A small sensual master suite

A couple I worked with wanted their bedroom to feel like a romantic hideaway, the kind of place you experience on your honeymoon. So I went to work creating luxury without breaking the bank.
Sensual bedroom
To create the bedroom of their dreams, I brought in an upholstered bed and added textured bedding and a plush pillow and a whimsical one (you never want to take any space too seriously). I covered the hardwood floor in a supersoft flokati rug and suggested they order these curtains (neither one of them was up to DIY curtains even though they are so easy, remember?) to create atmosphere. The couple craved some sensual art so I fashioned a small gallery of tasteful prints–a nude hangs centered above the bed flanked by photographs that are a bit fun. The unkempt bed is titled Well Read, and the other is i love….

The room gets a lot of natural light so in keeping with the romantic mood of the space, I opted for candlelit lanterns to hang from the ceiling on either side of the bed.

And even the smooth high-gloss white dresser screams sexy in this space.

Create a faux wood pallet wall

Blue Cow Kitchen wall
While up in LA for a Design Bloggers’ Conference, I had dinner at Blue Cow Kitchen and was completely drawn to the rustic, modern décor—exposed light bulbs, paper mache taxidermy and a wood pallet wall, the piece de resistance.

Scott and I talked about recreating it on one of the walls in our bedroom. After doing extensive research on using pallets in interiors, I decided pallets weren’t the best option. Dismanteling them was going to be extremely time consuming, and I worried about what the pallets might have been used to transport, like chemicals.
While hunting down Plan B, I discovered this EverTrue Edge V-Groove unfinished pine paneling. It’s not available in store at Lowe’s, but you can order it online and pick it up in the store. I took measurements and ordered nine packages of six (design for less than $100!).

I wanted to mimic the different wood tones that I saw in Blue Cow Kitchen. We bought three quarts of stain—Jacobean, Classic Gray and Natural.
Scott cutting
Scott cut the planks at different lengths to give the wall more variations—from six-inch pieces to 48-inch lengths. He just did it at random, but it’s wise to keep several long (we left one package of stained planks uncut), so you can cut what you need as you go.
Stain colors
We concocted five different colors with our three cans of stain. We used each of them in a pure state and layered the Gray with the Jacobean and the Natural. Don’t wait until the stain dries to layer. Using a sponge brush, we swiped on one color, let it sit a few minutes and used a rag to take off the excess before brushing on the second color with a different brush and a new rag.
Stained boards
After letting the boards dry completely for 24 hours, Scott and I began hanging.
The hanging begins
Starting at the bottom left corner of the wall, we used a nail gun to fasten the first board to the wall. We worked left to right and bottom to top, completing each row with pieces of our uncut boards.
Nailing boards
Using the Japanese saw
When we got to the window, we used a small Japanese flush cut saw to cut the boards flush with the widow frame and stained the edge to match the board.
Our room

Turn your fashion favorites into a room design

You may remember when I wrote here about turning a favorite outfit into a room. I asked for submissions, and people responded. I decided to help a friend take several favorite pieces in her closet and turn them into a reading nook. Here’s where it all began.

Cathy's Closet

She described her style as bohemian chic, choosing texture and layers over pattern and color (unless it’s red). She also likes sleek, modern lines and artistic pattern–as long as it doesn’t overpower. So what’s a schizophrenic girl to do?

Cathy's Corner

Start with a modern chair in a lagoon denim color, and layer on a lace pillow with a hippie vibe and a classic black-and-white striped throw. Add texture and bold pattern underfoot with a knit pouf and this ikat rug. Finish the room with a bit of metallic shine with a brass pharmacy lamp.

Turn your favorite outfit into a design

There’s a reason you have a go-to shift or a favorite ensemble you pull out every time you don’t know what to wear. It looks great on you, you love the colors and the style suits your taste.

The same is true in design. When working with new clients, I often ask them to send me photos of their favorite outfits or pictures of the inside of their closets. That’s because the colors we choose to wear are often our favorite shades, whether we realize it or not.

I have a favorite dress that I don whenever I have to dress up. It’s a one-sleeve coral dress that is amazingly comfortable. I pair it with nude shoes and bright turquoise earrings.

Turn this outfit into a room

It actually served as the inspiration for the bar area in my brother’s house.

Anthropologie, my old place of employment, always does a nice job of putting inspiring outfits together. I love this navy-and-gold combo.


I want to change up my bedroom using this outfit as inspiration. Here’s what I would do:

New bed

No major changes. I would swap my white bedding for a solid navy blue duvet cover, then toss a few decorative pillows on top, including this ikat design. I would add an occasional chair in a neutral animal print, add a rug that’s navy and jute and prop an exotic gold mirror on my dresser.

Have a favorite outfit you’d love to see turned into a room? Let me show you how to incorporate favorite shades and colors into your existing decor. Send me pictures!

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