My oldest son, Evan, is 5 years old. He has been in a “big boy room” (or a room with a toddler bed) for a couple years now. I figured since I didn’t have a blog when he was a baby, and I recently shared all about his brother, Xavier’s, nursery that I’d share some photos of what I did in his room too. We did a completely different color scheme and setup. I thought sharing both rooms may inspire some additional ideas for kids room decor, but at the very least, allows me to document all the love I put into them.
Evan was born right in the middle of constructing our home’s second story. This was good and bad. Since he was just born, he stayed in our room the first few months. He slept through most of the work, which was great. But the hard part was that there was a lot for me to stay on top of. I had to design and choose all the finishes for the spaces, while taking care of a newborn. All on little to no sleep.
I apologize for the grainy photos of the original nursery. These were the only photos I took of the space when it was first setup years ago, and they were taken with my old cell phone.
I did, however, enjoy the design process of choosing everything for every room from scratch. Evan’s room was one of the most fun too! We did a little at a time over his first year. It worked out great since we weren’t in any rush to get him in it. It also gave me plenty of time to find what I really wanted and furnish the space slowly.
I believe the first thing I purchased for this room was the lime green and white geometric rug. It caught my eye on a sale site one day. I also knew I wanted to do a navy and white color scheme. So, I used those two things as my jumping off point. I started searching for fabrics that I could incorporate in the room with this rug and color scheme.
When I started looking for fabrics in navys and greens, I found that a lot of the ones I liked had various animal prints on them. So I ran with that ‘theme’ and incorporated all sorts of furry friends around the room.
Here he is up close. I think he’s so cute and just had to get him for the room. He hung above the changing table and is one of the first things you see when you walk into the room. I believe I got the white changing table on a sale site as well. On its shelves sat all the wipes, diapers, burp cloths, swaddles and blankets we used on a regular basis.
When we set up Xavier’s nursery a couple years later, I painted this changing table grey and moved it into his room. This corner in Evan’s room has now become a reading nook. It’s complete with a small arm chair and additional animal friends hung up above. You can see these in the ‘big boy room’ photos below.
I also purchased a wicker basket from Home Goods to use as Evan’s clothes hamper. It sat right next to the changing table, which was super convenient. It has since been moved next to the entrance door, next to the chest of drawers. I made the fabric liner inside the hamper to fit the shape of the basket, and added ribbon ties around the handles to keep it in place.
In addition to the hamper insert, I also sewed the curtains, a couple crib sheets and skirts, a quilt and some pillows. I liked having 2 options for the crib sheet and skirt. I would change them out every so often to showcase different print combinations. One of the sheets and skirts I made are in the above photo.
You can see the quilt and pillows in the more recent photos below. For a good while after Evan was born, we didn’t give him any blankets or pillows. As was recommended by our Doctor. So, I didn’t get them photographed back then. (Also, full disclosure, I didn’t even get the pillows made until I was designing/sewing for Xavier’s nursery, much much later).
For the crib sheets, I used this Pinterest tutorial. They are pretty easy to make, you just need to get some elastic and enough fabric to cover the length of your mattress. For the skirts, I just winged it. I made a short panel for each side of the crib, and attached them with double-sided velcro. One side of the velcro got sewn to the top of the fabric panels. The other side I glued onto the metal mattress frame. When the skirt is not in use you cannot see the velcro on the metal frame because its blocked by the crib’s wood frame, so it works out well and stays out of sight.
The sound machine, video monitor and breathable crib bumper that’s wrapped around the crib slates in the photo above are all from Buy Buy Baby.
Above is a close up of my favorite wall in the whole room – the crib wall. We went with all white furniture for Evan’s nursery. We got a crib and extra wide dresser from Pottery Barn Kids. I ended up choosing pieces from two different collections because I didn’t like the original combinations they were sold in.
When we were first building out the second floor, I had the painter paint this striped wall in navy and white. He also painted the rest of the room a light taupe-y grey color. I’m so glad I had a professional do the stripes, because I don’t think I could’ve pulled them off myself.
Above the crib hangs two of my favorite things in the space. This adorable mobile I found on Etsy and some storybook letters that I made after seeing similar ideas on Pinterest. The mobile wasn’t cheap, but it was so well made and I was able to completely customize it. I got it from DropsofColorShop on Etsy. You can chose the wood colors, types of animals and the felt colors used for each. She has SO many different themes too. These mobiles would be a perfect gift idea!
