before and after

Before & After: Bedroom Transformation

by Kate Pruitt

I’ve really been enjoying Max’s dorm DIY posts; they serve as an excellent reminder that even if you have a small, single room, you can still transform it with creativity and make it a completely different environment. This Before & After project was based on exactly that task: Take a single room and make it amazing while on a tight budget. Good Shepherd Center, a women’s shelter in Los Angeles, asked a few southern California designers to create a room for the women who temporarily live at the center until they can get back on their feet. This bedroom is the creation of Susie Ho of Mend, and it’s a dramatic change. The patterned wallpaper lightens and energizes the space, and it provides a lovely backdrop for the mix of black and white basics and pops of bold floral textiles. There’s a wealth of warmth and texture here, plus so many lovely touches — plants, artwork, antique finds — that make the room feel like home. Nice work, Susie! — Kate

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

Read the full post after the jump . . .

Time: 28 hours (with helpers!)

Basic Steps: The only requirements that the shelter had for each room was that there be a bed, a desk and some storage — basically the same items that the room came with. Because this shelter is for homeless women trying to rebuild their lives, I wanted to create a room that was serene and feminine but still a bit playful. The wallpaper was definitely my jumping off point! I love the graphic quality of this paper, and the purple-y/blue/gray colorway was perfect for the calming color palette that this room needed. I love mixing color and pattern, but I didn’t want this space to be overwhelming, so I brought in punches of pink (what’s more girly than that?!) and a few splashes of pattern with the pillows and footstools.

With regards to the space plan, the bed was the largest piece of furniture, but I didn’t want it to be the main focus. I wanted the room to function as a bedroom, living room and office, so I placed the bed alongside the window to act more as a daybed during the day. Also, there were two chairs and two footstools in the room, so that if the tenant had any visitors, there was plenty of seating.

My advice would be to start with what the main functions of the space need to be and develop a space plan accordingly, making sure that the furnishings are a good scale for the room. Then have some fun with an allover pattern; the brighter and bigger the pattern, the bolder the look will be. — Susie

Wallpaper: Lee Jofa
Desk, table lamps, sink light fixture: Lamps Plus
Rug, shelf, desk lamp: West Elm
Nightstands: Ikea
Dresser: Vintage
Chairs: Vintage frames pulled off a dump trunk by a neighbor, newly upholstered in hot pink vinyl
Footstools: Handmade by me
Pillows/hooks: Anthropologie

Suggested For You


Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, that comment on people's physical appearance, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.