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Sweet Dreams: Creating a Bedroom You’ll Love

by | Jan 10, 2010 | Bedrooms, Decorating Inspiration

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Sweet Dreams: Creating a Bedroom You'll LoveHouse Beautiful

When was the last time you really updated your master bedroom? I’ve been thinking about that question lately for myself.

Sweet Dreams: Creating a Bedroom You'll LoveHouse Beautiful 

Even though we just barely moved in to our house, I have had the same bedding for maybe ten years. It was great quality so it is not going to wear out for a long time. Fortunately it is fairly neutral and classic.

Sweet Dreams: Creating a Bedroom You'll LoveCoastal Living

But after looking at that same bedding for years and years, I am ready for some fresh ideas.

Sweet Dreams: Creating a Bedroom You'll LoveHouse Beautiful Victoria Pearson

Sometimes I just want to walk in my room and have a little burst of something new and happy to catch my eye. A new color scheme, a funky new lamp or a pop of life from a new patterned pillow.

Sweet Dreams: Creating a Bedroom You'll LoveCoastal Living Dominique Vorillion

This next confession will probably make you want to click away shaking your head, but I play this silly little game where I walk down a hall in my house and then PEEK back around the corner really fast into a room to see what reaction I have.

Sweet Dreams: Creating a Bedroom You'll LoveCoastal Living

If it makes me smile to look in that room, I am content and feel at peace. The room will inspire me and life will be as it should be.

On the other hand, if I feel like scrunching up my nose and saying “MEH” when I walk by, something is desperately wrong and it needs to be fixed. Immediately. Then I switch things up or add something new or different. If I can walk by the next time and smile instead of cringe, all is right with the world. If I can’t, I need to try something else.

How is that for a scientific approach to decorating? Please. I don’t know where I get my ideas. It would make a brilliant decorating book.

Sweet Dreams: Creating a Bedroom You'll LoveHouse Beautiful  (Kathy Ireland designer)

How to decorate your home in three easy steps.

The (random and somewhat awkward but effective) Inspired Room way.

Step one. Walk down the hall in your home, non-nonchalantly gazing around at nothing in particular.

Step two. When you pass by a room, do a quick double take back into in the room. Note: Careful of whiplash.

Step three. Ask yourself, were you happy with what you saw? Do you feel a sense of inner peace and overwhelming inspiration to live a better life? If so, sigh with happiness and proceed to another room. On the contrary, if you said, “MEH” (sound it out, it sounds like it is spelled) out loud (or inside your head) and crinkled your nose, change something in the space. Immediately.

Repeat steps one through three.

The end.

Brilliant I tell you!

I’m not even kidding. That is exactly how I decorate.
You cannot make this stuff up.

Sweet Dreams: Creating a Bedroom You'll LoveHouse Beautiful Kathy Ireland

Now, for a few more tips on creating a master bedroom sanctuary, particularly if you have kids at home, visit my guest post on Simply Modern Mom.

And to read my philosophy of Living Authentically at Home, visit (in)courage and please leave me comments so I’ll know you came by!

Sweet Dreams: Creating a Bedroom You'll Love

Lastly, I have another confession to make. I did one of my “double takes” in a room at my house last week. And I heard a loud MEH coming our of my mouth and felt my nose crinkle up. Next thing I knew, I quit putting away Christmas decorations and started rearranging furniture. I’ll talk about that in another post.

Have you done any double takes lately?

Sweet Dreams: Creating a Bedroom You'll Love

Sweet Dreams: Creating a Bedroom You'll Love

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More ideas for decorating your bedroom!


  1. Katrina

    This is me too! I always have to double take things, walk past a few times and then I frantically move it as though “what what I thinking!” Loved this post. I just redecorated my bedroom but now I might be (slightly) doing the MEH! Ooopssy. Never mind…it’s what I love to do – decorate!

  2. Rebecca

    Hilarious post! I love your method of decorating. Hey…if it works…! We all have our own way of decorating or designing. I’ve gone to design school for the past five years and what works best for me is actually taking a picture of a room at all angles and then I’m able to see how to design it more so than being in the room. Strange, but true!

    Tried to add your blog to my blogroll, but it’s not working for some reason. Will try again later.
    .-= Rebecca´s last blog ..Principles of Good Design: Movement =-.

