Before and After: A 1959 Time Capsule Bedroom Gets a Fresh New Life — for Just $100

published Nov 21, 2021
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When you buy a fixer upper, you can be sure that there are a lot of projects on the to-do list — which means getting everything done within budget can be a real puzzle.

Stephanie Beaulac (@s.and.p_diy) knows that all too well. When she bought her 1959 fixer upper, it “needed everything done,” she says — the kitchen, three bathrooms, all the windows, doors, and lots more. “So we needed to save money where we could,” Stephanie says.

One place that Stephanie wanted to keep costs low: the bedroom. “We wanted a nice bedroom without paying a bunch,” she says — but the before was yellowed with a bit of a stink. “It was so old that things were coming back into style, like the grass cloth accent wall,” Stephanie says of the before. That would be pretty convenient, except it was also old enough to be falling apart and peeling off the wall.

Stephanie started by removing the grasscloth and cleaning the glue left behind on the wall. Then, she tore out the old carpet and baseboards, which not only improved the look of the space but also made a huge difference on the smell. “There was a lot more heavy cleaning than we expected under those things,” Stephanie says.

Stephanie took out the old heavy curtains and painted the walls with fresh paint — three walls in a light gray, and one in a deep blue where the old grasscloth had been. Stephanie also bought plain, flat window trim which she painted in a matching blue. When the paint was dry, she nailed it up in a geometric pattern to create a new, more modern accent wall.

“We used an inspiration picture from Stutilicious as a guide, however, we pretty much just winged it,” Stephanie says. “This step was a little harder than expected to figure out equal spacing between the boards, 45 degree angles, etc. We felt like we were back in trigonometry class.”

After securing the boards with a brad nailer, Stephanie caulked the seams and painted over the caulk with a matching blue paint for a polished finish. “The accent wall was a risk. We didn’t know how it would turn out but we’re really happy with it and are proud we were able to create that,” Stephanie says.

One more place Stephanie worked magic with paint? Overhead, where she used black paint to spiff up the old brass light fixture. Once all that was done, all that was left was to move in the furniture. The room looks completely new — and the redo cost just $100 total, since Stephanie focused on inexpensive changes that made a big impact.

By far, though, her favorite part is the accent wall. “We just LOVE the accent wall,” Stephanie says. “It was so inexpensive and simple and it adds so much.”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.