Before and After: This Eclectic $5,000 Bedroom Redo is a Master Class in Pattern Mixing
There are all sorts of bedroom styles for every personality out there — from minimalist mattress-on-the-floor setups to maximum color and pattern everywhere. And, of course, there’s a whole lot of combinations of everything in between. This bedroom redo by homeowners Caleb and Elle Crosby is a great example. While the bedroom started off pretty simple, the redone version is a beautiful harmony of lots of different styles: somewhat cottagecore, somewhat eclectic, somewhat maximalist, and somewhat rustic. “It has a really charming, old-world, Southern feel to it that really draws us in,” Caleb, an architect and interior designer, says of the “after.”
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But before the bedroom was a charmer, it was just a bit plain. The walls were a deep blue, but the rest (the beige carpet, the white furniture that was Elle’s childhood bedroom set) lacked color. “It was boring and uninspired — not a room we enjoyed going into,” Caleb says. “Compared to the work we had done in the rest of our house by this point, we were almost embarrassed to have guests stay here.”
During the One Room Challenge, Caleb and Elle got to work on cozying up the place for their guests so they could present a room they were proud of.
“We spent four weeks on the bulk of the work and only worked one or two nights a week after our day jobs,” Caleb says. Once the old furniture was out, the couple ripped up the old trim, baseboards, and carpeting, and prepped the subfloor for new hardwoods. Next, they added chair rail-height beadboard wainscoting all the way around the room; they also installed baseboards and crown moulding. A paint sprayer helped them re-paint all the trim (Benjamin Moore’s White Dove) and the ceiling (Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter).
After the paint projects were done, Caleb and Elle covered the walls above the wainscoting with wallpaper. The gray toile they chose acts as a neutral backdrop; even though there’s a lot going on in the pattern, the subdued colors ensure that it doesn’t overpower the rest of the space. “We had only installed wallpaper once,” Caleb explains. “While I wouldn’t say it was easy, I would say we had a better time with it than the first go with wallpaper.”
After hanging the wallpaper, Caleb and Elle installed new hardwood floors. “From here, it was time to put the room together,” Caleb says. They started with some fresh furniture, including a thrifted side table and a leather and brass bed from Anthropologie (which took a few months longer to ship than expected but was worth the wait!).
What really makes this room special, though, is all of the pattern mixing. On the bed, the couple added what Caleb says is “an awesome patterned quilt” (it’s from Pottery Barn!) and block-print pillows that are from target. On the windows, they chose plaid curtains, and a windowpane-patterned rug brings some pattern underfoot. Adding to the maximalist feel of the space is the gallery wall above the bed, one of Caleb’s favorite details. It features historic photos of their home city for a sweet personal touch.
“This room was a creative exercise for me,” Caleb says. “I’ve been designing for a few years now, and I really wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone on this project. Pattern and color are not my usual comfort zone, but I found myself really inspired by spaces that use a lot of pattern play and color.”
With all the supplies, furniture, and furnishings (including new wall sconces), the couple’s total came to $5,000. Caleb says if there’s one thing he could change about the project, it would be swapping the ceiling fan for “a new light fixture that feels more special and fitting to the theme,” but mostly, he wants his guests to be able to cool off! His mission of creating “a guest room that felt more like a boutique hotel than a spare bedroom” was certainly accomplished. Oh, and he wishes he’d started the whole thing sooner.
“If you’re considering tackling a guest room in your house, do it!” Caleb says. “It may not get used everyday, but the extra care and thought will go a long way in making your guests feel welcome and special in your house.”
This project was completed for the Fall 2022 One Room Challenge, in partnership with Apartment Therapy. See even more of the One Room Challenge before and afters here.
Inspired? Submit your own project here.