The $12 Amazon Find That Made a Huge Impact in This Nursery

published Dec 18, 2021
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When Rachel Thomas and her family moved into their new home, a ‘90s builder special in Pickering, Ontario, she knew exactly which room she wanted to work on first. At their previous home, a less-than-great experience attempting to room-share between her two daughters landed their 2-year-old, Quinn, in the playroom as a makeshift nursery. They made do with the space, but Rachel decided Quinn’s bedroom in the new house would be top priority.

Handing creative art direction over to a 2-year-old

Once the family moved into their new home, Rachel asked her 2-year-old what she might like her bedroom to look like (um, what a cool thing to think to ask, Mom!) and Quinn specified “blue” and “dinosaurs.” Rachel wasn’t entirely sold on either, but was really feeling a mustard-yellow vibe and knew it would pair beautifully with a blue wall, so she felt comfortable heading in that direction. Painting with the color blue can be tricky: Depending on your lighting sources, it can appear white, grey, purple, or green. 

In Rachel’s case, sample pots weren’t available, because of supply chain issues, so she ended up trying quite a few colors. She went back to the paint store often and got to know the employees very well, but finally discovered the perfect shade for the room: Tradewind (SW-6218) by Sherwin Williams. Once the walls were painted, they did, in fact, look gorgeous with the mustard curtains. When choosing paint color, try painting swatches in different sections of the room; a hue can look very different when it’s placed by a window with natural lighting, versus a dark corner. Also be sure to watch how the color changes during the day, from the tones it takes on during the bright afternoon, to how it mellows when the lamps turn on.

Next up: for the mom of two to fill the order for “dinosaurs.” Rachel decided to keep the theme simple by sourcing a single cute little plush dinosaur mount for the walls. Then she added some fantastic wall art that really makes the room feel warm and inviting. Everything was coming along swimmingly, but the room needed something else.

From builder-grade beige to walls that “wow”

The design choices Rachel made at their old home were more subdued, and geared towards resale. Here, however, she was ready to let loose in the new home with a “wow” feature in Quinn’s room. Enter the polka-dot wall! The polka dots she chose are actually decals she found on Amazon and can be removed without damaging the wall whenever they’ve tired of them — which was a huge selling point! Decals are a simple and affordable way to make a big statement, especially if you use multiples of each. One time-saving tip: Be sure to take time to plan your placement before you start sticking things on the wall. You can even use a pencil to lightly mark where you’d like things to go. However, the appeal of decals is they’re easily removed and readjusted, so don’t stress too much about it.

Making smart design choices that hold up with age

Rachel designed the room in a way that will age well with Quinn. After removing specific nursery items like the changing pad and the crib, the room really could work for any age. Once the changing pad is off the dresser, it becomes just like any other dresser — ready for a little reading lamp, piggy bank, and other big-kid items. New wall art, shelf decor, and organizational bins will help the room age along with the little tenant. When you’re designing rooms for younger kids, try to see beyond the immediate functionality of the furniture to what may be repurposed down the line. And opt for semi-permanent features (like the changing pad) versus a full-on piece of single-use furniture (like a changing table). 

Rachel says Quinn loved the room so much, she requested a nightlight so she could see in while she was in bed at night. Way to make the client happy, mama!