A Smart & Stylish New Bedroom for “Black-ish” Star Yara Shahidi

published Jun 11, 2017
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Yara Shahidi, who stars on ABC’s Black-ish (and an upcoming spin-off called College-ish) is living the dream—but she is also living at home, so she wanted her bedroom to reflect her personal style and to work as a functional place to study, conduct business and unwind. Because of her busy schedule, Yara turned to the online design service, Laurel & Wolf, to help make her goal of an organized and stylish bedroom a reality. Yara opened up her new bedroom for a room tour. Check it out.

What excited you most about designing your room?

I wanted my room to reflect my personality and uniqueness. To be able to design my room, I feel like it was a chance to finally have it become more of my space. My life is so vivid, and I like to think I’m just as vivid, and I wanted my space to match that.

(Image credit: Dustin Walker)

What did your space look like before the makeover?

Even though I have been in this house for about a year now, my room had very minimal decoration. I had my bed pushed into the corner by the window. I had a few things taped on the wall and I had a lot of pieces that weren’t very coordinated. Because I felt like I was in this constant state of transition, I also didn’t have the chance to really customize my space and really make it mine. I think what’s nice is that now, my room is definitely more intentional. It was a room just to basically go to sleep in and then wake up and do other things in. But now, I can LIVE in my room.

(Image credit: Dustin Walker )

It was a room just to basically go to sleep in and then wake up and do other things in. But now, I can LIVE in my room.

What were you hoping to change about your room?

Overall I feel like it was about how to utilize the space to the best of my ability. My room is really the center of how I run my personal empire. It’s the center of it —the kingdom and the castle. So, the fact that I have so much more storage space now is fantastic and I can be more intentional about what’s lying around now that the space has been fully optimized. It’s no longer: “This piece is laying out because I have nowhere to put it.” Everything has a place.

(Image credit: Dustin Walker)

What was the design experience like working entirely online?

It was really cool. When I first got access to the online platform, I was like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa.” I basically got to see my room before it happened. It’s super interactive and it works perfectly with the kind of schedule I have. I ranged from checking in on my project at 6:00 a.m. in the morning to 11:00 p.m. at night.

It’s also cool because it’s really interactive. When I mentioned, “Okay, I want a desk/side table,” they responded with, “Here are three options,” and then I would respond, “Okay, I love this one. But you know what? I’m not a huge fan of this blanket.” And then the designer would reply, “Let’s swap out the blanket,” so it was collaborative.

(Image credit: Dustin Walker for Laurel and Wolf)

How would you say the new space reflects who you are at this point in life?

I feel like it’s a more mature Yara than my old space. It’s exactly what I needed. I can choose whether I want to listen to music and get some work done or have a mini dance party or whatever it might be. It’s definitely more functional to the kind of lifestyle I have as well. Everything in my life is all over the place, so I needed a room where I can not only put everything away that I need to put away but also a room that is a comfortable space to live in.

(Image credit: Dustin Walker)

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re hanging out in your room?

I have light bulbs that change color so I usually put on some blue light and listen to music. There’s something about it that enhances the songs. At one point, I used to have playlists on my phone that were titled “Blue,” “Yellow,” “Pink,” etc. – dedicated to songs that were different colors in my head. Because of that, my room has basically become my mini studio where I don’t make music but just take it in. I also love getting curled up and listening to either a podcast or an old radio show until I fall asleep.

(Image credit: Dustin Walker)

What are some of your favorite new pieces?

That’s a difficult question! I would say the cork board is one of my favorite pieces. I know that in a matter of days it will be filled because I come from a vision board family and so I feel like cork boards have been the center of our life when it comes to projecting what you want.

I also really love my desk as I now have a space to do work. In a given hour it can range from AP stats to conference calls, so it’s really nice to now have a dedicated space for that.

What are some of your most important belongings?

I definitely have a lot of knick-knacks and books in my room that are very important. And my cameras—I have to display them. I feel those belongings are a key part of who I am.

What inspires your sense of style?

I feel like travel has made my design style ever-changing. My room includes a lot of mementos from where I’ve been—whenever we travel, I like to come back with one thing.


**Yara worked with Laurel & Wolf designer Kimberly Winthrop on her bedroom makeover.

Thank you, Yara!