These letters were so fun to make. I saw lots of tutorials on Pinterest using Mod Podge to seal similar projects. So, I just took a handful of vintage Disney books that I had (lots) of and cut out some of my favorite scenes. I found inexpensive wood letters at Michael’s. Then just used the Mod Podge to glue the pages onto the letters, layering and playing around with them as I went. I trimmed all the excess paper hanging off the edges. Then sealed over the pages with another layer of Mod Podge.
I’m happy to announce that these are still in place and look as good as new! I know eventually they’ll come down, but I’m going to keep them up there as long as I can. They are just so fun and cheery and the colors in the artwork brighten up the space.
To the left of the crib wall we hung some white shelves we got from Pottery Barn Kids with all the books Evan has received as gifts. I truly love this display and it makes for an inexpensive and fun (interactive) wall art installation. Not only are they pretty to look at, but it makes them so inviting when you see them hanging there. You just want to go grab one, sit and read it. I honestly think we read so much more because of how beautifully all the books are displayed right next to his crib/bed. And I’m happy to report that these shelves and books are still up and still get lots of use today!
An added bonus: the books stay wrangled up on the shelves and the floor stays clean. Evan can reach the bottom two shelves. So, he’ll go get his own books to read and then returns them when he’s done. He has fun switching them all around too.
Below the book shelves sits this adorable plush nursery bear rocker that has been engraved with Evan’s name on it. It’s from Pottery Barn Kids and was a gift. It doesn’t get much use anymore, but it’s so beautiful so its stayed in place.
Another favorite piece (guess I have a lot of favorites!) is the pendant light in the room. It’s from a special collaboration between Young House Love and Shades of Light. The print has little chihuahua dogs all over it (patterned after their own pup). It’s so darn playful and perfect for a nursery. You can shop their collection on Shades of Light here.
YHL are my favorite DIY/home remodeling/ home decor bloggers who now have a pod cast. I’ve been following along with them for years. I got a lot of my design ideas for our home as we built out our second story from them. Do yourself a favor, and if you aren’t already following along with them on their blog, Instagram, or Pod Cast – go follow them now! They have the best ideas and the best personalities.
On the opposite side of the crib sits a rocking chair and little side table. When we moved into our house, this rocker had been left by the previous owners in the attic. I actually loved it’s vintage charm and it was so well made. Plus, it meant one less thing we needed to fork out money for, so I decided to put it in the room.
It was originally white, but I decided to paint it navy since we had so much white in the room already. You can see the quilt I made hanging over the chair in this photo. There are some additional shots of it below. I found the side table at Home Goods. It was originally red. I loved the silhouette and its small stature, so I got it and painted it grey.
This little table was probably one of the very first DIY projects I did in this house. I first tried sanding it after reading that advice on a DIY blog, but it just left scratches on the surface. I’m not sure sanding was needed for this piece. So I stopped sanding and painted over it as it was. But you can now see the scratches through the paint in a few spots. Needless to say, it didn’t come out the best, but it serves its purpose and is still in the room today.
I didn’t do my best paint job on the navy rocking chair either. But, by the time I painted the changing table for Xavier’s nursery, my skills had greatly improved. I still love DIY-ing things myself and love the growth that comes with trial and error and experience. So these pieces, with their faulty paint jobs and all, serve as reminders of my DIY progress over the years.
On the opposite wall from the crib (which is immediately in front of you when you walk in the room) sits this dresser. This is one of the pieces of furniture I mentioned before that we got from Pottery Barn Kids. On top sits a wicker basket I found at Home Goods. It originally housed lotions, creams and other things we needed handy on a day-to-day basis when Evan was a baby. Now, it holds some of the more cherished and special stuffed animals/toys that we like to be seen, but not so easily touched.
I got my husband to hang a gallery wall of photos above the dresser. (I’m not allowed to do any of the hanging in the house, which is fine by me; I’m a much better foreman anyhow). I believe all the frames were from West Elm. The photos were taken at my maternity shoot when I was pregnant with Evan. As well as from the newborn shoot we took right after he was born. If you are local, Alexis Hardy Photography did both of our boys’ newborn shoots and she is amazing with babies! She’s a fun follow on Instagram too! Her creativity is beyond- go follow her here.
