master bedroom renovation
This post is in collaboration with
Our bedroom has had the biggest makeover in our home to date, and when we look back on the before photos, we get a little choked up because of all the hard work that has gone into it. From the planning to the building, and every stage in between, we've achieved a space that we are incredibly proud of. A true reflection of our work together as a couple. It's a privilege to be able to renovate and it's exciting to see changes being made, especially when we remember what we started with. Even our kitchen before the reno had a bit of soul and some good qualities to it, but this room was tired and lacklustre. We appreciate though, that it was at least of a decent size. So we took this room from drab to a light-filled sanctuary that we looked forward to beginning and ending our day in. We kept the colour palette in here soft and earthy and used natural materials, like wood, jute and linens to bring warmth to the space. My highlights in this room are the gorgeous new oversized window which lets in so much natural light and frames the trees and bush that surrounds the home. And I am absolutely in love with the wardrobe doors - handmade by Aaron and my cousin Jamie. They again are oversized, so they have this drama to them, and it really made the room feel hugged and cosy as soon as they went up.
The other thing that is really special to me in this room is the rug from Nodi. I approached Nodi in our planning stages for this room and asked if they would like to collaborate with us on this project. I respect and admire their company ethics - all of their rugs are handmade in India and are certified GoodWeave. This means that they fight against child labour and actively work to monitor and regulate factories to ensure the rugs are made in a fair way. What I also appreciated during the selection process, is Nodi sent me samples of the rugs I was interested in so I could view them in person. Then when I had narrowed them down, they sent me two (full-sized rugs) that I liked most to try out in our room, to see which one suited the space. And I loved that - it's such a wonderful service. It is hard to know if you are making the right choices, especially with key pieces, so seeing the rugs in real life made the decision that much easier. The handmade rug we chose has given texture as well as warmth - it is such a beautiful addition to our bedroom.
So, the room! Let me show you what we have been working on for so long...
natural jute rug | NODI.
We chose the 'Braided Jute Natural' by Nodi (see HERE) and I actually have its reverse pattern on top - I flipped it as I loved the under texture so much. It's pretty cool that it has two patterns that I can go-between for variation. In the initial planning stages, I spent quite some time online hunting for the perfect rug, initially, I was trying to go vintage, but none were the correct size for our space. We definitely wanted it to fit generously under the bed for warmth and comfort. Nodi has such a good range of sizes and their extra-large (2x3 meter) selection became our perfect fit! I like the natural texture and tone of the rug in the room and the contrast it has against the white wooden floors.
window & Door | Trade Me.
Aaron sourced both of these as second-hand finds on Trade Me, and the window became the score of the century for only $160! It cost the seller $2000 to have it made, but it was measured 100mm too small. He said he had it listed for over 6 months so was happy to see it go for storage reasons. And we were more than happy to take it! Both the French door and window is double glazed, and the window is also safety glass. I just love oversized features in homes, it makes them feel more custom and out of the box - especially in our home which is a pretty 'vanilla' 1940's build. The French door will have a lot more use soon, as our next big project is our deck, which will wrap right around from the living room to our bedroom and join at this door.
Blinds | Concept Blinds & Shutters.
I knew I wanted to have blinds rather than curtains, as I wanted a minimal look that kept the shape of the window. Our friends Neary and Bon at Concept Blinds & Shutters came and measured our space so the roller blinds perfectly fit the window and door. We went for the full black-out blind in a shade called 'Porcelain' to match and blend to our paint colour. We mostly leave the blinds up as the room is privately surrounded by bush and trees, but they are especially good for blocking out full moons and bright morning sun for weekend sleep-ins.
I thought these doors would be great, but never imagined they would turn out as stunning as they did. They are one of my favourite features, not just in this room, but the entire house. These massive, 2.6-meter x 1.4-meter doors were hand made by Aaron and my cousin Jamie, and I think it's the size of them that makes them such a statement. They were crafted using recycled rimu, which needed to be de-nailed, plained and gauged to size before assembling. This took both the guys 2.5 days of labour just in the prepping of the timber alone. They then used plywood as the backing for the doors, which was painted black so it has a shadow between the slats, and then each piece was glued and nailed to the ply. The doors were installed on a heavy-duty wardrobe track system and finished with door handles I sourced from Mitre 10. Aaron calculated it took over 80 hours (with both of them working) from start to finish. A custom job with such a rewarding result...I'm just thankful I married a builder who likes to make cool stuff like this!
One of my favourite things in life is storage
and our pre-reno home has none, so getting
the chance to create a functional wardrobe space was something I was super excited about. We were in desperate need of an upgrade when it came to storage for our clothes (one of our drawers was one Aaron still had from childhood!), and we barely had any wardrobe space. It has now doubled, and
I love that it's all hidden behind these doors so
it keeps the bedroom clutter-free. We chose the Elfa wardrobe system, where you can plan out and custom your own design on their website using their 3D design tool. We actually ended up custom building the size of our wardrobe to perfectly fit this storage system, using four rows with draws and racks inside. I saved the finished design to my desktop and I took that with me to Mitre 10 and placed the order from there. It was a great way of doing it as it showed the sales assistant the exact sizes and items we needed to fit our space. Everything is on soft closing pull-out tracks, from the draws to the shoe racks - so it's really well designed. I also love that it's on brackets, so we can easily change the configuration of it or even add in a drawer or an extra shelf we ever needed to in future.
