Last week one of my students, Jenni from Finland, emailed me with exciting news. Her recent powder room makeover and the rest of her home is going to be featured in a Finnish magazine. In fact, the photographer is headed to her house today for the photo shoot.
When Jenni moved into her home six years ago, she didn’t have money budgeted to renovate the only powder room. So Jenni started small by adding a mirrored wall cabinet above the sink. But the room never felt finished.
Over the years Jenni tried adding shelves. She tried hanging art to make the room prettier. But nothing she tried made the room feel like her. Jenni said, “Every time I went in there I wished we could change the sink, paint the walls, and add a little personality to it. It was an eyesore.”
This was the powder room before:
This spring Jenni and her husband had saved enough money to renovate their powder room. Jenni said, “I wanted a fresh start, so I began by defining the feelings I wanted that space to evoke in us. I thought about how we use space, what didn’t work, and what did. We came up with a plan to add a new sink with drawers under it, make a wooden “table top” and floating shelf, add better lighting, and paint the walls. I also wanted to bring other natural elements into the space that I used throughout the rest of my home, like concrete, leather, wood, and wicker. I wanted the space to feel and look like a part of our home.”
Jenni shared her progress and sought advice on her powder room renovation in the Décorography community. It was really cool to see a room unfold half way across the world.
Before we get to the gorgeous, magazine-worthy after pictures, I want to tell you more about Jenni’s story. Before she joined Décorography she realized she didn’t have her own decorating style. She just did what her sister and mother had done and expected of her, so she fit in. But it wasn’t a fit for Jenni. She was eager to learn the basics of decorating and discover her own unique style.
Now it’s been just over a year since Jenni joined Décorography and a lot has changed. Jenni said, “I was searching for my own style and now I have found it. At the same time, I have learned to know and to understand myself better. Every new class gave me something new to reflect on. The most effective single thing has been creating our whole house color palette. It’s my guideline for how to pick new fabrics, paints, accessories and furniture.”
You see, Jenni didn’t start with a full room makeover. She started with color. Jenni had already found colors that she loved to use in her home, but struggled with how or if she should add more colors or more neutrals to the mix. Jenni found her answers in the Creating a Cohesive Home with Color class.
“Jackie taught us the basics of creating a whole house color palette by starting from the feeling we want to create. It was quite a new approach to me, but it felt instantly the only reasonable way. It was easy to build our color palette from that and now I know I don`t need to add more color, because that’s not what I truly want in our home. In someone else`s home it might be right, but not in our home. Having made that palette, it´s so easy to add a new paint color or fabric to the mix. Knowing how colors really work helps a lot. I am highly influenced by my surroundings, colors, decor, furnishing etc. and having a cohesive, fresh, relaxing and modern home makes me feel both physically and mentally at ease.”
“Creating a cohesive home with color is in my opinion the number one class. It gives you so much knowledge about colors and how to achieve a cohesive home. This class helped me to define how I wanted to feel in our home and how I could achieve that with colors. Having a color palette helps with future color choices too, so time invested in this class sure pays off! Picking the right color for our powder room or our bookcase or deciding what color curtains I want in our kitchen were all easier because we have a whole house color palette figured out :)”
While Jenni saved up for her powder room renovation she worked on other areas of her home. She recently finished painting a bookcase with glass doors in her living room. She loved the bookcase, but didn’t like shelves crammed full of books. This was the before:
Jenni likes a more minimal style. So with a little advice from the Décorography community, she lined the bottom part of the glass doors with patterned fabric. Now Jenni can enjoy the bookcase without having to keep all the shelves styled.
Jenni’s bookcase now:
Jenni has also been hard at work personalizing her decor, a recurring theme in all Décorography classes. After watching the Make Your Decor Meaningful class, Jenni created a vignette in her master bedroom to tell the story of how she met her husband.
“We met at school and formed a dance group together. Those dance slippers of mine remind us from those times! On our first date we went to see Riverdance and the first dance started with words “Out of the dark we came..”. Those words I wanted to remember also because we both have overcome many difficult times. We still have difficulties in our lives, and it`s important to remember that after darkness comes light! Number three tells how many members we have in our family! Round shape is based on our philosophy of life. We love nature and it is a huge resource. I love to use branches in our decor to bring the outside in. That empty frame represents the future – only we can make the future what we want it to be!”
With everything she learned decorating other areas of her home and with money set aside for the renovation, Jenni felt ready to tackle her powder room makeover. She had worked hard to refine her color palette and reflect her own style through her home. It was finally time for the powder room to catch up with the rest of the house. Once she started the project, she was never alone.
Jenni said, “With the help of Jackie and SoD I found my style and knew how I wanted the bathroom to look and feel to fit in with my home. The Décorography community was there for me the whole way following my progress and supporting me. The community, all those lovely ladies, are the soul of Décorography. Whenever I wasn’t sure whether to pick option A or B, I could ask their opinion or if I needed a clarification on something they were there help. What I loved the most was the positive feedback I was given during the project. It made me feel more confident and any doubts I had were wiped away.”
Here’s Jenni’s new bathroom:
And here’s the side by side:
The best part of this story, is Jenni’s goal was never to have her home featured in a magazine. Her mission was to make her space more meaningful to her and the magazine photo shoot is the cherry-on-top.
Jenni explains, “Before Décorography I loved decorating, but didn’t fully picture the whole process. Now the entire process feels more cohesive, defined, and understandable. Now I appreciate truly personalized spaces more than magazine worthy and trendy spaces. I see decorating as a way to show a person`s identity and personality, not a way to keep up with the trends! Now it feels like I truly love our home, not just appreciate it. I have more to do, but changing just a few things has had such a positive impact on my happiness at home.”
I asked Jenni what advice she would give to someone who feels they don’t have what it takes to make their home beautiful. She said, “I would tell them: You can learn how to make your home beautiful and a representation of you. There are guidelines and theories you can follow, and by understanding your needs and wishes you can really make a home that is decorated for you, not for anyone else. With Décorography and the best support team ever, you can succeed in your home and even enjoy the process :)”
You can learn more about Jenni and see more pictures of her beautiful home and craft projects at Jade by Jenni.
If you want to join me and Jenni in what she calls “the best support team ever” (AKA the School of Decorating community), fall enrollment is only open for one more day and won’t be open again until 2016. Click here to join Décorography.
Jenni, your house is beautiful, and congratulations on the fun magazine shoot! And Jackie, congrats to you on creating such happy SoD students!
Jenni Ahokas says
Thank you Amy! I`m pleased and thankful for all this attention, a photo shoot and a blog post about my decor story at the same day is way more than I could have hoped for!