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From “Prison Cell” to Classic & Collected: Velinda’s Budget DIY Bedroom and Bathroom Makeover

It’s day three of this wild party and it’s been a ride! We’re practically “Burners” by now (which I initially referred to as Burnie Bros, so now you know how many times I’ve actually been to Burning Man). If you’re now just strolling in, you can check out Days 1 (living room and dining room) and 2 (kitchen)…but you’re so late, this party’s for sure down to Bud Light and there’s no way it’s still cold.

A quick glib-kill: this series was a scary one to write because this “budget” space matters so much to me and it’s been really amazing having you guys share your own, similar ventures as well as your ideas and kind words. THANK you. “Good enough” is feeling good enough. In fact, when I put my mind on starting my own Makeover Takeover projects (a huge perk that comes with my job, thanks to an incredibly generous boss), I’m split. On one hand, I’m filled with new ideas (and I’m honestly not sure how much longer the springs in our couch are going to hold up). On the other hand, I think, “but my mom painted that door. It shall never be anything-ever-again but blue.” As piece-meal as this 980-square-feet may be, I’m not sure there’s more to want…though it’s fun to think about.

But I’m getting ahead of myself…THANK YOU, Burnie Bros, for reading and commenting this week. We’ve really entered a new phase in our relationship. And on that note, please join me in the…


Ehd For Blog Velinda's Reno Bedroom Before 1 1

First Impression: “Cracked walls and cat pee? We’ll take it!”

Wall-to-wall carpeting was stained by urine and the yellowed walls were cracked in a way I worried meant foundation issues (inspection cleared suspicions). The closet is quite small. So is the room (10’x12′). Upon lifting a corner of the carpet, we discovered (circa 1970s) vinyl linoleum and started praying for more hardwood below. Our prayers were answered…we just had to walk through hell first. The ENTIRE two weeks we had prior to moving in (weeks we thought would be enough time to scrape all popcorn, paint all walls and see all floors refinished) were spent melting and scraping through TWO layers of glued linoleum—Inch. By. Inch.

Ehd For Blog Velinda's Reno Bedroom Progress 1

Flash Forward:

Velinda Diy Lores 1

We sleep (very snuggly) here now. Someone gave me the bed when I was 24 finally broke recently and we found a quick replacement on Craigslist for $75. It’s a full like our last one, but is somehow shorter, so a bit cramped for two women 5’8″ and 5’9″ (Katie would deem it amiss if I didn’t mention she’s an inch taller). 

Velinda Diy Lores 2

That watercolor is a gift from my artist friend, Ramlah Yavar, as a thank you for posing for her series when I was 23. It’s one of her concept/mini pieces. I love it so much.

The dresser, rug, bedside tables, tension pole lamp and burlwood mirror (not photographed) were Craigslist finds from many years ago and I’m still into them. The bedding, wardrobe rack, cosmos tapestry and ’60s curtains were updates when Katie moved in a few years ago (and the pretty black and white abstract on the dresser is by MaryAnn Puls…a holiday gift from Emily). Prior to that, the room was painted a grassy-green to the same line. Due to curved ceilings (which we love), we’re forced to either paint every surface or color block/create our own paint end-line. Being frugal, we used the new window we discovered in the dining upon moving in (but didn’t need due to new french doors) to replace the janky one and added a sill in attempt to make it slightly more interesting. 

Velinda Diy Lores 5

Velinda Diy Lores 4

Looking Back:

  • I wish we had at least priced out having someone else handle the floor restoration in this room, doing it ourselves delayed EVERYTHING else and lead to a quick burn out. I’m sure it would’ve shot the budget up $10K… but how would I know? Too gung-ho…we didn’t even call. DIYers, do the research, have the numbers and then decide what to take on yourself.
  • When the bed broke, we stuck to the same size (full) because we didn’t want to buy a new mattress. Cheapskates!! It’s time for a queen. It’ll mean having to get creative with bedside tables as the closet door opens toward the bed, very much limiting the width of that 10-foot wall. But there are worse things than a narrow side table.
  • Reusing the dining room’s window in this room saved a few hundred dollars, but it secured the style-decision for several other windows. I wish I had just gone with mullion-free windows across the board. But I’m annoyed by it only .02% of the year, so there’s no chance that’s changing anytime soon.

