Allyson’s Design Dilemma

Allyson’s bedroom is ready to be transformed. Here’s her letter:

I absolutely adore your blog, I read it every day. I am so excited to get one of your mood boards and to finally love the look of our master bedroom. We really love a modern clean look. I hate clutter. So simple lines and geometric patterns are the way to go. I would say Ikea and CB2 reflect our design aesthetic most. Simple, modern, budget friendly pieces, how can you go wrong? I have a pretty tight budget for this room (pretty much everything furniture wise needs to stay – the bed, nightstands and dresser). I would also like to keep our wedding pictures as well and the TV needs to stay. We’d like to keep the blinds, but would love to get curtains hung although I’m just not sure how/where to hang them with the semi circle window. The current wall color needs to go! I was trying to highlight some colors in the slate we have in the bathroom that I love, unfortunately I think the bedroom/bath looks like a circus now. I love, love, love bold colors and I want to have something that coordinates with the slate. I’m open to all colors except blue. I love the color green so if you can include that in the design as an accent, that would be great. Thanks! – Allyson

Here’s the plan:

And now for the mood board breakdown.

1. When it comes to repainting, a warm caramel color (Benjamin Moore’s Baked Cumin 1062) on the walls and ceilings will feel rich and enveloping without looking too circus-inspired. The reason we’d suggest carrying the color over into the peaked ceilings is that the room will feel more unified and less sliced and fragmented (and because it’s a nice size and has tall ceilings it won’t feel too dark or cramped). We’ll also bring in some soft green and paprika orange accents and accessories to set off the rich deep-toned existing furnishings for a vibrant yet chic effect.

2. This bedding inspired our entire palette thanks to the lovely greens and oranges in the crisp and modern horizontal stripes. We also love the striped pillowcases and think a few solid orange and green accent pillows would further pull everything together while creating a plush and welcoming place to relax after a long day.

3. One of our favorite ways to add polish, function and ambiance to a bedroom is to bring in matching table lamps for each of the night tables that flank the bed, and two of these lovely (and cheap!) beauties will definitely do the trick without breaking the bank.

4. Allyson mentioned that she wanted the white blinds to stay, but to work with the richer oranges and tans and golden hues, we’d love to see texture-rich bamboo blinds like these hung on the strip of wall between the arched window and the larger rectangular window below it (the white blinds can stay behind the woven blinds, and can be used to keep the light out when Allyson sleeps). Then flanking the blinds with rich billowy curtains will really create a welcoming little corner where Allyson can place a bench like this to create a little makeshift window seat of sorts. We would also love to see the same woven blinds hung above the arched window above the bed (to create the look of a rectangular window) and then a matching pair of billowy curtains can be hung wide around the blinds to create a breezy headboard of sorts above the bed. Hanging some art (like this) in the gap of wall between the headboard and the bottom of the window (between the two curtain panels) will totally transform that entire wall in a snap.

5. Here are those aforementioned curtains. We love that they have rich goldy-cinnamon undertones and will really add a touch of elegance to our vibrant and modern color scheme.

6. This awesome (and totally budget friendly) runner from Ikea will look great on both sides of the bed for another splash of color to fill out this expansive room and add to the vibrant and clean-lined effect. And isn’t it amazing how well they work with the bedding even though they’re from totally different stores?!

7. Along the lines of our chic curtains, this awesomely elegant starburst mirror (on sale!) will really add some wow to the wall across from the bed. We love a round mirror hanging above a big boxy flatscreen, and this one will work with all the warm and golden undertones that we have going on while reflecting some light from the window across the room.

8. Allyson mentioned that she would love for her wedding photographs to stay (such a perfect touch for a bedroom by the way) and we think framing them in darker wood frames will help them blend in with all the other amber, caramel and mocha colors in the room (for an even more budget-friendly solution she can spray paint the ones she has a deep chocolate color). Oh and we’d actually love to see two of them on each side (as opposed to the one that she currently has hanging on each side) since it will help fill things out and give her a chance to gaze at two more photos that are meaningful to her.

9. Last but certainly not least, little soft green accessories- like this sweet (and cheap!) Ikea vase– will really add polish to the media stand and break up all that dark wood. Any other figurines or candle holders in green, tan, gold or even orange would add a nice splash of color and style to finish things off.

So there you have it. A welcoming bedroom full of warm and vibrant style. We can’t wait to see what you guys think!

Update: We sadly can no longer find the time to take on client commissioned mood boards (we now whip up general inspiration boards instead) but if we ever reinstate them we’ll make a big announcement!


  1. Carol from Indian Springs says

    Wow, this has to be one of my favorites. I love autumn colors and these are all beautiful together. Great job again Youngsters!

  2. Bonnie says

    This is indeed beautiful!!! I love how you took care of the arched window on top of the bed.

    1)At what time on Monday do the mood boards come up for sale? (This is an important question, given that they sell out within 26 mins on average!!)

    2) I know that you take in 3 requests every week, however in the blog posts, you normally post one per week – is there a particular reason for this? Is there another part of the site where we can see them all? (Sorry to be greedy!! but I absolutely love seeing your mood boards and reading your reasoning for why you picked what you did etc…)

    Love your blog!!

