Kathryn’s Finished Bedroom

I’ve been busy redecorating a bedroom for Kathryn and her husband, Finn. They live in Oak Park with their two kids, and they asked for some help with finishing their bedroom. The space was an attic once upon a time, but previous homeowners had remodeled it. Poorly. They longed to make it feel more put together, but their kids came first and the bedroom kept getting pushed back. I showed the space to you, in progress, last week. Now the room is finished though, and I love the way it turned out! I think Kathryn and Finn are pretty darn happy too.

American Express had provided a $1500 budget, and I used their Prepaid Card to help keep me on track. It was great because I could login to check my balance anytime I wasn’t sure, which was so helpful while decorating quickly and on a tight budget.

Kathryn and I swapped the Prepaid Card back and forth a few times as I would send her to pick up things like painting supplies and the wardrobe, and then I took it back to get the smaller decorative details. I was even able to pull a little cash out to pay for the end table I found on Craigslist.

Lighting was my biggest concern when it came to budget. The room is large, but it only has one window. And that window? It directly faces their neighbor’s bathroom. Not exactly a room with a view.

I wanted to be sure to provide plenty of light, but nice lamps tend to be expensive. It’s fairly easy to find inexpensive furniture that still looks good, but lamps are different for some reason. Luckily, I found some clear glass lamps on sale. They had a clean, simple shape with good proportions, and the added detail of the blue cord gives them some interest.

Originally, I thought I might put one lamp on the gateleg table and put the floor lamp I picked up on the other side, but I thought the room needed symmetrical lamps to balance the mismatched tables. The floor lamp ended up on the other side of the room, next to Kathryn’s pair of Eames chairs. A small task lamp that the homeowners already had was perfect on top of their dressers.

I hung art and photos that the homeowners already had in black frames, along with the print at the bottom that I created for them.

The doors to the kids’ bedrooms were curtained off. Perhaps Kathryn and Finn will add a sliding barn door in the future, but for now the curtains are a good solution. Such a simple thing to do, but it made a huge difference. Instead of feeling like an open area between two smaller rooms, it feels like a bedroom in its own right. The freestanding closet that we added helps too.

There were already four dressers in the room, but two were used as bedside tables and two were hidden beneath pipe and drape along the slanted end of the room. Pushing all four of them together made them look more deliberate in the space, and it was fun to decorate the top.

I loved working on a room in someone else’s home, and I hope to do more work for others in the future. Thanks, American Express for making this one possible. And thank you, Kathryn and Finn, for letting me takeover a room in your home!

* I’ll answer questions about where everything came from in the comments, but you can also check my Pinterest board for the room. Nearly everything (and more) is on there!

Sources & Paint ColorsNeed design help? Let's work together.

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  • Violet
    November 30, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    That is pretty friggin’ righteous! Great job.

  • Lexi
    November 30, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    THIS is amazing!

  • Victoria
    November 30, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Gorgeous!! Love that color scheme and my fave’s are the knitted pouf, the rug (LOVE), the owls, the wall wardrobe. Oh I love it all! GREAT job.

  • Chessa!
    November 30, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    The room looks wonderful! I love the chevron print carpet. such a great anchor. I would love to know where they got the UMAKEME…print. SO so lovely.

  • Jules
    November 30, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    It looks amazing, Nicole. Great job!

  • Sarah
    November 30, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Ummmmmmmmmmmmmm this is incredible. I love love love love it! Gosh, can you just come to my house and make it awesome? My place is such a drag compared to THIS!

  • michelle
    November 30, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    great job, well done. they love it, Iam sure!

  • Elisa @ What the Vita
    November 30, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    A sweet and airy space, I love it.. especially the closet! I also like how you added these tiny pulls to the closet. Job well done and I hope you get to do many more spaces in the future!

  • NicoleD
    November 30, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    What a difference! Fantastic.

  • Victoria @ Edin's House
    November 30, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    You’ve done a wonderful job! It’s so fresh and inviting :-) I have the same pax wardrobes in my bedroom!

