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Before & After: A Graphic Designer's Polished Bedroom Revamp

Lonny's Natalie Caceres turns a no-frills room into a Parisian-inspired retreat that's as timeless as it is fun

Lonny's Graphic Designer Natalie Caceres gives her Greenpoint, Brooklyn bedroom a new look.
Lonny's Graphic Designer Natalie Caceres gives her Greenpoint, Brooklyn bedroom a new look.
A curvaceous Target <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.target.com/p/threshold-artisan-glass-jug-lamp-base/-/A-15546779#prodSlot=_1_5">lamp</a> sits on gilded nesting tables from <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.zgallerie.com/p-12982-astair-nesting-tables.aspx">Z Gallerie.</a>
A curvaceous Target lamp sits on gilded nesting tables from Z Gallerie.

Full disclosure: I’ve never fully grasped the concept of interior design improving one’s life. How could high-thread-count linens make me like my bed more? Would a good bookcase really encourage me to organize my books? Is upgrading my dresser really going to inspire me to take better care of my clothes?

Thanks to the bare-bones furniture I bought in graduate school and have been living with since, I’ve never had to consider any of these existential design questions. A stack of plastic milk crates as a nightstand? Perfectly acceptable decor choice for a J-school student on a budget. Then I got a job at Lonny and quickly realized that I could no longer justify living like a student in a room that had so much potential. Looking around my Greenpoint, Brooklyn, space, I started seeing inspiration everywhere—from the dark walls and high ceilings to the oversize, wood-encased windows—and began to embrace the possibility that I might actually want a bedroom that feels as thought-out as it is functional.

Cookbooks and an arrangement of hydrangeas top <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.zgallerie.com/p-12982-astair-nesting-tables.aspx" target="_blank">Z Gallerie</a>&squot;s gold-leaf nesting tables. 
Cookbooks and an arrangement of hydrangeas top Z Gallerie's gold-leaf nesting tables. 
Behind gauzy linen drapery, succulents soak up the sunlight on a wood windowsill. 
Behind gauzy linen drapery, succulents soak up the sunlight on a wood windowsill. 

First came the planning stage. After a few weeks of compiling design inspiration and collaborating with the talented creatives I’m lucky enough to call my colleagues, a bona fide makeover vision started to take shape. I decided that the dearth of color in my room was one of the main reasons I had no connection to it. That, and the lack of intentionally selected statement pieces that felt like “me.” With those tenets in mind, a makeover theme came into focus: taking this room from drab to fab.

Before & After: A Graphic Designer's Polished Bedroom Revamp

The first area to revamp was my bed. I knew I wanted to keep the duvet understated and elegant, adding the wow factor with a combination of pillows and throws. Pottery Barn’s timeless white 280 thread-count bedding set the stage for impactful accents, including Lulu & Georgia's plush velvet pillow, a cheeky turquoise pom pom pillow from Jay Street, and a statement-making striped pillow from Serena & Lily. With a graphic throw courtesy of Target’s Threshold collection at its foot, the bed was officially made. Then it was onto that embarrassing milk crate nightstand, which I gladly tossed in favor of Z Gallerie’s gorgeous gold-leaf nesting tables, topped with a shapely glass lamp from Target. Cue many a cozy—and stylish—night’s sleep.

The dresser was updated with brass bin pulls from <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.houseofantiquehardware.com/4-5-Tapered-Brass-Bin-Pull?sc=11&category=92">House of Antique Hardware</a>.
The dresser was updated with brass bin pulls from House of Antique Hardware.
A <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.zarahome.com/gb/en/decoration/baskets-c1090527p4228089.html">Zara Home</a> basket adds a hit of texture to one corner.
Zara Home basket adds a hit of texture to one corner.

The next challenge was to upgrade my basic white wood dresser. Having only bought it six months ago, I wasn’t ready (emotionally or financially) to get rid of it. So rather than replace the structure, I simply swapped out the hardware, turning to a purveyor from my hometown of Portland, Oregon—House of Antique Hardware—for their chic brass pulls. The polished addition lent a pleasingly retro feel to a piece that would otherwise disappear. Topped with a nubby Anthropologie runner and presided over by a textural round mirror from HomeGoods, the unimaginative box became one of the more striking vignettes in the room.

An industrial-chic bookcase from <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.lampsplus.com/products/homebelle-wagner-natural-pine-5-shelf-bookshelf__3w155.html" target="_blank">55 Downing Street</a> plays against the sophisticated lines of a velvet loveseat from <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.worldmarket.com/product/emerald+marian+loveseat.do?&refType=&from=fn" target="_blank">World Market</a>. 
An industrial-chic bookcase from 55 Downing Street plays against the sophisticated lines of a velvet loveseat from World Market
Before & After: A Graphic Designer's Polished Bedroom Revamp
<a  target="_blank" href="http://www.zgallerie.com/p-16014-agate-bookends.aspx">Agate Bookends</a> from Z Gallerie add gloss to the rustic bookshelf. 
Agate Bookends from Z Gallerie add gloss to the rustic bookshelf. 
A smattering of colorful pillows from <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.serenaandlily.com/Decor/Decor-Throw-Pillows-Bath-Suede-Lumbar-Pillow-Cover-Fuchsia">Serena & Lily</a> and <a  target="_blank" href="http://furbishstudio.com/collections/pillows-throws/products/neon-watercolor-pillow" target="_blank">Furbish</a> sit below Bella Foster&squot;s <em><a  target="_blank" href="http://www.stampa.us.com/products/bella-foster-15-library">New York Public Library</a></em>; a <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.lampsplus.com/products/astor-antique-brass-led-tripod-pharmacy-floor-lamp__4m095.html">Lamps Plus Floor Lamp</a> rounds out the display. 
A smattering of colorful pillows from Serena & Lily and Furbish sit below Bella Foster's New York Public Library; a Lamps Plus Floor Lamp rounds out the display. 

Long a head-scratching design hole, an empty space between the room’s two long windows was begging for some love. With a little encouragement from my fellow Lonny editors, I decided that having a grown-up room meant having an undeniably grown-up feature: a sitting area. With the right loveseat, my bedroom would feel one step closer to the Parisian boudoir of my dreams. After an intensive search, I stumbled upon World Market’s Emerald Marian version—with its crisp rolled arms and vibrant green velvet upholstery, it instantly brightened the nook, adding a new level of sophistication to the light-filled corner. In concert with the navy-bordered rug and deep magenta pillows from Serena & Lily, a refined jewel box effect began to take shape. The addition of a 5-tiered wooden bookshelf from 55 Downing Street helped give life to treasured books and magazines that had been collecting far too much dust. And lest I forget I’m not in Paris, painter Bella Foster’s New York Public Library  watercolor from Stampa, hanging above the display, brings me back to a New York state of mind—one, I must say, very much reformed by a new appreciation for the power of design.