Before and After: Thrift Store Finds Are Key to This $400 Afro-Bohemian Bedroom Redo

published Oct 7, 2023
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Before, this bedroom belonged to the homeowner’s two sons.

Becoming an empty-nester is a major life change, but it’s also an opportunity to update your home for the better — in fact, a 2022 survey found that nearly three out of four parents renovate their houses after their children leave home. That was certainly the case for Jamala Wallace (@urvintagegirl), who turned her sons’ former bedroom into a dreamy guest room.

Jamala is no stranger to updating her 1930s home. Case in point: She had to get creative in order to make her sons’ twin beds fit in their four-door room. But after those sons grew up and flew the nest, she was left with a room that didn’t fit her own style.

“The room stayed neutral while they lived here, with very little decoration,” Jamala says. “After they left, it was time to give the room some thought and create a bright, airy, plant-friendly room. I wanted to infuse my love of Afro-centric decor with vintage pieces that reflected my love of thrift shopping.” She also wanted to make the room’s many, many doors feel less overwhelming.

White paint is an instant room-brightener.

To start off, Jamala brightened up the room by repainting its light blue walls a crisp white (Sherwin-Williams’ High Reflective White) instead. Although painting the 12-foot-tall ceilings was difficult, she took her time and eventually got the job done. 

As for the other wall treatments, Jamala also covered one of the awkward extra doors by painting an entire wall black and hanging a painting on it “to create a wall illusion.” She also painted picture rail gold for a touch of glam. 

A DIY project makes the beds look unrecognizable.

Next, Jamala tackled a renovation step that was brand-new for her: Giving the room’s beds a makeover by painting them white and reupholstering the headboards and footboards with linen fabric and batting.

“Reupholstering the twin beds was a first-time project for me, but I recruited the help of a dear friend who was experienced with it,” Jamala says. “She was beneficial in acquiring the professional look.”

For the final look, Jamala rotated the beds to the black wall to make room for a loveseat, a vintage find, by the window. 

Vintage finds kept the project total to $400.

Knowing when to splurge on new home products and when to buy secondhand was key to bringing Jamala’s vision to life, she says. Although she decided to purchase a jute rug and cowhide, the majority of her finds — from the aforementioned loveseat, which was only $25, to a rattan bar cart — were pre-loved. 

“Shopping estate sales and thrift stores is a great way to update a space without breaking the bank,” Jamala says. 

She’s particularly proud of all the baskets she thrifted from different places at different times and pieced together “like a puzzle” to create wall art that wraps around the corner.

Plants add a pop of green.

Finally, adding plants along the window wall helped complete the room’s Afro-bohemian look — and take advantage of all the natural light the guest room gets.

“I love how bright, airy, and curated the room looks,” Jamala says. “When I enter the room, I smile because now the bright light beams in. My plants look happy and are growing very well.”

Suffice it to say that her hard work paid off. A largely unused room in Jamala’s home is now a bright, inviting space that she herself enjoys spending plenty of time relaxing in when she and her husband aren’t hosting guests. “It’s such a cool place to hang out in,” she says.