It must be a holiday today because I have finally completed my very first Makeover Takeover! As some of you may remember I am Erik Staalberg, your go-to maximalist and EHD alum! You’ve seen several pieces of my jewelry box apartment (see here and here) but today I am bringing you a piping hot MOTO featuring my bedroom! It’s sexy and sweet and every morning I wake up filled with love! So grab that Valentine’s chocolate and pour yourself a mimosa because hello, breakfast. This is gonna be a doozie!
You might remember a year ago y’all actually weighed in on which direction I should take this whole process and honey you did not steer me wrong. I used different furniture and accessories I had laying around the house and a major hand from our favorites over at Brooklinen. I basically made three different setups and had you all cast your vote! As an interior prop stylist, this was the best way for me to workshop the changes I wanted to see in my future bedroom. By just tweaking the dressings I could already tell which direction I was gonna go in and with your votes confirming it, I decided to head to a more streamlined vibe.
Now the whole idea behind redoing my bedroom stemmed from my relationship with my boyfriend Robert. Due to the fact that covid had limited a lot of our early date options, we found ourselves spending a considerable amount of time at my apartment. Now this certainly wasn’t a problem, my 1931 art deco flat has plenty of room and I enjoy hosting, but as Robert continued to make himself at home I realized there wasn’t a room that felt like both of us. An island in the sea of vintage tchotchkes, I wanted to carve out a space that reflected the happy medium between our two styles. Robert is very sleek and understated, I am layered and loud. He is classic and sturdy, and I am funky and delicate. He is Aidan Shaw and I am Bitsy Von Muffling. Which blended correctly the two styles could be truly delightful!
With a neutral foundation for the room, I knew he would feel connected to it and bring him peace from the vibrant hues that coat the other rooms and closets (yes, I paint my closets) throughout my place. Now my bedroom previously still had white walls but everything was high contrast. Tons of black and a rich wood color made it feel moody and distinguished. So step one was to eliminate all the dark tones. Bye rug! Buh bye dresser! I needed all the bigger elements to be as simple as possible. But in order to have that much white in a room, I made sure each piece had fantastic texture.
Rug | Pill Mirror | Tote Bag
The rug from Article was the anchor that made the rest of the decisions so much easier. It’s the coziest damn thing in the world, basically like having a chunky knit sweater your sweet great aunt Nancy knit you for your 11th birthday but in an 8’x10’. It’s visually stimulating with its grooves and isn’t flat white. Its color is slightly speckled and varied, which helps me from yelling anytime Robert walks on the rug with his Dr. Martins. I can say it’s very durable for being the softest element in the room.
Now because I am such a vintage die-hard I was nervous about not feeling connected to a room that was filled with new furniture. As grateful as I am for all the wonderful gifted items from all these amazing brands, I felt it was my duty as a granny to make a larger element second-hand. I don’t know about you but since the pandemic, I have been obsessed with Instagram vintage resale accounts. I follow probably like 40 but Out Of Stok is one of my ultimates. Based in Los Angeles, I knew if I kept my eyes peeled I would score the perfect piece. Well, I am a testament to the saying “Good things come to those who wait” because after gifting my old dresser away and storing all my clothes in Ikea bags for the floor for about 3 months, I found it. A 1980s plaster low boy dresser popped up on Out of Stok’s stories and I jumped! Curves and swerves, she is super sleek and solid. With push hinge drawers, it has really leveled up my storage game and I couldn’t be happier.
Side Tables (vintage/hand-me-downs)
Another dash of vintage… after inheriting a sweet little halved three-legged side table from an aunt I noticed that my Robert had been gifted one practically identical from a relative years before. After not much persuasion I convinced him to let me make a set with both of them! The perfect scale to use as nightstands. They were already different stain colors so I figured they would need to be stripped at a later date anyway, why not do a little DIY! I painted them each the same shade of white and Robert used his artistic capabilities to paint a black scribble on the lip to tie in with the other patterns in the room. A simple but effective transformation!
The next big decision was the bed. When Robert and I first dated there wasn’t much to experience because of shutdowns, so we would often have a staycation at a hip hotel in LA. It always felt special but we loved it mainly cause of the massive bed. Now I am 6’2” and Robert is 6’5” and my queen size just wasn’t cutting it. So I literally almost wept when our Tuft & Needle king-sized mattress arrived. The Hybrid is what we chose and it is so freaking delightful. Full confession but I often sleep 10+ hours a night (Flex) and Tuft & Needle is the perfect enabler to my addiction.
The bed frame however wasn’t as quick of a decision. One thing I loved in my bedroom mock-up was the introduction of black lines in the Brooklinen bedding I sampled. It provided some good definition in an essentially all-white scene. So naturally, when I found this Lulu & Georgia stunning upholstered bed frame I melted! It was contemporary in shape but had an arty organic print that I knew would add a helping of spice in what could be an all too minimal room. Even the negative space between the black scribbles has a beautiful brushstroke print. Its pattern has almost a mid-century flavor that gives me “I Love Lucy”, the Hollywood years.
