before and after

Before & After: Going Glam in a Bachelor Pad Bedroom

by Kevin O'Gara

Over the course of six weeks this past spring, I tackled the last room to be decorated in my dad’s home – his bedroom – as a participant in the bi-annual One Room Challenge. As you can see in the home tour, the rest of the house already has a moody, yet comfortable bachelor pad vibe that I wanted to continue in the bedroom. The room was an off-white when my dad moved in, and the only thing I had changed in the space was the ceiling color, which we painted a pale blue-grey, leftover from the kitchen walls. The furniture in his room was a mix of leftovers from the rest of the house, including a beautiful pair of red leather chairs and a large oriental rug. Although they worked well together, I wanted to free up some space (those armchairs are really huge) and start with a clean slate. The bed and media stand were both IKEA, so they moved along to a new home through Craigslist and we were left with just the mattress in the room, giving me a great opportunity to rethink the room’s layout and color palette.

In a continuation of the rest of the home’s aesthetic, I mixed dark, moody colors in the bedroom with wood and neutrals for a cozy, masculine space. The main challenge in this room was to keep it from becoming a dark cave due to the sole window in the room. I also brought a bit more glamour to this room, walking the fine line between glamorous and masculine that suits a bachelor’s pad perfectly. The introduction of gold elements were softened by the mid-century accents and more traditional wood and leather finishes for a well-balanced design.

After exploring the impact of dark walls in a room, I knew a dark ceiling would actually help expand the room, and the high-gloss Drawing Room Blue by Farrow & Ball provided a hint of reflection that helped this effect tremendously. It turned out to be one of the most striking features in the space and provided a bold element that complemented the patterned curtains behind the bed. The large floor mirror also brought a great presence to the room – the large area of reflection ended up acting as a second window. With the addition of bespoke elements, and some bold design decisions, my father’s bedroom transformed into one of the most interesting rooms in the house. I had so much fun designing this comfortable retreat for him! —Kevin

Photography by Kevin O’Gara

Before & After: Going Glam in a Bachelor Pad Bedroom on Design*Sponge
Custom curtains, made from Futura fabric by Robert Allen Home via DecoratorsBest, steal the spotlight behind the bed. A simple woven bench from Target's Threshold summer collection sits at the end of the bed. The soft wool Violette rug from Karastan sets a warm, neutral setting for the room.
Before & After: Going Glam in a Bachelor Pad Bedroom on Design*Sponge
Out with the red, in with the blue! While the blue palette is much cooler, the wood and wicker elements surrounding the bed keep it from losing its warmth. The dark ceiling and large chandelier draw the eye up, visually expanding the room.
Before & After: Going Glam in a Bachelor Pad Bedroom on Design*Sponge
The distinctive mid-century task lamps provide a spotlight on the nightstand and the bed with their double-light design. Faceted vases and a gold urchin add stylish details to this surface.
Before & After: Going Glam in a Bachelor Pad Bedroom on Design*Sponge
The gold Crystorama Luna chandelier shines as a focal point against the glossy blue ceiling. Round bulbs continue the modern theme in the fixture, while the traditional crown molding is given a hint of reflection in the ceiling finish.
Before & After: Going Glam in a Bachelor Pad Bedroom on Design*Sponge
The nearly seven-foot-tall Juliet mirror from Bassett Mirror Company reflects light throughout the room. The Old-World detail on the mirror brings a storied feel to the space, balancing the sleeker contemporary pieces.
Before & After: Going Glam in a Bachelor Pad Bedroom on Design*Sponge
The bed previously occupied the wall across from the window, but with the door on this wall there wasn't enough room for bedside tables on either side of the bed. This corner became a gallery wall and seating area with a sleek leather armchair from Lazzaro Leather.
Before & After: Going Glam in a Bachelor Pad Bedroom on Design*Sponge
A suave leather armchair uses a light, airy base to balance the dark brown finish. Mixed metals in the gallery wall above it provide a bit of sophistication.
Before & After: Going Glam in a Bachelor Pad Bedroom on Design*Sponge
Simple white curtains were hung to cover the two doorways to the closet on the right side of the room. The fabric softens these corners of the room and blends in with the walls (painted a fresh coat of Wevet white by Farrow & Ball).

Suggested For You


  • The blue ceiling and light fixture are beautiful together–a planetarium feeling.

  • Where is that three legged side table (next to the leather chair) from. It’s really cool. Almost like an albino muppet. Obviously in a good way.

  • Love the celestial allusions in a bedroom. I clicked through the home tour and read that you did this while still in high school! Outstanding, and you obviously have a bright future in art and design that we’ll be happy to follow over the coming years. I’m also happy you got rid of the grommet drapes, a trend that should never have seen the light of day.

  • A stunning makeover – love the blue midnight sky…. the best place for this colour is no doubt the bedroom. Love the sleek, modern and at the same time ‘timeless’ style, the beauty of the arrangement. The ceiling light is fantastic for this room, a bit like a stellar system – your dad must sleep a happy, content sleep filled with beautiful dreams. Congratulations – love everything (nearly!)
    OK, the nearly is the 2 vases next to that gorgeous lamp & the golden sea urchin… I’d probably have a pile of books rather but each to their own. Oh I have a bit of a bedroom envy now!