Before & After
Bedroom Project

by Liz Dowling

The title of this project is the “cheap and cheerful” bedroom update.  Or, how to make a dated bedroom more stylish ~ and try to reuse almost everything in it!

It all started by getting rid of this old desk.  Once we dragged it out, what to put in its place? This is how the project mushroomed…. before picture above.

Here is the after!  I will take you through all we did (and saved).

The first thing I did was paint the room.  I pulled a tone from the gray rug and painted the walls Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray.  This is a warm gray that makes a room soft and cozy.

I love how warm the room looks now.  The white and blue color combination really pops.

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I gave the trim and ceiling a fresh coat of Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White too.

Next step, lose the candy colored pillows on the bed.  Time to find some fresh blue and white fabric.

Voila!  Duralee fabrics to the rescue.  I love these two crazy patterns together.  I made a second pillow in the blue/white geometric for a white club chair that was already in the room.

There were two blue lamps already in the bedroom (you can see one on the bureau) and a fun yellow Stray Dog Designs lamp that we were determined to keep.  I found a new floor lamp from Target (above) and got two new white lampshades for the pair of blue lamps.

Old turquoise floor lamp on the left (tossed in the trash) and the yellow Stray Dog Designs lamp on the bureau – keeper.

The bookcase also got a nice heavy coat of Decorator’s White paint.  Bye bye blue and green.

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Bookcase now, so cute.  I put this lamp over by the bed so the yellow shade would play off the yellow in this fun painting my college roommate did.


The side table, double bed and print above the bed were all in the room before and rearranged for the new layout.

I found an adorable gray loveseat on sale and put it where the desk used to be.  I bought a white Lack table from IKEA to put next to it.  Fun multi-colored fabric from Duralee for two loveseat pillows.  Now the bedroom has a cozy seating area!


A vintage French poster, moved from another room, adds a touch of yellow and orange into the color mix.

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To Recap:

Kept: Double bed and bedding, print over bed, bedside table, bureau, mirror over bureau, white club chair and ottoman, three lamps, area rug and periwinkle throw.

New: Walls, trim and ceiling painted, pale gray loveseat, Ikea Lack side table, Target floor lamp, six custom pillows and two white lampshades.  The French Orangina poster and my college roommates painting I had and moved into the bedroom.



This was a fun project and very satisfying.  It’s amazing what some paint, a little rearranging and a few new pieces can do to update a room!

the wry home

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Jennifer Goldman March 2, 2017 - 7:57 am

This is beautiful, Liz! What a gorgeous transformation 🙂

Elizabeth Dowling March 2, 2017 - 8:11 am

Thank you so much Jennifer!

Suzy Dunn March 2, 2017 - 8:29 am

Wow! It looks great!! I am inspired!!

Elizabeth Dowling March 2, 2017 - 8:36 am

Thanks Suzy! I had a low budget since this bedroom is rarely used (college student). Now I can use it for an extra guest room!

Joan Dougherty March 2, 2017 - 8:41 am

Hi Liz,
I love your blog!! You have a great eye and you make projects seem manageable room by room. BTW, which Skidmore roommate painted colorful birthday poster? Guessing Ivy. XX, Joan

Elizabeth Dowling March 2, 2017 - 10:15 am

Yes, Ivy! I have a bunch of her paintings and keep using them because they are awesome ~ xo

Anonymous March 2, 2017 - 8:55 am


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