Mera’s House: New Master Bedroom Decisions

The plan for our new bedroom is to use most of our existing furniture, but one thing we are definitely getting or making is a new bed.  The rooms that I’ve been drawing inspiration from mostly have upholstered beds, but I’ve also wanted a spool bed for a long time.  We can’t use a true four-poster because the ceilings are too sloping and low, but a low-post bed could work.

Here is a refresher on what we’re working with; the plan is to paint the wood-panelled walls and ceiling white, rip up the carpet to reveal the finished fir below, and build a new closet:

Red House West || Bedroom Decisions Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 8.09.13 PMThe current bed is beautiful, but it is a full and we definitely need a queen at least (both of us are all shoulders).  In the images below, the sloping ceilings and placement of the beds is similar to the layout of our bedroom.  While I wouldn’t choose exactly these beds (they wouldn’t fit in our bedroom without poking holes in the ceiling anyway), these pictures convince me that vertical posts can work well with a sloped ceiling.

I put together two mood boards using the rug I already have (purchased on eBay) and a few other things that I want to include in our bedroom to see how it would come together.

Master Bedroom version 1

Classic and pretty, but I’m worried it’s headed toward being stuffy.  Also, the bedside lamps are floating in space because I know we will use our Broyhill Brasilia nightstands, but they don’t look right with the spool bed.  It’s like when my hair was down past my waist and I could really only do one look, the renaissance fair maiden cum hippie mermaid, and then I cut my hair to shoulder length and felt like I could pull off anything from Debbie Harry to Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  The spool bed is butt-length hair — pretty, but it defines the whole look.

With an upholstered bed the rest of the room can still be anything it wants.  Here are two rooms with upholstered headboards, where there is a lot of other color and pattern:

Here’s the second mood board using an upholstered headboard in a pretty fabric called “blue dandelion.”  If we go this route, I would probably have the bed made (I’ve had good luck with hiring marine upholsters for this sort of thing.  They’re precise and don’t charge an arm and a leg), or try to DIY it.  The bed would be straight across the back instead of curved.

Plans for a New Bedroom, version 2

See that triangle-shaped full-length mirror?  The idea came from the image below, and I love it, but it’s yet another thing that doesn’t work with a spool bed.

So that’s what I’m mulling over right now, and I’d love to get your input.  Upholstered or spool? Thanks!

23 responses on “Mera’s House: New Master Bedroom Decisions

  1. pippin

    Both mood boards are pretty, but I think the upholstered headboard will work better in the space. I think a spool bed would be too cramped for the space. The second mood board better suits the space and has a calming lightness about it.

    1. Mera Post author

      Thank you, Pippin. You might be right about the spool bed, although I probably should have chosen a true low-post bed for the mood board (if only I weren’t limited by my lack of photoshop skills!) to represent how it could work in the space. The room is little, so avoiding a feeling of being cramped is definitely important!

  2. Shari

    I’ve always loved sloped ceilings. There is something so cocooning and comforting about them. Your bedroom is going to be fantastic.

    The spool bed or anything with uprights in there will be distracting. Even in your inspiration photos I get the feeling they had the bed and then tried to make it work.

    Your window isn’t that high above the floor. A headboard will block available light. I think I would build built in bookcases around the window and hang window shades. I would buy a bed with a low headboard, maybe an IKEA one even. Cover up the headboard with pillows. I think your bookcase wall will read as this big statement/focal point and the bed will read as a cohesive part of that. You could still do an upholstered headboard with it, but I would put my dollars into the bookcase, use small tables in front of it in either side for nightstand and call it a day. I think bookcases would really up the cozy, intimate give.

    Can’t wait to see your finished room.

    1. andrea

      This is exactly what I was going to write. Love the huge windows, but they come down low, and I think the spindles or big upholstered headboard will make the room feel crowded. I think less is more in this instance.

    2. Mera Post author

      A bookcase wall is a great idea! I should have mentioned in the post that we are having a new window installed. The current window is old and drafty, and barely opens. The new window will be the same style, but set higher in the wall for just the reasons you identified. Thanks for the terrific input!

  3. Dree

    Hi Mera, I prefer the upholstered as well! The fabric that you have chosen is beautiful and I think that it ties in really nicely with all of the other fabrics (and fabric-based art/curtains etc.) that you have in your house already. I think that it’s more flexible as well – I mean, in terms of what you can do with the rest of the room and even up to having it reupholstered at some point if you got tired of the pattern or found another one that you love.
    Best of luck!!

    1. Mera Post author

      Good point, Dree. If I go the upholstered route, I can choose a patterned fabric without too much fear of disliking it later. I love the look of a spool bed, but I think an upholstered bed is a more flexible element. Thank you! 🙂

  4. Nina

    While I don’t necessarily agree that the spool bed would dictate the tone of the room, I do think it would be too cramped, like Pippin says.

