Creating a calm yet bold master suite is no easy task, even for the most straightforward of rooms. So many of you ask what the journey was like in creating this space. As such I wanted to share with you the process.
The room itself posed some unique design challenges. First, it’s a bottom floor suite with a slightly sloped ceiling as part of the room is encroached on from the overhead stairs that lead to space.
In addition, the room has a pesky 8” soffit that wrapped most of the perimeter of two complete walls in the room that couldn’t be removed. The worst part was that one of the walls had a horrible faux wood treatment that overwhelmed one complete wall. Guys, It was actually flooring. My other half tried to convince me to keep it. Fortunately, I won that debate.
With that being said, there were some nice pluses too. The room had a solid recessed lighting system complete with dimmers and the hardwood floors from the rest of the house continued into the primary promising a seamless transition and cohesiveness for the entire home. Phew! There was also a good amount of natural light that came in from the backyard that also helped to reflect some of the greenery into the room. As city folk, we are always looking for more light and nature in any way possible. The yard, however, is a project and post best saved for another day.
The soon-to-be miracle bedroom had sufficient space for a king bed and two side tables. For two grown men, coming from 700 sq. ft. and a Queen bed, we over the moon to finally have enough room for us to sleep, not fight over the covers, and have a spot for our cavalier King Charles spaniel – Echo.
The room showed plenty of promise and I couldn’t wait to get started. Needless to say, I locked the space plan fairly quickly. The space dictated this rather matter of factly. From there we were on to the more challenging decisions. Should I build out the soffit? Do I consider just keeping our Queen bed and maximize the floor space, (yes I went through about every option,) Chandelier or no, start with the rug, or bed?
I decided early for styling that we needed to start with the bed and rug. I find it best when styling a space to start with a rug and bed in the bedrooms. These pieces you have to get right as they are the foundation to the entire room. Ultimately, we will then pull from these pieces to guide the rest of the space. In the instances where I started with a chair, light fixture, or even a statement piece of art I always find like the end result seems more disjointed than when I select the rug and bed first. When styling starts with the largest item that has the MOST visual impact as a general rule of thumb. You can break the rules later.
Next, I looked at every possible bed type imaginable; tuft, wood, rod iron, IKEA, custom, and four-poster, etc. We ultimately decided on the talents of Alex @DoormanDesigns. They are a New Orleans-based design firm with the talent and price point us little people can manage. It was love at first sight with the Josephine bed. It was about this time when we realized that the boys over at Doorman could customize our bed to rest safely over the 8” soffit so that we would save almost a foot of walking space at the foot of the bed – a high traffic location as it leads to the closet and master bath.
What I knew is that I needed to find a way to utilize the wasted vertical space from the soffit that took up two complete walls of the room. But, what does one do? Add float shelves, cover them with a statement curtain, or even leave them as is? It took some latte’s and late-night brainstorms but we finally came up with the perfect solution – Arches!
Arches make every room better, and as far as I am concerned arches are the new black. I am always drawn to homes with a bit of charm and character – gravitating towards Tudor and Spanish homes. This house was everything we needed on paper but wasn’t shining on architectural detail. As such, I thought what better way to use the soffit than build up some beautiful stucco arches with 8” deep alcoves to style all of my favorite thrift finds. We went with gorgeous poplar wood for the shelves. These arches and shelves were really affordable and completely transformed our suite infusing some much-needed character without being forced.
In the end, I feel great about the choices we made which included continuing the paint color from the rest of the house here as well. The bed fits perfectly and maximized the previously wasted soffit. The new arches are the single design element that we get the most compliments on – and that feels so good. We even did a quick paint of the slider tri-corn black, to help the rest of the room pop. Replacing the slider to french doors was out of the budget so this quick update was a perfect choice. The slider now pops against the splendor of the arches and helps to blend that modern and classic vibe that I love so much.
Check out some of the dramatic before and after shots below. Can you believe what a difference the drapes, arches, and splash of black paint made?