Portland Master Bedroom Reveal (And How To Pull Together Your Own Dreamy Suite)
The master bedroom in the Portland house is my favorite bedroom I’ve ever slept in, and I judge bedrooms hard. It’s like a large suite in a new boutique hotel room—it has all the bells and whistles, amenities and technology, but feels calm and simple and spacious. Cue never wanting to get out of bed and enjoying all the natural light that pours into the space. It relies on the light, the architecture, the flooring and some bolder moments (art, custom furniture, accessories) to give it character but doesn’t feel busy for one second. So today, I’ll walk you through the reveal, and if you are interested in getting a hotel-style bedroom, this is your day as we’re going to break down all the simple steps to create one in your own home. The only thing missing is the room service and the “do not disturb sign,” oh and the kidless 8 hours of sleep you might get but we can only do so much over here at EHD, so let’s start with how to bring the “suite” life home.
Keep it neutral.
“Designing to sell” means that you don’t want to do anything too weird in a bedroom (although that sofa and incredible chair that you see up in the first photo aren’t exactly average), so I am surprised at how it turned out without us taking too many crazy design risks.
The walls are white (Pure White by Sherwin-Williams to be exact), so the window treatments, which are custom by Decorview, elegantly blend in seamlessly (well, the drapery does; the gray shades still very much coordinate with the rest of the room to keep things neutral). The art shakes up the consistent color palette of black, white, gray, some lighter blues with woods and leathers enough, but otherwise, it’s so easy. There is a decent amount of symmetry and not a lot of pattern. This bedroom should technically be boring on paper, and yet it’s NOT, which I think is because rather than adding pattern or color, we layered in texture and let the pieces speak for themselves.
Mix up the finishes.
We used a mix of finishes but kept them all fairly transitional and simple, nothing too glam or rustic. There is a fair mix of modern in there which also helps the entire room to feel clean and simple.
The nightstands (from Room & Board) are a pretty walnut, in a midcentury/transitional style and those lamps (from Lulu & Georgia) are shockingly good in black ceramic. I say that because the shape of the base is kinda extreme and edgy but in a simple black and without a pattern, they are still quiet. I love those lamps and would definitely use them again. Because the ceilings are high, we were able to get a four poster bed, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time but not just any bedroom can handle its grandness. This one (from Room & Board) is visually bold, with its large squared off black lines, but it’s so simple that it can work in a lot of different styles. To mix things up and warm up the end of the bed, we paired it with that antique Swedish wood bench in front of it (from Rejuvenation) to help soften the hard architectural lines.
I like a lot of symmetry in a bedroom because my brain can’t handle nighttime chaos (because there are two children that will already provide that). So our nightstands and lamps match here. It helps to balance out the room visually and also allows the eye to rest rather than looking at two different (and sometimes competing) bedside tables. In the right room, mix-and-match pieces can definitely work on either side of the bed but in this one, we wanted to keep it calm and relaxing, just as it would be if you were staying in a boutique hotel suite.
Use that natural light.
The light in this room is insane. There are four Velux skylights (with blackout remotes, don’t worry) and six windows (from Milgard) and it’s just flooded with natural light. In Portland, this is HUGE as there is a lot of gray skies and rainy days, so giving yourself a room that feels happy year-round is a pretty big plus, especially when it lets in as much pretty light as this one does.
I wish I could convey through words how beautiful the natural light is in this bedroom. When we originally designed the room, we added windows on three of the four walls in the bedroom, as well as skylights (from Velux) in the ceiling. We vaulted the ceilings and wrapped the beams in poplar with the intent to paint them white, then decided to just keep them in that wood because it was so pretty and the wood really helped introduce some warmth into the space. And now having experienced a bedroom with windows on three walls and skylights in the ceiling, I can’t imagine designing a new build (or any bedroom for that matter) without it…at least whenever possible. A window plan like this creates so much even light throughout the day. Our pretty windows (from Milgard) had these black grids on them, so we echoed that black around the room in other elements to tie it all together. Now, you may be asking yourselves, what happens when you actually want to sleep in the room and you have six windows and two skylights pouring daytime (or nighttime) light into the room? That brings me to the next point.
