I recently shared the reveal of my mid-century meets coastal bedroom makeover, so I thought it would be fun to look back and see how this bedroom has evolved in nearly a decade. We bought this house in 2013 and my style has changed a bit since our days of living in the townhouse (although I still have a passion for white walls, mid-century modern, and interesting art). But I have always tried to shop the house and re-purpose as much as I can, shuffling decor, furniture, and draperies from room to room – and even between my Mom’s house and mine. I’d love to hear which version was your favorite, in the comments!
The Bedroom – Before:
Here’s what the bedroom looked like when we first saw the house, with the former owner’s contents. That window was pretty small back then, so I think they might have had a queen sized – or even a double? – bed, whereas we moved our king sized bed into the space.
2013 – Blank Canvas:
When we moved in, the first thing we did was paint the walls and trim white. Then we simply filled the bedroom with furniture we had from our former townhouse – with the addition of a dresser from my Mom (a placeholder until we found a pair we liked). Although we already owned everything, it felt new to us because some things had shuffled from where they had lived in our former townhouse. The chair, a vintage find I had recovered, and the table, a vintage piece my grandma gave me, had both lived in the guest room in the townhouse. The vintage poster art, which I had brought back from Hungary, had lived in the kitchen.
The headboard and nightstand were designed by me and welded by my grandfather back in 2007. The bed skirt and bedding were fairly new at this time: I had bought them two years prior, when I gave our townhouse bedroom a little spruce. That’s also when my Mom and I had sewed those pretty green silk pillows. I think this version was sweet and happy – and especially comforting, after disaster that was the townhouse sale.
A year later, we decided we finally needed some privacy, so I bought a new white curtain rod and my Mom and I sewed DIY back tab drapes. After loving neutral curtains and sheers in the townhouse, I wanted to find a fabric that matched the vintage poster art and try colorful curtains. But it was a struggle to find the perfect fabric from my city’s small selection. I wasn’t really into ordering online back then – especially fabric. But I was tired of neighbors leering in the windows, so I finally chose this teal print fabric. In real life it matched the middle poster very well. In hindsight, I should have just chosen a nice and simple white, but I really wanted a pop of color because the walls, ceilings, and bedding were all white. The pattern didn’t pair well with the green chair, so a black one that used to live in the townhouse office moved into the bedroom.
In 2015, I switched up the poster art: I sold the middle poster and purchased a different one I had liked while we were in Hungary. I hadn’t planned on hanging all three together when I first bought them, but I loved the scale of three together, so I finally bought one that looked better in that arrangement. This switch made me happy but, of course, the printed teal curtains no longer worked! I moved them to the office, but eventually sold them. Unable to find the perfect fabric locally, I finally ordered some fabric samples online and bought bold green tweed fabric for new DIY back tab curtains. This time, I seriously considered white tweed, but the shade of green was TOO perfect – it was an exact match. So I went with a bold color again. At this time, I partnered with a furniture company so I finally got new dressers! They were supposed to be grey stained cherry, but ended up being a very dark espresso.
The brand partnership sparked a mini bedroom makeover, so along with new poster art, curtains, and dressers, this is the same year we made beautiful, modern walnut storage boxes for the open, glass shelved night stands my grandpa had welded us, painted new art for either side of the bed, and FINALLY got new closet doors for the bedroom (we had removed the old old broken glass ones back in 2013!)
Two year after the mini makeover, I was still loving the look but really tired of the bed skirt. Szuka loved leaning against it, so it had a permanent dent and just collected dust and (her) butt fluff. So we built a new walnut bed frame to match the welded headboard. I really leaned into the mid-century vibe with this new bed. I also upgraded our duvet cover and shams (same theme: white and textured), and splurged on a new wool throw. I was craving more layered textures and loved the combo of the tweed, textured bedding, wool throw, silk pillows…
In 2018, the bedroom received an unexpected mini refresh again! Unfortunately, Hubby’s grandpa passed away this year. We inherited 5 new pieces of his artwork and, with a very small space and limited walls, my vintage poster art was given to my Mom to make room for the new paintings we brought home. We decided to hang a new painting above the dressers, beside one we already owned (that had lived elsewhere in the house). The new piece we chose was ethereal and light, so the bold, MCM vibe of the bedroom gave way to a more peaceful, muted pastel aesthetic. I moved turquoise tweed curtains we had sewn for the office into the bedroom, and softened the art I had made for either side of the bed. Hanging another new painting in the dining also meant I had to get smaller lamp shades for the credenza lamps, so I used the larger shades in here – I was so tired of dusting the formerly black lamp shades, anyway! My Mom and I sewed new gathered silk pillows, using leftover silk from my wedding dress and framed Hungarian embroidery, to complete the softer look.