Bedroom Two

Just kidding. That room’s hiding because there’s nothing in there but an elliptical runner. We’re currently trying to dream up a multi-functional office-guest bed-gym space. Elliptical runners are giant eye bullies! HELP?! (Side note: we’re very happy with our $1,250 Nordictrak that folds down and is easy to lift up and out of the way. We just need to figure out the best way to hide it.) 


Ehd For Blog Velinda's Reno Bathroom Before 1

First Impression:Prison cell with just a dash of rat maze.” 

The footprint of this all-beige-tiled, lightless room was 5’x5′ and yet for some reason, had two entrances…meaning two doors that both opened INWARD. If both were open fully, the toilet would be trapped in the corner. There was zero storage. OH, and someone had shoved a towel down the toilet, which we discovered when we flushed for the first time and soiled water poured down the hallway and into the kitchen (thanks, double entrance!). So, this only bathroom was tight, drab AND unusable. Yay! I’ll take two!

Ehd For Blog Velinda's Reno Bathroom Progress2 1

Flash Forward:

Velinda Diy Lores 7

First thing: We fixed the layout, closing off the door from the kitchen/utility room and rehanging the remaining door so that it opened outward (not conventional, but you no longer have to dodge doors within the tiny space). We placed the sink between the toilet and tub, collecting all free floor space into one “walkway.” Keeping in mind the house was built in the ’20s, I wanted to make sure the overall design vibe was still classic. A clawfoot tub (the staple of a “classic” bath) and vintage chest-turned-vanity provide visual space beneath surfaces…anything to help fool the eye a bit (though a tad more annoying to keep clean). Our contractor actually gave us that tub after it was left over from another project. He gave us the antique chandelier, too. We just had to refinish both.

Velinda Diy Lores 8

A much larger window brightens this sad room…and look, a functioning toilet! We added horizontal beadboard, DIY shelves (made from leftover material from our living room unit), a vanity light (which I’m pretty “meh” about) and a vintage mirror found on Etsy. The custom vanity ended up enduring a candle-explosion and had to be painted/stained due to deformation. It was once a very pretty solid wood. A vessel sink maximizes drawer space…but may be a past trend? Once again, you’ll spot cheap faucets from China. The splurge in this room was the hand-poured, cement tile.

I give kudos to Young Velinda for figuring out it was possible to add a built-in cabinet/shelf between wall studs. It’s needed storage and is easy to reach from the tub, so the soaking area remains free of cluttering bath products.

Velinda Diy Lores 9

Here’s what cabinet “drawings” looked like in these pre-designer days:

Ehd For Blog Velinda's Reno Bathroom Progress1 1

Looking Back:

  • Guys, clawfoot tubs are NOT fun for showering. My original shower solution failed! I had an affordable “carousel curtain ring” enclosure (that luckily, Signature Hardware doesn’t sell anymore) because I wanted to have a single curtain instead of multiple trying to avoid water leaking. Multiple curtains are usually necessary for clawfoot shower enclosure designs due to the way they are mounted. You wouldn’t know it since every gorgeous clawfoot you see on Pinterest is photographed either without a curtain or w/ a “sliver of curtain” that would actually result in minor flooding. The track/sliding design of the enclosure I chose was a great solution, in theory…but it rusted! AND the corners were angled vs. rounded, so it was not easy to slide the curtain. Good concept. Bad design. Too cheap. There was once a simple mount on the wall for the handheld piece of my shower to attach, but the gap in the shower curtain and that “showerhead” solution created water leaking onto the wall, which meant a full wipe down after each shower (and begging my roommates to please do the same). As an extra treat, the shower curtain closed in on us from all sides while we rinsed. So for now, as we prep the next solution. WE ONLY BATHE! Not okay.
  • If I repurposed a piece of furniture as a vanity again, I’d probably choose something other than a wood top/surface. And while I love mid-century lines, the style isn’t really this house.
  • I’m not sure I would’ve chosen a different stone/material or color, but I didn’t realize my “splurge” tile would yellow (er, “patina”) overtime/with every reseal (done every couple of years. High maintenance.)
  • Once again, cheap faucets from China failed me. The tub faucet shows a lot of corrosion and the sink faucet, horrible water spots. I get that at that time, I couldn’t spend $500-2K per faucet…but at what price point do these things start working/looking good without looking completely basic? Any better experiences out there?

