...because home doesn't happen overnight.

nursery after 13

Mabrey turned four last month. I think that means I can no longer call her bedroom “the nursery.” I also think that means it’s time to make some changes. The nursery setup has served us well, but our spunky girl is growing and I want her room to evolve with her. A few items can stay: the rug, ceiling light and window treatments. We’ll be letting go of other items to make way for more age/stage-appropriate pieces. Here are my plans for the space…

Big Girl Room

1 – I’m nixing the dark walls to create a brighter, fresher space that better reflects Mabrey’s personality. Two walls will be painted the same white that’s in the boys’ shared room. (It’s Benjamin Moore white dove.) I like the idea of the kids’ bedrooms having a common denominator, so we’ll be giving one wall the Stikwood bamboo treatment to mimic the boys’ wood wall. The fourth wall will be covered in Cavern Home’s tapestry zuni wallpaper for a boho vibe. In the past, I’ve installed wallpaper solo and also with Steve’s help. I thoroughly despised the process each time. I’m seriously considering hiring the job out this time.

2 – I’m replacing the crib/toddler bed with a twin trundle. I mentioned loose plans for the bed here, and just this past weekend Steve and I painted it olive green. It looks incredible! Look for a separate post on that project soon. I’ll be switching out the knobs on the trundle with robust leather pulls. (Initially, I considered brass pulls but later decided they probably aren’t the most kid-friendly option.) The room is tiny – not even 10′ x 10′ – so there’s minimal space for a bedside table and lighting. I’m forgoing the traditional nightstand + lamp combo in favor of a versatile wood stool and a midcentury modern wall sconce. I’m pairing simple white bedding with a colorful kilim pillow and an indigo throw.

3 – Currently, an eight-year-old IKEA EXPEDIT unit holds Mabrey’s clothes.  The piece has traveled with us from a large house to a small interim apartment and finally to our current home, serving as toy storage, a media cabinet and dresser along the way. Looking ahead, I think a squattier piece with drawers would better suit Mabrey’s needs. It will serve as both a dresser and bench for seating. A striped pillow invites sitting.

4 – I’m bringing in new accessories to spice things up. The wild & free banner is soooo Mabrey. The moody indigo watercolor pays homage to the nursery wall color. The felt letter board is a fun way to display Mabreyisms and quirky phrases. An oversize jute basket will corral favorite toys and provide some of that natural texture I love so much.

That’s the gist! I’m throwing in a few surprises to keep things interesting, and I’ll be posting progress pics on instagram if you want to follow along. As I mentioned, we painted the bed over the weekend. It’s off-gassing in the garage as I type. After the paint has cured and the leather pulls are installed, I’ll write up a little “how we did it” post. I’m so excited to see this room come together and watch Mabrey’s reaction. She saw Steve unpacking her bed yesterday and said, “Oh Daddy! Thank you! I love you.” So sweet.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking 

29 Comments

25.April.2016

Hi Dana,
How long do you usually leave a painted furniture piece to cure?

thank you

reply )

replied on April 29th, 2016

It really depends on the paint used and the piece. Oil and enamel paints take longer to cure than latex. For pieces of furniture that will see frequent daily use, I like to add extra time for curing. When we DIY’d the clawfoot tub in the main bathroom, we let it cure for weeks since we used oil-based paint and wanted it to be fully cured before it saw any moisture. For the bed, we’ll probably leave it in the garage for a week or two to cure and off-gas.

reply )

25.April.2016

Very sweet indeed. I too, am excited to see the room come together. Great moodboard. I like watching the use of multi purpose items and ideas dealing with limited space. It is also nice that you linked to all the items. Have fun with it.

reply )

25.April.2016

Can’t wait to see the space come together, I think it’s going to be so perfect! I love her reaction to unpacking the bed. :)

reply )

26.April.2016

Looking forward to seeing the end results as hard to picture.

reply )

How cute! I cannot wait to see the finish version when everything comes together. I love the jute basket.

reply )

26.April.2016

Which elements/pieces did Mabrey have input on?

reply )

replied on April 29th, 2016

The bed, the pink pillow, the lamp, some art and a few other things I haven’t shown here. If given 100% freedom, she would have chosen all Doc Mcstuffins themed items, I’m sure. But I really want the space to have staying power and grow with her. She has some Doc McStuffins clothing, figurines and doctor bag that reflect her of-the-moment obsession.

reply )

