Hugo’s Vibrant Retreat.

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Hugo is a vibrant and curious 4-year-old with a strong point of view on what he likes. We set out to create a fun and unique room for him in our new home, letting him help with the design process in every step. We wanted him to feel creative and comfortable in the new house and by letting him have control over his own space, we knew he'd be right at home.

Design Inspiration

When we started coming up with ideas for the room, we tried to channel our preschooler's wild imagination.

We wanted a room that was going to reflect Hugo’s personality – bold and cheerful – while still being a comfortable place that he can retreat to for reading, quiet time and sleeping.

He could spend hours creating an elaborate fort in the living room, so putting a brightly colored canopy over his bed made it feel fort-like. He loves spending time drawing pictures and creating imaginary characters, so we wanted him to have a creation station that was all his own. Special zones around the room gave him room to create, learn or just relax with a book. The chalkboard wall has been a great place to practice the alphabet and spelling, which is a favorite activity before bedtime.

Decorating Style

We didn't think about a specific style when pulling the room together, rather allowing it to develop its own personality that mirrored Hugo's creative spirit. It could best be described as "Super Bold, Super Fun."

Project Details

Our main sources for the room were IKEA and Land of Nod, with a healthy dose of vintage finds from local Minneapolis shops. The fire engine artwork is from my shop Senn & Sons (

Favorite Items

The storage wall is definitely the hardest-working element in the room. Using a combination of the Expedit bookshelf and picture ledges from IKEA, we have the perfect place to store and display books, art and toys. We also have a big, squishy bean bag in the room so Hugo can just plop down with books any time during the day.


Hugo loves spending time in his room – from drawing pictures at his little table to curling up with books in the bean bag, it’s ended up being a perfect place for him to sleep and play. I am so happy he was involved in the process of creating it. His offbeat creative touches totally make it work.  It’s not a perfectly styled room. It’s a real four-year-old’s room.


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  5. Pingback: Nursery Storage
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    Hi Carissa – I’m so sorry I’m just seeing your comment! The paint colors are Benjamin Moore White Dove and Deep Space. (They can mix any color to be chalkboard paint now, which is so great!)

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    do you have a direct link for the ikea expedit shelving? I can’t find it anywhere on their site. (I’m in NY so it’s a U.S. Store). Thanks so much! Love the room.

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    Kim, could you tell me if you bought the white or the high gloss white cube shelving unit from Ikea? I don’t have a store near me to see them in person.

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    Lucy – We bought the bed at a store in San Francisco that sadly closed! Here is a link to the model if you want to search it out in other locations:

    Jes – Ours is not super glossy, so it must be the “white” option. (It’s an older version purchased before glossy white was available as an option!

    Kim x

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    Love this room, so we have purchased the Ikea Kallax shelving unit and the picture ledges. We also bought the grey striped storage units from the container store!

    I have a question about where you got the adorable standing globe! We have a map hanging on the wall, but our little guy is not quite tall enough for it. The standing globe would be great for him to play/explore.

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    Hi Hyojin! So happy you like our room and found inspiration in it! We found the standing globe at a local vintage shop that always has a ton of old globes in stock. (It’s certainly no longer accurate for geography lessons!) I feel like I’ve seen current versions at Target lately, otherwise maybe you could find a vintage one on ebay.

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    I already have those baskets from the container store :) What shelving did you buy that fit those large baskets?

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    hey, really amazing room! Thanks for this idea! I love these graphic striped baskets! i really think I will also buy Kallax to store the toys of my children ;)

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