Velinda Diy Lores 6

That’s all 980 square feet! So, now what? As mentioned, a perk of working here at Emily Henderson Design is creative fulfillment that comes from doing Makeover Takeover projects (as examples, here are Jess’, Arlyn’s, Sara’s). But I couldn’t progress to the next chapter of this house without documenting this one, because this is the home the women in my family built! And THAT, I’m proud of…and incredibly content with as is. Any changes from here would just be cherries and ice cream. But what flavor?

Here’s what I’m craving. I don’t need to replace every old street-find with something new. I still like so many of the pieces I was drawn to years ago. But if I did a Makeover Takeover, I’d lean, overall, a bit more into what this house is at its core; an Art Deco-era Mediterranean bungalow. 

Ehd For Blog Velinda's Reno Green 1

There’s also a sudden appetite for color… evidence collected from hidden surfaces (in particular the dearly-departed, original plaster fireplace) has revealed there was an outright bloodbath of varying greens in the original design. It’s what inspired the current exterior color (which we so gracefully settled on…real pros!) But I wonder if we’ve “fixated on this verdigris” enough in the current design? I’m having doubts.

Ehd For Blog Velinda's Reno Process5

What if we kept a lot of what’s here, but leaned a bit more this way…these are the vibes I’m loving, that hint a bit more toward Art Deco and Spanish… with a dose (or more) of green:

5 1
image via wescover | design by salt + bones
Arent Pyke Pymblehouse Gallery Image Half Width 20 @2x 1 1
image and design via arent & pyke
Collect Antique Burlington Gate 1547669759 1
image via house beautiful | design by studio ashby
Modern Built In Banquette Dining 310519 1006 06 1
image via est living | design by smart design studio

I’m not saying we end up looking exactly like any of these, but maybe pull in some elements/feels…AND A SHOWER!!? Okay, just a few more:

Thomas Geerlingss Canal House 02 810x1080 1
image via ana degenaar | design by framework studio
image via residence | design by artilleriet studio
S1 The Working Capitol Singapore By Takenouchi Webb Photo Jovian Lim Yatzer
image via yatzer | design by takenouchi webb
1 Riddaren Livingroom
image and design via bang interiors helsinki

That’s it. We made it, team. Would love to hear what you think still works and what you think should stay moving forward. Drop your good ideas (considerately) in the comments! And now as promised, for better or worse, here are the final numbers…alllllll combined as we look back, we’re standing at just under $55K (holding breath the walls don’t fall down):

Emily Henderson Velinda Diy Reno Cost Graphic Updated

Thanks again for joining me for a recap of this journey… really could’ve used your extra hands a few years ago. But, all forgiven. 😉 Cheers!

***photography by Veronica Crawford

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4 years ago

Ooh, we have a similar (though cheaper, hahaha) elliptical that takes up space in our kids’ playroom (sorry kids!). If you come up with a good solution to hide it, I would LOVE to know.

Beautiful job, as always

4 years ago

These 3 posts are my favorites EVER, by anyone.
I have enjoyed every cleverly written sentence, every photo, and every well crafted thought, before and after.

Your home is beautiful and you and Katie.

