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Madalyn’s Gray and Yellow Elephant Nursery


When we were deciding on how to decorate my daughter's room, I knew I wanted something relatively gender neutral with just a slight girly flair.  I wanted the space to feel put together, but still have a touch of whimsy.  We were working with limited square footage so everything had to do double duty and be functional, as well as, add to the overall look and feel of the room.

Design Inspiration

The curtains were the catalyst for the design.  Aqua is one of my favorite colors and I knew I wanted that as the accent color for the design.  Yellow and gray were natural compliments to ground my gender neutral pallet.  After looking for inspiration on various Pinterest boards, I settled on elephants.  I loved the patchwork that I was seeing on elephants and they were perfect with my pallet.

Decorating Style

Contemporary and traditional elements.  I love clean lines, but I also want the space to evoke a homey feel.  Especially with an infants' room, I didn't want any elements to be off limits.

Project Details

I didn't want to buy a ton of stuff for the baby's room, so the crib (Pottery Barn, Larkin 4-in-1 Crib) - we found it on sale at our local PB Outlet - $449) and glider/ottoman combo (Buy Buy Baby - $400 after 20% off coupon) were the only big items that we bought, the dresser was part of our guest bedroom set and the toy box/reading bench was a espresso colored trunk that had been using as a coffee table. We spray painted white and covered the wooden lid with foam, batting and fabric.

The frame with the letter "M" is a display frame, so there's about 2" between the matte and the glass.  I picked up the wooden letter at Hobby Lobby for $3.99, painted and glued to scrapbooking paper.  The coat hook is from Micheal's ($3-$5 - it was purchased a while back) and was spraypainted white.  Baby sleeping/awake sign (Hobby Lobby - $5).  Stuffed animal hanging storage (Ikea - $4.99).  Elephant rocker was a registry purchase and so soft (PB Kids - $149).  Plush farm blocks on crib (PB Kids - $34) are the best soft blocks and worth the price tag!

The pillows are from Homes Goods and were about $8.99 each.  They were part of the room when it was a guest room.   The book shelves were wooden shelves from Micheal's I spray painted white.  Another found item around the house.  The side table, which has been great for setting down books or bottles is a garden table from West Elm that has been in two other rooms in our house.  The frames on the wall are from Hobby Lobby.  This is my one girly flair in the room.  I love the scrolling designs and they hold memories and decor from my baby shower.  The changing pad is the Harper Changing Pad Cover (PB Kids - $29), I love the terry cloth texture.

I loved the yellow as a bright, cheerful color for the walls, but wanted to add visual interest.  The stripes were a test of patience.  This required a laser level, I cannot imagine doing this without one.  I wanted there to be a focal point so decided to go with a gray stripe in the middle.  It also grounded the elephant decals (PB Kids - Branson Elephant Decals - $39) and made it so they weren't just floating on the wall.

Favorite Items

I love the wall with the coat hooks.  For me this one element started to tell a story. I had bought a furry winter coat and the moment i hung it up, it went from a nursery to my daughters room. It was an item that I had bought probably 5 years earlier and never used.  So when I came across it, I knew it either needed to be used or gotten rid of.  After spraying it white and hanging it lower on the wall with the coat, it gave the wall both visual interest and referenced the scale of the occupant.  The letter on the wall and the door hanger, gave the necessary pops of color and pattern to keep the wall interesting.


Start early and look for inspiration.  The elements that ultimately have the biggest impact in the room were not the most expensive.  Don't be afraid to take on some simple projects.