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Bedroom Makeover // before

March 8, 2016

Apartment Makeover //

One of the things I put on my 30-before-30 list was to make our apartment a little less mismatched-studenty and a little more grown up. I think one of the things holding me back from tackling this is that it’s a bit overwhelming to think of making-over our entire space. Also, money. If my budget is zero dollars, but I don’t want it to look crafty with too many diys I usually give up after a few minutes of looking since it doesn’t seem achievable. And lastly, we’re renting which means no painting or renos of any kind. Only temporary/removable fixes!

Then the other day an idea came to me. Why not choose one room to focus on at a time, making it less overwhelming, and then give it an online makeover? As in, find everything online and then eventually get things when I can or do a not-too-crafty diy for it.

I don’t know how this will work out, but I might as well give it a try! I thought I’d start with our bedroom because I feel like it will be easiest. Famous last words ;)

I read somewhere that if you start with a color scheme then it makes everything look a lot more put together right away. Take out anything that doesn’t fit with it and put them away for now.

I also read that if you are stuck with picking a color scheme then go look at some of your Pinterest boards and you’ll see really quickly what you’re drawn to. In my case, and not surprising at all, it’s black and white. I spent a long time last year trying to make myself buy some colourful things to add to it, but I never loved anything enough to taint all the black and white loveliness.

Apartment Makeover - Bedroom Before //

Next, I figured out what my must-haves were:

full length mirror // we had one once, but it fell off the wall and shattered (at night when I was home by myself. Didn’t give me a mild heart attack at all…). So for the past year and a half the only mirror we have is a teeny cabinet one in the bathroom. Sad.

better organized closets // we’re pretty lucky with the amount of space we have in our apartment. Our bedroom actually has 2 decent sized closets in it, but we’re not using them to their full potential. I’d love some sort of organization so that we don’t need a dresser in the main part of the room, and so that all the sweaters and folded things on the top shelf are easier to keep tidy. I also really hate the wooden doors, but at this point I think I’ll probably just need embrace them.

night stands // we were using 2 IKEA Lack tables, but then we moved one out to make room for a dresser. I always found that they were too big though since we don’t keep a whole lot on them. I want something that’s just big enough to hold some books, phones charging at night, an alarm clock, and some maybe some lamps.

lighter curtains // right now we have room darkening ones right now which is practical, but not pretty. I’m definitely more a fan of white and bright and these ones just make a big brown rectangle on the wall. Ugh. I was thinking of getting some lighter ones and layering them overtop so that it will still be room darkening, but would keep the bedroom brighter. Also, I’m still debating on if I should make them go all the way across that wall or just keep them over the window. Feel free to give me any pointers in the comments below. I’d love the advice!

catch-all // as in something to catch the clothes, etc that don’t get hung back up right away. I’m pretty good about putting stuff away ASAP, but it’s still nice to have a place to keep things off the floor for when I don’t have time to right away (aka laziness). Right now it’s a chair that got moved into our room to make space somewhere else and then never left. I’m 100% sure no one has actually used it as a chair while it’s been in there.

art work/wall hangings // the walls are pretty bare so it would be nice to add some things to it to make it more interesting. I like the engineering print of a wedding photo that we have hanging up right now, but it’s been there for over 2 years now so I wouldn’t mind changing it up.

There are also sooo many wall hanging ideas and diys out there already that I’m sure I could make something that would work.

Apartment Makeover - Bedroom Before //

There are a few other things that aren’t necessities, but I think they would be nice-to-haves:

area rug // I debated about which list this should go on and although I would love a big floor rug to step on to every morning I don’t know if it’s really a necessity yet. I’ve also learned that rugs are really expensive so it makes me feel less pressure to get one if I put it on this list ;)

nice laundry basket // we have your typical plastic one that does the job, but doesn’t make the job look good. Although, when does doing laundry ever look good? I think upgrading it to a cloth one would at least make it look better since it has to hang out here.

bedside lighting //  these are on this list because they’re less for practicality and more for looks. We don’t read in bed at night and don’t really needs lamps, but I just like some of the cool ideas that I’ve seen.

new sheets // I’ve been told that changing your duvet cover can give your whole room a new look, but I still like ours and don’t really want to change it yet. However, I’d be totally fine changing our the sheets for something new and fresh

throw pillows // and while we’re talking bed I wouldn’t mind adding some throw pillows or something. But Matt hates decorative pillows so I’ll have to get creative with that one.

accessories // after moving around the country a few times I feel like I had the minimalist thing down way before it was cool. Before I buy anything I usually think to myself “if I moved again tomorrow would I pay to ship this to my new home”. It’s funny how that changed how I view “stuff”, and now I’m left with not very many decorative things.

