Nursery Makeover–help!

Oh my, what a project. Before Ryan was born (and until he was about a month old) we lived in a one bedroom apartment. His crib and our bed shared the same space. Our “adult” and fancy decorations went to storage and it turned into a jungle covered with monkeys. (We won’t lie, we loved it too). But now we’re in a house… a 3 bedroom house… and Ryan has his own room. He doesn’t use it much yet because we co-sleep, but his changing table is in there and he LOVES being naked having his diaper changed in there ๐Ÿ˜‰ Just like a girl dreams of her wedding day, moms dream about designing and decorating a nursery. I was SO excited that Ryan was going to have his own room…. but here we are, about 4 months later, and we haven’t done a thing. Sure all his furniture and toys and clothes are in there, but that’s it. No kid-friendly paint or wallpaper or pictures. A bare wooden floor. And no crib skirt.

About a month ago I went crazy one night (boredom? lots of sleep the night before?) and I tore down all the old, ugly wallpaper in Ryan’s room. HOORAY! One step closer. The wallpaper came right off too… easy as pie. But all the glue residue was left on the walls. AND… a nice surprise–one of the walls is wood paneling. Finally about a week ago I went to the store and bought some DIF to scrape the glue off. And finally today I’m working on it (it’s a slow process… verrryyyy slowww). What am I doing blogging right now if it’s scrape-glue-off-walls day? I’m taking a break, ok?! My arm is tired and my hand is tired from squeezing the spray bottle, haha. (Steve is working today, btw, or he’d be helping me!)

Ugly wallpaper:

Annoying glue residue:

Ok, here’s where I need some help. Originally we were going to paint the walls a sage green color and paint all the trim/closet doors/shelves white… with white chair rail around the middle of the room. We also have a wallpaper border that matches our theme that’d go just above the chair rail. Here’s our theme:

And then we have these 2 wall hangings that match the theme and I made these wooden letters with scrapbook paper (I’m so proud of them!)… we’re going to hang them in between the 2 pictures above his crib (see how there’s a rope at the edge of each of the 2 pictures? We’re going to put in our own “rope” connecting them and hang the letters off):

But Steve said he doesn’t really like the green sage color idea anymore. Then it hit me–a chalkboard paint!!! How fun!! @MuseOddity on twitter just did it in their play room, look how awesome it looks:

I’m thinking more of doing one whole wall like that, kinda like this picture I found:

Soooo…. my dilemma… which wall? What do we do with the other 3 walls? And what do with do with that darn wood paneling?! Here’s what the 4 walls look like:

1: Closet Wall. This is a possibility… Ryan would have a good amount of space to the left of the closet to draw (but it’s also our only free spot of wall left, in case we wanted to put in something… like a bookshelf… toy chest… etc.) Hey you can kinda see my progress in scraping the glue off! Yay!

2: Window/Changing table wall. This one is out for chalkboard paint–useless. Plus it’s the wall straight ahead when you walk in the door… so I don’t really want it to be a chalkboard.

3: Crib wall. This wall is also pretty useless–and it’s the one with the wood paneling (there is also still some wallpaper on it). We’re hanging those 2 pictures with the letters of his name here.

4: Shelving wall. This is the other option for chalkboard paint… plenty of space under the shelves for drawing. This was my hubby’s first thought. (Yes, the wallpaper is still up in this picture).

I’m thinking it’s a good idea to do chalkboard paint on the 4th wall with the shelves because I still want to use the wallpaper border we have that matches our theme around the center of the room… but the shelves are pretty much in the way. So maybe paint this wall with chalkboard paint and leave the border off of it???

Option 1: paint wall #4 (shelving wall) with chalkboard paint
Option 2: paint wall #1 (closet wall) with chalkboard paint
Option 3: paint BOTH wall 1 and 4 with chalkboard paint?!

And… what color/design/WHAT?! to do on the other walls?
What to do on the wall with wood panels?! Can I just paint right over it or is there something I need to do? Paint on that wall will look different than on the others…

Oh, there’s also the floor. We have this one tiny little monkey rug that is actually supposed to be part of the bathroom set. I want a really big, cute rug, but they are SO expensive! Any ideas?

Anddd we need a crib skirt. I can’t find one I like that matches–I don’t know what color to get–and I don’t have time to make one. Anyone out there that can make us one? In exchange for… free advertising and promotion on my site?!

I need some creative help here! I’d LOVE to hear tons of ideas! Maybe do something different on each wall? Or that might be overwhelming. Maybe paint the walls white/off-white with just the wallpaper border around the center and… decals/stickers all over (in a cute way)? Or wallpaper border around the top of the walls? CAN YOU TELL I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

*EDIT: what about this idea: putting in the chair rail around the center of the room and painting the bottom half (on all 4 walls) in chalkboard paint?! And doing I have no idea what color on top.


7 comments to Nursery Makeover–help!

  • Obviously I am a fan of the chalkboard paint, just be prepared to put on many coats. We have similar nursery bedding and colors for Roland’s room and we did a a really dark brown accent wall behind the crib called “wild truffle” (by Glidden) and a lighter green on the other walls. Wall appliques are a great way to decorate too. I absolutely love the letters you made to spell “Ryan”, so adorable! Go to rate my space on and click on nurseries, you will get all kinds of great ideas. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!


  • My parents did the chair rail and did the bottom with the chalkboard paint. The top could be a very light blue or even a beige.


  • Amanda

    Chalkboard paint is quite expensive, if that is a concern for you, I recommend mixing your own – which is exactly what I did. I followed Martha Stewart’s formula on this page:

    I created a calendar that covered the whole wall. I adore it! I actually bought the paint from the Oops tray at Lowe’s (half price!) and found the grout on sale as well. It cost me $25 total.

    What’s so nice about doing it this way, besides saving money, is that you can completely customize the color. You won’t be limited to green and black. My wall, for example, is shades of blue and purple.

    I’d absolutely recommend decals as well. I’ve become a huge convert.
    Here’s some monkey themed decals on etsy:

    I’d recommend reconsidering the wallpaper, even as a border. I’ve had to tear so much of it off over the years, including that which I was dopey enough to put on, and I won’t touch it again! It’s such a nightmare.

    Whatever you decide, post pics! I’d love to see how it comes along!


  • Was this post directed my way at all?? Haha, I don’t have any experience designing nursuries….but all of your ideas are great, Em! I agree with the above poster – wallpaper is a bitch. I think borders are kinda old-school too anyways. If you want Ryan to be doing all the drawing on the chalkboard wall, put it under the chair rail all the way around – that way he won’t try drawing on other un-chalkboarded walls when he gets creative and curious. Kind of like a safety precaution for your walls! If you want to do some of the drawing yourself, then do 1 wall above the chair rail too – the calendar idea is cute and would be great on the closet wall.

    As for colors, lighter colors make a room feel bigger in general. I like the green, but you could do a pale green instead of the sage. Or go with a boring beige and apply colored decals.

    Good luck and can’t wait to see the results ๐Ÿ™‚


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