Before and After: A Bold and Glamorous Rental Bedroom Redo Took Inspiration from a Surprising Source

published Jan 17, 2023
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About this before & after
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Before: a white bedroom with bay windows in the corner
Credit: Ally Doman
"The 'Before' pictures were photographed when Natalie first moved in, hence the disarray!" Interior decorator Ally says. "When I take on a client, I always photograph the initial walk-through."

Older apartments in big cities often have some quirks: no in-unit laundry, no elevators, no central AC, noisy radiators, no parking, tight quarters, very few closets — the list goes on and on. But there are definitely plenty of reasons to move into them, too: beautiful parquet floors, big windows, charming moulding, beautiful exteriors — the list, again, goes on and on.

Credit: Ally Doman

Natalie Price’s 1920s Brooklyn apartment is pretty much a quintessential example of city living in an older building. Natalie is a client of interior decorator Ally Doman (of Doman Decors), and here’s what Ally had to say about the apartment: “The space was a blank canvas in terms of the neutral wall color, and it had incredible bones, like the parquet wood flooring and bay windows.” But one thing Ally and Natalie would have to work around in the space? A lack of closets or big storage of any kind in the bedroom.

Credit: Ally Doman

Mostly, Natalie and Ally were looking to up the drama in the room and say goodbye to beige, and they did so by way of a monochrome color pink palette.

“Natalie was an angel to work with: She trusted me wholeheartedly and totally embraced the monochromatic pink room concept,” Ally says, sharing that a major source of inspiration for the final look was actually Billie Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever” music video set.

Credit: Ally Doman
Accent rug: Ugly Rugly
Mirror: World Market

The paint choices for the walls and trim, respectively, are Benjamin Moore’s Palermo Rose and Toasted Mauve. Ally’s advice when it comes to paint, if you’re covering both walls and trim, is to go one shade darker for the trim. It “creates depth and contrast,” she writes on Instagram.

“A monochromatic space can be difficult to design,” Ally adds. “In this case, the colors needed to be the right shade — not too peachy, and not too Barbie pink. I think the final product turned out even better than I had planned.” She says once the paint was on the walls, it was easy to envision the rest of the room.

Credit: Ally Doman

“Natalie inherited the beautiful antique dresser, so we leaned into that aesthetic and found some other glamorous vintage pieces that would complement the space, like the crystal and wood chandelier — my personal favorite decor piece because of the way rainbows form when the light hits the crystals!” Ally says. The antique dresser is great for clothing storage, as is the rolling clothing rack to the right of it. (City dwellers, take note!)

The job of decorating the walls came relatively easily. “Natalie owned a plethora of fantastic art that had pops of pink in it,” Ally says. One small-space-friendly decor detail you might miss on first glance is the the shelving across one of the windows. It was there in the “before” version of the space, too, but with a fresh coat of pink paint on it, it has a totally new life. Adding a shelf across a window is yet another idea to steal from this redo if you’re limited on storage and live in an older place with deep-set windows.

Credit: Ally Doman

The rest of the room leans into the pink-plus-vintage aesthetic with a pink velvet bed and ditsy floral chair, two of Ally’s favorite finds for the space. “I was so excited to find the curvy upholstered bed frame in that gorgeous color and fabric; I think it really lends itself to the rosy color scheme,” Ally says. “I am quite proud to have found the vintage Milo Baughman swivel chair in that lovely floral upholstery because I couldn’t have picked a better suited fabric myself! Natalie really wanted the swivel feature, so I searched high and low for something that was functional and special. It was an Etsy find, which is one of my go-to places to source vintage.”

Ally says she’s proud of how she incorporated Natalie’s pre-existing pieces with finds new and old. “It really was a collaboration since we were able to incorporate some of her previously owned furniture and art,” Ally says, adding that she probably wouldn’t change anything about the process if she were to do it over again.

Credit: Ally Doman

“If we wanted to go even bolder, I could have had the ceiling painted to match the walls,” Ally says. “However, this is still a rental at the end of the day, so including the ceiling adds extra work before move out day!” And the pink walls and trim envelop the room in whimsical vintage color on their own.

“I love the vibrancy of the space and the way the color warms the entire room, especially at golden hour!” Ally says.

This article has been updated to include an additional shelving photo.