Mastering the Master


Change-up time.  I’ve finally been allowed to write second.  Is that a pig that just flew by?


If you read this blog regularly, you know what kind of weird and tacky stuff the previous owners of our house did- the wood paneling (more on that here), the dried-mustard yellow bathrooms (more on that here and here), the lockless gun cabinet/mini-bar combo (more on that here)- but one room that was actually pretty nice was the master bedroom… mostly. Or so we thought.

When we looked at the house with our realtor, we thought the master bedroom might be on the bottom of our renovation list. It was big, clean, open, well-lit, and quiet. The walls were a calm, light blue, but for some reason they decided to paint the ceiling a very dark blue. I’m not an expert on decorating, but I know that dark colors shrink a room… and trust me, they lower a ceiling, too.

Dark blue ceiling… but it’s an easy fix, right? Right…?

When we went back for a second viewing before putting in an offer, we noticed that it seemed a little strange to put a rug in the middle of a carpeted room, and then we noticed something else- this:

Before I pulled back the rug, I knew what I would find, and I was right. There was a HUGE dark blue stain on the carpet where they had obviously kicked a paint can over. What a bunch of rookies.

We knew we wanted to replace the carpet, but now it had to be replaced. We put in an offer and one of the conditions was that they pay to put in new carpet. We actually ended up picking out and purchasing the new carpet before we had the keys to the house and had our carpet guy store it for us until the sellers had finished moving out.

On move-in day, we put everything we owned into the living room (sadly, it fit quite well). The next day, we began our first project- painting the room. We picked out a dark brown for the walls, the biggest bucket of white ceiling paint we could find, and very quickly learned how much we hate painting.

If you’ve never painted a ceiling, try to keep it that way. It’s by far the most difficult and messiest thing you can do to drywall. Most of our ceilings were an off-white color and only required two coats, but that stupid dark blue literally took three gallons to cover up, and there are still a few thin spots. It took me longer to paint that one ceiling than it did the walls of both the master and the guest bedroom! The next day we were having the carpet installed, so we were under the gun to get the painting done, including all the trim. What a beating!

In the end it was worth it- the white ceiling and trim looked great against the brown walls. We later installed crown moulding and were finally done.

Like my painter’s caulked corner? Gotta love North Texas soil.

We arranged the furniture, got some lamps that worked on the wall switch, and were done- finally, a finished room and a place to relax after a long, hard day of renovating the rest of this outdated house! Or so I thought.


It’s been a constant fight of dark vs light in our house since we moved in.  No, I don’t mean some weird Star Wars good vs evil theme, I mean paint.  Chris and I will pick out a color and I’ll want to go two shades lighter while he’ll want to go two shades darker.  It’s a constant battle.

After posting a plethora of paint chips to the walls, Chris convinced me to go with a dark  tan color.  After painting the ceiling white, he convinced me the room needed a dark color on the walls.  It would be soothing, a perfect retreat after a long day.

PSH.  It looked like muddy river water.  See?

Not exactly the “relaxing retreat” we were going for.  So we’d just repaint it.  No biggie.  The only problem- Chris LOVED it.  Sigh.

Well, it wasn’t really a matter of if we would change it, it was a matter of when.  I let Chris enjoy his muddy walls for a few months and finally decided I had had enough.  It was repaint time.  I decided I wanted to keep it a neutral, tan color but go WAY lighter.

I ended up picking Behr’s Wheat Bread.

This has seriously become my favorite paint color.  I’ve had to restrain myself from painting the whole house this color.  It’s a neutral, light greige color that evokes instant calm and serenity.  Perfection.  Chris’ thoughts after we repainted?  “It’s too light.”  Sigh.

I also decided it was time to update our bedding from the red IKEA comforter I had from college (most comfortable comforter ever but didn’t quite the match the new look we were going for).

We used the remainder of our Macy’s gift cards from the wedding to spring for a new bedding set called Poetical by Barbara Barry.  It’s not available at Macy’s anymore but you can find it at Bed Bath and Beyond.

It’s a modern, neutral pattern that I paired with  a teal Pottery Barn quilt and euro shams called Pick-Stitch in the Porcelain Blue color (the top quilt shown in the below picture).


We were well on our way to a brand new master retreat.  But, first a little wall art and lamps were needed.  My mom helped me pick out an iron scroll to hang on the wall from Hobby Lobby, which has a great selection of inexpensive options.

