Laura’s Art Room (Before + After!)

Colorful art room transformation (before + after!)   If you've ever bought a new house or had to redecorate an entire apartment from the ground up, then you know it can take a while to get the whole thing done. I totally understand why people make the joke that if you're renovating a space, you're usually ready to redo the first room you renovated by the time you get to the last room on the list. My art room has been kind of the most neglected space in the house since we moved in over two years ago. I just didn't have a vision for what I wanted in that space, so it kind of got left in "decorating limbo" where it was half done for the longest time—until now! Although it took me a while to compile all the components, I think I've finally nailed down the perfect "creative space" vibe I was looking for in my art room.

Colorful art room transformation (before + after!)     I was excited about this room's potential when we first moved in mostly because of the giant window. The overall room was pretty, well, dull compared to what I knew it could be. The medium tan walls and brown carpet made it feel rather dark—even with that giant window! Once we switched out the brown carpet for a light grey carpet, painted the trim and walls white, and added this awesome sputnik pendant light, it felt much brighter and airier.

Colorful art room transformation (before + after!)Colorful art room transformation (before + after!)                    Colorful art room transformation (before + after!)Colorful art room transformation (before + after!)I love the fun and pops of color that my colored mat gallery wall adds to the space. The black frames looked a little heavy with the white shelves underneath, so I painted them white and I think it helps keep the space looking fresh and light. I was wanting some low shelving beneath the gallery wall, and I got lucky because Josh was building a custom record cabinet for Elsie and first built it to the wrong measurements (hey, it happens). So guess who's got two thumbs and stole the rejected first build?? Me (please picture both my thumbs pointed inward at myself here). It fits the space perfectly, so it was a very happy accident on my end. Also, how cute are the vintage telephone and kitty planters? I love flea markets.

Colorful art room transformation (before + after!)                I made that bench recently for our two cats to sit on so they can stare out the window as part of their "neighborhood cat watch" program they are both enrolled in. Seriously? What is it with cats and looking out windows? I would say 99% of the time when we pull up to the house, at least one of them is looking out this window with intense concentration. 

Colorful art room transformation (before + after!)                Colorful art room transformation (before + after!)    Colorful art room transformation (before + after!)    I had major debates with myself about what kind of storage I wanted to use in the art room, but I love when people use unique objects in unexpected ways. So I wanted something a little different. I thought maybe a locker room type of feel would be cool, and Elsie happened to have a set of lockers in her mudroom that she wasn't going to be needing anymore, so I scored on that one! After a coat of pink paint, they settled quite nicely into the space.  I cut pieces of wood to make shelves on the inside of each compartment (it didn't come with any of the original shelves) so I can stack bins, boxes, and my sewing machines in neat compartments. (Prints on the locker are from AlphonnsineGingiber, a vintage postcard, and a magnet I made with our mini photo magnet DIY).

Colorful art room transformation (before + after!)      Colorful art room transformation (before + after!)        Colorful art room transformation (before + after!)        One of my favorite things that I've done in our house is this gold moon wall behind my art table. I'm telling you people, get a projector! Your list of DIY possibilities will explode. I grabbed a vintage office chair for my drawing table at a local flea market and just added the oversized architect lamp a few weeks ago. (I've been wanting one for years—finally!)

Colorful art room transformation (before + after!)                        Colorful art room transformation (before + after!)                        Love that "XO" print and question mark marquee light. I'm always looking for ways to add a bit of cheeky fun to a space, it's what makes the room so much more interesting to me. Also, I'm a sucker for a black and white rug and the large cowhide is great for the space.

Colorful art room transformation (before + after!)          Colorful art room transformation (before + after!)          Colorful art room transformation (before + after!)          Colorful art room transformation (before + after!)                           I bought an old filing cabinet and painted it gold to hold all my spray and acrylic paints. Filing cabinets are such good organizational pieces and they look really cute in painted colors. Also, that Ric Rac Cactus on the shelf is one of my favorite kinds of plants. I buy one pretty much anytime I see them around.

