How One Designer Totally Elevated a Dated Cottage Bedroom

Vintage inspired bedroom with wood accents and green drapes.

Design: Caroline Brackett; Photo: Emily Bolt

If there’s something we never get tired of seeing, it’s a great makeover. Whether it’s transforming a retro bathroom into a modern oasis or giving a lackluster bedroom a fresh look, pros perform these design miracles all the time.

To give designers a chance to showcase their favorite makeovers—and to bring you plenty of inspiration for your own home—we’re sharing the best before and afters we’ve seen in our series, Makeover of the Week. Take notes for your next renovation.

“My client is an empty nester, as her kids have all moved out of the house,” interior designer Caroline Brackett says. “She had been waiting for the right moment to give the primary bedroom in her 1925 cottage a refresh.”

Meet the Expert

Caroline Brackett is the owner of Caroline Brackett Studio of Design in Greenville, South Carolina. She is renowned for her fresh take on traditional, timeless, and classic styles.

Before:

Dated and drab cottage bedroom.

Courtesy of Caroline Brackett

“There was a lack of color and cohesion in the previous space—the furniture and accessories were collected over the years and didn’t tell the same design story," Brackett notes. "It wasn’t a room where the client wanted to spend any time. There were some pieces like the vanity, bed, and light fixture that we kept, but everything else needed a facelift.”

After:

Vintage inspired bedroom with wooden headboard.

Design: Caroline Brackett; Photo: Emily Bolt

“I love how fresh the room now feels—it’s bright enough for my client to get ready in the morning at the vanity yet calming enough for her to relax and read at night in the upholstered chair,” Brackett shares. “The blue and green framed handpainted wallpaper panels were the inspiration for all the other colors in the space and really tie everything together.”

What Changed:

  • Color theme: Soft blues and greens work in unison with all the neutrals and texture in the space. 
  • Walls: The walls are painted in Farrow & Ball Pointing, a warm white with red undertones that works with all the blues and neutrals in the room. The existing light blue ceiling played well in the new space. 
  • Bed: The feminine style of the woven raffia bed brings texture to the space and coordinates with the window shades and light fixture. 
  • Pendant: The reproduction six-arm antique brass and crystal chandelier only looks vintage.   
  • Window treatments: Bamboo shades sit under the green silk panels detailed with blue velvet tape; the French return brass rods were extended 6” past the casing to make the windows appear larger.  
  • Desk: A 1800s mahogany vanity doubles as a makeup station and a place to display accessories like jewelry and flowers. 
  • Chair: The brown velvet fabric on the chair has a timeless appeal while the colorful print pillow adds some pop. 
  • Side table: A tortoise and bamboo side table adds texture to the space and provides a spot for morning coffee. 
  • Nightstand: A reeded front nightstand provides storage while the translucent crystal lamp supplies light for reading.
  • Wall art: The landscape art over the vanity was part of the client’s collection while the painted floral Gracie panels, with their gold bamboo frames, were custom-designed to work with the other colors of the room. 
  • Rugs: An antique blue rug is layered over natural sisal to give the floor a softer look.

Shop the Look:

Sitting area in bedroom.

Design: Caroline Brackett; Photo: Emily Bolt

Luca Night Stand
Highland House Luca Night Stand $Price Upon Request
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“This nightstand can lean modern or vintage and the brass pulls provide the perfect little detail,” Brackett shares.

Slender Column Table Lamp
Circa Lighting Slender Column Table Lamp $779
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“This lamp is great because it’s so versatile — it can work in any style home,” Brackett says.

Virginia Chair
Hickory Chair Virginia Chair $Price Upon Request
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“This classic chair is perfectly scaled for a smaller bedroom,” Brackett says.

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