Virtual room makeover: Liz's Bedroom

Liz was the lucky winner of my giveaway over on The Good Life for Less, and I was quite excited to take on her beige and boring bedroom/office. Here's what Liz had to say, and some before pictures: Beige comforter and walls that can't be painted? Recipe for boring.

The "office" needs some attention!

My boyfriend and I moved in to our first apartment this summer, and our bedroom has failed to come together.  Right now it's just an unloading zone for everything b/c we don't have very much organization/furniture.  We have yet to decide on a color scheme, so we are sort of stuck!  All we have is the bed set and a dresser that is new from Ikea.  But we could use some suggestions on perhaps a desk!  A great color scheme for the sheets/duvet, and of course something to go on our bare, bare walls!  I hate how bland the room is now, everything is basically beige...boring!  We need help!

No problem! With a dash of teal (one of Liz's fave colors) and some vintage suggestions that will stretch their student-budget, I pulled together a design plan that I think will please both members of the household and bring their bedroom back to life!

Here's the concept:


And here's how it all works: (continue reading after the fold...)

1. A mirror would be a beautiful and practical addition to the area above the dresser. I love the way you've hung your necklaces, and I think a mirror like this (from IKEA) would fit nicely to the left of the necklaces. You could find one pretty easily at a vintage store. I also like the idea of doing your own frosted design (this one has these flowery things). Maybe your boyfriend (he's a graphic designer) has a cool design that would look good. It's easy to add etched detail yourself. Eddie Ross has a good how-to.

2 & 3. These storage pieces will look great on your new desk and add some function. Since they are unfinished, they will be easy to paint to coordinate with the rest of the room. I'd suggest either a teal that matches the bedspread, a dark gray, or black.

4. Desks can run for a few hundred dollars new (at least), but I think you could find a really cool vintage desk in some of the thrift stores and junk stores in Vancouver. Look for one at about $40, and make sure it's sturdy and solid wood (as opposed to veneer, which would be harder to repaint). You might also check local schools and colleges for surplus sales, as well as Craigslist. When you find your winner, sand and repaint it in a pretty white. Try Benjamin Moore's Decorator's white, or just choose a pint from the "oops" section at your local hardware store. They might have a pretty shade of white for very cheap. Add a protective finish (Young House Love recommends Minwax Water-Based Polycrylic Protective Finish in “Clear Gloss” and they're usually pretty spot-on). Borrow a chair from the dining room or snag a simple used one for about $5 and give it a coat of paint.

5. This pretty bowl will look lovely on your dresser. The blue will tie in the color scheme from the rest of the room, and you can use it for loose change, bracelets, or anything small you want to keep off the top of your dresser.

6. I definitely think you should frame some of your own photographs and prints of your boyfriend's designs. The bedroom is a great place to add personal touches. As for the frames, I'd actually recommend some like these (from West Elm): thin black frames with wide mats. I also like the variety of sizes. To get frames inexpensively, look for coupons for your local craft store (like Joann's or Michael's), or watch for sales. Often these places will have frames up to 40% off. Discount stores like TJ Maxx may also have inexpensive frames, and check out HomeGoods across the river in Portland. Your budget includes about $45 for frames, and about $10 for printing (I like for photo printing).

7. This beautiful duvet is by the Dwell Studio for Target line, and you can currently get the comforter and matching sham covers for $76, or you can get the same design as a duvet cover with matching shams for only $50. I think the teal and gray will look great in this space, and I like that the design is a floral but still pretty gender-neutral. White or cream sheets (as well as gray or even chocolate brown) would look great with these.

8. Hard to tell from the pictures, but I think we actually have the same Ikea lamps! I'm not wild about mine either, but live with them until I can afford the outrageously expensive lamps I seem to be drawn toward. I do know that most Ikea lamps are pretty easy to switch out the lampshades. In the picture above I combined the base of the lamp you have with a silk shade from Target (although you could find these many places). I like using a shorter and wider shade in a rectangle (will fit best on your little side tables). I also think a very soft gray shade will look good (the one shown is white).

9. Since you asked for throw pillows, I wanted to point you toward this etsy seller who makes beautiful pillow covers (note: due to international shipping, these covers must be ordered before Nov. 14 to arrive by Christmas, just noticed that on the site!). You could find an insert for cheap just about anywhere; I prefer down, but if you have allergies, a synthetic fill would be fine too.