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Before and After: A Bedroom Retreat

Updated: Sep 22, 2022

For those of you who have been following along on Instagram, you know that this summer we took on the Judkins House second-floor reno. The term "fixer-upper" was coined for a house like this. We had crumbling plaster, damage from previous water issues, and atrocious color combos. I had been DYING to get my paws on these rooms, and with baby J on the way, the time was now!

The back bedroom was especially bad with its bubble gum-pink paneling, but the bones were all there. The ceiling detailing, fireplace, and eaves just begging to be turned into closets were the making for a perfect bedroom retreat. We had decided early on that we would live in our front bedroom (the only respectable one in the house) but move to this back bedroom once we could do the necessary work. Just to give you a sense of the "before," here is the listing photo from when we bought the house...yikes!

In thinking about this space, we wanted to take advantage of the flat roof off to the left of this room for an ensuite bathroom. Unfortunately, that project wasn't in the cards for us right now, so we decided to leave the general bones of the room (windows, etc.) as is until we're ready to tackle that. We did opt to open up the original fireplace and take advantage of the eaves space on either side of it for "his" and "hers" closets.

As my handy husband, Ryan, began demo, we were pleasantly surprised to find the fireplace in good shape, but a new mantle was for sure in order. The biggest conundrum was the closet doors. As you can see in the photo above we had an existing door to the right of the fireplace, but would need two more for the left-side closet. After checking a few architectural-salvage options and coming up empty handed and getting a quote for a custom option ($1250!), Ryan decided he would take on building these doors. No small feat, that's for sure!

He, as always, came through with these double doors to match the circa-1850 ones that were already in place. The new mantle he built isn't too shabby either! Once it all got a fresh coat of paint, you really couldn't tell where the old architecture stopped and the new began.

In terms of furnishing the space, I almost entirely started from scratch. We kept our existing duvet cover and are making do with an old, slightly wonky dresser until I can find an investment piece we love. That said, the EQ3 oak bed frame is brand new, and I can't tell you how much I love it. It's simple in design and low to the ground, which makes it look and feel more proportionate in this room with its low ceilings.

I opted for these black nightstands topped with Target table lamps to add texture and interest, and the area rug ties in a more muted version of the the blues and reds from the rug in my office across the hall. I wanted this space to feel serene and yet still be loaded with my signature layers of texture and color.

The window treatments were the final addition to bring the whole design together. Linen-look curtains and simple rods finish off the room perfectly. Bringing them all the way to the ceiling and having them pool on the floor gives the illusion that our seven-foot ceilings are much taller than they are. The only problem to solve for was the singular, off-center window behind the bed. I chose to center the window treatments on the headboard to create symmetry on that wall. We'll revisit window placement once we add the ensuite bathroom, but for now this fix works just fine.

I can't tell you how much we've enjoyed this new space. I think many of us are guilty of focusing our design dollars on common areas in the home and putting our own personal spaces at the bottom of the list. However, when you opt to invest a little in these rooms, it gives you that much-needed retreat to rest and relax so you can be your best self for everyone around you. If you'd like to give your bedroom a zhuzh, shoot me a note! I'd love to help create the haven of your dreams!

Some product links in my posts may provide me with a commission upon purchase. This does not affect the cost to you, but is hugely helpful to me as a small business. I appreciate your support!


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Hi there! My name is Erin and I'm the owner of Erin Davis Design, a virtual interior design firm founded in 2017. Here on my blog I serve up tips for creating a home that's functional, beautiful, and right on budget. I hope you'll cozy up on your sofa and stay awhile! 

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