A “Boring White Box” Bedroom Gets a Luxe Hotel-Worthy Transformation

published Apr 1, 2024
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If you’ve recently moved, especially if you’re a renter, you might feel overwhelmed by how much of a blank white box your bedroom is. But don’t worry — there are lots of ways to personalize your bedroom, and Mallory Wackerman’s (@malloryinteriors) apartment bedroom transformation is a masterclass. 

After moving into her 500-square-foot Los Angeles studio, Mallory knew she wanted to give her “boring” bedroom a vibrant update. “It was the most boring white box wall you’ve ever seen,” she explains. “Baseboard but no ceiling trim, and absolutely no interesting architectural details except for a big window that thankfully brought in a lot of natural light.”

This DIYer made non-pasted wallpaper renter-friendly.

The main part of the redesign was the feature wall. Mallory says she went through “rendering after rendering” to get it just right.

She opted for a monochromatic bird of paradise leaf-printed wallpaper from Pottery Barn ($129) on the top half of the wall, a water-adhered selection that she made renter-friendly with a simple hack. First, Mallory outlined the walls with painter’s tape to create a framework for her wallpaper. Next, she put double-sided tape directly over the painter’s tape and applied the wallpaper over top.

 “While I love peel and stick, I keep falling in love with non-pasted wallpapers and this has opened up so many design possibilities,” she shares on Instagram.

The cane headboard is also a DIY project.

A rattan-style headboard design spans the entire length of the wall. At first glance, it looks like something straight out of an upscale interior design magazine, but Mallory actually DIYed this, too, using a few unexpected materials — including cardboard, foam, and cane material.

“First I used foam [for the black trim] but it ended up everywhere and was so messy, plus I couldn’t get the curves to look high-end and not shaky,” she says. “I finally decided to use cardboard since it was easier to cut and trace, then I stapled some cheap, thin wood strips from The Home Depot to the back of the cardboard.”

To make the cardboard more “plush,” she added stick-on foam and batting and stapled it to the wood. She used art hooks and nails to secure it to the wall before moving on to the rustic detailing underneath the trim. “The cane was also difficult to source because I needed it to be very wide. Like, at least 40 inches wide so the seams wouldn’t show,” she notes. “I found a giant piece directly from a manufacturer called Yeeyahome, who created a custom 40-inch-wide order for me.”

Lighting and accessories complete the sleep space.

Mallory’s last hack is perfect for anyone who’s ever found a table lamp that they loved and wished it could be a pendant light instead. “I came across these really cute and affordable lamps from Target, and while I loved the look of these lamps, I knew I wanted to add a pendant light instead,” Mallory says on Instagram

Mallory kept the Target lampshades and used a cord kit and remote-operated, battery-powered puck light from Amazon — all three are hot-glued together — to create the chic lighting you see here. Other finishing touches include a throw pillow from Wayfair and bedding from Brooklinen

Mallory is delighted with her bedroom makeover, which has gained a lot of attention on social media — 61,900 TikTok likes and counting. It took a lot of planning, but the results paid off. “After so much trial and error, I’m so proud of this end result!! It feels just like a Palm Springs hotel, which was the exact vibe I was going for.”