Room inspiration can come when you least expect it. In this case, our bedroom design started with sea gulls. Yup, much to the chagrin of my husband (who calls them garbage birds)… I spotted a beautiful bird painting in the clearance aisle at Hobby Lobby. Just looking at it made me happy. It was like going to the beach without leaving the store. Plus, it was just $23! Why not start a room with that?
I am notorious for kicking off a design project, saying… “I’ll paint something for that wall.” It never happens! Instead, I spend years looking for the right art to finish my space. Thankfully, this time around, I was able to elevate my spare bedroom design by beginning with a great inspiration piece.
The next major design choice was the paint color. I wanted something bold and dramatic to complement the watery tones of the artwork. Usually, I opt for light and bright wall colors. However, this room has tons of natural light with its three big bay windows. I knew it could handle a dark color.
Eventually, I settled on Hampton Surf by Behr. The beautiful shade offered just enough impact without overwhelming the space. ***Helpful hint: When looking at paint swatches, take the chip, fold it in half, then hold it up to the light to examine it. This will mimic room corners and give you a better sense of what the color will look like on your wall.***
The first DIY touch I want to talk about is my “headboard” of sorts. It’s actually a tri-folding screen I picked up on sale at World Market many years ago. At the time, I was looking for a headboard with height and drama. Unfortunately, anything that fit that criteria was way out of my budget. The carved wood screen checked all the right boxes and I loved its eye-catching detail. The piece was originally a dark wood, like this one. I used it that way in several bedrooms, but spray painted it white for this space. It creates such beautiful contrast against the dark walls. Here are a few similar styles.
Next up, bedding. I wanted a layered, textural look. To allow the wall color to shine, I stuck with white and picked up this gorgeous raw-edge quilt. The detailing reminds me of waves and the asymmetry of the design adds a lot of interest. It looks luxurious and expensive, but is actually quite affordable. It just needed a few finishing touches. Enter the pom-pom bed skirt and a few toss pillows!
I first spotted the idea in a Ballard Designs catalog. The design was swoon-worthy, but I just couldn’t stomach paying $89 for a bed skirt. Talk about a budget-buster! Instead, I decided to get crafty.
I scooped up a simple bed skirt for $15 at Target, then headed to the fabric store for trim. Hobby Lobby was having a great sale, so I got the yardage I needed for around $3 (give yourself a little extra to allow for mistakes). The trim is a bit tricky to sew on, but once you reduce the tension on your sewing machine, you can have a custom bed skirt in under half an hour. Furthermore, you can customize! Like a burlap edge? Tassel detailing? The sky is the limit!
For those who prefer a ready-made option, Wayfair has a pom pom bedskirt for around $40 and there’s an Amazon option for $20. I might have gone this route to save time, but only found these pieces now.
Finally, let’s give new life to a few old furniture items! I repainted a pair of dressers that have been in our family for years. My parents found them abandoned in the garage of our cottage. They were in my bedroom as a kid, our master bedroom when we first got married and now look good-as-new with a fresh coat of white. Painting furniture takes a bit of elbow grease, but is infinitely more satisfying that buying new! You can find many beautiful dressers at consignment shops.
I finished off the dresser top with a cluster of decorative vases in varying heights and a glass bead lamp. When styling your room, it’s helpful to remember the rule of threes (three objects carry more visual impact than a single item or even-numbered groupings).
We also repainted a beautiful mirror we purchased for $1 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire surplus store. ***Fun fact: Most universities have a surplus store where you can buy a variety of items, including furniture, at rock-bottom prices.*** It takes some digging, but you can find real treasures! Usually, these stores are open to the public one day per week.