Before and After: A Blah Bedroom’s Soothing Refresh Has Ideas Starting at $10

published Sep 26, 2020
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About this before & after
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Before: bedroom with green carpet, tan walls, and gold curtains

Above everything else, bedrooms should be a space where you can relax and unwind at the end of the day. But it can be hard to do that when your bedroom always feels just a liiiittle bit grimy. For Ursula Carmona, of Home Made by Carmona, that was one of the issues she saw with her oldest daughter’s bedroom.

“This house was certainly a little rough around the edges when we first moved in,” Ursula says. “Let’s just say that most people would have done a few remodels to it before moving in… but we chose to save a few bucks and tackle this house one project at a time. The house had been empty for a while before we moved in, and besides the rodents that made themselves at home, it had areas that needed a fresh lease on life.”

In the case of her oldest daughter’s room, the space had a few issues. The green carpet wasn’t just unsightly, Ursula says—it was also stained all around the edges. The walls were pretty dingy, too, which made the whole space a drag. “I remember the first night there, my then 13-year-old daughter was not thrilled to have to sleep in that space,” Ursula says.

While Ursula’s daughter had decorated in the three years since, the space still felt dark, and everything had a cobbled-together look. So when Ursula’s friend Stephanie, of Casa Watkins Living, invited Ursula to join a four-week “New Year, New Room” refresh challenge in January, it was the perfect motivation for Ursula to fully tackle this bedroom project.

“My daughter wanted a sweet soothing space to rest after a long day. Something lovely and sophisticated, but still with a tough of girlish whimsy,” Ursula says. So with that in mind, she gave the space a cosmetic redo.

The biggest change was swapping out the old green carpet for a new cream-colored one that looks way more modern (and way cleaner, too). Ursula also created an accent wall with gray-patterned wallpaper behind the existing upholstered bed frame; she had paint matched to the gray in the wallpaper to make sure the rest of the three walls complemented it.

The “new” fan is actually a brilliant hack: “It wasn’t in the budget to replace the ceiling fan, and we like how useful a ceiling fan is. However I wasn’t thrilled about the outdated look… so I came up with a little hack to easily update that fan,” Ursula says. “I removed the old glass shade, and screwed on a drum shade in its place. Then I strung some inexpensive faux crystals from the inside of the shade using a bit of clear thread. The results were pretty awesome! And considering I got the lamp shade from a thrift store for $3, and the crystals from a craft store for $5, I had a new fixture for under $10!!”

Ursula also added in a built-in bookcase between the windows, which gives the plain boxy room some architectural charm—and practical storage, to boot. “The only hangup I had was adding crown moulding to the top, which isn’t the easiest project if you aren’t experienced,” Ursula says. Once she finished the bookcase, along with new baseboards throughout, she turned her attention to the decor.

New curtains, nightstands and other accent pieces elevate the room to the “sophisticated teenager” realm. Everything is in a palette of soothing grays, whites, and other neutrals, making this an extra-relaxing space to crash in. Among all the changes, though, Ursula says one of the smallest ones was her favorite. “I never expected it, but the ceiling fan was my favorite project in the space,” she says.

Overall, she says, “I love that this space wasn’t a huge change, and yet made a huge difference in the feel of the room. It goes to show that not every room needs a down-to-the-studs change… the details make a difference!”

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