Before and After: A “Bachelor Pad” Bedroom Goes “Fancy Hotel” for Just $300

published Dec 5, 2020
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Before: Bedroom with tan carpeting and off-white walls.
Credit: Shannon McBratney

Moving in with a significant other often requires some compromise, especially when it comes to combining decor—but that can give both parties the opportunity to create a home they love.

Shannon McBratney has first-hand experience with this. She moved in with her partner over the summer, and “it was a bit of a bachelor pad,” she says. “For me the biggest design problem to solve was the lack of definition, all the colors of the room blended together and made the room feel blah.”

Credit: Shannon McBratney

“Before I moved in I decided that the bedroom was the one room in the house that had to be completely finished. I wanted to create a design sanctuary where everything was complete so I could relax,” Shannon says. Fortunately, her partner was on board: “My partner was very supportive and really wanted me to feel at home in his house and he gave me pretty much free rein to do anything I wanted,” she says.

Credit: Shannon McBratney

Shannon was able to give the room a totally new look in just a couple weekends for only about $300. The secret to the low cost? She kept most everything, using paint to give the furniture pieces a fresh look. “The only thing I got vetoed on was painting the headboard,” Shannon says. But sandwiched between the two newly painted white nightstands, and against the fresh blue walls, the bed looks brand new.

Credit: Shannon McBratney

The wall color took a while to sort out, with nine different shades in the running before they settled on this one. “If I did it all again, I would have been more diligent with the taping before painting,” Shannon says. “Painting with a dark color leaves zero room for error and I spent a lot of time going back and detailing around the ceiling and corners.”

The new art over the bed is a Shannon original—a DIY that saved even more money.

Credit: Shannon McBratney

Now, the room suits both Shannon and her partner (and their pup).

“The thing I love most about the after is how much the contrasting dark colors and white accents really created definition in the room and made it feel bigger and more luxurious,” Shannon says. “My partner kept saying how he felt like he was staying in a fancy hotel. When I walk into this room it is both exciting and calming, a balance I was really happy to strike. I am an artist and I can’t do boring!”

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