Skip to Content

Adventures in a Big-Boy Bedroom


In anticipation of his baby sister's moving into the nursery, we created a big-boy bedroom for my son.  Some of the items moved with him from the nursery; others were thrifted; others were purchased new and one iconic feature, a reverse-stenciled dresser, was DIYed.

Design Inspiration

As with many practical designs, we had several of the elements and had to figure out a new way to bring them all together in a cohesive way.  The items we had going into the design were the light fixture (purchased on a whim over a year before even thinking about transitioning the room), a hand-me-down train table, a set of sailboats and large, gallery wrap of a photo of the inside of a light house.  Rather than an all out theme, we tried to focus on layering various textures, vibrant colors and interesting patterns adding in additional 'adventurer' type details to round out what we already had.

Decorating Style

I love form but I need function.  If it doesn't serve an important purpose, than I keep looking.  This is evident in the storage bed, the reading nook and the fantastically modifiable FLOR tiles. 

Project Details

Natural, woven flat front roman shades with blackout liner in Lucia/Golden from Smith and Noble

- FLOR tiles cut in 1/4 squares. Toy Poodle in Cloud, Sterling, Titanium, Fog and Rake Me Over in Clementine

- Wall Color – Newburyport Blue, Benjamin Moore (white trim from previous owners)

Wide Stripe color block stripes – DIY  Made with Lenda Curtains from Ikea and Mimosa Panels from ZGallerie (no longer available in green). Tutorial on changing from tab-top to grommet top panels here

Dresser purchased off of Craigslist – Full tutorial on how to achieve reverse stencil look, including sources for decal and artwork: here

Globes – all from various Good Will and Thrift Shops in the Pittsburgh, PA area

Sailboat – Dartbrook Rustic Goods in Keene, NY

WPA Skiing poster with reclaimed wood frame – North Creek Designs 

Cascading sailboat mobile from Pottery Barn Kids but no longer available

60×24″ Canvas photo of inside of a lighthouse – Canvas4Life (photo by Miriam Z. Bradford)

Train table  - hand me down from cousin, but originally from Costco

28×28″ floor cushion (custom size) – Etsy seller, Made by Zigzag

Straight and Narrow book ledges in white – Land of Nod

Telegraph throw pillowLean-on-Me Study Pillow and Skateboard throw pillow - Land of Nod

Beadboard storage bed and hutch – Pottery Barn Teen

Cars and trucks and bikes sheeting - Pottery Barn Kids (no longer available, but they have other car options)

Brown gingham fitted sheet – Pottery Barn Kids

Full Circle throw pillow – Land of Nod

Elementary Comforter in Tangerine Regatta Stripe – Garnet Hill

Handmade Bear – Kendra Nordt

Tiny Transportation Trio Airplane - Giggle

Gearworks Table Lamp – Restoration Hardware Baby and Child (shade of unknown source)

Yellow and Blue Hanging Clipper Airplane – Pottery Barn Kids

- Artwork from various Cavellini and Co. travel poster calendars

Favorite Items

Without question, my favorite item is the reverse stencil dresser.  I purchased the dresser from Craigslist and while it wasn't in horrible condition, it could have been cleaned up.  Instead, I made a risky choice to create a ship decal and adhere it to the dresser and then paint over it and remove the decal.  It was the best decision I made in the room!


It is much harder to have to work with what you have rather than just start with a blank slate.  But if you take your time and really think about how the items you already have can work together in conjunction with newly introduced items than you can really achieve a successful design.  Additionally, no matter how pretty it is, you have to remember who will use it.  Everything in this room is easily accessible to and fun for a two and a half year old, without looking like a typical kids room.

16 Cozy Reading Nook Decorating Ideas - Interior Designology

Saturday 10th of April 2021

[…] Via […]

Lectura. Cómo hacer que los niños lean | BAF

Saturday 26th of December 2015

[…] Visto en Project Nursery. […]

Lectura | El blog del BAF

Wednesday 25th of March 2015

[…] Visto en Project Nursery. […]


Sunday 27th of January 2013

Please Please share where you bought the bed? :)

Jaime Bruce

Wednesday 5th of September 2012

Where is the bed from?