help with renovation 23 y/o male bedroom
K Han
July 24, 2012 in Design Dilemma

My room is in desperate need of renovation and I'm looking for as much advice as I can get. I have attached the pictures and here is what I have in mind:

My goal is to achieve a modern and masculine room without changing the furniture (not enough money). I am looking to get rid of the armory though as I feel it may be too big.

On the wall which is uninterrupted by a door, etc... I wanted to place a mirror similar to this one Lincoln Park West Master Bed A with a frame matching the mahogany furniture.

In place of the armory I was thinking a small fabric chair?

Light fixture will be changed. I am having a difficult time finding a matching paint color that is both soothing, masculine, and will match the current furniture and carpet. Also same problem with a window curtain.

I wanted to have the wall behind my bed either a darker color or perhaps a wallpaper?

All input is appreciated thanks!
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Michelle Mink
Hello, K Han. Good news! Your existing furniture is very nice and will work very well with creating the look of your inspiration photo. You asked for a lot of advice so, here we go.

To achieve this look, you will need to purchase the following items:

1 gallon of paint
1 quart of paint in a coordinating color
new bedding: comforter, sheet set
1 pair floor to ceiling drapes which coordinate with the bedding
new ceiling light
1 pair of lamps in silver, chrome or pewter
1 curtain rod in silver, chrome or pewter
a reading chair, if desired

Your furniture, as it is right now, is in the correct location .... almost.

1. The tall bureau near the bathroom door should be centered between the window and the side wall rather than pushed tightly into the corner. Move the bureau to the left until it is centered on the wall where it is currently located.

2. The shorter dresser with the mirror should be moved from the wall where it is currently located to the wall that it is uninterruped by doors or windows. (You are correct that it is too big for its current location.) Open the bedroom door (as you have it shown in the photos) and measure from the edge of the opened bedroom door to the side wall and find the center of the wall. (It looks to be about where you have the artwork currently hanging on the wall.) Move the dresser with mirror and center it with the center of the measurement.

3. Center the bed on the wall where it is currently located. I assume the night stand beside the bed matches the rest of the furniture (can't tell from the picture) and it looks fine in its current location.

With the furniture in place, we can think about color. I can't really tell what the color of your carpeting is from your photos and it is very difficult to make color recommendations because the carpeting is essentially another "wall" in your room and you must work with it. It does seem to be a color similar to the color scheme in your inspiration photo so you may be able to accomplish your desired room with the existing carpet.

Go to your local paint store and try to find a color card that matches the carpeting in your room. Each card should have multiple colors on it - all within the same color family. Bring home a bunch of cards that you think might be the same color because when you get them home you'll be able to tell better which one matches than at the store. Ask the opinions of others who might be good with color which card has the best color match. Do NOT paint the walls the same color as the carpet. It is difficult to match paint and carpeting exactly and if it is slightly 'off', it will look bad. What you are trying to do is find the same color 'family' as your carpeting in order to create harmony in your room.

Select either a lighter or darker hue (than the color that matches your carpet) - whatever your preference is for your walls. This is the gallon of paint I mentioned earlier. Select one of the much darker hues to paint the wall behind your bed. This is the quart of paint I mentioned earlier. (If you select a very dark color - which will give you more drama - it might take two quarts of paint in order to cover.) This will give you a similar feeling to the geometric, padded wall behind the bed in your inspiration photo. Of course, be sure to hold the color cards against your furniture to be sure they don't clash.

After painting you will have a more monochromatic look but you will need something to add a little sparkle. I recommend that you add silver/chrome/pewter as an accent to your room. Find a pair of lamps in a geometric or sculptural style (like the pair in your inspiration photo) which are finished in silver/chrome/pewter. Shades should be white - not off white. Particularly look for something with a modern feeling.

Also, look for a curtain rod with geometric or modern styled finials on each end. Purchase a curtain rod which is at least 10 inches wider than your windows. Place one of the lamps on the right side of your low dresser. I noticed that you will be able to plug it in behind the dresser now that you have moved the lower dresser. Place the other lamp on your bedside table. Ideally, a pair of lamps - on on either side of your bed on matching bedside tables would be nice or a pair of lamps on your dresser would be good as well but we're trying to economize.

Bedding should be in the same color family or you could go all the way dark with something like a chocolate brown. I recommend that you go with crisp, white sheets in the highest thead count you can afford. This will give you the feeling of waking up in a 5-star hotel and will coordinate well with your white lampshades.

