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

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  • wow, susie! what an amazing room.. i was just on your site and i love your blog! amazing diy ideas for the holidays!!

  • She has really made it into a happy place, which in this case is especially important.A happy place to find your feet and step into a new and better world .Bravo!

  • This is really heartwarming. What a beautiful and comforting space. I would love to be a part of a project like this!

  • A truly inspirational project! There should be more… I am convinced that interiors can have a therapeutic effect on the inhabitants and always wonder why no attention whatsoever is paid to interiors in hospitals and other public spaces.

  • I think the biggest challenge is budget for college students, any idea on cost of this transformation? I can’t imagine any college student being able to afford this even though it’s certainly an amazing transformation!

  • this is a smart design. i’d love to live in this room myself! i hope the women who stay in this room enjoy it, and hopefully it helps them feel energized and optimistic. great job!

  • Not really my style, but a very impressive transformation for such a small space.
    Amazing what can be achieved with a good eye for design!

  • I’d my room transformed some months ago, but I still need some beeps and boops to finish it! Once it’s done, I’ll be pleased to share the pictures here :)

  • This is really great. I think it’s a wonderful idea to create a warm, inviting space for someone befallen on a hard time.

  • Thank you for sharing this. There is nothing bigger in anyone’s life than dignity. Having a space you are comfortable and safe in, to take refuge, that makes you feel good about yourself ~ those things are not a given and they are huge. This is so much more than just interior decoration, this is the jumping off point for a whole new direction in life. I was very touched by this post. Thanks to those who do what they do!

  • I second My HyGGELIG. Feeling at home in a safe environment makes a huge difference in one’s life. Design can be powerful and good. Thank you for sharing!

  • I love how this beautiful room will help the women who live here feel special and valuable. It’s absolutely the perfect message for someone in transition!

  • It’s always amazing what a little color and some new fabrics and updated furniture can do to transform a room. Great job!

  • If I was in that situation I would find it comforting to be in such a pretty space. This should be done for all women’s shelters across the country. That would be a great charity to give to!

  • oh my gosh, this is so so heartwarming. having a space like this makes you feel important–like you’re an individual who has an important place in the world, and people who care about you. it is infinitely important.

  • This is my favorite before and after post so far. It was basically a blank slate before but it takes a lot of creativity and planning to get such a complete “after” space.

  • The space looks amazing and for such a great purpose! However, I’m not sure how cost friendly it is… I’ve worked with that Cole and Son wallpaper and it is by no means cheap, but bravo none the less.

  • This is an incredible makeover, and I want to applaud the designers on their cause. I’m echoing a few comments that have already been posted, but I think this room provides a great atmosphere for women who seek the shelter’s resources. It really shows women who are homeless — not hopeless, not helpless — that they are important and that they deserve the best. This is so much more than design; it’s a step toward empowerment.

  • Couldn’t have said it better Angie, bravo to all involved in this project. I wish this could be done on a nationwide scale – what a difference it would make I think!

  • This transformation is gorgeous! I love what you did with the room! I just switched bedrooms with my sister and I haven’t decorated it yet so I’m really looking for ideas and ways that I can my the room my own. This article gave me great ideas. They made it very cute and feminine which is perfect for where it’s located. I think to was so nice what you went and volunteered to turn these rooms for homeless women into a great living space. I also defiantly now have ideas for what to do with my new room, especially on my low budget. Thanks!

  • I love all the changes, even that curtain at the sink. If I had to use that sink I would hate that curtain. lol But all of it is very lovely. The wall paper really makes the room.

  • If only more shelter rooms could look like this. Too bad designers don’ t look into this. Kudos to all involved.

  • Wonderful, bright ,warm inviting space . Can’t wait to try this make over myself.

  • A beautiful make over for a beautiful cause. The bold wallpaper and vintage bedroom furniture work well together to create an eclectic bedroom.
    If anyone else is looking for similar tips have a look at my blog post for affordable luxury decorating tips. http://bit.ly/QFvaYk

  • The desk lamp is fantastic! But I can’t find it at West Elm. Is it from somewhere else, or just old?

  • I love the design, the look is chic and eye catchy. Lots of color pop in just the right way. Even a great idea for a small studio