You Won’t Believe What This L.A. Decor Diva Did With Her Tiny Closet!

Justina Blakeney

Justina Blakeney and her daughter, Ida.

Designer/home stylist/design blogger/creative consultant and author Justina Blakeney is a whirlwind of activity and creativity. With well over 1 million followers on Pinterest, styling gigs with everyone from CB2 to One Kings Lane, World Market, Airbnb and more, not to mention a rabid readership on her design blog, her life is as layered as the coveted boho-style spaces she’s known for creating.

She’s also the mastermind behind the dwelling she has dubbed the ‘Jungalow’. The tucked-away cottage in L.A.’s Silverlake neighborhood, which she shares with husband, Jason, and their 20-month-old daughter, Ida, has – in its continual transformation – become her design incubator of sorts.

Her legions of Pinterest followers love Blakeney for her boho sensibility and down-to-earth approach to decorating. She is a master at applying creative flair to low-cost, found items, and believes any of us can have a drop-dead fabulous house, given some imagination and a few DIY techniques. So when baby Ida came along, and finding space to create her bedroom was a challenge, it’s no surprise Blakeney hit upon the perfect creative solution: She would convert her own walk-in closet into the baby room!

Packed with gorgeous plants, bursts of color and unique DIY touches, much of the decor in the Jungalow is salvaged from markets and hunted down on Craigslist before she sets to work repurposing, re-painting and styling. And she took the same innovative approach to designing the nursery.

We at Fashion Trends Daily are suckers for creative, small-space solutions, so we asked Blakeney to share her tips on turning a tiny space into something magical. No kids? No worries. Her savvy home styling tips will work for transforming any tiny space.

p.s. Her first solo book project, The New Bohemians: Cool and Collected Homes, (Abrams) hits shelves in 2015.

Fashion Trends Daily: How did your home change when Ida came along?
Justina Blakeney: I always have so much stuff. I’m such a collector, and everyone was like, ‘Ooh watch out when the baby comes! You’re going to have to get rid of all your stuff!’ and I thought, ‘Oh, OK, we’ll just see what happens.’ And I think because she’s grown up with stuff around her, she doesn’t really grab for it. I don’t know if it’s because she’s used to it, or just her personality, but she’s really good. So in that sense not much has changed. But we did do some things. We completely took away our coffee table. It was a cushioned ottoman so it wasn’t dangerous for her, but we just needed more floor space for her to play because her bedroom is really tiny.

FTD: Yes! Tell us about this amazing bedroom solution you came up with for her?
JB: Well I transformed my closet into her bedroom. I had this big walk-in closet and it’s actually the perfect bedroom for her. It even has windows! Of course my clothing and shoes took a hit, and now they’re sprinkled all over the house. It was a sacrifice, but I’d do anything for my daughter. She loves her room and she’s sleeping in a big girl bed now.

Justina Blakeney, home decor, kids room, decorating

The room Justina designed for her daughter, Ida.

FTD: How did you furnish it?
JB: We did it almost entirely with hand-me-downs and stuff we found on Craigslist. I think the thing that made the biggest impact was the textiles. You can get textiles for so cheap and you don’t need much. I used vintage curtains I found at the Rose Bowl flea market and I upholstered one entire wall in this pretty, stripe-y fabric which lends kind of a vintage French circus feel to the room. It’s definitely boho because everything I touch turns to boho, I can’t help it! I’ve also got Indian quilts and funky, layered rugs. I wanted everything to be cozy and padded. I wanted cushioned texture so it would feel like the womb!

FTD: What are some tips for developing a look for your child’s room, or any room for that matter?
JB: I call it ‘shopping in my own house’. I think anyone can do this. When I was decorating Ida’s room and trying to decide on the look, I walked around the house and picked out some of my favorite items that I thought looked kind of whimsical and childlike. I had a Guatemalan wool doll, a giraffe in yellow and gray and a Moroccan-style lamp that I had painted turquoise. That’s where the color palette for the room grew from. I was shaping the room around these items that were already a part of my life.

Justina Blakeney

FTD: What should you look for when ‘shopping your own house’?

JB: You could even use family photos as a jumping-off place – just something you love that makes you think of your future child and something you want them to have or love. Maybe a charm bracelet, or even a plant. This is how I find color palettes for everything. I look at magazines, fallen leaves, anything that catches my eye.

FTD: Did you change anything else at home for Ida?

JB: We have an eat-in kitchen and my husband and I had a rectangular table pushed against the wall, but we got a round Justina_kitchen-updatetable so we could have proper family dinners every night and face each other. Now every evening we sit around and talk, which I really love. It was a fun change and we welcomed her into our lives in that way. We got ours from CB2 because I wanted that classic pedestal round table without paying $2,000 for it! This one cost around $250. It’s easy to clean and seats up to six if we have guests, but still feels intimate with three. We love it.

For more from the Jungalow, DIY tips and techniques and even some of Justina’s delicious recipes, check out

All pictures courtesy of Justina Blakeney

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