    • Making it Lovely
      November 30, 2011 at 4:32 pm

      I have a PAX wardrobe in my bedroom too.

  • emily @ go haus go
    November 30, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    This is absolutely beautiful! WOW! I love all the details and tabletop accessories.

  • Linda
    November 30, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Love it- will you provide the sources for some of the other decor in the room too?
    I really like the bed frame- and it looks like it just has an Ikea fabric cover- but is it custom made?
    Also some of the accessories and pillows are adorable!

  • Brenda
    November 30, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Great job! I love how it all came together.

    November 30, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    i love the whole space– fab! where did you get the ceramic owls? they are too cute!

    • Jenna
      November 30, 2011 at 3:07 pm

      I larger of the 2 owls looks like the same one I picked up at HomeGoods. :)

    • Making it Lovely
      November 30, 2011 at 4:40 pm

      Yes, I think those were from HomeGoods. Kathryn already had them.

  • Chedva
    November 30, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    You did a great job, Nicole! It looks really airy and like a fun room to hang out, and read a book or something.

  • victoria
    November 30, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    this looks amazing nicole! well done!!

  • Robyn
    November 30, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    I’m interested to know why you didn’t push the night table over towards the wall so the bed is not in front of the window?

    • Making it Lovely
      November 30, 2011 at 4:42 pm

      The room would have felt lopsided. Plus Kathryn and Finn don’t like that the window faces the neighbor’s bathroom, so they were fine with not making it take center stage.

  • Giulia
    November 30, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Love this room! Great job. Love the Craigslist side table, the glass lamps, love how you use trays and the colours and patterns are great! Want to come to Canada and do one of my rooms?

  • Kath
    November 30, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    What a GORGEOUS room!!!!

  • Kari
    November 30, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Love! Where is the bedding from?

  • Rachel Mowrey
    November 30, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Really lovely! Great job!!

  • Christina
    November 30, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Everything is gorgeous, but I love how you fixed the layout and storage best. Everything looks like it’s meant to be there and it looks so cozy.

    • Making it Lovely
      November 30, 2011 at 4:52 pm

      Thanks. I’m glad the room looks nice (I’m really happy with it), but I wanted to make it more functional first and foremost.

  • Kristin
    November 30, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Wow! Would love a pricing breakdown. Really hard to believe you did that for $1500!

    • Making it Lovely
      November 30, 2011 at 5:05 pm

      The wardrobe took up $800 just by itself!

  • Josephine
    November 30, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Well done you ;-) Absolutely gorgeous.

  • Kristen
    November 30, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Love the room – love the gray quilt and shams – can you give the source for those puppies? (Didn’t see them on the pinterest) Thanks!

  • Melissa
    November 30, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    EXCELLENT job! how exciting and WHAT a transformation :)

  • Keryn
    November 30, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Nicole, it’s beautiful! I am in awe of your color use of color; edited just enough, with depth and cheer. Congratulations!

  • Katrina
    November 30, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    The room turned out amazing so much better! WOW :)

  • Danielle
    November 30, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Wow! Looks like something out of a book! Great job!

  • Molly the Waffler
    November 30, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    It’s now such a lovely, inviting room. All the big pieces are great, but you really made it come together with the styling of the accessories. Love that West Elm vase!

  • Lindy
    November 30, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Where did you get the accessories that are on the white dressers? The owls, little bowl, etc. I didn’t see them on Pinterest.

    • Kathryn Humphreys
      November 30, 2011 at 5:05 pm

      Those were mine. Owls from HomeGoods, bowl from Anthro, tray from Ikea. All a couple years old.

  • Holly
    November 30, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Wow! You are very talented – well done. The room is so well put together and looks so much bigger than before.

  • Kristín
    November 30, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    wow Nicole, you really made it lovely ;)

  • Rachel @ I'm Loving Today
    November 30, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Gorgeous room! I love how open and airy it is – and with having just that one, bathroom-facing window, it seems so bright! Everything in this room is just so charming, without looking too overdone. GREAT job – unbelievable it was done under $1500!

