After 13 years in the banking industry, Shaun Crha decided to pursue his love of design and founded Wrensted Interiors. Since 2017, he’s helped busy professionals and young families create beautiful and functional homes. 

This spring, he decided to lend his skills to his own 1930s Spanish Bungalow in Long Beach, participating in the One Room Challenge. He remodeled his 180 square-foot bedroom and utilized a mix of DIY projects, budget-friendly choices, and custom elements. New ceiling beams, leaded glass, and lime wash paint took the bedroom to the next level, creating a serene oasis with soft hues and cozy textures. “While it wasn’t easy for my husband and I to finish this project in 8 weeks during quarantine, the result was a beautiful room full of old world charm and energy,” Shaun says.

Below, the designer shares the tips and tricks on adding history and old world charm to any space:

Introduce architectural focal points. The ceiling beams are one of the most transformative elements of the room’s design. Real wood beams would have been lovely, but they can be expensive and you have to be sure you’re not opening a can of worms that will need a structural engineer. The beams by Faux Wood Beams are a great alternative because they’re made of lightweight foam and have a realistic resawn wood texture and finish. They fool even the most discerning eye and feel like they’ve been in the home since it was built.   

Embrace imperfection. Living in a 90-year old home means you get used to things (like the plaster walls) being less than perfect. Instead of fighting the flaws, we used Portola Paints lime wash to enhance the texture while adding old world charm. The nature of the lime wash adds depth of color and subtle movement that make the room come to life. For high traffic spaces that will need to resist more daily wear and tear, I usually recommend Portola’s Matte Lime Wash Sealer so you can create a wipeable surface. 

Elevate with details. I looked to small details to help tell the story of the Spanish Revival home. I loved adding a marble remnant top to the original built-in dresser in the closet, and complementing it with the custom leaded-glass transom window. The key was to work with a local glass craftsperson who collaborated with me to get the scale and proportion just right. When you open the closet, you feel this sense of surprise and delight at how intentional everything is.  

Achieve balance with modern and traditional elements. Throughout the room, I looked to lighting as a way to introduce more contemporary style and add visual interest. I didn’t want the room to feel stuffy or formal, so mixing in the modern chandelier from Arteriors over the classic bed was a beautiful combination. 

Add softness and texture. The bed is the centerpiece of this restorative retreat. I used a relaxed linen duvet to add texture along with the linen pillows and throw from Pom Pom at Home. Grounding the room on the handwoven wool rug from Jaipur Living introduced an authentic quality that coordinates with the wallcovering pattern in the closet. These approachable finishes highlight the craftsmanship found throughout the home.