Franchesca and I go back many years. Technically we were a part of the same sorority in college but she dropped out right before I joined. I don’t disclose to people I was in a sorority unless I know them really well. But we’ve all been friends for a while so it’s time:) Anyway despite having lots of mutual friends in school, we didn’t meet until we were both in line waiting to get into a random club in Los Angeles once I was already living in New York. I think that was 2010?! So while I was cursing the existence of the LA nightclub scene, swearing that waiting like this in NY would never be a thing, I did have a very sweet meet-cute with a person that would become a dear friend. Fast forward to her moving to NY a few years later, us becoming friends, and then 3-ish years after that both ending up in LA again, but this time both living here (with a zero-tolerance policy for club lines… if we ever go to one again:)).
This is also the same friend that introduced me to my current dream apartment! And if you know that story from this post, you know that she and her husband are my upstairs neighbors. It’s an actual dream for me! A beautiful home next to wonderful friends. And wonderful they truly are. Both Franchesca and Ben are the kindest, most generous, fun people around. It’s just impossible not to love them individually and as a couple. I’ll give you the highlight version of their love story because it’s pretty darn sweet. 8 years ago they met at Coachella. Ben is Australian and was on a US trip with his friends probably not intending to meet the love of his life. But after one weekend together he made a point to fly and see her one more time before heading back Down Under. Despite Franchesca’s hesitation of starting up a VERY long-distance relationship, they were able to make it work with phone calls, long visits, and eventually (through an insane amount of visa stress) Ben was able to stay full time. Actually, he was able to get his visa just in time for their wedding. And speaking of their wedding, talk about a showing of how loved these two are. It was such a special weekend.
But just as life gives us these incredible highs, it also serves us intense lows and a few months ago Franchesca lost her mom unexpectedly. As most of you know I lost my mom about 10 years ago and while all of our experiences are unique to us, I knew what she was and is still going through. As the next few weeks passed, I realized that it wasn’t an accident that we were living in the same building. I was meant to be here for Franchesca (and Ben). Grief is a roller coaster. Some days you are fine, some days you can’t get out of bed, some days you want to talk about it and others you just need someone to sit with and not talk at all. But one thing that is universally hard, especially in the early days, are the evenings… and especially bedtime. So when Caitlin asked if any of us had someone in our lives that could use a little cheering up by way of a bedroom makeover from The Company Store, I raised my hand.
You should know that Franchesca has a deeeeep love for all things vintage (just wait until you see her closet). And like most normal people she has been taking her time decorating her home. Had we not destroyed her living room with stacks of boxes and props for the shoot I would have had Sara take a photo of it to show you all. It’s inviting and cozy, full of jewel tones and vintage accents (plus a few LA Dodgers bobbleheads because they are both die-hard fans). Because of this, I was a little nervous to ask if she’d want this makeover having me take the reigns on the design.
She happily agreed since she was feeling a little overwhelmed with taking on this project even though it was next on her list. I of course assured her that I would get her approval on everything so it would be a place both her and Ben could really feel happy in. Cue slight panic since this would be my first “client project”!
This was the inspiration that she pinned:
What I took from this was that she wanted romantic floral patterns, vintage or vintage-inspired lighting, fringe if possible (duh), and mostly green and blue tones.
This is what the first mood board that I put together looked like:
To my relief she loved it! Aside from not being sure about the art and table lamp, we were set to start ordering. Once the wallpaper was locked in (which I’ll talk about later) I wanted to get the bed and bedding all set since a bed is kinda the whole base of a bedroom… and needs to be the most inviting.
I really loved and was pumped by the number of options The Company Store had. But as soon as I saw those striped sheets I knew those were the jumping-off piece I would build the rest of the bedscape around. I actually asked them if I could “over order” since I hadn’t had a chance to see their products in person. They graciously said yes and let me tell you I was impressed with everything. I kinda wish we could have done more looks to show it all off! But with the guidance of stylist extraordinaire, Emily Bowser, we decided this was the best combo for this room. Neutral, textured, and classic.
I love the bold yet simple pattern of the navy striped sheets and how the scale is perfectly sized in between the pattern scales of the wallpaper (large) and the blue throw blanket (small).
