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Sara Updates Her Childhood Bedroom – The Reveal



Finally friends, the moment some of you have been waiting for . . . the very first Makeover Takeover Final Reveal. It’s time to peek inside my updated childhood bedroom, so take my hand and let’s go.

Sara Makeover Takeover Before Emily Henderson

This is where I started, back in November. Let’s not lie – it was a hot mess. I had just moved back into my parents home, and my room was ready for an overhaul. What you see above was a combination of “styling” exactly as I left it when I moved out for college in 2008, the subsequent use of the room as a dumping ground for anything I didn’t want in my apartments during those college/post college years, and the culmination of moving back in.


I pulled inspiration images and put together a layout for the rest of the team to look over and approve. Once we settled on a design plan, the real projects got underway.

Sara Makeover Takeover Emptied Emily Henderson

I started by getting myself an actual storage unit and making the room livable. The first things to go were those green tea-colored walls and all the ticket stubs/photos/magazine clippings I had taped to my closet doors. If you want to get a better sense of what a horrible idea it was to tape countless keepsakes to my expensive, custom closet doors check out this post.

Sara Make Over Takeover Closet Doors Repapering

Fast forward through months of painting, work, and tears,  to the fun stuff – styling & decorating.

Sara Makeover Bed Styling Emily Henderson

Getting my bed set up first was a priority, since I was still living in the room through all of this. I knew I wanted the room to be bright, fun, and minimal, but obviously those are three very broad spectrums. So I styled out my bed and nightstands two ways, clean & bright and soft & feminine, to help me get an idea of what I actually liked. I loved elements of both, but overall ended up going more pink and feminine (despite having said I preferred clean & bright in the bed styling post. C’est la vie).

And here it is now . . .

Bright Minimal Boho Bedroom

My room has two light settings – Dungeon dark (every hour of the day, except 3-5pm) and extreme, blinding, golden sunburst (between 3-5pm), so I was a little nervous about painting everything white (see why here; my room isn’t small, but oddly shaped and very dark). But in the end, white was the way to go. It really does help brighten up the space during those darker hours, and it makes the room SO happy during those golden hours. Apparently it was near impossible to photograph, but Tessa is a magician, so feast your eyes on this bright, happy room.

Emily Henderson Bright Reading Nook

This little reading nook is a tiny oasis – which I am now responsible for taking care of and watering (I also spent a small fortune of these little guys, so any care suggestions would be welcomed, as I have a sad history of murdering my leafy friends).

That chair is a combination of two Citizenry chairs, which we had used in a few other shoots. I loved the wood base and the color of the cowhide, so I asked Em if I could combine the two, which ended up being the perfect size/shape/color for that corner. The blush leather pouf from Lulu & Georgia is the prettiest girl at the party, and I have a serious crush on her – I sit with her to put my shoes on in the morning, she holds my feet up when I’m relaxing, and I steal chaste glances at her from my bed. Another thing I love staring at is that poster. It’s a very de-stressing mantra to read first thing in the morning. This little corner is my meditation garden.

Bright Scandi Inspired Reading Nook

Sara Tramp Emily Henderson Makeover Takeover Bedroom

The vintage dresser was a welcome hand-me-down from Emily, which I gladly accepted. You might say, “Sara, there are handles missing, ” and Emily might say, “Sara, I thought we agreed you were going to fix that handle situation before the shoot, ” but to all of you I say, “I preach a message of self love and acceptance, no matter what extra handles you may, or may not be missing. Also, handles in the right size/shape/color to fit that cutout are very hard to find.” In a dream world, these are what I would have used, but I haven’t been able to find the same variety in both sizes needed.

Emily Henderson Bedroom Dresser Styling

While I do most of my primping in the bathroom, like a normal person, there is something I find really elegant about having a little vanity set up on a dresser. Plus, I think perfume should always be applied in the bedroom, so your room smells as good as you. I’ll break your hearts right now and tell you that the tray, jewelry stand, mirror, and bust vase are all vintage. The brass cup and pink vase, however, are not.

Midcentury Bright Home Office Emily Henderson

Shelf styling, as I have come to discover, is really really hard. Do I have too much stuff? Too little? Is the right side too heavy? Will people judge me based on my book collection?! It’s very stressful. It was 2am the night before the shoot, and I was still struggling with these shelves. So, after panicking I tried actually following Em’s “3 Steps To Styling Your Shelves.” Guess what folks, it works. Sure, it takes some jujjing after the fact, but it really does help to take the process in smaller steps (it also helps to send Ginny several hundred pictures of your shelves as you style them, like I did). And, as always, less is more.

