Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Affordable Style: Ayla's Colorful Bedroom

I'm a little tardy to the party with this, but now that life is a smidge less chaotic, it's time to share. A few months ago my friend Ayla emailed me after she saw Meg's guest room transformation and wanted a design consultation for herself. She and her boyfriend have a master bedroom with high vaulted ceilings... and not much color. Here's part of her message to me:  "I really have no idea what to do. The only thing I would like to do is add some color without painting the walls and perhaps paint our dresser. I would like to try to make a lot of things or find decently priced items." 

She sent along a couple of pictures, too:

I am totally jealous of those high walls.

Anyway, Ayla wanted more color, so more color she shall receive. I should note that I emailed her the plan a long time ago, but it's still brand new to you:

Colorful Bedroom

>> The first step to adding color to a neutral space is to bring in some lively textiles. I chose turquoise bedding ($50) and a bold pattern on the curtains ($25). Both are from IKEA, as is the pink and yellow pillow that will break up the solid color of the bed ($7).

>> The wall above the bed can handle some big artwork, so I suggested a set of six colorful prints from Etsy ($45) in matching IKEA frames ($10/each). Bright scrapbook or wrapping paper would also work.

>> Ayla was open to painting her dresser, which is another easy way to add color while leaving the walls alone. I had yellow in mind as an accent the whole time I was sourcing products, so I think she should go whole hog and make that dresser yellow. Depending on the kinds of paint and primer used, that whole project can be done for around $40.

>> Bringing color in with lighting is another quick fix. This particular example is from Pier1 ($50), but she could also find a lamp with a cool silhouette at a thrift shop and spray paint it.

Basically, if you can't paint your walls or just don't want to, adding color and pattern anywhere else can make a huge impact. I don't have these examples in this design, but don't forget to consider area rugs and throw blankets, too.

In an unusual twist, this post took me so long to get ready that Ayla has had time to get started on the space. (I am totally on top of things.) Here's where it is now. Look at the dresser! Aaah!

I think it's really coming together! Hopefully she'll email me again if she decides to add anything else.

If you're in the market for a design consultation of your own, I'm still doing them for the low, low price of $0 while I gain experience. You can either leave a note in the comments, or send an email to paige.ronchetti [at] All you'll have to do is answer a few design-related questions and we'll be ready to roll. Feel free to hit me up if you have any questions.

So which part of Ayla's room is your favorite? How do you like to add color to your house? Anybody else do the neutral-wall, colorful-furniture thing?


  1. Yay! It's posted. Thank you so much again for helping me out with that. I haven't changed anything but I have been seriously considering changing the wall art as you first suggested. I hope to do that soon and of course will send pictures once I do.

    1. I think I spot Ira! :)

      Looks great, ladies!

    2. haha.yes! She's a noise maker. She likes to wake us up early in the morning.

  2. When I first saw the glass thing in the corner I had totally forgotten she had a turtle. And for a second I was like, "Whoa, do they have a snake?!" Haha.

  3. What a great transformation! The whole room is so much more cheerful. I love the color pairings here.

  4. Love the color choices. My favorite would be the drapes.

  5. How neat to see a design idea come to life. Great color choices.

  6. Nice!

    The room is so uncluttered - I love it! And the bright colors are fantastic. Goodness...I could never post pictures of my room on the internet. I have a small bedroom that somehow manages to have 9 pieces of furniture in it, including a dresser thing on top of a coffee table and a book shelf on top of a dresser! I can't believe I just admitted that. My sister is living with me for the summer and I pretty much cleared out the living room for her stuff!

  7. Ayla's new room looks awesome! The colorful bedding and dresser really brighten up the room. And I love the patterned curtains as well.
    Great work ladies!

  8. Wow what a difference! My favorite has to be those curtains, good choice! Nice job to both of you. :)

  9. I love the idea of adding curtains with a bold pattern to the room, in fact I want to do this in our living room since right now we just have solid colors everywhere... the couch, the pillows, the curtains, etc, are all solids... Love the ideas you gave her, and can't wait to see what else you'll come up with! ;)

  10. The room looks so much brighter and cheery. Great suggestions on your part and execution on hers -the yellow dresser is to die for!

  11. I like the bright colors--what a nice burst to lighten up the space. I agree with Dancing from above--I have so much solid color in my living room that I like the have patterned drapes. I have been thinking of freshening up the look in that room and know that the curtains will be the first thing I change.

  12. Really innovative ideas that made my day. I was feeling much eager prior to reading your content for a long time and this time, I really feel lucky enough to find the best approach from your side.

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  13. Awesome makeover, Paige and Ayla!
    It looks so much brighter now.
    (Mmm, I miss sleeping under a ceiling fan...)

  14. bright and cheerful! I think I like the curtains best. great job!