before and after

before and after: pia jane bijkerk

by Grace Bonney

few things beat a professionally shot before and after story. designer and blogger pia jane bijkerk sent over these fantastic photos from a story she styled/designed for australian magazine home beautiful. this lovely french apartment (which was pia’s until a recent move to amsterdam with her boyfriend- aka ‘french boy’) was in need of a little makeover so she decided to work on an overall transformation. her full descriptions and photos are below, but you can also click here to read pia’s post on the project. [thanks so much to pia and home beautiful for sharing!]

[Images above: The bedroom- As you can see, the bedroom was in a serious state of ‘bachelor syndrome’. I removed all the furniture that was falling apart and had become function-less (he told me he hates furniture shopping so he just bought all his ‘functional pieces’ online from a cheap furniture store but suffered the consequences only months later as everything started to fall apart.) Instead of replacing the furniture I made the room into a large ‘boudoir’ – like a massive walk-in wardrobe, using the walls as a display area for our best clothes, and keeping other seasonal clothes in compartments under the bed. All accessories (like the mirror, old suitcases etc) were all sourced from brocantes (french flea markets).]

[Images above: Lounge room- as we all know with rentals we can’t make structural changes which in some cases can be frustrating but in this case it was a pleasure to work with as the apartment has all the best features from when it was built over a hundred years ago. In this room, there are beautiful dark wooden panels and an antique oriental fireplace. By removing the furniture I accentuated the rich dark wood by investing in a couple of key furniture pieces like the 1920’s table and old french bistro chairs. I kept the coffee table as it was also oriental in style. I emphasized the fireplace to give it the ‘wow’ factor when you enter the room, and created a light-shade from a black curtain screen to create drama.]

[Images above: Kitchen- Kitchen in Paris flats are super tiny, so they need to be super functional. This was a challenge! I added a wooden rack of shelves that I bought at Habitat as well as an open pine light shade to create a center piece. I removed the doors from the kitchen cupboard and instead of wallpapering the walls (which we can’t do in a rental!) I wallpapered the inside of the cupboard! I really liked the effect of it. Without the doors it made more room in the kitchen and since I love jars I just collected loads of jars and put all ingredients in them, making it in handy reach to the bench. All extra pieces I bought for the kitchen were from Habitat.]

[Images above: Guitar room- in the guitar room I basically removed EVERYTHING as it was impossible to walk on the floor with all the cords everywhere! This was just a matter of organization, as it was 6 years of lack there-of. So i created a system for all the guitar cords. I kept the desk as even though it wasn’t that nice to look at, it was strong and sturdy and still functional. All the papers and photos I created into a moodboard above the desk. I made a single bed from building palettes so that the room doubled as a second bedroom. And I bought white box shelves for all the guitar pedals and paraphernalia. I like seeing the two rooms side by side through the hallway as one is really light and airy and the second is dark and warm. ]

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