This teen bedroom makeover is hands down my most popular video on YouTube.
It’s been viewed almost 60,000 times, and I get comments on it several times per week. Actually, there’s one comment I get over and over and over again, and it’s always something like this: “I really love this room! Can you please tell me where you got everything?”
While that certainly would simplify things, unfortunately, my answer has to be “No.” Imagine that you, my client, paid me to design a space that is as interesting and unique as your daughter’s personality. Now imagine that I was handing out the Cliff’s Notes version on YouTube for free. You probably wouldn’t love that, right? Right.
But there’s good news! Designing from an inspiration picture (or video, as the case may be) is E-A-S-Y! You are guaranteed flawless results, and depending on where you pulled the picture from (like a high-end magazine, for instance), you can probably accomplish it on a much lower budget, if you so desired.
I’ll give you all the steps here, using the room in this video as an example.
Step 1: Identify and break down the color palette, then select your paint color.
In this room, the color palette is obvious, since it’s pretty in-your-face! Hot orange, BRIGHT pink, and white. Now look at the balance: LOTS of orange, LOTS of white, and a much smaller amount of pink. Done!
If you’re trying to achieve the same result you see in a picture, the choice of paint color goes a long way. In our example room, if you chicken out and try putting the white on the walls, you are going to get a TOTALLY different (icky) result. The whole point of using an inspiration picture is that they’ve already taken all the risks for you. Use the color you see on the walls, and try to apply it the same way. In our case, the orange goes floor to ceiling.
Step 2: Identify the furnishings.
We have a bed, one nightstand, a dresser, a workstation, a beanbag chair, and a desk chair. See how easy this is??
Step 3: Identify the style and finishes.
Every furniture piece except the desk chair and beanbag is a smooth, glossy white. The bed is a classic iron style, but everything else is extremely modern, and as simple as can be… no fuss, no detail, no ornamentation. The desk chair is also simple and modern, but in hot pink plastic. The beanbag is also white, but we’ll look at that more in the next step.
You can now breeze right by all the espressos, light woods, medium woods, painted finishes, and indeed, anything that is NOT white. You can also ignore all items which feature any sort of distressing, ornamentation, or which have any “features” to speak of!
Step 4: Break down the fabrics.
Obviously, the most important element (and the starting point) in this design is that pieced coverlet. We also have a solid orange bed skirt; white pillow cases, sheets, and quilt; an orange accent pillow, white draperies, pink draperies, and white faux-fur. Almost everything is solid, with the only pattern being on the coverlet and matching shams.
Now I know what you’re thinking. “What if I can’t find that coverlet?” No big deal. (In fact, I think it’s discontinued, so you probably shouldn’t waste your time looking.) All you need is something that fits your color scheme, so any pink and orange pattern would work great. If you STILL can’t find a good option, don’t panic. It can even work to go with a solid color. You can dress it up with opposite colored pillows, sheets, bed skirt, and quilt. As long as your color scheme is fully represented, it’s perfectly fine to mix up the elements. You’ll still get a great result.
If this were, say, a living room, you might be noting things like
- there’s a solid white on the sofa
- the accent chairs are a pink and orange floral
- the accent pillows are in a pink stripe
- the draperies are solid white
Having done that, it’s not a matter of finding those EXACT fabrics, but noting where to put the pattern in the room, and what colors should go where. Keep your sofa and draperies solid white, but your chair pattern could just as easily be a geometric or a plaid, and perhaps the sofa pillows are solid pink rather than striped. (Btw, try not to picture a living room in these colors… it burns a bit! :)
Step 5: Take inventory of the accessories.
- nickel floor lamp in pink, orange, and white (finding that was dumb luck, if you want to know the truth)
- chandelier in pink and orange
- orange picture frame
- pink and orange desk accessories (with a smattering of brown)
- orange trash can
- pink desk lamp
- pink and orange floral posters
Step 6: Go shopping.
You now have a complete, and very specific shopping list from which to work. If you’re shopping online, you can google things like “modern white dresser,” or “white wrought iron bed,” or “pink desk chair,” or whatever! (If you don’t know how to google, you’re gonna need another blog for that, sorry.)
If you’re going shopping at stores (why??), let your list be your guide. Obviously, any store that caters to the traditional crowd can be completely skipped for this look. You need puveyors of the sleek and modern only.
Again, keep in mind that it’s ok to make selections which are your own “interpretations” of the original. Maybe a beanbag chair isn’t a good choice for you. Then go with any regular chair you wish (although slightly funky would work best with the room style), and try to upholster it in some sort of fur fabric, or lacking that, put a giant shaggy pillow on it. If you need a full-size desk, just make sure that it’s white, glossy, and modern, and dress it with the appropriate accessories.
If you have purchased an item which either matches or represents each item on your list, you WILL end up with a room that looks like your inspiration picture!
Want help? Post a link to your inspiration picture in the comments below, and I’ll walk you through the process!