Emily Henderson Makeover Takeover Bright Minimal Shelf

Bright Cute Bedroom Desk

I wanted to keep a good balance between useful items, personal items, and decorative items when it came to my shelves. I’m not really one for functionless decoration, so yes, all those boxes and bins are holding “things.” I had a few art pieces of my own (find that cute yoga print here), but in general there was a serious lack of “pretty.” I popped over to Minted and ordered some art to help fill my shelves (and dresser, and nightstand).

Sara Tramp Custom Wood Built In Shelves

Styling Personal Keepsakes

Emily Henderson Bedroom Office Shelves

Here’s another unwarranted tip: Framing a polaroid instantly gives it a cool, vintage, fine art quality, which in turn makes you seem cooler. I took that pink cactus polaroid months ago, and had it float-mounted by Framebridge. Now it’s gallery ready.

Sara Tramp Childhood Bedroom Makeover

There is just so much making me happy in this photo right now. Let’s start at the top – that handmade macrame hanging is giving me life. The original plan was to make one myself, but that didn’t happen. Instead I borrowed (and then bought) this one made by talented human, Rachel Kaminek. Despite offering me several other options (that are for sale!), I needed that one, which until very recently had been hanging in her own home. Sorry Rachel, but look how happy it is in my new room!

Then there’s my vintage, 1960s, teak bed frame from the Vintage Supply Store. I’ve gushed about this guy plenty, but he just holds me in his arms so sweetly every night that he really can’t ever be talked about enough. I’m not kidding when I say that two people have now told me that they were “this close” to buying my bed frame from the Vintage Supply Store site. Obviously, it was destined to be mine.

Finally, that rug. It really brings the party to my otherwise subdued living space. It’s bright, cheerful, and most importantly, it’s super resilient to any attacks from Lady the cat. No matter how much she rolls on, bites, or scratches at it I have yet to see a pulled thread or tufted fiber. 10 points to the wizards who created this rug.

Emily Henderson Boho Macrame Hanging

I feel like my pillow game is very strong right now. The embroidered eye pillow makes me feel 19 and hip, while those hand dyed patterned pillows remind me I’m 25 and refined. It turns out that I also really like sleeping with a bajillion pillows on my bed, so everyone wins.

Bright Feminine Minimal Nightstand Macrame Hanging

I ended up sticking with these brass task lamps for my night stands (again, check out my bed styling post for more background on this decision). At first I thought they were far too big, but after learning a little about scale I realized Ginny was right all along, and these were the lamps for me. It doesn’t hurt to have that bold pop of brass against my white walls either. I styled one night stand a little more feminine, with hits of pink and a few more delicate objects, and the other a touch more masculine, with more leather, brass, and neutrals.

Masculine Minimal Midcentury Nightstand

Updated Childhood Bedroom Bright Refresh

I decided that hanging band posters from thumbtacks was a little “early 2000s” for me, so I had my favorite screenprints float-mounted by Framebridge instead.

Minimal Pet Friendly Bedroom Gold Garment Rack

This is the last little corner of my room. I’ve wanted a freestanding garment rack For. Ever. I love the idea of displaying the prettiest pieces of a wardrobe as a styling element, rather than keeping them hidden in a dark closet. And that garment rack from Urban Outfitters is gold. GOLD. With hangers to match, which I bought here. It’s also the little corner where Lady eats out of that vintage, pastel pink ceramic bowl. She agrees that a gold garment rack was the perfect addition to her dining nook.

Gold Garment Rack Brass Hangers

Bright Minimal Boho Bedroom

There it is! All shiny and new. Now, while you shop the “get the look” I’m going to go snuggle back into that bed of mine and soak it all in. Stay tuned for more Makeover Takeover reveals on the way from Brady, Ginny, and Jessica!

