before and after

before & after: jennifer’s bedroom

by Grace Bonney

today’s final before & after comes from jen lula, who recently underwent a major bedroom makeover. during her husband’s 2 week business trip to maui, jen decided to keep herself busy by redoing their bedroom. previously, their room had consisted of a mattress on the floor and 1 black dresser (which her husband had had since he was a teen), so this makeover was sorely needed. during the 2 week trip jen painted the walls, bought furniture and painted an incredible hand-drawn mural. her husband’s reaction when he came home? “he was speechless. then he said he had never seen anything so nice before”. needless to say, great work, jennifer! click here for more of jennifer’s stories (paint and furniture details are below, under the images).

[note: sarah’s weeder’s digest post will be up tomorrow- we’re considering moving the column to friday to give the before & after posts some breathing room.]

[have a before & after you’d like to share on d*s? just shoot me an email right here with your images!]

Our walls are painted Ralph Lauren “Moonlight”, and the mural of the birch trees was hand drawn, scanned and then projected on the wall. It was painted with the same Moonlight color paint with just some white mixed in.

The shelves are filled with photos and artwork that have special meaning to me and my hubby including some of the handmade books we have made each other through the years.

Our furniture and accessories are from a combination of Ikea, Target, Homegoods, TJ Max and some homemade goodies. The faux fire place used to be just a stained oak but I decided to paint it with a matching purple to the coverlet on the bed.


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  • absolutely gorgeous! love it!! can you come do our bedroom? :) thanks for sharing!

  • Your husband is one lucky man! That is an amazing amount of work in such a short time! Fantastic work!

  • wow!! it turned out so beautifully! i can’t believe that’s a hand painted mural. i’m so impressed. and the shelves above the bed look great!!

  • Wow! The hand-painted wall is so lovely – it reminds me of some very pricey wallpapers – I am so impressed!! Great idea to use a projector to cast an image of your drawing onto the wall. Bravo, Jen! :)

  • Your wall mural in unbelievable. Thanks so much for sharing. It is a great inspiration.

  • I just love the colours and the awesome mural.

    But the dresser blocking the window is driving me nuts. Such a shame in such a lovely room.

  • What a declaration of love! How nice to see it every day!
    Where is the round, glass, bedside table from?

  • GORGEOUS!!!!!!!

    Where’s the bedfrom?

    I have those dressers and the matching bed. My boyfriend is not a fan of the bed – or the girly purple walls.

  • So beautiful! And kudos to you for having the patience to hand paint the mural… that had to be time consuming but the results are wonderful!

  • What a lovely surprise, and such an act of love. I’ve just read the whole thing on Jen’s blog, too – and added both your links to my nice things list. They’re both such nice things!
    many thanks for inspiring me

  • I’ve stenciled bamboo on the walls of my (current) living room…now I’m very tempted to do birch somewhere in my soon-to-be new house! How cool does this look! Nice job!

  • What a beautiful mural. It makes such an impact without being loud. Thanks for sharing.

  • wow, it’s absolutely perfect. can’t get over the mural! great colors too. how do you mange to have white bed linens with a dark-haired cat in the house?

  • oh wow! I am so impressed with how simple this really is to do (TONS of elbow grease…but still simple) yet, it looks like it came right out of a design mag. Great Job!

  • Splendid job! The best time for a redo is when your partner is away! Every time my husband comes home from a trip I have changed something in the house. Fun!

  • Wow, heavens to Betsy that is beautiful. We just got white bedding and my husband wants to add something grey… if I wasn’t living in an apartment I’d copy this room exactly. Minus the cat.

  • The wall is a very lovely thing and I covet it.

    What really intrigues me is that Jen appears to be a semi-transparent person in the ‘during’ shot?

  • Hi Everyone-
    This is Jen and I’ve read thru all the comments and have a bunch of answers to the questions that have been asked…

    1. The Gray Pillow was something I found in the clearance section of target. It had this ugly shell in the center that I cut off and then sewed that heart onto it instead.

    2. The projector is actually one of those old school overhead projectors. I used an acetate that I printed my drawing on and projected it up on the wall.

    3. The sidetables and curtains are from ikea

    4. I can have white linens and dark cats because we keep our door closed during the day when we are at work and then at night only one sleeps on the bed with us in a little bed. Plus have you used the pledge animal hair remover thing? it works awesome!!!

    5. Haha this one cracked me up. I look transparent in the “during: shot because I am standing in front of the projector as I was tracing it on to the wall- so its just projecting it onto me as well. Or maybe I am an x-men….

