before & after: nursery makeover

I don’t have nurseries on the brain just yet, but I can already see myself gravitating toward a subdued, sophisticated and clean nursery style. I like the occasional crazy, colorful toy-filled nursery, too, but sometimes it feels a bit overstimulating. Lindsay’s nursery room strikes just the right balance for me. The gray walls and black dresser provide a nice background for the pop of colors; the ornate dresser painted green is cheerful and unexpected; and I really love the mix of sophisticated but kid-friendly patterns on all the textiles. Well done, Lindsay!  — Kate

Time: A few hours here and there + one weekend for painting

Cost: $210 (furniture, paint, lumber, chair, and accessories)

Basic Steps: My friend Heather helped me pick the great gray for the walls, and I fell in love with the green for the bed. The bookcase was a fun find at a church garage sale, and I wanted it to be fun and quirky for our son, Maddux, to be able to grow into. We found some fun vintage pieces like the chair and records and decided to have some fun with accessory colors like the polka dot quilt (from my mom) and the fun pillow and blanket thrown over the back of the chair. The map was another vintage find for a measly $24.99, and some of the colors came from that map.

We wanted it to fun, young, and clean. I think we achieved what we were going for. We got the idea for the bed while laying in bed trying to brainstorm something fun for a toddler’s room that we hadn’t seen before! Give yourself enough credit when crazy ideas pop into your head, and give yourself enough time to complete the thought before throwing it out the window! A kids’ room is a great place to explore those crazy ideas. — Lindsay

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)


I’ve been searching for a good gray for a long time, and I LOVE this one! Do you remember the name or color number?

idigmusic27 [at] gmail [dot] com

Creme de la Mode

I love how big and comfortable the changing table looks! And the colored toy cars/planes in each of the black cubby holes is perfection.

Marie Noelle

Love it! I might borrow some of these ideas (small cars everywhere = awesome) for my baby boy nursery!

Grace Sale

Ditto Sarah’s comment, I love this gray paint – please share with us the source. Thank you!


I love this room, so sophisticated and fun for a little boy. But one question – how does the toddler get into/out of the green bed? It seems a bit high for a little one, but it might just be that i’ve got the scale off. Are the records above the bed 45’s?


Thanks everyone! We had a lot of fun doing it! I will get the color for ya’all as soon as I get home. I have to give my pal Heather props for that…she picked it! The dresser was actually made into a bed for our toddler, and there is a nice “mesh blocker” so he doesn’t fall out…we just removed it for the photos. Thanks again all!


I love the changing table/cabinet! I hate the idea of buying a changing table and then not being able to use it after a couple of years, but this can evolve into something else. These types of cabinets are always on Craigslist for cheap too – I think I need to steal this idea! I’d love details about how you refinished this piece – did you just sand it and spray paint it?


Love this. We have so many old records from my parents and grandparents and I’ve been putting off using them as art. Now inspired!


any idea where that bookshelf came from (i know you said garage sale)? i would love a shelf with all those little cubbies at the top!


Wow! You took a room that was empty and put stuff in it! Hazzah!


Just love it! Very fun and we can see your personality shine through- Nice work and your blog is adorable. Thanks for sharing


I love the conversion of that old cabinet. The colour is fantastic also.


okay, ladies…here is all the information you desire :)

Grey wall color: AC27 Galveston Gray by Benjamin Moore

Green dresser color: Grapevine by Behr (Home Depot)

Mobile: from Goodnight Room in Oregon…phone number: 503.684.9510, and they do ship. I told them a few of you may be calling :)

Stuffed animals: all stuffed animals are from JellyCat (the only stuffed animals we buy) and you can find them at Land of Nod or Goodnight Room (phone # listed above).

The black shelving unit…you may be able to find something like it on craigslist or a vintage shop that carries old office cabinetry. The cubbies used to be mail-sorters!

As far as the dresser…it was already scuffed up so I did a light hand sanding, and then the green paint had built-in primer (which helps a ton and you don’t need to prime it first then)!

The records are just old LP’s that I found at Goodwill…what is perfect is that you can take the records out and then put a small nail with a small head right through the cardboard shell and then you won’t see any nail heads!

Thanks for all the wonderful feedback and compliments! You ladies are all terrific!

You can see more of our adventures on:! Thanks so much!!!


Hi Lindsay, love your ideas. I used to always pass the records shop and regret that while I didn’t really care about the music, i loved the covers – now I shall be able to bring them home with me!


Love the look!!That gray is amazing!!!I also like the accessories, but have to admit that the cabinet steels the show!!!!Thanks for sharing! It is really helpful to braving myself to get the courage to do something similar!!Really inspiring.


Linds I love the room! I love this new blog it’s amazing)


I’d love to understand more fully how you made the green cabinet deep enough to accommodate the entire twin bed mattress. Perhaps I’ve missed the how-to on this site somewhere, but if not, I would like further details. Thank you! I think that it’s a great idea.


Ok, so is this a toddle size mattress or a twin?? If it is a twin what did u use to make the dresser big eough to fit it??


Hey Lindsay – I am curious what you used to support the rest of the bed and keep it from slipping off of the cabinet. That is such a great idea for small spaces!

Thank you!