Colorful art room transformation (before + after!)                      Colorful art room transformation (before + after!)          Colorful art room transformation (before + after!)                             Colorful art room transformation (before + after!)                      Colorful art room transformation (before + after!)                             I can't believe it's taken me this long to get the room together, but I'm so glad that it's finally complete! It's been way too long since I've done more fine art types of projects, so I can't wait to get back into my pencil drawings and play around a bit. Thanks for taking the tour with me! You can see the rest of our home tours here if you're interested ;) xo. Laura

Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman, Photography: Janae Hardy and Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

  • What a great work, a very inspiring makeover!
    What’s the name of the plant next to locker and window? I love this big leaves <3

  • I LOVE everything about this! I’m redecorating soon and I found this post so inspiring!

  • This makes me want to spend the rest of the day re-doing my own art room! This is perfect! I love the lockers idea : )

  • I love everything about this! And yes, totally agree about the cats. They’re such voyeurs!

  • this looks amazing !
    i wish my room looked like that
    but im on my way 🙂

  • Love this before and after post! A few things noted for myself:)

  • Wow! What an amazing makeover! I love the details and colours. You are so talented and creative! Perfect.
    Habe a nice weekend. Xx

  • I love this room! It’s my dream to have a little craft/office room of my own some day.

  • Vintage and neon colors mixed together sounds strange, but daang it looks good.

  • What a beautiful, inspiring room! I love all the unique planters (telephone planter?! awesome) and the gold wall art is gorgeous!

    Meg, Optical Intake

  • The before and after shit is such a transformation. The room has so many unique pieces. And I’m such a sucker for plants, I’m sold. Well done.

  • That golden globe is absolutely beautiful, I love the “clean but funky” style you’ve created. I have to try something like this.

  • WOW! What a difference. That is absolutely beautiful. I cannot wait to get a home of my own so that I can decorate. I love how open and colorful everything is

  • Wow! It looks amazing! I can’t wait to get my hands on decorating in the future! Great work!

  • Fantastic interior. Love the pops of colour!

    X Malena

  • Wow! Your room looks amazing! Love what you did with the space 🙂

  • I love how your art room turned out! It’s very inspiring as I am currently fixing up a 1920s house. The previous owners left behind a little filing cabinet and I am definitely going to paint it now. 🙂 And, as others have said, all of your house plants are lovely (the Ric Rac cactus!) I was wondering what the cactus in the elephant planter is? Thanks.

  • By window, you must mean “cat TV,” right? 🙂 That’s what we call it. So thoughtful of you to put seating for the kitties there! Such a good kitty mama.

  • that all looks amazing. I have a whole art studio that I can’t ever seem to get “clean” let alone redecorated. lol

  • Your art room is simply gorgeous!! I love the gold accents and all the color! My cat is exactly the same way … We don’t even forbid her from the great out doors … Kitty just likes looking at the world lol. I am also in love with the plant in the yellow phone and the pink lockers! 🙂

  • I love how you transformed that room and made it nice and bright! Definitely swoon worthy! 🙂

    Unique Geek

  • Thanks! You can read more about the bench here:

    And Emma did a similar one recently:

    Laura 🙂

  • Aw, thanks Mary! It’s been a long project, but it’s fun to work on. And yes, get one!!

    Laura 🙂

  • Thanks! I got them at different places, some at target, most of them were flea market finds…

    Laura 🙂

  • God I would LOVE to have that much natural light in my room! This is beautiful!

  • That oversized architect lamp is amazing! I love those drawing board type touches. It all came together so well!

    Always, Anita

  • WOW ! amazing transformation!

    Everything is so cute!

    Love your booties! I am in my hunting for ones ; )

  • oh my god that gold moon wall is fantastic!!! this is a great room

  • Oh, thanks!
    You can see more about it here:

    Laura 🙂

  • It’s similar to this bench, but I used wooden legs and no padding :

    Laura 🙂

  • I love looking at your home tour posts, Laura! I like that you have so many repeating design elements throughout your home, like vintage letters and bold geometric patterns, so it feels really cohesive without being matchy-matchy! Each room really has it’s own personality! I need to get a projector, jeez.

  • Is the phone planter ceramic, or is it a real phone that’s been gutted?? It’s PERFECT.

  • Wow! What a stunning space! Great transformation! I love how light and vibrant it is.

