Apartment & Townhouse Living: Romantic Cottage Chic Bedroom Makeover

Welcome to my new series, Apartment & Townhouse Living, where I hope to share advice and inspiration for those living in rental properties. I will be giving you a look at my life before buying our first home, to show that even when you live in a space that can't be remodeled, you can express your personal style. First up, we will be taking a tour of my "romantic cottage chic" townhouse bedroom from February of 2009.

Life was simple for me back then. Just my husband, our dog, Renoir, and me. First in a one bedroom apartment for a year, and then a two bedroom townhouse for two years. The apartment and townhouse were both new construction, which, for a vintage girl, was tough. I had to put my stamp on them without changing anything permanently.

My style was very romantic, Shabby Chic, cottage inspired. I've been talking quite a bit lately about how my style has evolved over the past couple of years, and I can see it clearly when I scroll through my old blog posts and photo albums on my computer. But, I did very much enjoy decorating our rentals back then in my ultra feminine style.

Here is the bedroom before the carpet had even been put down.
It was even more "romantic" than normal, because I was being featured as the February 2009 Cottage of the Month, so I had to make sure it was all spiffed up for Valentine's Day.

To make this space our own (or rather...my own...my husband had nothing to do with this decor style other than going along with my girly whims without complaint), the first thing that we did was paint the walls a soft pale blue and all of the trim bright white. The inspiration piece for our paint color was the pale blue, pinkish red floral bedspread.
Painting the room transformed it immensely from the boring beige. If you are allowed to paint in your own rental and want to take the time to do it, go for it. It is an easy change that makes a world of difference, especially if the walls and trim are the same color. Even painting just the trim can make a striking change.
Filling the room with vintage furniture and romantic and cottage chic treasures took away a lot of the "new" feeling the space had. I grouped a collection of distressed mirrors on one wall and old photographs and vintage purses around my vanity for an Old Hollywood look.
The other biggest change in the room, that is an easy fix in a rental space, is the changing of light fixtures. We took out the plain flush mount ceiling light, for a distressed white chandelier that I purchased at the Salvation Army. It was black wrought iron when I bought it, but a couple of coats of flat white spray paint and some sanding later, and it was completely transformed to shabby cottage chic.

I added some coordinating sconces above our bed that were also purchased at a thrift store and painted white with a shabby look.
The bedding and some of the decorative items came from Rachel Ashwell's, "Simply Shabby Chic" line at Target. I think I had almost everything from that line back then.
I loved decorating with china and used creamers as vases and hung floral plates on the walls.
To hide the blinds that the room came with, we put up a curtain rod that I draped a white matelasse bedspread from to act as a curtain. 
I created several romantic vignettes throughout the room with cottage chic decor and pretty finds. 
A chippy, old window was turned into cottage style wall art with pretty floral fabrics. I simply glued the pieces down around the edges.
And yes, my boy dog, slept in that super girly bed under the vanity table. I don't know what I was thinking...other than it went with the room and he loved it :)
Even though this isn't "my style" anymore, it is fun to go down memory lane to see how it has evolved through the years, and remember how sweet life was then. I wouldn't go back because I love my life now, but it is always good to remember how far we have came (for goodness' sake, I took all these photos with the flash ON! Yikes). I hope you enjoyed this peek into the past with me!

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Till next time...
~Alice W.

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  1. Alice, so beautiful and so shabby chic! x

  2. So pretty, Alice! Like you, I wouldn't decorate so feminine these days, but I still love it! Long ago, when I lived in apartments, I had to fix it all up and make it a cozy place to live ~ just a nester at heart, I guess!

  3. Absolutely gorgeous. You should add a "Pin It" button though so it is easy to pin your pretty pictures. : - )

    1. I definitely will Michele! Thanks for bringing that to my attention. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Hi Alice, My style is not so feminine anymore either but I love to see what you have done to your former bedroom. It looked very cozy and romantic. There are so many details that made the bedroom special and show your passion for decorating.

  5. Although I love it all, I just can't get past the romancing of your window, loving the puddling of your white curtain panels draped in fringe and lace, and the sweet table set with roses.
    What a romantic heart you have my dear.

    I always say never look back, yet this is a time I would break the rules.


  6. Funny how we all change at times. For me, my style is more the style of your post. It was not always this way. I love the decadence of crystal chandeliers and everything vintage. Board and Batten, breadboard, claw foot tubs, etc. Enjoyed this post....read you back when this was your style too!

  7. A true heavenly space. So serene and beautiful. Love it.

  8. What a great series - I realize that many people rent and have to work with what they have.

    I recently did features on two different homes. One took 5 posts and the other I still have to write the 4th post. Both of the homes are owned by multi-millionaires so everything is perfect. My next feature will be the home of friends who just purchased their first home and it is filled with thrift store and yard sale treasures. I love both of the amazing houses I featured, but it is nice to see what people with limited funds/space/time can do also.

  9. I love it Alice! I love the soft, comfortable shabby look. I'm planning to downsize to a townhouse at some point in the near future and now I don't feel like I'll have to live with the "apartment" look.

  10. :D Love! So excited for this series too. Maybe it will inspire me to finally get things spiffed up to do the tour of the efficiency apartment post that I have been meaning to do for like that last four months! haha
    It looks wonderful Alice!

  11. Thank you Alice,
    You have joyed my days from here on in....I know your honesty, I know your heart, and words you left me in a comment on my daughters room mean more to me then you can imagine.
    If you remember way back 5 years ago! Your blog was the first attempt to me blogging, I came to you asking for help! And you so kindly took the time to write out all the help I needed with understanding the wiggets and layouts in getting started. It was eye opening for me and gave me the confidence to get going. Can you believe I have been now following you off and on now before you had children and now it's two beautiful babies being raised to love God!
    Your doing a beautiful job of it, while inspiring us bloggers out here to love what we do, as well as sharing it.
    Without your many blogging features and someone to look up to in this world of blogging where would a lot of us be?

    Love that you are a wife, mother, and blogger of a beautiful life in salvaging and creating beauty for the taking here.

    Keep inspiring, sharing, and exposing real life, it's what we so love about you.

    Blessings to you and yours


    Thank you again Alice for being you!

  12. So pretty, Alice. I love that you're sharing this new series. Can't wait to see more!

  13. I just discovered your blog and I adore it! Your house is so gorgeous and cozy. I have been enjoying going through your old posts!

  14. Love everything about this room!! Wow, it looks so fresh and gorgeous. Thanks so much for sharing at Vintage Inspiration Party.

  15. Perfectly shabby - perfectly gorgeous !!!

  16. Your headboard is AMAZING! I was planning on trying this in my room. It looks so perfectly elegant and shabby all at the same time!

    Stephanie @ Mommyzoid

  17. Wow, that looks so impressive!! I am in love with this beautiful apartment. My brother wants to buy a home in Dove mountain Luxury Real Estate. It would be great if he’ll get such pretty home over there!


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Thank you for your comments! I love to hear from you! ~Alice W.

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