Switching Out Bedroom Rugs & Accessories

We did a little more bedroom noodling. Noodling, not canoodling. *Blush* Anyway, we last left off after moving our Alaskan prints together over the bed and surprising ourselves by getting a new rug:

And there were a few commonly asked bedroom questions in the 800+ comments on Monday’s post, which were:

  • have you considered getting larger bedside tables?
  • can the bed go on another wall?
  • will you repaint? maybe in a darker color?
  • what are your plans for the nook to the left of the bed?
  • what about changing out the pillows/painting the bed & tables/getting a longer bench/switching the lamps, etc?

The short answers to those are: yes but it’s complicated, no, we’re open to it down the road, adding an armoire or a built-in, oh yeah all that stuff is still on the agenda we just haven’t gotten to everything yet.

To elaborate, we’ve definitely considered larger side tables, but the door would swing into anything larger than what we already have on that side, as you can from this old door-open pic (we did a secret book project to the front of this door, so we can’t snap an updated shot).

We don’t want to move the bed to the left since the chandelier wouldn’t be centered above it anymore (we could do a larger table on the left, but we have plans for an armoire or large built-in for the nook to the left of the bed and don’t want to crowd that). We could reverse the door to make it swing into the hall instead of the room, but it might jam up the hall to have a door out there. We couldn’t do a pocket door (we have duct work/electrical in that wall) but have thought about a barn door on a track (which could rest where the leaning mirror lives in the picture above this one), but we’ve considered using that in a spot nearby (more details when we decide if we’ll actually go for it!) so we don’t want that to be too repetitive. We’ll keep you posted no matter what we decide though!

As for if the bed can move, the floor plan of this room is a definite challenge thanks to “things” on each wall (two very off-centered windows, a nook across from the door, and a nook with the sink tucked into it on another wall, and a chandelier in the exact center that looks off if the bed isn’t in the right place). The chandy even lines up with the mirror above the sink, so we don’t want to swag it or move it since aligning things like the bed, the chandy, and the mirror make the room feel balanced/less wonky. So we’ve tried the bed in a bunch of spots, but the place that works best for us is where it lives now (it’s the only long flat wall in our entire room).

It just doesn’t look centered on the chandelier or the windows in any other spots, and we actually like the placement a lot in person since we wake up to the chandelier being perfectly reflected in the mirror above the sink (it’s so hard to capture in 2-D but it’s the thing everyone falls in love with in person). As for repainting the walls, especially in a darker color, we’re definitely open to it but we’ll be refinishing the floors in a dark mocha color someday and the rug is pretty dark (and the room doesn’t get a ton of light) so we’ll think long and hard before we do anything rash. We’re just getting started, so everything is fair game for tweaks (painting furniture, switching out accessories, etc). Many things like those lamps and the bench are just leftovers from our first house that got plopped down “just-for-now” (Burger uses that bench to get into bed, so it’s our version of Doggie Steps until we get something better – haha).

So now that we’ve hopefully answered those common questions, let’s get to the fun part. Noodling. The first thing we played around with were the pillows and a few other small accessories. The pillows actually inspired a little art switch (since the floral shams were a little busy with the old botanicals that were hanging there).

From up close, this mix was fun (the shams are from Pottery Barn two years back, the blue bolster is from Marshall’s, and the front accent pillow is from HomeGoods a few months back). But from far away, the new art was way too small for our tastes. Oops.

We want the whole room to feel balanced, so with very tall vertical items on all of the other walls like the door to the bedroom, the windows with ceiling-height curtains (which will be switched out, hopefully soon), and the sink nook with a mirror over it…

… this art was just too squat and didn’t feel as balanced as the larger Alaskan prints had. But we did like the general concept of adding different colors with pillows – just to break up all the blue on blue action.

We’re so glad we banged in three tiny nails to give that art a go, even if we didn’t like it once we got ‘er done. It’s all about trial and error (and spackle!) at our house. Haha.

Oh and the prints are from Ikea! We found them for $2.99 for all three (in a clearance bin) and know we’ll eventually find the right spot for them. We already had the frames (also from Ikea, but they hung in our first house), so it was just a $2.99 failed experiment. Haha, so not too bad.