Drapes should be long enough to hang almost from ceiling to floor - at least 84". When you install your new drapery rod, raise it up above the window. Split the difference between the height of your drapes and the height of your wall. You should end up with about 5 inches of wall above your curtains and about 5 inches of wall below where your drapes end. Look for drapes with a SMALL geometric design with colors that tie into your bedding and fabric that has some sheen to it. (Look at the drapes in your inspiration photo.) Also, when you install the hardware for your curtain rod, move the end of each rod out past the window at least 5 inches on either side of the window. This will give your window more of a 'presence'.

Look for a new ceiling light fixture - preferrable one which might hang down a little bit from the ceiling rather than being flush with the ceiling - not very low, but at least 5 - 10" or so. Look for something with very clean, geometric lines.

If you desire, you might place the chair you mentioned - fabric or leather ? - next to the lamp on the shorter dresser. Place it on a diagonal with the corner so that you can take advantage of the light for reading. On the wall behind the chair next to the window you might consider hanging two black and white architectural prints (or whatever subject matter interests you) in brushed pewter frames - one directly over the other but centered on the wall left to right between the window and the adjacent wall.

Over your bed headboard consider some type of long, horizontal, sculptural chrome/stainless steel element almost but not quite as wide as your bed or perhaps three mirrors in wood frames which match the wood tones of your bed. Hang the three mirrors in a horizontal line above the bed.

You've got the most important and expensive items for achieving your dream room - the furniture. Take it one step at a time and you will realize the accomplish the room you really want.

Take a look at my lookbook for some more inspiration.
3 Likes   July 24, 2012 at 4:09PM
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First thing you do is draw a floor plan to scale with all the furniture you plan to put in the room, doors, how they open, and window. Then you arrange the furniture in various configurations until the traffic flow fits with the furniture. I see 3 doors (hall, closet, bath) but it would be helpful if you could post the floorplan to scale.

Initial thoughts: You don't seem to be depending on the light from that one somewhat inadequate window. Much as you would like to configure your room like the last photo, that may not work if your traffic pattern sends you around the bed for every need (clothes in closet, bath, chest. COnsider putting the head of the bed in front of the window, with a curtain as wide as the bed. THe curtains could be tailored panels, rather than gathered on a rod, that give the impression of the padded headboard you like. The window could be covered by the same fabric in a roman shade so you can open it.

You've shoved your chest/dresser into the corners. It needs to be centered on a wall, or given some sense of "place." Get rid of all the schlock and shatskies. A well-made bed takes 2 minutes and makes a huge difference. Once you've decided on a color scheme, look for bed covering. Recommend a matelasse quilt (over a down comforter in winter) and coordinated linens. If you don't love it, don't buy it. YOu need art. Anything can be made classy with the right framing. Are you interested in photography? B/W photos blow up to poster size in simple frames are dramatic.

Color: Sage/gray or a rich muted gold (not too dark, but not pale or "yellow"), rich rust-orange, khaki (great color which turns different tones in different light). With that dark furniture, a contrast with a dramatically different color, either lighter or more intense (as in the rust-orange) works well. What colors do you like? Look at the various shades available. BUy samples. Paint a 2 ft square patch on the wall and consider it in all light to see how it changes, whether you like it. (I bought six samples before I decided on a color for my living room -- better than repainting or being unhappy with the color.) GOod luck!

GOod luck.
0 Likes   July 24, 2012 at 4:25PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
A leaning mirror will be a nice addition to the room, tho the size of mirror shown in the photo is rare. Here's a nice one from West Elm that should work nicely with your mahogany pieces. :

I'm not sure whether it's the dresser with the mirror or the chest of drawers that you want to get rid of. If it's the dresser with the mirror that is to stay, please move it to the wall that has no doors as it should not be shoved into a corner. Nor should the chest of drawers be shoved into a corner. Put the chest of drawers in middle of the wall where it is presently located, halfway between window and wall.

What color is your carpet? I can't tell from the photos.
0 Likes   July 24, 2012 at 4:46PM
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K Han
Thank you so much for your comments!! My carpet is beige, a little bit darker than my off white wall.

For the dresser with the mirror, I did actually have it against that wall but it was too bulky and blocked the entrance... I really feel as if it's too big for my room and I'm saddened because it really is a high quality piece of furniture.

