3-Step Makeover: Master Bedroom

Transforming your master bedroom from good-enough-to-get-by into a soothing haven takes time. Thankfully, we have a 3-step plan to help you build your dream bedroom over time by starting with what you already own.

Stage 1: Safe Ground

If you just moved into a new home -- or are finally ready to create the bedroom of your dreams -- a sea of beige is often where you begin. While it may not be exciting, this room has solid bones: A wood accent chair purchased at a discount isn't super plush, but its classic lines justify the purchase; unfinished, standard dressers and bedside chests painted a neutral color work in this room for now. Later, they can move into a guest room.

Stage 1: Choose an Inspiration

Step 1 to beginning a redecoration on this scale is to assess the strength of the furniture and artwork you have and think about what you'll keep and what you'll transition over time. Choose one important element that you adore as inspiration for the room's overall style. In this room, the dramatic cherry bed hints at the rich, luxurious room to come.

Stage 1: Temporary Bedding

Bedding can quickly devour a decorating budget, but this bargain bed-in-a-bag set from a big-box retailer looks fine, and it will keep you toasty until it's time to splurge on luxury linens.

Stage 1: Transferable Treatments

Simple bamboo shades add texture to the room while filtering light. Dress them up with a khaki-colored valance topper, which can easily be moved into a kitchen or mudroom later once you've nailed down a color scheme for the bedroom.

Stage 2: Cool Color

Look for objects in the room to choose your color palette. The dramatic purple comforter richly contrasts with the wood grain of the bed, inspiring a mid-range lavender hue for the walls. Wall-to-wall carpet wasn't quite right with the luxe bed, but Pergo's Piedmont Cherry flooring is a beautiful, affordable, and durable choice. Your shopping list still includes the perfect area rug, but for now, a discount store runner will suffice.

Stage 2: Matching Dresser

The dresser's gorgeous curves, wood grain, and matching nickel-plated hardware complement the bed exquisitely and tie the two pieces together. Plus, the unit fits perfectly in the bump-out. Two discount lamps shed light on the vignette and, like almost every accessory, can be moved to a guest room later. Future furniture purchases should have contrasting finishes to prevent the wood tones from making the room too dark.

Stage 2: Updated Drapes

Flowing behind the bargain chair are simple boucle drapery panels, bringing a soft elegance that the valances lacked. A solid color works better than a pattern for these panels, letting the wood grains and bedding shine.

Stage 3: Dream Come True

It's finally a reality! The room is ultra glamorous, but the mix of colors and materials marries feminine touches with masculine sensibilities. The bump-out becomes the star of the show with sophisticated wallpaper that draws the room's color palette together and costs less than papering the entire room.

Stage 3: Accessories

The style of the bed and dresser inspired accessories with Art Deco sensibility. Check global import stores for great deals on stylized mirrors and figurines to get this look on a budget.

Stage 3: Add Shine

Reflective surfaces like the mirrored bedside table keep the glam color scheme from turning muddy. Deep cabinets let you stash magazines, journals, even extra pajamas in the ample storage space. Matching reflective lamps with dark shades replace the discount version -- switch to a white or gold shade in the summer months.

Stage 3: Divide the Room

A dressing screen adds a note of old Hollywood glamour. Plus, its volume balances the newly papered accent wall and the oversize headboard. The chaise longue is a great place curl up with a book, but it also serves as a practical perch for taking off your shoes.

Stage 3: Extra Lighting

The chaise longue cries out for extra reading light, so drop down a mini amethyst chandelier to combine utility with opulence.

Stage 3: Patterns That Please

Tailored accent pillows unite the color scheme and introduce fresh patterns and colors to keep the room from being too matchy-matchy.

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