Well done

4 years ago
Reply to  Jane


4 years ago
Reply to  Jane

Agreed too! Loved every bit of this series! Thank you for the entertaining writing, the scrupulous budget reveals, and the fantastic honesty. Maybe I relate so much because your house reminds me of the myriad apartments we’ve lived in and how I try to use what I have to make it feel like a home each time (hi ikea couch and hand me down coffee table that somehow *work*). I just felt really at home reading this and was dying for more. For example: Please a pic of your bedroom from the dresser angle so we can see where the plant hangs and how the closet doors are. I’ve changed closet doors out for opaque beautiful curtains in a few apts and it was a huge space upgrade. Your queen would fit no problemo that way. Pics of the second bedroom! Scary for you, yes. But so handy for us to see where you’re starting from and how you handle real world problems ie needing a multi functional space and your initial ideas for how to design it. Lastly, in our tiny beach house Reno last year, we splurged (for us) on these Delta Trinsic faucets for the kitchen and… Read more »

Paula Carr
4 years ago
Reply to  Sara

I second your recommendation for curtains for the closet. I can’t believe how much space they’re freed up. Plus you can access ALL of your closet. I used to hate trying to pretzel myself around the sliding doors that were there originally to get to the spots that the doors blocked you from.

4 years ago

Though it wouldn’t necessarily fit the MOTO theme, you could see if sponsors would be willing to give you a new couch, curtains, bed and fixtures (or whatever you want/need!). It would jive with your thrifty side and Emily’s desire to be more eco-friendly (less waste). Plus it would be a very honest assessment of how to choose an upgraded piece of furniture that goes with existing decor that isn’t custom or high end. I feel it would be very relatable and so much fun to read!
I loved this whole series! I’m in the home stretch of a bathroom renovation which means I’m currently at the end of my budget too. I can relate to everything you’re writing. Years off my life to install a floor. Leaking toilets. Shut off water to the house when you go to sleep. It’s all coming together now! Thanks for writing something that is so relatable and refreshing. I sometimes feel bad when I can’t afford 1400$ fixtures, but then I read other people can’t either and I feel better! We can still have lovely homes!

4 years ago
Reply to  Mara

I like this idea a lot! I really enjoyed this series of posts and the transformation of your house is beautiful and amazing, especially given the budget. Nothing looks like it needs a full re-do, so it sounds like it would be perfect if your MOTO was more fixing the things that don’t work but not throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

4 years ago

Velinda, thank you for sharing your space! I also have a claw foot tub shower situation and we made it work by doing the following: 1. I had a totally separate shower line installed with a wall lever so the shower operates without the tub faucet. 2. We installed a D-ring shower curtain bar that is attached to the wall on one side and the ceiling on the other. 3. The shower head has an extra long bar so it goes over the curtain holder bar thing and shoots into the tub. 4. I ordered 2 extra wide clear shower curtains on amazon and hung them so they open up when you walk in the tub not by the head/foot of the tub 5. The shower curtain for the shower side of the tub goes inside the tub and the other goes outside of the tub and kind of crammed into the tub wall crack when we shower so you don’t feel like a transforming moth. It’s not the most beautiful solution but it was like a total of $400 bucks including the plumber to run both the tub and shower lines and it works without flooding the bathroom.

Annie T
4 years ago
Reply to  Noelle

Noelle would you please post a pix? Thx so much!
Velinda AMAAAAAZING home! Thx so much for sharing!

4 years ago
Reply to  Noelle

This sounds much like the solution I used, too. I will also add that shower liners with magnets that stick to the inside of the tub work great to keep the liner from billowing in and sticking to you. I actually ended up gorilla gluing extra magnets to the bottom so it stays completely out of the way.

4 years ago

Velinda, I have loved the blog posts on your wonderful home! You are funny and stylish…all the money in the world cannot buy that! I have definitely been changed for good!

4 years ago

I’ve had great luck with Danze bath faucets purchased from Amazon. Only $150-$200. On year nine currently with no problems.

Love the tension pole light. Seems highly desirable in particular for limited space situations. While the vintage vibe is sublime, I’d also love to see some designers do an updated version featuring contemporary materials and shapes.

I’m intrigued by the bath mirror placement extending so low as I envision daily wipedowns from incidental splashing, but maybe that’s not an issue for you.

4 years ago

Have loved these posts!
As far as faucets, I’ve always been a fan of Moen (and I live in Wisconsin, so Kohler may be tracking me down to silence me as we speak). I’ve installed a few by myself and they make it very easy. Well made and will replace anything that breaks for free. You MUST keep the original box. I know, total pain, but when a kitchen faucet had a problem (only issue I’ve ever had), because I had all the info off of the original box, all of the replacement parts were free. And they sent me a video of how to repair. Super easy.

