That’s Entertainment! Comedy club-themed bedroom makeover
Photography By Larry Arnal
I’ve never considered the mandatory criteria for a well-designed home to include the trendiest sofa, perfectly tailored drapery treatments, or the most seasonally stylish accent pillows. It’s also never meant over-indulging the budget on ultra-luxe items to the point where the homeowners are afraid to peel the plastic wrap off the new lampshades, or actually put their feet up on the new footstool for fear of ruining the perfectly curated space. For me, if a home doesn’t feel good, function well, and act as an extension of the dweller’s personality, it doesn’t matter how great it looks!
Tried-and-True Design Formula
My formula for creating a well-designed home has always been quite simple:
Equal parts functionality, personalized creativity, and affordable quality.
Over the years I’ve worked with countless clients to achieve this balance, and create unique spaces that can truly be lived in and loved. BUT, nothing could have prepared me for the challenges I faced with my most recent client. He was demanding… he had little care or consideration for function… and he had a completely unrealistic budget and timeline. “He” was my eight-year-old son, Everett!
Growing Up Is Fun
Everett had requested a room redo for quite some time, and wanted to transform his “hand-me- down” nursery into a “cool-dude” space that reflected what he wants to be when he grows up… a stand-up comedian!
He specifically asked for a “Comedy Club” room, complete with a brick wall, stand mic and stool, and a desk to “sit and write his jokes.” Esthetics were much more important to him than function, and of all the items on his demanding wish list, he noted that an actual bed was a low priority!
Not Just For Laughs
Although I typically loathe designing overly “themed” rooms, I agreed to take on the challenge of creating a space that blended his humorous personality with functional design solutions (including a bed), all on a limited DIY budget.
I started by sourcing a faux-brick vinyl wallpaper that I installed myself using a DIY-friendly DIF wallpaper application kit, and for under $150, I was able to create an affordable feature wall that set the tone for the comedy club design.
When Inspiration Strikes
I then removed the original panelled closet doors and replaced them with a set of flat bi-folds that I scored at the Habitat Restore for $25, and with a quick coat of RustOleum’s spray Chalkboard paint, they were transformed into a giant creative canvas for doodles and one-liners. A perfect pairing of fun and function!
HE SPECIFICALLY ASKED FOR A “COMEDY CLUB” ROOM COMPLETE WITH A BRICK WALL, STAND MIC AND STOOL, AND A DESK TO “SIT AND WRITE HIS JOKES.”
Space & Budget Friendly
Everett specifically asked for a “big kid” desk, but I didn’t want to overcrowd the room with another freestanding piece of furniture, so I created a simple DIY waterfall desk using stock lumber, with a coat of Varathane stain that fit right over his new dresser. It was a stylish and affordable way to unify two pieces of furniture in one and saved on space.
Over his desk, I crafted a “Think Bubble” message board by using a jigsaw to cut the shape out of a $4 wood handy panel. I then basecoated the board with Chalked Paint in “linen white,” outlined the shape with a black Testors paint pen, and then topcoated the surface with RustOleum’s Clear Dry Erase paint to create a cute and quirky spot for Everett to jot down his creative little quips.
The final DIY dash of function that I added to the space was a set of super affordable shelves using galvanized pipes and fittings, and pine boards cut to size at my local hardware store. After washing the pipes with a degreasing cleaner, I primed all metal surfaces with RustOleum’s “Cold Galvanized Compound” meant for galvanized metal, and then top-coated them with Universal Metallic spray paint in “flat soft iron.” The pine was stained with a rich “Kona” colour to match the desk, and the shelves became the perfect place to display fun, comedy themed accessories, including a collection of inexpensive frames from Ikea, painted with colourful Painter’s Touch spray paint. This project ended up being so simple and cost-effective that I whipped up a petite bench for under the window to match.
As challenging as my client and criteria may have been for this project, it was so rewarding to be able to create a space that not only put the FUN into functional, but also perfectly exemplified my formula for a well-designed room that my son can enjoy and be proud of.
A self-proclaimed DIY ninja, Leigh-Ann believes that great design has little to do with how much money you spend, but rather how creative you can be with your budget. As an expert on CityTV’s Cityline, Leigh-Ann embraces every opportunity to spark creativity and instill confidence in others who strive to “DO IT YOURSELF.” For more information, visit huelala.com @leighannallaire