With a more stimulating bed frame, I needed to turn down the volume with bedding. An all-white bed just felt right if I was recreating a hotel suite fantasy. Brooklinen was beyond gracious and sent me a whole set of their yummy Luxe Sateen sheets and even included the best down pillows and comforter that I have ever had. After working with this brand last year I can’t get over the quality of their product. It’s worth investing in your bedding!
The last thing to bring this bed to life was some BOLD accessories. Now there is no way I would ever have an all-white room in my house. Color is what drives me and there isn’t a color that I don’t love. So if I was gonna use that power of mine I knew I had to keep it measured and specific if I wanted this bedroom to be a home for both Robert and myself. By using all the crayons in the box when it comes to the details, it has created a space that highlights individual objects while still being supported by a clean pleasing backdrop. Not unlike Robert and me.
Green Velvet Lumbar Pillow | Avio Blue Square Pillow | Pink Sheepskin Round Pillow | Light Blue Square Pillow | Sheepskin Throw | Green Quilt (vintage)
Article upped the texture on the bed with their decadent sheepskin throw that makes me feel so glam on winter nights that dip below 50 degrees. With an array of blue velvet throw pillows, it breaks up the white, the two larger from Rejuvenation and the smaller two in moss from an all recycled brand I recently discovered named Sabai. Again with a dose of sheepskin texture, Article kills it with this pink round pillow that perfectly pops. Rounding out all the bed dressings is a gorgeous 1960s green coverlet that I was lucky enough to inherit from a best friend’s grandmother. I absolutely cherish it and it’s the perfect weight.
Because of the introduction of the printed bed frame, I knew there had to be something related to its sporadic design. So you can imagine my elation when I was talking to Minted about getting an oversized black and white print to lean in a corner, a stylist’s dream come true, when they mentioned they had just done a collection with West Elm. Upon reviewing the collection I found a chic and rounded folding screen that looks like it belongs in some starlet’s dressing room, with a fabulously fluid pattern that reflects the same energy of the bed. The addition of the mustard/ horseradish color keeps all the other hues from going to a place that’s too splashy.
Like any true lady knows, lighting is absolutely essential, especially when we are talking about the bedroom. As much as I loved my old sconces I was ready for a fresh start and most importantly something with a dimmer. These two from Lulu & Georgia in blush add a whole new atmosphere at night and the perfect reading light. They flank a large black and white photograph that one of my oldest friends took of his family’s summer home where we grew up going to. Art absolutely needs to be personal and when I was looking for a new big piece I knew exactly what to do. Angular and graphic, it’s the first thing you see when you walk in.
Sticking with a rounded theme I was gobsmacked when the measure of good lighting design, Rejuvenation, was willing to send me something for my overhead. This streamlined modern fixture captivates with its cherry-red high gloss. Its contemporary lines against the ornate moulding makes my heart sing! They always hit it out of the park. Wait, was that a sports reference?
Round Wall Mirror | Wall-Mounted Vanity | Vanity Mirror | Boucle Ottoman
One of my ultimate favorite additions in this makeover has been my very own vanity! I feel like Grace Kelly when I apply my moisturizer seated on my boucle stool from Article, gazing at my reflection in the astounding 48” round mirror from Rejuvenation. With the addition of a cheap shelf with drawers from Ikea I have created a deco style vanity that makes me think I am twice as beautiful as I actually am. What a blessing! When I saw a smaller version of the mirror at Target I knew I had to incorporate it somehow. I added two to either side of the bed to add some architecture and symmetry. And it just so happens they reflect my prized “layered” gallery wall from every angle.
Tray (vintage) | Vase (vintage) | Mugs | Plate
In case you hadn’t noticed, I have an obsession with art. What can I say I like a full wall! The idea for this layered gallery came from pure necessity. What originally started as a regular 2D collection of three or four pieces, I soon started acquiring more and more works. Ultimately the only direction I could go, due to the door and the corner, was out! Using the longest nails I could find at the hardware store and strategically layering smaller pieces onto larger ones, it started to take shape. Occasionally having to use a wad of blue painter’s tape behind certain ones to make sure they hung flush against the other frames. Of course, I had to add my signature toppers throughout the installation, which are basically tiny trinkets that I balance on corners of art everywhere in my house. Making sure my art always relates to each other I stuck with a theme of black and white photography and found objects. I have a piece of coral from the beach, a fall leaf from my stays in New England, sliced agate, a set of ornate earrings… all bringing back special memories every night as I stare at the collection from bed.
I also love the symmetry of the ceramic knots from Tramp Ceramics I had framed in shadow boxes. They frame the black-edged white curtains from Ikea, that frame my folding screen and my latest daughter, that majestic palm. If there is one thing I learned from assisting Emily Henderson, it’s the power of a tree in a room. The palm adds personality. Potted in a large purple pot with a green moss, she certainly commands attention.
Leather Tray | Pink Glass Catch-All
If there is one thing I believe it the devil is in the details and that was number one when it came to this room. Being able to style with all bold contrasting bright colors was such a fun challenge. When normally I try and unify those items here they all could be unique! My favorites being from Graf Lantz with that leather and peacock wool tray holding some of my collection of vintage lighters. Not to mention that turmeric tote that is my new go-to shopping companion. The antique breakfast tray on my bed is a family heirloom and I have been loving mixing that old-world charm with my new hip handmade coffee cups from HAAND in a stunning celadon. All the little stuff matters!
