Our bedroom makeover

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 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.

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.

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.)

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)

  1. Copper Plum says...

    Can you please tell me the name and maker of the blush wall color? Thanks Bobi Sue

  2. Inspirational! The bedroom is a sanctuary…I know I’d sleep better in a beautiful room like this one.

  3. Love the colors. Totally in love with the headboard. Do you know what fabric/color is used for that? Thanks.

  4. Hello,

    Your room has dazzling effect,I love all your components which you use to make your home this type of elegant….Great job seriously.

    Thank you..

    MDF | Veneered MDF

  5. I really love how you all added color with the mustard headboard and shades. They really make a difference and pop. If my room was madeover like yours, I wouldn’t be bored for a long while. Nice work!

  6. you’ve mede a great room here – the ‘family frame wall’ is a wonderful idea – really special.
    Well done from London!

  7. Amazing how simple it can be to communicate with people and have them understand a certain topic, you made my day.
    <a href=”>Wall beds fort smith</a>

  8. This is beautiful. Any chance you remember the seller you bought the rug from on ebay? I would absolutely love to find one similar!

    Thank you,

  9. This is the loveliest thing I have ever seen. I love love love these colors. Such a great job.

  10. Jenny did a wonderful job!! The room looks great and the headboard DIY tutorial she did for this was an extremely helpful tool for my DIY project. I love the selection of Josef Frank’s fabric – great splurge.


  11. I like how you add a touch of color in each room! ow, some of these rooms are absolutely stunning! Especially that second bedroom photo! Amazing!

  12. If you ever want to sell those West Elm Metal wall lamp/sconces, please let me know. I’ve been searching like a maniac for them on every conceivable web site. Thank you!

  13. just perfect. the yellow tufted headboard is so swank. love the eclectic wall of framed photos and the shades too. if i lived in nyc, i’d want to sleep there!

  14. Joanna, there’s nothing wrong with your previous room design, but your makeover makes it a lot better. That pinch of color spelled the difference. I like the yellow piping on your window shades. It breaks the monotony of the walls and the shades. I’m pretty sure you will enjoy working on your room even more, with this improved look.

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  16. what a lovely make over. the pale pink really emphasizes the strong yellow! love it :)

  17. Congrats on the wonderful room! May I ask where you got the huge pillow insert? We are currently decorating the nursery and need some large inserts for the day/guestbed:)

  18. I love this! You are so right, sometimes trying to use “peaceful” colors can actually make a bedroom feel more dreary. I love the idea of using brights to bring about a cheerful atmosphere, I’d want to sleep there too!

  19. I love love LOVE your new bedroom! I especially love the mount of the sea. How calming. We’ve just moved into a new place so I’m looking for some bedroom inspiration…

    Maria xx

  20. Your bedroom is perfect. Jenny does wonderful work, I am a blog follower of hers also. My youngest child is 15 months, your son is ridiculously cute. I just love his stamp of approval on your bedroom.

  21. Joanna, I was able to spend time with Jenny at Alt and just loved her. We had spoken on-line but she was even more amazing in person. How fun that she was able to design your room!! It looks amazing. Hiring Jenny is on my dream list.

  22. Morgan says...

    I love it! The colors coordinate so well! Nice job!

  23. kate says...

    she did an amazing job! can’t wait to hear about the tufted head board and other DIYs!

  24. It looks beautiful before and after. I love it. :)

  25. Oh I love it, especially the headboard! It doesn’t look like it was “designed,” it looks natural, like you and your husband collected everything yourself over the years.

    Love it.

  26. Really gorgeous. I think the bed is my favorite part of it

  27. it’s great! and so cheery. perfect for avoiding the winter blue/greys.

  28. The room is great, and super cheerful, but really the best thing it is your adorable, smiley baby!

  29. OH! MY! I love the new bedroom! You’ve given me a new drive to update our bedroom! Love the soft wall color with brighter color pops throughout the rest of the room. :)

  30. Tracy says...

    I would love to know the name of the Ebay store where you purchased your rug from Turkey! Thanks! It looks great.

  31. Oh Jo, thank you so much for sharing this. I love how cheery it is and what a difference that yellow tufted headboard and colourful frame wall is!

    Briony xx

  32. Wow, it looks lovely and so much brighter…. Great makeover!! Little details and keeping it simple makes the difference!! I love yellow…. it’s a colour that brightens my day… Kisses.

  33. I love every single thing about it… and have gathered so many great ideas for our bedroom (thank you!!!) :).

  34. It looks absolutely gorgeous! No chance of getting the winter blues in that room! :)

  35. gorgeous makeover! i want a family frame wall now too :)
    p.s. i hope that last photo of you & toby is framed somewhere – how beautiful.

  36. J. Lewis says...

    I’m so glad you posted about this! Jenny mentioned it on her blog, and I was curious about the outcome. She is crazy talented and has such a good eye for great design that works together. It’s fabulous!

  37. oh! the hippie-ish lamp was from ebay:) xoxo the silver wall reading lamps were from west elm, ages ago. and the paper lantern (which we still have in the room) was from IKEA.

  38. THANK YOU for these amazing comments! so fun to read and thank you for all the kind words about the room. jenny is the greatest.

    lily, yes, i did know about SOPA for sure; just didn’t know that some bloggers were blacking out their pages for the day, so i was curious to see more about that; i didn’t know it was possible to do on a a blogspot blog….so glad SOPA seems to be off now, as far as i can tell? xoxo

    and thehawks, the light was from ebay, i think, let me ask jenny….

    and i’ll find out about seamstresses & how jenny glued the photo to the board and get back to you!! xoxo

    thank you again!!! joannaxoxo

  39. Beautiful!I love your room decoration ideas!

  40. Awesome work – especially love the Josef Frank fabric and your iridescent table lamp base – gorgeous!

  41. Oh, wow! I love your new bedroom!! It’s just perfect! Our bedroom would need some work too, and I have to come back to see these pictures to get inspired! ;)

    Hugs from Italy!