Don’t overlook window treatments.
Custom window treatments can be a very expensive endeavor in a room, but they are worth the price if you can allocate part of your design budget toward them. There are a few things to consider when picking out window treatments. First off, will they be decorative or functional? Then, it’s about deciding if you want them to filter light or black it out (in other words, how much light you want to come through them?) Lastly, how do you want them to operate? Do you want to draw the curtains to block out light? Or do you want to pull down a shade?
Although they seem simple to answer, all of these questions can become overwhelming when trying to pick out window coverings which is why working with Decorview was such a dream. They came into the home once the windows were installed and we went room by room answering these questions and picking out the best possible options for each space. For this room, we knew we needed to be able to fully block out the light if we wanted to, so we installed blackout accordion-style shades that are covered in a linen fabric and then white drapes on top of them to both soften the look of the shades and give the room a more upscale and formal look.
I could watch this GIF we created all day long. It is so satisfying knowing that the room can go from full light to full blackout really easily and quickly. And for those of you considering these shades and curtains, I can’t recommend them enough. I love how the accordion style allows the shade to pull up almost completely and not cover up very much of the window and there are no strings or pulls either. You just grab the bottom of the shade and push up or down to your desired spot.
Add a large-scale rug.
This room is large, almost 17×18′ so it called for a creative solution for the rug. Rather than using one large 10×14 rug longways, which yes, could have worked (though it would have covered up a lot of the beautiful wood floors and engulfed the room), we opted to use a large rug in a simple texture under the bed in a 9×12 size, and then accented the seating area with a cowhide rug to mix it up and keep it feeling organic. One large rug would have sucked a lot of the space into it (we tried it and didn’t love it), two rectangular rugs could have cut the space in half (which we also tried and it didn’t feel quite right) so the smaller organic shape paired with the large 9×12 rug under the king bed was a perfect solution for us. The large rug is from Dash & Albert and incredibly affordable (the 9×12 is $550). It’s so simple but has enough texture to not look basic. Rather than using a rug with a pattern, stripe or a lot of color, we again kept it neutral to echo the theme of the room.
Bring in art in a calm color palette.
Large scale art can be tough, and also very expensive. We pulled together this entire post about how to hang art, as well as a post on where to buy said large-scale art without going broke. But for the Portland house, we wanted to really do something special. We had a lot of large walls in this home which meant a lot of places to fill, and we wanted the house to be a curation of pieces from local Portland makers and vendors. Brady and Emily B. did a wonderful job of sourcing literally hundreds of pieces for us to all play with up in the house, which meant that we could truly spend the time finding the right piece for each wall rather than just placing a piece to fill the wall.
One of the artists that they found (and that we all fell immediately in love with) was MaryAnn Puls. She was kind enough to bring over a car full of pieces and man did we use a lot of it. The piece that we used here in the master bedroom is large, graphic and conversational and yet it still reads calm due to the subdued color palette of grays, whites, blushes, and blues (no wonder I loved it). Just by adding those softer, more muted tones into the room through the art instantly gave that wall a really impactful yet quiet statement. It’s one of my favorite pieces in the whole house and if it weren’t going to cost $600 to crate and ship it down to LA, I would buy it, so I’m hoping that my brother does. Her work is INCREDIBLE.
Add “conversational” furniture.
You might be asking yourself, “what is conversational furniture?” Well, take a look at the loveseat and chair in this space and that my friends is what we call conversational furniture. They are pieces that are inherently interesting and “conversational” (as in, someone would strike up a conversation about them) and really bring life to a room.
Because everything else in the room was more neutral and pared back as far as the furniture and textiles go, we wanted to bring in a few pieces that were interesting to punch it up. They work because they are still in our neutral color palette but the shapes and patterns are engaging. The loveseat from Schoolhouse is black and white but the pattern gives it a graphic punch. It was the perfect size for this side of the room and gives you a cozy little spot to curl up in front of the fireplace. Speaking of fireplaces, for the surround on this one, we wanted to echo some of the materials that we used elsewhere in the house so we kept it simple with a little architectural detail to mimic the paneling downstairs and then the surround is a white marble from Ann Sacks, which gives it interest in a timeless material.
