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This Designer Gave a Cookie-Cutter NYC Apartment Bedroom Major Personality — Here's How

makeover of the week - Becky Shea NYC Bedroom Makeover

Design: Becky Shea, Photo: Sean Litchfield

If there’s something we never get tired of seeing, it’s a great makeover. Whether it’s transforming a retro bathroom into a modern oasis or giving a lackluster bedroom a fresh look, pros perform these design miracles all the time. 

To give designers a chance to showcase their favorite makeovers—and to bring you plenty of inspiration for your own home—we’re sharing the best before and afters we’ve seen in our series, Makeover of the Week. Take notes for your next renovation.

“My vision came down to truly understanding the client's day to day activities so that I could create a primary bedroom for that all-important post-work unwind to help someone sleep more soundly, think more clearly, and feel more rooted—despite life’s inevitable chaos,” says interior designer Becky Shea.

The term “Primary Bedroom” is now widely used to describe the largest bedroom in the home, as it better reflects the space’s purpose. Many realtors, architects, interior designers, and the Real Estate Standards Association have recognized the potentially discriminatory connotations in the term “Master.” Read more about our Diversity and Inclusion Pledge.

“We asked the client which colors reminded her of peace, which textiles make her feel comforted, and what objects she wanted to highlight in the space that would spark joy every time she looked at them,” Shea continues. “Once we got down to the roots of human intentions being had in the space, we hit the drawing board.” 

Meet the Expert

Becky Shea is a New York City interior designer and creative director at Becky Shea Design, whose goal is to create a calm and modern aesthetic through the use of natural materials and a commitment to sustainability.  


makeover of the week - Becky Shea NYC bedroom before

Photo Courtesy of Becky Shea

“We were lucky to start with a clean canvas," Shea notes. "The room had a white ceiling and walls along with natural-colored hardwoods that were in good shape. The space had a lot of natural light, thanks to the floor-to ceiling wall of windows. In fact, we monitored the sun’s movements and how it interacted within the room before we began designing. The view didn’t hurt—the room is nestled behind a patio filled with lush greenery overlooking the Hudson River.”


makeover of the week - Becky Shea NYC blue bedroom

Design: Becky Shea, Photo: Sean Litchfield

Our client was somewhat opposed to going dark in this mostly white condo, so it took quite a bit of massaging to get her on board with the sultry tones in this primary bedroom,” Shea says. “The two elements that set off our design direction were the rug and the fabric for the headboard, as they were lighter iterations of the darker tones we were planning on layering in, and helped make for a smoother transition into the deeper shades in the room.”

What Changed:

  • Color theme: Shades of navy are layered in with oatmeal and leather accents. 
  • Walls: Navy jute grasscloth behind the bed adds texture, while the remaining walls were painted in a similar color to create a monochromatic feel. 
  • Lighting: The flush dome, with its handblown glass and walnut wood canopy, is made of spun brass.
  • Window treatments: Touchpad and voice operated roller shades are hidden within the soffit and keep the focus on the steel windows.
  • Nightstand: The rectangular cast metal frames and antique mirror tabletops add an industrial feel to the space. 
  • Lamps: Both the shades and bases on the black powder coated lamps are made of steel.
  • Mirror: A floor-length steel mirror is tucked away in the corner to reflect the greenery on the patio space. 
  • Table: The organic shape of the black matte accent table contrasts the straight-lined elements in the room.
  • Chair: The hammered metal frame on the leather chair is accented with natural stonewash colored cushions.
  • Wall art: The linen canvas features an abstract print highlighting the colors in the space.
  • Bells: Stoneware bells, with their wood knocker and hemp roping, are a striking way to add art to the wall. 
  • Bed: The king-sized wraparound headboard, with its walnut frame, is upholstered in a silver cashmere and wool fabric.
  • Bedding: A heather gray cotton and Mongolian cashmere duvet is edged in French seams.
  • Pillow: Euro shams and lumber pillows in solids and stripes pop against the sleeping pillows.
  • Rug: The handwoven alpaca boucle rug has the feel of soft cashmere against bare feet. 
  • Dresser: The walnut wood drawers are encased in a cast metal frame and feature finger pull handles for a modern aesthetic.

Shop the Look: 

makeover of the week - Becky Shea bedroom makeover

Design: Becky Shea, Photo: Sean Litchfield

Restoration Hardware Linen Vertical Pleat Pillow Cover by Kelly Hoppen $139.00
Restoration Hardware Gramercy Open Nightstand $995.00
Morrow Leather Chair
Shoppe Amber Interiors Morrow Leather Chair $4,150.00