Before & After: An NYC Bedroom Makeover

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Your bedroom is the first thing you see when you open your eyes in the morning, and the last thing you see before you go to sleep. It's arguably the most personal space in your home. If there's any place that should make you happy and reflect who you are, it's your bedroom. This is one of the reasons we love bedroom design projects so much.

So when Tim came to us looking for help redesigning the bedroom in his new apartment in the Bronx, we were delighted. A first-time homeowner, he was anxious to make his bedroom feel more grown up, while staying true to his Brooklyn roots and modern aesthetics. He also wanted to create space to work there, without turning the room into an office. Obviously, we were up to the challenge. 

Read on to learn more about the design process, and see the gorgeous results.

"Before" Photos:

What appealed to you about working with NousDecor?

I really needed some help with my space. I just bought the apartment, it was pretty much a blank slate. I was having trouble making any decisions about anything, and so I really kind of needed someone to force me to make decisions about things, and to do it in a way that made me feel confident that everything was going to fit together because someone had really thought through how everything was going to work.

And why NousDecor? What made you choose us in particular?

And so the idea of hiring someone - I had no idea how to even begin finding a single person to do it, and it seemed like a lot of time and a lot of money. But NousDecor had such amazing value proposition of getting to work with a team, and it was really reasonably priced. And it was going to basically help me get from nothing to something, so my expectations going in were that it would be a way to get me to the next level of completeness on my apartment. And I was so amazed by how high quality the service was, and by what amazing stuff the team found. It really exceeded my expectations.

The fact that it was so streamlined was so valuable. We're all busy, but I felt like I didn't have time to spend days going through ideas with someone to get them up to speed, and so the ability to work over email and over the phone in between my regularly scheduled life and to not have to be very hands on but to feel like I had as much input as I wanted to give to the process was a total win too.

Tim's Original Floor Plan

So you decided to focus on your bedroom for this project. What was your goal for the space?

I think I really needed a grown up bedroom. I, like most New Yorkers, was accustomed to moving every two or three years, so I never had a desire to invest in high quality furniture. Now that I've bought the apartment and hopefully won’t be moving any time soon (unless for really good reasons!) it felt like it was time to start investing in pieces that were reflective of the degree of maturity - so at least I could pretend I had some - and were going to echo this theme of settling down into a place for awhile. So it was really starting - getting rid of all the temporary Ikea furniture and putting in grown up furniture was the goal, but doing it in a way that felt like it reflected me and wasn't just picking randomly out of a catalogue.

Inspiration Images:

And what about your style? Did you have a strong vision for what you wanted the space to look like?

I think that I didn't have a strong sense going in. I knew that I generally like a sort of simpler, cleaner, more modern kind of look. That much I knew, but really no preconceptions - I've never bought accessories for a room. And I think so much of what the team did that was so cool was in those details. It would never occur to me to buy a vase, it would never occur to me to buy wall shelves, but those are the details that give the space some character. And so I think it was very eye-opening to see that process in action, and certainly a big win from my perspective to be introduced to stuff I never would have picked out.

Tell us about the experience of choosing artwork for the space. We understand that was one of the highlights of the project.

I've never bought a painting before, you know, and so that just feels so luxurious, like, “Yes, I'm commissioning art,” - my goodness! But there was something cool about - as someone who does sort of creative stuff sometimes - being able to have someone else's creativity in my space as something to enliven it and make it unique and give me some inspiration too.

Tim's Moodboards:

So you have this space that’s mature, masculine, elegant, contemporary - and then there’s the contrast of graffiti-style art.

The contrast is perfect. I grew up in Brooklyn, I'm a city kid, so having a little bit of graffiti in such a clean room just felt like a perfect touch. And that was something the team lasered in on, and I really appreciated that.

What’s your favorite piece in the space?

There's just so much I love. The painting was a big win. I LOVE the wood planks on the wall. That is absolutely something that never would have occurred to me to do, I didn't know such things existed. They're actually pretty simple to install, and they're just so distinctive. One of the nice things about my apartment is the floors are very nice, and so to kind of evoke the floor but on the wall was super trippy, and gave a nice natural contrast to some of the more metallic or modern looking things. I just absolutely love the wall. That, and the painting. And the desk is just gorgeous. Everything in there I just love, but those are the stand-outs to me.

