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vleigh_carr

Awkward 80s bedroom

V Leigh Carr
last year
last modified: last year

I'm giving this 1980s-era 11x14' bedroom a makeover. It's a non-restful bright yellow and south facing to boot. I'm aiming for a palette of purple and grey, possibly accents of green.
A couple of the hurdles I'm facing as a non-designer: All the trim is this narrow walnut-toned wood stuff which I'm not going to paint (husband likes it ...). What would go better with the trim--a grey tone or a lavender/purple tone? Or something in between the two?
There are *four* matching doors all crammed into two sides of this small room. I might be able to paint them but not sure yet. What can I do to make them blend into the walls better? Is there anything that could be removed later?Thanks in advance for your help. :)

Comments (54)

  • Sammie J
    last year

    With the carpet and walnut wood, I'd go with a warm-toned paint, or stick with a warm white and then use textiles/artwork to bring in the colors you like.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    last year
    last modified: last year

    IMO paint while hubby is away there is nothing worth saving in that cheap trim and probaly those doors too. When trying to add to a post you need to wait until the photos are no longer grayed then hit submit. Please do not start another post .Where do all the doors lead? IMO choose bedding first and there are many in that color palette these are two since I have no idea of your style


    Eiterh would work since it sounds like the rug is staying. It would aslo be good to show us the rest of the space too.All four walls.

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  • partim
    last year
    last modified: last year

    IMO paint while hubby is away I think it's more helpful to the OP to work with her list of "what can't be changed". I would be very unhappy if my husband did this.

    What is the colour of any furniture that is staying? It would be good to have a picture of that, as well as a better one of the carpet colour, maybe taken on a sunny day since the room has south facing windows.

  • Jilly
    last year
    last modified: last year

    I wonder if there are wood floors under the carpet? If not, or if not usable, is there any chance of replacing the carpet? I know you’re planning a rug, but on my screen it’s the carpet that will never coordinate well with the wood tones.

    How is the rest of the house decorated? What styles do you like? Is this going to be a guest room? Can you show the window(s)?

  • V Leigh Carr
    Original Author
    last year

    Just to reiterate :)
    I cannot change the carpet. I cannot change the trim. I'm keeping the dressers and nightstand but maybe paint them bc I hate the yellowed varnish. And the lamp which I love.
    I can change: paint, furniture, curtains, possibly the doors and hardware, outlets, and lighting.

    I have a MCM style house with Danish modern dark wood furniture. Cream, green, little pops of citrus colors. Coziness, nature and simple lines.
    The bedroom can deviate from the rest of the house a bit as long as carpet and trim which is in the rest of the house stays.




  • Jilly
    last year

    I didn’t see anywhere you said the carpet had to stay, my apologies.

  • V Leigh Carr
    Original Author
    last year

    It will be my bedroom (I'm not a teenager, bedroom style aside!). I'm replacing the bed and bedding, the chair and side table, the rug and the stuff on the walls.The window over the bed is south facing and it gets quite bright in here when it's not snowing like it is now

  • V Leigh Carr
    Original Author
    last year

    No problem, I said I'd be adding a rug but may not have clarified that the carpet also must stay

  • partim
    last year
    last modified: last year

    If the bureau in the photo is the furniture in the room, I don't think that lavender is the best choice.

    IMO a better colour would be a soft grey-green or grey-blue. Something like SW Sea Salt might look great there. These are both sea salt. It can look more green or blue depending on the light.



  • V Leigh Carr
    Original Author
    last year

    Purple definitely clashes with the dressers . I may paint them to better fit in the room bc they belonged to passed family and I like their clean (if bulky) lines. So their color is negotiable

  • Jilly
    last year

    To me, I think it’s the carpet that will be the tricky element to work around. Certainly not impossible, just a bit challenging. :)

    It’s so hard to get an idea of it in the lighting and on my monitor — is it as gray as I think? Do you have it in other rooms, maybe to show it in another light?