(below) Another great second hand find, for only $40 from EarthLink in Lower Hutt. brass plant stand| (next to the mirror) Citta pot and plant| California Garden Center, Lower Hutt
paint colours | Resene.
We used Resene Karen Walker 'blanched pink' on the wall behind the bed and Resene 'black-white' on the other walls. On the wooden floors, we used Resene Sureseal followed by two coats of Resene Enamacryl in straight gloss white (no tint added). This is a water-based product so it drys quickly and has fewer fumes than an oil-based option.
bedside drawers | Trade Me.
These are the bedside drawers we had in our room before the reno and we repurposed them to give it a sleek new finish. First, Aaron cut the bottom drawer off so it sat at
a better bedside height, then I sanded it
bedside treasures | One
of my favourite latest (level 3) op-shopping scores is this incredible pit-fired vase. I love that hint of black in there and how good it looks sitting on top of that book which has
a similar galactic pattern. I also have scattered around the room, little trinkets brought back from travels overseas and
a collection of favourite crystals.
lighting | Triple Seven.
Lighting was something I had real trouble finding and being decisive on. I found these lights online but originally brought them for the bathroom...then we ended up falling for that stunning LED mirror. So we decided to install these lights in the bedroom as they worked so well with our colour palette here. Unfortunately, I had already got Aaron to hang some other pendant lights beside the bed, so he had to remove those, patch up the hole, re-plaster and re-paint the ceiling, install these ones to the wall, and then get the sparkie back around fit them off. Whoopsie! Also, Triple Seven do not post internationally as they are USA-based, so my sister-in-law's Florida based father kindly sent them to us. Thanks Tiff and Doug! THEN we found out that the bulbs they take are not available in New Zealand, so we had to order a bunch from Ali Express. Beautiful lights but with a bit of a backstory and a lot of eye-rolls from Aaron ;)
something about hands| The ceramic hand on the left is by my good friend Greta Menzies, and I purchased it last year at her solo exhibition 'See it like this'. The tall white hand I brought for $8 at a Levin op-shop. Someone had hot glued a homemade lilac glove with lace to it and I was hoping it was perfectly plain underneath (it was, yay!). It was so tightly glued I had to wait to get home to scissors and a kraft knife to relieve it. And the small brass hand I brought at a market in Ubud when we were in Bali. Then I have an artist mannequin hand down the other end of the shelf. I will constantly be on the lookout for more hands now. Send me an email if you have one to sell!
artwork| (Right) 'Day and Night' by Maggie Stephenson via Society6, (left) photo of my boys taken on our way to Milford Sounds by me. And for the framing, I asked for the thinnest back frame possible, so we went for metal. Done through Sam Broad in Lower Hutt.
bedside table| Citta
It took so long to find the perfect side table and I am so happy with this one from Citta.
I knew I wanted something circular to offset the square one on the opposite side. It has a marble base with a steel top and really fits in with the other furnishings of the room so well. Thank you to Nikki and all the gals at the College St store, I always love visiting and seeing you all, your service and friendly faces are always a treat.
bed frame | Aaron custom made this king size bed frame to fit the existing mattress we had, and I was so excited about finally getting rid of the black fabric covered base we had before. He started by peppering the recycled rimu with the same process as the wardrobe doors. Then he made two separate frames so that it was easy to transport from his workshop to home. Slats were added and reinforcing blocks set in each of the corners for strength and for the legs to be mounted onto. He turned the legs, 8 in total, on the lath and fitted these to the frame. The frame was sanded and coated with two applications of Osmo in Matte 3062. Finally he joined the two frames together with screws once the frame was in the room to make one large king-sized bed.
bed linen | Duvet cover, sheet set and 'milk' pillowcases are from I love Linen, brown linen pillowcases from Citta, olive and circular cushion are op-shop finds. The cream and black throw at the end of the bed I brought in Bali from The Tailored Store and the brown (100% cotton) quilted throw is by Camomile London, sold via Small Acorns.
before and after | As mentioned above, we are just so proud of these before and after photos. It's hard to believe it's the same room - we have changed practically everything and given it the personality we always knew it deserved. We now have plug points on every wall (before we only had one and had to run extension cords), the old ugly curtains and carpet are gone, the walls and ceiling have been realigned, insulation put within them and then plastered and painted. We have a new window and French door to give the room a lot more natural light. We have just started work on our deck, and that will wrap right around from our living room to these French doors which will be so beautiful having these open, especially in summer. The old wardrobe has been taken out and that will join with the one in the adjacent bedroom to give it one large storage space in there. The new wardrobe
is in which means we no longer need drawers out in the bedroom, everything is stored behind those beautiful oversized wardrobe doors.
As well as the wardrobe doors I absolutely love the custom made bed frame and headboard shelf Aaron made. And of course, we have our stunning new en-suite to enjoy as well, which you can view HERE.
thank you | Thank you, Olivia, at Nodi for partnering with
us on this room. Your rugs are so beautiful in every way, from the story behind them to how it looks and feels in our home. We feel grateful to have one of your creations in our bedroom. Thank you again to my cousin Jamie for all your help with the building - you and Aaron are an absolute legend team together and we always appreciate everything you do for us. And also again to Richard Evett (Evett Electrical) and your boys, thank you for your electrical work and for being so patient with my "over...over, no back...back, yep - perfect!' ;)
And of course, thank you to my super talented, handsome, multi-skilled husband. Thank you for bringing my dreams to life in every way xox