From Baby to Big Girl: A Colorful Nursery with Room to Grow

Create a nursery space that's bold and kid-friendly, where pets are welcome and the decor will accommodate a growing child.

From day one, We knew we didn’t want a traditional pink or trendy white/pastel nursery for our baby girl.  We wanted a colorful, happy, and bold room filled with art and other interesting decor items that could hold her interest as she grew into a spirited toddler and then a little girl.

Janery A Colorful Nursery that Will Grow with Baby

We pulled inspiration for the nursery design from two elements: a red kilim rug and the colorful Japanese fabrics used for some of Janery’s most popular pillows. My former office - now the nursery - was painted in Sherwin Williams’ “Lively Yellow”. That existing paint (more green than yellow) worked well with the fabrics and rug, so we kept it.  

We chose a simple, modern, handmade crib from Kalon Studios, a small artisan business in New England.  The smooth-sanded, unpainted Maple wood design was fitting for our “little sapling”, and is nontoxic if she chewed on the bars of her crib.

Janery A Colorful Nursery that Will Grow with Baby

In lieu of a standard nursery rocker, we recovered my grandmother’s cozy vintage swivel rocker in a stain-resistant blue velvet. The velvet was nearly identical to the original blue upholstery and was much more pet-friendly than the original nubby woven upholstery - which my parents’ cat couldn’t resist.

Janery A Colorful Nursery that Will Grow with Baby

A simple hanging pendant lamp from our favorite vintage furniture shop completed the reading nook.  We framed sections of my favorite out-of-print Japanese fabrics in embroidery hoops to add a little art - another learning opportunity - to the wall.

Janery A Colorful Nursery that Will Grow with Baby

Wanting even the closet to be fun, we removed the bifold doors, replacing them with curtains in yet another colorful Japanese linen. We installed the Elfa closet system, but installed hardwood boards for shelves instead of the laminate shelves sold by the Container Store.  You can find clothes a lot easier if they’re all hanging in a row, so we added a clothes bar to the bottom shelf to avoid having to store all the clothes in a dresser. (Bonus:  now that our daughter is 3, when she dresses herself she doesn’t have to pull a million outfits out of a dresser.)

Janery A Colorful Nursery that Will Grow with Baby

Over the vintage dresser, we created a gallery wall of inspiring art, topped with a fun bird mobile from the Museum of Modern Art.  Again, we chose items that could fit in our home in other ways once Maple was old enough to insist on redecorating her room. :)

Janery A Colorful Nursery that Will Grow with Baby

Sparked by the birds in the window valance fabric and the ottoman, we painted a mural - with the help of a talented friend - over the crib.  

Janery A Colorful Nursery that Will Grow with Baby

Janery A Colorful Nursery that Will Grow with Baby

Our “little sapling” is 3 years old now, and the nursery is going strong.  She loves it, and we aren’t tired of playing or sitting in it with her.

Photo credit:  
Laura Metzler Photography

Source list:
Crib / Closet Shelves / Dog Bed / Mobile / Pendant Lamp
Chair, rug, curtains, side table, window cornice boxes,  and the mural - all vintage or DIY