And then, I found THE lamps.  I’ve always loved these iron table lamps from Pottery Barn but at $170 a pop, they weren’t really a reasonable option.

While perusing Kirkland’s, I found them.  Something so great, I spent the day chanting “I love lamp, I love lamp.”  AND they were only $35 each.  Jackpot.  Unfortunately, they’re not available at Kirkland’s anymore as their inventory changes so quickly but you can see pictures below.

And, of course the last addition was our newly renovated night stands, which you can read about here.

Okay, enough talk already.  Here are the results:



Filed under Master Bedroom

11 responses to “Mastering the Master

  1. Nina

    I am curious about your quilt, please please help! I have been wanting to take the plunge on a new quilt but I can’t decide if this is the one fo r me. Would you say the blue leans pastel, seafoam (greenish I guss), grey, or just plain blue? I know it probably depends on what is next to it. Also, wondering how it holds up to day to day life. Does it seem to attract lint/hair, etc. easily scratched or delicate feeling (I have animals)?

  2. Nina

    I took the plunge and bought the quilt. I just couldn’t tell in the store what color it was, so I had to bring it home to see for myself. I already had the Barbara Barry euro shams, that’s actually how I came across your blog (I was googling/pinteresting her bedding to see if any one had pics of it in their real rooms). Now to decide if I want white sheets or a slight ivory tone! AHHH!!!

    • DO or DIY

      Sorry for the delay, Nina. I hope the quilt works out for you- we just love it against this bedspread! I suggest the ivory tone since the detail in the Barbara Berry pattern is more of a bone-color. We went with ivory and love it! White would have been too stark of a contrast, in my opinion.

      As far as pets, my cuddle-holic kitten loooves to cat-nap all over our bedding and it has stood up really well so far! I have a white quilt on another bed that has basically turned to gray from her constant naps but the teal one doesn’t show any evidence thus far. It’s pretty heavy-duty thus far. Let me know how you’re liking the quilt!! Thanks for stopping by!


  3. Nina

    Julie, thanks for your response. We slept with the quilt last night for the first time and I think we love it. It’s almost the perfect shade of blue/green that I was looking for. Hubs worried at first that it may be a little too ‘shabby chic’, but I prefer to view it as more of a casual/beachy vibe. I dont normally spend $150 on a quilt, so I’m scared of messing it up=)

    I agree that white would be too stark, I’ve been leaning towards ivory sheets too. I always see pretty pictures with white bedding and I have even seen this bedding with a white quilt (look up centsational girl). But white just isn’t practical in my life. I also have a cat that likes to nap on our bed, so that was definitely a factor (along with another cat and jack russell)

    • DO or DIY

      Glad to hear it worked out for you! The lighter sheets should deflect some of the shabbiness (but honestly I’m a shabby-chic-devotee at heart so my opinion doesn’t count for much here). 🙂 The $150 was painful for us too but I have noticed that Pottery Barn sheets and towels stand the test of time so that helps convince me the price is worth it! Hope your pets are liking their new “nap space” as well!


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  6. Thanks for posting the pics of the new color. I’m trying to decide a color for our living room & hallway and think I’m going to pick Wheat Bread. I came across your blog by searching for that color. I love it!

    • DO or DIY

      Hi Jules,
      Thanks for stopping by. If the hubs would let me, I’d paint our whole house Wheat Bread. It’s hands down my favorite paint color. It’s so relaxing and goes with everything! Good luck on the upcoming paint job!


  7. I’m so glad I came across your blog! I love the renovation! I have some questions about the “Poetical” duvet you have. I’ve been researching it forever but can’t decide if I want to purchase it. I”ve only ever had one duvet when I was a teenager, and I hated it because the down comforteir always moved around inside the duvet. Does this one seem to do that??? Please email me at I”d love to discuss it with someone who’s actually been using it for a while! THANKS!

    • DO or DIY

      Hi Chas,
      I LOVE our Poetical duvet. We needed some pattern in our bedroom so I didn’t want to go the solid quilt route but I wanted to keep the room pretty neutral so this was the perfect solution. The Poetical duvet came with just the cover. Our duvet was actually purchased separately from IKEA. We definitely had to finagle it into place but it seems to stay put, even with my violent cover tossing. We do, however, take the duvet insert out of the cover when we wash the cover and then proceed with re-finagling. Best wishes on the big decision! I hope this helps!


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