Renovation Planning: The Master Bedroom

We are in the quoting phase of our upcoming addition, which is the least fun part in my opinion.  Spending tens of thousands of dollars on things like insulation, pipes and shingles isn’t as exciting as say, designing your new master bedroom. Not that I’ll have any money left after building this thing and will probably be sleeping on an Aero bed on the floor, but a girl can dream! We all need to have goals, right? :)

I’ve been so drawn to white, neutral and very California feeling bedrooms as of late.  My entire house is more grey, black and white so I kind of want to make this space a little different in my return to TAN and smidge of warmth. I know, tan! I feel like it’s become the forgotten step-sister of the insanely popular grey but I’m thinking it’s time to bring it back into my repertoire.  This room has the feel of what I’m imagining… natural and bright, not too formal but not too casual either….


My ideal bed would a mix of the one below on my board with a limed wood frame, except with an upholstered headboard in linen or white leather like this one from Bernhardt.  A custom bed isn’t exactly in the cards here, but maybe some manufacturer is reading and will make one like this I can buy!


Here’s what I’m thinking- light tan/taupe walls, print drapes, lacquer side tables, marble lamps and hints of brass…. oh, and a large print of Paris on lucite panel to wake up to every morning!



1. //  (drapes) 2. // 3. // 4. // 5. // 6. Sherwin Williams White Heron // (window seat) 7. // 8. // 9. // 10. // 11. // 12. // 13. // 14. pillow made of moroccan wedding blanket // 15.

My two IDEAL drape fabrics would be this Peter Dunham or Christopher Farr Cloth but at $100+ per yard and five widows to dress, that just ain’t happenin’ unless I sell 100,000 copies of my book. So this Lacefield block print may be the answer- a similar look for much less!

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  1. Erin-I love the direction in which you are going for you master! I have the Cabrillo nail head chest in my master; we use it as my husband’s night stand. If you haven’t seen it in person, you’re in for a treat. Love it! Can’t wait to read all about the addition and its transformation!

  2. Erin,
    You should consider the Jonathan Adler Happy Chic Bleeker bed at JCP. It is on super clearance from $3,020 to $905 for a KING! The lines are very similar to the bed from Anthro that you have above. You could easily rub some white wax on it to give it the finish you want. I am considering buying it for my next house when I move in with my fiance. I don’t think I could even fit it up the stairs of my current tiny house but its such a good deal it seems like a good “for the future” purchase.

  3. Erin, what about making light blocking fabric shades out of the Peter Dunham and side panels out of an inexpensive solid linen? The medallion design would be fab in a shade.

  4. The Basil flush mount is gorgeous, but heads up – I tried to use that in my master a few years ago and it’s honestly a lot smaller than it looks (because of the quatrefoil shape). It also doesn’t throw off much light. I ended up switching it out with Alexa Hampton’s Audrey flush mount, it doesn’t look much larger but it’s a noticeable difference in person!

  5. Cry me a river…..most people can’t do any renovations and furnish a whole house when they move in much less add on and spend thousands more on an addition.

  6. i love your inspiration board! the room is going to be light and airy and very comfortable! i have my eye on those side tables but i need to find a cheaper option! xo jillian – cornflake dreams

  7. Pam- Was I complaining? Nope. I was simply talking honestly about the costs of renovations. I’m delighted to have worked hard enough to earn the money to pay for this myself and am not sorry for my success, thank you very much.

  8. I’m looking at Peter Dunham for my bedroom.
    Just noticed your new photo–you’re a hottie! You’re a trifecta; lovely, smart and talented.

  9. We have a moroccan wedding blanket and even though my husband calls it “the worst blanket ever” (due to noise and general carpetness) I absolutely LOVE it! I highly, highly recommend getting one!

  10. I used a Candice Olson bedroom design to create my master bedroom and it is also tans, neutrals, dark wood and a very light blue accent. It is so calming and our bedroom is a refuge from very busy lives. Your mood changes when you walk in there. I seriously encourage you to have a sitting area in your bedroom if you can swing it in terms of space. Ours has become a fantastic intimate living room for my husband and I. It is our favorite space in the house!

  11. Love the bedroom design. I have been coveting that flush mount light for quite sometime!! However, it’s not in my budget.
    Erin, do you of places that I could shop for that light fixture but at a little lower price point?

  12. On the lighting, I have 2 large Basil flush mounts in my second floor landing/hall and, at 180w, I do think a single fixture would provide adequate overhead light for a bedroom. I am in Newton – you can email me and come look! Honestly, those flush mounts are two of my favorite light fixtures in the house – I am positively happy every time I see them. Which is every day. Your bedroom is going to be gorgeous!

  13. Erin, Brass sea urchin wall sculptures at Target for $19.99. Hung high on the wall no one can tell and it will save you $130 for all those other fun things on your list.