  • Lovely room! Where did you buy the fun fabric on your bench? I have been looking forever for something similar. Also, do you have tutorial on the bench? Thanks in advance! 🙂

  • I can’t even begin to tell you just how much I love every part of this room. I will say, though, that white paint is a magical creation that just opens everything right up. I love your style. What an amazing space!

  • Aw, thanks! It’s actually a ceramic planter so I didn’t have to do anything!

    Laura 🙂

  • The craft/art/studio space is always the hardest! I’d rather get rid of half my shoes than give up fabric.

    • I am painting a pair of lockers and I love this color. What color was it? I can’t find one like it! Please help!!!!!!!

  • It’s actually a ceramic planter, not an actual phone, but as long as it has enough dirt and water, I don’t think the plant cares what it’s in 🙂


  • I think “paint it gold” is the new “put a bird on it”. I want all those cute planters!

  • This is absolutely stunning! I am in the process of creating a client meeting room in my home for my fine art portrait business, and this post really inspired me – now I have a ton of ideas 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!


  • Laura, you are my Queen of Cool.

    Did you make that telephone into a succulent pot or is it an actual pot?

    Stay Gold!


  • Yep, this is pretty freaking amazing. All the little planters everywhere I love! So happy and bright.

  • I love what you have done with your art room! Will you show us how you made the cat bench? Or tell me what kind of legs you used for it? I would love to make one for my cats as well.

  • Ahh, i LOVE this room and all the little details you have in there.. this makes me wanna buy our own home and start decorating already.. and score on the wrong measurement cabinet! 😉


  • That golden paint globe and that yellow phone are too good. Love your room renovation project dear.


  • Great room! Where did you get the gold plant stand that’s by your desk from!? Thanks 😉

  • wow it looks so incredible, definitely gives me some inspiration for my own room!

  • This is the best art and office space I have ever seen! I am in love with every single detail!

  • Hello Laura et al.! Could you show the insides of your lockers as you’e put shelves inside??
    thanks for the infinite supply of inspirations

  • That bench is amazing. Are you going to share a tutorial about how you made it? Also, those boots in the last picture – I need them!

  • OMG! I love this space! I totally get what you mean about taking forever to finish decorating a home. My boyfriend and I moved in together at the beginning of January and we still aren’t even close to finishing it. We need to finish decorating the wall behind the couch and my craft/his comic book room (we which get half for our hobbies). This post gave me a ton of great ideas. Thanks so much for sharing! It looks fantastic.

  • Wow you’ve done a really amazing job! Currently, I am so obsessed with gold and white. I’m planning to redo my bedroom and I’m totally pinning ideas from here!

  • Oh my goodness this makes me desperate to decorate my little art space! The bright coloured prints are to die for, and that moon wall art is incredible! I also feel like i definitely need more plants(and cool plant pots!), they brighten up the room so much!x

  • What a beautiful room! You’ve definitely given me lots of inspiration for my room!

    Lots of Love, Lottie ♥
    Lifestyle blog to make you smile 🙂

  • This room looks awesome! You did a really good job of making it look like you. And I really love that succulent in the phone…but how long has it been in there? Do you think it’ll live?

  • I just have to say, I am obsessed with that moon wall, and I cannot wait to move into my own space so I can recreate that DIY!

  • It’s a Fiddle Leaf Fig tree and they do need a good deal of indirect bright light. That’s the brightest spot in my house so that’s why he lives there (I haven’t had my others do well in the darker rooms in my house). Try a Sansevieria plant for low light 🙂

    Laura 🙂

  • The lockers are genius for storing craft stuff–what a clever way to conceal all the random, odd shaped stuff that needs a home in a craft room. The pink adds a great touch! I was ogling some pink rooms over on SF Girl by Bay this morning, and pink decor is really growing on me!

    I also love all your vintage and Midwestern touches. As a fellow Springfieldian, I definitely appreciate the cow skull and hide rug. I have some cow vertebrae lamps myself, because bones can be elegant, right??

  • It’s a Fiddle Leaf Fig tree and they aren’t pet friendly (if they eat them), but my cats aren’t interested in eating house plants so if you have a pet that would leave it alone you would be fine 🙂


  • It looks so great! I love the pink locker and gold file cabinet.

    And one random question…where are your boots from!? I love the heel!

