Before I jump straight into this makeover (and try desperately to explain why the photos you’re about to see of my room situation make me look like an absolute slob) I should introduce myself and why I am taking over the blog today. Makeover takeover was a concept crafted by Emily for all of us (Ginny, Brady and myself) to create original content for the blog by introducing all of you to our existing spaces and making them over from start to finish. In case you are still confused head back to Brady’s post which was our first introduction to Makeover Takeover and where he walked us through picking out the perfect sofa for his space.
Now back to my introduction – to start my name is Sara Tramp, and I’m the newest member to the EHD team (I joined in March 2015). By title I’m the Director of Social Media, but here at EHD we all wear many hats, and my job is really just to assist anywhere and everywhere I can. Prepping blog posts, creating graphics, answering any emails sent to our hello address, responding to design clients, and yes, helping Em and Brady with the blog’s social media – that’s what my day-to-day looks like.
And now, the makeover.
While I do come from a graphic design background, I’m no interior designer. When the idea of “Makeover Takeover” popped up I was both excited and extremely intimidated. What if everything I thought of or wanted to do just made Emily, Ginny, and Brady laugh at me with small smiles of pity of their faces? Of course I know they would never actually do that (they have enough taste to do it politely behind my back, like civilized folks), but I’m still the new kid on the block and the only one without interior design or styling experience.
So, for everyone out there who feels a bit out their depth when trying to make their home look like the magazine spreads (or Em’s blog), trust that I know how you feel. I didn’t know the first thing about flipping my room. On the other hand, there’s only one way to learn, and I’ve got direct access to best teachers around (talk about perks of the job), so here we go, arms flailing, with little to no grace down the hill of this interior design adventure.
This is my childhood room. I moved home a few months ago, after living out of the house for 7 years, and it’s been an adjustment. My dad had moved to NYC for a job at the beginning of the year, and my brother is in Boston for school so my mom had this 5-bedroom empty nest and I have that traditional crippling american student debt, so it just made sense in more than one aspect. But living in the room I had decorated between the ages of 10 and 17 wasn’t going to make me feel any better about it. While my dad had beautifully renovated it back in the early 2000s with refinished flooring, a custom built-in, and new closets, I had added my own personal touches over the years.
To give you an idea of what I was like back then, this is a photo of me in this room at the impressionable age of 16, holding a vintage Oingo Boing shirt and wearing Uggs. I had a great adolescence.
My design choices during this time included ruining the beautiful Japanese shoji closets by taping photos of on them, decorating my wall sconces with wigs and costume jewelry, and hanging movie posters all over the walls. I used to think I was very cool. I also used to think that posting 80 pictures of me and my friends on my Facebook page every night was vital to my social well-being. Neither were true.
Let me explain about the mess – having just moved home when this whole makeover takeover talk started up, my room was more of a storage unit than an actual bedroom. I DON’T ACTUALLY LIVE LIKE THIS. I mean, I did, but only for a short period. Besides the massive amount of junk/boxes piled on the floor (I call this “floor shelving”), the room is pretty much exactly how I left it back in 2008 when I moved to LA for college.
Before I could do anything I needed to pull together some inspiration from to show the team the direction I wanted to head in.
A far cry from my crazy 80’s inspired youth, I want something fresh, clean, and bright. I need the space to be relaxing and easy to manage, as my adult life tends to enjoy creating enough drama all on it’s own. I found images of rooms that felt young, but sophisticated – clean, but colorful. Also, without shame I’d like to point out I had never heard the term “mid-century modern” before my first day with Emily. Well, now that I’ve had a sip of her sweet kool-aid, I’ll never go back. After getting the stamp of approval on my inspirations from the higher-ups, it was time to actually clear out the room and plan my attack.
There was a lot I wanted to change (and am still working on), but a few really beautiful key bits that I wanted to save.
The green tea walls needed to go. Maybe you noticed, but 6 of the 7 walls on my inspiration board are white. Which was lucky for me, because painting is hard work, and only having to paint two walls instead of all 4, the ceiling, sounded much more manageable.
Next I knew I wanted to save the panel closets my dad had built (he’s actually a carpentry wizard), but I’d need to replace the Japanese paper. This could be an opportunity to bring in a new texture or color, and I still haven’t settled on the replacement filling. Stay tuned for a post all about this.
I’d also need a new dresser. That little Ikea one has been with me since the beginning of time, but I’m an adult with a credit card and a paycheck, so it only makes sense that this girl have some more space, function and design in her new dresser.
The built-in there is actually a floor seated desk area. When I was young and foolish I thought sitting on the floor would be an awesome idea. It mostly led to me laying back and taking lots of floor naps, and doing my homework downstairs at the kitchen table. But my dad was cool and built me that desk, with the shelves and solid granite top, without trying to dissuade me. It’s too pretty to get rid of, and the shelving is wonderful, so it’s staying.
My bed was another piece I knew I’d want to replace. It doesn’t fit the aesthetic I’m going for, and doesn’t have much character. A few weeks after taking these photos I found the perfect vintage bed from , and I can’t wait to share it with you.
Another very adult thing I’ll need will be nightstands. So add those to the list.
The wall sconces are staying as-is, however the shades are being replaced by white paper lanterns rather than the green in the photos. The main hanging pendant is gone though. . . partially because I accidentally ripped it with a broom while chasing a bee, and partially because it needed to go anyways. The current plan is to replace it with a ceiling fan, which should help me keep cool while I wear all those sweaters I’ve collected during our California winters.
I also need to find a better solution for that awful litter box. Making this room pet friendly is a must since my cat, Lady, is the real love of my life (sorry boyfriend), and dictates anything and everything I do. She needs a box to poop in, but can’t leave the room (she’s an older cat and doesn’t really mind or need a lot of space, but my parents kitties weren’t thrilled about a new furry friend), so it’ll be my job to figure out the solution.
After emptying the place out I took measurements and mocked up the layout. Below is the original layout (basically how it still looks now).
Due to the funny and completely bizarre shape of my room, there aren’t a whole lot of options to how things could move around. But I put together a few different options to show the team and this was the final one we settled on:
So far I’ve painted the walls white, gotten a few of the pieces, and I’m well on my way to getting this room looking real grown-up. I’ve learned a lot already (how important scale is, that when you create a room that looks as well as it functions you will actually want to spend some time in there, and how expensive, but worth it vintage pieces can be to purchase/refurbish). There’s still a long ways to go, but with Em, Ginny, and Brady looking over my shoulder I’m almost positive I’ll get there. . . probably.
In case you missed our first intro to makeover takeover check out Brady’s first post here, and be sure to come back for many more.