    • Melissa

      Thanks Rebecca, it is good to take the photos of all angles so you can get a feel for the room as a whole, rather than just one view. A room is made up of so much more than just one angle. You are smart! Five years of design smart…that is a long time but I bet you are learning a ton!! Good for you! What a fun reason to be in school.

  3. LesleySW

    I do the same thing! I also try to walk through my house sometimes like a buyer might, even though I have no plans to sell anytime soon.

    I redecorated our “master” bedroom nearly a year ago and I’m really crazy about it. I went with gray, green and black and used some bird decals on the wall.

    It’s a tiny room, so there was only so much I could do, but I love it. You can get a peek of it at a post I did last year about spring green:
    .-= LesleySW´s last blog ..Sunday roundup: DIY posts to spark your creativty =-.

  4. Maya

    I need to update my bedroom right now, or rather the bed. I love the look of layered pillows, but just can’t see myself removing them every night and putting them back on.
    .-= Maya @ Completely Coastal´s last blog ..Turquoise for the Bedroom -More Pillows =-.

  5. Marian

    LOL, when I change my furniture around (or just a few smaller items) I always walk in my hall and then nonchalantly into my room. IF I like it it stays, if I say neh (or nah lol) it goes…..
    .-= Marian´s last blog ..Reading Old Emails =-.

  6. My First Kitchen

    One of the things on my 101 Things in 1,001 Days list is to make my bedroom beautiful. Basically it’s one giant MEH. I don’t know how to layer very well, so I’m looking forward to hunting around here for help. And I’m not sure I get the double take approach. I could reeeeeally use some video instructions. :)
    .-= My First Kitchen´s last blog ..How to Organize Your Kitchen Pantry =-.

  7. Denise

    You know I cam currently working on my green bedroom…have decided to try and work aroundthe green for now. I will update you soon. I have ordered curtains and am working on the blank frame idea from Simply Modern Mom. I found frames at Goodwill this past weekend and I just need to find me some white ribbon. I love a fun project! Thanks for the reminder to keep going~

  8. Becky K.

    Great post!
    That is a method to try.
    I know how it will work out for me in my master, though.
    Lots of work to do there!

    Becky K.
    .-= Becky K.´s last blog ..Who Wrote the Bible? =-.

  9. LeAnn

    I do the same thing. But a lot of times I look at my photos because sometimes the photos tell me more. If the photos make me go “EH” then I start switching and tweaking, I think I drive my family crazy! Have fun with your master bedroom. I recently bought a new comforter for our new kind size bed and totally didn’t like it because it was a big print in a small room and when I looked in the room, it looked like it had been swallowed by a giant flower so I opted for plain cream bedding with a quilt folded at the foot.

    • Melissa

      I use photos too…they sure do give you a different perspective and I end up making a lot of changes around my house after trying to photograph it!! Great tip!

  10. LindsayRuns

    Yes, that peek idea is super silly but I think it’s great! And I bet it works! (I won’t do it right now cause I know I will only be happy with 2/7 rooms in my house). Thanks for the idea though, it will be good to remember when I feel like a room might be “done”.

  11. Vee

    (Just so you’ll know, I never have time for the website stuff, I’m not forgetting it or thinking it’ll automatically link. ;D )

    Your method sounds perfect. Of course, I never like what I see so I don’t have to look back quickly. (That cracks me up.) No amount of changing it up would help, I’m afraid. Now you be careful, too, when you’re using your method. And, of course, you need to work on a book. Gheesh…haven’t a million people told you so?

  12. Mrs.Rabe

    I did this recently, well minus the ‘meh’ and changed up my master bedroom. No new items, just rearranged and moved an item out. Know what? I love it! Your decorating method is just like mine! Great minds, I tell ya!
    .-= Mrs.Rabe´s last blog ..Helping Our Kids To Learn Discernment =-.

  13. Michelle

    I do that all the time! Right my “yucky rooms” are my oldest son’s bedroom and the master bedroom, I just don’t know where to start.

  14. Linda

    Great idea!! One other that I utilize often is to take pictures of my rooms and looking at them on the computer screen…for some reason, it gives me a new perspective and new way of looking at the room. Not sure why it works, but it does:) Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Melissa

      Yes it does, I agree…that is one of the things I’ve learned through blogging! I think using photos gives you a little more artistic appreciation for your room.

