before and afterDIY

Before & After: Two Bedrooms Go from Dark to Doused in Color

by Garrett Fleming

Designer Solana James and her husband are huge fans of fixer-uppers. So much so that, when looking for a new home, they only considered options they could really sink their teeth into. The more outdated, rundown and “ugly,” the better. Luckily for this couple, they found the perfect option in Northampton, MA. Wood paneling, dingy carpet and a general lack of cheerfulness were the name of the game in this house before the pair flipped its nursery and their bedroom.

These two understand the power of a paint job and a nice floor. That being said, they began the renovation process by dousing both rooms in new hues and replacing both spaces’ old carpet with wood flooring. Solana is a vintage collector, so after this renovation it wasn’t too hard to track down accessories and thrift store finds to pepper throughout the revamped rooms. All they had to do was “shop” the rest of their home and some of their go-to stores to find pieces to fill in the blanks of the nursery and bedroom. It was as simple as that.

All-in-all, the nursery and bedroom makeovers prove that Solana is one gal who is not afraid to be bold. There’s hardly a neutral in sight. Even the white, tan and black finds she did incorporate have been jazzed up with a happier hue to help them fit her rainbow-esque point of view. One thing’s for sure: this style has created two spaces that are full of fun. Click through to see both transformations and to read more about how Solana and her husband flipped these beige spaces on their heads. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Solana James

Before & After: Two Bedrooms Go from Dark to Doused in Color, Design*Sponge
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The nursery wasn't challenging to transform, Solana says. It's amazing what a coat of paint and new floors can do.
Before & After: Two Bedrooms Go from Dark to Doused in Color, Design*Sponge
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Once Solana set her mind to making this her son's room, she started choosing "bright, colorful, and playful" accessories to make it as cheerful of a space as possible. Luckily, she already had the Missoni-inspired artwork, two dressers and many of the embellishments. To finish off the space, she purchased an overdyed rug from Rugs USA, amongst other goodies.
Before & After: Two Bedrooms Go from Dark to Doused in Color, Design*Sponge
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Atop the vintage Broyhill dresser sits gifts from family and friends. Curtains from Urban Outfitters.
Before & After: Two Bedrooms Go from Dark to Doused in Color, Design*Sponge
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Solana picked up the side table from Target and spray painted this lamp -- which she found at a thrift store -- neon green to give it a zippy look similar to the rest of the room. The swivel chair is from AllModern.
Before & After: Two Bedrooms Go from Dark to Doused in Color, Design*Sponge
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The closet used to overpower this quaint space. Once Solana realized it was the perfect size for a twin bed, she hatched a plan to turn it into a "whimsical" retreat for her son to grow into.
Before & After: Two Bedrooms Go from Dark to Doused in Color, Design*Sponge
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Sherwin-Williams "Loyal Blue" and decals from Land of Nod are responsible for the alcove's cozy vibe.
Before & After: Two Bedrooms Go from Dark to Doused in Color, Design*Sponge
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"My husband and I joke that when looking for a house our motto is, 'The uglier the better,' because I'm going to change it no matter what," Solana says.
Before & After: Two Bedrooms Go from Dark to Doused in Color, Design*Sponge
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After Solana and her husband painted the walls and pulled up the floors to make this space a guest room, they found out they were pregnant. The guest room plan was then scrapped and it was to become a nursery. After more planning, the pair realized it simply didn't work for a baby or for guests, so this room became theirs.
Before & After: Two Bedrooms Go from Dark to Doused in Color, Design*Sponge
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To outfit her new space, Solana turned to Rugs USA's Greek Flokati collection, Goodwill and Target. Perhaps her most enviable thrifted finds are these sconces she got for $15 at Whitney Hill Antiques.
Before & After: Two Bedrooms Go from Dark to Doused in Color, Design*Sponge
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This ModHaus headboard was the first thing Solana bought for the bedroom. She originally wanted a "glamorous" and "chic" space to lie her head. After giving it more thought, however, she realized that really wasn't her style. She's more of a vintage and eclectic kind of gal. That being said, she quickly peppered in her collections and secondhand finds to make the space her own. The bedding is by Urban Outfitters, and the wall hanging is actually a scarf Solana was given as a gift.
Before & After: Two Bedrooms Go from Dark to Doused in Color, Design*Sponge
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The bedroom's eye-popping hue is Sherwin Williams "Jamaica Bay." Here it's paired with a stool Solana found on the side of the road.
Before & After: Two Bedrooms Go from Dark to Doused in Color, Design*Sponge
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One of the bedroom's dark and outdated corners gets a boost thanks to Solana's collected finds.
Before & After: Two Bedrooms Go from Dark to Doused in Color, Design*Sponge
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Solana snagged this secondhand dresser for a measly $50. On it she's displayed some of her favorite decorations: glass and ceramic hands from Brimfield Antique Show, glass heads from Pier 1 and an earring holder she came across at a tag sale.

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