    6. The bed is from ikea as well. It is one of their newer beds. Its awesome but we had to make some adjustments to the wood slats at the bottom so they wouldn’t fall out, but that was easily fixed with a thin piece of wood.

    Thank you all very much for the wonderful comments!!!

    • Hello Jen. I found your birch tree makeover on Pinterest and I absolutely love your tree drawing. It’s exactly what I have been looking for for my daughters wall. Would you mind to email me your full portrait of your trees so I can use as a template. I’m not much of a drawer and I loved your look!!

      • I want to do the same thing for my baby nursery!!! But I’m no artist either!! Did jenn ever respond to you about sending you a email of her picture if she did could you please forward it to me??? I’d be so grateful!!

  • Absolutely amazing. My jaw dropped when I saw the pic of the house. Jen you are so talented. Can you please come to my house and recreate that wall.

  • amazing! i like this better than some of the pricey birch-tree wallpapers! its more subtle, which i think is better for a bedroom. lovely!

  • Where did you get the shelves, how did you bracket/support them, and what are their dimensions please?


    PS I wish I had your artistic talent!

  • last time my husband went to maui for a business trip, he took his mistress…needless to say I redecorated my bedroom, as well as the front lawn….with all his clothes.

  • Wow. Great job. The projector idea is genius and I love the bed. Finally someone who shops at Ikea and Target and isn’t ashamed. I can’t really afford anything else either.

  • I love the whole design, especially the walls but the decor accents look amazing as well :) Love the angled dressers and the curtains too :) Way to go… woman power!

  • Question: This has little to do with your “before and after”, but I figured you might have a few good ideas since you’re obviously very crafty. Is it possible to repaint my metal Heimdal Ikea bed frame? I’m so sick of that cold, grey metal. Will regular spray paint suffice? Anyone?

    • vanessa

      i’ve painted metal ikea furniture with little luck- but if you prime it first it might take…anyone know?


  • Great job on the mural…that’s what I’m considering doing in a bathroom since I love the look of subtle prints, but have peeled too much wallpaper in my day to let someone else inherit that hell one day! Well done.

  • absolutely gorgeous; you should be proud of what you accomplished, “by yourself” no less

  • Its jen again.
    The shelves are from ikea as well. They come in either black or white and in 2 lengths. A shorter one and then this longer length which is 6ft. They are 3.75″ wide.

    We tried to mount them into the studs but with such an old house they weren’t your normal width. So some really long screws did the trick for the holes that didn’t meet studs. Its nothing I would hang on but they are up there pretty good.

  • Gorgeous stencil work! And those curtains add that extra bit of oomph to the room…. If only those ikea pieces could be painted white…

  • Gosh! I love this and I had been thinking of doing the same thing because I can’t affor the Cole and Sons birch wallpaper – but I can get a projector. Well done Jen! Really inspiring stuff.

  • OMG! The birch mural is exactly what I want to do in my bedroom but couldn’t work out where to start. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  • What an incredible job you did! It looks professional to me. You ought to look into the design field. I know I’d hire you!

  • Very lovely!

    I’d just like to mention that it’s a very bad idea to place items like that above your bed in an earthquake zone.

  • I am so excited to see this! I am doing a gray on gray mural thing in my office and I was worried it would look gloomy but seeing this makes me confident in my vision. Thanks!

  • You did such an amazing job. It looks beautiful! I love the photos on the shelves too. I think I’d spend all my time in that room if I were you.

  • i’m curious about your wood floors…the contrast of light and darker wood make it seem unusual…

  • Oh wow. I just did a mural of a tree in my living room this weekend, also just tracing a projected image with a projector on loan from work. I wish I’d seen this one earlier (I’m behind on posts…) so I would’ve done something similar in my bedroom as well. Gorgeous, well done.

  • i found your website this morning and have been addicted to it ALL DAY! I am a photographer who comes from a interior design background and your before and afters are just making me so giddy. I have decided to take a few days off and get down to some diy business i have been putting off. I am so glad actually that i have been putting it off cause i got some GREAT ideas from you! Thank you so much… KEEP POSTING and hopefully soon i can submit a few things. Btw i gave you a shout out on my photo blog. hope you don’t mind!

  • I really love how this turned out. Grey and yellow have really been inspiring me lately!

    Thanks so much for sharing your source for the pillow with the yellow heart. Its a genius idea, and I noticed it instantly. Adds just the right amount of color pop! :)