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Before and After

Four tips for a brighter, more colorful main bedroom

See how Ashley Rose, the creative force behind sugarandcloth.com, transformed a dark bedroom into a bright, colorful space.

Bedroom with pink and yellow color accents and three skylights with exposed trusses.

While there are a lot of design elements from the latter half of the 20th century to love, low ceilings, little natural light and dated materials aren’t among them. The Houston-based home renovation and lifestyle blogger behind Sugar and Cloth, Ashley Rose, has been reimagining the lake-front fixer upper where she lives with her husband and growing family. While the living and dining space claim the natural light benefits of double-height windows, the lake-facing main bedroom was an outdated mid-century classic: small, dark and lined with old carpet and popcorn ceilings.

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Ashley’s signature style pairs pops of tropical color and texture with the crisp minimalism and ample natural light of mid-century modernism. With the help of her team of contractors, she spearheaded a main bedroom design makeover, taking it from cramped and old-fashioned to light and bright.

Aiming to open up your main bedroom? Consider these renovation and decor ideas from the project:

Start with a blank canvas.

If you’re looking for a big impact, consider following Sugar and Cloth’s lead, starting with fresh, timeless updates to the ceiling, walls and floors. Popcorn ceilings gained popularity in 20th century as a tool for muffling sound and hiding imperfections. The trend turned sideways, however, after homeowners realized a few things: that a common ingredient in the material, asbestos, is incredibly toxic, that the texture is very difficult to clean and that the increased surface area – which may help muffle sound – also absorbs light like a sponge.

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By contrast, Ashley’s new ceiling is a smooth, bright white that reflects and amplifies light and color. In addition to the ceiling, Ashley also replaced the old carpeting with light hardwoods, further enhancing the light reflection in the space and bringing an easy-to-clean, style-agnostic material to the floors. An added bonus? Removing dated materials like popcorn ceilings and beige carpet may help increase the resale value of the home, too.

Be creative with natural light.

Adding light-reflective surfaces is only one part of the lighting equation in this north-facing main bedroom. The windows, while offering a relatively expansive view of the lake, never see direct sunlight and are shaded by beautiful, privacy-protecting trees. To bring more natural light in, Ashley chose VELUX No Leak Solar Powered Fresh Air Skylights, which let in fresh air and offer total control of light levels in the room through remote-controlled room-darkening blinds.

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Ashley chose to install three skylights, side-by-side, but faced a design challenge with structural trusses that couldn’t be removed. Rather than split up the skylights, she embraced the exposed wood trusses as an architectural centerpiece for the room, even painting the hardware gold to complement the décor. With natural light and architectural details, this creative implementation of natural light delivers some much-needed “wow-factor” for this formerly dark and dingy main bedroom.

Add texture through décor.

Ashley’s eclectic style borrows the best from many design worlds. In the main bedroom, she built on the ultra-modern base of light Nordic wood and smooth white ceiling and walls with more casual, ornate pieces like the woven rattan bed and faded decorative area rug, bringing some old-world charm to the new smooth surfaces. The warm natural fiber tones extend from the exposed wood rafters under the skylight to the storage cabinet feet.

Use accent colors to tie it all together.

This main bedroom excels in balance, drawing from a palette of neutrals alongside three pops of color that connect seamlessly into the rest of the home. Dusty pink, golden yellow and muted blue bring warmth to the room and complement the earthiness of the woven rattan bed. Ample natural light brings the colors to life without feeling overwhelming.

Ready to overcome your color cowardice? Check out these tips.

Contributing to both color and texture, Ashley also sprinkled gold hardware throughout, from the rafters to the bedside lamps and drawer pulls. The metal touches beautifully complement the sharp architectural design and natural finishes, helping to tie the whole look together.

Through the strategic replacement of material, color and texture, this main bedroom renovation brings new life to this mid-century home, offering a better lived experience for the family and also a higher resale value in the future. With the installation of VELUX Solar Powered Fresh Air Skylights, the space feels light, airy and fresh; a clean slate that will work with a variety of styles for when Ashley or the next homeowner wants to redecorate. Perhaps most important, the family can now take better advantage of the stunning lakeside environment from the main bedroom, enjoying the benefits of ample natural light and fresh air.

Bring your color choices to life with natural light. Find a skylight installer in your area or schedule a virtual consultation with a VELUX daylight designer today!

Next: 3 Interior Design Lessons from Emily Henderson’s Mountain House

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