  • Mina
    November 30, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Nice job! Very inspirational, since we need to do our bedroom from scratch when we move. Love it!

  • Beth
    November 30, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Like everyone else, I love it! What a transformation. You did an awesome job. :)

  • Lauren
    November 30, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Looks so fresh and open. Quite a transformation. Congrats on a great job!

  • houseofearnest
    November 30, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    wow! It is even more amazing when you look at the whole transformation! Sometimes it takes an outside person to look at your space differently that you would.

  • Tiffany
    November 30, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Wow Nicole I have been waiting for this post. Bravo!!!

  • Caitlin
    November 30, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Great job!!! I love what you’ve done with the space :)

  • Daniela Conn
    November 30, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Wow! It just came out so beautiful!!! I knew that it would. It was so fun to see you make over a room! I hope you do it a lot more! I used your inspiration in planning my own future master bedroom (just bought a home.) You can see here: http://thisshack.blogspot.com/2011/11/bedroom-dreams.html

  • Jan
    November 30, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    You did an amazing job Nicole, I love it!

  • claire@gibsonking
    November 30, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Wow, it looks great! Well done. The blue poof is my favorite!

  • Kathryn Humphreys
    November 30, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    It is absolutely amazing, we’re so grateful you chose our space. I still just walk upstairs and look around at everything. Thank you!!!

  • Beatrice
    November 30, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    It looks gorgeous. It is so bright, fresh and simple. Love it.

  • barbara
    November 30, 2011 at 6:15 pm


  • Lindsay
    November 30, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    The room turned out beautiful! You really brought the space together with all the details: the art, vases, and pillows. And I just love the eames chairs and chevron rug!

  • Ash
    November 30, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Wow – impressive on a tight budget – love it. Hope to see more of these – do you offer an international service :) WE’re moving to our new home in two weeks and it needs a complete overhaul! Well done – fantastic job.

  • Kahli
    November 30, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    This bedroom is great! I love all the natural light this room gets. It turned out so beautiful and done on a tight budget :).

  • emily
    November 30, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    is that the mack lamp from crate and barrel i see? i have the same one with a white cord!

  • katieO
    November 30, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    I absolutely LOVE how amazing the space looks.

    Just curious…maybe I missed this part, but what did THEY think about the makeover?

    • Kathryn Humphreys
      December 1, 2011 at 7:45 am

      They think its unbelievably fantastic :)

  • YJ
    November 30, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    Hi, may I know where did you get the owls and that cute little bowl from? They look so good together!

    • Making it Lovely
      December 2, 2011 at 4:17 pm

      Those were Kathryn’s! She picked up the owls from HomeGoods, and I think the bowl was from Anthropologie.m

  • Amber Baxley
    November 30, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    So light and bright and I love all of the graphic, bold fabric choices. :)

  • elisabeth
    November 30, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Beautiful makeover, Nicole. So absolutely well thought out and beautiful. Lucky family!

  • Carla
    November 30, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    I love how this turned out! So relaxing and inviting, just like a bedroom should be. The wardrobe was totally worth it, it makes the room!

  • Jill Browning
    November 30, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Very nice!!! And the photography is awesome!

  • mari
    November 30, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    I see West Elm! It makes me so unbelievably giddy to see you decorate again!! I love it so much.

    • Making it Lovely
      December 2, 2011 at 4:47 pm

      It makes me giddy to decorate too! ;)

  • Brankica
    December 1, 2011 at 12:49 am

    WOW!Well done!

  • beth
    December 1, 2011 at 1:41 am

    I need to know where you got those owls!

    Also, I’d love to hear directly from Kathryn and how she feels about the makeover!

    • Making it Lovely
      December 2, 2011 at 4:54 pm

      She’s been popping in the comments! And the owls were hers, from HomeGoods.

