Finally friends, the moment some of you have been waiting for . . . the very first Makeover Takeover Final Reveal. It’s time to peek inside my updated childhood bedroom, so take my hand and let’s go.
This is where I started, back in November. Let’s not lie – it was a hot mess. I had just moved back into my parents home, and my room was ready for an overhaul. What you see above was a combination of “styling” exactly as I left it when I moved out for college in 2008, the subsequent use of the room as a dumping ground for anything I didn’t want in my apartments during those college/post college years, and the culmination of moving back in.
I pulled inspiration images and put together a layout for the rest of the team to look over and approve. Once we settled on a design plan, the real projects got underway.
I started by getting myself an actual storage unit and making the room livable. The first things to go were those green tea-colored walls and all the ticket stubs/photos/magazine clippings I had taped to my closet doors. If you want to get a better sense of what a horrible idea it was to tape countless keepsakes to my expensive, custom closet doors check out this post.
Fast forward through months of painting, work, and tears, to the fun stuff – styling & decorating.
Getting my bed set up first was a priority, since I was still living in the room through all of this. I knew I wanted the room to be bright, fun, and minimal, but obviously those are three very broad spectrums. So I styled out my bed and nightstands two ways, clean & bright and soft & feminine, to help me get an idea of what I actually liked. I loved elements of both, but overall ended up going more pink and feminine (despite having said I preferred clean & bright in the bed styling post. C’est la vie).
And here it is now . . .
My room has two light settings – Dungeon dark (every hour of the day, except 3-5pm) and extreme, blinding, golden sunburst (between 3-5pm), so I was a little nervous about painting everything white (see why here; my room isn’t small, but oddly shaped and very dark). But in the end, white was the way to go. It really does help brighten up the space during those darker hours, and it makes the room SO happy during those golden hours. Apparently it was near impossible to photograph, but is a magician, so feast your eyes on this bright, happy room.
This little reading nook is a tiny oasis – which I am now responsible for taking care of and watering (I also spent a small fortune of these little guys, so any care suggestions would be welcomed, as I have a sad history of murdering my leafy friends).
That chair is a combination of two chairs, which we had used in a few other shoots. I loved the wood base and the color of the cowhide, so I asked Em if I could combine the two, which ended up being the perfect size/shape/color for that corner. The from Lulu & Georgia is the prettiest girl at the party, and I have a serious crush on her – I sit with her to put my shoes on in the morning, she holds my feet up when I’m relaxing, and I steal chaste glances at her from my bed. Another thing I love staring at is that . It’s a very de-stressing mantra to read first thing in the morning. This little corner is my meditation garden.
The vintage dresser was a welcome hand-me-down from Emily, which I gladly accepted. You might say, “Sara, there are handles missing, ” and Emily might say, “Sara, I thought we agreed you were going to fix that handle situation before the shoot, ” but to all of you I say, “I preach a message of self love and acceptance, no matter what extra handles you may, or may not be missing. Also, handles in the right size/shape/color to fit that cutout are very hard to find.” In a dream world, are what I would have used, but I haven’t been able to find the same variety in both sizes needed.
While I do most of my primping in the bathroom, like a normal person, there is something I find really elegant about having a little vanity set up on a dresser. Plus, I think perfume should always be applied in the bedroom, so your room smells as good as you. I’ll break your hearts right now and tell you that the tray, jewelry stand, mirror, and bust vase are all vintage. The and , however, are not.
Shelf styling, as I have come to discover, is really really hard. Do I have too much stuff? Too little? Is the right side too heavy? Will people judge me based on my book collection?! It’s very stressful. It was 2am the night before the shoot, and I was still struggling with these shelves. So, after panicking I tried actually following Em’s “3 Steps To Styling Your Shelves.” Guess what folks, it works. Sure, it takes some jujjing after the fact, but it really does help to take the process in smaller steps (it also helps to send Ginny several hundred pictures of your shelves as you style them, like I did). And, as always, less is more.
I wanted to keep a good balance between useful items, personal items, and decorative items when it came to my shelves. I’m not really one for functionless decoration, so yes, all those boxes and bins are holding “things.” I had a few art pieces of my own (find that cute yoga print ), but in general there was a serious lack of “pretty.” I popped over to and ordered some art to help fill my shelves (and dresser, and nightstand).
Here’s another unwarranted tip: Framing a polaroid instantly gives it a cool, vintage, fine art quality, which in turn makes you seem cooler. I took that pink cactus polaroid months ago, and had it float-mounted by . Now it’s gallery ready.
There is just so much making me happy in this photo right now. Let’s start at the top – that handmade macrame hanging is giving me life. The original plan was to make one myself, but that didn’t happen. Instead I borrowed (and then bought) this one made by talented human, . Despite offering me several other options (that are for sale!), I needed that one, which until very recently had been hanging in her own home. Sorry Rachel, but look how happy it is in my new room!
Then there’s my vintage, 1960s, teak bed frame from the . I’ve gushed about this guy plenty, but he just holds me in his arms so sweetly every night that he really can’t ever be talked about enough. I’m not kidding when I say that two people have now told me that they were “this close” to buying my bed frame from the Vintage Supply Store site. Obviously, it was destined to be mine.
Finally, that . It really brings the party to my otherwise subdued living space. It’s bright, cheerful, and most importantly, it’s super resilient to any attacks from Lady the cat. No matter how much she rolls on, bites, or scratches at it I have yet to see a pulled thread or tufted fiber. 10 points to the wizards who created this rug.
I feel like my pillow game is very strong right now. The makes me feel 19 and hip, while those remind me I’m 25 and refined. It turns out that I also really like sleeping with a bajillion pillows on my bed, so everyone wins.
I ended up sticking with these brass task lamps for my night stands (again, check out my bed styling post for more background on this decision). At first I thought they were far too big, but after learning a little about scale I realized Ginny was right all along, and these were the lamps for me. It doesn’t hurt to have that bold pop of brass against my white walls either. I styled one night stand a little more feminine, with hits of pink and a few more delicate objects, and the other a touch more masculine, with more leather, brass, and neutrals.
I decided that hanging band posters from thumbtacks was a little “early 2000s” for me, so I had my favorite screenprints float-mounted by instead.
This is the last little corner of my room. I’ve wanted a freestanding garment rack For. Ever. I love the idea of displaying the prettiest pieces of a wardrobe as a styling element, rather than keeping them hidden in a dark closet. And that from Urban Outfitters is gold. GOLD. With hangers to match, which I bought . It’s also the little corner where Lady eats out of that vintage, pastel pink ceramic bowl. She agrees that a gold garment rack was the perfect addition to her dining nook.
There it is! All shiny and new. Now, while you shop the “get the look” I’m going to go snuggle back into that bed of mine and soak it all in. Stay tuned for more Makeover Takeover reveals on the way from Brady, Ginny, and Jessica!
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* Photos by , styled & written by (with styling assistance from Ginny), & art directed by Youxi988.
Want to catch up on the Makeover Takeover series? Check out all our posts: Sara Updates Her Childhood Bedroom – Intro | Sara’s Custom Closets | Sara Jumps Into Bed | Brady Picks A Sofa | Brady Picks A Gray Paint | Ginny’s LA Living Room | Ginny’s English Roll Arm | Jessica’s Living & Dining Room