  • V Leigh Carr
    Original Author
    last year

    Here's better carpet representation -- please ignore the puzzle all over the table :)


  • Jilly
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Oh yes, that’s very helpful! I’m glad I was wrong about it! :)

    Love love your mod decor!

    Ok, back to the drawing board … I’m hoping to find some inspiration photos. And hopefully our MCM posters see this, too!

    ETA: With your style, I’d be tempted to leave the doors unpainted. I think they can work.

  • V Leigh Carr
    Original Author
    last year

    Thanks! that's an original Chromcraft dinette set, when I was 16 I purchased it for $20 at an auction bc no one wanted to haul it. My mother and I loaded it by ourselves in her huge chartreuse station wagon :)

  • Jilly
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Wow! What an awesome treasure, love the back story. :)

    Where are you? I’m coming to pick you up and we’re going to go authentic vintage MCM furniture shopping. Your bedroom is a fun project!

    How many hours (or days) (or weeks) are you from Dallas/Fort Worth? :D

  • artemis_ma
    last year

    Patricia, two adults live in that house. Changing something that has been discussed "while hubby is away" is insulting both to the husband and the wife.

  • Jilly
    last year
    last modified: last year

    V, have you ever perused room pictures here on Houzz? Maybe some ideas or direction:

    https://www.houzz.com/photos/mid-century-modern-bedroom-ideas-phbr1-bp~t_715~s_2115



    I’m going to hunt on some Instagram accounts later. I’m picturing anything in the 1960’s to 1980’s range, with stained wood, earthy colors, and a more natural look. And of course it doesn’t have to be a time capsule, lots could be mixed in with it.

    V Leigh Carr thanked Jilly
  • Rachel
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Is that the same carpet in the dining area as is in the bedroom? If so, it really changes in context. I'd be tempted to perhaps paint the bedroom a warm white and then reassess. I think the carpet will look totally different once you get rid of the yellow. Not a professional, but my opinion.

    V Leigh Carr thanked Rachel
  • V Leigh Carr
    Original Author
    last year

    Jinx,
    I've done some browsing here, but it's hard to find examples where people keep the dark trim and don't have hardwoods (I haven't really been very thorough on here though)
    I'm from MO so a pretty long drive! Boy I'd love that though, what fun.

    Rachel,
    Yes, same carpet throughout. I'll likely need to prime the bedroom before painting it anyway, so perhaps that will give me a cleaner slate.

  • partim
    last year
    last modified: last year

    I would go with the MCM vibe, given that furniture. My stylish 33 year old son is slowly furnishing his house with original MCM furniture - it looks great. It would be a shame to paint those pieces and, honestly, I don't think they'd look good painted. Not the right style.

    You have something attractive and unique here - lean into it and don't try to go in a direction that loses the charm of what you have.

    Love your table and chairs, and the clock.

  • partim
    last year

    You might like a "Japandi" style bedroom - very on trend right now. The clean lines and natural colours will go well with your existing furniture and with the style of the rest of your house.

    images of Japandi style bedrooms

    V Leigh Carr thanked partim
  • V Leigh Carr
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Oh yeah, that definitely fits with my aesthetic. I've called my/our style "Danish zen", lol. I made my own Japanese-style garden with fish pond outside.


    I would want to infuse that with more color, though!

  • Jilly
    last year
    last modified: last year

    I should’ve read the last two posts before doing my mood board — these are not very Japandi style!

    I saw this a while back, they (people in Ireland doing a mid-century aesthetic in an old house) were redoing an authentic Knoll chair they found very torn up. I really liked the wall color — Farrow & Ball Preference Red — and thought of it today.





    Just playing around — adding to the furniture you have. I saw the queen headboard on Etsy. I love mixing patterns, so did here, but the pillows and rug could certainly be more neutral, or mix in some solids. I just like for things to look collected and unique. Unexpected.

    Your carpet on bottom and flush mount on top.



    You may not like this look, I understand, just wanted to get the ball rolling. You might see this and think, oh, no way, too bold too red or whatever … but then we can all start narrowing it down.

