Master Bedroom on a Shoestring


To be honest, the master bedroom is probably near the bottom of our “to do” list. Let’s face it;  no one really sees it, we don’t spend much time there and to be honest, money is tight.

We have worked with what we had and picked up some bargains along the way.

I apologize up front for the darkness of some of these photos. The walls are painted a dark olive (not my choice but it was here so we worked with it) and the floor is dark. I chose a subtle “vintage tropical” look because I had a lot of the accessories left over from the farmhouse.

The bedroom set was picked up at a garage sale a few months after moving in. It was $150 for the bed, chest of drawers and dresser with attached mirror. The gentleman who sold it to us said his parents purchased this set when they married in 1960.  How sweet is that? He delivered it for free and when he walked into our home he expressed his happiness in us choosing mid-century (that is not a popular choice in our area) and that he loved the fact that we were going for mid-century decor. Then he said he grew up in a 60’s home just around the corner!

Here is the bed, centered under the big window and flanked by a pair of 60’s gold velvet slipper chairs. (They belong to my son and his wife/they are on loan). The bed has sliding doors for storage in the headboard. The chenille  bed spread was from a garage sale for $5.  I change it out frequently (can we say linens addiction?) along with the tropical patterned throw pillows.  I picked those up along with many yards of matching fabric and a padded chair cover for $18 when we still lived in the farmhouse. The fabric is in my stash waiting to be called into action. I love the bright yellow,  jade green and coral floral. The pair of vintage pottery lamps on the headboard were $8 at an estate sale.

This is the dresser/mirror. The wall hanging was a $1 thrift store find. The funky lamp was $22 at an antique market. The Hawaiian sheet music was also a $1 thrift store find. I already had the bamboo frame.

This is the chest of drawers. I had the little shelf, the pottery and the lamp. That bamboo frame came from the thrift store. Those are 2 bamboo place mats on the top of the dresser.  Those came from the same sale as the bedroom set for 25 cents each. The bamboo look replacement shade on the lamp was also a garage sale find for 50 cents.

This little metal mid-century book stand was also $1 at a garage sale. It also came from the farmhouse. It is near my closet so it used to hold many things depending on the season.

The bamboo framed collage  is of several Dole Pineapple ads from 1950’s magazines I have picked up at garage sales. The cardboard “Tropical” ice cream carton was $1 at a new indoor flea market near me.

I had this old wooden shelf  that features a “native” holding up the sides 🙂 The pottery and other pieces were picked up at garage sales. Those tropical glasses belonged to my mother in law. She got them as a  wedding shower gift in 1950.

I plan to eventually paint the room a brighter/lighter mid-century color.  I am also looking for vintage pinch pleat drapes or curtains for those big windows.  I love bark cloth in atomic and boomerang patterns but would also be happy with a tropical print that is not too feminine 🙂

Here are close-ups of the lamp and the shelf:

We plan to replace the trim and closet doors, which were updated at some point and painted. We are trying to find sliding closet doors that would have been original. Luckily they were never replaced (or painted) in the guest room so we know what to look for.

We also plan to get rid of the Tuscan inspired ceiling fan with one that looks more modern.

A few things I need help with: What color for the walls? Hubby likes it dark. In the winter he works plowing snow for the highway department and many times has to sleep during the day.

I need a big area rug to cozy up that dark hard floor: Anything vintage looking AND tropical out there?

I hope I have inspired some to use what you have and haunt thrift stores and garage sales.

I may just have justified all that vintage hoarding I have been guilty of all these years!


9 responses »

  1. All your finds look incredible put together in the room. You did really well with it! That dresser is a gasper! (gasp) So beautiful.

  2. Your bedroom is amazing, I love all of your furniture and accessories (esp. those glasses and that Asian-ish lamp)! What a STEAL you got on that bedroom set too!!! I totally agree about thrifting/getting stuff at a bargain too – I hate paying tons of $$$ for something! Have you looked at the Sherwin Williams Suburban Modern paint collection for the 50s era? They may have a paint color you’d fall in love with for your bedroom!

    • I know Sara wasn’t that bedroom set a steal 🙂 And I love the story behind it. The newlyweds who bought it in 1960 had lived right around the corner from me. And the garage sale where I found it was miles away. I do love the Suburban Modern Paint Collection and am using it around the house; my office is painted “pinky beige”, the front and back door and accents on the garage door are “new colonial yellow” and my 3/4 bath is “chelsea grey”. I am looking at “plymouth green” or “burma jade” for the master bedroom. Or….to keep it safe so I can change linens all the time… maybe just their “beige”!

      • I do have to say that I kinda love that Burma Jade – I will probably have to use it at my forever house…once we find it! I hear you on keeping it neutral though!

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