  • Anna
    December 1, 2011 at 2:41 am

    very very very beautiful! want there to sleep and to live

  • Comeca
    December 1, 2011 at 4:32 am


  • my honest answer
    December 1, 2011 at 5:07 am

    I’d love a before photo! I’m trying to work out where the bed used to be… I think it was on the wall to the left of the window. Did you move it to make room for the wardrobes?

    • Kathryn Humphreys
      December 1, 2011 at 7:46 am

      click on the links in the post. The bed is in the same place, however.

  • Vesna
    December 1, 2011 at 6:51 am

    I think my favorite post of yours ever! You did an amazing job!!

  • Lindsey @ arkadian belle woods
    December 1, 2011 at 8:18 am

    This room is incredible! You did an amazing job!

  • Sam/LeavetheNestuptoMe
    December 1, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Eclectic but polished — looks great! Very soothing wall color too.

  • Dee in BC
    December 1, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Wow- That is now a beautiful room! What a great transformation.

  • Sarah M.
    December 1, 2011 at 8:46 am

    I totally have room envy now! It turned out great! Can you tell us where you got those owls? Thanks!

  • Kate
    December 1, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Wow! I was wondering how it would all turn out after your last post about the limited budget…it looks AMAZING!!! Well done! And yes, to echo others, where did you get the owls?

  • Jill
    December 1, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Where did the white and gray striped tray come from?

    • Making it Lovely
      December 2, 2011 at 4:57 pm

      That’s a little IKEA tray that Kathryn already owned (I own one too).

  • Rose
    December 1, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Where did the owls come from please? :)

  • Kat
    December 1, 2011 at 11:03 am

    The room is beautiful! I love the details and the color pallet. My question is on one of the more simple elements of the room – where did you get the white duvet from? I love the texture it brings to the bed while still keeping a crisp look.

  • Lauren
    December 1, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Completely and totally lovely and perfect. Oh and hey if you’re looking for the biggest challenge ever, I totally recommend my home. It may or may not be a total decorating disaster (it is.)

  • Kelly
    December 1, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Such an improvement, and I thought the “Before” wasn’t so bad. And, I feel so hip — I have one of those owls. ($7 at TJ Maxx!)

  • Kate @ change of scenery
    December 1, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Fantastic job! I love the mix of old and new, designed and personalized touches. The wardrobe is great and I love the detailing that almost makes it feel like paneling.

  • Erin - Erin Jane Designs
    December 1, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Wow! So, so amazing! What a beautiful job. Truly unrecognizable from the “before”. I just love it! Oh, and those pillows…LOVE!

  • Heather
    December 1, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Brilliant! It’s serene and beautiful! Congratulations :-)

  • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
    December 1, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Wow – such a pretty space. It definitely has your gorgouse stamp on it, but really seems to reflect the homeowners’ style too. They had great pieces (the upholstered headboard, that fantastic rug) and you really let those elements shine!

    • Kathryn Humphreys
      December 1, 2011 at 1:18 pm

      She really did an amazing job of taking the things we liked but didn’t know how to fit in and making everything cohesive and cozy.

      • Making it Lovely
        December 2, 2011 at 5:00 pm

        Thanks, Kathryn. You had great things to work with.

  • jbhat
    December 1, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Very, very nice. Hooray for all of you!

  • Evelyn
    December 1, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    I can’t believe how many details were fit into that budget! Love that it feels so spacious and elegant with fun details! Great work!

  • Alana
    December 1, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Crud- I meant “not emasculatingly so”.

    Darn you, auto-correct.

  • Jessie
    December 1, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Looks GREAT! The owls make me smile! :)

  • Tara
    December 1, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    It was good before, but now it’s great! So clean, yet cozy. The wardrobes and the dressers in their new space make such a big difference. My only question is, why block the window with the bed? Is it the only way to get the two tables to fit? In any case, GOOD JOB and I hope the homeowners love it too.

    • Making it Lovely
      December 2, 2011 at 5:02 pm

      The bed was blocking the window in the original layout too, so I knew the homeowners didn’t mind. It opens directly out to the neighbor’s bathroom, so they kind of wanted to take the focus away from it.