Oh and we also picked up some new lamps! They’re artichoke-ish, which is a totally new shape for us when it comes to lamps (we have like ten gourd lamps, so we were psyched to play around with a new silhouette). They were from HomeGoods ($49 a pop, including the extra large shades).

The original lamps that we had on either side of the bed used to live in our first house’s living room and were over five years old, so we figure we’ll either find another spot in the house for them (we have completely untouched rooms like the playroom and the sunroom to tackle) or yard sale/craigslist ’em if we can’t.

See how much more balanced and substantial the new ones look (with their larger, wider shades and darker bases) in comparison to the old ones above?

They even seem to make the side tables feel wider, which is nice for balance. And the rounder more textured shape of the new lamps also ties into the chandelier, which is a total happy accident (we definitely didn’t think about that when we fell for them in the store, haha). Oh and ignore the different pillows on the bed in the pic above. We’ll get there in a minute.

It’s nice that the putty color of the lamps isn’t too crazy to compete with the pillows or the rug, but the shape is full of interest and dimension.

Oh and see that book on my side table called One Word A Day? John and Clara got it for me for Mother’s Day along with a pretty pink tulip bouquet and some vases. It’s a one-word journal that John thought I could use to record one hilarious Clara-sentence per day instead of just one word to describe my day (which is how it’s meant to be used). Now we won’t forget the time I said “we might have to rearrange your room again” and she said “Yes! Put some ice cream on it!”

But back to the bedroom. Since the smaller art didn’t work, it was back to our Alaskan botanicals with some different pillows. We landed on this pop of yellow with the teal bolster to tie things into the rug and the deeper navy and white pillow in the front to ground it all. For anyone wondering, those two yellow ginko leaf shams are from a small shop in Northern VA (don’t know the name, but it was in Old Town, Alexandria), but they’re made by Dermond Peterson if that helps.

But you know me, pillows are nomadic in our house, so they might be completely different the next time we share bedroom pics. Yes, pillow swapping is right up there with watching Parks & Rec while eating Oreos around here.

Sure, we still have some major furnishings missing, but it’s fun to see some happy new pillows (with a few warm yellow pops to balance all the blues). And the dark tones in the smallest accent pillow, the botanical frames, and the lamp base relate nicely to the slate/navy tones in the rug without being too matchy.

The lamps just might be our favorite little change (favorite big change =  the rug of course).

So that’s where we are. We don’t play poker or bet on horses, so I guess trial and error decorating is how we get our kicks. Haha. Oh yes, we’re daredevils.

We’re still entertaining a ton of possibilities, like:

  • switching out the old curtains (for sure!)
  • possibly painting the bed in a deep charcoal color
  • finding/making a longer bench for the end of the bed
  • possibly painting or refinishing the cherry-colored side tables & dresser (on the other side of the room)
  • adding an armoire or built-in to that nook next to the bed
  • possibly repainting the walls down the road
  • painting the ceiling
  • possibly removing the posts from the bed (although we like them in the photoshopped renderings below, so maybe not)
  • switching out the pillows/bedding as we go
  • bringing in a lot more art/furniture in general so it’s not so empty
  • staining the beat up & yellowed floor a rich mocha color
  • possibly adding a barn door which would allow for larger side tables
  • lots of things I’m probably forgetting – haha, but check out this post and this post for mentions of other potential plans

Some might be things we tackle this month while others might not get done for years (like refinishing those floors). But just look how much of a difference that one change can make. Mmm, dark wood floors (thanks Photoshop!) = our happy place.

And after a bunch of other tweaks, we’ll just have to see where we end up! Maybe here?

Or here?

Or here?

Don’t mind the bad Photoshop. I guess that’s part of the fun, huh? In the meantime, have you ever hung something new only to learn that you loved the first choice better? Have you made any easy lamp or pillow switcheroos in your house lately?


  1. says

    LOVE the new lamps. LOVE THEM! They really fit in well with the geometric print of the rug. I really like the floral pillow shams but I think I prefer the yellow options.

