#BBbrownstone Bedroom Makeover No.2: Bold Blues

When my heart mate and I decided to move to New York City we were prepared to downsize. And downsize we did: to be exact, from a two bedroom, two bath apartment with separate kitchen and living areas, to a one bedroom with an open plan living, cooking and dining space. Having photographed a tiny one bedroom apartment on the Lower East Side for my second book (more on that very soon!), I was expecting our first NYC rental apartment to have a tiny bedroom. I’m glad I had my expectations in line because I was right – our first bedroom here in NYC is tiny! That said, I love it. Yes, it’s tiny but thanks to its south facing aspect it’s flooded with natural light. There’s a also a private roof deck with views of Central Park (well, if the tops of leaves count as a Central Park view – humor me…!), and you can even see Times Square in the distance, so expect to see lots of fun content from out there once the weather improves. Click through after the jump to see the whole process of transforming our tiny NYC bedroom, from blank canvas to an exotic bold blue space with a destination vibe, that’s also super comfortable thanks to my new Leesa mattress, which was designed to meet the needs of all types of sleepers!

nautical-navy-bedroom-makeover-3Regular readers, or anyone who follows Bright.Bazaar on Instagram, will know how I look for most of my design inspiration from my travels. Similarly, I love all things that have a nautical aesthetic. During my trip to Santa Barbara last year I made a mental note of this photograph and how I was keen to inject the majestic mystery of the intense midnight navy color of the ocean into a future scheme.nautical-navy-bedroom-makeover-4As I began to start planning a new color scheme and design direction for the bedroom in #BBbrownstone, I kept the that gorgeous golden hour moment from Santa Barbara strong in my mind. I knew that I was keen to inject an unexpected edge to the midnight navy, so when I happened upon an electric blue door next to a dark navy door I decided in that moment to invite that shade of blue into the space. The summary blue skies I saw in this city last summer and knowing how well a splash of blue-green mint would layer into the space, I had my palette set!nautical-navy-bedroom-makeover-2I may have had the color palette ready to go for the new space but in reality I was still sleeping on an old mattress on the floor! I had been searching high and low for a bed but because the space is so tight almost every option was too big, and so the mattress remained on the floor! So when Leesa kindly invited me to road test their revolutionary mattress, it was just the catalyst I needed to overhaul the space, finally find a bed and put my chosen color palette into action! When I realised that the Mid-Century bed would fit the space I was over the moon – the warm oak was the perfect addition of texture and warmth for the space. Not to mention that I would have the ideal stage for my new Lessa mattress to live! Last time I bought a mattress it was a real struggle to get it upstairs and into place. So imagine my delight upon learning that Leesa compress and package their mattresses into a manageably sized box. So manageable, in fact, that I was able to easily carry it up my spiral(!) staircase in #BBbrownstone, so that I could un-package and place the mattress on the bed in a matter of minutes with ease. Of course, I had to test my new mattress out with a quick jump!nautical-navy-bedroom-makeover-2anautical-navy-bedroom-makeover-5Before I could get to work on painting, I needed to prep the space. Walls were washed and taped, furniture covered in drop sheets and chaos came to my tiny little bedroom. I remember saying to my heart mate before I started painting: I have forgotten what it’s like to sleep in normality! Still, often to get better things have to get worse and so I embraced the mess and got to work.nautical-navy-bedroom-makeover-6I love that moment when the brush or roller touches the wall for the first time with the new paint color. Here I am applying the first lick of Newburyport Blue to the main wall in the bedroom.nautical-navy-bedroom-makeover-7On the other side of the room (which is divided by the top of the spiral staircase) there is a smaller wall. I decided to paint it in a contrasting Electric Blue color. It’s one of the colors closest to that used in the makeover of Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment in the first Sex and the City movie. I promise that’s not the only reason why I love it…!nautical-navy-bedroom-makeover-8To create a cool and clean contrast with the navy wall I painted the radiator in a matte white.nautical-navy-bedroom-makeover-9Continuing that cool and calming contrast, I dressed my Leesa mattress in soft white linen bedding accented by graphic striped euro shams and a ticking stripe quilt. I then referenced those stripes via the gorgeous indigo fabric I chose for the new roman blind.nautical-navy-bedroom-makeover-10With the walls painted and the bed dressed, I turned my attention to artwork. I picked a striking flamingo print to hang above the headboard. Not only does it bring the exotic, destination vibe I was looking for but the negative space brings an added feeling of breathing space to the overall scheme.nautical-navy-bedroom-makeover-11Remember the inspiration picture of me wearing the green tee in front of the ombre blue wall near the start of the post? Well, that was what inspired me to layer in mint green accessories as accent colors to the space. I painted my own mini watercolor to place on the Reclaimed Wood Dresser.nautical-navy-bedroom-makeover-12The Roar & Rabbit designed ceramic table lamp pairs perfectly with my watercolor, and the round mirror helps bounce light around the space.nautical-navy-bedroom-makeover-13There was a slither of dead space at the end of the bed, so an affordable storage solution helped bring much needed storage to the room. Not only that, but it made the bed feel snug and cozy in it’s little nook, too.nautical-navy-bedroom-makeover-14Art is a great way to pull a palette together, and this small gallery wall gave me the opportunity to splash in blocks of accent color and typographic pieces to the space.nautical-navy-bedroom-makeover-15I love waking up and seeing this vivid blue hue, it fills me with energy and joy!nautical-navy-bedroom-makeover-16The irony of a beautifully designed bedroom is that it’s all pointless if the key part of room – the bed – isn’t comfortable and encouraging of a good night’s sleep. For the last two years I’ve suffered with on and off back issues and been through several different mattresses to try and find one that helps my recovery. Genuinely, over the last month that I’ve been sleeping on my Leesa mattress I’ve found the support to my back to be first rate. I was concerned at first that because the mattress has a two inch layer of contouring memory foam that the mattress would be hot. I was completely wrong! I’ve always been a ‘hot’ sleeper, however, on the Lessa I’ve felt not only felt comfortable and supported, but thanks to the layer of Avena foam it’s cool, too. I’ve had so much fun decorating the tiny bedroom in our NYC rental – let me know which elements from the destination inspired bold blues scheme you like best! The first 50 readers to buy a mattress will get $75 off their order. Just use the code BAZAAR at checkout. Leesa gives you 100 nights to try your mattress, risk-free.nautical-navy-bedroom-makeover-17 // Photography by Will Taylor | Posted in partnership with Leesa, all views my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Bright.Bazaar going!