      However, I have to admit it doesn’t always help. Sometimes I just cannot get a room to look good in a photo but in person I know it looks good. You can miss out on the effect of nuances you can see elsewhere in the room and house as a whole when you only see a snapshot view. The lighting can be not right in a photo, or you might feel like a wall is too blank in a photo but in reality in the room as a whole it is a much needed white space.

      So sometimes it helps me to use a photo, and sometimes it frustrates me. :-)

  15. Sandy

    How do you get rid of something that is in perfectly good condition and redecorate? My black and white toile dust ruffle and shams are still in perfect shape after ~11 years! I so want a change! I’ve gone with different color comforters, maybe it’s time again for a new color, and new wall paint!
    Ahhh, I’m going to start looking!
    .-= Sandy´s last blog ..something to celebrate =-.

    • Melissa

      Ha, yeah, I think if you have kept something that long and you want something new you just give yourself permission to move on, and share it with someone else. Or, like you said, you can try new wall paint or accent colors in accessories and maybe it will look new all over again to you!

      Have fun!

  16. Sandy

    I’m limited in how I can move things around in my bedroom, and that bugs me. I so-so like our room – I think it’s the stacks of paper that I need to go through (today!)

    Happy Monday, Melissa!
    .-= Sandy´s last blog ..Kid Memory Binders: Organized and Easy! =-.

  17. Beth H

    yes! i just did a double-take this morning, when i woke up & opened my eyes. my bedroom is definitely “MEH!” in desperate need of a new paint job, but i hate painting! luckily, Hubs is starting to agree with me that it would be soooo much better with a new coat of paint, so he might do it. : ) Love your decorating philosophy!
    .-= Beth H´s last blog ..Outdoor Oasis: Finished Brick Patio =-.

  18. Gina

    My master bedroom’s making me do a double take too! It’s time for some changes, but I haven’t figured out what yet…..I love those pictures though, there’s some great inspiration!
    .-= Gina´s last blog ..This is why…. =-.

  19. Stephanie

    I hear a very loud MEH! every time I walk past my Dining Room. Why did I pick that wall color??
    That is number one on my list of things to do this Spring – repaint the Dining Room!!
    .-= Stephanie @ BonaFide´s last blog ..burnt toast =-.

  20. desiree

    I love the photos. I could sleep in any of those rooms! And your advice for decorating a room….perfect! Sometimes after re-arranging a room adding or taking away….I need to walk away for a while, then come back and take another look.
    .-= [email protected]´s last blog ..New Year’s Resolution: Coat Racks =-.

  21. Tiffany

    that is such a great tip! i need to do that more often, even though i all ready know what my reaction to my rooms in our house will be. but our bedroom. now that is our favorite room in the house right now. time to branch out and work on the other rooms.

    thanks for the link, too!
    .-= Tiffany´s last blog ..Original Artwork Bird Tree Canvases =-.

  22. Jennifer

    Confession: I totally do the same thing. I didn’t even really think about it until you mentioned it but am sure I do this at LEAST once a day and several if I just cleaned everything. :) I am drumming up ideas for my master bedroom as well. I have one of those sloped ceilings on just one side of it and can never settle on what to do with it! I am determined to soon though. Great post, thanks!
    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..Do you have a fairy? =-.

  23. Eos Mom

    I’m excited to do a quick redo of our master bedroom: I bought a “complete bed in a bag” set for $30 on sale at Anna’s Linens and I think just changing the bedding is going to really revitalize our room–for only 30 bucks!
    .-= Eos Mom´s last blog ..Blitz-It Friday =-.

  24. cityfarmer

    … so many that I have whiplash!!

    I think we were blog friends a few years ago … somehow I lost track of you … BUT found you today!!
    .-= cityfarmer´s last blog ..SAVVY SATURDAY STUFF =-.

  25. Angie

    This is hilarious! I don’t do the quick double take- but if I walk by and think “meh” then I change things around too! Just did it a couple of days ago!

  26. Victoria

    Laughing out loud at your decorating instincts! Seriously, right now I can do that with every room in my house. But since losing a job, I can’t really change much at all yet. But I have plans! Oh, do I have plans. I think my laptop may crash with all the plans and photos and ideas I have! So I’m ready when that cash starts rolling in! Thanks for brightening up my day with your wonderful blog. I am thoroughly inspired!

