Before & After: Transitioning a Nursery into a Toddler Room

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It’s always a special experience when parents and parents-to-be put their faith in us to help them create a magical nursery for their little bundles of joy. What’s even more special though,  is when these families ask to work with us again for the next phase! As children grow out of infancy and into toddlerhood, not only have they physically grown significantly but also, their needs have changed too. Beyond needs though, toddlers have growing personalities and budding opinions so the second time around is no longer just about what mom wants, which makes it a particularly fun design challenge. Transitioning a nursery into a toddler room is all about finding the balance of the parents’ tastes, the interests of the toddler, and deciding upon what goes and what stays. More often than not, it only takes a couple tweaks for a major transformation.

A few years back, we had the pleasure of helping to create one particular little lady’s nursery. The result was a soft and serene space consisting of luxurious shades of grey and off-white. Fast forward to today and the gliding armchair and ottoman, though lovely, are no longer necessary and the muted tones just aren’t cutting it for a toddler who loves pink! So together with mom and toddler, we swapped out a few pieces and modified others to create a space we all love…

The first order of business was the crib. If you’re a new mom-to-be and looking at cribs, we strongly suggest you look for a crib that can be transitioned into a toddler bed. It saves you from purchasing another bed for the in-between stage when your toddler will likely still be too small for a full-sized adult bed. Plus, if your child is already happily sleeping in their crib through the night, why change things? For the Belle upholstered crib from Restoration Hardware, it was simply a matter of swapping out the railing on either side for side walls. Then, we upgraded the infant-safe flat sheet to luxurious, big girl ‘India’ sheet set from Matouk and customized them with monogramming. The transformation is stunning and really took very little effort.

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For the walls, we took cues from the custom roman blind and original paint and selected a wallpaper of a similar colour to upgrade the overall look. Cole & Son’s Nuvolette wallcovering is one of the most enduring Fornasetti designs depicting little clouds rolling along the sky. It has a dramatic impact but it’s also perfect for inspiring beautiful dreams in a sleepy little head.

To satisfy our little client, we had to add some touches of pink. To do so we swapped out the original rug for a custom-cut area rug from Stark Carpet in a lively cheetah print. When we went on the hunt for a little girl’s desk though, we were disappointed with what was available so we decided to customize instead! With the help of Farrow & Balls ‘Pink Ground’ paint and a little silver leaf, we transformed a simple Pottery Barn desk into a statement piece. Last but not least, to accessorize, we added a sparkly friend and our little client’s favourite animal to the wall… a unicorn, of course!