Sara Make Over Takeover Get The Look Emily Henderson

1. Oh I Don’t Know Poster framed in Irvine Slim Float Mount | 2. Brass Ring Holder | 3. Black & White Polka Dot Pillow | 4. Brass Task Lamp | 5. Blush Leather Pouf | 6. Cat Planter | 7. Hide Butterfly Chair | 8. Gold Garment Rack | 9. Going For A Swim by Whitney Deal | 10. Embroidered Eye Pillow | 11. Nightstands | 12. Boy Girl Vase | 13. Elodie Rug | 14. Ceramic Desk Organizer | 15. Brass Planter | 16. Herringbone Throw in Blue Pond | 17. Pink Tuber Rose Candle | 18. Linen Sheet Set | 19. Custom Macrame Hanging by Rachel Kaminek | 20. Woven Basket | 21. Blue Diamond Pillow | 22. Diamond Glass Box | 23. White Hot by Erin Beutel | 24. Mint Beach by Alexandra Feo | 25. Ceramic Desk Tray | 26. Ceramic & Faux Leather Planter | 27. Nightstand Pulls | 28. Floor Pillow | 29. Faceted White Table Lamp & Lamp Shade | 30. Mirror | 31. Gold Hangers | 32. Office Space No. 3 by Texture Design Co. | 33. Blue Cactus by Wilder California | 34. Faux Sheepskin Rug | 35. Glass Box Tower

* Photos by Tessa Neustadt, styled & written by Sara Tramp (with styling assistance from Ginny), & art directed by Emily Henderson.

Want to catch up on the Makeover Takeover series? Check out all our posts: Sara Updates Her Childhood Bedroom – Intro | Sara’s Custom Closets | Sara Jumps Into Bed | Brady Picks A Sofa | Brady Picks A Gray PaintGinny’s LA Living Room | Ginny’s English Roll Arm | Jessica’s Living & Dining Room

Fin Mark


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Such a beautiful bedroom with so much charm, great job!


wonderful. that shelf unit looks like it’s made for that space? very unique. i’d probably want a colorful throw on bed! but that clothes rack is really great too.

Yep, it’s custom! And the throw is a little more blue in person that it shows in the photos, but a soft pastel blue.

rachelle bell

Absolutely stunning room!!!! Im in Los Angeles and looking for a custom shelf maker… are you able to refer me to who did this beauty for you? I love it. I need it.

I’d love to, but unfortunately the “custom shelf maker” in question is my father, and it’s just his hobby.


Wow, you’re dad is incredibly talented!

This is really cute! I love the rug and garment rack 🙂


I love so much about this — the rug, the corner shelving, the garment rack — and what really charms me is that you left the wood trim unpainted. I think that’s such a great look with fresh white paint.


ah-MAZING! that’s so gorgeous. Very refreshing!!! every piece is truly meant to be in that space!


that fiddleleaf needs A LOT of sun.
dicey whether there is enough light in your room
(2 hrs a day)?
time will tell

Count me among the people who are excited for these reveals! Your room looks great, and I LOLed about your message of self love and acceptance. Good work!

I LOVE this space- awesome job, Sara!! Would you be able to supply me with the source for that adorable yoga print? Apparently I, too, need illustrated naked people doing yoga on my wall.


I’d love to know where this is from as well! Couldn’t find it on Minted.

LOVE this space. So refreshing yet energizing. One of my favorite makeovers so far!!


The yoga poster looks like it might be by Laura Berger (AKA Laura George). Her Etsy shop is closed right now, but here’s the URL:

I got it as a gift a while back : ) You can find it here!:


I am about to move back to my parents’ house the suburbs while I take on a job opportunity in New York, and was not looking forward to dealing with my pink-carpeted, pink-walled, white 80s furniture-filled childhood bedroom … until I read this post. I love how a few big-impact pieces (that bed! That rug!) totally changed this room.

Although . . . I kind of wish I had a vintage pink room


Love this room! The fun personality is evident from every corner. And I like the way Sara writes- her writing about how her bed holds her so sweetly every night made me smile. Good job Sara!

Thank you so much!

This room is fabulous – so filled with charm and so peaceful. I always notice the art in a room (I’m an artist); I am very impressed with your art choices, especially considering that you pulled a lot of the pieces together at one time rather than years of collecting! Enjoy that wonderful space : )


Great job! Can you share the source for the yoga print please?




