I’ve been sneaking little peeks here and there of our work-in-progress upstairs spaces, and I’m so excited to show y’all the first of the finished rooms! Since I hadn’t changed up the decor of Phoebe’s nursery since she was born, we thought it was time for our almost 3-year-old to have a room that was a little more in-line with the big girl she’s growing into. And since we’ve got a baby on the way soon, I knew we’d be moving the changing table and a few other baby items into his nursery, leaving room for some fun new design elements. I shared the design kickoff meeting at RH Baby & Child here… now click through the slides to see how their design team helped me bring my vision to life in our home, and learn a few great design tips I picked up along the way. Not sure if Phoebe’s favorite part of her new room is the canopy (new favorite hiding place) or her “makeup table,” but suffice it to say that she’s pretty much in big girl heaven!
*photos by Molly Winters
Remember Phoebe’s belle upholstered crib that I posted about when I was designing her nursery? One of the best things about it is that it easily converts into this dreamy toddler bed. To up the princess vibe, we mounted a carved wood canopy bed crown to the ceiling around her existing light fixture, then draped three panels of sheer belgian linen drapery to create her cozy bedtime hideaway.
*design tip #1: when planning the nursery, choose a few pieces that will grow with your child and won’t feel overly babyish a couple years down the road. As I can attest: that tiny baby will be a “big girl” (or boy) in the blink of an eye!
It was so fun choosing girly bedding to layer onto her little bed, and there were tons of gorgeous options to choose from… We finally settled on this trellis percale fitted sheet (in the toddler size) with the washed appliquéd fleur toddler quilt and matching sham in petal. It’s the perfect shade of soft pink that’s sweet and romantic without being over-the-top girly.
*design tip #2: A fitted sheet is a great place to subtly bring in a pop of pattern. Top it with a quilt or comforter in a richly-textured solid to add a cozy vibe without feeling too busy.
Phoebe’s at the age where it doesn’t get much more fun than a game of hide-and-seek. The cotton voile play canopy we hung in a corner of the bedroom has quickly become her new favorite getaway spot, and she loves curling up on the washed velvet beanbag with her “babies” and a book.
When we bought this bookshelf before she was born, I knew it would be an heirloom we’d hold onto forever. For the big girl space, all it needed was a few styling updates — swapping out more babyish items for the books she’s currently reading, updated photos, plus a couple of fun new accessories, and voila! It was transformed from this… to this.
*design tip #3: As tempting as it can be to keep adding to your shelves, I’ve discovered that it’s important to constantly edit them down to keep them from getting cluttered. When a room needs a little update, sometimes all it takes is a Saturday morning spent rearranging my bookshelves for a fresh new look.
These trellis jewelry boxes hold Phoebe’s treasures (and less-than-cute tchotchkes — yeah, we’ve got ’em), and a wool felt bunny bookend perches on a stack of classics that I can’t wait to read with her one day.
When I first told Phoebe we were going to turn her nursery into a big girl room, her only real request was “a makeup table just like mommy’s,” so this selection of vanities was actually the first place I started when scoping out new pieces for the space. I loved the classic lines and family heirloom quality of the lucie vanity, especially paired with the maxine vanity stool in vintage velvet. Look closely and you can spot a photo of me with my mama when I was just a few months old — it’s one of my favorites.
*design tip #4: Choose furniture with storage strategically built-in. Phoebe has just as many toys as the next 2-year-old, but when she brings home a new one, we always find a designated bin, basket, or shelf for it to call home. Making sure there’s a place for everything ensures that her room stays uncluttered.
The mirror flips up to reveal lots of little compartments for all her “getting ready tools” — pretend hair dryer, my retired makeup brushes, faux lipstick… you know, all the necessities! I let a pretty piece of coral double as decor and impromptu jewelry hanger.
Since we moved the glider out of her room, a top priority for the space was adding a comfy place to read together and indulge in snuggle sessions before bedtime. One great benefit of working with the designers at RH Baby & Child was that they suggested ideas I would never have thought of on my own, like this ondine salon bench placed in the center of her big window. It’s such a statement-making piece right when you walk in the room, and as Phoebe gets older, it’s sophisticated enough to transition right along with her (that is, if I don’t steal it for my own bedroom first!) We topped the bench with a supersoft luxe faux fur pom-pom throw, and it’s already become our special spot for curling up together.
A few layered pillows in linen and washed velvet, plus this wooly plush bunny, add texture and a bit of whimsy to the couch.
*design tip #5: Choose an accent color, then use it with restraint. We planned a neutral palette of taupes, greys and weathered white, but knew we wanted to incorporate plenty of Phoebe’s favorite color (you guessed it.) Rather than having the entire salon bench upholstered in pink, we chose a neutral that would have way more longevity, then added the cutest pink accent with a cloud-shaped throw pillow.
This is a corner destined for hours of imaginative play: there’s something about a tent or canopy that just feels magical to a kid — like a true place of her own. We tied up two of the panels to keep it easily accessible, but I can also untie them and let her really hideout.
There’s no piece of furniture more versatile than a pouf — it’s a seat for Phoebe, a table for books, and an ottoman for me to kick my feet up when I’m lounging on the couch! This morrocan leather pouf is so chic in any space, and the hand-embroidery adds an exotic touch to the room.
*design tip #6: Spend time thinking about how you really use the room before you ever begin. Since one of our main activities in Phoebe’s room is reading, we constantly have a stack of books going. This little multitasking piece keeps them from piling up on the floor!
Phoebe loved seeing her name embroidered on the beanbag — having a subtle monogrammed element makes the space feel like hers.
A couple favorite photos — one from her baby days, and one from a few months ago when she found out a baby brother was on the way!
We switched out her heavier linen drapes for these pom-pom linen-cotton drapery panels that feel more fun and girly. They let just enough light filter in, but keep the room dark enough for nap time.
*design tip #7: One trick the RH Baby & Child designers taught me: mount a curtain rod as wide as possible — letting the curtains go beyond the outer edges of the window makes the window look huge, and the entire space seems larger and more light-filled.
Loved getting to share these shots of Phoebe’s room with you guys — and so excited to share our new baby’s nursery next week! Stay tuned!
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