before & after: nursery makeover

I remember watching my friend’s baby as she was starting to observe the world, and it was awesome to see her eyes travel over everything with utter fascination, particularly prints. It’s not as easy as some might think to successfully mix prints and patterns. What I like most about this charming nursery makeover from Tim is that he’s mixed a ton of different patterns in a really smart way. He’s provided a beautiful environment for a baby to explore, but also one that is sophisticated and modern enough for parents to enjoy. Nice work, Tim! — Kate

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.)

Read more about Tim’s nursery makeover after the jump!

Time: 2 months

Cost: $2000 including parts + labor

Basic Steps: To achieve this look, first you need to pick a focal wall. It could be a paint treatment or wallpaper. Both approaches are simple and relatively low in cost and commitment, but the wow factor is huge, and the room wouldn’t have had the same energy and impact if it weren’t for the focal wall. Then you want to think about the function of the room and what you want in the end result. In this case, we were doing a nursery. So we knew we would need lots of storage and a couple of comfortable chairs for those sleepless nights. The identified functions and key pieces of furniture would lead you to big box stores or custom. After that, color palettes, accessories and an area rug would come into place to complement the focal wall.

My advice to others who tackle a similar project: Listen to your heart when picking the jumping-off point. Don’t be afraid of what may seem too bold. As long as you love it, that is all that matters. After all, it is used in small doses or simple-to-remove application (e.g., focal wall, pillows). If you back away from what you love and pick something else, the space will just be safe, and you will always wonder what the room would look like if you had gone for your number 1 choice.

Save and splurge is also key. We had a limited budget, so we sourced the main pieces from big box stores. To give them a custom look, new knobs were put on the dresser, and a custom wood frame and fabric was applied over store-bought magnet boards. We also shopped at local thrift stores and the clearance section of home-accent discount stores for artwork. The splurge of this room was the wallpaper/wallpaper installation and the custom round storage units.

One tip for a couple that’s doing a nursery with wall-to-wall carpet: Get an area rug to go on top. Accidents do happen, and it’s a lot easier to dry clean an area rug than the wall-to-wall carpet. A good under carpet pad is also key to make sure the area rug stays in contact with the carpet underneath. — Tim

  1. Rubina says:

    Great job! Where did you get that rug? It’s absolutely beautiful!

  2. Love this so much. All the different fabrics complement each other so well. And that wall is to die for. I recently helped design a girlie nursery if you’d like to check it out:

  3. Candace says:

    I would never have thought to put those colors and patterns together like that but I LOVE the way they all complete each other so well. Beautiful!

  4. k says:

    I have that rug! It’s from Ikea. Lovely job.

  5. I absolutely love the unexpected color palette, and layers of materials and patterns. So funky/boho but still childlike. LOVE!

  6. Oh wow, so perfect! I’m saving this for the nursery we’re putting together for our baby-on-the-way. What a great change from pink and blue!

  7. Sarah says:

    yes, the rug! nice work on the room in general.

  8. Katie says:

    Very beautiful! I love that there are so many different patterns but that the color scheme stays the same. It all goes together and flows very nicely that way.

    I also like that there are a few teal/blue accents, but that it isn’t glaringly obvious this is a boy’s room. And the storage ottomans turned out adorable!

  9. Thanks so much for all the encouraging comments! I had so much fun putting the room together and mixing up all the patterns and colors. Yes the rug is from Ikea and here is the link to more information on this project:

  10. Megan K. says:

    Where did you find that *Amazing* wallpaper?

  11. That’s so gorgeous! I love that nursery design has been revamped. I doesn’t even look like a nursery!

  12. christine says:

    Love it! So nice to see a child space that is young and fun not sickly nurseryish.Is that a word? Please paint the wall vent,it will disappear.

  13. Rose says:

    Wow, gorgeous! The patterns are so modern.

  14. nicole says:

    So beautiful! That wall is to die for and I love the ottomans, too. @Shelby – The girlie nursery you worked on is super cool, and I’ve actually made that birdie mobile by spool as well – fun project!

