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Sara Updates Her Childhood Bedroom

Before I jump straight into this makeover (and try desperately to explain why the photos you’re about to see of my room situation make me look like an absolute slob) I should introduce myself and why I am taking over the blog today. Makeover takeover was a concept crafted by Emily for all of us (Ginny, Brady and myself) to create original content for the blog by introducing all of you to our existing spaces and making them over from start to finish. In case you are still confused head back to Brady’s post which was our first introduction to Makeover Takeover and where he walked us through picking out the perfect sofa for his space.

Now back to my introduction – to start my name is Sara Tramp, and I’m the newest member to the EHD team (I joined in March 2015). By title I’m the Director of Social Media, but here at EHD we all wear many hats, and my job is really just to assist anywhere and everywhere I can. Prepping blog posts, creating graphics, answering any emails sent to our hello address, responding to design clients, and yes, helping Em and Brady with the blog’s social media – that’s what my day-to-day looks like.

And now, the makeover.


While I do come from a graphic design background, I’m no interior designer. When the idea of “Makeover Takeover” popped up I was both excited and extremely intimidated. What if everything I thought of or wanted to do just made Emily, Ginny, and Brady laugh at me with small smiles of pity of their faces? Of course I know they would never actually do that (they have enough taste to do it politely behind my back, like civilized folks), but I’m still the new kid on the block and the only one without interior design or styling experience.

So, for everyone out there who feels a bit out their depth when trying to make their home look like the magazine spreads (or Em’s blog), trust that I know how you feel. I didn’t know the first thing about flipping my room. On the other hand, there’s only one way to learn, and I’ve got direct access to best teachers around (talk about perks of the job), so here we go, arms flailing, with little to no grace down the hill of this interior design adventure.



This is my childhood room. I moved home a few months ago, after living out of the house for 7 years, and it’s been an adjustment. My dad had moved to NYC for a job at the beginning of the year, and my brother is in Boston for school so my mom had this 5-bedroom empty nest and I have that traditional crippling american student debt, so it just made sense in more than one aspect. But living in the room I had decorated between the ages of 10 and 17 wasn’t going to make me feel any better about it. While my dad had beautifully renovated it back in the early 2000s with refinished flooring, a custom built-in, and new closets, I had added my own personal touches over the years.


To give you an idea of what I was like back then, this is a photo of me in this room at the impressionable age of 16, holding a vintage Oingo Boing shirt and wearing Uggs. I had a great adolescence.

My design choices during this time included ruining the beautiful Japanese shoji closets by taping photos of Rupert Grint on them, decorating my wall sconces with wigs and costume jewelry, and hanging movie posters all over the walls. I used to think I was very cool. I also used to think that posting 80 pictures of me and my friends on my Facebook page every night was vital to my social well-being. Neither were true.



Let me explain about the mess – having just moved home when this whole makeover takeover talk started up, my room was more of a storage unit than an actual bedroom. I DON’T ACTUALLY LIVE LIKE THIS. I mean, I did, but only for a short period. Besides the massive amount of junk/boxes piled on the floor (I call this “floor shelving”), the room is pretty much exactly how I left it back in 2008 when I moved to LA for college.

Before I could do anything I needed to pull together some inspiration from Pinterest to show the team the direction I wanted to head in.


A far cry from my crazy 80’s inspired youth, I want something fresh, clean, and bright. I need the space to be relaxing and easy to manage, as my adult life tends to enjoy creating enough drama all on it’s own. I found images of rooms that felt young, but sophisticated – clean, but colorful. Also, without shame I’d like to point out I had never heard the term “mid-century modern” before my first day with Emily. Well, now that I’ve had a sip of her sweet kool-aid, I’ll never go back. After getting the stamp of approval on my inspirations from the higher-ups, it was time to actually clear out the room and plan my attack.

There was a lot I wanted to change (and am still working on), but a few really beautiful key bits that I wanted to save.


The green tea walls needed to go. Maybe you noticed, but 6 of the 7 walls on my inspiration board are white. Which was lucky for me, because painting is hard work, and only having to paint two walls instead of all 4, plus the ceiling, sounded much more manageable.

Next I knew I wanted to save the panel closets my dad had built (he’s actually a carpentry wizard), but I’d need to replace the Japanese paper. This could be an opportunity to bring in a new texture or color, and I still haven’t settled on the replacement filling. Stay tuned for a post all about this.

I’d also need a new dresser. That little Ikea one has been with me since the beginning of time, but I’m an adult with a credit card and a paycheck, so it only makes sense that this girl have some more space, function and design in her new dresser.


