Before and After: A Spare Room Becomes a Chic Nursery with DIYs Starting at $70
New babies in the family — along with new memories and new laughs and new adorable faces — mean new nurseries and new decor, especially for first-time parents. If you’re looking for tips on setting up a new nursery, check out these nursery trends, these 15 sweet setups, and these five (parent-approved!) tips for creating a pretty-meets-practical nursery for your little one.
Here’s some more inspo you can file away, too, from DIYers Sara and Jeff Wehmhoefer (@houseonbrucelane). When the couple found out they were expecting their second baby girl, they got to work transforming a spare room (a guest bedroom-meets-home office) into a nursery. “With a baby on the way and due in July, it definitely helped us speed up this process and gave us motivation for the One Room Challenge,” Sara says.
Before, “this room had a closet blocking these big beautiful windows, old blue carpet, and was used as … a catchall space for a lot of junk in our home,” she adds. Her vision for the after? “A calming and magical princess feel,” she says.
Sara and Jeff’s redo, which they completed with the help of Sara’s dad, Scott, includes new fairytale-inspired wallpaper, a canopy fit for a princess, new pink beadboard and a window seat, and luxe gold touches throughout — plus new flooring to replace the blue carpet.
The team started with the demo, tearing out the closet and carpeting; that alone immediately brightened up the room. Then they framed out the new closet and window seat, which also made a big difference in the space, Sara says, although it was hard work.
“This was our first time building any type of cabinetry,” she explains. “Building this specific built-in closet was difficult because we were working with a slanted wall and ceiling,” she says. “A lot of YouTube videos were watched in the process, and a lot of trial and error occurred when building the base.”
Sara, Jeff, and Scott wanted to be sure to mount the built-ins securely, and it took more work than expected to find the studs in the walls, which were originally built in 1957. “We ended up having to tear more drywall down just to find the studs and add some studs in ourselves,” Sara says, and re-doing the drywall was also a challenge. Once they were finally complete, Sara and Jeff painted their bench and built-ins in Benjamin Moore’s Mauve Mist.
Sara and Jeff then installed luxury vinyl plank flooring, added beadboard and trim painted the same pinky mauve as their built-ins, and installed their Burke Decor wallpaper.
“I also made a faux-wood look on our ceiling beam,” Sara says. (She used a Minwax Gel Stain in Aged Oak to do this.) Finally, she and Jeff changed the old light fixtures, added a sconce to the window seat area, and accessorized.
One element Sara is particularly proud of is the window treatments. She originally wanted Roman shades for the windows but was quoted almost $450 for the cheapest ones. Instead, she DIYed Faux-man (get it?) shades using tension rods, no-sew hem tape, and a curtain from Amazon, totaling about $75 for all the windows combined. Sara thrifted the gold chandelier, and she found the crib for the room (originally from Little Seeds) on Facebook Marketplace. She also stripped and refinished a Thomasville dresser (which makes the perfect changing table!) that she scored from Facebook Marketplace.
“I am just so happy with how it all came together,” Sara says. “The mauve color of the walls ties perfectly into this magical wallpaper. It feels like a fairytale princess room and has a cozy and peaceful feeling.” It’s a sweet nursery with storage aplenty for new baby Nora!
This project was completed for the Spring 2023 One Room Challenge, in partnership with Apartment Therapy. See even more of the One Room Challenge before and afters here.
Inspired? Submit your own project here.