look/look for less entries! i’ve been wearing for a new dresser with mirror but have only been looking for wood. i never thought about metal! then again i just got a grey iron bed so maybe wood would go better…

    anyways, it does look very warm and cozy. and it definitely goes well with the living room and guest room. i love all the touches of blue throughout the house.

  27. Wow! Such a gorgeous grown up room! That dresser makes me want to strip my painted metal hospital cabinet back to it’s natural state (in fact I’m totally adding that to my list). Cant wait to find out what colour you used in the bathroom – looks perfect for my living room! Excited and inspired as always.

  28. I LOVE this bedroom! I have always wanted antique theatre chairs and you used them in such a fantastic way! Love it!

  29. Looks gorgeous! Posting resources must get so time consuming sorry but could you please tell me where you got the beach photo in the bath?

  30. I love the theatre seating. The company I work for deconstructs old buildings and we recently did an old school auditorium. It has some of the most unique theatre seating that was surprisingly in good condition! Oh I so wish I had a space for them in my house!!!

  31. Thanks for sharing Emily! While this isn’t exactly “my style”, I LOVE seeing you design rooms that are not the traditional LA mid-century as you put it. Even more, I think it’s so great that when I see this room, it still has the Emily Henderson signature. Thanks for putting together a great post… I know these are long one and take a lot of time to compile!

  32. This has got to be one of my favorite rooms of yours ever!!! That’s a bold statement because I love them all, but this really is such a beauty!! And thank you SO much for sharing the TV shot! I’m currently trying to figure out the furniture arrangement for the TV wall in my living room, (it’s a very small apartment, so an entry table, TV console, and bookcase all need to share a wall, and I don’t want it to look like a police lineup of random furniture, or for the bookcase on one side to feel too visually heavy and off balanced…), and it’s a real challenge to find photos that show the TV! I get it, TVs are not pretty, but I really appreciate you sharing!!

  33. Where can I find a blue throw blanket like this? Or can you recommend what search terms I should be using on etsy and ebay for this look? I’ve been searching for indigo kantha quilts, but that’s not quite what I want.

  34. Can you please share info on the white framed print that’s in the bathroom? I’ve been searching for something just like it for a while now!

    1. I’m wondering about the bathroom print too; been looking around for something just like it! Emily and team, would you please let us know?!

  35. Dearest Emily, my hero;

    Thank you for showing every wall! It’s good to see the more utilitarian side, as it informs how the room is really lived in (and makes me feel better for having a 40″ flatscreen in my own bedroom). I know you’re feeling remorse over the fan, however it doesn’t look so out of place in the photo. The color of the wood blades and the industrial edge of the light fixture seem to relate to the other masculine elements of the room. But overall..Oof, so good. So, so good.

  36. I love that your “get the look” has both high end and a more affordable option. Fantastic new feature of these kinds of posts. At least I think it’s new?

  37. Thank you Emily! I have very similar theater seats that I didn’t know what to do with. I originally purchased them (for $200!) at an auction with the thought of having them be outdoor seating. I varnished and varnished, but they did not become weatherproof…

    But this is a genious idea!

  38. Beautiful quirky mix! I like the mention of not going TOO perfect.

    What color is the floor stain? We have same tiger striped oak floors and they’re too honey – gotta fix that! It’s my 2015 goal to finally erase all honey oak from our house. I want to go dark on the floor so the grain doesn’t attract attention. Love the floors here!

  39. If you hadn’t mentioned the ceiling fan I never would have noticed it.. Like there is so much to feast your eyes on here that the fan just blends nicely into the background. On closer inspection, I thought it looked like a handsome little fan but then what do I know. Dang this room is amazeballs.

  40. Thank you for showing the whole room! So helpful. It helps give us regular people an idea of how furniture should be placed. It’s easy enough (haha) to decorate a corner but a whole room?! No clue. Photos from every angle really helps. And ideas for a livable space, which means TVs in the room!

  41. Emily, This room is gorgeous! Is it too soon to ask for the wall color in the bathroom? I’m painting this weekend and it looks like that might be a contender.

  42. The room is lovely, but I have to say those chairs at the edge of the bed are really strange. Firstly, they’re ugly and hard-looking, and secondly, who are the four people that who will sit in the bedroom to watch TV? Just weird.

  43. I bow to you Emily,you killed it with this warm inviting and “hip” bedroom.Those lamps and theatre seats are surprising and fun! Thanks (again)for the inspiration.

  44. Love the dresser and mix of old things in with the new. Not a fan of the theatre seating at the end of the bed — to me it looks choppy and cluttered, just calling out for flung sweaters, unfolded laundry, handbags and whatnot. Four individual walled spaces to support clutter! I get that they opted for no TV in the main living area, but if they are watching in the bedroom, they are probably in bed, no? Guests would not be likely to join them in the additional seating… Maybe I am a super minimalist, but a clean, streamlined bench (or nothing!) would have been better at the end of the bed. Plus, NO TV IN THE BEDROOM EVER, which is for sleeping and sex. But that’s just my rule. I do appreciate showing the ceiling (gotta have what it takes for the climate) and every side, even the less-than-glorious ones.

  45. Simply stunning. If I ever make it big, I’m hiring you to do my house.

    Once again, thanks for the get the look/look for less part of the post. I love that!

  46. I have been thinking of those bathroom tiles since you sneak peaked them MONTHS Ago! I can’t wait to see it. You did such a beautiful job with this room, this is the second time I’m coming back to peruse the photos 🙂

  47. I appreciate that you show us all sides of the room, tv included! I’m always curious as to where people put their tvs when rooms are redesigned. I know it’s not the sexiest aspect but it’s realistic. The bedroom looks beautiful! I love all the windows, the bed, that awesome metal dresser. It’s great. I was so curious about the bathroom though. I don’t know if you style bathrooms but that’s one room I’m always like…ok how do we make this pretty?

  48. I want those windows! Ours has two tiny ones that don’t let in much light, and then two other ones that look out on the patio – again, not a ton of light. Our room is navy right now, but I’m considering going back to white with blue decor… this helps me visualize it since our layout is the same. You nailed it. As usual.

  49. Hi! Beautiful, but just an humble suggestion to make it even more beautiful regarding the tv wall. I would put a big darkish/blue-ish oil painting (ocean scenery etc) behind the tv to kind of having it not pop out so much. Or other option could be wallpapering the wall behind the tv with a wallpaper with large-scale pattern in blue/grey.

  50. Please promise me you’ll still be working in 10 years – I promise to buy a freakishly awesome house (with amazing windows like this one, oh my) just so you can do your magic.
    You can do no wrong.

  51. I am loving these “get the look/look for less posts”! Thank you for always posting the sources for your designs also; I enjoy knowing where to get the pieces for my own home.

  52. I’m also curious about the paint color in the bathroom. It’s not Vapor Trails by Ben Moore, is it?

  53. what do you mean swiss coffee bedroom paint will go “beige” if not careful? I am getting ready to paint my living room swiss coffee or the next color up ‘halo’ and curious. room is great! thanks.

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