One Room Challenge

Before and After: This Bare Bedroom’s DIY Overhaul Includes a Must-See Vintage-Inspired Headboard

published Sep 28, 2022
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About this before & after
Home Type
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Before: a gray bedroom with a ladder and a mattress
Credit: Van Tuyet

Look around any bedroom, and you’ll see tons of surfaces and objects ripe for DIY upgrades: plain headboards, nightstands, closet doors, window treatments, walls, and more. Designer Van Tuyet’s (@percivalinbloom) bedroom redo includes all of those DIY projects, and even a couple more on top of that.

Credit: Van Tuyet

Van completed the redo during the Spring 2022 One Room Challenge. Before, her bedroom was “plain with no distinguishing features,” she says, and she wanted to give it a design boost with a bit more character.

Credit: Van Tuyet

To do that, she’d need to deal with the plain gray walls, the beige carpet, and the bare headboard-less bed. First up: the walls. One upgrade that adds instant character to a home is custom wainscoting; this year, picture frame moulding is leading the way as one of the most popular styles found in DIYers’ homes.

Credit: Van Tuyet

Van’s chair rail and picture frame additions took about two weeks to pull off. She had to cut and install 96 trim pieces total. “I’m most proud of all the work that went into installing all the picture frame moulding — cutting the pieces, filling nail holes, and the seemingly endless caulkathon,” Van says.

Her go-to tools for the project? A miter saw and a precision angle finder for making sure the corners meet up correctly. Van’s room had some angled walls that were tricky to work with, plus, “fun fact, most corners aren’t perfectly 90 degrees, so I always use the angle finder to get joints tight,” she writes on Instagram.

Credit: Van Tuyet

After her moulding details were installed, Van caulked all the seams for a crisp finish and then painted the room using three colors: a blue-gray (Clare’s Set in Stone) for the accent wall and lower portion of the walls, a warm white (Clare’s Whipped) for the upper portion of the walls, and a light grayish khaki for the doors. The light gray is a mix of Set in Stone, Classic, and Meet Cute. “I just added colors until I liked it,” Van says of her custom DIY creation.

And speaking of custom creations, Van made a custom oversized upholstered toile headboard for the space, and she painted her existing nightstands light pink for some added vintage vibes.

“I was nervous about the oversized headboard, but I love the toile so much, I wish I’d made it even bigger,” Van says. She made it using batting, foam, plywood, spray adhesive, and her vintage-inspired fabric.

Credit: Van Tuyet

Her bed frame is from Overstock, her rug is from Rugs Direct, and the vintage desk and mirror above the bed are from Facebook Marketplace. Two other quick swaps Van made also help make the space look a little more sophisticated: switching the old shiny door levers on the closet doors for antique-looking brass knobs, and updating the old ceiling fan for something more sleek.

Credit: Van Tuyet

Although Van loves many details in her new space (like the color-blocking, the vintage finds, and the moulding that she worked on), her favorite detail is the headboard. “I wanna toile everything now!” she writes on Instagram. “The headboard was an easy DIY that pulled the space together, adding warmth and cementing the traditional-cottage vibe that I was aiming for.”

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.