PS I will be laughing at ‘rat maze’ all day 🙂

4 years ago
Reply to  Faith

I came here to comment that I also have found Moen to be great! I have a Moen kitchen faucet that’s pretty heavily used and more than 10 years old still in perfect condition.

4 years ago

Velinda– I loved this post, as I did the previous two in the series! I love your home as is but I am also so excited for the inspiration images for the MOTO.
Green is my fave color and I love seeing designers use it in their homes. Please please please do more posts — your home is very charming!

Also legit swooning over that tension rod lamp…

4 years ago

We’ve recently tried a few of the IKEA faucets and don’t have any complaints so far. We did have a plumber install them though so I don’t know how they are for DIYers.

Kallie Elder
4 years ago

I love your house! It so reminds me of mine. Eclectic, and very one of a kind. We are always on a budget (we have no money) and craigslist is a god send! I would love to do something more high end, but we live on a farm, so the collected,used furniture look works, and I have five kids, so it’s just practical!
You could buy a screen, room divider to hide the elliptical. Kinda cheesy maybe, but it could feel 1920’s, or get a bed and put risers under it so you could slide the elliptical under it when you had guest. If it was me. I would do a office slash, workout room, and find a bed solution that can be packed up, like a blow up mattress, so it’s not eating all your space all the time. Or do a sleeper sofa in the living room.

4 years ago
Reply to  Kallie Elder

THIS. Bed risers are THE BEST because you can hide EVERYTHING under there. Blowup beds are awesome for space saving, but they don’t last that long before they develop leaks, so you end up spending more money replacing them than if you had used a regular bed but with some ingenious solution. MURPHY BED?? They’re usually hella expensive, but if EmHenderson Design could get you a free Murphy Bed, that would be probably the best option. Since it sounds like you’re going to get a new couch anyway, I’d definitely also go for a pull-out couch in the living room no matter what. That leaves you the flexibility in the guest bedroom to consider murphy bed vs. blowup bed vs. bed on risers. We went with a Joybird pull-out couch (Hughes Twin Sleeper) and the bed is really comfortable (if a little tiny – it is only a Twin, but that’s all we had room for). I have slept in it several times, and it’s pretty great. I need a firm mattress and Joybird’s memory foam mattress is a little too soft for my taste so I couldn’t sleep in it every night, but it’s really great for the guest… Read more »

4 years ago

“We’re currently trying to dream up a multi-functional office-guest bed-gym space.”

I’m struggling with this too right now! Please share what you come up with!

4 years ago

I have the exact same sized bedroom. Your’s looks so light and spacious! I love everything. Thank you for sharing!

4 years ago

Love seeing the budget transformations!

Here is a great solution for a shower curtain situation: Ceiling mounted track over claw tub! Nothing in the way and it should slide smooth. They do custom sizes too. The website is a bit old school but the concept is brilliant.

4 years ago

I’m struck by how your inspirational images look so much like your current place, just more elegant, intentional, and mature. Kind of like the good parts of getting older.

4 years ago

Adorable. Every house has it’s challenges. I think your solutions are delightful.

4 years ago

I’m really happy that your bedroom is EXACTLY the same size as mine – 10×12 – and I can’t wait to see what you do with your bedroom if you decide to switch to a Queen! We’re quite happy now with a Full – I value the extra floor space too much to want to get a bigger bed.

I really liked how real & doable this reno felt! It would feel somehow more fake if you did a huge Makeover Takeover and ditched everything that you worked so hard to put together (but then again, I haven’t been living in this space for 5 years, so for me, it’s all fresh and new!).

4 years ago

Velinda, thank you so much for sharing these posts. They are incredibly useful and inspiring and relateable. Seriously.

