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Greta’s new bed(s) are here and the start of my design process

August 19, 2019

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Behind the scenes, we have been playing musical beds ’round here. First Greta’s room had a king sized bed and Faye’s had a queen and the guest room (in the basement) had a queen. Then Chris’s brother’s family came to stay with us and with three little kids, it made more sense for them to have a room with two beds, so we bought another queen and moved the king into Faye’s room and Greta’s room had two queens. Besides family staying with us, the girls have a cousin near their age that sleeps over frequently so two beds in one room works for us. To be honest, that’s when this room arrangement really started making sense–of course there should be a bed on either side of the window!


I ordered two of these queen gray Jenny Lind beds and we just dressed them in bedding we already had on hand for now, but the style is timeless and the color is warm. After I ordered them, I immediately second guessed myself and regretted not going with black–but once they arrived I was so glad we got the gray. It’s soft and subtle and peaceful.


We weren’t planning on working on the girls’ bedrooms this year, but the carpet in here is so jarring and unrestful and we hit our head on that light every day–that we thought maybe we could do a little something in here. And then, you know, one thing lead to another and I started talking about wallpaper vs planking the walls in here and started pinning some inspiration images.

So how do I start designing a room? I start by finding inspiration. Sometimes I’ll search “cottage bedroom” on Pinterest. Or “wallpapered attic bedroom”–an idea or feeling I want to implement and start there. When I do pin an inspiration photo, it very rarely if ever means–I want to do this exact thing! Sometimes a photo has a feeling I want to embrace or a note I want to take.

For instance, this bedroom below has a very similar ceiling line to Greta’s room. I love the wallpaper in here! Although this is a little more color than I’m into for my home, I love the mix of patterns. The vintage rug, the heirloom chest, a quilt! I definitely want her room to have some traditional vibes mixed with more modern pieces.

I also pinned the photo below because in Greta’s room, the ceiling comes down on the sides like this one (marked by the same texture). To me, it feels like the walls should go up to the flat part, but it was cool to see a version of it coming down. I’ve also been teetering between planking her walls vs. wallpaper and this photo is a gooorrrggeeous example of paneling done right.

And then sometimes, I pin an image like the one below not for the style or colors or shape of the room, but for an idea. A little dresser, mirror, vanity situation like this would have been my dream growing up and I’d love to give her something similar.

We’re still flushing ideas out, and my next step is making a mood board for this space and nailing down new carpet.  Can’t wait to take you along!

What do you think?

  1. Cara Mia says:

    I think you guys in the comments need to remember two things:

    1. This room is not only Greta’s bedroom, but will also be the guest room when they have visitors, so it’s only natural that Julia would be picking out the furniture etc
    2. Greta seems to love the things Julia chooses (for example today on her stories, Julia showed Greta the new tile on her bathroom and she was so excited about it! Also, I remember when they first moved in Greta got a rug from their old house and laid it out in her room and Julia said she could tell she had room pride)

    I do understand where you’re coming from but I think Greta’s fine with it and Julia makes appropriate design choices for her family and for the overall use of their home.

  2. Jacqueline Parker says:

    Yeah, I agree with Katie. I generally like your stuff, but maybe let your kid design their own room a little more. First the bathroom art and then a grey spindle bed? My daughter has the same bed, but didn’t they used to also come in aqua and hot pink? Kids are only kids for a short while. You have a giant “cottage” to play with.

  3. Geraldine says:

    I really did appreciate this post. I love what you write about “the process”!

  4. Meghan says:

    Love those beds! I remember my mom letting me go hog-wild designing (and re-designing a couple times) my bedroom. Looking back, I really appreciate she did that—it helped me learn how to put spaces together! When I was in high school I drew our a whole design (including red walls ????) and we got a rod iron bed and hanging plants. I wanted it to be “Spanish-themed.” ???? The rest of our house was done by interior designers but my mom always let my three sisters and I do whatever we wanted in our bedroom (within reason, and maybe every 5-7 years). Our house was so beautiful and then our rooms were TOTAL eyesores ha. All that to say, I don’t know if I could give my kid that freedom myself! ???? Interesting things to think about. I’m sure about one thing—I’m in LOVE with those beds.

  5. Bridget says:

    I let my four year old pick his own bed off Wayfair in an effort to get him to sleep in it, which seemed like a great idea except that he picked orange and blue with an orange and blue airplane themed quilt. It is a LOT! It is still not my favorite, but he loves it! Literally nothing in his room matches anything else in the rest of the house. Design fail/sleeping in his own bed win.

  6. Linda Grubbs says:

    This will be a fun one to follow! Just replacing the carpet will make a significant difference!
    The beds are so sweet…can’t wait for the mood board!

  7. Ashley says:

    Can you give me your thoughts on having young kids having larger beds? I guess I felt traditionally that they should be twins just since that’s what I always knew growing up but I love love love this idea of the bigger beds for the kids. Honestly, my only hold back is that in dorms in college, they’ll be back in a twin and I wonder if that’s an adjustment for them having spent most their life in a queen size. My middle child has room for two queen size in his room and I am loving watching this to potentially switch out his two twins for two queens. I know it shouldn’t matter what anyone else thinks if it’s our house and our kids, but I also don’t have a lot more justifying reason than, “because I like it” (which is maybe plenty!). :)

  8. Katie says:

    I’m wondering how much of your daughters’ opinions/ideas go into the design for their rooms. For my children, they always wanted something very kid-like and themed. I have always picked the big harder to change items- walls, carpet, furniture but then allow them to choose the bedding and decor accents. For my son, i had chosen the quilt but he wanted baseball and other fun sheets.