  15. Cynthia says:

    I understand the ottomans are custom, but where does one get custom ottomans made? Any suggestions appreciated!

  16. Syndi says:

    Love the wallpaper. It’s a very happy space.

  17. Looks wonderful! I really love the notice board…

  18. Calli says:

    oh i’m so happy to see that rug in a room… i’ve been wanting to get it for awhile now and now that I see it in your space, I KNOW i HAVE TO HAVE IT! Great job.

  19. Caro says:

    Tim, Great Job!

    Really love that wallcovering, you mentioned on your site that it came from a store in Toronto but do you know the original designer or collection name?

  20. Brooke Fitts says:

    can i get info on where to get that crib??? love the look. so inspiring!

  21. Leah says:

    Those toadstools!!! Where did you get them? LOVE! Nice job overall, the mood is so light.

  22. Marija says:

    Great makeover! I love the wallpaper and the white touches, like the owl and the pretty vase.
    Nice job!

  23. jess in oregon says:

    beautiful job! i am curious where you found those white shell- looking balls that look kind of like coral. i’d like a couple for my place.

    nice job!

  24. I want to be this baby! Beautiful, beautiful room. Great work, Tim.

  25. OH wow, I love the outcome. I love the wallpaper{what a dream} and that big rug is so great.

  26. I love all the patterns! And the dog bulletin board adds some very sophisticated British style (at least I think!).

  27. Lauren says:

    wow i love it! so amazingly cute!

  28. Stephanie says:

    Lucky baby :) Running to Ikea for this rug!

  29. Answers to some of the questions:

    1. Wallpaper is can be purchased through Primetime Paper & Paint in Toronto. I have the name of the book/manufacturer of the paper. Send them an email, along with image, via … I’m sure they will get back to you on the name of the paper.

    2. The round units were custom made and I suspect any local furniture maker or upholsterer could make them for you.

    3. The white shell balls were purchased from a store in Toronto a few years ago (out of Business now) but I’ve seen them at inVU Drapery or even HomeSense. I have also seen them in stores on Queen Street East Toronto.

    4. Crib was purchased by client. Sorry souce unknown.

    Thanks again for all the kind words!

  30. I love the color scheme and the playfully mid-century vibe! LOVE the wallpaper!

  31. Marieke says:

    This is really nice! I don’t like those totally blue or pink nurseries. This is still nice when the baby is a bit older. A very warm room :)

  32. kathryn says:

    it’s so amazing that just putting in a few bold patterns and color accents can change a room so drastically!! i love it!!

  33. kate says:

    Super nice job. Wonderful use of pattern, color, and texture.

  34. Wave Avenue says:

    Whoa! Pattern feast! That baby is gonna grow up with bursts of color and lines around. Will nurture him/her creativity that’s for sure!

  35. anna says:

    love this room. Where did you get the black/grey-ish chair from?

  36. Jill says:

    Umm, wait til they try to put that baby to sleep and then they’ll be wishing for a quiet, sedate room . . . . But when the baby is awake I’m sure it will be very stimulating!

  37. Jenny says:

    I love this. I like how they took a basic nursery and infused it with style & personality.

  38. Erin says:

    Where oh where did you get the dog fabric?! I love it!

  39. Sue says:

    This I love. The wall paper is GREAT!

  40. May says:

    The wallpaper is from the Belle du Jour collection by Dutch company Eijffinger, you can find more of the collection on their website.

  41. Chrystal says:

    hey i was wondering where you found the crib, i love it!!

  42. stephanie says:

    I keep going back to this makeover for inspiration – nice job! Can you tell me where the lamp and shelving unit (4 cube openings) are from? Thx!

  43. Katie says:

    hi. I’ve been looking for a storage ottaman but to no avail. Where did you find yours and/or how did you create them? The smaller of the two looks like the exact size I need. So cute.


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