Master Bedroom Makeover (Before and After) Using Complementary Colors

Q: What do you get when you combine a collection of art from your favorite artist, heirloom quality furniture hand made by your father, a library of your favorite books and a gallery of intimate family photos?   A: A beautiful and heart warming master bedroom haven that you never want to leave.  

That is what we created in Sara and Erik's master suite.   
Before we get to the after photos, let's talk about the space before the makeover…  


When Sara called me to help with her master bedroom, the first thing she mentioned was that it felt dark.  She was right, the previous homeowner had painted it a deep chocolate brown which absorbed all the natural light in the space and made the room feel heavy.   Sara added a fun, colorful accent wall using poppy print wall paper from Urban Outfitters, but felt she still didn't achieve the light, bright overall look she was going for.  


She had a really nice bedroom set from Potterybarn that included a king sized bed, a pair of nightstands and an armoire.  Her dad recently made a custom tv console to house their flatscreen tv.  She also had a pair of french chairs in the space when we begin this project, but we moved them into another room leaving her with no place to sit and read.  


Sara asked me to help her pull all of these existing pieces together into one light, bright cohesive design.  I got to work creating the following project "to do" list:  

To do:
Lighten up the room 
Address empty wall space
Create a cozy reading area (Sara loves to read)
Use the following items in the design:
-Poppy wall-papered accent wall
-Custom TV console handmade by Sara's dad
-PB bed, armoire, nightstands and storage ottoman
-A collection of art by Sara's favorite local Artist (Julie Abbott)
-Family photos
-Leather club chair she had tucked away in storage
-Existing butterfly quilt (on the bed in the before photos)
-Ceiling fan

After checking all these items off the list and making a few new purchases, here is what the room looks like now...

I used the poppy accent wall as my color road map to the new design.  Instead of pulling spicy oranges and rusty reds from the wall paper for new bedding, I chose a complementary color, soft blue.  
In addition to the bedding, I carried other soft blue accents throughout the space in accessories.

Complementary colors are colors that are across from eachother on the color wheel, such as blue and orange.  

Blue and orange is my favorite complementary color combination.   It's dynamic, charming, youthful and fresh.  Just like Sara, Erik and their family.

Speaking of which in addition to Sara and Erik's two adorable children they also have two happy go lucky k9 family members that frequent this space.  Family/pet friendliness was one of our priorities.  This beautiful soft blue matelasse duvet cover from Potterybarn is durable and machine washable.  

I kept the bedding simple to allow the accent wall to be the star of the show.  A solid blue duvet combined with a trio of simple polka dot pillows is just enough interest and color to create a dramatic focal point against the bold-patterned wall paper. 

We dressed up the flatscreen tv with a trio of hanging candle lanterns mounted over the console table made by Sara's dad.  

Sara's dad (Rob) is a talented craftsman, the beautiful tv console he made also inspired our new reading area.  We asked him to make a coordinating end table to place next to her "new" reading chair. 

The "new" chair I mentioned is actually a handsome leather club chair that Sara and Erik had tucked away in storage.  We moved her french chairs into another space which left her without a place to read.  We brought the leather chair out of storage, paired it with the end table her dad made at our request and surrounded the vignette with a gallery of art made by Sara's favorite local artist, Julie Abbott. 

This created a cozy reading corner for Sara to relax and read during the day or cuddle with the kids for a bedtime story.  The gallery of art surrounding this area created a comforting and colorful backdrop.  To give the gallery wall depth and dimension, we also asked Rob to craft a ledge that allowed us to lean a piece of art over this tree in a frame that Sara created. 

Soft pillows add comfort to the new reading chair and play off the love theme found in the art. 

A large full length mirror anchors this expansive wall and provides a beautiful reflection of the new room. 

 The mirror also reflects natural light through the space adding to the bright new look and feel.  

New solid white linen drapes keep the windows light and airy.  These adorable drapery hold backs were something Sara purchased a few years ago.  She was able to find another pair online which allowed us to use two drapery panels on each window.  Previously there was only one panel per window which left the windows looking slightly unfinished.  

Kona is Sara and Erik's newest family member.  He said as long as his spot here on the ottoman was left in place, he was on board with anything else we wanted to do.  Good thing his favorite spot at the end of the bed fits right into the new design. 

Sara had a great stash of wall art and family photos.  This large iron tree was something she already had in the space.   I moved it to the wall opposite the reading nook and paired it with a collection of family photos. 

We gave the ceiling fan an updated look by switching out the french bell shaped shades of drum style chandelier shades from Ballard Designs.  Like many of us, Sara and Erik use their bedroom ceiling fan a lot.  This is a great example of how easily you can change the look of your fan to make it a more attractive design element.

When I originally met with Sara, this beautiful, cozy cotton quilt was on her bed.   Although I replaced it with the new solid blue duvet,  I kept it in the space.  Folded neatly at the bottom of the console table, it provides softness and color.  It is also readily available for bed time story cuddle sessions. 

I added height and interest to the armoire with new pottery and a large framed photo Sara already had in her stash of goodies.  

The biggest change in this space was hands-down the new wall color.  We went with a custom mixed neutral tan similar to the background found in the poppy wall paper.  

This new, light, wall color provides a gorgeous neutral backdrop for Sara and Erik's colorful art collection. 

This makeover is a great example of how a few new items can bring your existing pieces together in a whole new way.  By incorporating a complementary accent color (blue) in bedding and pottery, Sara's monochromatic spicy orange and rusty red bedroom took on a fresh, crisp new look.  
Sara and Erik, Thank you for inviting me into your home and giving me the opportunity to design for you. 

For information on my affordable online design consultation service, please click here
® The Yellow Cape Cod 


  1. Gorgeous!! You are so talented!! My question is... where did you find the heart pillow? Is it something that you made? I am in LOVE!!

    1. Hi Tina, thank you. The heart pillow was something my client already owned. I'm not sure where it is from. Best, Sarah

  2. Love your room makeovers. Can you tell us the color of the "tan"?

    1. Thank you, the paint color was a custom color mix. It is similar to Sherwin Williams Simplify Beige.

  3. Looks gorgeous. I just love those poka dot cushions on the bed.

  4. I wish you would have taken some wider shots so we could see the room as a whole, like we did in the "before" pictures. I understand you wanted to show us the small details but what about the Grand Finale?

    1. Cindy B. Thank you for your feedback. Great suggestion, I would love to post more photos of this space. Sarah

  5. Of all your before/afters, this is my HANDS DOWN favorite!!!! I LOVE everything you did and I can imagine that the homeowners do as well!! Thank you for sharing with us!

  6. This looks great! The change in wall color definitely lightens the space and makes it appear larger. I also love the little pieces added here and there to give the room some personality. Love it

  7. Great makeover! love the tree and photos wall!

  8. I love the lanterns above the tv. For months, I've tried to think of what to do above our tv. You may have given me the solution.

  9. My goal would be to magically produce more floor and counter space.


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