Here’s my question for you — can you talk about living in a small space? Where do you keep all your stuff? Do you constantly feel like things don’t fit, rooms are cramped, you can’t have lots of guests over? I ask this not because I get that impression — but because we’ve been house hunting and this is something I worry about so much with a first home. What if it’s too small and we outgrow it too quickly? You know?

patricia blaettler
4 years ago

This is a great series, you should be very proud of what you’ve accomplished. But, I must say, I am most impressed that you have receipts and have tracked costs for everything. HOW DID YOU DO THAT AMONG THE CHAOS OF A RENOVATION?? That shows some real skillz…

4 years ago

I understant the need/want for a better shower situation, a comfier sofa and maybe a larger bed, but I don’t see the reason for upgrading the rest of it. You did a great job. Sure, being able to do a MOTO can be enough to decide to do it, but this house dosn’t really need it. It has character and style.
Oh and over there in the US you must have very pricy faucets!! I think I went for the most expensive I found (because obviously which ones I like the most? dang!) and they were still way way less than 500€ in the bathroom. Maybe 300? 400 for the grohe one in the kitchen, that I love with all my heart.

Roberta Davis
4 years ago

From all the glimpses out to your patio, looks like you should do a post on that, too. I love that wood wall I see!

4 years ago
Reply to  Roberta Davis

I agree! I seem to remember they built a deck out there from Velinda’s wedding post? And with LA’s climate, I bet the outdoor areas really make the house feel bigger because any patios, etc, are useable pretty much all of the year.

4 years ago

Your house looks so great, thanks for sharing! I’m always intrigued by how folks handle smaller spaces, most houses aren’t really ginormous as blogs/instagram seem to appear.

What color did you paint your bedroom walls? I love it.


4 years ago

I have absolutely loved this series, and am sad for it to end. Thanks, Velinda, for opening your home. You’ve made me more excited/confident to undertake some projects in my home (very similar) home.

4 years ago

I’ve recently taken to the idea of putting a stationary bike in our (slightly oversized) dining room. I was thinking I’d hide it behind a room divider/screen. My husband thinks it’s weird, but I’d rather see an unexpected room divider than the bike ??‍♀️

4 years ago

Ceiling mounted track is the way to go with a claw foot tub. We mounted ours a bit wider than the tub which allows more arm and torso space inside the tub and discourages the curtain from drifting inward while you’re taking a shower. Another trick that helps, wet the outside bottom of the shower liner and stick it to the inside of the tub when showering to prevent it from closing in on you.

4 years ago

Terrific piece! Love your writing style!

4 years ago

So much love in these posts! Incredible to read and wonderful of you to share. You have a beautiful home 🙂

4 years ago

Your house is stunning and gorgeous… I’m so impressed by Young Velinda’s creativity and style. It looks so welcoming and light-filled. Plus all the memories of working with your family… those are precious contributions to your home’s history and soul.

But please, if you ever sand down another door that it surely covered in layers of lead paint… for the love of God, wear a respirator (or better yet, use a safe chemical stripper so lead dust doesn’t get absolutely everywhere). As a fellow old home owner/renovator, those picture of you sanding paint make me break out in hives!

Otherwise, WELL DONE! I can’t wait to see what you do with it next (although it’s perfectly charming the way it is)

4 years ago
Reply to  Sarah

Velinda! Thank you for sharing your beautiful, inspiring home – it has been a joy to see and read about the past few days. Each morning I’ve looked so forward to your writing and home-owning adventures!

In other news, I do second the lead paint comment. One of the last photos shared, with the layers of paint (maybe on a door frame?) shows an ‘alligator pattern’ of peeling paint/crackling. That is usually a sure sign of lead. If you haven’t already, buy some cheap swabs and check! Best case scenario, peace of mind.

Happy home tinkering and congrats on the gorgeous outcome of all your hard work!

4 years ago

These have been some of my favorite posts on the blog. Your house is beautiful and I’m so inspired by your thrifty designs! Thank you for your transparency. Also, your writing made me laugh out loud more than a few times.

4 years ago

Velinda, I have absolutely loved this series. Your home is beautiful and warm and real, and as someone who just moved into a very charming, very old LA apartment and is struggling with space/budget constraints (and a landlord who hasn’t exactly kept everything well maintained), this is providing me with so much inspiration!

