Before and After: An Old Childhood Bedroom Gets All Grown-Up for Just $450

updated Oct 20, 2020
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Credit: Amilia James

After the COVID-19 pandemic began, many adults found themselves back in their parents’ house, staying in their childhood bedrooms and staring down their old Britney Spears posters and glow-in-the-dark stick-on stars. Once Amilia James heard her 21-year-old sister was going to be moving back in with their parents, she wanted to help her make the bedroom she occupied as a kid feel like home.

“I wonder if it’s universally true that moving back in to your childhood bedroom is psychologically challenging, especially when it’s during a global pandemic and you’re grieving the exciting plans you had,” Amilia says. “My 21-year-old sister, Celina, just officially graduated college and I am so proud! She is a musical theater major and was planning to move to NYC. Instead she’s back home with our parents for the foreseeable future.” Amilia wanted to help her sister redo her room so that she could feel like she had a peaceful space to call her own that felt a little more adult. So with her sister and parents’ blessings, Amilia got to work.

Credit: Amilia James

The original space was pretty bare-bones, featuring little more than a dresser, bed, and bright pink curtains over the window. “This room didn’t have a cohesive design aesthetic and was lacking a lot of personality,” Amilia says. “The hot pink curtains cast an unattractive pink glow over the entire room and the vintage vanity was in pretty bad shape (and the sea shell mirror was so not my sister’s style). This room needed some help becoming a space fit for a young adult!”

Credit: Amilia James

It only took a few swaps to transform this gloomy space. Amilia traded the gray bedding for a plush white comforter from Amazon, a dusty rose throw blanket, and neutral pillows. She also incorporated a vintage-looking Loloi area rug and a more mature media console from Target, both of which instantly elevated the space.

Amilia kept the same simple bed frame in place, but helped elevate it by creating a faux headboard. A painted circle behind it, plus a macrame wall hanging, instantly turn the bed into a centerpiece.

Credit: Amilia James

Amilia updated a vintage vanity with a fresh coat of matte paint (Behr’s Silver Celadon) and handsome new hardware. A sleek new mirror above adds a modern touch.

The finished room is a beautiful blend of new, refurbished, and old items that came together in only two days for $450. “I think sometimes people hesitate to invest time, energy, and money into redoing a temporary space, whether that’s a rental or your old room in your parents’ house,” Amilia says. “However, choosing to invest in whatever space you’re currently living in can have such a significant positive psychological impact that I highly recommend it to anyone!”

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