The built-in there is actually a floor seated desk area. When I was young and foolish I thought sitting on the floor would be an awesome idea. It mostly led to me laying back and taking lots of floor naps, and doing my homework downstairs at the kitchen table. But my dad was cool and built me that desk, with the shelves and solid granite top, without trying to dissuade me. It’s too pretty to get rid of, and the shelving is wonderful, so it’s staying.

My bed was another piece I knew I’d want to replace. It doesn’t fit the aesthetic I’m going for, and doesn’t have much character. A few weeks after taking these photos I found the perfect vintage bed from The Vintage Supply Store, and I can’t wait to share it with you.

Another very adult thing I’ll need will be nightstands. So add those to the list.


The wall sconces are staying as-is, however the shades are being replaced by white paper lanterns rather than the green in the photos. The main hanging pendant is gone though. . . partially because I accidentally ripped it with a broom while chasing a bee, and partially because it needed to go anyways. The current plan is to replace it with a ceiling fan, which should help me keep cool while I wear all those sweaters I’ve collected during our California winters.

I also need to find a better solution for that awful litter box. Making this room pet friendly is a must since my cat, Lady, is the real love of my life (sorry boyfriend), and dictates anything and everything I do. She needs a box to poop in, but can’t leave the room (she’s an older cat and doesn’t really mind or need a lot of space, but my parents kitties weren’t thrilled about a new furry friend), so it’ll be my job to figure out the solution.

After emptying the place out I took measurements and mocked up the layout. Below is the original layout (basically how it still looks now).


Due to the funny and completely bizarre shape of my room, there aren’t a whole lot of options to how things could move around. But I put together a few different options to show the team and this was the final one we settled on:


So far I’ve painted the walls white, gotten a few of the pieces, and I’m well on my way to getting this room looking real grown-up. I’ve learned a lot already (how important scale is, that when you create a room that looks as well as it functions you will actually want to spend some time in there, and how expensive, but worth it vintage pieces can be to purchase/refurbish). There’s still a long ways to go, but with Em, Ginny, and Brady looking over my shoulder I’m almost positive I’ll get there. . . probably.

Cheers! – Sara

In case you missed our first intro to makeover takeover check out Brady’s first post here, and be sure to come back for many more.



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8 years ago

So much anticipation. I’m excited to see the next update.

8 years ago

I can’t wait to see this transform! It’s great to hear from someone without loads of training and experience… I feel like I learn so much from other posts, but I can SO relate to this makeover.

8 years ago

This litter box is the greatest thing I own, and I don’t even feel bad about it:

Elderly cat has not had a problem with it, and it tucks into a corner and pretty much disappears (or maybe my friends are just being polite)

Looking forward to the reveal!

8 years ago
Reply to  Kelsey

I was going to suggest this too! Might seem expensive, but I have never regretted it, and its the only piece of furniture I that I’ve bothered keeping through 5 moves in 5 years! Love love love it.

8 years ago
Reply to  Amber

Thank you so much for the recommendations!

8 years ago

What a fun series! Moving back in with the rents can be painful, but it’s great you’re making the best of it and creating a new, fresh space! Can’t wait to see the “after”.

8 years ago

Fun! I’m curious where the house is. It sounds like it’s not in LA?

8 years ago
Reply to  mary

Google “city of trees and PhD’s”. . . it’ll come up. . . I don’t have a PhD, but I DO have a few trees (though technically I think they belong to my parents, so I might not actually fit the requirements to live there, shhh).

8 years ago

How fun to get to redo your old bedroom, which looks so spacious, and have the rest of the EHD team to give you guidance. Lady looks lovely, perhaps some Ragdoll in her history? I’ll look forward to how you handle the litterbox. I would love an attractive solution for my large, older (9 1/2), Ragdoll with a metal piece in her leg from an earthquake ‘fright’ jump when she was 3. I don’t see her jumping up and down to go into an opening for a hidden box. It is the one area in my now much smaller apartment I can’t figure out from the separate kitty water closet in our prior location.
Looking forward to your next post.

8 years ago

I can’t wait to see how you help to transform this space! I know it’s going to be amazing!


8 years ago

This is a random question, but what program did you use for sketching out your room dimensions? Illustrator? Thank you!

8 years ago
Reply to  ale

Yep, that’s the one!

8 years ago


I’m so excited to see how your room turns out. It looks like you’re off to a great start and have all the support you could need.


8 years ago

My daughter, who just got her Masters, moved back home too since none of her siblings are here (to save moolah). And just when I was going to attempt to paint her childhood hardwood floor! I can’t wait to follow your makeover. Thanks for sharing, sounds like you are off to a good start.

8 years ago

“The main hanging pendant is gone though. . . partially because I accidentally ripped it with a broom while chasing a bee, and partially because it needed to go anyways.”