The leather and wood chair (from The Good Mod) is neutral in pattern but the shape and lines give it life. It is such a special piece and is so comfortable, as well. It’s extra wide which means plenty of space to curl up on a cozy Oregon night. I would do so much writing in that chair every morning with my cup of coffee and that fire on.
If either the chair or the loveseat were in a color, it would steal far too much attention and wouldn’t work in the space for the look we were going for.
Over on this side of the room, we used this wood chest from Thos. Moser. We used a few of their pieces in some of the other rooms that we have revealed but if you aren’t familiar with the brand, they have been handcrafting furniture out of their workshop for over 46 years. They have also been kind enough to extend a 15% discount on any of their pieces by using the code: EMILY18. The craftsmanship, detail and lines in each piece are so beautiful and it was the perfect “armoire” to add into the space.
Rather than using a coffee table, we kept the seating area feeling inviting and informal by adding this leather ottoman (from Article). It’s the perfect scale to add as a footstool in front of a chair or as a coffee table for a smaller loveseat like the one we had in here. It’s also going to get better and better as the leather ages and wears down.
Layer your lighting.
There is quite possibly nothing more important in a bedroom than lighting. After all, you spend most of your time in the bedroom after the sun has gone down, which makes it imperative to have good lighting throughout the space.
Let’s start with that beautiful chandelier (from Rejuvenation). To balance out all of the wood and white happening on the ceiling, we wanted to add a graphic element to help bring the eye (and the black) up. Then we echoed the black in the room again with the ceramic lamps on the nightstands and the reading lamp next to the chair. Each piece of lighting serves a purpose in the room and also evenly distributes light to all areas. For more of our tips on lighting a room, head over to this post where we walk you through it all.
Keep your bedding simple (but layered).
Brady did a great job of styling out this bed with pretty linens from Schoolhouse, West Elm, Target, Jillian Rene and Rebecca Atwood. I want to jump in so badly. The different textures create interest without being fussy and by keeping it in a tonal color palette (gray, white) you can bring in some pattern like we did with the Rebecca Atwood throw at the foot of the bed.
Finish off the space with subtle accessories and styling.
We really pulled back on the accessories in this room. As mentioned before, we were styling it to sell but that doesn’t mean that the room needs to be devoid of accessories so instead of filling it to the brim, we picked a few areas throughout the room to create “moments” that were interesting and impactful.
Over on the fireplace, we pulled together a vignette of art and objects, all of which are pretty enough to be on their own. The colors all stayed fairly muted which allowed us to keep it feeling neutral. That large piece of art above the fireplace is by artist Arielle Zamora, as well as the two smaller pieces that you saw earlier in the room (between the windows), which are coming home with me. The ceramics are by Bobbie Specker, sold through Mantel in Portland. Mantel is another amazing place to shop that we found while we were looking for props to style with. Oh, and that geometric wood sculpture made byAleph Geddis (sold through The Good Mod) is also coming home with me.
At the foot of the bed, we also added a little beverage tray with service for two because who doesn’t want to drink their morning coffee in this bed on a rainy day?
I love this room, just looking at these pictures again while I was writing this post made me so happy. The light, the neutral color palette, the special touches and everything else about it make it a room that I would love to call home.
To make it easier to pull off your own dreamy “boutique hotel” suite, we put together a Get the Look with all the shopping links you need. A lot of the art here might not be available, as they are one-off creations as well as some of the other smalls, but please do check out the rest of the work by the artists we mentioned as they have such a wonderful selection of pieces available. They are incredible talents and their work truly made the house shine.
***Design and styling by Emily Henderson and Brady Tolbert (and team). JP Macy of Sierra Custom Homes (who I seriously can’t say enough good things about) was the General Contractor, and Annie Usher and the architect.