  • Yes, very important to keep plants up high if the kitties are interested. I kept all mine up high at first because I wasn’t sure what they would do at first and then I brought one down at a time and watched them like a hawk until I was convinced they weren’t interested. They much prefer trying to eat our food instead!

    Laura 🙂

  • The white trim is everything–it makes such a huge impact! I sanded and painted all the 8″ baseboards in my older home. This was mega project, so I recommend using an orbital sander if your trim is this tall and/or old with layers of paint, but I think scuff sanding with a medium grit (100 maybe would be enough if your trim is newer. I’m sure paint+primer works great, like Laura said–I haven’t tried that on trim. I always use Zinsser primer, which will stick to ANYTHING, and the same basic, untinted white (Valspar High Hide White in semi-gloss is the one I go with) because you can count on it to be the same exact color gallon after gallon. I agree with Laura that 3 coats is about what it will take, whether you use paint+primer or a coat of primer and then your regular paint. Hope this helps! Good luck!

  • OMGeeeeeeee!!! I am a succulent FREAK and am always searching for ways to pot them in creatively indoors. THE PHONE IS GENIUS! Thank you for the inspiration!

  • This is a GORGEOUS room! I love the moon wall more than words can describe! Beautiful details, well done 🙂

    Circus & Bloom

  • This is a GORGEOUS room! I love the moon wall more than words can describe! Beautiful details, well done 🙂

    Circus & Bloom

  • I love this space! What kind of tree is that next to the lockers? And do you know if it would survive in low light?

  • What kind of plant is in the big planter by the lockers? And is it cat/pet friendly? I love it! I’ve been looking for a big house plant for our guest room/office but have had such a hard time finding something that won’t make our cat sick if he chooses to chew on it!

  • What a beautiful and amazing space. I can’t believe the difference in the sunlight just with the change of colors. I could definitely see myself being crafty and inspired in that room. (I need to score myself some lockers like that!)

  • Wow. This is the coolest room ever. I love the colour combination of pink and gold – and there are just so many amazing little details. I would love to have a whole craft or art room like this.

    x Kathryn

  • What a gorgeous makeover! It look so much brighter and bigger, white paint does wonders in renovating a room!


  • I’m running out right now and looking for an old phone to turn into a planter. By “right now” I mean after I shower, wash my hair, get dressed and have lunch. What a great idea!

  • I love the texture and the white walls — I know people tend to frown upon white walls, but it just makes it look so clean and bright in there! Plus, with all the other things mixed in, there’s plenty of color.

  • Really petty room! It’s amazing how a new decor can transform any room.

  • So obsessed with this room. So much inspiration for me!!!

  • This room is completely transformed! I agree it looks 1000 times brighter and lighter. I love the phone pot with the succulent 🙂


  • Omg! This is amazing- it’s so bright! I love your succulent planters so much, and that giant foil wall piece.

    Warm Regards,

  • I love this room, especially the lockers and color choices. Gold is the best. I’ve turned a tv tray and throw blanket into a cat perch next to a window for mine. It’s the perfect height for their neighborhood watch. Mine would have all of those plants chewed up though. We have to keep any of our plants very strategically placed around the house (and non toxic, of course).

  • They just don’t care about plants much so it hasn’t been a problem for them, but all cats are different. Mac sometimes likes to stand in one of my pots to see out a different window better, so that kicks up dirt, but thankfully they aren’t into digging into the pots..

    Laura 🙂

  • Yes, it is A LOT of work. I lightly sanded then did three coats of a “paint plus primer” white. It’s a big job, but I love white trim 🙂


  • I wish I had my own art room! I love all of the personal touches here and that gold moon wall is the coolest piece of wall art I’ve ever seen.

    Monica – Mocha and Moccasins

  • WOW what a great workspace!!! I love all the use of color and the big window to let in all that gorgeous natural light.

  • Love the giant moon! How do you keep your cats away from the plants? Mine keep digging all the dirt out of the pot.

  • Great inspiring workspace!


    Paperblooming Prints

  • Did you paint the trim and doors yourself? Did you sand it first? Prime it? What was your process, please? I have all stained would trim and doors in my house that I am considering painting. Seems like a lot of work.

  • Haha – inside kitties always seem to be a part of the neighbourhood cat watch program 😉

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.