Concrete to Complete: Bedroom Transformation

Part of the "charm" of our bedroom is that it's in my parents' basement. Ha yup.

I was 20 when Sean and I got engaged, we were planning to get married within 6 months, and had just a few grand in savings between the two of us. So we did what anyone would do: we planned to move in with my parents. Except it required a LOT of work.

Like, 2/3 of the space was still unfinished, bare concrete, limited insulation.

Thankfully, Sean is handy and I have the eye for design. A few weeks after our engagement, we put together a budget and got to work.

Sean had experience in all of the framing, insulating, drywalling, and mudding processes. I did not. So I learned a lot of patience here haha. I knew from the beginning I wanted shiplap in our bedroom and it was really amazing seeing it actually installed. Part of me wishes I kept it natural wood or stained because I have a deep affection for natural wood tones. However, I do still love the color I chose for it. It creates a deep and dramatic modern vibe.

Benjamin Moore Beau Green 2054-20

At the time we were painting the apartment, one of Benjamin Moore's colors of the year was Beau Green and I fell in love with it immediately. It was the perfect color for the shiplap wall,

You'll see in this picture that Sean cut in boxes for switches and outlets for our sconces. Somehow, even after measuring a bunch, they were too far apart. Which has made turning the lights on and off very difficult when in bed. Isn't it ironic? Switches next to the bed for easy light control... and then they make it harder. 🤦🏼‍♀️ We've contemplated moving them a few inches in on either side, but honestly its just more work than it's worth since this isn't a long-term home.

The one and only time I didn't regret shopping at IKEA was when we found these wall-mounted cabinets for my vanity and bedside tables. For real, they ended up being exactly what I wanted for style and color. A roadblock we faced when searching for cabinets was the fact that if I wanted one on the wall as a vanity, it needed to be 8" or less deep. It was no easy feat but when I saw that the IKEA Besta cabinet has a narrow cabinet with coordinating deeper cabinets (for the nightstands), I couldn't resist. I bought two of each. You could hardly tell it's two cabinets once the doors were installed. I thought I wanted doors on the nightstands too, but we both like the open shelf look so we kept them off.

Bonus: since they don't rest on the floor, cleaning underneath is a breeze and they just look

super minimal and modern.


Obviously the shiplap wall was a jumping off point as far as color went when I was designing this space. Thankfully, it worked really well with Gray Owl OC-52, the color I used throughout the apartment. When I saw this comforter by Lauren Williams Art & Parachute Home, I fell in love. It's jewel-toned colors and soft linen texture fit right in with the color scheme. I will never not love linen bedding. Sean, however, found that this comforter was too lightweight, especially for winter. I keep it on during the warmer month, but switch out for a down comforter and neutral linen duvet in the winter.

The corner behind the door was a major design thorn in my side. I could not figure out what I wanted here. When it's empty, that wall feels off-balance but the only thing I actually liked there was the fiddle leaf fig tree I bought for the living room. I have since moved it to its proper home and haven't filled the bedroom corner. It's not a huge problem, as the door is often open and we only really see it at the end of the day when we go to bed. I honestly think about ordering a second one a lot, I just can't pull the trigger because it's not really necessary.

While the construction occurred in 2018, the design of this space has been an ever-evolving effort. One thing I look back on and wish I did differently was to have an actual design plan. I had the vision in my head, but never wrote it down, hashed out the details, created a mood board or anything. This lead to a handful of purchases I could have lived without and a space I wasn't 100% sold on (until recently). A couple months ago I finally found the gumption to repaint the walls to match our trim (Steam AF-15 by Benjamin Moore). A soft matte finish and warm white shade made all the difference. Our room doesn't get a ton of light, except in the afternoon, so this color helped warm it up throughout the day.

Another addition Sean made to the space that I haven't photographed yet is a storage closet in the funky bump out at the back of the room (you can see it best in the 4th picture above). I have to say this storage closet is my favorite thing here right now. We desperately needed additional bedding storage and a place to keep our filing boxes. Sean framed out the bump out with pine 1x2's and attached a face frame. Then he made two floor-to-ceiling doors made of oak plywood. He found a black dye stain and finished with a satin water-based polyurethane and they look EXACTLY like our BESTA cabinets! Not only does it now give us more storage, but it added a lot of visual balance to the room. We're still on the hunt for the perfect hardware. Once we find it, I'll update this post to show the cabinet in all it's glory.