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DesignMilk Makeover

Dear Emily,

Every once in a while you get an assignment that terrifies and thrills you to your very core. It keeps you awake at night. Then, the moment you fall asleep you have a stress dream and wake up, PANTING. I had an experience like this recently while designing the master bedroom at Jaime Derringer’s gorgeous Southern California home. I’ve known Jaime for a few years (after meeting her with Emily at Alt Summit a few years ago, I fell in love with her immediately).

For those of you who don’t know Jaime, she’s a major power hitter in the world of design content. She singlehandedly created the site DesignMilk, which has become the online authority for modern design inspiration (in addition to Emily and Homepolish of course). Jaime is a super smart woman with a quick wit and an INSANE amount of talent. She’s a writer, a curator, a boss, a mother, and an incredible artist. Needless to say, I was terrified to design her bedroom.

Why, you ask?

It’s one thing to design for non-designy people. They’re usually very appreciative of almost all my ideas. But the notion of designing for someone who lives and breathes design was slightly more daunting. Jaime knows her stuff, so I had to be on my game to impress her and knock her socks off with a design that represented her (very advanced) aesthetic.

Jaime moved out to California a few years ago with her husband and their daughter (who looks exactly like her and is literally the most dynamic and charming human being I have ever met). They moved into a gorgeous, light-filled home that was kind of a blank slate. Jaime has done an incredible job decorating the rest of the house, but felt stumped when it came to her bedroom.


I know what you’re thinking. That I closed the window treatments for these photos to make it look more depressing and lame. But no, Jaime sent me those pics. IT WAS ALL HER, PEOPLE. I may be exposing something I shouldn’t here, but she’s one of those people who doesn’t always open their blinds. So I’m writing this right here, right now to tell her once and for all that I want her to open her blinds and LET IN THE LIGHT. That’s right, I just online bullied the inventor of DesignMilk. I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE.

Where was I? Oh yeah, it was a dark and dreary night in Jaime’s bedroom. Even though it was noon. Her goal was to give the room a little more life without freaking out her husband, who has more classic taste than she does (to get an idea of Jaime’s aesthetic, check out her GORGEOUS art. And then buy some). Her husband is a laid back lawyer who didn’t necessarily want to have laser beams shooting all over his bedroom like Jaime and I did. Gurl, we crazy.



Because I’m obsessed with Jaime’s art, I wanted to use it and nothing else in the bedroom. Because she is  a totally humble, normal human being she thought that would be weird and wanted to use her bedroom to showcase the work of another artist. She’s literally a saint you guys. Is it weird that I’m gushing over her so much? I’m uncomfortable. We ended up choosing a gorgeous piece by Aimie Herbert from Saatchi, which hangs over the dresser and looks great.

We decided the best way to incorporate her art was to do a mural above her bed. We mulled over this idea for a long time (check out our Pinterest board to see other ideas we were exploring). The added benefit to doing a big mural above a bed, especially if you’re in California, is that it won’t fall off the wall and cut your head off during an earthquake, leaving your decapitated head on your pillow to terrify your boyfriend when he wakes up and you’re still talking even though your body and head aren’t attached to each other.


This process was pretty simple. Basically we played with shapes by taping them out onto the wall, then pressed the tape firmly into place once we’d made our decision. We painted three layers of paint to make sure the colors were consistent and perfect. The colors are Benjamin Moore Thousand Oceans and Benjamin Moore Dusk to Dawn.


Here is where I remind you of one of the most common lies told by the media. Have you seen commercials for tape where they rip off the tape after painting and the edge is perfect and amazing and they’re totally done with their painting project and they get to sit down and drink wine, give a little smug shrug, and be all pleased with themselves? That literally never happens in real life. In real life, no matter how hard you press on the tape or how tenderly you paint, there will always be a little bleed and the line will not be perfect. It’s just a fact of life. So the best thing to do is to get a little flat edge art brush and fix the areas that bled, like Jaime did here. DON’T BE DESTROYED BY UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS OF WHAT IT’S LIKE TO USE PAINTERS TAPE.


