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A Room to Grow In


We converted a guest room into our Baby's nursery on a tight budget. We did a lot of re-purposing of furniture to create a bright whimsical space that would take our newborn into his toddler years.

Design Inspiration

Our design inspiration came from wanting a room that would grow with our son and still fit into the aesthetic of the rest of our house. We found bright fabrics that weren't too gender specific and combined those with whimsical touches that would inspire our child as he grows and learns.   The design aesthetic began with an image of a blue and white striped boys bedroom from Kathleen Dipaolo Designs and flourished when I visited a local fabric store to create the look of the room.

Decorating Style

Our style is a mix of eclectic and classic with bright colors, bold patterns and lots of artwork.  My husband and I love to find art when we travel to remind us of great trips and experiences we've had.  Our house is filled with artwork of animals and music that we have found in our travels.

Project Details

The room design started with the striped walls and continued with fabrics and the re-purposing of many items my husband and I had.

The bookcase was a dingy old wooden piece that came from our grandparents office.  We spray painted the entire case white with dark brown accents to match the crib and dresser.  The back of the bookcase was padded and covered with a zig zag fabric.  The bookcase was then decorated with books that we received as gifts, hand me down toys from our nieces and nephews, and an antique teddy bear.

The wing back chair came from my husbands family home and was wasting away in our attic.  We had seen wing back rockers becoming popular and thought this would be a perfect chair to re-purpose.  My father added the rocker legs and we had the chair re-upholstered in a black and white alphabet fabric with black suede piping.

The artwork in the room is all new.  While visiting New York we wanted to buy a piece of art to remind us of the trip. We had plans of visiting art galleries and picking a real statement piece.  We made plans to grab a hot dog and have lunch in central park while we planned our route of attack.  As we left the park headed to take the subway South we happened upon a few "art" vendors.  One specifically caught our eye.  A man was selling art of notable figures with animal heads. We were hooked.  We purchased a portrait of Napoleon with a lion head that we fondly call Maurice.  Maurice now lives about our son's crib and watches over him while he rests.  We continued the animal motif with a few plaster animal heads that were found at an antique store and a star burst mirror to add some pizazz.

The dresser/changing table was part of a bedroom suite that I found at the Housing Works Thrift Shop while at school in New York.  It came with a 5 piece suite for just $500.  To this day this was the best furniture purchase I have made as these pieces just keep being rearranged to fit my needs.  The original 70's feel was too retro for my husband so we sanded it down, stained it to match the crib and added new drawer pulls.  The result is a sleek contemporary piece that looks brand new.  We also lined the drawers with buggy wallpaper to give it a whimsical touch.



Rocking Chair Fabric-Alphabet Print and Yellow and Grey Stripe on pillow

Bookcase-Zig Zag Fabric

Dresser drawer pulls

Wicker Elephant Hamper

Tripod Floor Lamp

Red cube ottomans

Blue Canvas Diaper Bag

Favorite Items

It's hard to choose a favorite item as I picked each piece so specifically for our son's nursery.  Each fabric and accessory was picked to make this room both a nursery and a comfortable place for my husband and I to hang out.


I achieved the look of this room by beginning with a feel.  I wanted the room to feel playful but mature. I wanted to have a room that both my son and I would feel comfortable in.  As I purchased fabric or items for that room I continued to ask myself will this compliment the feel that I want for the room.


Sunday 6th of October 2013

You did an awesome job. I find your use of various patterns and prints daring but you made it work.