My Design Style Crisis


I been experiencing a little Design Style Crisis lately.

Has that ever happened to you?

Our new master bedroom is a huge blank canvas that I get to decorate, and I am finding myself completely frozen in what direction I want to go with it.

Y’all know that I love the look of older homes.

I love the character of old floors, old doors, beautiful trim work, and more.  All of those things I am trying to incorporate in our new addition.

We’ve got the old floors installed…

floor 003

We’ve got old doors waiting to be hung…


And Cy has done a beautiful job with the trim work in our room…

claw foot tub 043

As I am trying to figure out how to decorate our room, I am realizing that I want our house to feel old, but for our décor to feel current. 

Not sure how I’m going to do this.

I am trying to use the same furniture from the master bedroom in our previous home, but I’m not really “feeling” it in our new master bedroom.


I don’t want as much “black” in my master bedroom this time.  I’m wondering if I could keep my bed black, but paint the dresser a different color?  Maybe I paint the bed grey?  Maybe I get rid of the bed and use something else?

I want my bedroom to be neutral, but I also would love a punch of color in the room.

Although I absolutely love this type of look…



I am also very drawn to this more casual type of look…



And this style of room makes me happy too!


Those are three completely different looks, but I love them all.

Thus, my crisis.


Do you ever feel like your design style changes daily?

What should I do to solve this problem?



  1. Hi Traci…

    It sounds like you’re torn between not only styles, but colors, as well. You’re not sure if you even want to use your furniture. I do have a couple of ideas.

    The photo you said you love for the casual look it has gives me those ideas.

    Why not paint your bed the pop of couple you desire – Antoinette Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and perhaps and Old White – add the clear wax and then the dark wax to age it? Then your dresser, perhaps just use Old White and the 2 waxes. I think the style would look very nice painted in those colors and would be older while be current!

    Whatever you choose to do, make sure it’s YOU! It will be perfect then.

    Jan ♥

  2. I am ALWAYS in a design crisis. I just don’t know how to start or where to start. I find things I like to go with my “theme” Fleur de Lis. I buy them and then don’t know if they go together. Or how to put them together with say curtains. Good Luck with your design crisis.

  3. Just a thot, but how about chopping off the tall posts to get the look of the bed with the lower posts? I have no idea if that’s even possible and how you would then finish the unfinished end, unless you paint it all out like Jan mentioned above. Whatever you choose, will look wonderful, you have very very good taste. Trust yourself :)

  4. I am really enjoying watching your home develop! Personally, I like the bedrooms in the order you presented….the black poster bed the most, with everything else light and neutral in that room. The pop of color can change whenever you want it to. I think the bed anchors the room and adds a little masculine touch (guys deserve that!). I also like what Jan suggested very much. I know whatever you do will be beautiful – it always is. Can’t wait….Linda

  5. I am in a constant state of design style fluctuation. I am sure it will all come together beautifully. At some point, I think I remember seeing a photo you had as inspiration for your bedroom. It stuck with me because I have the same photo pinned. I think you could replicate the look of that bed by removing the tall posts from your bed and either stripping it and doing a stain/paint treatment or like others have mentioned painting it grey. I think a sparkly chandelier above the bed could add some bling and drama and keep the linens neutral using textures for interest. Ha, I’m laughing at myself by the way, trying to sound like I know anything. Your rooms always wow, so I’m sure your crisis will be short lived!

  6. I can totally relate to this! It takes me forever to make any decisions in my home, especially being in the military and knowing that we will most likely be moving every few years. I’ve seen people saw off the upper portions of big poster beds like yours and it gives it a totally different feel. Just a thought, that would save you some money, and make it easier to paint if you painted it. But, you don’t have to do anything permanent until you’re really sure. I’m currently living with several colors of paint samples painted on my bedroom walls; until I can decide for sure, I’m not doing anything!

  7. Traci – I have been following you a long time, but have never commented, but felt I wanted to give my two cents worth…. my opinion… is to set your room up with what you had before, and somewhat similar to how it was styled before…. you liked your room, right? Once you have the room furnished, as opposed to the bare bones you have been living with for a while… then, change it up a bit. I personally think it’s overwhelming to think you know how everything should be from the ‘git go’…. once everything you have is back in your master bedroom…. then inspiration will hit you…. you might not need to revamp ‘everything’.

    Thank you for sharing your daily inspiration!!!!

  8. i went through the same exact thing as you describe here. while renovating our home, i had a completely blank canvas, which is great, but it calls for many decisions to be made. we renovated about 5 years ago & i’m already wanting to change things up here & there. i try to explain to the hubby that you just can’t keep everything the same for 30 years!