This bed, (that Jaime found at Clay’s Classics) which I’m obsessed with, caused a considerable amount of stress for both Jaime and me. For Jaime, the stress came from the fact that it came in the wrong fabric even though neither of us approved it. For me, the stress came in that all this happened while I was on the first vacation I’ve taken in my adult life, and I was trying to fix this problem from Paris with a vendor that “doesn’t do email, ” no cell service, and a time difference of a million hours. I literally lost three nights of sleep about this bed, worrying that my client was going to get over charged for a mistake that wasn’t ours. It was a big deal, because any time you’re spending someone else’s money, you feel bad when something goes wrong and you want to make it right immediately.

The mix up with the bed ended up being a hugely stressful thing that overtook my vacation with phone calls in the middle of the night and constantly trying to get in contact with the manufacturer for days one end. Which was a really good thing in the end. Because it kind of helped me figure out how to deal with the stressful things that come up in design and in life. I tend to be a very high strung person and I take things very personally, especially when I’m worried I’ve disappointed a client. As Emily used to say “Well, nobody died!” Sometimes you have to put things that stress your out into perspective and trust that you’ll figure out how to make things right, for yourself and for your client. (It worked out in the end, the vendor ended up reupholstering the bed into the original correct fabric, and Jaime dealt with the whole thing like a champ). These are the things that keep designers up at night, people. WE ARE ALL HUGELY AFRAID OF DISAPPOINTING PEOPLE.


I loved this dresser for Jaime, because it’s totally NOW but also has some mid-century references. It’s from CB2 and the light color of the wood perfectly compliments the bright, airy color palette we went for in the room.


Shown above (clockwise): Throw from Happy Habitat, Tray from A+R, Glass Knot from West Elm, Black Pyramids from AllModern, Black and Brass Ball Sculpture from AllModern, Succulent from Home Depot, Brass Hands from AllModern.


The sumptuous drapery we added from Barn & Willow added some contrast and softness to the room and was way fuller and more luxe than we expected (we actually replaced the curtain rods to thicker, more substantial ones after the shoot to support the full black out drapes). The pink sofa from CB2 gave us an opportunity to add a little pop and also to occupy the large space at the end of the bed. People often don’t know what to do at the end of their beds, so I recommended a sofa even though Jaime figured they’re probably just lay in bed to watch tv. Sometimes, you have to decorate for the life you want, not the life you have. So that you can look at your sofa ever day and imagine yourself luxuriating on it, eating macaroons and drinking tea while yelling at man servants to rub your feet.


Jaime is an avid runner, so we moved this bench from her living room to give her a place to tie her vibrant running sneakers. We also snagged this 90z modern planter from Home Depot to liven up the bench area. The geometric ball sculpture is from AllModern).

For more shots of this project, check out Homepolish Magazine and full resource list is available on DesignMilk.

That’s it people. Jaime’s new bedroom. I’m sorry for shaming you about the keeping your blinds closed thing, Jaime. It’s not your fault you’re a vampire.



For more from The Design Milk Makeover: Family Room

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8 years ago

In love with this room! Modern and progressive but fun and whimsical. Great work!

8 years ago

Can we talk about the dog crate in the before photos for a second? Where did it go? We have a dog crate in our master and I’d love ideas on making it less… dog crate ish. If that’s even possible. It’s big too. I have a Labrador Retriever that I don’t trust to be home alone.

8 years ago
Reply to  Meredith

I bet you anything they removed it just for the shoot. Sometimes us pet people have to live with horrid crates. I’m so excited that after 2 years I got to take down my great dane’s crate from my bedroom. I forgot how large the bedroom is without it 🙂

8 years ago
Reply to  stephieZ

We did remove it for the shoot. It’s hideous. No amount of designing can make that crate look better. Ha!

8 years ago
Reply to  Meredith

This has nothing to do with Orlando’s amazing design, but what about ditching the dog crate and using a room with nothing out to ruin. As a dog trainer, I would say the dog is probably misbehaving because it is stuck in a crate all day… labs need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. If it’s bathroom training that is the issue- a few sessions with a trainer can sort that out! Or there is a lot of info online to help your smart dog. Good luck! You owe it to your dog AND the design of your home!

8 years ago

Where can I find the black and white rug? It is stunning

8 years ago

Thank you Orlando, it is always fun to find your post at Emily’s. Did you have the ceiling fan removed or just a photo trick?