    I just came across this room and love the warm and serene color scheme and decor:



    V Leigh Carr thanked Jilly
  • User
    last year
    last modified: last year

    I like the raisin color scheme Jinx posted. Or if you don't want bold walls, I suggest choosing a wall color that matches your carpet, but a couple shades lighter or darker. Match the undertones (the current wall color is too yellow). This would mean a soft white or beige that has neutral undertones, not yellow (or maybe a warm grey). get a ton of swatches and hold them against that carpet in natural light to see.

    If you choose a neutral wall color, then you can bring in pops of color with bedding and drapes. Again, like that raisin color Jinx posted. Or dusty teals could work well too.

    V Leigh Carr thanked User
  • Jilly
    last year

    Seattle, I was hoping you’d see this! Love your house and style.

  • partim
    last year

    With your south facing window you could hang a plant in front of it - very period appropriate! Then go with green as an accent colour.

  • User
    last year

    Thanks @Jilly! I really love the dining room the OP posted avove. So much potential!

  • Cheryl Smith
    last year

    I'm posting the remodel I did in my last 1958 house just because of the color.. I wanted a grayish purple or purple gray. I think it looks real good with the darker cabinets and is a real calming color. this picture looks more purple than in life. cant tell you the color it was done 5+ years ago. I used vintage green along with gray and white for accent colors

    my house · More Info


    V Leigh Carr thanked Cheryl Smith
  • V Leigh Carr
    Original Author
    last year

    Cheryl,

    I like the gray purple too. Green in small amounts would be a lovely complement to itit

  • PRO
    lisedv
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Here's an illustration of the colour scheme you are describing with your wood doors and with all doors that you don't want to stand out painted in the same colour as the walls.


    So that the room looks more balanced, here's how you can place the bed under the window with a roman shade on the window... I don't have the dimensions of the room so I don't know which window would be best, based on the photos I would say the one on the left.



    V Leigh Carr thanked lisedv
  • V Leigh Carr
    Original Author
    last year

    Lisedv,

    Thanks for the mock-upmock-upThe doors look much better painted . That looks like a helpful program, what is it?

    The dimensions are 11x14. I was thinking of roman shades too.

  • Jilly
    last year

    I guess I completely misunderstood the look you were wanting. :)

  • PRO
    lisedv
    last year

    V Leigh Carr: I do everything in PowerPoint.

  • V Leigh Carr
    Original Author
    last year

    Jinx,
    Not necessarily-- I like elements from every suggestion I've received and will refer to this thread while I do more research. :) I like the style of the rooms you posted though I won't probably use red.

  • Jilly
    last year

    Please keep us updated!

  • V Leigh Carr
    Original Author
    last year

    It might be awhile while I decide what to do, but hopefully I'll have updates soon!

  • Cheryl Smith
    last year
    last modified: last year

    just because... I like painting rooms a neutral color so if I change my mind the whole look can be easily change by just changing bedding, drapery, pictures, pillows and accesaries. not having to repaint. the walls do look real yellow sometimes you can chage the look by just changeing the lighting. in your case since you want to keep the carpet I'd find something that coordinates with that first. since you were concidering a gray it might be somthing that would work. I would replace the sheer curtains you have with blackout drapery in a color you would like in the room. I like to have 3 different colors in different areas around the room to keep your eyes moving within the room. your bed would typically be centered on the longest wall with a view of the door. I dont like the bed on the same wall the entry door is on. night stands on both sides.

    V Leigh Carr thanked Cheryl Smith
  • PRO
    lisedv
    last year

    I think your furniture can look quite nice if painted in a warm white with your lavender colour theme and grey walls combined with a MCM style headboard and accessories. The pulls are wood, they can be painted black for an accent or replaced with either brass or chrome pulls.

    Here's the look...



    V Leigh Carr thanked lisedv
  • V Leigh Carr
    Original Author
    last year

    Lisedv, the pulls are metal with a "gold" coating that is peeling off. I'll sand them.

