Before and After: A Beige Bedroom Gets a “Bold and Exciting” Two-Tone Redo for Under $500
Old-school fireplaces are one of the many treasures that come with historic homes — though they’re often in need of major restoration.
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Designer Carla Morrone (@casa_de_car)’s 1880s home in Georgia came with six (!!!) Victorian-style fireplaces, but the one in the bedroom was sealed shut, and its Victorian-era tiles had been removed. So while the room had once had lots of charm, in its current state it was… lacking.
“I wanted something bold and exciting and different,” Carla explains of the space, which she lists as a vacation rental. “I wanted this room to be a feature in this three-bedroom apartment… I also was inspired to create some thing that people would be excited to see and walk into — something that would elevate your mood the moment you walk through the door.”
She says the main difference-maker in the space was paint. Because the room is large, it took a lot of paint to cover the space, but because she used paint to create an impact and kept it simple with furniture, she was able to keep her total makeover cost under $500.
“There is always something that can be done in a house this old, so choosing your battles, per se, and making design decisions that are going to be the most impactful and most budget-friendly are super important to keep in mind,” Carla says. “The hardest part is determining which things on the to do list you MUST do. The easiest is grabbing the paint brush or the tile and adhesive and getting down to business!”
Carla wielded her paintbrush to paint the walls a shade-shifting pink hue (Sherwin Williams’ Rachel Pink). “The light changes the color of these walls drastically throughout the day and between seasons,” Carla says. “It’s pretty magical — from peachy to moody to hot pink.”
Her pro-tip for preventing pink paint from looking too childish? Paint the trim, too. “Without also painting the trim, I was basically creating a little girl’s pink bedroom,” she says. “Pivoting halfway through and also painting the fireplace and all the trim truly elevated this bedroom.”
Another painting tip from Carla is to start with the hardest part first. “Since this project, I have begun to tackle a number of other rooms in the house with the same idea of not only painting the walls but also the trim and even doors the same color as the walls,” she explains. “And what I do differently since then is always paint the trim first. It’s all downhill after the trim!”
Carla used Sherwin Williams’ Iron Ore for the black part of the fireplace, and now it’s a sleek, statement-making beauty, even without its original Victorian tiles. On the floors, Carla went with a whiteish-seafoam shade: Behr’s Ice Rink. “Just go for it; be brave in your color choices,” Carla advises.
Once the paint transformation was completed, Carla filled in the room with a fan-shaped rattan chair, a modern side table, a long MCM-style bench, a velvet emerald bed, and a vintage-looking rug.
All together, she’s created a colorful, unexpected guest bedroom perfect for hosting.
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