Nastassja Stanton-Brown
8 years ago
Reply to  Victoria

If you scroll to the very first photo you can still see the ceiling fan 🙂

8 years ago

Pretty please come to Tampa. Miami gets all the love because it’s fun and funky, but we need more design help!

8 years ago
Reply to  Mindy

OMG yes. I have an empty house in need of furniture and I need someone to tell me where to go in Tampa!

8 years ago

This is a very fun room! Love seeing you over here Orlando!

8 years ago
Reply to  Loribeth

Very fun.

8 years ago

orlando! I love you! Please tell me where the white planter with the wood stand is from 😉

8 years ago
Reply to  Danielle

It’s by Modernica – here’s the whole source list:

8 years ago

Mandi from Vintage Revivals has the smartest solution to the bleeding paint problem- she paints the original wall color first and lets it dry before painting the new color. It’s pure genius! (I linked it above.)

8 years ago

Always pure joy reading Orlando’s take on design life! Love it! And love this room!

8 years ago

Beautiful! What color is the non-mural paint on the walls? Thanks!

8 years ago

Does anyone know what paint color is used on the walls? It looks like the exact type of grey that I’ve been wanting for my house!

8 years ago
Reply to  MelissaB

Also what’s going on with the Orcondo?? He’s due for an update. 😉

8 years ago
Reply to  MelissaB

It’s Sherwin-Williams Worldly Grey

8 years ago

I bet the gray paint is benjamin moore gray owl. Emily has recommended it in the past and I used it in my master and love it! Its the perfect light gray.

8 years ago

This looks SOOOO good and SO like Jamie! You are the best. And Jamie is the best!

8 years ago
Reply to  alison

NO YOU ARE. BTW – congratulations!! I heard your exciting news.

8 years ago

Beautiful work as always. I am intrigued as to why all the photos on the new blog of Emily are made so bright. It feels it is a bit too much. Again, congratulations on the beautiful work!

8 years ago

I love that rug and the pop of pink from that sofa! It’s such a gorgeous space!


8 years ago

Evidently you can seal painter’s tape into place with a wet rag. Why do they not advertise this?

8 years ago
Reply to  Allison

I’ve tried this trick and it worked well for me. I’m betting you can do this with any brand of painters tape, too. Anyone else tried this?

8 years ago

Where is the planter from in the dresser photo? I know I’ve seen it before.

8 years ago

This is an amazing room, and Orlando, I love your writing style! Thanks for keeping me inspired and laughing 🙂

8 years ago

i so agree with your painters tape quote!

The art mural is definitely one of my favorite bits in the room, it’s gorgeous, and actually pretty easy to achieve: note to self.

I’ll admit, I’m one to not open blinds as well, but mostly because I live in an old home with horrible windows, which means that once the blinds are drawn it gets about 20 degrees warmer in my place, and it’s already hot as Hades.

Josh | The Kentucky Gent

8 years ago

I would kill for that couch! So bright and fun, though also modern and chic. Awesome job, ladies!

Susie Q.
8 years ago

Oh, Orlando. You really hit it out of the park in terms of design AND hilarity.

8 years ago

LOVE this- the bed looks like a cloud. Do you know what style/name? Also, hoping you can dish where those white dressers are from? Looking for exactly that simple clean style.

8 years ago
Reply to  d

I don’t have the information anymore and it was a local, custom company that I worked with… their website seems to be under construction 🙁

8 years ago
Reply to  d

Oh – and the white dresser is from Allmodern and the chest is from cb2.

Julia R
8 years ago

paint won’t bleed through if you quick do a stripe of the existing wall color on the edge of the tape. the wall color bleeds thru, but it matches the wall already

8 years ago
Reply to  Julia R

I have heard this technique and tried it in other art projects with little success… maybe I’m doing it wrong! The post-tape touch-up was actually pretty easy.

Lisa H.
8 years ago

I could totally see myself in this room! It’s modern without feeling cold, and has an excellent balance of feminine and masculine. I love it!

8 years ago

Love it! So glad you decided to do that couch, too.

8 years ago

Love the room, can you tell me where the white planter is from?

8 years ago
Reply to  JB

It’s from Modernica.