  • Angela
    December 1, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Lovely! Did you slip cover the ikea bed with the fabric? I think I have the same bed. Also, is there a bed skirt? I also have nearly the identical bedroom layout – thanks for the inspiration!

    • Kathryn Humphreys
      December 1, 2011 at 3:00 pm

      Finn and I put plywood in front of the steel and then upholstered the headboard around that with foam, batting and fabric, stapling it to the plywood in back around the bed frame. It doesn’t come apart now though. There is no bed skirt.

  • Lydia
    December 1, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Gorgeous room! Very inspirational!
    Very curious, though: where did the round side table between the Eames chairs come from – it’s so cute!

    • Kathryn Humphreys
      December 1, 2011 at 3:01 pm

      Thanks! That’s from Ikea about 6 years ago, we stole it from my son’s room :)

  • AnnW
    December 1, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    You probably won’t even get to this comment, but, great job. You made it very light, and modern without looking like something from the 50’s. AmEx should give you money every month for this. Whom do we write to expressing our gratitude that you showed us how to use AmEx for things? Ann

    • Making it Lovely
      December 2, 2011 at 5:08 pm

      Thanks, Ann. I’m sure they’ll check in here, but perhaps I should send them an email and quote you. :)

  • Natalie
    December 1, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Oh my gosh, it’s gorgeous! You did SUCH a great job! I love how all of the colors coordinate without being too matchy-matchy, and the laying textures is just divine. Well done! :)

  • Make and Do Girl
    December 1, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Wow. This is a beautiful room. Love the vibe. That floor is fantastic. It’s hard to tell from the photos, is that a rug on the floor or is it painted? Either way, I adore it and the graphic punch it adds to the room. Great job!

    • Making it Lovely
      December 2, 2011 at 5:10 pm

      Kathryn had that rug in the space already, and I loved it so I reused it. It was from Overstock.

  • J
    December 1, 2011 at 6:42 pm


  • nicole
    December 1, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Stunning….you did an amazing job! Now will you please come over and redo my bedroom?

  • Bridget
    December 1, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    I love the little, green, flowerish things coming out of the honeycomb vase but didn’t see it on Pinterest. What are the called? (Love the room.)

    • Making it Lovely
      December 2, 2011 at 5:11 pm

      I think they’re called Kermits. They’re pretty readily available flowers.

  • Vanessa
    December 1, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    I love this room! Feels so cozy and beautiful. Where did you get those cute owls!!

  • LisaInIllinois
    December 1, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    I love everything about this room – especially the color scheme. I may steal it for our bedroom!

  • annie
    December 1, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Looks great! I didn’t see where the owls were from…..

    • Making it Lovely
      December 2, 2011 at 5:11 pm

      HomeGoods. They were Kathryn’s.

  • Jenna
    December 1, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    A.MAZ.ING!!! Wow…wow…I can’t think of any other words! :) This looks so fantastic! Great job!

  • Lauren
    December 1, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    It looks incredible! I’m aware that the amazing rug was already in the space before the makeover, but I would love to know where it came from?

  • Bfordesign
    December 2, 2011 at 9:27 am

    I like how you have coordinated the colors in accessories and fabrics

  • annelies
    December 2, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    It looks phenomenal. I adore the wall colour. Actually, I love the whole colour palette! Very well done.

  • jodi
    December 2, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    it looks so great!!

  • Beth C
    December 2, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    It looks gorgeous! The owls are my favorite part!

  • Ann
    December 2, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    This room turned out great! I do have a question about the Pax wardrobe. Did you anchor it to the ceiling to prevent a tipping problem? Can you show how this was done?

    • Making it Lovely
      December 2, 2011 at 5:13 pm

      They aren’t anchored, but they can’t fall over because there isn’t enough clearance for them to tip more than an inch or two. Normally PAX wardrobes would be installed against a wall and anchored to it from the back.

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