When your day job is being a super trendy, kickass shoe designer like Alana Oates, it’s only fitting that your bedroom match your love of vintage style. But when Oates was decorating her quaint bungalow just outside of Philadelphia, she struggled to create the ultimate creative oasis that captured all of her stylish desires.
Enter interior designer Michelle Gage and the one room challenge: a budget, yet style-friendly transformation of Oates’ master bedroom. The area went from bare boned and uninspired to a sophisticated, vintage boudoir. The stunning six-week makeover gave a completely new vibe to the room, and the price tag is extremely impressive.
The key to keeping the transformation on a budget—the price tag for this one came in at just under $2,000—was opting to keep some of Oates’ bigger items. (Gage calls it “smart sacrificing.”) The vintage brass bed was a must-stay, as was the large antique dresser and cool, vintage-patterned rug.
Using their mutual love of vintage as a starting point, Gage and Oates devised a rough design plan that included Oates’ fondness for the rich prints and textiles she often features in her shoe designs. Oates’s intricate, antique Persian rug became the jumping off point for the hues that were pulled for the walls and accent pillows. Gage was also excited to tackle the small adjacent dressing area—complete with an amazing vintage dress form and plush velvet bench—in order to pull together a complete look for the space.
“My clients always ask me, ‘What is the first piece we need to pick out?’” says Gage in her blog. “Truthfully, any item can act as a starting point. In this case, Alana and I were all about this rug. We knew we wanted to keep it, but it featured a pretty tricky pattern. We started by choosing a wallpaper with a print that worked with the rug’s pattern. Then, we selected a paint shade that was also in the rug and wallpaper. These common threads helped us keep the rug, while introducing a fun wallpapered accent wall.”
This too was a part of the budgeting. Gage tells Domino that she chose to stay on budget and “keep a tight focus” by only wallpapering two walls instead of the whole room—which would have been too overwhelming anyway.
Pulling from the gray, dusty blue, and golden tones found in the rug, the pair went to work deciding on styling accents. The wallpaper would serve as an accent wall above the headboard, while the rest of the walls would be a cool light gray hue. And with the budget always in mind, the wallpaper proved to be a worthy cost. (Gage highly recommends you leave something like this up to the professionals for installation!) They then chose to spend the rest of the money on necessary upgrades, such as wall sconces to replace the current lights, a velvet bench, and more substantial nightstands and window treatments to match the new trendy decor.
Oates’ love of antiques came in handy while she was scouring thrift stores in order to find a bunch of accessories for her room. The pretty array of mirrors was arranged in a gallery wall above a cool blue bench.
The end result looks opulent, yet understated, and certainly embodies Oates’ affinity for eclectic, vintage mixes. Also impressive? The blend of the old with the new, along with the super luxe palette of golds, grays, and pops of blue and pink.
“The space captures her appreciation for older items with a bit of character,” Gage tells Domino.
The final space therefore serves as proof that you can get the luxe look without shelling out a pretty penny. Gage advises those on a strict budget to use what they have first: “Maybe the room doesn’t work as is, but you have one or two great pieces. Build upon that. Pull colors from those working pieces—like we did with the rug—into accent pieces.”
To find all the products and colors used in this budget-friendly makeover, check out the project’s Pinterest board.
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