26.April.2016

Can’t wait to see your little girl’s new space. I’m really curious how you will like the low nordli dresser. It’s something I’ve been eyeing for my daughter’s room as well since her room has so many huge, low windows. Love the gold striped pillow you picked for it, too.

reply )

replied on April 29th, 2016

I’ll be sure to let you know! I scoped it out in a room setting at IKEA a few weeks ago and it seems really nice. It even has soft-closing drawers.

reply )

26.April.2016

Oh, how fun!! Can’t wait to see the bed – and Mabrey’s reaction to the room when it’s done.; )

reply )

27.April.2016

We are in the process of upgrading our little girl as well, I found this shelf from Umbra to use in place of a bedside table. It’s perfect to hold a book or two, as well as a glass of water!

http://www.umbra.com/usd/wall-decor/shelves-boards/cubist-shelf-small-white

reply )

replied on April 29th, 2016

LOVE that idea and that shelf!

reply )

27.April.2016

What’s Mabrey’s favorite color?

reply )

replied on April 29th, 2016

Depends on the day…

reply )

27.April.2016
27.April.2016

How GORGEOUS! I’d love this room for myself lol! However, I’m amazed you can keep pink out of the room – my two girls are pink mad (despite my best efforts).

reply )

28.April.2016

Your room designs are inspiring. Looking forward to seeing the finished project. :)
May I ask, how are your boys IKEA bunkbeds holding up and do they still like them? I’m thinking about getting my 6yr old twins a bunk bed, but need it to last for a vey long time and be safe. Do you have any recommendations? Ladder, stairs, IKEA non IKEA?
Thanks :)

reply )

replied on April 29th, 2016

The IKEA bunks are still holding up! The top bunk squeaks a little when someone gets in it but no problems so far. I am VERY impressed with the Canwood bed we ordered for Mabrey’s room. (More on that soon!) It can be converted to a bunk, so that would be another recommendation from me.

reply )

28.April.2016

I’m sorry, but this room will be another version of your living room, your bedroom, your mudroom/dining room cave, YOUR everything. Your boys have a tiny bit of personality in their space, but seriously Mabrey is a 4 year old girl. Let her have some color, some pattern, SOMETHING, that doesn’t scream “My mom likes this so I have to live with it.” Why is everything dark green, wood toned, stark white, etc. Even that sad little throw pillow is EXACTLY like the ones in your bedroom/living room. I get tying things together, but no one here believes your children are so different/special/unicorn-like that they want a middle age man’s decor as they grow up. Let go a little Dana. OR just leave the room like it is. The blue is at least a bit interesting.

reply )

replied on April 29th, 2016

Actually, Mabrey chose the pillow.

reply )

29.April.2016

Mark, I never even had a decorated room. My bed was in a utility room with pipes on the ceiling. I had a bed and a warm place to sleep, albeit with hand me down blankets. Mabrey doesn’t know any different so why would she be unhappy? She is getting a room decorated for her with nice new things. Not all children’s rooms have to look like.. well children’s rooms. Dana said she was adding other elements to the room. Her nursery was infused with color and personality. “The middle makes no sense” rings true to any decorating.

reply )

03.May.2016

I love the wood – it suits any room, any style! It’s such a wonderful idea to let your child choose the colours and interior(of course, with a little help and guidance). Can’t wait to see the results and the surprises!

reply )

04.May.2016

Uhhh, THAT was a little cutting, Mark. Dana, I have every confidence that Mabrey’s room will be a lovely combination of your great taste and her personality. You know her best and know what will make her happy! You’ve added some awesome things to yours boys’ room that reflect their likes and I know you’ll do the same for Mabrey. I’m also going to guess that she’s got a little tomboy streak that she gets from her brothers, and that she wouldn’t necessarily love a sappy pink princessy room. ANYWAY. I continue to love your blog and your style! Every. Last. Room.

reply )

11.May.2016

Hey there…the URL for the leather pulls is not correct. Tried to be self-sufficient and search etsy on my own to no avail. Can you provide the revised URL?

reply )

replied on May 18th, 2016

Sorry about that…all fixed!

reply )

15.May.2016

Hey Dana! The link for the leather pulls isn’t working. I tried searching for them on Etsy, but couldn’t find those exact same ones. Would you be willing to send me the link? Thanks, dear!

reply )

replied on May 18th, 2016

Oops! Link is all fixed. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

reply )




This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.