Then you have those cream shams and quilt for added texture and warmth. Always important for optimal visual coziness. Lastly, Bowser chose to add some contrast with that white linen duvet cover and super soft velvet lumbar pillow.
It all feels very “modern vintage” which was my goal. Oh and all of the pillow inserts are from The Company Store too. A one-stop bedding shop.
Yikes, I love this shot and that bed. Speaking of that bed, I can’t believe I found it because it’s almost exactly what Franchesca and Ben wanted – green velvet, channel-tufted, and not too tall so it wouldn’t block the light (aka that bed/window design agony, woof). Oh, and the best part is that it’s super affordable and gives off some serious Brady DIY headboard vibes (but less labor:)).
P.S. If you are wondering why there is only one single curtain panel it’s because I don’t know how to read. I thought I was getting two panels in one order (palm to face) and didn’t open the package until it was too late to request more before the shoot. But don’t worry I am getting them a few more panels so they can have their privacy back. These are from The Company Store too!
But now please move your eyes up to that glorious chandelier. When I showed Franchesca this chandelier from Mitzi as a lighting option, she was instantly in love. It was like no other chandelier had or could exist again. I think it’s incredible in the space, the quality is so good, and when it’s on, it gives off the prettiest filtered soft light. Plus yours truly installed it with little to no hassle. Those theatre tech classes are still paying off. And having dad on facetime to ask questions doesn’t hurt either.
As I said before, Franchesca is a true vintage lover. From her dishes to her clothes to her decor. However, she is more antique vintage (but not too decorative) whereas I am more post-modern vintage. This is where I was a little nervous about finding pieces that we would both be super psyched about because like I said, I’ve never really designed for anyone but for myself. So when I tell you I hit Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace hard, I went deep. Then on hour 20 (just kidding) of clicking “next page” I saw this little nightstand beauty for $75. It had just enough romance and whimsy with the shape and scallop top but clean enough lines to not be too much. We both loved it.
Since we were just talking about the nightstand, let’s talk about that fringe lamp shade. I searched and searched Etsy for a pretty fringed lampshade that could get here in time (we only had 7 weeks to get this whole thing done and with these lead times…not as easy as you might think). Unfortunately, all of them seemed to be from England and the delivery times were too close to take a chance. But then the stars aligned when I went to pick up that nightstand because it was actually next to a huge antique warehouse in Whittier called King Richards. I clearly had to check it out and there she was, just waiting for me to buy her. The original base was ummm, not great, so back to the internet I went. When I found that base above, I wasn’t sure if it was going to get here on time. But we both loved it because THAT SHAPE. So we ordered it and crossed our fingers. Now online it wasn’t so “psychedelic” looking so we are trying to get another one to see if it’s less “groovy”. But honesty the more I look at these photos the more it’s growing on me.
In terms of decor, I knew I wanted to keep it simple but special:) Those brass dome lamps were SUCH an awesome and last-minute find at World Market. That clock was one that Franchesca already used and that paper mache shell tray, that I had been eyeing from Jayson Home for a hot minute, added the perfect amount of fun and texture. Thank you Jayson Home for sending it! I now might need to buy one for myself.
Before I get into this wallpaper (!), let’s talk about mismatched nightstands.
It’s not always easy to find matching nightstands (that function well) when you want to go vintage and don’t want all your money to vanish. As you know we loved that first nightstand, but I wasn’t sure how I was going to get another one that worked well with it. But then Craigslist came through again with this beauty. The wood tones work well together, the scalloping on the bottom of this one speaks to the scallop detail on the other one, the heights are similar, and they both have clean lines. Bonus that the key for that drawer actually works! A functional nightstand was one of Ben’s only requests so I needed to make it happen for him.
If your nightstands are mismatched, choose matching bedside table lamps or scones. If your bedside table lamps or scones are mismatched, then choose matching nightstands. That way it can look eclectic without looking too all over the place.
