Before and After: An “Empty and Lifeless” Space Becomes Three Colorful Bedroom Nooks

published Feb 14, 2024
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White kids room before makeover

Bedroom makeovers happen for many reasons — it could be that it doesn’t suit the child anymore (like this floral closet transformation!), or you want to add a little color to the room. For Brittany Butler, who owns B. NOELLE DESIGN with Rachel Kwaw, the room makeover in her home stemmed from four years of co-sleeping with their children, Briar and Clover. 

“We decided to change the room because our home only has three bedrooms, and we have a boy and a girl,” Butler says. “They need their individual space and a designated play space. We have been co-sleeping for four years now, and to be honest, this was the ‘mommy and daddy get their bed back project.’”

The room is huge (224 square feet, to be exact!) but the initial design didn’t have storage options. Because of this, Butler says she’d often find the space in a tizzy because the kids spread their toys and bedding all over the room. The fact that it lacked personality (and had popcorn ceiling) contributed to their need to update the space. 

“The room felt empty and lifeless, really,” Butler explains. “It gave the feeling of ‘we just moved in and tried to make due.’ There was minimal art on the wall. What was in place wasn’t chosen but given.” 

So, Butler and Kwaw set out to infuse the tired space with color and happiness, and they referenced the lively spirit of Louisiana when designing the space and titled the bedroom makeover “Born on the Bayou.” 

“They are living now in a Louisiana, Treme-inspired room filled with the unique bayou culture,” Butler notes. “The cultural fabric of New Orleans is like no other, and now we have been able to surround these two little ones with that same creativity, love, and adventurous spirit!”

How Designers Created a Louisiana-Inspired Bedroom

Butler and Kwaw started their inspiration process by rummaging through childhood stuffed animals and hand puppets that are reminiscent of swamp creatures (natural and magical, Butler specified!). Next, they traveled through Louisiana’s Treme and French Quarter neighborhoods in search of paint colors that represent Butler’s kids’ upbringing and heritage and would make their eyes “light up.”

“The amalgamation of color, creatures, artwork, and intentional storybooks surround the kids in joy and raw motivational notes,” Butler shares. 

After finding their inspiration, Butler and Kwaw made a thorough plan of all of the changes that needed to be made and drew the space in a design program. Their updates (a combination of DIY projects and professional help) transformed one large room into three separate spaces, one for communal play and two individual sleeping nooks for Briar and Clover. 

Clover’s space is “curated for a princess,” the designers say, and is colored with Sherwin Williams’ Euphoric Lilac and Baroness and red egret-adorned wallpaper — books about magic line her bookshelf. Meanwhile, Briar’s bookshelf is filled with swamp creatures, and the space features swamp wallpaper and Sherwin Williams’ Wild Lime and Broccoflower. Butler and Kwaw DIY’ed Briar’s headboard using vintage fabric from the kids’ great-grandfather, and Clover’s was created using prom dress material from their aunt. Both nooks have Amazon Alexa-operated light fixtures, too.  

“Alexa has automated the use of the room so one can nap and the other can read while the room light is off,” Butler says. “Alexa made this room perfect for all levels of night lights needed. They both feel safe and secure in their zones.”

The exterior of the kids’ nooks and ceiling are just as colorful, too. Butler and Kwaw used Sherwin Williams’ Atmospheric, Greek Villa, Intense Teal, Stay in Lime, and Framboise to complement the communal play area (that has storage benches) in the new room. Now, there’s space for independent activities as well as a designated area for their imagination, creativity, and playfulness (and organizational skills!) to shine.

Other Budget-Friendly Tips

“We disagreed on this but we opted to only buy one roll of each wallpaper to minimize cost as the paper itself was already a bigger ticket buy,,” says Butler. “We made it make sense by using the leftover trims from the bookcase and a piece of large room crown we had in the garage and cut in half as a chair railing. The lower half of each room is now finished in a budget-friendly burlap-textured paintable wallpaper.

“Another money-saving modification we made was to add the two lights to our existing ceiling fan power. The trick is to purchase the Alexa-compatible bulbs for each fixture and now they can all be controlled separately with our having to run new wire for a new switch. We also were able to mount a sconce to the front of the house acting like a porch light. This light is not hardwired but operates with a remote or a tap and can change from white or warm white easily! This saved us about $200 in electrical cost.”