    Have you thought about how you would paint Ed the Bed? It looks so much more dramatic in grey (I, for one, am a fan!).

    • says

      Oh yes, we’d just sand him a little to rough things up and then prime and paint him and hope for the best! The hardest part would probably be removing our organic mattress (it weighs as much as 50 dead people).


    • says

      We’re very happy with our bed (and feel weird in a bed bigger than a queen, like we’re sleeping alone on an island, haha). As for a chaise, it’s just not the most functional thing for us, so we’d rather add something we could use for storage, like an armoire or built-in for the nook on the left!


    • Kristen says

      Hey – I was trying to figure out how to post – maybe someone already did, but I was looking through this month’s Real Simple and in one of their room re-do’s they totally used your new bedroom rug! They definitely paid over $900 for it:-)

  2. t says

    I like the small changes you made and the new rug; I’m glad you stuck with the Alaskan prints – they look great in that space. As far as adding other things such as furniture, your room looks so restful and spacious the way it is (and there is less to dust and clean). Sometimes you don’t have to fill every space just to fill it.

    • says

      Oh yes, we mainly just plan to bring in an armoire or add a built-in to the nook for some nice balance (with the door on the other side of the room) and some functional storage. Other than that, just a bigger bench would be nice at the foot of the bed! So not a full furniture suite or anything, haha.


  3. says

    I switch things around ALL the time, especially picture frames. I just get bored of looking at the same thing, in the same place all the time. When I was younger I use to switch my bedroom around a lot, so much that my furniture started to break! Oops. Thankfully, I can’t move our living room furniture because it’s all too big and heavy – I’m only 4 foot 9 inches tall, so I’m pretty limited at what I can push around a room! :P

    I’m glad you stuck with the two big floral prints above the bed, they look like they were meant to go there.

  4. says

    I love the way the pillow switch and the new lamps both tiethe bed more into the rug and some of those photoshop changes are awesome.
    I recently cut up a lovely-but-not-working-for-us dresser to turn it into a much needed cabinet! http://annabelvita.com/2012/05/24/turning-a-dresser-into-a-cabinet/ – oh and I painted some plain wood knobs as an interim hardware solution, that I ended up prefering after trying out the fancy pants ones I’d always intended to use!

  5. Andrea says

    Hi there, I’m a daily reader of your blog and love it. I’m SO jealous of the deal you got on that rug– way to shop! Have you thought about moving that large standing mirror to the little nook on the other side of the bed?

    • says

      Oh yes, we just have eventual plans to put an armoire or built-in there, and I don’t want to wake up and spook myself with my own reflection in the mirror- haha.


  6. Jenne says

    Love the new pillows! What about angling the bed into that corner on the left? Would be totally curious to see what that looked like! :)

    • says

      Just doesn’t work since the chandelier looks off and if you move it out enough to make room for side tables there’s a huge triangle of wasted space behind it!


  7. says

    I absolutely LOVE your new artichoke lamps. They’re adorable and so happy looking. The scale seems to be a better fit for your room as well.

    I’ve been “tweaking” our sun porch lately, and I actually liked it more before I started. I took down our old curtains and am now sorry I did. http://www.oldtownhome.com/2012/5/14/Sun-Porch-Makeover-Gone-Wrong/index.aspx I think I have a painting project in my future this weekend, because what we have going on in there now isn’t working for me. It’s all about trial and error! :-)

  8. lizkayl says

    I love it. My first thought yesterday was that it looked off, but once you stain the floors, it’ll look a lot more together and just need little tweaks. I LOVE the idea of the wood frame for the bed (maybe ORB?) to go with the darker floors.

  9. says

    I LOVE the new lamps! I think they are just the right thing. As far as the little nooks go, have you guys considered more of a built in look? That would also look nice, but right now I’m leaning toward the 3rd picture. Making the bed dark is so dramatic, and even a little posh! I like it :)

    • says

      Oh yes, we mentioned that an armoire or a built-in is our big plan for that nook (just didn’t do that for the rendering since it’s harder, haha)! Hope it helps!


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