Oh Happy Day's Jordan Ferney Shares Wow-Worthy Home Style Strategies

Jordan Ferney 4
Erin Kunkel
September cover mom Jordan Ferney’s apartment is bursting with cheerful color and made for family life with three kids. We took a tour and asked the Oh Happy Day founder for her happiest home styling tips.
Erin Kunkel
Erin Kunkel

Let Kids Have a Say in Décor

Ferney took a cue from her own mom, who’d let Jordan and her sibs decorate their spaces—from a selection of things she preselected. That’s the key: Edit first!

Celebrate their art.

“I have some of it framed, but I also tape it directly to the wall,” says Ferney. For the custom wallpaper in her daughter Simone’s room, Ferney asked her sons, Moses and Roman, to draw things like the Eiffel Tower. Then Ferney scanned her sons’ drawings and had them printed through Spoonflower to create the wallpaper. $54 and up per roll; spoonflower.com

Live colorfully.

“Kids love color,” says Ferney. “A trick for a  pulled-together-yet-colorful look is to repeat hues.” The pink of Simone’s room reappears in the living room, and the green of the sofa is echoed in the boys’ room.”

Erin Kunkel
Erin Kunkel

Pick One Color and Run With It!

“It was scary to break out of white walls for the first time,” Ferney says of her decision to try a green-on-green look in her sons’ room. “A few friends said, ‘Don’t do it all dark!’ But I did it anyway, and I love how it turned out,” she says. “It’s so vibrant.”

Choose a starting element and build color from there.

Ferney began with Flor carpet tiles since “paint is easy to switch and carpet isn’t,” but any large surface area or piece of furniture or bedding can be your jumping-off point. 

Be patient with paint.

“I’m a ‘Let’s just do it!’ person, but it pays to take the extra time,” says Ferney. She tested eight shades of green on the wall and lived with them before committing to this deep emerald, which was the boys’ favorite of the bunch.

Add some “lowlights.”

“I knew I wanted some softer colors to balance the walls, so we painted the bunk beds and dresser a minty green—one of the quieter colors that we’d originally considered for the walls,” she says. The natural-wood ceiling light and accessories also temper the rich green.

Make it pop.

“I added touches of contrasting shades to highlight the single-color focus of the rest of the room,” says Ferney, who thinks that complementary colors and bursts of neon (like bright picture ledges and the neon-yellow wire bins) add the most zip.

One last thing: Paint and repaint!

Paint transforms everything, including furniture. The boys’ secondhand dresser got spruced up with mint paint, and their bunk beds have at various times been painted red, orange, and black.

Erin Kunkel
Erin Kunkel

Make a Happy Gallery Wall

An artful, casual one is total #momgoals for displaying memories.

Sketch it out.

First, take a photo of your wall. “I use the Markup function on my iPhone, which is like scribbling right on the blank wall,” Ferney says. “I’ll roughly sketch out the shapes of frames to help me visualize.”

Use picture ledges.

Narrow shelves designed to hold frames make it easier to move art around than hanging frames directly on the wall. Ferney used Mosslanda picture ledges ($9.99 each; IKEA stores) and painted them yellow.

Limit your palette.

Choose three dominant colors for a more cohesive look. Ferney stuck to mostly green, red, and yellow.

Go big—and small.

A collection of art looks best when you have a few large pieces, medium-size works, and some itty-bitty ones, like the photo in the yellow frame.

Think outside the frame.

Don’t limit yourself to traditional artwork. “If you have the perfect-color toy or storybook, put it up on the shelf,” says Ferney.

Paint the mats!

“When I went to hang my art, I realized most of my frames and mats were white, which I didn’t love,” says Ferney. “I ended up painting some of the mats in the frames green!”

Erin Kunkel
Erin Kunkel

Have Your Books Make a Statement

Use books as décor.

“I grew up in a house full of books, and I make it a point to keep kids’ books and art books out and available to inspire my children,” Ferney says.

Play up your bookcase.

“Organize your books by color. The visual punch is worth the extra minutes it may take to find a book!” says Ferney of her color-coded shelves.


Erin Kunkel
Erin Kunkel

Be Smart About Shared Spaces

“Because our apartment is relatively small, the kids play in every room,” says Ferney. “That’s why I wanted a cozy, comfortable, relaxed feel throughout.”

Tidy up daily.

“During the day we keep the doors between Simone’s room and the living room open for one big playspace, but come evening, the toys go back into their designated shelves, baskets, cabinets, and bins,” says Ferney.

Maximize storage.

Floor-to-ceiling storage displays the family’s fave books, while video games are tucked away in cabinets beneath. “Everything has to have a place or else things get out of control really quickly,” she says.

Know when it’s time to purge.

“It always feels good to get rid of stuff,” says Ferney, who admits that keeping an orderly house with three kids 10 and under is a daily effort.

Customize when needed.

“The bay windows felt like an inefficient use of space,” says Ferney. To make the most of the awkward nook, she invested in a build-in window seat that’s now a favorite spot for the kids to curl up with a book or just daydream.

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