I’ve been wanting to do a reader room makeover for so long and today is the day! I partnered with Vasagle to make it all happen and show off some of their affordable furniture options, alongside a whole room makeover for an amazing woman named Brooke, who has a bedroom in need of a little love.
At first glance, her space looks to be in good shape already. Not bad at all! But there were plenty of ways that this space just wasn’t working for her.
So, I worked on a full blown bedroom makeover for her that would better suit her needs – complete with a fresh paint job, new furniture, and plenty of renter-friendly solutions. Click through for the full reveal and all the before photos.
What the room looked like before
Before we get started with how this room came together, let’s start with what Brooke’s bedroom looked like before. Some of the things that this space already had going for it were the high ceilings, a cool fireplace, and hardwood floors.
But there were challenges that needed to be solved as well. Like the need for an organized and dedicated office area, complete with a comfy chair, since Brooke works from home. The previous desk space was unique but not very functional, since it mainly just housed her collection of books. And the uncomfortable chair she was using meant she didn’t spend much time there anyway, opting instead for the dining room table most days.
That’s just one example of the many things that I needed to solve for her, to make the space more functional (and beautiful). The rest of her home is really, really cute. But Brooke described her bedroom as the room in her home that she just never got around to doing much with. Which is exactly what I like to hear because I love coming up with design solutions that are both function AND form.
So let’s jump in…
Pull up a Chair…to the Office
Since I already mentioned the need for a true office area, let’s start there! It’s probably not ideal for a bedroom to also have an office area, but there was plenty of room for one in here and since this apartment is a one bedroom, it was also the only option.
First on the list was a slimmed down desk. The previous one was bulky and basically just housed clutter. Not really a functional desk. So, I went with a really simple, affordable option from Vasagle – it has clean lines, comes flat packed, and is insanely easy to put together. All good things when dealing with furniture, right?!
It’s this metal frame computer desk – and it’s under $100!
Bright and White
The walls were originally a light grey in here, which was okay. But my favorite paint color (high reflective white by Sherwin-Williams) was calling my name for a refresh.
So, I painted all the walls white to brighten things up. And brighten it did! Looks like a whole new space…now that there’s three fresh coats of paint on those walls. THREE! I could cry, but I won’t.
A fireplace in the bedroom? Yes please! This fireplace is probably one of my favorite things about this bedroom. So, to make it more of a focal point, I added a big piece of eye-catching artwork, filled the inside of the fireplace with the books that were once on Brooke’s old desk, and came up with a temporary solution for the cracking and uneven tile hearth.
I’ll explain the process for the renter-friendly fireplace hearth in a separate post, but it’s a cool cost-effective solution (under $20) that completely transforms this spot. AND it concealed the fact that the floor is very uneven there. *This project will only work for a non-functioning fireplace though, so keep that in mind.
After everything was decorated, I added a bunch of plants in cool planters. Brooke loves plants (and so do I), so bringing the outdoors in felt very right. Plus, this room gets lots of great light on sunny days, so most plants will thrive in this room.
A New Entryway of Sorts
One of the unusual things about Brooke’s bedroom is the fact that there is a front door entrance that goes directly into her bedroom. This door isn’t used very often (the door in the back of the apartment is what Brooke more often uses as her main entrance / exit), but I wanted the front to feel like more of an option for her as well.
So I created a makeshift entryway with some artwork and a simple coat rack (the gray wood coat tree), also from Vasagle, as a place to hang coats, purses, and hats upon entering. BTW – that coat rack is under $30! Pretty cute for that price, right?
The rug placement helps create a hallway of sorts when you walk in, that leads to the living room. And the 5-tier ladder bookcase near the front door is a great place to toss keys and mail when you walk in.
When renting, these design challenges come up pretty often, so getting creative with furniture and decorative pieces that you can take with you when you leave are a great option. Do they fully solve the problem of an awkward front entrance? Without shifting walls or just removing the door altogether, maybe not, but for as a budget-friendly renter solution, it feels like it really helps. What do you think?
Climbing the Ladder (Bookshelf)
Another challenge in the before entry space was two doors that were pretty close together on this wall (less than 3 ft apart). Whatever ended up in between the two doors would also be highly visible from each of the two ways you can enter the room, which made things even more interesting to figure out.
If entering from the living room, this spot would be the first thing you see as you walk in. Previously, there was a stacked storage cabinet in this spot, but it stuck out from the wall quite a bit because the baseboards are pretty thick and as a result any furniture she put there never looked quite right.
My solution was adding something tall with storage, that would not only balance out the doors but also avoid having a huge gap between the wall and a piece of furniture. This ladder bookshelf (know as the 5-tier ladder bookcase) is the perfect solution. It leans against the wall, like a ladder, which makes the typical gap between the furniture and the wall nonexistent. Problem solved.
Plus, the black metal that is a part of this shelf ties into the other black accents in the room: the desk, curtain rods, and new ceiling fan. Which helps give a cohesive look to the entire space. I decked out the shelves with items Brooke already owned, a few new ceramic pieces and bowls for good measure. That wooden bowl on top of the books in empty, so she has a place to toss her keys and mail when she walks in.
Sweet Dreams in this Bed
The existing bed frame and headboard were in good shape, so to save money on the budget, I decided to keep it. And just refresh the bedding linens and pillows instead. Sometimes, new textiles are really all you need to transform what you already have.
Initially, I had planned to create a faux upholstered headboard, that involved attaching the striped pillows with leather straps to the existing headboard. But opted for just resting the pillows against the back instead for a similar look without the fuss of yet another DIY. It’s a great solution for any budget and takes virtually no time at all. What’s not to love?
The idea for using a bench as both a nightstand AND a usable bench for putting on shoes may seem a little strange, but I think I kind of love it? It would be a great solution for a room that is tight on space OR in this case, one that requires some entryway practicality AND a typical bedside table.
I love that there are hardwood floors in the bedroom, but they’re also original (read: old) and imo a bedroom is always in need of something soft under your feet. I went with a large rug (8×10) that picks up a lot of the colors from the room.
Big Fan: The New Ceiling Fan
The old fan was beyond dated (and dusty), it had to go! So, I replaced it with another one for $120 that again ties in those black accents and updates the space without being too opinionated.
Picture This (Artwork)
Last but not least…artwork! Brooke had some great pieces already that needed to be framed, so I used a piece that she already had ( the blue swimmers print, which I absolutely love). And then added a few more that I found on my own, along with a DIY art piece or two. The circle painting above her desk was painted by me and the piece over the fireplace is actually a wallpaper scrap from may kitchen makeover a long time ago (that I still love).
The print above her bed was a digital print that I had printed locally and framed it up in a readymade frame. So the total cost for everything (including the frame was $60 for a 24×36 piece of artwork). Pretty good price, right?
And that’s it! I love, love, LOVED dreaming up a cute, functional space for this reader room makeover. It was a lot of work, but I loved doing it and hope to do more of these in the future. Who wants a room makeover next?!
Wanna try some of the Vasagle furniture for yourself (or any other pieces on the website)? Get 10% off site-wide with promo code MAKEOVER10 at checkout.
This reader room makeover is in partnership with Vasagle. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Paper and Stitch running.