Our Happy, Colorful, DIY, Gender-Neutral Nursery

I know I said I would be posting the 5-years-later-then-and-now post but I wanted to share my favorite room first – the nursery!


We waited to find out if we were having a boy or a girl, so although it needed to be neutral I still wanted the baby’s room to be fun and colorful. (Although, I added the rainbow circle bunting and the colorful teething guard after we brought home our little girl.)




This room is a happy blend of old and new things.


The crib is the Jenny Lind crib from Babies R Us, the blue rug is from Lowe’s (and very cushy and soft – perfect for babies playing on the floor), and the white shelf with the yellow bins is from the Target Threshold line. The book ledges are from IKEA.


Sorry for the grainy distorted picture! This is the smallest room in our house and between the smallness and the lighting it’s a tough room to photograph. iPhone panorama is the best way to capture it!

Many parents told us to get the Dutailier glider, and it’s very comfortable (I spend quite a bit of time there!). We were actually given the frame from friends but the cushions had been lost somewhere along the way. We purchased replacement cushions directly from Dutailier. Although the lead-time took forever because we hit them during their company “summer break” (about 10 weeks!), it was totally worth it! Dutailier gliders brand new are about $500, and we spent about $300 on cushions for what felt like a brand new chair. Keep your eyes out on Craigslist for a deal!


Between the curtains and the rug there was a lot of pattern going on in this room so I wanted to keep artwork to a minimum.

The dresser and nightstand were from my husband’s childhood bedroom, and the white bench was from my childhood bedroom. The green lamp is old from Target, and the Philadelphia ZOO print is an old WPA reprint I bought ages ago from Zazzle.



I DIYed the rainbow garland, the stars mobile, the tray, the crib skirt, and the curtains. The curtains… I will spare you the details, but I thought making them while I was 38 weeks pregnant was a good idea. I still have physical scars that say otherwise!


Here’s a tip – I couldn’t find a crib skirt that I liked so I decided to just clip on these old curtains from The Christmas Tree Shoppe  using mini binder clips. No sewing needed! I ended up actually really liking them so they stayed!


This room still needs a little work – we removed the old metal radiator cover and need to build a pretty, newer one. And the white bench really needs a fresh coat of paint and possibly a cushion. Someday I may paint the dresser and nightstand, as I’m not wild about the color of the stain – but for now it works.


The curtains are lined with blackout fabric and we ended up also installing black out shades behind the bamboo shades. So it gets nice and dark in there. I know short curtains are totally “not cool” but with all the radiators in this house we don’t have many options!



We don’t have a traditional changing table either. Instead we registered for the Keekaroo changing pad and IT’S THE BEST! Definitely one of our favorite baby gear items. While I had it on top of the dresser for a few months, now we just keep it tucked in the corner and pull it out as needed. I keep all our diaper supplies in one of the dresser drawers and it’s super easy. So no, you don’t HAVE to stare at a pile of diapers, wipes, and lotions for a few years.

So what did it look like before?

To share a bit of the history from this room – it was a little rough from the get-go. The condition of the walls in this room were horrible. I am guessing this room was originally wallpapered, and someone had trouble removing it and severely damaged the plaster while doing so.

After using enough spackle to build a small island and sanding everything down we painted the room velveeta cheese orange (a $5 “oops” section can gone horribly wrong), then a lemon yellow (which was nice in the sunlight, but sickly in low light).

The room originally had a sliding door closet, which we demolished and added that square footage to our upstairs bathroom renovation. While we did that we also moved the entire closet-wall into the room by a little over 12 inches. Yep, we were robbing Peter to pay Paul. This room got a tiny bit smaller so the bathroom would have enough space for our double vanity. To get a closet back into the room we turned around a cedar closet that we had in the upstairs hallway and moved the door into the nursery, so now we have a decently deep closet in that room.

Are you confused yet? 🙂

Guestroom Renovations - DesignLively

Guestroom Renovations - DesignLively

Guestroom Renovations - DesignLively

Guestroom Renovations - DesignLively

Guestroom Renovations - DesignLively

Then we painted the room a nice blue-gray color – Woodlawn Sterling Blue by Valspar – and had the floors refinished (as well as all the floors upstairs – not DIY! In fact, because I was pregnant at the time we left the house and lived with friends for the week until the fumes were gone so it was safe for me to return home.). When it was time for this room to turn from guest room to nursery it was pretty straightforward! Besides installing new curtain rods and additional blackout shades behind the bamboo shades, the baby-ready transformation was mostly decorative.


and then… VOILA!!











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