before and after: pia jane bijkerk

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. ]


Stunning transformation! The good thing is that the ‘after’ rooms still look very ‘live-able’ and ‘maintainable’. Awesome work Pia!


All of this is gorgeous, but I especially love the daybed made from the pallets! How did you do it?


Wow, What an awesome job. I have two kids with my gentleman and I still feel like it’s a bachelor pad. LOL

I want to know what’s above the bed in the After and what’s written on the doors in the guitar room?


Beautiful! I love the hanging lamp in the kitchen — is it available anywhere?


I love, love, love these before-and-afters. I feel so inspired. Keep ‘em coming!


The best “Before & Afters’ I’ve seen yet. Thanks for the post.


Really beautiful. Very inspiring.
It makes such a difference to have professional photography too!


i love that bedskirt! does anyone have a link to similar modern styles like that?


I had seen this before but didn’t get to see the before pictures. She did and incredible job turning that place around.

Holy Vataha

Ha…gatta love Zapfino (font)!

I agree with Joyce, that bed skirt is fab! It is my favorite part of the bedroom. I also love the writing on the window panes, gets that “creative” feel without being cluttered.


wow, thank you so much everyone, i’m so so pleased you love it! it is after midnight here so i have to get some sleep but i will answer all the above questions in the morning, go ahead and ask more if you have them. thanks again, and thanks grace! px

melissa lewis

Those are great before and afters. Love the umbrella hung as a light fixture. Sure wish I had a mantle like that in my bedroom:)


I love, love the pine shade in the kitchen. It would look perfect in my dining nook. Where is it from?


Please tell me where you got the lit heart in the bedroom!? I also love the writing on the french doors. Are those stickers or a personal touch?


I love the bedroom, how it still looks so inviting and stylish, even though it’s not made up. That’s totally my style – the less housework, the better!

Jen O

guitar room before: has had me laughing all day, whatta classic boy mess!!!

(the makeover is stunning)


Great pictures on this story. I like changes to the bedroom the most.

Spoon & Tamago

That is wihout a doubt the most beautiful balcony railing I have ever seen (last image). I wish the developers in Brooklyn would take a hint!


Oh, what a joy to see an artist at work to recreate a space from the mundane to exquisitely tasteful! Bravo!
-Emily in Norway


So gorgeous! It is such an inspiring space and should make people want to achieve style in there own spaces!!!


GORGeous! I agree AMM, that daybed made out of pallets on rollers is really interesting!


I guess I’m the only one who liked the “before”….i think it’s rude and such a cliche to talk about someone’s home as having bachelor syndrome – give me a break. His place was full of character before her makeover which quite frankly, now looks like tears from an anthropologie catalog. I don’t know, this makeover is not sitting well with me….


an amazing transformation on a wonderful space! I especially love the lounge room.


So beautiful!

Did the umbrella in the boudoir come from a flea market?


hi lois,

yes it did, but you can find similar ones in any china town. the colorful umbrella’s look nice when the light shines through too.



i would be thrilled if my home looked like an anthropologie catalog


i would be thrilled if my house resembled an Anthropologie catalog.


I can see that you guys kept all in mind, minimalism and functionality. Very well done. check our stuff as well as we are builders and we see much more then you can imagine:-)

Saffronia Baldwin

I absolutely adore the things that Pia did to this apartment. The place already has great bones….very charming. I love the minimal use of color, the continuity of black and white throughout, and the organization of the contents. Really wonderful!

christine mcelroy

I am coming a little late to this particular page. While looking for parasol light ‘shades’, I saw your beautiful bedroom photo! Soothing and sexy and yummy. Now, what is the heart above the bed? How was it made? Do you have any more photos of that? It is interesting.
Thanks- and I love your blog.

Loi Head

I was wanting to make something like that pallet bed, what mattress is that and where would I be able to find something like it?


Which brand of small stove is that in your kitchen?