Ok, THAT WALLPAPER! I honestly just can’t stop staring at it and I’ve considered asking for visitation rights. After the one and only Mark (the wallpaper installer that also did Caitlin’s home and a bunch of other famous designer’s projects including Emily and Amber Lewis), it made the room feel simultaneously larger and cozier. It was such a huge risk since I’d never had a room wallpapered like this before. But holy cow did it pay off. Rebel Walls was kind enough to gift it to us and I was so impressed with them. Both the sample and rolls each came within three business days and the quality was stunning. Mark actually told me that their wallpapers are one of his favorites to install and that this mural looked just as good as others that are waaay more expensive. That was really cool to hear that from such a pro. I also asked him, if need be, how “easy” would it be to take down this wallpaper since this is a rental. Just what he wanted to hear I’m sure. But he said it would stay on for 50 years and still come off super easy. Sold. However, Franchesca and I have decided to tell our landlord that keeping this wallpaper up is mandatory for all future renters. We think it’s super reasonable. I mean it looks like it was always meant to be there. But I also think I bought a few more years of us being neighbors since Franchecsa said she never wants to leave this wallpaper. Glad that my secret reason for making over this room worked like a charm;)
Bins (vintage Target) | Hangers (vintage Target)
I told you I would let you see her closet. My gal loves a vintage dress and a bold print. Oh and not to mention extremely cute shoes. Bowser took out a bunch of her clothes so you could admire them a little easier in this shot. So just know there’s a lot more where that came from and they are all equally amazing.
I get giddy when I see this shot. First off, that sconce from Katy Skelton is what my dreams are made of. But before the sconce could happen we needed a mirror. Franchesca really wanted a mirror so she could see and choose her very cute outfits. Makes sense. This mirror was actually being sold by a neighbor who was moving and she got it for only $15!! But as you can see it’s not huge and it needed a buddy to fill up more of that wall. I knew that sconce would be the perfect addition to really make that side of the room sing with some modern contrast. This was the only piece I had to push for a little with Franchesca. She of course thought it was beautiful but didn’t know if it was too modern for the space. I convinced her to give it a go and now she is over the moon about it. Katy is such a talent and her pieces are sooo special. Em has been working with her for years for a reason.
Please note Bowser’s masterful styling of that beautiful chair, vase, Franchesca’s incredible heels.
Oh and if you are wondering if I was nervous to make holes/mistakes in the wallpaper the answer is YES. But luckily, it all turned out ok and all first trys were sucessful.
Welcome to the dresser that saved the day. Originally, I had sourced this dresser from Wayfair but there was a little shipping complication (not normal for them), and it wasn’t going to be able to get here in time for the shoot (it’s actually arriving today!). I was sweatin’ since I found this out a week before the shoot. But then I found this incredibly beautiful dresser at HD Buttercup who had a floor model I could borrow. I love the little drawers and how it could easily work with a ton of different styles. It has a slight vintage feel but also looks modern. I highly recommend and y’all it’s solid metal so it’s extremely sturdy and high quality.
If you are curious if we have the same bedroom layout, not exactly but our bathrooms are both located in the same area… however they are the lucky ones with that clawfoot tub. We chose that happy light terracotta shower curtain to bring in a little warmth. It’s from Target and so cute in this shot and in person.
See what I mean by “psychedelic”?? But again the more I look, the more I like.
In an effort to not put a ton of holes in this wallpaper, I took one of my framed prints and leaned it again the wall. I think it gives it a more relaxed feel which I love and I wanted a more modern print to contrast the wallpaper. Then what 2021 EHD room would be complete without a lit taper candle? That’s a vintage holder but you are in luck because that match cloche isn’t vintage and was sent by Jayson Home too. It’s just so cute and elegant. It looks like super sophisticated adults live here!
O hey, it’s me! This was such a whirlwind project that I couldn’t have been more grateful to do. When Franchesca told me that she now really sees the value in investing in a rental home, even though you know it’s temporary, because of what a difference this makeover made her feel, my heart could’ve exploded. That’s all I want for everyone and especially my dear friends who I love so much. A huge thanks to all of the companies that gifted, Ben for all of his lifting and building, and of course The Company Store who actually made this whole makeover possible.
Franchesca and Ben, I love you and hope you feel amazing in your new room. Now I’m off to finish my living room:)
Love you, mean it.