Slow, Repose, Nurture: Our Master Bedroom Makeover

Real comfort, visual and physical, is vital to every room.

Mark Hampton, designer

Since moving into our home almost four years ago, we’ve been been working on customizing our rather basic builder grade home. When we were designing our home with the builder, we opted for putting more money upfront toward increasing the square footage and installing wood flooring on the first level, leaving the rest of the customization for us to work on through the years when inspiration strikes and/or when the budget allows.

Earlier in the year I mapped out our home projects and ordered them by priority. Guess which room barely made the cut? Yep, our bedroom—the bedroom most neglected.

As a result, a few weeks leading up to Jack’s due date it dawned on me that our bedroom should be a high priority. It would be the room where most of my recovery would be happening, and where Jack would be staying in until we eventually get James’ room situated so that he can share his room with his little brother (much down the road). The bones/structure of the space was lacking. It was dull and appeared more like a transient space, rather than one we would want to be in—to slow down, to rest, to nurture ourselves and our children. There’s nothing like the imminence of new life to inspire “newness” around it.

Thus, these were the three words on which the design of the room were anchored.

  • Slow: from a design standpoint—simply finding contentment and gratitude in what we have, appreciation for the process, and patience in what’s to come; from a materials standpoint—reusing and repurposing materials already at our disposal and being conscious of what we were purchasing
  • Repose: creating a room for us to more fully experience a place of rest. Bringing proper order to the space and bringing in artwork, furniture, textiles that support that. This included purging our closet and dresser. This also meant proper window treatments for generously allowing in natural light, and vice versa, installing a ceiling fan/light.
  • Nurture: since we are sharing our room with our baby, creating a primary space for nurturing him in was priority we kept in mind, in addition to nurturing ourselves, of course.

furniture + finishes

With the design scheme in mind, I then searched for the right pieces. The mood board to the right was the final draft.

When we bought a new bed frame for our son’s room last year, there was no longer a need for the original bed slats. Rather than disposing them, we stored them in hopes that one day we could repurpose them elsewhere in the house.


  • Measuring Tape
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Circular Saw
  • Nail Gun
  • Construction Adhesive
  • Wood – since we reused, we let its’ original dimensions dictate the height of the paneling
  • Mini paint roller, 4″
  • Large paint roller, 9″
  • Wall & trim angle brush, 1 ½”
  • Dropcloth
  • Paint Tray
  • Paint: HGSW2475

our process

  1. Measure the wall width so you can determine the number of wood pieces you’ll need to hang and cut vertically and horizontally. We spaced each vertical slat around 20″ apart. To be extra sure our marks for spacing were perfectly even before adhering the slat onto the wall, we outlined it and checked once more with the level.
  2. To get a secure hold on the wall, use construction adhesive in addition to a nail gun.
  3. After applying painter’s tape, I first painted the edges/trims with the angled brush, then the slats with the 4″ mini roller, then finally the wall openings with the 9″ roller. I did two coats.

fine art

Small Update to Existing Furniture

All storage furniture pieces were existing ones that survived multiple moves. Though they’ve seen better days, they still function fine for the most part.

As a result of purging our clothes the last few months, we swapped our tall IKEA dresser with a shorter one in Lucy’s room, which actually made a drastic difference to the flow of the space. To give it some newness, we replaced the dresser drawer knobs to leather + brass pulls, and did the same with the knobs of our bedside tables.

Because the dresser and bedside tables are very different styles and colors, that tiny change brought some unity to the room.

As a cherry on top to the makeover, we purchased the 365 Blanket from Muslin Comfort and have been loving it! If you’re a parent and have purchased muslin blankets/swaddles for your baby, this is basically the adult version, which is so awesome. It’s ethically sourced, oversized, ultra-breathable, and the best part? The blanket is temperature-regulating. Jon is always hot and I’m always cold and yet the same blanket serves our needs comfortably. The second best part is that I can throw it in with the rest of the sheets when washing and drying. It’s so thin compared to a comforter!

Click photo below for link! They have a 10% discount you can use, too, and you can opt to break the cost into multiple, lowered interest-free payments.

So – who’s ready to see how far we’ve come?

The Evolution of our Bedroom

The before photo is still special to me because it’s a reminder of our beginning, and I was grateful even then. The second photo is not really an “after” photo as I know this space will continue evolving, so it’s “now” for me. In fact, full disclosure—the “now” photo is actually already outdated as we’ve made more updates as you will see below. I just haven’t had the room clean enough lately for a true “now” shot at the same angle, well, because… life. ;) In any case, this whole evolution of our room is really about appreciating the space as it is, in the season we’re in. Ya feel me, parents out there?

All in all I’m very pleased with how the room turned out. Now it’s not just physically comforting, but visually, too. So much so that even my son spontaneously said “this room is beautiful!” I think he gets it. It’s no longer a drop off zone for all of our belongings either, but a place of rest, for nurturing.

It has come a long way, that’s for sure.

By Fatima

wife + mom. sustainability strategist, interior designer, writer. sharing faith and our growing domestic church. creating a slow, sustainable, low waste home.

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