before and after

Before & After: Agatha’s Nursery Makeover

by Grace Bonney

One of the toughest things about city living is finding extra rooms for storage, guests and children. I’ve seen large closets turned into beautiful offices, nurseries and everything in between. When it comes to working with small spaces, New Yorkers have some serious experience. This book-inspired Before & After comes from Brooklynite Stefanie of Brooklyn Limestone. Taking her color and style inspiration from classic Penguin covers, she created a beautiful nursery for her daughter, Agatha, in a small guest room. She was kind enough to share her plans with us in addition to photographs of the room in its original (yikes), in-between and fully finished stages. Well done, Stefanie! xo, grace

More makeover photos continue after the jump . . .

Suggested For You


  • Jenn, she designed the posters herself. Check out her blog as she did have a link for downloading them a while back. The picture frames are from IKEA I believe. They’re plastic, very light weight.

  • I love everything about this room. I could imagine these colors in my master bedroom one day (still need to get a house).

  • So sweet and sophisticated! The reality of a nursery is that they don’t get used right away unless they are near the parents’ bedroom. But it’s so nice to have that space complete when you are ready for the baby to move out of your room!

  • So beautiful! My cousin designs Nursery’s at Emerson Grey Designs and even though I’m no where near that point in my life I love all the creativity that goes into a nursery’s theme and execution.

  • How high are your ceilings in that room? That’s exactly what I’ve been wanting to do in our house with the crown molding and painting rail, but I’m afraid our ceilings are too low and that it’ll end up making the room feel smaller.

  • @kristi, looks like the Jennifer DeLonge Original Luxe Glider – just bought it myself for my nursery.

    Where are those curtains from? Love!

  • You see a small room and your instincts immediately pull towards lighter colors. How many times have we heard that? Lighter colors make rooms appear more spacious, so do mirrors. So this choice of very dark navy is odd but it works for the space. Awesome before and after!

  • What a cute little room. What did she use for the book shelves? I’d love to do something like that in my daughters room.

  • Great job! I really like the curtains and the wall art. I am usually leaning towards lighter wall colors, but what you’ve done with dark blue looks really nice. The walls look clean, in a no-clutter sense…

  • If it is the Jennifer DeLonge Glider, better order it the second your pregnancy test comes back positive. The lead time on them is absolutely horrendous (like 6-8 MONTHS).

  • The crib looks like the Stokke Sleepi system to me – it goes from Bassinet size, to crib, to toddler bed to child bed.

  • This is an absolutely AMAZING transformation! It totally resonates with me since I own an old house and have plaster walls and needs TLC. Also nice to see a small room so beautiful and well utilized!

  • Love the four framed phrases going across the wall on the left, especially the “Read me a story. Tell me you love me.” It’s been a long week. I may consider using that phrase on my husband tonight.

  • Gorgeous! I really like bold colors for children’s rooms. I am trying to put together a toddler room over the next three weeks (surprise! our adoption is being finalized much sooner than expected…) and am trying to decide what things are most important to get done. I think that a great wall color, curtains, and something awesome on the walls will make the space fun, even if we don’t have things like a dresser yet :)

  • Darling! I love the contrasting dark walls and white trim, and of course the orange…great for babies who focus on contrasting colors. And pretty for the grow ups too.

  • Very pretty.

    The coving must’ve been expensive, if real.

    Where has the radiator gone ?

  • The dark colour works well because the ceiling height was “lowered” by painting the white down to the picture rail. This gives the room a more uniformed shape rather than long and tall. Fantastic work!

  • Beautiful! Our nursery is the tiny trunk room next to our bed room. The small size works perfectly as I can reach everything I need while continuing to rock!

  • Where did you get, or did you make, your wonderful Penguin-esque book art?! Its fabulous!!

  • This crib is the Stokke Sleepi. I think it worths the price if we intend to re-use it for more than 1 kid. Here in Europe it costs + ou – 1100 euros.

  • Adult and baby friendly decor, beautiful!…love the reading theme, I too decorated my girls’ bedroom with books around them and always wanted to install floating shelves because you can never have too many books.

  • Really fantastic color scheme, I love that grey too. Although I get lots of requests from my nursery design clients for grey, this one is unique because it is much darker. You would think parents-to-be would shy away from darker colors like that for a nursery design, but it looks really great!! Thanks for sharing:)

  • sigh :) – with happiness for you…. this is wonderful – and I can’t believe you had such an ugly room before!!!

  • We went to Greece when our youngest son was 8 months old – it was surprisingly easy. Going to a country that loves children helps – all the ya yas would ask to hold him when we were out. Being my 3rd child, I surprised myself by allowing perfect strangers to hold him while we ate dinner! Traveling abroad I think should be done before they are mobile and then after they are 3. When they are in that walkabout stage it is very difficult to travel. We have gone to Mexico when my boys were 2 and 3 and that is do-able. It doesn’t take that long to get there, which is key with a child who just wants to move!