Tuesday, August 19, 2014

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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