Christian and Jenn Helms and family lived in their new four-bedroom house in Austin, Texas, for a year before deciding that they needed help to pull their interiors together. Designer Murphy Moon collaborated with them to redecorate the first floor, including this bedroom. They moved furniture, brought in new pieces, and added color and pattern to make the space feel more inviting and personal. “We didn’t modify the function of the room at all,” Moon says. “The goal was to make the space feel more intimate and interesting.”
BEFORE: There was nothing wrong with how the master bedroom functioned, but the homeowners wanted it to feel more intimate and cozy, a challenge Moon took on in addition to adding more color and personality.
In assessing the room’s existing pieces, Moon thought that the matching nightstands were too small for the space. The area rug wasn’t large enough to anchor the room, so she moved it to another part of the house. Since the homeowners had recently purchased the metal bed, Moon used this as her jumping-off point.
Bed and nightstands: Restoration Hardware
AFTER: Moon replaced the window treatments as her first step toward a more intimate room design. “The client wanted better light-blocking options in this room, so curtains and shades were a no-brainer,” she says. “The dark curtains and shades allow the owners to adjust the levels of light coming into the room, which is crucial for creating an intimate space.” She suggested navy window treatments to enhance the bedroom’s coziness and tie the room in with the design on the rest of the first floor, as blue is the accent color used throughout the house. “The fabric itself was one I included in the stack of options as an ‘if we wanted to get crazy’ choice,” Moon says.
The area rug came next. Moon picked a mostly neutral piece that wouldn’t compete with the bold window treatments, but rather complement them instead with its gold pattern and tassels. Because of its size and placement, the rug commands the room in a way the previous one didn’t. “Rugs add visual weight to an area, and make the furniture arrangement look more cohesive and grounded,” she says.
The new ceiling light fixture also brings the room down to a human scale. “The oversized pendant light acts to bring the ceiling height down so the space doesn’t feel so cavernous,” Moon says. “It’s unexpected and quirky, but it really anchors the space beautifully.”
Wood pieces from other rooms in the house find new life in the bedroom, and add texture and warmth to the space. What had been the living room coffee table now sits as a bench at the end of the bed, and an antique dressing table from the grandmother of one of the homeowners is now a nightstand. “We’re still on the lookout for the perfect complementary piece for the other side of the bed,” Moon says.
Window treatments: Bolt Fabrics (fabric) and Red Head Sewing (labor); ceiling light: Restoration Hardware; bench: Four Hands; rug: Anthropologie
The Helmses participated in all aspects of the redesign, particularly when selecting decor and accessories. “Christian has a passion for quirky art, and he found the buffalo painting by Eric Bellis at a local art gallery, Yard Dog,” Moon says. “It’s both kitschy and regal at the same time.” Colorful pillows acquired over time tie in with the curtains and rug, and break up the bed’s white expanse.
The room, though not drastically different from before, now speaks of the people who live in it. The couple embrace Austin living, which includes seeing local bands, brewing beer and collecting art, and that’s apparent in this room, with the eclectic, rustic and kitsch working together in harmony. “Somehow, the disparate elements all speak the same language when they’re thrown together like this,” Moon says.
Pillows: Anthropologie; paint: Accessible Beige (walls) and Extra White (trim and ceiling), both Sherwin-Williams