Evolution Of A Bedroom

Blerg. I either have food poisoning or a stomach bug today. But thanks for all the stool love this morning, guys (wait, that sounds kinda gross). And as for this afternoon, while I attempt to avoid breathing on anyone else in this house (who are all thankfully unscathed so far), I thought it might be fun to create a little “timeline” of how each room in our house has evolved, since it’s definitely never an overnight transformation around here. And given our copious bedroom updates, we thought it was a fine place to start. So without further ado, here’s how the room has evolved over the last twenty months since we moved in. It’s still not done, but it has definitely come a long way – and it’s really fun to look back on some of those “middle” stages and wonder what the heck we were thinking. Haha. Thank goodness for trial and error!

This rundown is a pretty great reminder that small changes (along with a few big ones) can really breathe new life into a room as you learn what you love and how you’d like to live. We’ve actually come to a place where we wholeheartedly believe that over-time tweaks are half the fun (I’d probably want to move every year if I could only do a room once and then had to live in that frozen-in-time-result without changing a thing). So here’s the very first shot of our bedroom that we shared the day we moved in. Pretty much a blank canvas.

First we just plopped our furniture down on the floor and didn’t even have a bed for the first three weeks or so. Getting up every morning from a ground-height mattress = not our fondest memory.

Then we got Ed the Bed since we were overwhelmingly excited to have such a giant room to work with (our old bedroom was around 10 x 11′ and this room is 16 x 16′ – so we thought something big and frame-y would look awesome in our cavernous room).

Then we got this duvet on clearance from West Elm, but John only let me get it under the stipulation that we would ebay it if we found something we liked more down the line. Hindsight = 20/20. We never should have settled and definitely should have held out for something we both loved. Oh well, live and learn. Right now it’s neatly folded in our playroom just in case we decide to use it/the fabric for some other space (curtains for Clara’s big girl room, etc). Otherwise it’ll definitely hit ebay someday.

Next came our big ol’ snowball of a chandelier, which is still one of our favorite things to stare up at before bed or squint up at in the early morning. Here it is hanging oddly low thanks to that top bar of Ed the Bed (it looks crazier in this pic than it did in person, but it still wasn’t quite right).

We struggled with Ed for a while, tweaking him to remove those top posts since they were just too encroach-y with the chandelier. Oh and we got a nice big jute rug to cozy up the splintery old wood floor. Here’s that phase.

Then we found two Alaskan botanical prints at a yard sale (we honeymooned in Alaska, so we thought they were sweet for our bedroom) and hung them on either side of the bed with Ramsey in the middle.

Things pretty much stagnated there for a while until Ramsey was broken during a book shoot (he jumped off the wall in the kitchen when no one was even in there) and we decided to hang the botanicals inside the bed posts instead. And then we found our new rug at a local outlet, so we pulled the old rug out (with plans to use it under our dining table or in our sunroom eventually – or craigslist it if we don’t like it in either space down the line). Our new super-discounted outlet rug definitely breathed life back into this stuck/stagnating room. So grateful. Sometimes it takes changes like this to jump-start things again once you’ve hit a wall.

Then in a flurry of trying new things, we gave three different prints (picked up for $2.99 from Ikea a while back) above the bed along with different pillows from around the house…

… only to decide we preferred the botanicals and another pillow combination (along with some lamps that we actually bought for the bedroom instead of just using leftovers from our first house’s living room).

Then we finally put on our big kid pants and decided to just give the bed a try on a wall that we previously thought would be way too challenging (thanks to an off-centered window on one side and a nook on the other side). At first it looked crazytown

But after we re-hung some art/rearranged some furniture that we already had, we ended up here.

And then we gave Ed a little haircut.

And then we made an upholstered headboard to cozy things up a little more.

Next we finally painted the walls a darker color (Rockport Gray by Ben Moore) which definitely helped the headboard and all the thick white trim pop (John wanted to do it for months and he finally wore me down). Boy was right. We love it so much more in this moodier sleepier color.

