before & after: bohemian chic nursery

One of the joys of working for D*S is our loyal readership. We love seeing repeat submitters over the years because it means we get to follow their lives a little bit: first home, first office, first nursery, and so forth; it’s kind of like being part of the family. We’re longtime fans of designer Justina Blakeney’s style: it’s bohemian, feminine, earthy, effortless and so much fun. We’ve posted a few of her projects before, and now she’s sharing her brand new nursery with us. Unsurprisingly, I love it!

Utilizing some collected knick-knacks from around the house, a few gifted pieces and some fun DIY projects (including a pot rack for hanging clothes and an upholstered wall like Amanda’s — yay!), Justina transformed her walk-in closet into a cozy, cheerful and eclectic nursery for her baby girl (due in July). She is going to be a very stylish kid I think, and I hope Justina continues to share projects with us as her family grows. Awesome job, Justina! — Kate

“Before” photograph by Jennifer Young

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Read the full post after the jump . . .

Time: about three weeks

Cost: We were extremely blessed to have been handed down and gifted so much of what is in the nursery. I also do a lot of thrifting and upcycling, which saves cash. We spent about $1300 to transform her whole little room.

Basics Steps: Once the small room was empty of my junk, we painted the walls in two shades of aqua. Next, we robbed the house of pieces that we thought would work well in the nursery. We had a little bookshelf we weren’t using, an extra pot and pan hanging rack from Ikea that was left over from our last apartment, a yellow ceramic lamp, a small stool, a tiny white cabinet that I had been using as a nightstand and a blue pendant lamp that I picked up a few years back at the Rose Bowl Flea Market. We also collected some art: the birds print I got at the Istanbul Modern Art Museum in Istanbul (where our little one was conceived), some drawings done by my nieces, the birch trees and flamingo wall hanging — all stuff that I already had. Admittedly, I have a lot of stuff hiding around my home!

After collecting the items from around the house, I headed to the fabric store. I wanted to add a pattern splash on the back wall, but don’t know how to install wallpaper (and I know how pricey wallpaper can get), so I thought I’d try a medium I’m more familiar with: fabric. I ended up upholstering the back wall following a tutorial from Design*Sponge (thanks guys!). I love the way the stripey upholstered wall looks, especially around the tiny window that is on that wall.

Next I used the leftover fabric to upholster the little green stool, and I also cut the fabric into strips and covered the Ikea hanging rack in the matching fabric. I also cut little scalloped fabric pieces to frame the upholstered wall and added some vintage fringe trim (this also helped to hide the clothing bar that I kept intact so that we could hang the mobile, lace curtain (made from a tablecloth) and other stuff from it, since we are not allowed to drill or hammer into the ceiling). Then we added hand-me-downs and gifted pieces: the crib, super comfy sleepytime rocker, humidifier, Dwell Studio crib bedding, some suzani-style throw pillows, and the coral high boy dresser that we got on Craigslist.

Lastly, we added the clothes and toys and other little accessories we had been gifted and handed down. We moved things around a little bit until we found an arrangement that worked best given how tiny the room is, and that was it!

If you’re trying to make a nursery in a very tiny space, I recommend using the height of the space as much as possible; hanging lots of things makes the room cozy and allows more room for furniture. — Justina


Paint Colors: Himalayan Mist by Behr (walls), Spa by Behr (trim)
Sheets and Crib Skirt by Dwell Studio from
Bamboo Lion Clock from
Bamboo Mobile by Petit Collage from (similar)
Sleepytime Rocker from
Crane Cool Mist Humidifier from
Rug from Urban Outfitters
Throw pillows from Couleur Nature on One Kings Lane
Hanging Ceramic Basket from Jeanette Zeis on Etsy
Quilt hanging on crib is a vintage Kantha quilt from West Elm
Fabric for upholstery from Michael Levine


The combination of colors and pattern is amazing…and I LOVE that flamingo artwork!


Bohemian spaces are so often cluttered and have a messy feeling. Good job for giving it a cleaner look


Yay! Of course I love it. I love anything Justina does! It inspires me to tune up my daughter’s room! Oh, just after I makeover my kitchen though. ~.^


Fantastic. I can never really define what my favorite decorating style is, but I gotta say ‘this is it’ :)


I’m having a really hard time dealing with the fact that the flamingo tapestry will never be mine.


Awww, fit for a princess, I’d say! Though I’m dying a little bit over the before photo of the closet, too. Oh, to have a walk in closet of my own!


As an avid follower of Justina, I just KNEW this nursery would be perfection. Her style is so natural, so innate, that it beautifully adapts to any room, from bath to living room to baby’s room. This is a dream room – lucky baby! What a life changing addition to the happy Jungalow!


I LOVE the idea of hanging the clothes up in plain view! It’s so convenient and baby clothes are so small and cute that they totally look good hanging there. Great idea!

Great Auntie Patti Rosencrantz

The new room for my new “Great Niece” looks fabulous! I can’t wait to sit in there and “take it all in!” As always, you created something inspiring and wonderful!


How original and creative, I love spaces that evoke personality! Awesome job :)


Before I saw who did this, I know it was Justina!! Awesone job, as always. I am quite impressed how many clothes she has gathered for the yet unborn baby!

Regina Moore

I love your wonderful, quirky and brightly-colored sense of style!


Finally! A nursery with real personality, wit and warmth. Love, love, love! Well done, Justina!

bette frankel

wow…You’ve done it again. Our little one is going to be pampered and adored in her beautiful little space….not to mention well dressed. You are a master of recylcing and creativity. I love it and I Love you. Great-gramma bette

Billie Wommack

LUV! LUV! LUV All of it! So cute, clean and mixed to perfection!! Just can say enough about it!! One lucky little girl!!!

lauren ricci

That just makes me want to have babies!! How totally adorable and bohemian. Love it. Like Michelle I am also sad that the flamingo door hanging will never be mine.


The red antique dress makes me so sad. I used to have one exactly like it(except unpainted) with a matching vanity from my grandmother, and unfortunately had to split the set up and craigslisted them when my husband was in the Army and we had to move to Germany. But glad to see you’re loving the one that you have!

hanako zeidenberg

I LOVE the design. The nursery is simply divine! Does anyone know what type of tree or plant is in that yellow pot? I absolutely love it and would like to acquire one for my living space.


mary dietrich

I have seen it in person and it is even better than than the pics… my granddaughter is going to love her one of a kind room and her special mother!
jason, tina and lil boomba… everything is magic with them.
gramma mary


Oh my goodness. That orange tree embroidery hung in my house for years!


I love how the clothes are hung! Not in a closet to be hidden but out in the room to enhance the pops of bright colors! Very clean look. I love it!