  9. I completely understand your indecision! I do the same thing. I just redid my bedroom this year, and I love it. I did a pretty neutral room, but I love that it gives me the flexibility to use any pop of color that I’m currently obsessing over. With pinterest it’s hard because there are so many great ideas!

  10. Hey Traci — I agree with Peggy & Marty because it looked gorgeous before. If your wanting a “new” look then paint your bed/dresser a neutral color and bring the pop in with your fabrics that way it’s easily interchangeable with the seasons. Whatever you do it’ll be gorgeous…it always is! {HUGS} Three Mango Seeds

  11. I like the black bed, but perhaps you can replace the bed skirt with a box spring cover which would bring you closer to the look of your inspiration photo. The Yellow Cape Cod blog just had a fun post- she used an outfit board she had pinned because of the colors and then had a color palette made up from one of the paint aps; she used the colors they came up with to pick all the fabrics and accessories for the room.

  12. I like your bed and wouldn’t touch it! If you want to paint the dresser and stands the sandy color…maybe. Personally, I like touches of black and think they look classic. I try not to go trendy and that way I don’t tire of items.

  13. I agree with chopping off the tall posts and keeping them about 10-12 inches tall – also, I read once that if you just pick the things you love it all fits together eventually, that’s the rule I follow. good luck girlie!

  14. Some of these ideas sound pretty rash! I wouldn’t paint anything. Just take the dark bedskirt off, lighten the curtains to white or a white on white print and use bedding similar to the second picture. I really like the long stool at the end of the bed and you could have it covered in the same fabric as the curtains, or even another textured fabric as long as you kept it white. How would you feel about a largish round table with 2 clothes on it on one side of the bed and a regular bedside table on the other. You could do a fabulous white arrangement on the table and use a round white cloth to the floor and a white textured square cloth or quilt (a throw maybe) on top.

    I would just hate to see you paint such gorgeous furniture. I would try some other ideas first before I go cutting off posts and painting.

    Good luck, Lucy

  15. I agree that you should go with what you had and then see how you want to change it up. Paint is one thing; cutting the posts off, obviously, is another.
    You could upholster the head and foot board without removing the posts. It is probably possible to do some sort of “temporary” attaching of the upholstered part so you could go back if you wanted. I love the black bed.

  16. You’ve got great taste, Traci! I love all of the rooms and styles you’ve chosen. If I were you, I would take your favorite things from each of them and combine them into your room. It can be a total reflection of who YOU are and what YOU love. There are no rights or wrongs! :) Don’t stress about it – and just have fun!!!! :)

    xoxo laurie

  17. I love your bed and wouldn’t change it. You could add a large mirror above the dresser that has a current feel (they have some great ones at Ballard Designs for inspiration) and maybe change out the nightstands to something lighter. I love the neutral tones–it gives a very restful, calm feeling to the room (good in a bedroom, I think). You can always change your accent pillows and accessories with the seasons or when the mood strikes. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  18. Are you sure I didn’t write this entry? This is EXACTLY what I’m going through right now with our living room. We have a 1958 bungalow and I painted the living room a light gray. I have a few vintage pieces for it and now I’m stuck. I don’t want to have overly bright crazy colors but I don’t want to get too into retro… I did find some fabrics I liked along with this really pretty asian style paper in the wrapping section at World Market. Maybe something will take shape.

    I love the idea of painting the bed a warm gray color and maybe doing neutrals with blues in your room. I think of those vintage glass insulator things and blue ball jars… just that watery blue color that’s restful. So I guess I’m a fan of the matters of style blog room. :) Good luck!

  19. Hi, I think you should live with it for a while and it will come to you. (It usually does) I like the poster bed for a country look. Maybe everything else white or cream with a pop of color in small pillows on the bed. Were you planing on a setting area? Some where place a quilted throw, again to bring the country look. I don’t know who I think I am to give ideas, you will do what i best for you. Thanks for sharing.

  20. DON’T cut the posts off. I like your neutral look. Have you considered black & white toile? Still neutral and you could add pops of color with pillows and inexpensive curtains or tiebacks. Personally I like to change with the seasons. I have a heavy flocked bed spread for winter that I change for a quilt in summer. Maybe put the bed in storage or awhile and do a padded headboard. Relatively inexpensive. You could even use one of your old doors for a headboard.

  21. Traci, I see much more in common with those rooms than I see differences. I see traditional furniture styles, muted colors, touches of old world glamour, beautiful textiles, and highlighted architectural details. I see a few modern details, but the simplicity and clean lines makes me think more of early American homes than of modern ones. I suggest that you look at each picture, breathe deeply and imagine how you would feel in that room. Write down the one or two words that float up to you from your heart. As you move forward with your new bedroom, at each juncture ask yourself, does this {color, material, furniture, etc.} make me feel {peaceful, elegant, rested – whatever your words are}?

