Nursery Tour: Declan's Delight

Child's name and age: Declan, almost 3
Location: Farmington Hills, MI

We highlight lots of nurseries on Ohdeedoh, but eventually those babies grow up! Cheryl wrote in to share her nearly 3 year old son, Declan's, new room. She and her husband, Chris, took care to make it bright, cheerful and environmentally friendly. She's also shared some tips for making a room flexible for kids as they grow older or for a potential second baby.

What was your overall inspiration or goal for this space?

My goals were to make it more colorful and eco-friendly as we changed from a baby nursery to a toddler's room, to have lots of storage space and give our almost 3 year old easy access to his books and toys. I also wanted it to be versatile enough that it could easily be changed back into a gender neutral nursery for any future children without having to do much except swap out the bed for a crib.

What elements of the room are eco-friendly?

To make it eco-friendly we use no VOC primer and paint. We also added in organic and sustainable furnishings from Nest (storage tower and the green O seat under the giant dog). We recycled some vintage items from our own room's when we were kids - the bed is a solid wood bunk bed of my husband's and the wicker ostrich rocker was from my own childhood nursery. Even the cloud lamp is made of paper and the hamper is a TubTrug bucket, so it can be used for a million other things too. The goal was not to buy anything that would be outgrown in a few short years or end up in a landfill and get away from plastic as much as possible - the only plastic thing in the room is the hamper (a necessity since we use cloth diapers).

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We love the colorful dresser. Did you paint it or did it come that way?

I wish I could take credit for the dresser! It came that way and also included little plush animal knob covers (like the plush accents on the armoire doors). I'm saving those to use if the room becomes a nursery again (and because he pulled them off constantly when we first put in the furniture). The vibrant dresser is meant to double as a changing table. It's made by Kaloo, which also makes the quilt, rug and some plush toys.

What's your favorite thing in the room?

My favorite part is the lettering that I found online over a year ago and paired up with some plush wall hangings that were part of the crib bedding set we originally had. It really ties everything together and was my inspiration for creating the room.


What elements of the room did you keep from Declan's nursery as you transformed it into a room for a 3-year old?

We kept the wall shelving, window treatments and plush bug wall hangings from when the room was a nursery, but the rest were items we had in storage (like the bed, rocker and cloud lamp) and new items picked for the redesign. We also kept the white changing table ad nightstand, but put them inside the closet for more compartmentalized storage which has worked out great.

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What advice would you give parents for transitioning from a baby's nursery to an older child's room?

Keep elements that reflect your child's interests, but don't get too deep into a theme because their interests change a lot within these years. Declan loves dogs, so there are quite a few plush dogs throughout the room, but I stayed away from making that the main focus despite that being his favorite thing. We'd made the mistake of putting a lot of time and money into decorating in a train/airplane theme in his brother's room when he was a big fan of Thomas and planes, but it's a year later and he's not that into them anymore, but we're kind of stuck with it. Sticking with colors and furnishings that are versatile makes it easy for a room to grow with a child by just swapping out knickknacks and toys instead of doing a complete overhaul every couple of years.

Was Declan interested in providing input for his new room?

We transitioned the new things in a bit at a time so he could try them out before everything was completely changed and he picked out some accents like the tootsie pop plush and of course the dogs. He & his brother Ethan helped select the blue wall color. He definitely wanted to ostrich rocker in there and actively rides in it daily, which is really nice since I have many fond memories of playing in it when I was small.

Thank you Cheryl! We love to picture Declan atop his ostrich in his delightful room!

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As Apartment Therapy's Family Editor, Carrie covers design and modern homelife with children. A lapsed librarian, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two kids and is in contention to break the record for most hours spent at the playground.

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