Adding pop to a room

By Cathy Lee Posted in: Celebrate StyleImprove
March 29, 2016

HR-032716-Cathy-1In my last column, I showed how a strategic use of pattern helped balance the bold design statements in this teenager’s bedroom. Today, I’ll finish this two-part series with two tips.

1. Mix in unexpected materials for fun and interesting pops. Notice the lines of the white headboard and desk? These grounding elements are very traditional. To update the look with a playful touch of glam, I chose very different lamps: a traditional distressed wrought iron and linen one for the desk and a cool acrylic lamp for the nightstand.

Tying the two together is a very modern acrylic desk chair. Not only that, acrylic works well with reflective surfaces like the mirror and other girly “bling” throughout the room. The total effect together with the hot pink walls and bold patterns? Very fun!



2. Whenever possible, up-cycle.

You know what recycling is: re-using pieces that you find or already have. Up-cycling means to take one of these to another level. You’d be surprised how easy this can be. In this room we have examples of both up-cycling and recycling.

We knew we were keeping the desk, but it was too ordinary. To tie it in with the dramatic new charcoal-gray nightstand, we simply re-stained the top and swapped out the drawer pulls with glam new silver ones. Voila! A refined, elegant new look that helped bring the entire color palette together.

Now let’s talk about the headboard. Both headboard and desk were among this teenager’s bedroom set from a much younger age. Reflecting the tastes of a young girl, the headboard featured rosette appliques of carved wood. Up-cycling this piece for a teenager was amazingly easy: We simply flipped the headboard around, facing the rosettes to the wall and saving money in the process.

Remember, strategizing your design doesn’t have to be all serious. It can be fun — especially if you go bold or glam!

Cathy Lee is a home style expert, speaker, president and designer of Cathy Lee Style. Her redesigns of residential and business spaces have been featured in local and national publications and on HGTV. For more info and inspiring photos of design projects, visit