I’ve been looking forward to this post since I also moved back home and recently redid my childhood bedroom. Great job! I am super jealous of your garment rack–my closets can’t hold clothing (they smell, it’s weird), so I am typing this next to a much less balanced, coordinated-looking garment rack. Plant suggestions: It sounds like your windows are west-facing, perhaps? I had a fiddle-leaf fig with west-facing windows and it did fine, but you might need to move it to a sunnier spot by the garment rack or your framed screenprints instead of in the corner. Water it (about… Read more »

THANK YOU for your sage words of wisdom. I will try these things.


Argh really? This is what my fiddly fig is doing!


Sara I love this! You have done a great job, I really wish that was my bedroom.


I also meant to say – where is that amazing print of all the naked swimming people from? Or who is it by? I LOVE it.


Yes Lilli thank you 🙂 – I now realise these people aren’t actually swimming and my description was slightly off! x


It turned out super pretty! That rug is perfection.

I love it! Feminine, clean lines, bright and airy… looks like a great place to relax at the end of the day. Just curious… where is the kitty litter box hiding?? 😉

The kitty box has actually been moved to the bathroom (a much more appropriate location), as Lady’s been granted more freedom in the house!

It looks really great. Awesome job!!

Sarah Matthews

I must know the paint color and what the plant is on the top of the corner shelves. Excellent inspo for my guest room!

I know not the answer to either of your questions. I had the paint colored matched at Lowe’s, from the original white paint used back in the early 2000s. It wasn’t exact, but very close! It’s a warmer white. As for the plant…let’s just say I’ve learned a real world lesson in the realm of plant ownership. It helps to know what they are. But I’m doing research!

Sarah Matthews

I did some internet sleuthing and I think it might be called string of bananas? I’m going to try and find one here but central PA doesn’t have the biggest variety of succulents. As far as the white, I think my guest room has enough morning sun to be painted white but now I’m terrified to do it since Emily’s post about picking the wrong white for a room. My style is very beachy/California casual and I just painted another room in SW Rainwashed and am trying to get all our room color palettes to be cohesive but it’s so… Read more »

Oh wow, thank you for finding the plant!

Ashley Rapp

Love it! Thanks so much for the detail around tagging and sharing the source of every item!

I absolutely LOVE how this turned out. It’s wonderful how you integrated the pieces your father made into the design and gave them new life.
The bedroom I left at my parents house is now looking pretty much like yours in the Before pictures, and this makeover makes me wanna go and transform it into a guest room just for the sake of it.


The room looks fantastic! It’s both energetic and soothing at the same time. I’m really excited for these reveals.

I think you have all done a fantastic job, and it looks so good and functional! I am surprised you did not discuss the closet doors in the final reveal… it looks like you used the same look as in the “before” without the photos on them. How is it feeling for you?


Yep, I want to see more of these too!


Insanely beautiful. Well done!

Emily K

I love all the wood in this space. I’m by no means a wood preservationist but I’m truly glad it appears we’re all embracing it again. Homes are meant to be how they are meant to be. The shelf desk and closet doors your dad handcrafted shows he way gets it.

I hope your kitty’s dish is on a rubber mat when the space isn’t being photographed. Then again maybe it’s only my cats who put their paws in their water dish and scoot it across the kitchen floor. They prefer to drink moving water.

That is hilarious. My cat happens to be a very delicate eater/drinker (maybe so as not to waste a single bite), so I haven’t had any issues yet! But I might get a tray/mat anyways, so as not to risk the floors.

Emily K

Oh good kitty! 🙂


Beautiful – fantastic work!

WHAT IS THIS. SO BEAUTIFUL. This gives me so much hope for my pink, unicorn-wallpaper childhood bedroom.

But wait, your room sounds magic.


“But to all of you I say, ‘I preach a message of self-love and acceptance.” Hahahahaha. Love it.

Beautiful room, and beautifully-written piece. Good job Sara!

(My fiddle-leaf plant can be emotionally draining: just when I think it’s dead, it grows a new leaf. Don’t let yours get you down. They are total drama queens.)

Oh no, I’ve lost one leaf already! I’ll drown her tonight.


This looks SO good. What does your family think?? Do you parents want you to make over the rest of the house now? LOVE it!!!

