Master Bedroom Design for a Bachelor

A clever use of color, pattern, sheen and shape turns a boring master bedroom into a haute place for a bachelor to rest.
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November 25, 2014

Total Transformation

Prior to the makeover, this master bedroom was in contractor-grade condition, from its neutral carpet to the beige paint on its walls. Taking inspiration from its colorful abstract art, the room received a new identity with shades of blue accented with fire-engine red.

Dresser Details

The overall design for the updated room included a mix of dark blues, texture, midcentury-modern lines and masculine touches. These elements were brought in through accessories including white ceramic sculpture, coral and plaid pillar candles.

Cool Sheen

Since the wet-look paint finish was meant to be the room's standout feature, its walls were sparsely decorated so as not to cover up the custom sheen. A small white resin moose head and graphic train station signage break up the monotony of the blue without overpowering the reflective finish of the walls.

Quick-Fix Carpet

The timeline for the redesign of the room was six days, due mostly in part to the quick installation of the floor. FLOR carpet tiles were installed after the existing wall-to-wall carpet was removed along with its padding. All that was needed for installation was a utility knife with extra blades as well as an L-square.

Pattern Play

Pattern mixing is a designer's trick for bringing motion and depth into a space. From the overscale lattice-like shape of the FLOR tiles to the diamond stripes of the duvet cover and geometric print of the throw pillows, pattern is used to draw the eye up from the ground, onto the bed and up to the abstract art.

Budget Bedding

To mix high and low price points, the room's existing bed and mattress were outfitted with discount bedding found online and through local retail stores. The money saved on the bedding allowed for splurges on other elements such as the lighting, carpet tiles and custom wall finish.

Art As Inspiration

Initially stumped as to what color direction to go in for the bedroom's redesign, an original piece of abstract art was used as inspiration. After a full week testing different shades and tints of blue from Yves Klein to steel, the best fit ended up being a shade of midnight blue called Dark Night by Sherwin-Williams.

Modular Lamps

To add an element of modularity to the bedroom, a pair of table lamps from Jonathan Adler was chosen due to their interchangeability. The bases are made of 2-inch-thick clear acrylic which serves as a base to display different ceramics available through the artist/designer's website. Although the lamps currently feature a white dragon, they can be given new identity by simply swapping out the mythical creature for any of the other available Jonathan Adler pieces.

Bouncing Light

Dark colors, especially bold tones such as midnight blue, can be intimidating to most homeowners. A trick in using dark colors successfully — without causing a room to feel cavernous — is to introduce reflective surfaces wherever possible. This iron cigarette table used in the bedroom's reading corner helps bounce natural light from the windows up onto the wet-look ceiling.

Cutting the Cords

One of the most iconic styles of midcentury-modern lighting is the Nelson Bubble pendant. Made of vinyl and available in shapes ranging from spheres to lanterns and cigars, these collector's items can be grouped together for a one-of-a-kind look with a Nelson Triple Bubble Fixture Kit. Once the proper spacing is created, the cords are cut to size, and the kit is wired to the junction box.

Assorted Shapes

To play with shape and scale in the bedroom, three completely different shapes of Nelson Bubble pendants were used: ball, cigar and pear.

Tray Ceiling Trick

Many new-construction homes feature tray ceilings, a feature which many homeowners are stumped as to how to highlight. In this bedroom, the walls were painted with a wet-look effect, as well as a slight change in color from the walls to the ceiling.


Although the generously sized bedroom (approximately 15X18') can spatially accommodate a king-sized bed, a queen was chosen so as not to crowd the space visually. The extra 16 inches of space saved (queen mattresses have a width of 60" while king mattresses span 76" across) also allows for two small seating areas on each side of the room. The transitional style of the dark wood bed frame blends effortless with the midcentury-modern lighting and nightstands. With the plantation shutters open, the abundance of natural light streaming in from the windows keeps the otherwise dark-blue room feeling cool, open and airy.

Reclaimed Space

Thanks to the space saved by using a queen mattress, the exterior wall is now used as a small reading corner made up of a wingback chair and a cigarette table.

Privacy, Please

To keep the high-contrast look of the dark blue and the bright white consistent throughout the bedroom, its existing plantation shutters were kept white to tie together the chunky molding as well as the white seen in the FLOR tiles. Plantation shutters are a great way to add privacy and architectural interest to a room.

Revamped Mid-Mod

The high-low mix strikes again in the form of midcentury-modern nightstands. Picked up from a local flea market for a cool $50, the original finish was stripped with an orbital sander, and new life was given to each table with a sprayed coat of high-gloss fire-engine red gloss paint. In order to protect the water-based paint, two coats of clear polyurethane were sprayed once the red was dry.

Truly Transitional

Transitional design is best described as a mix of modern and traditional and it tends to work well with many other styles. The wingback chair used in the bedroom is upholstered in pinstripe wool and adorned with antique brass nail heads. The clean lines of the fabric give the otherwise traditional piece of furniture a clean, modern-day update.

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