Aug 25, 2015

before + after: 2 teen sisters. 2 rooms.

last fall, a neighbor of mine asked for some help to update the bedrooms of her two daughters. the rooms were originally designed when they moved into their house, about 6 years ago, when the girls were 7 and 9. now that they are both teenagers, the decor and bedding felt too girly and both spaces needed a refresh!

the 13 year olds room BEFORE:

the 15 years olds room BEFORE:

as you can see, both rooms were done in very saturated tones of pink and green.
both girls now "hated" the color schemes, and wanted their spaces to feel more simple and crisp and to fit their personalities.

the refresh rules:
*ALL existing furniture had to stay and could NOT be painted. yep.

*the walls could NOT be painted (they were considering keeping the accent walls in both bedrooms, but i "gently" talked them into painting them) we eventually compromised and painted the back wall of the younger sisters room the same color as the rest of the walls, and repainted the accent wall in the older sisters room a medium gray.

*they wanted all additions to be budget friendly

*the light fixtures could NOT be replaced (including the crystal chandeliers in each room)

*the younger sister loves animals, and wanted blue in her room.

*the older sister wanted a soft pink + grey scheme.

here are the AFTER pictures!
(all images taken by sara boulter)

the 13 year olds room AFTER:

what we did:

*removed the super-girly, frilly window treatments and rehung some simple white panels with pom fringe on just the large window

*replaced the bedding + added accent pillows

* added wall sconces to both sides of the bed

* added art to reinforce the color scheme of blues + greens

*purchased a new chair, ottoman and side table to create a reading nook

*added accessories

* made a custom fabric covered cork board


the new bedding from west elm (sorry, no longer available) helped add pattern and a grown-up vibe.

we used several shades of blues to make the space a little more interesting and less "planned".
 for instance, the shams are a nice bold royal/navy blue, and both the bulletin board and the the leather ottoman are teal blue. both the bed pillow and the chair pillow incorporate several shades of blues and greens.

the new wall mounted wall sconces free up space on the nightstands.

to create these three "matching" art pieces over the bed, we simply purchased a single print from minted, cut it on three pieces, and placed them in individual ikea frames. this is a great way to create a structured gallery wall on a budget!

 the new sheers are lightweight and feminine and the pom fringe on the edge adds just a touch of whimsy.

the reading nook gets plenty of light and (according to my client) gets some HEAVY use from her book-loving daughter!


these bulletin boards were a diy project. we simply had plywood and insulation board cut to the same size, glued them together and wrapped them in fabric. super easy and WAY more affordable than buying something! just to give you an idea...each of these large bulletin boards cost us around $50.


the 15 year olds bedroom AFTER:

what we did:

* replaced bedding and added a single accent pillow to the bed

*had a roman shade made, recovered the window seat cushion and added new pillows

*added another nightstand/desk to the right of the bed, and paired it with a small ottoman that can be moved around the room for seating, or used as a footstool while seated in the window seat (before, there was nothing on this side of the bed, which felt odd)

*added art

*hung a custom made cork board

*purchased new table lamps


new knobs were added to the existing dresser to break up the expanse of white wood.
(the old white wood knobs just felt a little too "vanilla")

new bedding from west elm and a new lamp scored at home goods help to update the room to a space more fitting for a teen girl. we splurged a bit on the pillow, but since its the only one on the bed, it was well worth getting a designer fabric in the perfect shade of blush pink!


new knobs from anthopologie make a statement on the nightstand, and help break up the look of the matching bedroom set.

new pillows add texture, pattern, personality and a splash of pink.

both the contrast welting on the window seat cushion and the accent banding on the roman shade are made from a charcoal gray linen. 

we added this mirrored console table-turned-desk to the side of the bed, with the gray storage ottoman. it is now the perfect place to perch and check emails and scroll through pinterest!

the relaxed roman shade is tailored yet feminine!

the art from minted, in frames from ikea, create a simple, structured gallery wall.

once more, quick before + afters of both rooms:

most sources found here:



most sources found here:

email me ( if you have questions about specific items or you can't find what you are looking for.


  1. What a big difference! This room will carry her thru the rest of her time at home. It's perfect.

  2. I'm working on transitioning out some of my 15 year old daughter's little girl elements out of her room and appreciate this post so much, Autumn! You did an amazing job with a little paint, new bedding, art and accessories!

  3. Love the update. They are much more mature now and I love the accent colors.

  4. I love these updates! Where did you source the wall sconces from? I don't see them on the Pinterest page and they are exactly what I've been wanting for my master bedroom.

  5. Thanks for your great post on design, I hope its very hopeful post.
    interior design