For the colors... I was thinking a grey color for my walls and a dark blue behind my bed? What is your opinion on wallpaper behind my bed? Maybe a vertical thick striped one with one of the stripes being the color of the rest of the room?

Thank you
0 Likes   July 24, 2012 at 5:30PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I love the idea of a dark blue wall behind your bed. But if you prefer stripes, why not paint those broad stripes behind your bed instead of wallpapering. While I love the idea of the dark blue behind the bed, with beige carpeting, I'm afraid the paint and the carpet will not be happy together. Dark blue and tan look good together and tan might work with your carpeting. You could pick up some paint chips at your paint store in the tan family and see how they look. Look at the pretty navy and tan room below.
0 Likes   July 24, 2012 at 5:56PM
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Michelle Mink
Grey and blue are always a nice color combination. Wide striped wallpaper? Hmm. Horizontal or vertical? Horizontal can sometimes look a little bit circus-ey or nautical. These ideas take you in an entirely different direction. Do you have an inspiration photo for this?
0 Likes   July 24, 2012 at 6:12PM
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K Han
Never mind about the stripes. It was an idea that popped into my head. I just moved the dresser with the mirror to the wall that you requested again, however, it really blocks the entrance to the room... When you walk in... The lack of the mirror against the wall adjacent to the door makes it seem like the room is a lot smaller than it really is... Any recommendations? My friends are telling me to just keep it against the current wall; or get rid of it. What do you think I should do?
0 Likes   July 24, 2012 at 6:19PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Perhaps you can remove the mirror from the dresser and center the dresser under the window to the right of where it is in the photo. Then put the chest of drawers on the wall with no doors. If those locations don't work, play with them elsewhere. Removing the mirror will allow you lots more latitude in placing the dresser. Put the mirror in storage. It may come in handy in another house someday.

If you get the West Elm mirror or a similar one to lean against the wall where you were used to having the other mirror, the room may seem just as big as it did before. Let's see if I did the weblink correctly this time:
1 Like   July 24, 2012 at 7:15PM
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You've got a great inspiration photo at hand. I think the size of the armoire is fine with the scale of the room. A darker wall color would work better with the furniture.

1 Like   July 24, 2012 at 7:35PM
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Michelle Mink
Well, Carolyn had a great idea which I liked very much, but I just noticed the heating vent on the floor in front of the window. The dresser idea in front of the window probably won't work.

K Han, would you be willing to give us the measurements of your room as well as the measurements of your furniture? This would really help take some of the "guess work" out of advising you as to furniture placement.

Start in one corner of your room and measure each wall stopping at windows and doorways continuing all the way around the room until you end up back at the beginning. Also, measure the width across the front of each piece of furniture and the depth front to back.

Maybe there's something we just haven't tried yet.
0 Likes   July 24, 2012 at 7:40PM
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Marie Hebson's interiorsBYDESIGN Inc.
Hi K Han, marie here.

Firstly don't cram your furniture into the corners - centre them on the walls they are on. You need to move your dresser(with mirror) between the door and corner (where the very small religious picture is now).

Group these two small pictures together - rather than having them on individual walls -or better yet, place them in beautiful modern picture frames, and have them standing on your dresser together or place them in a more public space.

2. Remove all the religious artifacts and purchase one really cool large painting (of religious content) rather than all the small items.
3. Remove or encase that sword on a frame or shadow box.
4. Pick up a new bed-in-a-bag at HomeSense or Sears (very inexpensive).
5. Pick a paint colour from that bedding and paint all the walls in that colour - I would recommend a gray paint - really excellent against dark mahoghany wood tones. Try SICO Sketch 6120 - 36 which is a gorgeous gray tone in Cashmere Finish (available at any RONA store).

6.Buy a woven wood blind at Home Depot or Rona for your window - purchase drapery panels to compliment your new bedding.

7.Buy a couple more pillows for your bed with matching or complimentary pillow shams

8.Buy a really cool zebra skin area rug - place askew on the carpet under your bed.

