Hey all, Julie here to start off the new year with everyone’s favorite series…Makeover Takeover! In case you are new around here and don’t know what that means, it’s when someone on the team gets to show you their personal style and reveal a space in their home to Emily’s loyal readers (YOU)…no pressure. There is definitely no added pressure when you are Emily’s lead designer on the team and haven’t truly decorated your own space since the time you were going through a huge purple phase at the age of sixteen. To be honest I am still a fan of the right shade of purple and think that it is finally having its moment. Let’s just say that there might be a very fun custom purple velvet bed for this project we intro’d awhile back coming soon, but more on that another time!
About six months into working at EHD the topic of personal style came up during a brainstorm. I remember Emily directly asking me what mine was and I honestly couldn’t tell her. To be 100% transparent, I still can’t really tell you. I think this partly has to do with the fact that I am a Libra which makes it difficult for me to make any decision for myself and the other part is because I went to school for Interior Architecture, so I fell in love with all of the styles. I wish there was a “select all” option because I truly love them all, even the crazy ones. Yes, I am looking at you postmodernism.
But, I didn’t want the fact that I hadn’t honed in on my personal style yet to keep me from starting my own space because design paralysis is real, especially when it will eventually be shared with an audience as big as Emily’s. Again, no pressure.
So, when I finally started to work on my MOTO almost a year ago I decided to treat myself as the client. I created a pinboard and added anything to it that caught my eye (rooms, art, furniture, etc). I made a list of the items I already had and decided what to keep, what to donate based on how I wanted the space to feel. The design came quickly and that was great until I found out that one of my roommates would be moving out in a couple of months and I could take over her room which had its own bathroom, aaaaaahhhhhhh! Being 30, living with roommates AND sharing a bath…ya, I did not mind starting the design process over if it meant I could also pretend that I was living on my own (for the same rent). My old room also had shoji sliding doors that directly faced the dining/kitchen area so I was ready to say goodbye old room and HELLO privacy.
Let me show you the new space I am referring too…
She isn’t much to look at coming in at 116 sq. ft. but the trim is cute and the windows weren’t slatted glass like the other room. I was very happy about that since that meant I could get a window AC unit for the hot LA summers. There is also a little hallway that has a cute cupboard moment with shelves below for some storage and cute decor. Then on the opposite wall, I knew I wanted to come up with something creative & low cost (cause I’m frugal) for that coveted doorway shot. Oh, do you see that other door? The one by the window? Where does that lead to you ask? Answer: My old room… it’s one of those doors you’re just like, hmmm alright what to do with you? Well, I figured something out that was easy and impactful for the space that you will get to see tomorrow in the reveal! Stay tuned.
Last February, Emily Bowser and I were deep into designing, DIY-ing and vintage hunting for “adventure” items (does the kid’s mountain house bedroom ring a bell?) and while we were at the Long Beach Flea (an EHD favorite), I came across the ‘jumping-off point’ for my room. This guy was selling these amazing vintage nature photographs for $7 each. Bowser convinced me to buy 7 of them because they were “so on-brand” for me which was a bargain for only 50 bucks. She wasn’t wrong (see sweatshirt above). I am kinda known as the ‘outdoorsy’ one in the office which is ironic since I design interiors for a living. Hence the title of my memoir, The Interior Designer Who Lived Outdoors🙂
After that day I started to jokingly/lovingly refer to my style as ‘old man library’ and I don’t think it’s too far off. It’s like an old fashioned with a twist (and that twist is a 31-year-old woman living in the year 2020).
Here are some inspiration photos to get us all on the same page…
The first time I saw this photo in Arlyn’s 2019 Paint Color Trends, I approximately stared at it for 10 whole minutes. I just loved the subtle details of the space designed by Helen Cathcart and the way it made me feel…calm. That’s how we all want our bedrooms, dining areas or actually our whole house to feel, right? The painted trim also really spoke to me and I knew I wanted to do something similar in my space. Wink, Wink.
A carefully curated collection (say that five times fast, I’ll wait)…okay, you done? Like I was saying, a good ‘CCC’ has a special place in my design heart. Over the years people (mainly my momma) have given me objects that hold such meaning to me that I wanted to put on display for myself and about a thousand of my close friends (again, that’s you). Side Note: I’ve decided that we are all best friends now and this is no longer an intimidating thing to do.
Those top two photos represent what I wanted my ‘CCC’ to look like: 1. that it was developed over time (because it was) 2. that I simply put it up on my wall wherever I wanted (because I did) and 3. that there might be a missing piece (because there is…mom I’ve been meaning to ask you, can I have that piece of art sitting in your office??)
I am one of those people that is ready to get off of the all-white wall and neutral train. But, since I live in an apartment for who-knows-how-long, painting all of my walls just to paint them right back didn’t seem like the smartest option. Then I saw the Hotel Sanders in Copenhagen (bottom left) and was convinced color was the impact that was missing from the space. I also love the subtly of I Spy DIY’s blue/grey door (bottom right) and that light just makes the shot.
Now, onto some furniture figuring out…
There were a couple of reasons why I needed/wanted a new dresser. It had been nearly a decade that I had mine, it was low profile so it would take up the majority of the space in the new room, and a friend of mine had recently moved to LA with no furniture of their own so I wanted to give them mine.
I knew that I wanted a darker wood and for it to be kind of multifunctional so I went on Chairish and decided to find my dream dresser regardless of the price point. And here they are, our three contestants. Aren’t they beautiful??
Then reality kicked me in the butt and told me not to spend that much money since I knew I was saving up for a more practical item like a car. Okay reality, I hear ya. To Craigslist I went and not kidding the third listing I looked at was the perfect $80 dresser for me. SOLD.
Now, I know my room is on the smaller side (11′ x 10’6″) but I love a beautiful chair and especially one that is comfortable enough to sit and read a book for a while. This is, after all, my pretend studio apartment and that chair is my living room.
These were the three chairs that I had been staring at for over a year. It was a pretty serious relationship until I had to break it off with two of them and fully commit. Let’s just say I am very happy with my decision and you can see which one I chose in tomorrow’s reveal post.
Ok, there is more to discuss so I will see you tomorrow best friends when we will talk more about design, art, an Ikea hack and some friendly renter ideas in my ‘old man library’. And here is a super sneak peek:)
Want some more Makeover Takeover action? Head to our projects page for all the goods.