Bedroom Bones

Our bedroom continues to be a challenge. In most of the other rooms, we’ve arranged our furniture and personal affects with great success. Even with some incongruities that remain, we have plans about what changes we need to make. Hopefully I’ll get around to a home tour on the blog soon.

But the bedroom boggles my mind, and I’m not sure where to go next.

After painting over the bright teal accent wall behind our bed the beige shade of the rest of the room, things are looking much better.

We decided to supplement the lack of closet space with two Malm dressers from Ikea, which match our Malm bed frame. So far they are working better than I expected.

The problems that remain include the built-in shelves on either side of the bed. There are seven on the left side and six on the right. They aren’t deep enough for books, and while I’m sure I could buy plenty of knickknacks to fill them up, that doesn’t really fit with the clean and minimal look the furniture projects. I’m worried the room will feeling too heavy and cluttered on either side of the bed and too empty above the bed if I do fill the shelves up.

Next there’s the overhead light fixture. It’s a bit too ornate and old world for our tastes. I’m leaning toward replacing it with a globe pendant.

And then lastly, the room is uninspiring. This room is dominated by minimalist furniture. I love the minimalist look, but I’m not quite sure how to strike the right balance between simple and sterile. I’m sure the addition of art and a plant will help, but how does one decide what is the right amount?

Suggestions are appreciated. Have you done the minimalist look before? Any tips?


  1. Jo says:

    I wish I could help, but I am a total fail.

    Could you maybe put the dressers on either side of the bed in FRONT of the shelves, and then you’d only have a few shelves to deal with? I’m not great at judging distances.

    • jacqueline says:

      If we buy the place someday, perhaps putting up dry wall where the shelves are (from the “columns” that jut out on either side of the bed to the outer walls) would work and then move the dressers there. But unfortunately I think just moving dressers in front of the shelves for now would look awkward because there’d be an obvious gap behind half of them (the shelves aren’t very wide either, so a dresser would cover shelf area and part of the column that sticks out). But I really appreciate the idea!

  2. Monica says:

    I am a HUGE fan of repurposing old suitcases. Maybe they could remedy the shelf space? You can fill them with items that you don’t use often while keeping the space clean. You could use baskets or other bins, too. But something that showcases your taste :)

    • jacqueline says:

      That’s a really good idea, except the selves are probably only 6 inches deep. So a vintage suitcase wouldn’t fit. But looking into some really shallow baskets might work.

  3. Monica says:
  4. Liz says:

    I had a similar problem in the living room my old apartment and I ended up using it for board game storage and pictures. Could you use colorful contact paper to line the back of the shelving to create more visual interest without adding lots of stuff?

    Found this on Apartment Therapy:

  5. Sarah C. says:

    First- who builds 6 in shelves? What about a good jewelry display area? You could hang necklaces on the wall in one ‘cubby’ maybe? I like the idea of contact paper and pictures.

  6. Maggie says:

    I like the idea of baskets, or a collection of other items that are essentially the same… with maybe minor variation – all the same color, but different shape, or all the same kind of object, but same color etc. Maybe that’d help unify the shelves and make them not bare, but not cluttered either.

  7. Terri says:

    I wonder if you could use the shelves to display framed photographs. Black and white ones in particular could preserve the minimalist look..

  8. tamera says:

    Really. Big. Art.

    For the shelves: that is seriously weird. Depending on how long you plan on staying, I’d probably just bite the bullet and replace them with something from IKEA that CAN hold books / baskets / photos / charming minimalist pottery.

  9. Hi Jacqueline,

    I was just in the Please Like Me – New Social Media class this evening and now cruising the blogs of new acquaintances. I love problem solving for other people’s spaces (or at least giving my opinion).

    For the bookshelves – I would find a fabric you like and hand it by a small tension rod up near the ceiling so the space can be hidden when needed, and this would be impermanent and not cause any damage.

    As far as going from sterile to simple, I’m not really a minimalist so this may be too much stuff, but I would try O’verlays since you have the malm dressers.

    Also, I think the area over the bed is screaming for a large piece of artwork. (like Tamera said above)

    Good luck – look forward to seeing what you do with it!

  10. I agree with everyone in favour of some Big Art over the bed. But take your time to find something you really love. For the shelves, I like the idea of displaying mismatched objects (like the vintage cameras), leaning prints or framed photographs of different sizes against the wall. You could also lean some books with the cover facing outwards, like this, if you have any particularly beautiful art books (I’m sure you do). If you’re looking for inspiration on minimalist but still warm and interesting interiors, it’s got to be all about the Scandinavians. I would also recommend following the instagram and pinterest feeds of A Merry Mishap and A Piece of Cake, very stylish.

Speak Your Mind