9. Buy another bed-side table or buy a new pair - make sure they are proportionate to the size of your bed. Restoration Hardware has some very cool bedside tables. Depending upon your style (rustic or slick)

10. Beside Lamps are too small - buy new ones - HomeSense is great about $70 a piece. Rule of thumb is bottom of the shade should line up with your shoulder when you are sitting up against the headboard to read.
or you could get wall-mounted lamps - which is even nicer - you can get these as plug-ins if you don't want to pay an electrician.
Restoration Hardware Swing Arm Sconce

Lastly - THINK TEXTURE, stay with dark chocolate, grays, creams, chromes with a burst of colour in a really cool religious painting - or monotone painting. I'll send examples of religious art. If you can't afford an oil painting, then get a poster and mount it on foam core or a canvas frame from Michaels. Don't pin it on the wall - that's juvenile. Good luck - and keep us posted of your progress!
0 Likes   July 24, 2012 at 10:46PM
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Marie Hebson's interiorsBYDESIGN Inc.
more inspiration artwork for your room - go one big statement piece and make it count! OH - and whatever piece of art you get, be sure to bring down one or two colours in that painting into the room with a couple toss cushions, drapery panels or a cool plate to catch your change out of your pockets - set perfectly on your dresser. Good Luck!
1 Like   July 24, 2012 at 10:50PM
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Josh Rich
As a 25 yo guy, I recommend leaving all current furniture in your room. I would pull it out of the corners and move the dresser to the wall that is on the left of its current location. I would paint your room a medium/darker warm gray and use bright white hotel bedding with gray trim. For the curtains, go a little bolder and use a nice velvet in golden yellow to contrast from the gray. Include a white sheer in place of the blinds to make the room feel brighter. You can also include a chair of a similar color or a pattern that includes the gray, white, and yellow. Normally, designers recommend using a 60,30,10 ratio for color. Use 60% gray, 30% white, and 10% yellow.

The idea of a mirror is a great one, but not when it interrupts the essentials of your bedroom: bed, nightstand, dresser with mirror, and chest. Use lots of chrome/brushed silver to get a cool, clean masculine feel. A lamp with a large base in golden yellow should be on your nightstand as well. Try to come up with something creative to go behind your bed like the padded grid shown in your inspiration room. Think nice hotel. Do something that you will be proud of and can tell a story about how you made it. It could be the difference of having a room and having a place you are proud to call yours.
0 Likes   July 24, 2012 at 11:34PM
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Hello, I would try putting the bed on the wall it was first suggested to move the large dresser to, centered, so it's not in the corner, or over the heat register. The nightstand should fit on either side, but the far side might be preferable. Put the large dresser on the wall that the bed came from, and put the small dresser between the closet and bath doors. A chair should fit in the corner at the foot of the bed, with a floor lamp. I would leave the mirror on the large dresser. As for paint colors - use what you like! You can always get a rug or runner to cover the carpet if it's throwing off the look too much. You may even find one that pulls the colors together. Don't be afraid to shop in discount stores (TJ Max, Ross, etc.) or even on eBay.
0 Likes   July 25, 2012 at 4:31AM
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Check out Benjamin Moore's Kendall Charcoal. It is a rich color that would add drama and warmth to the room. We used it in our master bedroom on the wall behind the bed, and wow, did it make the room! It's a gray with a little dark blue to it---very masculine color and neutral. It looks nice with pops of yellow, red, or green as an accent. We love it!
0 Likes   July 25, 2012 at 5:26AM
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Check out Benjamin Moore's Kendall Charcoal. It is a rich color that would add drama and warmth to the room. We used it in our master bedroom on the wall behind the bed, and wow, did it make the room! It's a gray with a little dark blue to it---very masculine color and neutral. It looks nice with pops of yellow, red, or green as an accent. We love it!
0 Likes   July 25, 2012 at 5:27AM
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Tim Barber LTD Architecture & Interior Design
Pittsburgh Paints has some fantastic greys. Check out Grey Marble with Antique Silver as an accent or the other way around. A wonderful pale grey is Benjamin Morre's Front Porch. That will make the room look warm yet open and large. I love the blue with grey concept. One blue I love is Benjamin Morre's Phillisburg Blue which is one of their Historical Colors.
0 Likes   July 25, 2012 at 8:30AM
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Michelle Mink
I agree with Kdulko's suggestion above to try the bed on the long interrupted wall, but I thought it might be helpful to measure first so that you don't have to keep moving all the furniture around.

Don't give up. There is a solution!
0 Likes   July 25, 2012 at 9:26AM
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K Han
Thank you all for your help. I cannot move the bed as it will block the entrance to the room once again. I am thinking of removing the mirror... Maybe it will make the dresser look less large and too big for the space?

In terms the of the paint colour.... I remember being told that I should match the walls with the carpet... Does this mean I don't need to do that anymore?