By 2019, we had replaced the windows throughout the house, so the bedroom now had a stunning new window. The old curtain rod – and DIY back tab drapes – no longer fit. After the window wall was patched, I couldn’t get the same white paint and, with no energy to repaint the entire room, I just painted the window wall a soft green. We splurged on new custom blinds and installed a bubble light I had thrifted for $20. I also replaced my DIY art with framed antique post cards featuring Lake Superior (displaced from the living room after we built the TV bump out and installed the new speakers).
In 2019, I swung back toward craving more saturated color and made a couple of bold, ice dyed throws to add some more vibrant color to the bedroom.
The next year, I partnered with a rug company and added a vintage, overdyed rug to the space. I had always felt sort of “meh” about rugs, as you might have noticed. I have allergies and dogs, so I have just really loved unadorned, easy to clean floors. But this rug was a stunner and I realized that it made our beautiful DIY walnut bed more of a focal point. Without the rug, it sort of blended into the wood floors. I shopped the house and stole some velvet throw pillows we had sewn for the living room. I loved this more monochromatic look and it felt good to have more color in the bedroom again.
Emboldened by the teal overdyed rug, and how much I loved it in the bedroom, I plotted a new makeover, featuring a bold, “tie dyed” mural, coastal striped linen bedding and white linen drapes. I had a really “coastal meets mcm” vibe in my head. At first I really like it, but the mural, while gorgeous, ultimately overwhelmed the small space and a mismatch of one of the seams eventually drove me bonkers.
Six months later, I removed the mural and installed a softer, more elegant wallpaper. With a soft, beach glass colored background and stylized seagulls, this wallpaper set the tone for the latest bedroom makeover: soft, airy, coastal – and more sophisticated. I loved the wallpaper with the existing elements: the overdyed rug, the striped linen bedding, the DIY bed, and the artwork by Hubby’s grandpa. But the pale green wall competed with the wallpaper, so I finally re-painted it white. I splurged on a custom curtain rod and my Mom and I sewed luxurious, wall to wall linen drapes with a Euro pleat. Finally – white curtains! We also sewed new linen throw pillows – including Euro shams! After years of buying matching duvet covers and shams, 2021 was the year I decided to mix and match my bedding, for a more laid back look.
We also finally replaced the dark espresso dressers. Sadly, my grandmother passed away and I inherited her vintage set. As you know, acquiring those is actually what set this final bedroom makeover into motion: I wanted the dressers to have a beautiful space, reflecting how special they are to me.
Over the years, I have loved every version of my bedroom decor. But this is the first time I’ve actually found myself walking into the room and sighing, contently.
Even though the bedroom design has changed over the years, I was careful not to be too wasteful about it. I spent a lot of time shopping my house and tweaking what we had, carefully finding new homes for things that no longer worked. The vintage green chair has pride of place in the living room now. The green tweed drapes, green silk pillows, poster art, black mcm chair, and vintage metal table moved to my Mom’s. The placeholder dresser now offers guests storage in the bunkie. Even my old white duvet cover and bed frame are being used by a relative. I sold the original teal drapes and espresso dressers. Only the turquoise tweed drapes, ice dyed throws, and framed poster art remain in storage – but they will see the light of day again.
I make a point of noting this simply because the interior design industry, from blogs to magazines to brands, spends a lot of time showing us what’s new and fresh and covet-worthy, with little time spent focused on what happens to the things that get replaced – or how to make do with existing pieces. I like to show ways to redecorate that celebrate old things in new ways.