Digital Design Mockup:

Did we accomplish the mission to make the bedroom also work as a workspace - which we understand was one of your initial plans?

That's well noted. The team accomplished it so seamlessly I hadn't even remembered that was one of the goals. But having what feels like a distinct enough area in the room - which is like, OK I can do work over there, but it's not the main focus of the room - I think is great. And, you know, will be both a good way to encourage me to get some work done, but also a good way to encourage myself to stop work sometimes. You know, I feel like it's not the time of my life where I should be in bed with my laptop at all hours, haha. Put the laptop on the desk and shut off every once in awhile.

Floorplan & Elevations:


Did the process ever feel intimidating? We realize the team gives you a lot of materials, from the detailed floorplan to the elevations.

I think it was appropriately intimidating in that it showed an attention to detail and care that really characterized the whole approach the team took. Just a lot of attention to detail, a lot of thoughtful questions and prompts for me to respond to things, so the elevations certainly showed that same degree of attention to detail, but it wasn't so intimidating that at the end of the day I couldn't also just figure it out too.

What was the installation part of the process like?

One of the things I was nervous about at first was, "Ok, then a whole bunch of stuff shows up and what do I do with it?" But the instructions for where to mount everything down to the inch, where on the wall things should go... I'll confess that I may not have followed it exactly! But at least to know directionally where things were supposed to go, and to let the laziness of my own use of a tape measure be the only thing that stops me from having it look perfect, it was perfect. And I felt like the team was thoughtful about not setting up obstacles - not picking things that were just going to be too fragile to ever interact with. Things that look like they're ready to be used, but look great. So i think the team did a great job with that.

Installation Guidelines:

And if you ran into any problems, did you feel comfortable going back to the team?

Absolutely. I was pretty sure that if anything had gone wrong, someone would have hopped on a plane to NY to fix it. (haha) Obviously I'm kidding about that, but the degree of responsiveness was spectacular. Really, no complaints.

Rumor has it, there was one part of the project that didn't go quite as smoothly as it could have.

One of the pieces arrived a little damaged. It was the beautiful wooden cube with the marble base. I don't know why the vendor didn't pack it perfectly. It wasn't NousDecor's issue, it was either the vendor or the shipper. And I was ready to just say "Ah, well I'll just use some wood glue on it.” But Heather insisted that we get it replaced. And she was right - I shouldn't have been so complacent about that. But to me, that was not only an example of active responsive customer service, but also twisting my arm to take advantage of their service, which I thought was super cool.

So in summary, were you happy with the way the room turned out?

The decor team did a fantastic job. I couldn't be happier with the results, with the process. It's funny - I can't even say it exceeded my expectations because I didn't know what to expect. But it was just so wonderful and I'm so happy with the room, that I just want to say thank you to the team.

"After" Photos:

Anything else you’d like to add about the experience?

I do want to say one more thing, which is that this project inspired me to paint my walls and ceiling for the first time. I don't think I was very successful in this, but it was a good life experience to have and I certainly am thankful for having been prompted to do it, especially because now there are all sorts of nice things on the wall to cover up the splotchy paint job, so thank you for that (haha).

You did it yourself?

All by myself, so I got some responsible homeowner points for that one, but I don't think I'm going to quit my day job.

What would you tell a future customer thinking about working with NousDecor?

I think working with NousDecor was a total no-brainer for me, and pretty much for anyone who wants a little extra help with reimagining a space, imagining it for the first time, filling out little details... I can't imagine someone who wouldn't benefit from working with NousDecor and once I recharge my budget from this project, I'll certainly be reaching out again. I think it was just so easy, so creative, so successful a project that I'm sold and I think anybody else should be too.

Hear more from Tim and tour the space here:


Are you looking to redesign a room in your home? NousDecor is here to help. Take our design quiz to tell us more about what you like, and we'll take care of the rest. Get ready to love the space you're in.

Click here to start a design project with us today!

Also: Check out recent coverage of NousDecor in the Wall Street Journal, and see why they are calling us "The Dream Team"!

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