  • PRO
    lisedv
    last year

    Once sanded your pulls can be spray painted.

  • V Leigh Carr
    Original Author
    last year


    Replaced my bed! Just did it so it's not "dressed"

  • Cheryl Smith
    last year
    last modified: last year

    it looks real nice! already better than the before. perfect solution to a smaller room as long as you are okay with a single bed. honestly the yellow doesn't look so bad now if you don't want to paint. I think you could easily work with it. if it were my room I would have to replace the sheers with blackout drapes. I wouldn't be able to sleep with that much light! I'd look for something that matches the daybed upholstry. just a houzz photo with gray almost purple and yellow. just fyi some grays will tend to look purple when yellow is there too. I once color matched a paint with my blue/gray plaid sofa. the room was yellow before we painted it. I almost cried when my husband started painting it. it didnt look gray at all... totally a lavender until every bit of yellow was covered. then and only then was it a perfect match to my couch. our eyes decive us at times.

    A place to sleep · More Info


    V Leigh Carr thanked Cheryl Smith
  • V Leigh Carr
    Original Author
    last year

    Thanks for the advice on color perception, that's something for me to keep in mind regarding complimentary hues changing how we see ambiguous colors like grey. I still would like to get rid of the yellow, It's dinged and dingy in parts and I prefer a more restful color. I think I will land on a purple-leaning grey, or a diluted plum for the walls, accented with warm dark greys and metallic silver, with plants and bits of green. Definitely already planned on replacing the sheer curtains with light blocking drapes.

  • eastautumn
    last year

    If you use Sherwin Williams paint, give Sensitive Tint a try. It's a muted lavender gray and I think it works well with stained wood. We have it in our dining room and though I'm not really into shades of purple (my husband chose it), it's grown on me. I'm not sure it captures the color accurately, but for what it's worth, this is Sensitive Tint on our dining room walls.



    V Leigh Carr thanked eastautumn
  • Jilly
    last year

    Beautiful room, eastautumn!

  • V Leigh Carr
    Original Author
    last year

    That's lovely eastautumn. I may use something similar, maybe a bit warmer

  • V Leigh Carr
    Original Author
    6 months ago



    In case anyone was curious what happened to the awkward 80s bedroom, I just finished it up recently. I'm no interior decorator, but I love it 100% more than before.


    What I did:

    Put up wallpaper, easily the most expensive change but totally worth it. It's a vinyl peel and stick with grasscloth texture which I love for its coziness. Three walls are lavender, one is green.


    Hung these curtains. They block nearly all of the light when the blinds are shut, making it way more restful.


    Found out this dresser and nightstand set is worth around 3k. 0_0 I sanded the pulls, they are a shiny aluminum under that bad paint. I also touched up all scratches on woodwork so the doors and trim look practically new.


    Installed mod-looking ceiling light (thanks hubby) and nifty adjustable wall lamp.


    Added comfy rug, recliner, shelves, mirror, plants and art. All of it was a terrific deal and I'm pleased as punch. It's a room I actually enjoy being in now. Thank you so much for all of your input!

  • Jilly
    6 months ago

    You went colorful, I really like that! Looks so cozy, too. Great job!

    Thanks for updating us. :)

    V Leigh Carr thanked Jilly
  • V Leigh Carr
    Original Author
    6 months ago
    last modified: 6 months ago

    Of course! I always want to see finished projects when people talk about them. :) And I really enjoy the peaceful feeling I get from green and purple. There are lots of accents of silver and gold, and anything else is off-white. Please ignore my bed, nothing matches on it and it's always a lumpy mess from the veritable pillow fort I have to construct to be able to sleep. :/


    My favorite piece is the tabletop on the small chair-side table. It's walnut with a plum colored epoxy pour down the center--I got a charcuterie board and splurged to have it made in the exact color I wanted. When I got it, I inserted hardware in the center and attched it to a vintage base. It's awesome.