  14. Erin, I’ll bet’cha 10 bucks that you could take that Anthro bed and have a custom upholstered panel made to fit the headboard. Design it so that it is easy enough to remove to re-upholster when you want to change up the fabric. Love your blog, love your creativity, love your honesty. You nail it every time.

  15. Have you looked at the Louisa Metal Canopy Bed with the upholstered sections on the Ballard Designs website? (Was there looking at that Paneled Party Tablecloth you mentioned, and saw it). It looks like a very close match to what you are looking for. I love it in the Laguna Khaki, Nomad,or Malibu Fog but you can do your own fabric, of course. The Kenyan Gray, Tanzania Flax, or Zebra Neutral would all be pretty smashing for those wanting a bit more bold- very Rose Cummings Zebrine! (Know you love some animal print!)

  16. Your reply to Pam was no less insensitive that her question was rude. You don’t have to apologize for your success but you could be a little more thoughtful and empathetic to people that might not be as privileged as you are. I would guess there are a lot of people that work much harder than you and just scrape by to provide for their families. Most, I bet, could never even dream of buying a home in Newton, or anywhere for that matter.

  17. Geez, I knew there would be some type of comeback. Are you always so defensive? I applaud your hardwork and success and there really isn’t a need to apologize. I think it’s great that you’ve had such an amazing career, but you don’t ever seem satisfied with what you’ve been blessed with. For example, the bed. Is there ever and end to wanting more, more, more? All I meant was that some people can’t do all that you’ve done….move into a house and fully furnish and customize everything then move on to a huge renovation. Sorry that you were offended. Some of us find that hard to relate to, but it’s also fun to live through you.I enjoyed following your renovations and I’m sure I will with this one too.

  18. PAM…People in creative professions are always coming up with new ideas and striving to invent, reinvent and just plain create, create, create! It’s not necessarily being disatified as much as desire the continually push the boundaries and come up with new ideas. Just MY perspective on the creative process and how it might be misinterpreted.

  19. Erin -Re: Pam’s comment. She’s right that most people, hard work or not, would not be able to afford your lifestyle. But, in addition to great talent and much hard work, you’re privileged to have a family that provided well for you and offered educational and other opportunities that such privilege allows. I’m fortunate in that way too, as are my kids. I hope as a parent I have instilled good values in them and an appreciation of how lucky they are. I’m proud of them especially when they give back. I suspect you are well aware of your advantages and have compassion for those who struggle. But the reality of your life is that you’ve worked and you’ve succeeded. And nobody should try to take that sense of pride in your achievements away. Can’t wait to see the renovation!

  20. Oye. What is it about the anonymity of the Internet that causes people to say things that would never be appropriate in polite conversation?
    Seriously ladies, if you have a problem with Erin’s addition plans or lifestyle or “privileges” go read someone else’s blog. Or better yet, focus on your OWN life and possibly try cultivating some gratitude for what you have and stop hating on people whose circumstances are different than yours! (And yes, I’m fully aware that some will argue that by writing a blog for public consumption Erin is somehow opening herself up to your unsolicited opinions and petty jealousy… I still wish you’d all say something nice or say nothing at all!)
    Bottom line is, this is ERIN’S life and blog and you have a choice to hang out here and read it or to move on. If you don’t like how she spends her money or how much of it she has or even if you think you know where it comes from, (not that it’s any of your business….) move along.
    She’s classy enough to essentially ignore your poor manners, try to take the hint, hmm?

  21. My comments were not meant to be presumptuous nor critical so I hope they were not taken that way. I was merely trying to state my position on “privilege” because it had been mentioned earlier by someone else. I thought this blog entry was pretty benign(discussion of renovation/addition plans) and never would have engendered negative comments about lifestyle or good fortune or the like. Once they started, I wanted to make my opinion known. I regret that I did because I think it may have been misunderstood. I’m a faithful blog follower and have huge admiration for Erin’s accomplishments. She should enjoy her success to the fullest.

  22. No no, not you at all Susan. :) I should have clarified, I guess I used your wording because the priveledge you so well described obviously blinds some others with jealousy and brings out small thoughts.
    You are spot on that Erin’s accomplishments and success are admirable. :)

  23. Hey, let’s all get back to how amazing these inspiration images look, shall we? I love the lightness and brightness of the look you’ve created, and I love how warm it feels while maintaining a modern edge. Do you ever shop at Duralee? Maybe some of the John Robshaw prints could work for the window treatments. So excited to see where this goes!

  24. Thanks for sharing Erin, it is always great to hear and see your ideas and I like when others share their experience with certain products or offer suggestions on alternative products, helps me broaden my perspective and think what could work in my house at a variety of price levels and looks.

  25. Erin, a dream custom bed is right up our alley! I believe you know about but we are based in Cambridge, MA and are an online marketplace matching people just like you (or even those who aren’t lucky enough to be professional designers) with talented craftspeople who can bring their idea to life. Let me know if you’d like to talk about making that bed. Warmly, Megan

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