This fall, Alex and I were in desperate need of a bedroom makeover. Since I work from home, I spend approximately a gazillion hours a week in our bedroom, and it was feeling a little drab. We were nervous about heading into a cold, dark New York winter with a dreary room, so we asked our dear friend Jenny Komenda--the genius interior decorator from Little Green Notebook--to help us make our bedroom bright and cheery, on a budget. Here are the before-and-after photos, taken by Oh Darling Photography, if you'd like to see...
Here's the "before" photo of our bedroom. At first, we liked that it was simple and calm, but the blue/gray color scheme started feeling dark and drab for the wintertime. Spending so much time here, I was nervous about getting winter blues.
Jenny, the genius behind the blog Little Green Notebook, agreed to help us make the room feel happier. "We were envisioning 'folksy Domino,'" says Jenny. And since we weren't starting from scratch, Jenny was glad to work with eclectic pieces we already had. "I don't love when rooms look super matchy-matchy and overly decorated, and I'm glad that your bedroom feels real," she says.
The paint color is Benjamin Moore's Opal, which is a blush pink. "I love it because it's almost like a pale skin color," says Jenny. "It's nice and cozy without being super girly."
I'm always inspired by the colorful fabric in Swedish home tours, so we splurged on some Josef Frank fabric from Just Scandinavian to make this bright pillow. How can you not feel cheery in the winter looking at those colorful flowers? The photo of the water was a sweet gift from our friend (and wedding photographer) Max Wanger, who shot it on the ferry from Martha's Vineyard. To save money on framing, Jenny mounted it on an MDF board, which is like really smooth plywood, for $20.
The craziest part of the room is the tufted headboard, which Jenny made herself. It's not only beautiful, but also comfy to lean against when working, reading books or drinking a sneaky cup of hot chocolate before bed.
Since you spend half your life in bed (truly!), one of life's greatest simple pleasures is climbing into crisp, cool sheets. We LOVE the graphic sheets from DwellStudio, especially the Pyramids Azure (on HUGE sale right now, by the way). (We also get Toby's crib sheets and storage bins from Dwell.)
Our striped duvet was inspired by J.Crew's creative director Jenna Lyons, whose gorgeous bedroom appeared in Domino. She had an Olatz duvet, but since that bedding was (way) out of our budget, Jenny decided to make it herself! She hired a seamstress to help. "You can easily find affordable sewing rooms on Craigslist," she says.
Jenny also hired a seamstress to make the shades. "These two custom shades were less than half the price of one plain white roman shade from the Shade Store," she says. "Custom doesn't always mean more expensive." We love the clean, unfussy look, and we used black-out material, so we could take turns sleeping in on weekends! I love the pop of yellow trim, which feels like sunshine.
We wanted the room to feel happy and personal, so we decided to cover it with family photos. We printed three favorite black-and-white shots--one from our England summer vacation, one from Alex's childhood and one from the first moment we saw each other at our wedding. These photos make me feel instantly centered, even when I'm feeling overwhelmed or worrying too much. :)
Jenny found the two adorable mid-century bedside tables at the Antiques Garage flea market in Chelsea; they have so much personality! I feel like they have little faces:) The rugs were from Turkey, purchased on eBay and then cleaned in New York. "I always think it's a good idea to have old rugs cleaned professionally," says Jenny. "I used Big Apple Carpet Cleaners." (The bedskirt is from DwellStudio.)
We always crave more storage space in our shoebox apartment, so Jenny found this lovely antique wardrobe. A fun bonus: She painted the inside with chalkboard paint, as a special treat for Toby! She also got wicker baskets from the Container Store, where we keep bedding, diapers and old baby clothes. The closet doesn't have a door, so she hung a curtain with very thin blue stripes.
Probably my favorite part of the room is the family frame wall. It faces the bed, so you can gaze at your loved ones as you fall asleep. "I get a little bored of IKEA frames in a gallery wall, so I usually try to mix my frames sources," says Jenny. "Art supply stores, like Blicks and A.C. Moore, are my favorite place to buy affordable but quality frames." The rad black lamp--doesn't it look so hippie cool?--was from the Antiques Garage flea market in Chelsea.
That's it, I hope you like it! Thank you again to Jenny, who will be posting about these DIY projects (tufted headboard, striped duvet cover...) on her blog Little Green Notebook soon. She is a genius! We love you, Jenny, and are so thrilled with our new room and feel so lucky! Thank you so much for reading, my lovelies, and feel free to ask any questions below... :) xoxoxo
P.S. The best part is that Toby approves! :) Plus, our living room and Toby's nursery...
("After" photos by Oh Darling! Photography for A Cup of Jo. "Before" photo by Karen Mordechai)