  22. Um, yes, I can totally relate! I feel like I have ADD, since there are so many different styles that I love. I’m sure you will find your way – and you bed looks like it will work well with your first inspiration photo. :-)

  23. I know what you mean. I like so many styles and have to make do and update most of my things. I adore your bed and love that first inspiration photo. I agree with Marty and others. Would it be worth setting up the bed, minus the dark bedskirt and see where it goes from there? I wish you luck as it is not an easy process. At least the bones of your room are going to be gorgeous to start;)

  24. I actually love the chalk paint idea! Restoration Hardware has gotten into the ‘greyish’/natural wood look with their items, creating an elegant rustic, yet modern look. Perhaps they could help with inspiration?

  25. Whenever I see your bedroom from your previous house, I wish it were mine! I just love that look.
    Out of the pictures you posted, I would pick the bedroom from your last house. I know what you mean though about not really feeling like it would fit into the new room. I think I would keep looking at ideas you “love” and then sit on it for awhile before making a snap decision. You always make good choices. I’m sure your will make your new master bedroom look wonderful regardless of how you decorate it.

  26. Put your bed in the room and sleep there. You will get a feel for what feels right in the room. It may come to you in stages but that’s ok. I love the neutrals with pops of color that can be changed out without a lot of expense. I think the black bed serves to ground a room full of neutrals. Your room will tell you what it wants to be. Love following you in this house journey.

  27. The room is GORGEOUS as is-but that said- yeah it feels like it’s not completely 100% yet. I was going to say add stripes… Kinda like your first sourced photo but painted like one fat stripe horizontally around the room…. Or maybe make the drapes more dramatic-I love how you have them really high but maybe they need to cover more of the wall as well, maybe another panel to each side? Possibly those drapes with the stripe in the middle (horizontally?) Possibly need an area rug to help anchor the bed more like your other source photo? It’s still gorgeous and so spacious!

  28. So many great ideas! I would suggest putting your furniture in your room, as you had it before, and then start making changes. It’s such gorgeous furniture to paint but that’s just me. :) Change the bed skirt and, as someone mentioned, do something different for the bedside tables. I think pops of color will just come to you and then you’re off & running! It will be gorgeous ~ whatever you choose.


  29. I love your thoughts. But I think your bed is just beautiful. I would keep the bed and dresser and change nightstands. I would make the curtains, rugs fairly neutral and GO FOR IT in the duvet or neutral and GO FOR it in pillows. The black furniture is just timeless. Take ideas from your pics but keep your bones the same. You are just GREAT, so I can’t wait to see what you do.

  30. I loooooove your bedroom and please do nont change the color of your furniture or walls. I think you showed what you need to do. In the last photo you had some light blue. Add it to your bed in the form of a bedspread or pillows. Your bedroom is stunning the way it is though. I will trade you any day!
    PS have you ever went to gardenweb? try going to gardenweb dot com on the menu under forums click on home then click on the home decorating forum. You upload a floorplan and photos and they will hook you right up. I solve all of my decorating dilemmas there.

  31. Tracy

    My design taste/style or whatever you want to call it, changes just about every day. I see something I like and then 5 minutes later, I see something I like even better. I love to change things up too, especially seasonal. I do love your black furniture though.

    Marilyn C.

  32. I love the inspiration photo with the big black 4 poster and neutral palette. What about adding pops of color via the rug/curtains/throw pillows? Maybe a light grey or greige on the upper walls with artwork you make in colors to draw in those of rug, etc.? (Remember that colorful rug in your sister’s laundry room?) You have a wonderful sense of style …proven time and again. Go with what you love that fits the “season” of life you’re in (taken from current post at blog: Fieldstone Design). Chuckle…t’s SO much easier to give my opinion for your home…and I can’t even commit to a wall color in my own! I look forward to seeing your choices!

  33. Hello, I love your furniture. I think that your room would look more elegant and welcoming and bring in a little color if you changed your drapery to something a little heavier and more formal, in a silvery blue or green and changed out the art to something a bit larger and with some blue or green in them as well. I also think that the small chandelier doesn’t look right with the sturdy bed posts so I’d suggest changing out the chandelier to one with more visual weight. I don’t think your bed is a style that would look appropriate in a distressed milk paint finish. The bedside table that currently has a pitcher (I think) on the lower shelf isn’t substantial enough to balance with the other furniture in the room where it is now. You also may want to consider adding a rug or adding bead-board and wallpaper to the walls as in the first photo. That is all | can think of, I’m sure you will think of something that works for you.

