One Room Challenge

Before and After: A Faux Fireplace and Other Glam Touches Revive a Plain 1920s Bedroom

published Aug 26, 2022
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About this before & after
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Before: empty white room with a ceiling fan

Historic homes often have fascinating backstories. Take, for example, Kristy DeGina’s 1920s Hollywood Hills pad in Los Angeles, which used to be a hotel. Even more glamorous? The part that she rents used to be the ballroom.

The room pictured above and below, with 12-foot ceilings and a built-in arch over the windows, “was the musician’s room adjacent to the ballroom off of the main hotel lobby,” Kristy explains. “It was only opened up during events and parties.”

When Kristy decided to move in, she knew she wanted this room to be a bedroom, and she wanted to use the arch as a defined nook for the bed. Her goal was to create a bedroom with “Old Hollywood deco meets contemporary design” during the Spring 2022 One Room Challenge.

With such high ceilings, plus beautiful windows under that beautiful arched architectural detail (“it almost looks like a grand headboard,” Kristy says), she admits she had great bones to work with. Her goal was to add historic and contemporary pieces that blended well together and added enough drama to the tall room.

“I met a new friend on Facebook Marketplace, and they offered me a really cool stone fireplace mantel that they couldn’t sell for free!” Kristy says. “It is really nice but was a bit too low for my tall ceilings, so I thought that this would be a fun excuse to challenge myself to build out the mantel and make it more grand.”

She painted the stone mantel black (using Rust-Oleum’s Milk Paint in Eclipse) and used $1 stone pavers (also painted black) to raise it up a bit higher. She also cut two 2x4s to size to create a “recessed frame look” at the front of the fireplace, added black herringbone tiles behind the fixture and ceramic fire balls at the center, and voila! Three hundred dollars (and some sweat equity) later, Kristy has a beautiful faux fireplace that complements the character of the room.

“I would say that [project] took the longest, especially the chevron tile detail,” Kristy says.

She also sourced several pieces of vintage furniture and lighting for the project “which took longer than expected to find the perfect pieces, but was well worth it,” she says. One of her vintage finds was the French polished brass chandelier, which she found locally on 1stDibs, and looks much more meant-to-be in the space than the ceiling fan before.

Kristy’s lamps, tulip chair, leather bench, nightstand, and Diego Uchitel horse print were also 1stDibs finds, but she blended those with newer retail finds like the rug, the bed, and the pillows.

“I love the mix of contemporary and deco styles that not only coordinate with the rest of the home but to also pay homage to the Hollywood hotel it once was,” Kristy says. “I feel both styles reflect my personality and makes this space really feel like home.”

This project was completed for the Spring 2022 One Room Challenge, in partnership with Apartment Therapy. See even more of the One Room Challenge before and afters here.