Also... If I keep dresser where it is now... What can I place on the large wall? What sort of artwork would match there? Thanks. I really like the idea of the three mirrors on top of my bed with a dark mahogany frame so I will go ahead with that.
0 Likes   July 25, 2012 at 3:21PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
You MUST move the dresser out of the corner. It looks very unhappy there, like a misbehaving child who's been sent there as punishment. Maybe you could swap it for a smaller piece from another bedroom in your house.

You don't have to match the walls with the carpet. You only have to make sure that what you select for the walls looks good with the carpet.

The mirrors above the bed are definitely a wonderful idea. You're off to a good start.
There's no rush. Take your time to make the right decisions.
0 Likes   July 25, 2012 at 3:33PM
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Michelle Mink
K Han -

Earlier I suggested maybe you could provide some measurements. Before we totally give up on the shorter dresser could you just measure the following area?

When you first walk into your room, how many inches are there between the side of your bed and the wall on your left? If you have at least 60" (5 feet), then there is plenty of room to move the shorter dresser to that side wall without it blocking your entry to the room. A typical dresser is 18" deep. You need at least 36" for an adequate walkway. (48" would be better since you will need some space to open drawers but hopefully no one would be needing to walk through the space when you are opening a drawer.) 18 and 36 add up to a total of 54". Do you have 54" between the side of the bed and the wall?

Could it be that you are just not used to having it there and it feels too awkward to you? Do you feel like you will bump into it as you walk by? Does it feel awkward to you to step slightly to the right as you go by the dresser? Could you try keeping it on that wall for a couple of days as an experiment and see if you could get used to it? I really don't like to see you move it out of the room because it is a beautiful piece of furniture that matches the set and it goes SO WELL with the look that you want to create in the room, but it just cannot stay where it is.

Literally, the only other thing you could do is put a very long, sturdy curtain rod or track rod and several pairs of floor to ceiling across the entire wall where the dressers are now placed so that you wouldn't be able to tell that there is a window there at all. Then, you would be able to pull both dressers toward each other and out of the corners. This solution would work if that dresser absolutely doesn't fit on that side wall or you just strongly dislike it there.

If you decide to make a drapery wall out of the entire wall where the dressers are, I would recommend that you do remove the mirror from the dresser and put it in storage and then purchase a large leaning mirror for the side wall.

Your carpet and walls do not have to be the same matching color, however, whatever color you select for the walls does need to be complementary and harmonious with the color of your carpeting. Are you still leaning toward the colors of your inspiration photo or do you think you are leaning more toward the blue / grey idea?

Drapes for the drapery wall should coordinate with the comforter and bedding.

Hope this helps.
0 Likes   July 25, 2012 at 7:00PM
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Committed Photography, Inc.
I think we have some really masculine art that would go well in this room. If you're on a budget just order the print and frame it locally, all of our prints are standard sizes. Take a look at a the recommendation below. If you have something else in mind just say the word and we'll find it for you. Cheers!

FYI - everything on our site can be order in a range of sizes and materials, with or without custom framing.
0 Likes   August 25, 2012 at 5:58AM
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I recently re-did my 19 yo son's bedroom for less than $200. I agree with the furniture placement advice. I would remove the mirror above the dresser because it makes the piece look more traditional than contemporary. First and foremost: Go to Home Goods or TJ Max and find a huge piece of modern art to place above the bed. Use that as your inspiration for the pallet in the room. I bought a piece of abstract art with no frame and hues of beige, brown and a small amount of teal blue. I used a khaki on the walls and darker brown for an accent behind some built-in book shelves. I bought some cheap brown suede curtains ($25 for a pair) and sewed a high-end wide accent trim down the inside length which gave them an instant custom look. Suede comforter with accent pillows that complimented the artwork completed the look. I used the teal in the painting for accent pieces (thrown pillows and bookends in the shelves. I like the ideas for the standing mirror, animal print rug, etc.- but all of this can be added later. For your budget's sake, focus on the artwork-paint-curtains first and add accents as money permits. All great rooms evolve and once you choose the inspiration it will be easy to see what needs to be added.
1 Like   August 26, 2012 at 7:17AM
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Another suggestion: Love your crosses. I would hang them together on one wall as a collection. They will get more notice and have more impact.
0 Likes   August 26, 2012 at 7:21AM
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Some great comments in here. I'm dealing with same dilemma and I'll need to read these comments more throughout and post a discussion of my own :)
0 Likes   August 27, 2012 at 1:53PM
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