Friday, October 8, 2010

Bedroom Makeover

For those of you who have been to my condo, you would know that my bedroom is actually a decent size room with a great view of the city.  But these great features come with a heavy price tag: my bedroom doesn't have a closet!  The interesting thing is I didn't even notice this major shortcoming when I saw the place!  I must be either very busy trying to "act" for the camera crew (afterall, I bought this condo on TV) or I would have to say.. it must be love at first sight.

I tried to trace back my memory lane and see if I had ever lived in a room without a closet.  After some deep digging for a couple of hours, I sort of remember my parents' first house in Hong Kong didn't have a closet either.  What they had, I think, was a stand alone wardrobe system ... simply put: a plastic shield over a 3D rectangular metal rack.  How on earth would I even remember this? I was only 5 when we moved to the second house. This wardrobe must be MEMORABLE!!

Anyways, the finishes I inherited in this bedroom didn't exactly inducing to any romance.. . see for yourself:

MLS listing: MUST SEE.. spacious bedroom with great light beige walls and hygienic wall-to-wall carpeting!  The magic of advertising... and lots of imagination.

The first thing I did was painted two walls in warm white, two walls in a warm soft grey, and the ceiling in white with a slight blue undertone. Then, I replaced the carpet and installed the same laminates that run throughout the condo.  An Ikea bed sprayed in dark grey, a custom headboard, new drapes, and a couple of irresistible side tables ($20 each!) after, I finished the first phase of my bedroom makeover.

As you can see, I have an lovely storage unit here and also four large drawers under my bed.  The problem is, the two front drawers aren't easily accessible, since the two side tables are in the way.  And really there isn't enough storage with just four drawers (well two were handicapped) and a shallow repurposed media unit... or is this just my excuse to redo it my bedroom again?

So I started to plan my ultimate closet solution.

Inspired by all the ingenious designs (repurpose and dress up basic Ikea pieces) Sarah Richardson has shown me on TV, I decided to build the basics with pieces from Ikea and the rest will need to be custom built.  Here is my plan:

I lucked out as Ikea happened to have a major sale on the Pax system in the birch finish.  I was going to have them all sprayed anyway, so the finishes really didn't matter much to me.  I also found two doors from the AS-IS section as well for only $20 a piece!  I then ordered four kitchen cabinet frames and doors to complete my trip to Ikea.  The order came in three weeks later and I had all the pieces sprayed by Benjamin Furniture Refinishing.  Noel did a great job and they totally looked light years apart from their Ikea brothers.

Work in progress and Paul was hard at work: Thanks Paul.. .couldn't have done it without you!

Then the custom pieces were ordered and I totally enjoyed designing the pieces and doing the drawings with the measurement... . I felt like a real designer!

Here is the custom bedside table before being installed.  Love the natural walnut finish.  It matches the new dresser I got from Style Garage!

The custom units also include pot lights for reading and they are on dimmer for romance... heehee.  Thanks to the great suggestion from Chris, these bedside tables were designed to be "floating" and so access to the drawers under my bed would be a breeze!

To take it a step further and not Ikea looking, I installed crown moulding at the top and also baseboard all the way around to unify the pieces.

Here is the finished product. .. a long process but I have achieved a bedroom with lots of storage!

and to finish off this entry... here is fab Mr. Bunny:

Update: Thanks Design Sponge for featuring this bedroom makeover on its website again.  Will have to start working on the Dinning Room now... stay tuned until my next entry. 


  1. Tim --found you from D*S. I love your storage solution. so creative! the natural wood looks great and has such resonance with your new dresser. just gorgeous! what happened to the "irresistible side tables" from the first redo? where did you find them?

  2. This is amazing! I am a 'storage solution' fanatic, but living in rented accommodation in London means no home improvements - very frustrating indeed, this is a wonderful job though, and great to see the progress!

  3. Thanks ladies for the kind words! I'm very proud with the transformation at my place and honoured that others also like my home projects!

    I love the dresser too. It looks so handsome in the room and provide loads of storage.

    The irresistible side tables were picked up from a road trip somewhere in waterloo.. .. don't remember where it was now. It was a local 2nd hand store.

    and Lucy, I LOVE London!! I was there in May this year and love all the stores! I actually just ordered some wallpaper from Osborne and Little for my dining room. Just in time before this year's Christmas party!

    Stay-tuned for the next makeover project: the Dining Room.

  4. This is a fantastic project, what an amazing job you did! I've just shown it to my boyfriend and informed him it would be perfect for our serious lack of space in our bedroom! As soon as we finish the basement.....

  5. good luck Brianna! it certainly was a fun project for me and the result is very rewarding!

  6. Tim,

    What an ingenious and lovely job you did! Where did you purchase the green and white floral bed covering?

  7. The green white dulvet cover came from homesense over 6 months ago. Doubt they still have it in store. I have only used it for the display. It is available if you are interested :)

  8. Looks like my reply got lost in cyberspace. I checked the Homesense website and sure enough, there are no stores in the USA. Thank you for the info.