Before and After: Lighting Upgrades and a DIY Lime Wash Make a Plain Bedroom Sing

published Aug 31, 2023
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Sometimes, all it takes is a few changes to make a room feel super luxe. Perhaps the finishing touch your space needs is a linen wallpaper, the sconces you’ve always eyed in the store, or the kind of chunky knit throw that looks like it belongs in a lodge. Here, in this bedroom belonging to Meghan Gallagher (@bymeghang), a few DIY installs took it from “builder-grade at best” to “carefully curated.”

“Small upgrades can make a huge impact on how you feel when you’re in a space,” Meghan says. The bedroom, which she shares with her husband, was perfectly fine before. It had tan walls, a big window, and nice furniture, but it certainly didn’t feel elegant or curated — that is, until Meghan added a DIY lime wash wall, hung pendants on either side of the bed, and threw in some new furniture and styling to make it feel fresh. 

A lime wash wall adds texture behind the headboard.

“The lime wash wall was pretty easy, and the drying time between coats took the longest,” Meghan says. “It’s actually a pretty fun process because it isn’t supposed to be too perfect.” 

Meghan used JH Wall Paint’s Lime Wall Paint in two shades of greige. Getting the right look required a bit of trial and error. “I did one coat of the limewash in shade 107 and absolutely loved it but couldn’t help but wonder if it could be even better with a second coat,” Meghan recalls. “I added a second coat of 104 and then panicked that I had made it too light and covered up all the texture. I think I went back in and did a third coat of 107. In the end, I’m happy with the result, but I turned a one-day project into a three-day project.” The lesson learned here? Sometimes you don’t know until you know. 

The new lighting is pretty-meets-practical.

Meghan says the pleated CB2 pendant lighting made the second-most dramatic difference in the space. These lights are “the perfect reading lights with magic light bulbs that don’t require us to get out of bed to turn them off,” she adds. 

One other lighting upgrade is the fandelier above the bed. Don’t know what a fandelier is? It’s a flush-mount fan disguised as a chandelier. (That’s, ahem, pretty fan-cy, right?) Meghan’s is from Amazon. “The fandelier speaks to me from an aesthetic standpoint but also keeps my husband nice and cool at night,” she says. “It was the perfect meet-in the-middle item for us, as I wanted design-forward, and my husband wanted a fan.” 

Furniture and accessories for the win.

Speaking of design-forward, Meghan made small (and large) styling swaps to make the room feel more complete. She bought a new king-sized bed that makes a more grand statement in the room; she added drapery, new bedding, and a faux olive tree; and she added different styling around the pre-existing dresser. 

“It’s so worth it to put a little bit of love into your bedroom and make it a space you’re happy to wake up in,” Meghan says. She completed her lime wash and light install in six days while working full-time. “If more time were allowed, I would have upgraded the doors and also added wood planks to the ceiling,” she says. 

And in fact, those are DIY projects on her to-do list in the future! For more motivation for tackling your to-do list, check out these three low-lift projects that’ll get you going.