  27. stephen

    love the headboard of the second picture. Brilliant as always :)

  28. the BLAH BLAH BLAHger

    CLASSIC! Sometimes you just need to make a quick change and drop everything you’re doing. Granted, your family might think you’re crazy, but then again, they probably already do. Ha! : )
    .-= the BLAH BLAH BLAHger´s last blog ..I Bet I Could Do That! =-.

  29. black eyed susans kitchen

    Sadly, I am familiar with meh around here lately. First I need to clean everything around here and declutter…then I will start the rearranging and redecorating. I know exactly how this feels.
    .-= black eyed susans kitchen´s last blog ..REVOLVING BEDSCAPES AND A PILLOW PARTY =-.

  30. kathysue

    Melissa, I have the same method that I use when I make a change in a room, I call it clearing the eye,kind of like clearing the pallette before you take another taste. I turn around close my eye turn around and OPEN it will hit me immediately if it is right or not. I guess we both are going on our instincts. Would love for you to come by and visit my new blog that I just started last week at:[email protected] Kathysue

  31. Amanda

    That sounds like a marketing plan to me! My bedroom is completely “meh” right now. :)
    .-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..DIY: Winter Snowflake Banner =-.

  32. Bugs & Sunshine

    Aww, I did not know you were putting my master boudoire pictures up on your blog today. Meh, I didn’t mind though ;0! haha

    And is the turn and peek game silly really? I agree it is a perfectly wonderful way to decorate your palace.

    I’m going to leave this comment and go play the game right now. Thanks for a fun post today.

  33. Janet

    Our master bedroom is the only room that hasn’t been redone in our home. It definately needs a makeover.

    The double takes have me in a neckbrace and suffering from adult ADD. I have started so many clearing/cleanings I can’t seem to finish one completely.

    Great images for inspiring a makeover!
    .-= Janet´s last blog ..Dream Home =-.

  34. martha bunch

    You are so funny. A much easier way to get the same fresh perspective on an existing space is this: Take a good sized hand mirror and look at your room as if in a “rear view ” mirror. Everything will look different, and your brain will be stimulated…. Let me know if this works for you!

    • Melissa

      Hmmm…I use mirrors in my house to reflect different views and I always make sure I like what I see in the reflection. So, this seems like another good way to get a different view and perspective, with a hand mirror! Good tip!

  35. Carmie

    I think quickly doing a doubletake is a great idea as is taking photos. Sometimes, I will look at these photos and say, “That is what I am living in?”

  36. Sandra

    I am working my way back to the Grand Finale of my home makeover so I still walk in my bedroom with one eye closed and then it doesn’t seem so bad!

  37. Stacey

    Ha! What a great idea! I usually do the exact opposite…I stare with slightly squinted eyes off toward a space and start “seeing” the possible changes! (Hubby usually asks “Are you ok?” during this part) Then I can imagine the “big picture”!

    And this master bedroom in our new house is the first time we’ve actually done anything right away to our bedroom. Usually we wait for years to even start each time we move. But no more! Just a few more things to do in there & I’m done!
    .-= Stacey @ The Blessed Nest´s last blog ..Chalkboard Plate Project =-.

  38. Chrissy

    We have been looking into how to transform our bedroom into a beautiful uforia place to be. Your bedroom should be your sanctuary. Right now mine is just brown suede everything!
    I’m currently reading a book called At Home With Laurie Ann by Laurie Ann McMillin Ray. She has some great decorating tips for all around the home that I have already concidered. Thought I would share if anyone else is into the Do it yourself kind of books!
    .-= Chrissy´s last blog ..ChrissysKorner: Have been some home decorating myself after reading At Home With Laurie Ann by Laurie Ann Ray =-.

  39. Lynn

    Yes! This is exactly my technique. That sound has even escaped from my lips. I’ve been thinking about this post since I read it before dinner. Thanks for putting it into words. I enjoy your site and haven’t commented before today. Thanks for creating it!

  40. Melanie

    We just moved into a new home and out master bedroom is HUGE! The biggest room we have ever had. My comforter set is only 3 years old but I had it a year before I ever used it. We were building another house and I was buying things as I went along. Anyway, it is good bedding but I am tired of it. Our bedroom is the last room that I have to work on. I want something calming and soothing and that has a wow factor. I am not there yet. I search the internet to try and find something to get me started but it just isn’t happening.
    .-= Melanie´s last blog ..Showtime..oh no, I mean SNOW time ! =-.