  • Reply Liam McNally February 19, 2016 at 6:11 am

    I love the darker blue on the wall. It’s so calming which is perfect for the bedroom and the blinds are awesome.

    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar February 19, 2016 at 8:36 am

      @Liam – Thank you! Calming is the perfect word as it really does feel that way.

  • Reply Gabriella February 19, 2016 at 7:55 am

    This room is so darn beautiful! I love how colorful it is – what a perfect escape from winter.

    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar February 19, 2016 at 8:36 am

      @Gabriella – Right! I think it shows how strong colors can be calming and soothing.

  • Reply Susan February 19, 2016 at 8:28 am

    You completely transformed the space, wow! Love the combination of blues!

  • Reply Ben February 19, 2016 at 8:30 am

    I was gonna head to Macy’s to look for a mattress this weekend but think I’ll try Lessa now. Thanks!

    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar February 19, 2016 at 8:39 am

      @Ben – Smart move. I can’t get over how much the mattress has changed how my back feels when I wake in the mornings. Quite life changing, honestly.

  • Reply SB February 19, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Will, you have such a talent for pairing colors together. What a beautiful space you have created. The blind, the bed, the art…adore it all!

    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar February 19, 2016 at 10:55 am

      @SB – That is such a lovely comment, thank you! It was definitely a challenge to decorate but I love how it came together!

  • Reply Karen Loves February 19, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Stunning! I like all the layers in the room. xo

    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar February 19, 2016 at 10:55 am

      @Karen – Me too, they bring so much depth and texture to the space.

  • Reply Molly {Dreams in HD} February 19, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Will the space looks absolutely fantastic! It’s inspiring seeing you use a dark color in such a small space – it adds SUCH a design impact.

    Molly {Dreams in HD}

    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar February 19, 2016 at 10:56 am

      @Molly – Right? I’ve gone dark in small spaces before and it just adds so much depth and interest to the space. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply Lindsey February 19, 2016 at 10:45 am

    You’re so good with a small space! And those blue are rich and joyful. Love that quilt — you use it as a replacement/substitute for a full comforter?

    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar February 19, 2016 at 10:59 am

      @Lindsey – Too kind, thanks! I use it as a bedspread/throw over the top of my main duvet/comforter! Super comfy and cozy!

  • Reply David @ Frenchie and the Yankee February 19, 2016 at 11:32 am

    So fun! Makes me want to found our own place right now and start getting busy decorating and having fun. Nice job!

    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar February 19, 2016 at 11:35 am

      @David – Thanks! Makes me smile that you found it inspiring. Hope the hunt for your own place is going well! πŸ™‚

  • Reply Kaitlin February 19, 2016 at 11:55 am

    I love that swimming underwater piece! Just beautiful. (As is the whole room!)

    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar February 19, 2016 at 11:56 am

      @Kaitlin – Isn’t it beautiful? I found it on Etsy a few years back! Thanks πŸ™‚

  • Reply Josh | The Kentucky Gent February 19, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    The room turned out great! Love the idea of painting the radiator white to stand out from the darker wall, definitely breathes new life into a piece of the room that can sometimes be a bore.