One suggestion for the desire-to-upgrade-the-bed-but-the-closet-door-is-in-the-way conundrum: can you remove the closet door ? This is what my husband and I are doing in our new place (with our 10×12 bedroom and king size bed); we upgraded from a full bed last year to a king and now, having experienced the true luxury that is having enough room to sleep and turn over at night, we can never go back. Removing the closet door gives us enough room to each walk around the bed, keep a narrow nightstand, and include a dresser. If we had a queen I think it would work even better in the space. Just a suggestion!

4 years ago

Your rooms are so cute and have so much personality that it’s hard to remember it’s only 980 square feet! I do HATE the bathroom fixture on the vanity…it looks way oversized for the space and like it was run over by a truck. All else is lovely. Great job Velinda and Katie!

4 years ago

What type of paint did you use to paint the outside of the bathtub? I’m about to undertake the same project and I’ve read that oil based paints are recommended for cast iron clawfoot tubs. Which type did you go with and how has it held up? thanks!

4 years ago

Maybe put the elliptical behind some kind of decorative folding screen?

4 years ago

Velinda, This is so inspiring, and so glad to see your ‘behind-the-scenes’ shots, as well as the before and after. It’s really good to know more of the true metamorphosis as it happens, and a bit of the angst that goes on while you’re in the thick of it. I’m in the thick of it now, and it’s so grounding to be reminded this is what happens when you renovate, but that it will turn out well, and to stay focussed and hang in there. I would be interested to know from the team at EHD about some of the things you’ve done during your long renovations to stay balanced and live through it without going prematurely gray. I feel as if I’ve fallen into a hole (the hole of the first floor of my home being renovated!) and have been so bad about continuing to go to the gym, or even socialize with friends because I’m putting so much of my energy into this – and the house is torn up! Your tips on staying sane would be welcomed so very much!

4 years ago

OMG, I love your house so much. I think this series might be my favorite ever on here! Your bedroom is so dreamy and cozy and feels like home, and I actually love the divided windows as they are & think it fits the age of your house. I also gasped when I saw your bathroom– it’s exactly the kind of vibe I’ve been picturing for when I redo my tiny bathroom with a similar floorplan and roughly the same dimensions, except a different kind of tile on the floor. I even bought a clawfoot tub, but rethought installing it for the reasons you mentioned. I also love that you went for a big window in there– nothing makes a room feel bigger and I love not having to turn on lights during the day if I want to do my makeup or whatever, and it doesn’t bother me to put a shade down or pull a curtain when I shower if privacy’s an issue. Let there be light! Thank you so much for sharing your place, it’s beautiful and I love how comfortable and light and homey it feels! And you are speaking my language with the Craigslist finds,… Read more »

Jenny E
4 years ago

I loved seeing your house! Could you change your air conditioning unit for one of these?
It might allow for art above the couch or flip the room and have the shelves underneath the air unit disguising it and distracting from it.

Cris S.
4 years ago

This series has been so enjoyable. Great job you! A couple of thoughts – as NSL said, I would take those doors right off the bedroom closet. You could go with bifold doors (though I tend to hate them, and I hate sliding doors too as it sucks to only be able to access 1/2 a closet at any given time). Or, what I’ve done in the past is put up a sturdy curtain rod on the outside or inside of the frame and hang curtains. Easy to move, can be very pretty, easy to access your stuff, and nothing intrudes into the room. Secondly, and this is based off of living in San Diego for 6 years and then visiting every year for the last 20 years – the water there sucks. Yes, you may have ‘cheap’ faucets, but it’s really the water running through them that is corroding everything. You need a filtration system. It isn’t sexy and you never see them and it’s the kind of thing I HATE spending money on. But your plumbing and faucets (regardless of how much you spend on them) will last so much longer and look so much better! And you… Read more »

4 years ago

Hi Velinda,
Thank you for opening your home to us. It’s so refreshing to read this series — the real-life budget, time and work/life commitments — and how you incorporated the pieces you already had and the styles you both have developed over time. Enjoy your house, live in it, and sure enough you’ll get those 3am brilliant ideas of what to do next.
In the meantime…I too have a window in my bathroom — in the shower! — and do not want to remove the window, make it smaller or whatnot. 99% of the time the window allows the sun to stream in and I love it. But when the shower is in use, it’s um, a bit exposed. The window is textured, which helps. Do you, or fab EH readers, have experience with bahama shutters? Would this type of shutter provide exterior privacy?
Anyways…Congrats and I hope you take some time to relax and enjoy your work.