It’s especially noticeable how much the new color accents the chunky white trim around the sink nook. Such a difference!

Of course we still have plans to:

  • refinish the floors
  • possibly paint the ceiling a light light blue color
  • furnish the entire bare wall across from the bed
  • eventually turn a window into a door that leads out onto the deck
  • someday vault the ceiling so it’s sweetly peaked (how cozy would that be?)

… so we’ll have to keep you posted. But it’s pretty interesting to look back at all of these phases of evolution, sort of like a time capsule of where we were, where we were trying to go, and where we are now.

Actually when we look back in our archives, every single room in our first house evolved the same way – moving things around, using what we had, altering things to work, getting new things along the way, and hitting up lots of outlets and thrift stores along with affordable retailers like Ikea and Target to keep things wallet friendly. Did we make mistakes? Sure! Did we learn as we went. Absolutely! If we could rewind would we skip all of those wrong moves? Who wouldn’t! But it’s pretty cool that even with those mistakes, you can come pretty far (and learn a ton about yourself and what ya love) by just giving things a shot and letting a room evolve over time. Sometimes over a long a$$ time. Haha. But the journey is part of the fun, right? Our first house took us 4.5 years to figure out, so maybe we’re getting a tiny bit faster in this one?

Although some other rooms are completely untouched, so maybe not. Haha.

It’s funny how some things stayed, like:

  • Ed the bed (although he did get that trim)
  • our free hand-me-down dresser from John’s parents
  • our leaning mirror (which John got me as a wedding present back in 2007)
  • our $50 Ikea chandelier

Meanwhile, other stuff came in from other rooms, like:

  • the Hobby Lobby mirror that used to hang in the living room
  • that small white cabinet from the dining room

And other items went out, like:

  • the old rug
  • the old side tables (both of which we’ll reuse or craigslist for loot to put back into other tweaks)

Thankfully even things like those old too-small yard sale side tables were just $11, and we’ll probably get to use those in Clara’s big girl room (and can always resell them for at least that much) so it’s a good lesson that just because you buy things, you don’t have to be married to them. Undoing something like a paint color or an upholstery fabric can take a day of work, but it’s hardly irreversible. And it just might be the key to making it through a not-sure-where-we’re-going phase and onto another love-it-so-much-more phase. Heck, even if over time you realize that a furnishing or accessory isn’t the best choice for a room, there are definitely other rooms where they can go to live (like our blue stool story from this morning). We love keeping things flexible and taking a completely reversible approach to making our house a home. It’s just so much less intimidating and final than having some unspoken can’t-make-mistakes rule (even if you wait for years between decisions, there’s no guarantee that you’ll love each choice- sometimes you just have to live and learn).

It’s fun to see all of these bedroom evolution pics on one page, right? So stay tuned as we slowly work our way through all of our other rooms (probably on and off over the next few months – or years if we fall off) just to see where they’ve been and where they’re going. The goal would be to keep these posts updated as we go, and to link to them from our House Tour page – or another page called Room Evolutions – so anyone who wants to see details on a specific room could click on that room and see these rundowns with a bunch of links to all the projects during those different phases (a number of readers have actually requested that we group room updates that way).

Have you ever snapped photos of a room over time as it evolved? Did it take more than one paint color to get it right? Were you surprised to see what stayed and what went? Were you shocked at how much of a difference some free changes like rearranging the floor plan or tweaking furniture (like cutting Ed’s posts) can make? Did little homemade touches (like an upholstered headboard) end up making all the difference? I think our DIY headboard along with our giant pineapple-based lamps are our favorite things in the room these days.

What’s your favorite thing in your bedroom?

Psst- This month we’re making a trip out to visit John’s grandma in Huntington, WV, so if anyone has an awesome house that they’d like us to crash (a la these) in either Huntington or Charleston WV, we’d love to check out your digs and hopefully stop by (just send your submission pics to crashme@younghouselove.com). Woot!