  41. Ann, Hill Country House

    You are so funny. Guess what I do? I go outside and look into different rooms through the windows. It really does give a different perspective! Great post and LOVE the bedroom shots you shared.

  42. Kristen

    We could stand to have a slightly nicer bedroom. Granted we are still fairly newlywed and we have no kids. But Hubby’s work schedule is really stressful these days, and we definitely need a place to retreat – even if it’s in our own home. Looking forward to the tips in your guest posts!
    .-= Kristen´s last blog ..One Step Closer =-.

  43. Jean

    I like your method too but for me I wait until I come home from a trip and try to see my house through the eyes of a stranger or a buyer. Also I look at it through a mirror in the room or from pictures I’ve taken. Most of my rooms I am happy about since all the decorating is only 2 years old. But I love to keep current and it is good to keep evaluating your home. Good luck with your bedroom. With all the great pictures and advice you give to others, I am sure your room will turn out beautifully!
    .-= Jean´s last blog ..Time to Start Thinking of Valentines =-.

  44. Rhonda

    Great ideas and inspiration! My family may think I’ve lost my mind, walking around, whipping my head this way and that, but I am definitely going to try it! LOL! Especially now that Christmas is finally put away, and I’m trying to get my home back together! I need to know what is working and what is not! Thanks for sharing these pictures and tips! ~Rhonda :)

    • Melissa

      Ha, DO give it a try! Just be careful, we don’t want any injuries! LOL! New post Wednesday with some ideas for where to start (after you do your double take!)

  45. AmyE

    You make me laugh … and for those of us who look at most of the rooms in our house and say “Meh” … but have no clue what to rearrange or have nothing cute enough to make a difference even if it were rearranged?

    • Melissa

      Well you will just have to stick with me, Amy. Wednesday I have some tips for what to do next, after you say “meh.”

  46. Helen

    Something else that works really well and allows you to take a step back and see a room from new eyes is to take a series of photos and look at them rather than the room – it can come as a shock though!

  47. Paula

    My hubby & I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary in July: I’ve been planning a master BR update… it’s at the top of my decorating “To Do” list for 2010!

    The duvet that we currently have was custom made – and I have really enjoyed it all these years. But, it’s time for something new! I really love the photos from your blog (I think it’s the master??) – I may borrow some ideas from you!! We must have a new mattress set – and new bed linens. I’m looking forward to finding just the right combination.

  48. Sue

    I didn’t read all the comments yet, so maybe someone else said this, but I recently took photos of all my rooms to share with an online group of girlfriends I’ve known for years. Not pretty close ups of my favorite things, but just a “stand on a chair and get the whole room” shot. Things that needed to be changed IMMEDIATELY just LEAPED out of those photographs at me. It was a great exercise.

    Now I’m going to go try your double take method!
    .-= Sue @ Laundry for Six´s last blog’s a lot like leaping off a cliff =-.

    • Melissa

      Yes, now that is a great method! You are right, taking a photo of a pretty corner doesn’t always tell the whole design success (or failure!) of a room as a whole. Notice how in blogland we tend to just share a corner? It is much more difficult to get a whole room and beyond to have a sense of balance and cohesiveness (let alone get it to look good in a photo!). Great tip! Thanks for sharing it!

  49. Ann

    Ok, that is just so cute that you do that!! Love it! :-) I definitely go MEH walking throughout my house! lol!!

  50. Kristy

    Omg, TOO funny. I have ALWAYS done that, except I do it when I’m working on projects for my clients! I put the project together, leave my studio, then come back around from another direction. I’ve always called it “sneaking up on my design.” Like you said, you can’t make this stuff up – ask my former coworkers! Sometimes, I’ll even stand with my back to it, and peek over my shoulder so it doesn’t know I’m looking. LOL! It’s never occured to me to try it in my own home. What a novel idea. :)

  51. alayne

    “Sweet Dreams: Creating a Bedroom You’ll Love”

    “How to decorate your home in three easy steps.”

    It’s a great tip but seems mistitled/misleading to me. Nothing is “created” or “decorated by following the steps, they serve as a way to get a fresh perspective in order to objectively decide if the space needs to be recreated/redecorated.



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