Above are some close ups of the fun items I incorporated in the gallery wall. The silver boat is a piggy bank my mother gifted Evan. The wooden block was also a gift, and has birth stats of Evan written on it. The framed white heart was a plaster kit I did of Evan’s hand and foot at 2 months old. I framed it in a shadow box with some fabric behind it.
I also framed one of his first pairs of shoes with some fabric behind them. These are patent leather and Evan wore them at his baptism. My husband is in the kids’ shoe business, so I thought it was fitting to display a sweet pair in the nursery.
The bubble display case holds the fondant cake topper from Evan’s gender reveal cake. I saved the ‘boyish’ themed items that sat on top of the cake: a bear, a baseball cap and bat. The display case is DIY-ed. I used a little glass fish bowl vase and piece of wood I painted blue. Both items I found at Michael’s and just stacked one on the other. The fondant has begun to fall apart. I’ve been able to glue some parts of it back together, so for now it’s still in the room.
Lastly, I incorporated a few little birds I had collected randomly to keep with the ‘animal’ theme.
So far, I have not changed anything on this gallery wall. But I think its due for a ‘big boy’ makeover. I will probably hold off until we move Evan in a larger bed, at which point we can give the whole room a little facelift.
There are some areas in the room, however, that we have updated. When we moved Evan into his toddler bed, I started changing things around a bit. This bed is the same crib we got at Pottery Barn, just with the front side switched out for the toddler bed extension. I love this bed so much! It’s made so well and is just so darn cute.
This tent that now sits next to the bed was a Christmas gift we gave Evan. It’s from Pottery Barn Kids and replaced the rocking chair that use to sit there.
Here are some shots of what the large window wall looks like now. We haven’t changed the book shelves to the right of the window. But the changing table is no longer to the left of the window. We moved that into Xavier’s nursery and put a toddler reading chair from Pottery Barn Kids in its place. This chair was also a Christmas gift we gave Evan one year.
Under the window still sit a couple of wicker baskets I found at Home Goods, I believe, that house the overflowing amount of stuffed animals/toys the boys share. Honestly, they are both probably too big for most of these stuffed animals now. But I haven’t been able to part with them just yet. The boys often put a few on their beds to sleep with at night. Or take to one specific one for a while and carry it around with them everywhere.
So, for now, they will stay. We do donate so many of their gently used toys every year at Christmas time. Perhaps, some of these will be distributed out to new homes this year.
I just love this little reading nook. Sometimes when Evan’s being very quiet, I will come into his room to find him playing with legos on this chair. Or sitting here reading a book.
I moved the grey side table next to this chair after we got rid of the rocking chair. On it sits his sound machine/ night light and often some books. The green frog pouf use to serve as a foot rest for the rocking chair. But now it sits in the reading nook and often serves as a pillow for Evan to lean against.
As you can see, there are also some additions to his animal friends hung up on the wall. We added a rhino from Target and a horse. I don’t recall where the horse came from. I framed out the horse just like I did with the deer. And I found a piece of wood at Michael’s that I hung the rhino on. It looks like it was sliced off of a wood stump and is just so cute. I think it was meant to be a decorative platter or cake stand. But it works for displaying a rhino too!
Here’s a close up of his big boy bed. The quilt I made for him is actually being used as his comforter. Sitting on top are some pillows. The large green one I found on a random shopping trip. I bought it without knowing where it would live in our home, but it works nicely in here. The other two I made for him using tutorials from Woodberry Way’s blog. She has the best pillow tutorials and patterns! I made these pillows at the same time I made Xavier’s and were the first pillows I ever sewed.
For the quilt, I found all the different fabrics on Etsy. I used a pattern called “Niner” by Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms. Her fabric lines and patterns are some of the very first I came across when I started quilting and they are simply the best! I love everything she creates.
This room is just so fun and light-hearted. There are so many interesting things to look at and play with. And I’m loving that Evan is wanting to come up here more and more to play on his own.
I can’t believe my oldest is already 5 and sleeps in this big boy bed! We’ve already promised him bunk beds, and may move Xavier in here with him to share a room at some point. But I’m in no hurry for them both to grow up. So I’m just going to leave this cute little toddler bed right here. And hold on to the idea of him being fast asleep inside it, having the sweetest dreams, tucked under the quilt I made him 5 years ago.
If you’d like to see more kids room decor – go check out the kids nursery room decor board I created on Pinterest. I have lots of fun ideas I’ve scouted across Pinning-land. There are plenty of easy tutorials there too to give you even more fun kids room inspiration!