One of my fears before having kids was that my living space would be taken over by Disney characters. Everywhere you turn, you see Disney children’s products…Disney clothes, Disney bedding, Disney dishes… They even put Disney characters on diaper packaging… It’s overwhelming! Don’t get me wrong, I love Disney but my kids don’t need their characters’ faces on everything they own. I want my kids bedrooms to feel youthful but also aesthetically pleasing for adults. I’m also a big fan of gender-neutral coloring. I don’t mind some femininity but that doesn’t mean my daughter has to have a pink room.
We recently moved from Salt Lake City, Utah to Fargo, North Dakota and needed to make a few changes to adapt to our new house. Elle just turned three in January and was ready to make the move from her toddler bed to her “big girl” bed. Her new room was quite a bit larger than her nursery in Salt Lake so I decided to combine some of the elements and colors from her nursery with pieces from her playroom. This biggest challenge was meshing the lime green and turquoise color schemes so I jumped when I found this quilt on Zulily. I love the bohemian feel of this pattern and because I didn’t have any other “busy” pieces, I knew it would work perfectly!
This geometric owl was a custom piece I worked with a Spanish artist on Etsy to create. The owl has special significance because Evanelle’s Great-Grandma Evanell is an artist and her very first oil painting was of an owl. I love the kid-friendly yet modern and sophisticated appeal of this design.
I kept the ivory corduroy rocking chair and ottoman from Elle’s nursery that I found on Amazon (no longer available) and picked up these darling DKNY curtains from Home Goods. Coincidentally, her great-grandma also used to have pom-pom detailing on her curtains. Thrilled the pom-pom trend is back!
This table and chair set was purchased unfinished from IKEA for $25. I found a LATT table hack on Pinterest that I used for inspiration and designed my own custom set, painting the table and chairs in a lime green, gray, black and white color-block design. I also added fabric and padding to the chairs.
One of the biggest challenges for a mother of a toddler is managing all of the stuff! I don’t know where it all comes from but if I have to look at it, I want it to coordinate. When I designed Elle’s lime green, black, grey and white playroom, I asked my closest friend in Salt Lake City, who is a seamstress, to create a custom apron to match. Isn’t it adorable? The apron is actually reversible and came with a matching micro-mitt (hot pad). You can check out Jenn’s work by visiting her Etsy shop or on Instagram @jenndhandcrafted.
With a dresser, bed, rocking chair, storage, etc… who has room for a bookcase in their toddler room? I didn’t! I needed a place to store some of Elle’s favorite books but didn’t have the space and feared a book case would topple over on her. I love how these picture ledges purchased from IKEA allow you to see the book covers and add a whimsical touch to her bedroom!
The space above Elle’s new headboard was looking bare so I decided to transfer the collage wall from her old playroom.
When I created this collage wall, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on it so I found some free prints on Pinterest and purchased a couple of instant downloads on Etsy. I printed everything myself and found most of the frames for great prices at IKEA.
My favorite element of Elle’s collage wall is her birth announcement. I scored it on Etsy as a fillable instant download.
I kept the turquoise/mint table I had in Elle’s Nursery and added an old lamp I had that lights up in the base and at the top. The base light serves as the perfect night light and I freshened up the look of the lamp with a new gray lamp shade from Target.
Anyone who uses Instagram has likely picked up on the recent letter board craze. They are useful for so many reasons so it is no surprise as to why! I thought it would be fun to keep one in Elle’s room so we could write messages together and work on the alphabet but this letter board took forever to find! I love quality stuff but hate paying full price and $75- $100 shipped on Amazon was more than I wanted to spend. I searched and searched and found a much better option on Displays4Sale.com. This website specializes in letter board signage and you can create your own custom piece with dozens of sizing, framing and material options. I liked the vintage feel of natural wood so I kept it simple. I also went with a vinyl material instead of felt because I thought it would hold up better. It came with a set of 200 letters and I spent less than $50 on it including shipping! You can also find tutorials on how to make them yourself but it looked more complicated than I was willing to deal with. You still have to purchase the materials which run about $25 so I thought an extra $25 was worth paying for labor and a guaranteed professional finish.
One of Elle’s absolute favorite toys is her play kitchen which she got for her second birthday from her grandparents. KidKraft makes some of the best toys and I love the modern espresso finish of this one. With a little planning and forethought, you can find toys that contribute to instead of clash with your decor.
Unfortunately, we are still working on potty training 😩 but even after Elle no longer needs her changing table, it doubles as a dresser that can be used well into her youth, if not for another child.
As I mentioned before, finding a place for all of Elle’s stuff is one of my biggest challenges because I like keeping things as simple and as visually appealing as possible. I also need to keep them off the floor so my other three-year-old, Déjà vu, is not temped to nibble on them! This tiered storage I found at IKEA met the bill. You can customize bin sizes and colors to fit your taste. It has worked great for us!
This wall ruler is a really special piece to me because a lot of sweat went into creating it. I wanted to make one myself but have terrible penmanship and wasn’t sold on vinyl decals so I used metal house numbers instead. I got the idea from from a tutorial I found on Pinterest.
When I was a kid, we used blankets and chairs to build forts but this teepee from The Land of Nod was too dreamy to pass up! You can hide it away in the corner nicely and can be moved from room to room quite easily.
You don’t need a huge budget to create a dream room for your toddler. You just need to have a strong vision of what you want to achieve, use what you already have and make adjustments as needed. If you look hard enough, you can always find a deal too! What works, works and what doesn’t, doesn’t so don’t fight it! I have to say, after moving across the country just a couple of months ago, it is nice to see my “baby” girl look so at home in to her new bohemian sophisticate toddler room!