From Bland to Blissful: This Blue Bedroom Now Sparks Joy

The power "slow decorating" principles.

From Bland to Blissful: This Blue Bedroom Now Sparks Joy

Creating a space that sparks joy doesn’t happen overnight and wedding photographer Jennifer Hardin’s blue bedroom is proof. After moving into her late-1800s, New Jersey-based Victorian home with husband Ryan and dog Lily, Jennifer realized the importance of prioritizing makeovers in the rooms that they, personally, spent the most time in — even if it did take eight months to complete.

“I initially started thinking we should tackle the downstairs first! The spaces that guests would see, the areas we’d be hosting in,” Jennifer said. “But then I quickly started to realize that there were other areas of our home that we spent more time in. Putting off working on our office or bedroom suddenly felt totally wrong, so I did a 180 on the game plan and started to focus on these spaces first.”



What Came Before the Blue Bedroom

Jennifer described her old primary bedroom’s look as “bland” and “very overwhelming.” In addition to featuring a light gray color that felt “lifeless and boring for the space,” the room also had a visually overstimulating clothes closet with no doors, TV blocking a window, furniture that didn’t fit the space, a solitary sconce in the middle of a wall, and no synchronized color palette or design scheme. “I wanted to turn this space into a room that felt peaceful and relaxing,” Jennifer explained. “It’s a room we spend a lot of time in, and enjoying our evenings together in a room we love is important!”



Finding the Perfect Blue Hue

It all started with choosing the right paint color to cultivate the peace Jennifer wanted to experience in the bedroom. “While out on a hike, my husband and I came across the prettiest light blue flowers and I immediately felt inspired to bring that color into our home,” she said. After considering grayish-blue “Good Jeans” and the light purple-gray that is “Wink,” Jennifer settled on “Frozen,” a cool, icy blue that feels fresh and soothing, with medium, sunny blue “Summer Friday” as an accent color for the mirror door.


In addition to “Frozen” and “Summer Friday” perfectly complementing the peacock print wallpaper Jennifer installed on the ceiling, the blue hues work beautifully with the natural light that shines from all angles in the bedroom. “Because we get such great light during the day (and at night, since we added extra lighting for the nighttime with bedside sconces and an overhead fandelier), I knew I could go for the bold and darker ceiling wallpaper I was drawn to, but I didn’t necessarily want an overall dark, bold feel for the room,” Jennifer explained. “That led me to lean towards the light and bright shade of blue, ‘Frozen.’”



What Is Color Drenching?

When creating this blue bedroom that felt like a zone of calm, Jennifer used the technique of “color drenching,” which involves painting everything in different shades of the same color. In this case, the light blue “Frozen” and medium blue “Summer Friday” pair perfectly to make the room feel larger and more seamless, with less visual clutter. “Summer Friday” also helps to emphasize the charming detail that is the mirrored door.


One important lesson Jennifer has learned with color drenching: Non-white trim can be powerful. “Sometimes people feel like you have to paint trim (and ceilings) white, but I actually think choosing a color other than white for trim (or the ceiling) can create such a big impact on the space and make it feel really unique!” she said, adding that non-white trim can especially make an impact in a room where the door- and trim-to-wall ratio is close to even.


The Benefits of “Slow Decorating”

Fortunately, painting the space was an effortless piece of Jennifer’s blue bedroom puzzle that took eight months to complete. Turning this space into what it is today was essentially a series of many DIYs that involved wallpapering the ceiling, installing crown molding, and scouring Facebook Marketplace for vintage furniture that could be refinished, creating a custom feel. As for the closet, it was its own project (or several projects). “I added bifold doors to the main clothing closet, and created a floor-length mirror door for the little hat closet from an antique French door that happened to be nearly the perfect size,” said Jennifer. “I also opened up the shelf space above the closet to widen it, even out the spacing, and create an arched opening.”


Jennifer described her blue bedroom as the “riskiest” space she has designed so far. However, taking her time transforming the space over the course of eight months is what helped Jennifer make the overhaul a success. “It’s important not to rush it,” Jennifer advised. “Working in phases allowed me to update plans and make the right design decisions as things started unfolding … Seeing how everything started coming together in person helped me realize where more warmth was needed.” Ultimately, Jennifer learned that while it can be frustrating when projects stall or take longer than expected, getting it done right is always worth the time.

Next time you’re working on a room that is important to you, consider adopting the principle of “slow decorating.” Take your time and enjoy the process of creating a space that feels personal. After all, you want to have a home that you enjoy as a retreat from the rest of the world.



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