    The pix you have chosen for illustration (of the 4-poster) are straight on, from the vantage of the foot of the bed, with the exception of the second shot of your existing room, looking toward the alcove with the desk in it. Picturing that with vertical posts “in the way”, as well as up-sizing to a queen bed, I think would overwhelm the space.

    As usual, can’t wait to see what you come up with.

    Love the triangle mirror and the art!

    1. Mera Post author

      That’s it, I’m growing my hair back to Daryl-Hannah-in-Splash lengths. 🙂
      It’s true, even a low-post bed would occupy some air space in the room, and there isn’t much to spare. Thanks Nina!

  5. Dana

    I’m going to be the odd duck and say the spool bed! Though I like both of the mood boards very much, the spool feels like a proper choice for a cozy attic bedroom. I myself have an upholstered bed & I cannot wait to get rid of it. Also, mixing up lamps on your matching bedside tables might keep everything more hip. And I really don’t see why the triangle mirror wouldn’t go with the spool, it’s like mixing something new with an heirloom. =)
    Just my two cents! I know I’ll love whatever you decide on!!!!!

    1. Mera Post author

      Thanks, Dana! I agree that an attic bedroom and a spool bed go together like ‘q’ and ‘u.’ It’s a tough combination to resist!

  6. Lea

    I think that while a tall bed with spools can definitely work with a sloped ceiling, your room has some unusual features. In your first inspiration photo, the bed doesn’t have any headboard between the uprights and the windows behind it are not broken into multiple panes. The bed in the second inspiration has a headboard like the one in your mood board, but it’s in front of blank wall, not windows. I think that in your particular room there is real potential for the spools to end up obstructing your windows and/or fighting with the pattern of your window panes in an unpleasant way. If you are strongly considering the bed with spools, I would suggest making mock up in place, really measuring out the width of a queen and the height of the spools and the headboard and using something like cardboard wrapping paper tubes and a broken down box to delineate exactly how much of that space would be visually occupied by the wood of the bed. That will also give you a better idea of how much space is left at the sides so you know if you would have enough open room to use visually weighty lamps like the ones in your spool bed mood board without them looking like they were crammed in.

    1. Mera Post author

      Lea, you are a font of well-considered solutions, thank you! Your idea for a cardboard mock-up is excellent, and who knows, maybe I’ll love it so much it becomes permanent. #pinterestsensation

  7. Carol Bryner

    It’s really such a sweet little room, that I think both bed choices would overwhelm it. I’ve become a fan of beds that are as minimalist as possible, but with small, sturdy-enough headboards to prop up the nighttime reading. A more rounded headboard, tapered down toward the sides might suit those windows and follow the pattern of the arch above the bed. For me the visible interest of a bed is in the pillows and quilts and little stuffed what-nots sitting on top. I do love the rug.

    1. Mera Post author

      Especially since you know the room in real-life detail I really value your input, Carol. It is a sweetheart room, but itty-bitty, so I definitely need to be careful about not over-furnishing it. Thank you!

  8. Diana

    I’m with Dana. I like the spool bed and prefer the color palette overall. I’ve had upholstered headboards and just think they look unfinished and make the bed too ‘floaty’ I particularly like the pop do white chair with the spool bed and the curtains keep it from being stuffy.

    1. Mera Post author

      Thanks Diana, I’m happy to have another vote for the spool bed because I love it so! My mood board is a really rough approximation since we are going to replace the window and the bed wouldn’t have the full-height posts. I think it could work! 🙂

  9. Sally

    I’m voting for the padded headboard here. Depending on the height of the posts, the spool might tend to break up the space more, its lines cutting into and adding to the lines of the window. But I also admit that i might have chosen padded because that’s what I am after right now. It strikes me that padded is also more versatile. As trends change it would be a simple job to reupholster it to match a new scheme. What a great space you have to work with! I look forward to seeing what you end up with.

    1. Mera Post author

      We have an upholstered tufted headboard right now (sadly, too big for the space in the new bedroom) and I have to say it is really really comfortable. I think you’re right that it’s more versatile, but on the flip side I think a really beautiful spool bed could be an heirloom that we treasure for years to come. Thanks! 🙂

    1. Mera Post author

      It’s true, the room has so many angles, and the panelling, even when painted, will provide a lot of built in texture. Definitely sound advice to be wary of adding in too many other structural elements. Thank you!

  10. Jen

    Well, I am no help since I keep going back and forth between the two mood boards. Maybe once the new window is in the choice will become clearer, since you’ll have a better sense of the space you’re working with? I will say that I find myself gravitating towards the spool bed just because it is more unique these days. Upholstered head boards are so ubiquitous in decor now, and I guess I’m getting sort of bored with them (and I say that as someone who has one).

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