That being said, it would be nice to have some totally useless, but makes-me-happy-when-I-see-them things. I just want to make sure that they’re things that I really love and would take with me somewhere new.

Okay, now time to share the before (aka currently lived in) view. Hang on tight everyone – it’s not very pretty. Here we go!

Apartment Makeover - Bedroom Before // www.thelovelythings.comApartment Makeover - Bedroom Before //

Yep, that’s right. I left fully real-life laundry in the laundry baskets and phone chargers everywhere because I’m being real here folks. No pre-photo tidying up! Please don’t judge.

That chair in the corner is the previously mentioned “catch all” chair that takes up way too much room and always gets in the way. Also, the wall with all the Instax photos on it is where the full length mirror used to be and, as far as I can figure out, it’s the only place another one can really go.

Apartment Makeover - Bedroom Before // Apartment Makeover - Bedroom Before //

So.Many.Doors. And all that wood… I’m so not a fan. But as mentioned before we’re renting and I can’t exactly go around replacing doors all over the place.

And messy closets. Pretty sure something can be done about those but I just have to figure out what exactly.

Apartment Makeover - Bedroom Before //

This view is so not exciting. I’m thinking the dresser needs to go, smaller night stands to replace it and that other one, and some lighter curtains. Wall mounted lights? Art work? Something else on the walls or curtains all the way across?

So there it is! If you have any thoughts, ideas, or advice I’d love to hear it in the comments below!

Apartment Makeover - Bedroom Before //

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  • Reply Ashley Izsak March 9, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    I’d say definitely – when it comes to your bedroom – go with your gut. Do not force any sort of trend in here. It’s your space and if you feel most yourself in black and white then go with that. I really agree that an area rug would help tie things together in here. It does not need to be gigantic and fit under your bed. It could just go in part of the room (like at the end of the bed). Also – your closets (as you mentioned) are not being maximized. You could definitely do away with the dresser if you had a better system – id start suggesting one but you live in an apartment so I doubt drilling holes into the walls is an option (or is it)? I’ve never lived in an apartment so i don’t know what’s cool in terms of changes. I’d also say put the laundry basket in the closet – ikea sells nice mesh ones for a few bucks and they’re great because they can squeeze in and out of odd spaces. Next – what about a hook or two for random clothing? I see a lot of potential here Amy!

    • Reply amyzambonin March 9, 2016 at 8:33 pm

      Thanks Ashley!
      Yes, drilling holes is not really an option which limits closet shelving. We took the terrible sliding doors off this week though and it already made the whole room look so much bigger. But now there’s no hiding, so I need to find a way to keep everything looks pretty and staying functional. I’m so glad you mentioned the IKEA laundry basket, because I picked that exact one up yesterday and it makes a world of difference! It’s crazy how a few little changes already make sure a big change. Definitely still a work in progress, but I have more hope now :) Hooks! Love that idea over the useless chair in the corner.
      Thanks again for you suggestions! You’ve given me the motivation to keep going with it.

  • Reply Liz March 18, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    This was an awesome post! You have given things lots of thought! I think the black and white scheme is you and will always be you..maybe a throw pillow or something in a colour someday would be a nice pop of colour without taking away from the b&w..or maybe something gold? lamps? I read overnight so the lamps are a must for us but if you won’t use them don’t get them. (we have clappers so they turn of when we knock on the wall!) I think an area rug would add a bit of cozy to your room too-tone down the wood a bit.
    can’t wait to see any changes you make!

  • Reply Amanda March 18, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Looking forward to the after! And girl, we are in our late thirties and I’m still trying to make our place look not-studenty (crying emoji face). I waffle between wanting to make our place a fraction as pretty as the houses we shoot and caring more about spending my time and money elsewhere… I can’t seem to make it a priority. I think I need to set myself a challenge!
    I think an area rug would be great in here. Maybe some lamps that clamp onto the headboard of the bed, or some very simple nightstands? The closet space isn’t being well used. Could you put the dresser (or a lower one) *in* the closet under the rail? Have you tried rotating the bed so the long edge is in line with the window wall?

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