Before & After: A Bland Spare Room Gets a Bold, Contrasting Makeover!

published Oct 26, 2014
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(Image credit: Marie Lu)

What to do when you’ve got a spare bedroom on the boring side and are looking for a creative place to work? You tackled it stylishly like Marie and her husband did with their extra room, creating one seriously dramatic, contrasting space to get creative in!

(Image credit: Marie Lu)

From Marie:

My husband is an artist in the game industry, while I am a published author. When we bought our first condo in Santa Monica, California, we knew we wanted to have a fun, slightly oddball office where we could feel creatively inspired. That space turned out to be a spare, largely forgotten bedroom on the tri-level condo’s lowest floor.


Our renovation started off quickly because, four days after moving in, a pipe burst in the bedroom’s ceiling and flooded the entire floor and closet. We like to think of that as a sign that we shouldn’t put off the makeover for too long. We removed the closet doors and turned the space into a reading nook. We replaced the ruined carpet with bamboo floors, added crown molding to the ceiling, and decided on a black-on-black striped wallpaper to add something fun and sleek to the room. We reupholstered an old 1920s settee with wide, black and white stripes, then matched the rest of the room’s decor to have an eccentric, modern French flair. Finally, we each got a drafting table in the room to act as our computer desks.


The entire process took about 2-3 months. Now, every morning, I step into our office and feel completely at home!

Thank you Marie!