Presenting Curbed's Rental Redo, a Renters Week 2013 contest wherein creative, ambitious, and deserving renters are given the chance to score $2,500 to the home furnishings store of their choice simply by outlining what they'd like to do with their lackluster, hodgepodge, or underfunded spaces. Over the next few days, the finalists' entries and testimonials will unfold right here; on Friday, they'll face off in a countrywide poll. We'll crown the winner on Mon., Nov. 25.
"Please liberate our bedroom. Please," begins an email from Jim and Alyson, who live in a unit in a midcentury building on the border of Silverlake, Los Feliz, and Atwater Village in L.A. After moving in they doted over the public spaces, scouring Craigslist for midcentury finds, repurposing some furniture, and hanging some of Jim's photos; however, she writes, they "greatly neglected the bedroom," finally settling on just having it organized, not decorated. Earlier this year, Alyson underwent invasive spine surgery to treat "some pretty intense back problems" and now, having regained her mobility after months of being bedridden in a "tacky beige-walled prison," she has "a strong desire to make over our cell-block love-suck bedroom."
Among the challenges Alyson and Jim would like to solve are storage—Alyson's tall dresser and end-of-bed shoe bench have become problematic since she's not supposed to bend and reach for things due to her spine condition. "With plaster walls in a rental, installing wall shelving isn't really an option so we need to find a storage solution that allows me to access my clothes and go-to shoes at waist height or higher, while keeping a small footprint due to the small dimensions of the space," she writes, proposing an "inventive floor-to-ceiling wardrobe storage with organized interior shelving" as one possible solution, along with a bench as a "lighter seating option" to make the room "feel more streamlined and much bigger." Also on their wish list: a new curtain for the room's one window; a geometric shade chandelier and reading-friendly lighting to replace a dated '70s fixture; and dedicated places for their art (photos and paintings of their own making), which serves as the decor inspiration: a "neutral color palette, natural textures, and combinations of white softness and clean lines of wood."
The overall goal, as illustrated on their Pinterest board (↓) is as follows:
"Ideally we'd walk into our bedroom and it would feel like a grown-up