The last year has been thrilling and refreshing, required strong communication, filled with passion and excitement, and has been a decent amount of hard work. And I’m not just talking about my relationship with Robert! I can attest both experiences, building a life with him and building a room for us, have been true gifts that have made me a better person. I am so thankful for all the love and support from the man I love and support. xoxo, Cheers!
*Design by Erik Kenneth Staalberg
**Photos by Sara Ligorria-Tramp
Loved this! The big plant in front of the windows is beautiful. What a fun bedroom!
Real Love the interior design for the bedroom,space is well managed.
Such a fun read! Loving the mix of styles and the gallery wall is amazing!
Aaaaaw!! So sweet!
I’m totally on with the overlayering of your gallery wall!!! LOVE IT! 💜
The pop of green in the throw is wonderful and I’m so pleased you have a REAL, living plant! I’m so over plastic plants.
Cute couple. Extra cute room!
This is such a joyous space!! Thank you for sharing your process with us—I will be thinking about your genius gallery wall for a long while. Congrats on the beautiful feature!
What a happy room! Looks great. Made me smile.
You and Robert are so cute! This rooms rocks. Love the Grace Kelly vanity shot—I’ve always wanted one, too!!
Agreed — the Grace Kelly moment is everything. I’ve always wanted a vanity as well!
I truly can’t choose between the before and after. That’s a first. Really love both styles!
Yes! So often, the before photos are badly framed and poorly lit so this was such a treat to see 2 beautiful looks
So intrigued by the oversized lighter on the dresser! Anyone know about it?
Amazing! I really love the look of overlapping frames – genius idea. And the mirrors! Swoon.
I love your approach to redesigning the room. I think our styles are pretty different but the questions you asked and considerations can translate to anyone. And I love your pillows and art wall!
I love how you mixed styles!! And that you both had the same cutie side tables!!
Erik, you’re a goddamn treasure. A beautiful bedroom, a sweet relationship story, and a Bitsy Von Muffling reference? Chef’s kiss.
Love this! What a happy space and a happy couple! I love the mix of high, low, vintage, different eras and styles, etc. I’m also a fan of perching small trinkets on top of my art and moldings. It made me smile to see someone else do this.
This turned out amazing and you know I love that Kelly Wearstler print!
I love the bedroom! Selfishly what excited me most was seeing the vintage pieces that Erik used in his space. As a recent transplant to LA, I wonder would Erik be down for doing a story about the IG accounts he follows for vintage finds (if it doesn’t mess up his “trade secrets”). Please, thank you and y’all rock!
Every time there is a MOTO reveal (often!) I wonder what MOTO means and it’s not defined! Urban dictionary doesn’t help! I’ve been reading this blog for a year or so. HALP the newbs!
Make Over Take Over 🙂
What a delightful read! That bed is amazing, and I can’t imagine a better room for it.
You’ve always had great style, since you were little! Always redecorating! You are the best! Love, MOM
Very soft and inviting!
loveeeee this post. would love more from him!
I am getting strong like…. “chic design pirates on the Spanish Main who moonlight as bigtop entertainers” vibes from the two of you and I am LIVING for it!
Thanks so much for sharing! I really like the mix of eras/styles, and the bones of the room were so lovely to start off with. It was also interesting to read about your attempt to bring your two styles together (very relatable), and can really see that happening here. Especially into the the layered gallery wall, the folding screen, the pops of cherry from the pendant and mirror, and those squiggle-d nightstands 🙂
Beautiful, beautiful room – I always love seeing you on the blog, Eric! I so appreciate how you share your process and the beautiful spaces you create. I especially always love the personel connection you always have to your spaces and the pieces you outfit them with, it makes them truly special – and this time of course even more so with taking the history and sensibilities of another person into account. Also that 3D gallery wall absolutely blew me away!!! All the best to you and Robert!
Love the explanation of how all the details work together!
Love the headboard and the layered frames on the gallery wall. So cool!
I also loved this, and love your style Eric. I think you are living my fantasy life (I am also living my fantasy life, but it looks very different 🙂 )
For anyone loving the dresser who lives in the Bay Area, I was just trolling craigslist and happened upon this similar 80’s dream dresser: https://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/fuo/d/oakland-1980s-snakeskin-brasscredenza/7439359592.html
Thank you, Eric and EHD!
Erik, you have been an unbelievable addition to the EHD blog. I love your writing and sense of humor — and while our aesthetics aren’t 100% the same, I just see you apply your INCREDIBLE design and taste and eye in a way that really helps me think about how I can do the same with my own style. Just phenomenal and I hope you’ll keep writing for EHD forever. ALSO HELLO THAT DRESSER BE STILL MY HEART!!!!!!
Gah! Have been waiting to see it all come together for a while and it looks SO GOOD! also, shocked that those curtains are from IKEA!