    • says

      Hey Bonnie,

      So glad you’re digging the latest mood board. And now for the answers to your q’s…

      1. We usually list them around 8am EST so that’s the best time to check back every Monday
      2. Sometimes our clients request that we not share their before pictures on the blog (for various reasons, perhaps because a family member is a designer and they don’t want to insult them by coming to us or because they’re embarrassed of their space in the before shots, etc) so we always respect those wishes and share only the boards that our clients wish for us to publish. You can see a slew of mood boards that we’ve shared (over 100!) right here, which will hopefully satiate you for the time being!


  3. Rebecca says

    Another great mood board!

    I have a question for you: What are your favorite places to shop for bedding? My husband and I are in the market for new bedding that is fairly inexpensive so if we change our mind and color scheme in a few years, we can do so without feeling guilty. I’ve checked Overstock and a few of the big name stores (Target, CB, etc.)- but I didn’t know if you knew of any hidden treasures! :)

    • says

      Hey Rebecca,

      It sounds like you’re looking in all the right places! In addition to the stores you mentioned you can also check out Bed Bath & Beyond, Ikea, and even JC Penney and Walmart. Oh and don’t forget ebay and for great deals! Hope it helps!


  4. says

    Yay mood boards! I’m not entirely in love with the color combo as a bedroom, but I could totally see myself using those colors in a kitchen/dining area! Seeing them all together just makes me want to grab some citrus fruit and make a yummy drink!

  5. says

    Hey, youngsters! :)

    I was wondering if you give web clients advice on paint sheens in addition to paint colors. It seems like in the before shots, the walls were painted satin – possibly even semi-gloss, judging from the flash’s reflection on the wall.

    Also, if they’re planning on painting the new colors in a duller sheen, do they have to prep the glossier walls to receive a flat or matte paint?

    XO as always,

    • says

      Hey Jacci,

      Good question! Unless we’re dealing with a bathroom or a kitchen, we always recommend flat paint because it hides the most imperfections and looks seamless and velvety smooth. Luckily in Allyson’s case she’ll probably be using a water-based primer to go over the brighter tones on her wall to get a nice flawless finish so that will definitely do the trick when it comes to going from a glossy wall paint to something flat. Hope it helps!


  6. says

    Very good point about paint sheen choices – our whole house has knock-down texture (a texas thing i guess) so do you think flat paint would look good on knock-down texture? we’ve been using satin because its easy to clean, but do you think flat paint would look better?

    • says

      Hey Elisa,

      It’s really all about personal preference so there’s really no right and wrong answer. For the texture on your walls, flat paint would minimize it a bit more and make it appear less rocky and reflective while satin is a bit shinier but easier to wipe down. It’s really your call though, whether you like the sheen & wipe-ability or the idea of something a bit more subtle and soft. Hope it helps!


  7. Amy says

    Hello! I love your house – saw it on – and am glad to have found your site. I enjoy seeing the ideas you give to your readers. HAPPY POSTING. Someday I will be asking for advice too!

  8. prettythings says

    Rebecca, I have found amazing bedding at Home Goods, TJ Maxx and Marshall’s – it’s one of my fave places to shop for hidden deals and unique items.

    And for everyone else… I understand some may be embarrassed by Before pics, but this is such a nice, supportive group of posters at YHL that you shouldn’t be afraid of us! I have a terrible ‘Before’ room that I alternately cringe and laugh over and never let anyone see but would happily have it posted here if I ever decide to do a YHL Design Dilemma. Of course, that would mean cleaning it first… lol

  9. Jennifer says

    I’m glad to see a room like this get redesigned as my master bedroom is very similar. I also have a window above my bed with peaked ceiling like Allyson has. However, my window is rectangular and my bed isn’t centered under the window because of how the ceiling is slanted. If it was centered I would crack my head against the wall getting out of bed in the morning. How do you suggest I handle an off-centered window?

    We really don’t use the window since it is at least 6 feet above our bed. It also has ugly mini-blinds that are falling apart. I was thinking about using bamboo blinds like you suggested, but thought it would just exaggerate this weird window. Any thoughts?

    • says

      Hey Jennifer,

      You’re right about not accentuating a window that’s not centered on the wall with your bed on it. Our advice would be to leave it alone instead of drawing attention to it since it seems like you don’t have a privacy issue since it’s so high. Hope it helps!


  10. AMG says

    thanks Sherry! I cannot wait to show you guys the before and after of this room. I’m the one who asked you if you thought the Hawthorne Yellow was a good look. I’ve already gotten several new things and absolutely LOVE it!

  11. Karen says

    Hi!I love this mood board! The vibrant colors makes me feel happy=) I love how you make your designs that really reflects the person and I love how you coordinate things without being too matchy-matchy and your finds are smart and awesomely done as well! Great job!!!

    I found your blog in apt.therapy too a couple of weeks ago, and since then, i started to read it everyday. I love your house, your creativeness! I just written my first comment and am so excited to do it. I love the energy you both have and I am looking forward to asking your advice someday too!!!

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