Personal Style, Defined: Emily of Material Girls

I am so excited to share this week’s installment of “Personal Style, Defined.” with you. I have been so impressed with the talent of my fellow bloggers so far and this week, founding member of Material Girls, Emily Johnston does not disappoint. Not only is she super sweet, she is super talented. The Material Girls concept is quite unique in the world of interior design blogs and in addition to creating the fabulous blog, she also has a fantastic Dallas-based interior design business, EJ Interiors. Today, she shares the evolution of her gorgeous bedroom with us.

Thank you Paloma for inviting me to participate in your Personal Style Lineup. It was a very flattering invite coming from someone whose own blog we read constantly for style advice!
In a nutshell, my personal style is always evolving. I grew up with a mom who was always re-painting, re-wallpapering, or re-arranging the furniture in our home. She would rip her entry wallpaper off the walls in the middle of the night if she got an inkling to re-decorate. The house was constantly changing (for better or worse) and I like to think that is what first spawned my passion for all things design.

I also believe that different stages in my life have generated different design styles. Just as we all have those embarrassing photos of ourselves from years past that we hope no one ever digs up (the parachute pants, the big glasses, the perm- oh my!), I can’t deny that I don’t have those same embarrassing photos…but they happen to be of rooms. Rooms so bad that if I were Miss USA, Donald Trump would probably pull my crown if these scandalous and shocking photos were to surface. But luckily, as I’ve grown up, so has my style. I like to think that my style has only gotten more sophisticated over time.

I could show you a ton of pretty photos from magazines I like, but I do that on our blog every day- so instead, I thought I’d focus on how my personal style has evolved throughout my lifetime (as Lauren likes to call it- learning from “the ghosts of your design past”) and how I performed quick, affordable fixes to update my bedroom on a whim and put my personal style back in check!

Exhibit A- “the college bedroom”- I am CRINGING

The “art” does not fit the scale of this room at all. The pieces are too small, hung too high above the bed- hence why they look disconnected from everything, and aren’t even centered properly. The lamps are too small as well. The iron bed looked good when it was only $150- fast forward years later and it’s on my “gotta replace” list. The vanity being cramped in the corner gave me no space to actually utilize this piece of furniture. The iron “bed bench” that used to be my vanity chair is not proportional to the bed at all- and all that iron makes you feel as if you were in a jail cell….which in a way, I was- a prisoner of bad design!

It was lack of extra funds that my room stayed this way for a while. But eventually I knew it was time for a room makeover- I had a VERY small budget but I needed a change and FAST.
A bedding sale at Restoration got the process started. I decided it was time to finally get rid of the floral PB look and get something more sophisticated. A new paint color was in order too. I wanted a grayed out blue/green for the walls- something soothing I could come home to.

I got shams made out of an inexpensive leopard print fabric to quickly add in some pattern to the room and tie in the border on my bedding. I found a mocha colored blanket at Crate and Barrel Outlet to break up all of the white and also purchased a circular pillow from TJ Maxx that happened to match my walls perfectly. A mirrored lamp from Wisteria and lucite photo frame (with a silhouette inside) gave the room some sparkle.

I moved my vanity to another wall so it was more accessible. I added in a white Panton chair as the vanity seat- I liked its juxtaposition against the dark, traditional vanity table and it made me not hate my old vanity table as much. :)

I moved the lingerie chest to where the vanity was to add some height to that wall. I added in white sticks to bring an organic/natural element into the room and took off the footboard from my bed to decrease all that iron.

Curtain panels that match the wall color (and still need to be badly lined with better liner!) are mounted under the ceiling- which made the room instantly feel so much bigger. Remember the old ugly iron vanity bench? I upholstered it in a blue and white houndstooth print and spray painted it white for a quick fix.

Crystal perfume bottles from Wisteria Outlet dressed up my vanity table and made it feel more like a boudoir…
I purchased some antique, crystal sconces from Ebay (a Lauren find!) and a simple piece of art from Horchow to add some subtle pattern to the wall.

I finished up my room fairly quickly and felt so much better when it was done- the room finally felt more “me”. Although it still isn’t my dream room, I did everything on a budget without compromising my personal style

23 thoughts on “Personal Style, Defined: Emily of Material Girls

  1. I love the before and afters of Emily’s bedroom. What she says is so true about our tastes changing as we get older – I Would hate to see my old bedrooms now! xv

  2. Your bedroom makeover is lovely. I must admit, I would have never thought to put the zebra pattern in there, but I am so glad that you did because it adds such a fun, yet sophisticated touch!

    Gorgeous post :)

  3. I love what you did with the room, it looks so chic and grown-up. I’m really loving the leopard print shams- I must get some for my house now.

  4. * WOW! What a DELIGHTFUL DIFFERENCE!!! (And that WHITE CHAIR at the vanity???? SHEER GENIUS!!! I think it just MAKES the space so very “NOW”!!!)~~~

    Linda in AZ *

  5. Hi Fran!

    The paint color is a custom mix. I went back and forth altering it about a million times!

    The number on the Sherwin Williams paint can says- 50% 1572 Custom Manual Match
    So basically I started with 1572 Raindance from Benjamin Moore (but since I get a discount at Sherwin….I went there to match it) it ended up too dark so I halfed the formula to make it lighter!

  6. I really like this post because it gives us a chance to have just a small look into the thought processes that go into making a room more beautiful. These process helps us readers with our own homes–especially those of us on tight budgets.

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