From Dark Cave to Bright Retreat - A Primary Bedroom Reveal

This bedroom will go down as one of my absolute favorite transformations in my career! We actually finished installing this space just before the lockdowns took effect in March, so we had to wait a few months before we were able to photograph it to share here. There's quite a bit to point out throughout this project, so settle in friends! Let's take a little tour through this cavern turned oasis. But first, a before...

Let's face it, when prioritizing spaces to decorate in one's home, the primary bedroom often gets the least amount of love and attention. In case you're wondering why, think about it... no one else will really see it. When company comes over, they're usually hanging out in the kitchen, living room, or dining room.

Like most people, these clients wanted to start with the spaces that people see first and foremost when they enter a home. Indeed, we worked together on all of their downstairs living and dining areas first, making each space beautiful and comfortable in their own right before we moved upstairs. Once the rest of the house was designed and completed, there was no doubt that their primary bedroom really felt out of place and our clients were beyond ready for a new space to enjoy.

Our clients purchased their bedroom furniture when they were first married, and brought it with them when they moved into their custom new home. But as you can see, their existing furniture made the room feel very dark and heavy, and the smokey blue gray wall color didn't help with that feeling...

and my favorite part...the after...

Dark cave no more!! I bet you just exhaled and's such a calming space now. If you're wondering how to make a space feel brighter and bigger, obviously a change in wall color will help tremendously, but you should also know that a lighter color will never come to life in a dark room. (I'm passionate about finding the perfect paint color for a space, can you tell?) In this room we decided to go all white...walls, trim, the base palette of our design concept in part because of all the natural light.

Note that the new custom draperies are a similar tone to the wall color, as well as the upholstered channel bed. If the largest visual portions of a bedroom are similar in light tone (walls, drapes, and bed), the room will feel twice as large instantly! We also replaced the carpet with a lower pile, neutral toned carpet to keep the entire room open and airy, while adding texture and of course, softness underfoot.

The beautiful blue chairs you see above used to be downstairs, upholstered in a bright coral patterned fabric. While they might have been fine in a beach house, they just didn't feel right in this suburban Houston home. BUT, the chairs were super comfortable, and I really believe in reusing a good quality piece and fixing what might be wrong with them. The seat depth worked really well for both the tall husband, and his wife who likes curling her feet up to read or watch TV in those chairs as well. So we decided to move them upstairs and had them reupholstered in a beautiful blue performance velvet.

Now let's talk about the bed... which to me is the most important part of a bedroom. With that gorgeous vaulted ceiling I knew I wanted to go high on the headboard. We chose a {very} tall custom channel back upholstered bed in a gorgeous performance fabric. As much as this is an owner's retreat, their bedroom becomes home base when the kids are sick, and the dogs are in here as well, so the bed needed to be able to stand up to a lot of traffic over time. When someone isn't feeling well, they can draw the blackout lined draperies closed, plus the dogs safely hide out in here during lightning storms.

In addition to the new custom drapery panels, we added cordless natural grass blinds (it's all about the layers y'all) in the windows. I always recommend cordless for clients with kids and pets. These clients loved the functionality of cordless, even though their kids are older, as it allows their dogs to be able to see out into their gorgeous backyard without the worry of tangled cords. (Kicking myself that I didn't think to take a picture of their two awesome pups).

Storage was important to them, and with this Texas sized room, we were able to follow one of my favorite sayings: "Go big or stay home." We opted for custom nightstands with a larger than normal footprint, plus different storage options on opposite sides of the bed (multiple drawers for out of sight storage versus one drawer and an open shelf {great for bibliophiles}). The asymmetrical wall shelving gave them both areas to showcase photos and items that they love, and adds to the overall laid-back vibe of the room.

To bring in the blues and leathery caramel colors we used throughout the house, we chose this beautiful vintage looking rug to ground the space, and add to the layered, luxurious retreat we were going for. These clients wanted to walk into their bedroom feeling like they were entering a luxury hotel room, and they now tell me it's their favorite room of the house! My client shared with me that her husband often goes up to relax up here after dinner, and that's really the measure of a room's success, right? Husband approved, check check.

The leather bench at the end of the bed is a great perch to sit down for a second, but also serves as a stepping stone for the kids and pups. As you can see, we carried the pops of color from the area rug up onto the bed with the addition of these gorgeous throw pillows.

This project is a perfect example of blending quality pieces you love (and can change) with new pieces that together create the the look and feel you want for the room you spend at least a third of your life in. Bonus: their old furniture was passed on to a family that was so excited to get 'new to them' pieces for their bedroom, so everyone made out pretty well here!

What was your favorite upgrade in this primary bedroom? Let us know in the comments!

Nancy Lane Interiors is a residential interior design firm in Houston, TX. We specialize in helping busy families and professionals solve their design dilemmas. Our client-centric systems and design services work to translate who you are, what you love, and how you live as we transform your home so you can love where you live. 
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