  34. I hesitate to go against everyone, but I am in agreement that the black bed against the wood floors may not give you the airiness you desire. I actually might consider buying a new headboard, perhaps a fabric one that you can recover (I also think these are pretty easy to make. I would also paint the dresser maybe in a light grey or a carmel cream… have done so well. Now you can look through all these ideas and pull it together exactly like you want it. Whenever I have had new homes or living spaces I wanted a fresh look different from the other…and you can accomplish that without too much expense!

  35. COLOR WOMAN, think COLOR! Neutrals are ok, but don’t ya get bored with them? Put some great colors in that beautiful room and make it feel alive!

  36. I say cut the posts and add new finials….paint the bed and/or dresser in a lighter color…whatever you do…it will be GORGEOUS! Everything else you and Cy do always is!!!

  37. Hi Traci!
    I am the same way too. However, I think way might make things easer for you
    Is this: firstly, what about Cy. What des he like? Secondly
    I have found over the years that furniture pieces and walls
    Can be neutral and your pops of color that you want can be
    Brought in with accessories. That way when your taste changes
    again you won’t break the bank to update furniture pieces
    And your back painting. That being said if ugly have furniture
    pieces u don’t mind painting that could give you the neutral you
    looking for. I like te idea of being graphite. LOL, not sure if I
    was any help.

  38. I loved your old bedroom and that bedskirt was what sucked me into your site and the entire blog world, but I do understand wanting a change. I recall that was your Mom’s bed that was originally Cherry and you painted black along with the dresser. Since you painted it once, I would have no problem painting it again going for a French grayish color as you did on your demi-lune hall table. I’ve also seen a similar dresser painted a subtle two-tone that looked great. (MMS furniture friday?) YOu could upholster the interior portion of the headboard, although it’s hard to tell from the photo if a raised wood surrounds the whole thing. I’ve done the same wrapping the fabric around foam covered masonite and velcro-ing it to the interior. Works great and is not permanent. If you want shorter posts, please just find another bed! That one is beautiful. Cutting it off reminds me of when people used to cover up fireplaces and 5 paneled doors to “modernize” them. I mean doesn’t everyone really want a four poster bed…the ultimate in romantic?
    I think some people don’t actually read through the whole post very carefully judging from some of these comments! I love all the inspiration photos and could really see a bench at the end of the bed.
    Lastly, do you have the connecting rails between the posts? I could really see adding light colored bed hangings or even using that as a way of introducing some color and pattern…Iand although it did receive quite a bit of use a few years ago, I also like the toile suggestion above and your favorite blues and/or reds look so lovely with it.
    Can’t wait to see what you do, just please don’t cut the posts!:)

  39. I have a rice bed like yours, and the post unscrew in two different places. Have you tried to see if yours do that? It’s not as drastic as cutting them off and if you don’t like it after a few days of trying it out, you can put them back and try something else.
    I LOVE the bed and feel like you can make it work with so many different things – can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  40. How do you pick??? Eeeny, meany, miney, moe . . . lol You pick what you absolutely LOVE and it always works out. Start with the bed because it is the biggest item and I wouldn’t paint it, I would keep it black. Bring things in one at a time, that is what I do.

  41. When you get it figured out, I know it will be beautiful. then you can come and do my master bedroom too! haha!!

  42. Hi Traci!

    I like your idea of leaving the bed as is and painting the dresser grey—how about leaving the top of the dresser black and painting the rest of it grey so it still relates to the bed? If it was my room, I would then look for a grey burlap weave fabric and sew a straight tailored bedskirt and coordinate the rest of the bedding to that—adding a punch of color in the pillows and maybe a pop of color on a shabby wood bench for the end of the bed. Add some touches of old galvanized metal (old pails or watering cans) to hold books, flowers, etc. Maybe even paint out an old metal chandelier in a soft grey or give that a pop of color once you see how the rest of the room is going. Whatever you do, I know you’ll have it looking fabulous!

  43. Like Samantha mentioned you could cut off the posts-Young House Love did that to their bed. I would give you the link,but have no clue how to do that. A blan canvas can be an exciting and intimidating thing. My two cents-focus on how you and Cy want the room to feel and the rest will fall into place.

  44. Hello, I have a four-poster bed too and when I get to redecorating that room, I was thinking of not only painting over the dark stain, but cutting down the poster parts. Possibly reattaching the knobby things on the top in a logical place. The posts don’t go simply straight up and down, they have some of that curvature in them towards the bottom (if you know what I mean), so I could cut it at that point. I’d also like to do an upholstery headboard. You could totally do that if you wanted to.

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