Decorating Dilemmas: Bernadette’s Master Bedroom

Updating a 90's master bedroom with fresh linens, art, lighting, and paint

Decorating Dilemmas is a weekly column in which our stylists answer your design questions, so you can tackle your home decorating project with complete confidence.

Dear How to Decorate,

My house is a 1993 colonial with the typical honey oak trim and coordinating furniture. I’d like to bring my bed and bath up to date, but my husband will not agree to changing the woodwork or our furniture.

I LOVE all the Ballard items I have purchased in the past and LOVE the style. I hope you can help! I’m looking for paint, bedding, lamps, lighting, etc. The cabinets in the bath could be painted. I am adept at chalk paint! An idea I have is the spa/beige combo, and I like your current bedding with the pom poms.

I’m looking for up to date, simple, and serene. Please help! The bedroom is fairly large and has a dome ceiling. The current color is a sage. The bath wallpaper is coming down, and as I said the cabinets can be painted. The chair in the bedroom has to go, as well!

Thanks for the help,






When designing your master bedroom, always remember that simplicity is the key to creating a serene retreat. Keeping in line with the pieces that you already have, your dream room will come together beautifully.

Once you’ve removed the wallpaper from the master bathroom, you’ll have a blank canvas in both the bed and bath.  You should consider layering in Benjamin Moore’s Palladian Blue on your vanity chalk paint project. This is a subtle blue that will work with the other paint we’ve chosen for your spaces. Your home’s existing honey oak trim will pair nicely with BM’s Revere Pewter or Smoke Embers on all remaining walls — a calm collection of subtle color.

Bedding is a great way to show personality with both color and texture. Most of our bedding collections are designed to coordinate with many of our other bedding options. You’ll find endless combinations of the spa and off-white color schemes with our Audree Pom Pom Quilted, Gwyneth Buffalo Check and Jardin Toile bedding. Moving your current club chair to a guest bedroom will leave you ample space for our upholstered Eton Club Chair and Ottoman shown in Vivian Navy. We selected this beautiful floral because of its deep saturated color tones.   If this selection is a bit too bold, we always offer 200+ fabrics to choose from that will fit your style and personality.

Next, hang a pair of Vert Botanique Framed Botanicals above your bed along with the Southern Oaks Stretched Canvas on the wall next to the armoire. Center the Carved Tassel Lamp on the bedside table and then pair it with the Julian Apothecary floor lamp perched next to the Eton Club Chair. Place several pieces of our Blue & White Chinoiserie Porcelain Vases throughout both the master bed and bath. Replace your current drapery panels with a set of Suzanne Kasler’s Greek Key Linen Panels in either camel or flax to finish this space.

We’re thrilled to know that our posts inspire the creativity and re-energize the enthusiasm for our loyal readers.

Happy Decorating!

The Design Team

Updating a 90's master bedroom with fresh linens, art, lighting, and paint

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How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.