This room looks SO GOOD. I love everything about it! As others have mentioned, all of your plants will sadly not like living away from the window. Even the ones that like bright, indirect light are probably too shaded on the shelves and the floor. It is just a fact of life that no styled photo ever has plants where they would actually be happy to live permanently. Also, while the dresser styling looks lovely, I assume you can’t possibly leave all of that jewelry out all the time?! If you can, then your cat is much is better behaved… Read more »

Well . . . *sigh* plants are hard. As for the jewelry, the cat doesn’t knock my things over, or play with stuff the way other cats have in the past (I had a cat once who used to make sure I was watching him, then proceed to slowly knock objects off my desk one by one, until I got up to feed him). But I do have this cat scratch mat, which she LOVES to play with:


It sounds like you taught your cat that he gets food if he knocks objects off the desk! 😀 Ps. That room is really pretty!


Looks great! Would you be able to tell me where the sconces came from? I NEED them.

They were actually custom built by my dad!

Wow! He should start selling them online. They are beautiful and go perfectly with that dresser!


I think this is my dream bedroom. WOW. I would never ever leave it. Also, you have WONDERFUL voice – please write more posts!! You’re my 2nd fav writer (after Emily….sorrryyyyy…haha)


Beautiful room! And, you are a wonderful writer! Although uniquely your own, your voice fits perfectly with Emily’s. I would love to read more from you. Tell your boss! 🙂


Sara, this room is fantastic! So calm, pretty and unique to you. I am in love with that rug! Well done!

This is such a gorgeous space! I love all of the updates!



As everyone has said, it’s just lovely.

What kind of plant is the droopy green one, top shelf on the right of your bookshelves? I need something just like it, but can’t tell if it’s a soft succulent or something else. I happen to live in a house with amazing lighting and am having my first successes EVER keeping things alive.

I honestly don’t know! I saw it at the flower mart, loved it, took it home with me, and now realize I don’t know what it is, or what it needs. I practiced irresponsible plant purchasing. . .

long time reader, first time commenter. AHHH I LOVE THIS SO MUCH!!! i was waiting so patiently for this series to be back and oh is it back with a full room reveal!! As a young 20 something I daydream about redoing my kitchen or bathroom but at the moment my room is really all I got, and dang it i need to step my game up because this room is on point. The shelf styling, the amazing bed, the garment rack with MATCHING GOLD HANGERS!! You my friend are winning

The gold hangers are the real winners.


Beautiful and so much inspiration!


Where are the plan pots from? Love those!!

A few are from the Los Angeles flower mart, a few are from the flea market, Urban Outfitters, Ikea, and World Market!


It turned out beautiful. The freestanding garment rack is so cool. Your room has a bright, yet soft and fresh feel. The vanity set up is great, I love that idea.

It turned out SO GOOD. I was another one excited for these posts and you totally didn’t disappoint. I am very jealous of your rug (among other things). Thanks for sharing!


This is a beautiful room! What a great transformation! I’m curious about the little yellow pompom looking plants in the planter. I’ve seen Emily use them before and they are just the right pop of gentle color. What are they called and where can I get them?

They’re called Billy Balls!

here I was quickly scrolling through email at work and see this room – work is ON hold! What a happy space! Stunning and job well done! Thanks for sharing (esp that gold garment rack 🙂 !


I love how you write. Very sunny and young. kind of like this room…young, fun and very california casual. I dig it.

Jackie Wright

Can you tell me what White paint color you used?

I wish I could, but unfortunately it was painted back in the early 2000s, and I just had the original white paint color matched at Lowe’s. But it’s a warm white.


Love this room and your writing!!


Love the room, very excited to see a Makeover Takeover reveal. So fresh and pretty, it really inspires me to work on my own house, Thank you 🙂

Sara it’s gorgeous! I want you to come style my shelves!

Can you tell me where you bought the adorable little meditating cat figurine?

It was a given to me several moons ago, at a Christmas party where I hadn’t received any gifts, and someone felt bad for me, so they gave me that (which was undoubtedly meant for someone else). It’s been with me ever since.


YAYAYAYAAAAY! I’m so happy to finally see a reveal from Makeover Takeover! And it’s not one bit disappointing! Great job, Sara! It’s cool, classy, relaxing, and a tiny bit feminine. Really love it. A note on plant care: make sure you know the sun/light requirement of your plants and that you place them in a spot where they get the needed light. I see a couple cactus and succulents. You can count on your hands how many castus like shade, because it’s zero. LOL! There’s no such thing as shade in the desert! But, aaaanyway! Love your grown-up room!

Lucy R

Holy bananas, Sara! Your bedroom is THE most gorgeous space. All that shelf styling was so worth it, super inspiring. Congrats!

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