Makeovers

Sacramento Street’s Caitlin Flemming Gets a Major Bedroom Makeover

Sacramento Street’s Caitlin Flemming Gets a Major Bedroom Makeover
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Caitlin Flemming had a specific vision for her master bedroom: a serene sanctuary in a softly chic palette of gray. But between chasing around her toddler son, Jackson; running her hugely popular blog, Sacramento Street; and taking on clients through Caitlin Flemming Design, there wasn’t a spare minute to translate that vision into reality.

Badly in need of a helping hand—she says that “the bedroom was so neglected, I’d cringe every time I walked in”—Caitlin tapped our design team at The Studio. We like to think of this team as black belts in knocking out those design projects that get eternally stuck on the to-do list. Working in close collaboration with Caitlin and using the ultraclean aesthetic we know and love from her blog as inspiration, the team styled the bedroom with an assortment of vintage and new pieces. The result is a space that “finally feels done” and that Caitlin and her husband are thrilled to peace out in every night.

Discover how we created a bedroom that is meditatively serene, deeply cozy, and packed with personal style.

Caitlin and the team landed on a vintage Moroccan rug. The rug’s warm ivory plays off the cleaner whites in the room, and its heritage lends a more grounded, authentic feel to the space.

Caitlin and the team landed on a vintage Moroccan rug. The rug’s warm ivory plays off the cleaner whites in the room, and its heritage lends a more grounded, authentic feel to the space.

Creating a Cohesive Look

The one drawback of the bedroom is that it isn’t big. It does get plenty of light, however, and has a window that looks straight into a cherry-blossom tree. Caitlin’s aesthetic, which she describes as “very serene, light, and neutral,” flows through all the apartment’s living spaces, and she wanted the bedroom to feel like a cohesive part of the whole while being a “little sanctuary of peace.”

Luckily the bedroom walls already felt connected to the overall look. When Caitlin and her husband, Eric, moved into the building in San Francisco’s Presidio Heights, the apartment was coated in a somber charcoal-gray paint. That, she says, “was the easiest fix”—all it needed was Benjamin Moore’s Mountain Peak White, which has become something of a signature for Caitlin. It’s a white that’s warm instead of blazing bright, and without undertones of yellow or blue, it’s just the neutral ground that Caitlin loves. Other than the paint, the only major element retained for the makeover was their queen-size bed—its pale-gray linen headboard jibed perfectly with the palette Caitlin envisioned.

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The bedroom was so neglected, I’d cringe every time I walked in.

— Caitlin Flemming
With a bedroom that’s on the small side—not much extra space for art or accent furniture—we kept the focus squarely on the bed, making it extra-luscious with bedding that looks a foot deep.

With a bedroom that’s on the small side—not much extra space for art or accent furniture—we kept the focus squarely on the bed, making it extra-luscious with bedding that looks a foot deep.

We worked with Tammy Price of Fragments Identity in Los Angeles to create an array of pillows out of vintage fabrics. These chenilles and batiks, in deep grays, became an anchor for the palette.

We worked with Tammy Price of Fragments Identity in Los Angeles to create an array of pillows out of vintage fabrics. These chenilles and batiks, in deep grays, became an anchor for the palette.

A Cool Palette and a Cozy Feel

For any bedroom—but especially a smaller one—we’re believers in a luxurious-feeling bed. We doubled down on Caitlin’s neutral palette to make the bed feel richly textured: airy Matteo linens, a Matteo duvet, and Caitlin’s own patterned quilt, all topped off by a gray cashmere throw. Euros and decorative pillows in gray chenille and batik add another layer to the standard shams.

All this volume served a practical purpose as well: warmth. “It truly does get cold in San Francisco,” Caitlin says, “and our windows are paper-thin.” In spite of the cool palette, we wanted the space to be the very opposite of chilly.

For their matching nightstands, Caitlin and her husband wanted something gender-neutral. These gray-washed nightstands hit the right note, and they offer lots of storage—something that’s hard to come by for any smaller bedroom.

For their matching nightstands, Caitlin and her husband wanted something gender-neutral. These gray-washed nightstands hit the right note, and they offer lots of storage—something that’s hard to come by for any smaller bedroom.

Using Symmetry to Nail Serenity

Since nothing radiates calm quite like symmetry, the team went unabashedly matchy-matchy with the items flanking the bed: matching nightstands, lamps, and mirrors. The wall above the bed remained bare, making the shapely headboard the centerpiece of the space. With this neat structure, the smaller personal details can vary—Caitlin’s stack of books and bowls, her husband’s minimalist surface—without the balance getting thrown. Caitlin, by the way, enjoyed letting someone else finesse these design details; it was a refreshing break for the veteran stylist and designer. “Usually I’m the one running around like a chicken with my head cut off,” she says of a typical installation.

Inside the top drawer of Caitlin’s nightstand, mini bowls hold accessories and her glasses (critical to keep in arm’s reach for toddler wake-ups!). A clear lover of order, Caitlin adores taking off every piece of jewelry, putting it in its place, and closing the drawer.

Inside the top drawer of Caitlin’s nightstand, mini bowls hold accessories and her glasses (critical to keep in arm’s reach for toddler wake-ups!). A clear lover of order, Caitlin adores taking off every piece of jewelry, putting it in its place, and closing the drawer.

On her nightstand, a mix of feminine and crisp details reflects Caitlin’s style. An ivory-tone necklace by Joanna Williams, which Caitlin has had forever, adds extra style to the mirror.

On her nightstand, a mix of feminine and crisp details reflects Caitlin’s style. An ivory-tone necklace by Joanna Williams, which Caitlin has had forever, adds extra style to the mirror.

Banishing Tech and Tucking In

Caitlin’s instinct to create an utterly calm bedroom, without a drop of loud color, wasn’t purely about aesthetics. By prizing simplicity and serenity above all else, Caitlin might actually achieve that holy grail: a New Year’s resolution that sticks. “I used to answer emails and watch TV until I fell asleep, and this year I resolved to read more,” she explains. “Now I’m decompressing at night by reading and staying technology-free. It’s been amazing.”

“I always adore a hanging mirror,” Caitlin says, and the brass cord of this one plays off the brass of the bedside mirrors. The dresser, a midcentury piece coated in white lacquer, perfectly complements the rest of the room—and gives her husband enough space for his clothes. 

“I always adore a hanging mirror,” Caitlin says, and the brass cord of this one plays off the brass of the bedside mirrors. The dresser, a midcentury piece coated in white lacquer, perfectly complements the rest of the room—and gives her husband enough space for his clothes. 

Jackson snuggles right into the new bedding. When he wakes up each morning, Caitlin and Eric bring him into their bed for his morning bottle, and then the whole family gets up for the day.

Jackson snuggles right into the new bedding. When he wakes up each morning, Caitlin and Eric bring him into their bed for his morning bottle, and then the whole family gets up for the day.

Caitlin perches in the rare exception to her gray, white, and neutral palette, a blue ikat-upholstered chair.

Caitlin perches in the rare exception to her gray, white, and neutral palette, a blue ikat-upholstered chair.

I realized that having a serene and calm home was my favorite thing to come back to after a long day.

— Caitlin Flemming
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