before and after

before & after: justin’s nursery + brooke’s cabinet

by Grace Bonney

we’ve got a whole slew of great before & afters lined up for today. i’ve got so many that i had to save some for next week and save studio choo’s “we like it wild” for tomorrow. so let’s get going! first up is lauren liess from pure style. she recently redid her son justin’s nursery and i am seriously obsessed with the bold, dark color palette she chose. i really, really love colors and that nursery wall is my dream navy blue color. so sophisticated and chic- it’s totally unexpected for a nursery and i think the printed canopy above the crib is just gorgeous. you can read more about the transformation process right here. thanks, lauren!

[have a before & after you’d like to share? just shoot me an email with your images right here! (low res, under 500k per image, please)]

CLICK HERE for brooke’s cabinet makeover after the jump!

up next is brooke weidauer of brooke ashley photography. i love projects like brooke’s where a little bit of pattern helps add detail to an unexpected place- and manages to pick up on a small detail in a room. brooke used fabric from anna maria horner to jazz up her kitchen cabinets (and show off her white china) and i love the way the blue background highlights her blue kitchenaid mixer on the counter. great work, brooke!

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  • LOVE the navy nursery… all the whites and greens pop against it and keep it from feeling too cave-y. Do you think it helps Justin sleep?

  • that nursery. wowza. i love it. such a refreshing, sophisticated departure from all the usual. the concept would work just as well for adults! im such a fan of dark painted walls. beautiful work!

  • I would like to know how she got to place the fabric in the cabinets, I see like a white frame inside. Wallpaper or lining paper is used for this kind of project most times, very interesting that she used fabric. I love it!

    • marlene

      i’m sure she’ll answer here, but my hunch is that mod podge or fabric glue was applied. that keeps things in place really nicely.


  • I love the baby boy’s nursery! Its so hard to make an unusual and beautiful bedroom for boys it seems like girls are usually the ones to get the gorgeous rooms.

  • wowsa. STUNNING transformation to the nursery – who woulda thought black for a baby? but it works REALLY well! and gorgeous cabinets. i covet them.

  • Love the nursery. The link to Lauren’s blog totally helped me waste some time this morning. Her entire home (and website) are stunning.

  • great nursery! I think it’s so important to remember that kids are people too, and may actually benefit from a sophisticated (rather than overly kiddie) room. I’m filing this one away in my inspiration folder!

  • I love both of these rooms! The navy walls are so striking, yet comfortable. Where is the fabric hanging over the crib from?

  • Amazing nursery! When I saw the before shot, I thought “Man, that is a really dark, heavy looking crib, don’t know how they can make it look good.” Then, you made it look amazing! The dark color works so well with the crib, and the white accessories really pop.

  • Sigh….I guess I’m gonna be the only one who thinks the nursery is depressing. Stylish…yes, Edgy …yes, Sophisticated…yes. happy? nope.

  • the canopy is crucial in making that dark nursery not TOO dark. Was it added as an afterthought or was it planned ahead of time?

  • The cabinet revamp is great! I love the idea of adding colorful patterned backing to bookshelves, cabinets, etc. I am working on collecting locally discarded materials to build a bookshelf, & plan to incorporate the same concept. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Hi- thanks for such nice comments!

    Elissa- we actually made the fabric out of dropcloth and stencils.

    Bernie- i had to laught at your comment because i totally get where you’re coming from. we actually wanted a kind of dark, strange, curious room for our 2nd baby for a change. (#1 was all light & fresh) i actually love a lot of stories that are fairly dark- alice in wonderland, many of the old fairy tales, etc- and also some darker artwork and wanted a room that brought us there. plus, the room is really sunny and the dark walls make my little guy sleep better ;) but yes- for some it could be considered depressing, for us= personal and fun. ;)

    Stella- I planned it our beforehand knowing the navy walls in such a small space needed the white for some light/ contrast.


  • I know blue, pink and yellow, not to mention mint green has been done to death when it comes to babies rooms. But for me the room conjures up thoughts of “Rosemary’s Baby”.

  • i love this nursery. i reminds me of a wee medieval prince’s room. it also reminds me of the saying ” treat a child as a prince until seven, a student until sixteen and a friend for life”. the effect of such heightened aesthetics on a wee one’s senses will be profound.

  • after reading all the comments i am prompted to say that i think design aesthetic is something that evolves – i think at first it is something you “see’ but it eventually becomes something you “feel”. that is why i no longer dismiss unusual rooms, buildings or fashion – because i now know that there is a certain magic that occurs when you experience it in 3D ( or 4D? as in time) which at times breaks all rules and shatters all assumptions. this is why we risk making mistakes. be brave! be surprised!

  • I had a feeling the nursery was the work of Lauren from Pure Style just by looking at it.

    She is such a huge talent, and having met her in person — she is also the NICEST. Love.

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