Oh god, I’m crying. I love this so much! I can’t wait to see what happens next, and Sara, I love your writing!

And I also feel super relieved because you don’t have an interior design background. I can relate. 🙂

Hannah Rose
8 years ago
Reply to  Alexandra

I agree – love your writing style. Funny, relatable, and I feel like we got to know you (and your dad) really well! Welcome to the blog! Can’t wait to hear more!

8 years ago

Love seeing what you have in store! As a fellow cat owner and traditional litter-box-hater… look into a ModKat box. It’s a little pricey, but so much better looking and functional than a traditional box. Best wishes!!!

8 years ago

I am looking forward to see this room transformed! I wonder what rug you will pick.

Chloe F
8 years ago

I totally know where you are coming from, being a graphic designer myself. Very excited to see how this turns out.

8 years ago
Reply to  Chloe F

You’d think that it would help, right?

“Sure, we’re DESIGNERS, we don’t need no interior designer”, me and my husband (both graphic designers) thought. Oh boy, do we need help!

On the bright side, our house exterior numbers are beautifully kerned.

8 years ago
Reply to  Lilli

Laughed so hard at your house number kerning. Priorities.

8 years ago

Aw, so so so loved reading this. Your voice is as clear and honest as Emily’s, and I love the plan you’ve put together! Can’t wait to see the next stages!

8 years ago

LOVE that Emily is doing this!! So fun to see real spaces being made better, and see a little of the personalities that make up her staff! Thanks for being willing to put yourself out there, Sara!! You can’t go wrong with this team behind you!!! Look forward to more in this series!

8 years ago

Perfect Post. Not only am I excited to see your room come to fruition, but am ESTATIC to continue reading your unique (and parenthesis filled) humorous approach to intelligent interior design blogging as you turn this space into the fruit of your dreams. Bravo!

8 years ago

Love your inspiration photos! It looks a lot like my Pinterest “home” board does. Haha. Can’t wait to see the final result.

8 years ago

Extremely messed up before :mrgreen: Just wondering how the progress right now and cannot wait to see the bedroom transformation after. Cheers!

8 years ago

Can’t wait to see the finished room!

Catherine Littell
8 years ago
8 years ago

Sara, I enjoyed reading this piece very much! I can relate to so much of what you wrote and am looking forward to this makeover! Also, how nice is your dad, building you the desk you wanted even though it probably sounded crazy to him?

I’m not sure how much of a DIY-er you are, but here is a post about hiding the litter box.

Good luck! Courage!!

8 years ago

hah! I still have mint green walls in my bedroom because my 11 year old self thought it was oh so chic. And judging by your mentions of harry potter and uggs I think we’re probably around the same age. I still love green but at 24 it’s more of the forest green variety.

Ah, and I also used to think doing everything on the floor was fun including homework and now it mostly makes me feel like a bum. Though listening to music on the floor staring at the ceiling is still fun.

This makes me want to redo my room or my decor at least!

8 years ago
Reply to  Kristy

Your powers of Harry Potter and Ugg related deduction are spot on, and sitting on the floor just makes everything hurt now. I’m obsessed with the forest green and ultra soft pink combination right now!

8 years ago

Great post Sara! I’m excited to see and read about the next updates !

8 years ago

Oh man, I am so excited to see this room be transformed! I’m really happy to read that you’re keeping that awesome floor desk/corner shelf. Your dad’s a talented man!

8 years ago

I can’t wait to see what you do for the cat box problem. I my kitties in my bedroom too and sometimes the odor is a bit much even with all the scooping I do.

8 years ago

Sara, I have a soft spot for rooms in childhood homes, and am really excited to see how yours transforms! I couldn’t help but notice the string of Pakistani flags hanging across your window in your age-16 photo, and THAT was what finally compelled me to comment on this blog for the first time ever, after reading silently for years. While I adore Emily’s stunning designs, we don’t get to see cultural touches like your Pakistani flags in either the Befores or Afters with which we’re presented, so I loveloveloved seeing that unexpected touch. Highfive! (PS: your dad also deserves a highfive for his amazing woodwork!)

8 years ago
Reply to  Yasmine

Thank you! My close friend is from Pakistan, and gave me those so many years ago (I mean, after 16 years, she’s basically my sister, right?), and I just thought they were so pretty. But there will be more little cultural touches throughout! And yes, dad deserves 300 high fives. He’s much more useful than me.

8 years ago

Oingo Boingo! Such a quintessential staple of SoCal 80s and 90s. Ah, you bring me back to my youth, Sara!

8 years ago

Ah. I love Makeovers. I cannot wait to see what you do to the space! Very exciting. Will definitely be following along for this. xoxo


8 years ago

This is great! Can’t wait to see how it all turns out!