  42. It looks amazing! Love the colors!

  43. This is so lovely. Chic and cosy. It’s really good to have the place you work in make you feel good too.

  44. The makeover is really good! How I wish I can do that somehow.

  45. I lovelovelove the tufted headboard! I can’t wait to learn how to make it on Jenny’s tutorial!

  46. so simple and yet so beautiful! it looks like a completely different room!

  47. Everything about your new room is perfect! every little detail is so wonderful, personal and unique. I’m predicting a little baby in your future because that’s a room you’ll never want to leave :) love the photographs, especially the ones with each of you in them. You all look so happy :)

  48. i think this room looks so elegant and eclectic! i really liked the paper lantern though, i think they make nice touches to a room. your baby is so adorable! hope you’ve had a good day.

  49. It looks marvellous. I especially loved the color scheme and the pillow.

  50. Love this! The family frame wall, the lamp, the headboard, the picture above your bed, everything is dreamy!

  51. Congrats on such an AMAZING makeover & Toby is so precious!!

  52. i’m coveting your bedroom. is that okay?

  53. Wow, so beautiful. You accomplished exactly what you were after–what a happy place. The photos of Toby are to die for, and I love the black and whites you chose to frame on the wall. Last but not least, incredible rug!

  54. i love how cheery this room makes you feel. and of course, the max wanger photo – BIG BONUS!

  55. Saw this on Refinery29 … looks fab!!! You captured the Domino style perfectly!

  56. Love, love love it. It does feel so much brighter–and cheery. :) Hope you guys are enjoying it.

  57. I adore this room!!! I also am obsessed with Jenny’s blog (much like I am yours) – i think it’s absolutely fantastic when two bloggers i love work/collaborate together! i wish i lived in NYC so i could take advantage of Jenny’s genius!

    congrats on the fab new space! :)

  58. one more q: where is the lamp from?

  59. love love love, joanna! what lucky ducks you are to have such a stylish and able friend in jenny. i may have “pinned” about 10 of your shots. congrats!

    And Toby just looks so beautiful. I’m also grateful to see he has a bottle. my little guy is a few months behind him and people are pressuring us to give up the bottle but I love that time with him now that I can no longer nurse (we’re due with our second in March and the stuff just disappeared one day–literally!)

    Thanks again. I love spending time here.

  60. What a lovely winter you will enjoy in this beautiful bedroom. Strong work.


  61. Ok first of all I am so jealous!I am in love with all of it. The feel is so inviting. Enjoy!

  62. i love those pops of yellow. and now i seriously want to try my hand at a tufted headboard!

  63. I LOVE the bright colors! But, it’s not too much at all! It’s the perfect amount of brights paired with white and black. The mix of frames and pictures on the wall above your dresser is my favorite part of your new room. :] Gorgeous change!


  64. So inspiring! I need to do something for our room. The color isn’t bad but something else is wrong with it….not sure what. I’ll figure it out. haha

    I LOVE that headboard.

  65. elisa says...

    Love everything about your new room! You are so lucky Alex agreed to the tufted headboard. I want one so badly, but I can’t get my hubby to agree to it.

    Was also happy to see the sweet pictures of your family. My own 16 month old pointed to the phone and said “baby!”. Toby is just so adorable.

  66. Love your new bedroom. The tufted headboard is my favorite piece in the room. It’s beautiful. Your friend, Jenny, is very talented.

  67. I love it, it’s fantastic!! I wish I lived in New York, so I could use your friend to decorate my place!

  68. Wow, Jo! It looks fabulous.

    I am very much in love with the headboard. I don’t currently have one and my pillows keep moving thru the night and I see there will be DIY tutorials over on the website, so maybe I’ll have a go…. we’ll see :) x

  69. I really like the pop of the yellow picture mat too. Beautiful room!

  70. Carly says...

    Very pretty!
    Isn’t it amazing how colour/new stuff can brighten up your mood and day! It makes YOU feel fresh and vibrant!

  71. oh my gosh! amazing! for a half a second i’m jealous, then inspired, and now brimming with ideas!

  72. it looks wonderful you guys! what a great collaboration! it must be so fun walking in there every time!

  73. H says...

    OMG thank you Joanna, Toast UK is perfect!! Just what I was looking for, thanks for the recommendation! (:

  74. This is so lovely!

  75. I am currently overhauling our bedroom too! Yours looks amazing! Those pops of colour ! Im in love.

  76. Love the transformation the pop of colour is fabulous. Nice and fresh for the new year. x

  77. The room looks fabulous, nice to have a bright cheery room to get you through the Winter!:)
    I also spotted ‘Eating Animals’ on the bedside-have you read it yet? I read it this time last year, commenced a vegetarian diet and have been meat-free for a year now because of it! Safe to say it was one of the most influential books I’ve read so far in my short lifetime!
    Hope you get something out of it like I did.


  78. What a fresh way to start the new year.

  79. Mac says...

    Positively lovely! What a warm space to live!

  80. I love the new room, it’s so vibrant and beautiful!

  81. that wardrobe is killer!!!!

  82. I LOVE the transformation! So pretty and bold and bright!