    Josh | The Kentucky Gent

    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar February 19, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      @Josh – Thank you! I agree, it’s great to take an existing element of a room and turn it into something beautiful and eye-catching.

  • Reply jo February 19, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    I love it, such alot of thought and care in your decision making. My fave parts are the hints of mint which give it an extra pop and I really the paler blue. I’ll be thinking up some new ideas when I find a new abode xxx
    Jo xx

    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar February 19, 2016 at 2:27 pm

      @Jo – Kind of you to say, thanks! Have a lovely weekend! πŸ™‚

  • Reply Soutrik February 19, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    Will, great job with the makeover and congrats on the Dream Decor promo at Times Square! I was wondering if you could make a post about how to pick art for a room… I feel the need to relate to an art piece in order to bring it home and that doesn’t happen often! Haha.

    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar February 19, 2016 at 3:22 pm

      @Soutrik – Thanks for the kind congrats! Funny you should request that as I have something fun coming up to do with art in the next month or so – stay tuned!

  • Reply Libbynan February 19, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    Love this look. I unfortunately do not have a room with enough light to use such strong color although I love it. Years ago I had a roasted pumpkin family room. Everyone thought I was crazy when I painted it, but when the room was all finished they loved it. The mint green touches make the room and those I CAN use…..not to mention the colorful art!

    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar February 19, 2016 at 8:46 pm

      @Libbynan – Thanks! Loved reading about your roasted pumpkin family room, too!

  • Reply Esther February 20, 2016 at 3:55 am

    I love it! πŸ™‚

  • Reply mary beth at MBZ interiors February 20, 2016 at 6:44 am

    I love everything about your bedroom but especially how your mirror is reflecting all your fabulous art! Thanks for sharing, Will. Can’t wait for the book.

    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar February 20, 2016 at 7:22 am

      @Mary Beth – Thanks! That’s one of my favorite parts of the room, too.

  • Reply Alexandra February 20, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Gorgeous. Good job. I love the slider. I was trying to pull all the photos on this post. hmm. Inspired by tones of blue.

  • Reply Olivia February 20, 2016 at 9:49 am

    Oh this looks SO beautiful x

  • Reply Lynn Byrne February 20, 2016 at 10:13 am

    Absolutely lovely Will! I wish we could paint our rental, plus do window treatments. Definitely make you smile style.
    xo Lynn

  • Reply Joan February 21, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    Love how the striped window shade echoes the “striped” radiator. Tell me about the whale in the window…

    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar February 21, 2016 at 12:40 pm

      @Joan – I like that part too! The whale was from General Store in Venice, CA!

  • Reply Torie from chilliandmint February 23, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    Your room looks fabulous – both stylish, sophisticated and I love the nautical theme. The darker blue works so well with your choice of curtains and the Matt White radiator. I also love the contrast of the lighter blue. The lamp also stood out for me as well as your sweet painting. Perfect prints too. Have followed you for some time on Instagram as I am also a big fan of colour (see my insta food shots) but only just gone onto your blog. Seems I have some catching up to do as it looks wonderful. Don’t know what took me so long. Best Torie

    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar February 23, 2016 at 5:54 pm

      @Torie – Thanks so much for following along and for your kind words about the space! πŸ™‚

  • Reply Shreyas Anand February 23, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    Two of my favourites! Blue hues & nautical decor. I particularly love the way you manage to get everything in the frame when you photograph in small spaces like this.

  • Reply Andrea February 23, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    Love the 2-tone room! The blues are so crisp & energizing. Quite lovely indeed.

  • Reply Jo February 26, 2016 at 6:54 am

    This is so lovely! Just goes to show that even with a smaller space, a room can still look just as lovely.

  • Reply Sara March 2, 2016 at 2:14 am

    Will, compliments! Your bedroom Looks fantastic. (And i am not saying this because blue is my favourite colour;-)

    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar March 2, 2016 at 10:47 am

      @Sara – Oh, thank you! And I’m right there with you re: blue! πŸ™‚

  • Reply Lara Bates-Prior March 4, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Such a lovely room! I would say its my dream room actually! Being an undergrad does not let me live in a place I get to decorate. So I must live through wonderful blogs/websites like yours. x

    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar March 4, 2016 at 11:54 am

      @Lara – So pleased you like it, thank you! Hope you have your own a place to decorate soon! πŸ™‚

  • Reply Monica @ Life Out Of Bounds March 11, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    Again, brilliant job. You even made the ugly radiator look good!

  • Reply Erica April 26, 2017 at 10:10 am

    What a bright cheery space! Where do you get your Roman shades made in NYC? OR do you make them yourself?

    Thanks so much!

  • Reply amcken3 May 10, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    That brilliant blue is absolutely beautiful.

    • Reply amcken3 May 10, 2018 at 7:57 pm

      I mean the electric blue is absolutely beautiful.

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