  9. Marjory says:

    What about paneling on the walls, up to the angle, and then taking it over at that height to the window wall, and doing everything above the paneling and on the angled walls/ceilings in wallpaper? A wallpapered ceiling would be something fun and cozy for an attic bedroom!

  10. Lindsey says:

    When you pick carpet are you picking for the one specific room or do you think about what you would do in all the bedrooms?

  11. Amanda says:

    Would love to know your wallpaper recommendations for a girls room. Or the sites you go to. Thanks.

  12. Julie M. says:

    I’m so excited to see what y’all decide! Those beds are darling. ????

  13. Monica says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your inspiration process! I always feel a little lost in that area.

    This room will amazing whether you choose wallpaper or paneling. For some reason I’m really loving the way wallpaper looks lately. Maybe wallpapered walls paired with a paneled ceiling for a win-win. Haha

  14. It sounds like you have your hands full! And yes, I love starting a room design from function, then going to the feeling I want it to have. Then I bring in elements that create that feeling! Can’t wait to see more!

  15. Amy J says:

    How about both on the walls!? Panel the sides to real highlight the slant and then do a accent wall behind the beds in a fun removable wallpaper on wall behind the beds? That way, you can always change it later if you want and panel it like rest if the walls?

  16. Tanielle says:

    Can’t wait to hear about what carpet you’re choosing! We are shopping for carpet in our basement. Your taste is my favorite! Thanks for taking us along the journey!

  17. Anna says:

    Hi Julia. I am with the swarms who adore the kitchen makeover. It’s amazing. Maybe you are already planning on this, but it would be SO awesome if you find another home or two to put your existing phase 1 kitchen in. It would be more work than gutting it for sure, but an environmental win and it would spread the pretty! Plus it would be so fun for readers to see this kitchen re-worked yet again for some deserving people in your area. I think we love your Phase One so much there will be deep grieving when it comes down!

  18. Kaja says:

    The beds look absolutely amazing!

  19. holly says:

    Perfect timing…I have been wrestling with the idea of putting two full sized beds in our guest room. We have an old cottage, built in 1900’s and it is a fairly open room with a non-working fireplace and pine floors. I have one metal black bed that is years old, and was thinking about getting another metal full bed frame, similar is headboard and footboard shape and making sure the mattress heights are identical. THought this might work since it an such old and unusual house. Any thoughts on that idea?

  20. Kate says:

    I’m looking at your Pinterest boards and can’t begin to tell you how excited I am! My grandparents were antique dealers and gave me several beautiful pieces over the years and my in-laws also passed down some gorgeous furniture, but I’ve been a little stuck with how to use them and still make my house feel modern. I have the feeling that you will provide me with some wonderful inspiration. Looking forward to all of it!

  21. Grace says:

    I love the inspiration photos! One question, are y’all considering changing the window for something larger? It does look bright in photos at least!

    • Julia says:

      On the exterior, it wouldn’t make sense at all–so probably now. Maybe a skylight??

      • Liz says:

        Try a solatube instead of a full scale skylight. It is a smaller entry in the roof and easy to angle around in the attic. I have one in a hallway and the roof attachment is on the backside of the roof, so not visible from the road. It gives off lots of light.

        Love the beds and I “vote” for the paneling on the walls & ceiling.

  22. Linda P. says:

    Since your daughter is getting a little older, will you get her input/approval on any of the design choices? Does she have opinions yet about what she wants her room to look like?

  23. Sarah says:

    I’m curious if your girls get any input or get to make decisions from choices for their rooms, especially Greta? I LOVE the idea of wallpaper with such sweet beds!

    • Julia says:

      Yes and no. We always try to inject their likes and personalities, but kids change their minds so much that we choose the more expensive finishings and incorporate colors/favorite things into smaller, more affordable ways

  24. Emma says:

    Beautiful beds!! What a wonderful start to the room! We’re moving my oldest into her first “big girl room” and sadly the family bed I had won’t fit a modern day mattress (womp womp). Looking for a good day bed and I would love a jenny lind style one. Has anyone seen one (…and then reasonably priced! :) ).

    Can’t wait to follow along!

  25. Trista says:

    Those two beds fit perfect! It was meant to be :) Can’t wait to see what you come up with. I bet just replacing that carpet with make a world of difference!

  26. Megan says:

    Can’t wait to see what you decide on! That ceiling is fabulous.

  27. Ashley says:

    I love the shape of this room – it’s so interesting! Also the beds are gorgeous! I am interested to know how you go about making your mood boards? Do you use an app or is it more basic than that?

  28. Hannah D. says:

    Thanks for sharing your thought process as you plan this space! I can’t wait to see what you do with it.

  29. Anna says:

    Love this post. I also pin for feeling :)

    Can you share the sources for Greta’s pillows? So cute!

  30. Elizabeth says:

    Even just Changing that carpet out woo make a world of difference! Can’t wait to see what you end up withb

  31. katy says:

    Yessssss! Love all of this. When’s the next One Room Challenge? Might be a good way to do it quick and have lots of resources available to you. I love the panelling idea. You are a master of color and I know you would choose something so cozy and unique.

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