  1. Liz says

    I almost choked on my coffee when I read “Huntington, WV”. We are just up the road in Ona (between Huntington and Charleston)! We bought our house just a year ago and have been living the dream making it a home together. We have a lot of work to do–a partially unfinished basement with an awkward half bath, small open floor plan, backyard deck potential, etc. A lot of our challenges have come from marrying our tastes and creating that unified vision from our untapped potential. We might not be the best “House Crashers” post, but we’d be happy to share what we’ve created so far and chit chat about where we could go!

    • says

      Aw thanks Liz! Feel free to send pics our way and we’ll check them out and try to schedule something. And even if it doesn’t work out, here’s hoping we bump into you at Target out there or something. Haha.


  2. kristy says

    You bedroom is beautiful and inspiring. thanks for sharing it with us. I hope you feel better soon! Unless it’s the 9 month flu, in which case it may be a few months before you feel better ;) ;)

  3. Lindsay says

    I loved this post. It makes me realize that it’s ok if rooms take a long time to finish! Hope you feel better soon!

  4. Brenda says

    I did a double-take at the first photo, because I suddenly got unsure if this was for your old house. It’s crazy how it looks so different with a different wall cover and no rug on the floor.

  5. Crystal says

    Feel better soon! Do we get extra points for counting how many pics included Burger? (3) I love how he seems to pose for the camera!

  6. says

    Hope you feel better Sherry!

    We’ve been in our lil house for a year or so and the big news in our bedroom is we finally got a bedside table…not two, only one :) besides that…nada. Haha

    You can see the table here

    So sorry if this posts twice, the iPad is weird sometimes.

  7. Anika says

    So sorry you’re feeling ill Sherry – hope you feel better soon!

    I found this post particularly interesting/exciting! Like other people have said, it’s so very reassuring to know that a room can look just okay or even be a real mess for awhile during the process of getting to a great state. Thanks also for the reminder to just try switching things around when you feel stuck – I’ve been frustrated with my bedroom setup for awhile now and I think tonight I’ll recruit the hubby to help me move things around. If we hate it all we’ll have wasted is some energy and time, no big deal. Thanks for backtracking and finding all these pictures and post-links for us! Can’t wait to be reminded/see the progress for the other rooms!!

  8. says

    It’s like you read my mind! I was just telling the boy toy about your bedroom and all the changes it’s been through and I was trying to look through all these different bedroom posts to give him an idea.

    Now I can just show him this :)

    Amazing how much it has changed, I love it with the gray paint….good choice!

  9. says

    It seems like my rooms change on a weekly basis. The bad thing is all of the extra decorating “stuff” that I am left with to find a place for =)

  10. Barbara says

    Somewhere I missed that you moved the bed so I got kinda confused with the pictures!! Of course, had I read the text…

    And I just have to say that Random Burger in those shots made me so happy!!

  11. Melissa Cable says

    We are picking a blue for our daughter’s room to match her coralish/watermelonish pink damask quilt and I love the blue you picked out prior to the grey, do you remember the name? Thanks!

  12. Barbara says

    Oh, and PSS…if you decide to craigslist the nightstands, don’t. Just email me and I will gladly buy them from you and pay for shipping. Seriously. Not kidding. They match my dresser.

  13. Rhiana says

    so you guys inspired us (the hubs and I) to repaint our bedroom- Rockport Gray! We love it! Our ceiling was blue from our original bedroom colors but we are not loving it. I think we will paint it some shade of gray…

  14. says

    Hope you get feeling better soon Sherry! I just had food poisoning last week, not fun at all!

    I can’t tell you how much I love this post! It was really fun seeing how the room evolved. And I love seeing all the tweaks on one post. Makes me wanna see how I can make my bedroom better.

    Oh and side note, I love your ikea chandelier! Seeing it again in this post just made me want it even more! On my way to their site right now…