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Emily’s Artsy Traditional Nursery


When we found out our second was a girl, we needed to reuse pieces from our son's nursery and transform an office into a feminine nursery. The space really came together after a series of DIY projects and a splurge purchase on the wingback rocking chair.

Design Inspiration

The inspiration for the room was really a color palette: coral, grey and aqua. We wanted it to feel comfortable, layered with textures and unexpected, bold touches.  I created a pinboard to collect ideas:
We started with the 2 statement pieces, a DIY hand-painted rug and abstract artwork, and went from there.

Decorating Style

Artsy Transitional (on a budget).
We have a lot of traditional pieces, but we like to layer in modern elements and a little artsy flair for a fresh look.

Project Details

Ikea Lack Shelving
Ikea Rens Sheepskin Rug
West Elm Wire Pendant Light
West Elm Favorite Throw
Urban Outfitters Metal Accordion Side Table
Pottery Barn Kids Wingback Rocker
Pottery Barn Kids Harper Bedding
Lantern Moon Rice Baskets
Target Table Lamp
Artwork mine - inspired by Michelle Armas
White lacquer boxes from Container Store
DIY rug - hand-painted using the IKEA Erslev and the Casablanca Stencil
DIY La Vie artwork inspired by a Heima Store Print
DIY Melissa and Doug Abacus - painted with acrylic paint to color coordinate, for decorative use only!
DIY "Emily" blocks borrowed from brother's block set and painted gold

Dresser knobs from anthro, discontinued
Wall color unknown

All images by me

Favorite Items

The wardrobe wall is such a lovely way to display some of my favorite outfits. Babies don't wear their clothes for too long so it's nice to enjoy them a bit longer by using them as room decor.

The rug makes the room feel vibrant and decidedly girly.
I love the whimsical feel of the wire pendant lighting. At night it casts a soft glow and tent-like pattern on the ceiling and walls that makes the room feel so cozy.


Buy furniture in neutral colors so it will work for either gender.
Pick a palette you love and incorporate those colors through the accent pieces, like art, lamps and rugs.
Find a good handyman who can assemble ikea products, hang shelving, install lighting and build frames for your artwork (I commissioned my dear husband)
Don't be afraid to pick up a paintbrush.

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  1. avatar Alyssa says:

    I absolutely love the painting above the crib… is it for sale?

  2. avatar Erin says:

    Hi Gabby,
    I believe we found those at BBB at the time. Search “curtain rod bracket” and make sure the bracket is sized for the pole you have. And install the bracket into a stud to make sure it’s secure. These look similar to the ones we used:

  3. avatar Gabbby says:

    Where did you get those two Little “things” ( don’t know what they are called) that the rod is sitting on it? I really need them!!! Thank you

  4. […] Emily’s Artsy Traditional Nursery by Carolyn […]

  5. […] top to bottom: Vivien, Parker, Zoe, project, Emily, no […]

  6. avatar Savannah says:

    Very last question, if not can you tell where you found the frame you put it in? Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful room with us!

  7. avatar Savannah says:

    Can you tell anymore on the painting? I’m so in love with it!!! You would want to sell it would you or make another? haha

  8. avatar Savannah says:


  9. avatar NatCR says:

    Lovely room – my fave piece is the rug.

  10. avatar Alexandra says:

    Where did you get the Crib skirt? I love it!

  11. avatar Katie says:

    I LOVE this room! I am desperate to know the wall color though. I’m awful at picking interior paints and you’re clearly an amazing artist. Do you have a guess or suggestion as to the paint color. I’d really appreciate it :) Thanks!

  12. avatar ryan says:

    hi there, my wife and i love the painting you did. we’re wondering if you would be open to doing one similar, at least in the same color palette, for our daughters nursery? if you are open to it, let us know and we’ll contact you directly about details. thanks! ryan

  13. avatar erinmodglin says:


    Thanks Adriana! It was made by the store owner, same with that dresser. They’re both pretty big bulky pieces! I wish I could tell you a place to find one like that. the only place I’ve seen that shape is Restoration Hardware but they’re really pricey.

  14. avatar Adriana says:

    Thanks for responding Erin! Does it have a brand name or anything on it? I have been searching cribs like crazy for the last couple of months and love the look of that one.

    You did such a good job on your daughter’s nursery…great inspiration!

  15. avatar erinmodglin says:


    Adriana – That crib was gifted to me years ago for my first child. It was purchased at a boutique, Blue Moon, in Houston that has unfortunately closed since then.

  16. avatar Laura Krustchinsky says:

    Super nursery!! I love the rug and painting!!!

  17. avatar Adriana says:

    Great nursery! Where did you get the crib?

  18. avatar Erin says:


    Corrine, I used an allover stencil so the pattern was bigger. The craft stencils are smaller I think.

  19. avatar corrine says:

    hi! just wondering if you used the allover stencil, or the craft stencil? thanks!!

  20. avatar beks says:

    AMAZING!!!! All of it.

  21. avatar erinmodglin says:


    Julie, I got the stencil from, they have some really great geometric all over stencils. I used a regular cheap bristle brush, the kind that are sold next to foam brushes at the craft store. Just put some paint on the end, dab the excess off, and dab onto the rug. If you have excess paint it will just look more opaque. I wanted it to look more worn. Hope that helps!

  22. avatar Julie says:

    Awesome rug!! Where did you buy the stencil? Did you use a foam bush?

  23. avatar Florence Amber says:

    Love the artistry behind everything! That artwork above the crib and the colorful abacus are lovely. I am curious how the alphabet blocks look like now.

  24. avatar erinmodglin says:


    Thanks, Lacey! I wish I could say yes, but unfortunately I don’t have prints available now. Maybe in the future…

  25. avatar Lacey says:

    I absolutely LOVE the artwork. Is there a way to purchase a copy?

  26. avatar msacra says:

    This is such a precious room. Any little girl would love to have this as her nursery.

  27. avatar catej says:

    this is awesome I love everything about the space!

  28. avatar Mrs.Echon says:

    Awesome job on the rug,most especially! Love the pops of mint green! Great DIY room!

  29. avatar Kristin says:

    Love this nursery! Where did you get your crib?

  30. avatar erinmodglin says:


    Carine – I used a mix of Coral Blush and Melon, about half and half

  31. avatar Carine says:


    I love this room!

    Which Americana craft paint color did you use for the rug?



  32. avatar erinmodglin says:


    Destiny, I used approximately 4 bottles of regular craft paint (Americana brand, cheap at $.79 a bottle) and mixed it with a bottle of liquitex fabric medium (about $18). The medium reduces the stiffness of the paint when it dries, it’s definitely worth it if you’re going to have a baby crawling on the rug! I actually wish I had used a little more. I just laid out the rug, found the center and placed the stencil in the middle and worked outwards. (the erslev is not even, so its wider in the middle and narrower on the edges, don’t start on the corners!). I used more of a dry brush technique so it looked more “worn” and also so I didn’t have to paint in all the little crevices of a flat woven rug. Hope that helps!

  33. avatar Pam says:

    I love the painting you did for Emily’s nursery! so cool that she will have something to cherish for years and years.

  34. avatar Destiny says:

    So tell me more about painting the rug. I need a great rug but dont want to spend the money. Im sure its a real “labor” of love it looks great. What kind of paint did u use?