Before and After: A Budget-Savvy Bedroom Redo Has a Chic Fix for Ugly Closet Doors

published Jul 16, 2023
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About this before & after
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Rental Friendly
BEdroom before repainting, remodel: white walls, bed with gray, black white bedding, 2 cats on bed, door open to patio

If you’re a renter, finding stylish workarounds for typical apartment eyesores such as sliding closet doors, clunky AC units, radiators, and more can be tricky. Here to provide a little inspiration is this apartment bedroom redo by Lucía Gogenola (@proyectopasillodeco), who just so happens to be the Apartment Therapy Small/Cool Contest grand prize winner from 2021.

(And by the way, it’s once again the smallest, coolest time of year here at Apartment Therapy! You can vote for your favorite small spaces in the 2023 Small/Cool Contest every day through July 24.) 

Since winning Small/Cool, Lucía and her husband, Agustin Gomez, have given their bedroom a colorful boost. Even though they own their apartment — and in fact, Lucía’s grandparents used to own it, too! — their bedroom has a couple of great solutions for renters, too. Two such great ideas: a freshly painted wall-mount AC unit and vinyl-covered sliding doors. 

Lucía and Agustin chose an orange-y coral for their accent wall; the exact shade is called “Coral Nieces” and is from a paint store in Argentina, where the couple is based. Lucía says putting up the picture-frame molding was a DIY first for them. She estimates the project would cost about $17 USD. The artwork on display within the moldings is from Lucía and Agustin’s design business, Proyecto Pasillo

Because the room has no light fixtures, the couple added IKEA pendants a couple years back. They also DIYed their own headboard using a wooden table top, foam rubber, and leftover gray curtain fabric. “It’s worked super well over the years,” Lucía says. 

Lucía and Augustin also updated their sliding closet doors a couple of years ago. What was once a brown eyesore in the space is now a sort of feature wall, made with terrazzo vinyl (you can find similar in the U.S. here) and cool semi-circle cabinet pulls (you can find similar in the U.S. here). 

“Painting a wall, putting vinyl or wallpaper, and installing moldings are changes that take little time, can be undone if you rent or regret, do not require much budget, and can make a big difference,” Lucía says. 

Lucía says by painting only one accent wall, they didn’t have to spend a lot of money on paint, and they also saved money by giving their somewhat-dingy AC a fresh coat of crisp white paint instead of replacing it, she says. 

Lucía says a DIY she might try down the line is painting the ceiling in the same coral color to match the accent wall. “It is never too late to go for more,” she says. To see the rest of Lucía and Agustin’s DIY-filled, Small-Cool grand prize-winning space, check out their full house tour

Additional reporting by Kelly Dawson