4 years ago

Next up Velinda needs to give us a curly hair tutorial. 🙂

4 years ago

This makeover is stunning! Gorgeous pieces and an excellent eye for budget –

However the use of “prison cell” in the title was off putting and felt out of place in today’s climate – where in the end all abilities to decorate, my own included, are privileges and there are people and families currently in cells that shouldn’t be there.

In my opinion: perfect, beautiful content; poorly titled

4 years ago
Reply to  Karen

Agreed on all counts, and very nicely stated. Thank you.

4 years ago

Velinda, I was late to this party and gladly enjoying the warm Bud Light. Your home is stunning!!! I absolutely love everything. I thought the dining room was supposed to look the way it does, I love how the different chairs and the glass table coexist so happily – it’s all in the mix!

4 years ago

We also have clawfoot tub and as you mentioned above, it’s a pain. We are *very* lucky and have another bathroom and my partner and child use that – they refuse to use the clawfoot tub. With two curtains and liners, I’m constantly trying to not get caught in them/making sure there aren’t leaks. I’ve also slipped in it three times because of the angle (actually, last weekend, still have the bruise). They are cold! They are overrated! They are small!

Debbie Leal
4 years ago

I love your home. I especially like seeing a home done really well on a very tight budget. So impressed by the bathroom shelf you made with the space between the walls! You have to be very proud. ?

4 years ago

Beautifully done!!! I’ve tried finding the bedding on both target and UO but haven’t had any luck. Do you mind sharing a link?

4 years ago

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful home!! I relate to so much of this!!

Yael @ Nosherium
4 years ago

Love love love this series, your home is lovely! Regarding faucets, I used Moen for my kitchen (around $130) and Ikea for the bathrooms (around $60) and have really liked both of them!

4 years ago

What are the paint colors in the bathroom and bedrooms? Thanks! So nice!

4 years ago

We finally just replaced our crappy clawfoot with a tiled-in tub/shower and I could not be happier! 18 years of daily showers with a plastic curtain touching me on all sides – the worst! I’m still figuring out how to properly clean tile and grout, but every day I shower with no curtain stuck to me and smile.

patricia blaettler
4 years ago
Reply to  ANDREA


Paula Carr
4 years ago

I like the look of cement tiles, but they seem to need SO much maintenance. I think I’d probably go with the porcelain look-alikes. But yours look great. I also like the “antique” brass over shiny brass — fits your aesthetic much better.

Do you have close neighbors (I think you do). I don’t think a bamboo blind would provide much privacy???

I love the vanity. I also have an small antique dresser as my vanity, but it already had water damage to the top, so I had a statuary marble top put on (I scored because my gc got a remnant). And the best thing is I’d only paid $150 for it. Buying a vintage-looking piece costs the moon. I’d rather get vintage solid wood over new, veneered particle board for $1000!

4 years ago
Reply to  Paula Carr

I have cement tiles in my bathroom and they don’t need any maintenance. The grout had sealer on it but that was it. I just mop them with stone/tile cleaner. I love them, not sure what maintenance your referring to.

4 years ago

I have enjoyed this feature more than ANY OTHER that I have read on “Style by Emily Henderson!” Your home is charming and I am impressed with what you accomplished for $55k.
Your feature reminded me of my newlywed days when my husband and I bought a post-WW2 bungalow. We did everything on a shoestring. For example, we replaced our bathroom sink with a sink that we found on the trash pile of a dental office renovation.
I wish you and your wife many years of happiness in your lovely home.

Tina Schrader
4 years ago

Just gorgeous. You can be very proud! I gasped when I saw that bedside lamp; is it linked above? I can’t remember. This is very inspiring. Love it! Kudos!