Romantic Bedroom Makeover

Better Homes and Gardens Contributing Editor Stephen Saint-Onge transforms a neglected master bedroom into a dreamy haven with easily adaptable ideas. Read the behind-the-scenes account of the makeover.

Bedroom Before

This master bedroom was an afterthought for this busy family. Stephen wanted to create a haven for them with a happy, serene, and (dare we say it?) romantic feel. Roses inspired the romantic color and feel of this room and are seen in the accents.

He also made a point to repurpose what the homeowners already had so they got a whole new look in the room without spending a great deal of money.

Make Your Own Headboard

Stephen has long loved the look of a raised-panel headboard, but rather than pay hundreds of dollars at a furniture store or catalog, he wanted to be more creative. He went to Home Depot and picked out two unfinished raised-panel doors, then cut about 8 inches off the top of each and flipped the doors upside down so the bottom of the door was the top of the headboard. He primed them with his favorite primer, The Gripper, and then the headboard was ready for paint.

Mounting the Headboard

Stephen covered the doors-turned-headboards with a fine green paint from Behr, which he also used on purchased unfinished end tables. Then he attached the doors right to the wall side by side. A cut piece of crown molding tops both doors, creating the illusion of a more substantial piece of furniture. This new headboard looks expensive but probably cost about $100!

Go to the next slide to learn more about the headboard.

To begin introducing more color to the room, Stephen chose a soft pale rose tone from Behr to cover the walls. Later in the makeover, he'll add wallpaper to match.

Designer Tip: "Unfinished furniture is a great way to bring in new pieces without breaking your budget. You can finish them any way you want and have the look of customized expensive furniture."

The Finished Bed

The final touch is the bedding, one item Stephen doesn't like to skimp on. For this room, he went to Macy's and found this amazing Ralph Lauren bedding. Anyone can confidently mix and match bedding from a well-executed collection like this one.

Designer Tip: Stephen's Best Tips for Bedroom Luxury:

-- Think about getting a feather bed mattress cover to create a layer between the mattress and you.

-- Get high-count cotton sheets and nice cotton blankets or comforters that add layers.

-- Don't forget good pillows. Have various sizes and mix the covers for a look that's all your own.

Dingy Dresser Before

A standard finished wooden dresser wasn't at all conducive to the romantic atmosphere Stephen wanted to create; click through to see how he transformed this dingy dresser.

Dresser During

Stephen started by taking all the drawer pulls off the dresser and covering the entire thing with Gripper primer. This primer covers everything, including the dark wood finish of the past.

Dresser After

Next, he coated the dresser with the same fantastic shade of green he used for the headboard and added classic glass drawer pulls from Home Depot. Not a lot of work or money for a completely different piece of furniture!

Repurposed Furniture

To update and coordinate the furniture, Stephen took the homeowner's back porch furniture and some new pieces from Gardener's Supply Company and gave them life. He used store-bought spray paint in a pale green that was slightly darker than the shade he used for the dressers. Once painted, they all matched and fit perfectly in the "bed and breakfast" theme.

The Furniture Bedside

Here's the furniture in the bedroom. Looks good, right? This new reading nook also shows the repurposed dresser with new color and new hardware. To create quick and easy slipcovers for the old outdoor furniture, he took the original seat cushions and simply covered them in pillow cases that match the bedding collection from Macy's. It's easy to do and you can change them whenever you want.

Designer Tip: "Remember the lighting when you're redecorating. This is a repurposed antique light that was rewired and given a new shade, hinting at romance. You could easily use a modern drum shade and give a new feel altogether."

Bedroom After

This is the moment in a room makeover that Stephen loves most -- adding the finishing touches like the flowers and artwork on the nightstand. Then the sunlight streams into the completed room and the colors and details come to life.

The Next Phase: Bedding

Stephen designed this room so it was easy to make updates to the decor. By slightly mixing and matching the bedding, you can get a whole new look. In this case, he moved the floral comforter to the top to lighten the room a bit. The covers on the chair and ottoman are now taken from what had been on the bed in phase one.

Designer Tip: "I am a huge fan of classic and clean white blinds in 2-inch-deep slats. I added 2-inch white wooden blinds (but I also like faux wood) from Hunter Douglas to all the windows in this bedroom, then added deep rose velvet drapes for warmth and romance."

The Next Phase: Walls

Here, wallpaper by Thibaut adds a new layer and dimension, almost serving as art in the room. Plus, the repainted bistro chairs make a reappearance in this sweet setting, proving you don't always have to use bulky fabrics and furniture in a room.

The Result

So what did the homeowners think? Let them tell you in their own words:

"Both my husband and I find that we love being in our new room. We wake up feeling like we are somewhere else...someplace familiar, yet far away. We just want to stay in bed a bit longer and dream."

About Stephen

Stephen's keen understanding of the homeowner has moved him into the spotlight in recent years through his work on television and in magazines. This understanding, accompanied by his friendly, approachable, and creative style, is making design accessible to everyone -- no matter who they are, where they are, or what their budget may be.

As a husband, father, and homeowner, he understands the needs of the family-focused lifestyle. "I have the same to-do list on my refrigerator that everyone has. There is always something to be to done with our homes and hopefully what I bring to the table will help everyone see the best in their homes," says the designer. He draws upon his background in film and design to help the homeowner create a home that truly captures who they are, but at the same time captures a mood they are looking to bring to life that represents their home in the right light.

Good home design has the power to change lives.

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