Sebastian & Ruby's Shared Bedroom

Sebastian & Ruby's Shared Bedroom

Danielle Thompson
Apr 14, 2011

Name: Sebastian and Ruby
Age: 4.5 and 17 months
Location: Springfield, MO
Room Size: 12' x 15'

We shared a peek at Sebastian and Ruby's shared room last week, but the room was so cute we knew we had to share it in full here on Ohdeedoh.

It's quite a unique challenge finding a way to seamlessly mesh a boy's and girl's things in one bedroom. Rachel, from Smile and Wave, came up with some practical yet aesthetically pleasing solutions for her two kiddos. Here she shares her decorating process.

What was your inspiration for the room? Our vintage globe collection, for sure. It has all of the warm, muted tones that I love and let me use a range of colors. I wanted their room to have a modern vintage style without being overly done so I used vintage pieces that were still practical and most of them fit nicely into our color scheme. The curtains and Ruby's crib sheets were made from vintage flat sheets, Sebastian's bed, quilt and afghan are all vintage, and the chalkboard wall is made from vintage chalkboards. I've also mixed in some natural wooden toys, vintage Fisher Price, and a basket full of Dr. Suess books. It's a good fit for the kids' needs and many of the elements have and will continue to grow with them.

Were you on a budget for this room and if so, how did that affect your decorating process? What are some tips you can give readers that are also trying to make the most of a limited budget? We're always on a budget which is why vintage works so well for us. We live in a town full of flea markets and thrift stores so I'm usually able to find what I need if I look often enough. DIY has also helped fill in the gaps. The IKEA billy bookcase that we picked up for free in our old apartment complex got a makeover with faux bois contact paper and a curtain rod and has been an excellent option for storage and display. Since we're a military family we won't be settled here for too long so rather than investing in great curtains that only fit these windows I made them from vintage sheets. If they don't work for the next house I'll cut them up and use them in a quilt.

Mostly I was able to get the look I wanted by checking mom and pop furniture stores, flea markets, and garage sales for items that could be painted or repurposed. It takes more planning and patience but makes up for it in character and interest (in my opinion). A coat of paint can make all the difference sometimes!

What was the biggest challenge you faced when creating this space? My boys have a shared bedroom, but I imagine it would be more difficult creating that flow and transition from boy things to girl things. Was that a challenge for you? The challenge was deciding how not to overwhelm Sebastian with pink and yellow vintage florals! Actually, I thought for about three months how I'd represent both kids in what used to be a predominantly aqua and brown room. I brought in some florals and feminine colors in subtle ways through art and bedding and allowed the inside of her wardrobe to be as girly as I wanted since it wouldn't affect the aesthetics of the rest of the room. Changing out the curtains and adding a neutral rug really helped balance things out.

Before starting, what did you know you wanted to include, for sure? I knew I wanted to tie things together with an overall vintage feel because a lot of vintage items have the same muted tones. I also wanted to incorporate artwork that we'd made ourselves. I kept one of the paintings Sebastian made when he was three because the colors fit with the room and carefully hung the rainbow painting I made for Ruby above her crib. Once she's a little older I'll break out the paints and a large canvas for her to work on.

I know that your home is a rental and you have a lot of past experience with rentals. How has this affected your decorating process and how do you overcome those challenges (if there are any)? We've always had creamy walls in our rentals so I've chosen to decorate with a lot of color in their bedding, curtains, toys, and other furnishings. In some ways the restrictions of a rental have made it easier to decorate because we're not committed to a wall color, don't have any big murals to work around, and can decorate for the amount of time we know we'll be in this specific home. We'd love to add a third child to our family someday which may mean switching things out and having a designated boys' or girls' room.

What was your proudest DIY? Although there was very little creative work involved in painting that huge wardrobe, I sanded, primed, and painted two coats by myself while being eight months pregnant with Ruby. I know my neighbors must've thought Brett was crazy to let me tackle that project in my third trimester but I didn't really ask his permission.

What was your proudest vintage find? I had been searching for a vintage toy stove like the one we had in our church nursery when I was little for months and months when one day we stopped in at an new antique store we'd never seen on our way home from visiting family. I had to contain my excitement when I rounded the corner and saw one for less than I was expecting to pay. It barely fit in our trunk.

What was your biggest indulgence? The pink Modernica fiberglass chair wasn't originally purchased for this room but I always knew I wanted to use it in a nursery if we ever had a girl. A year later we found out about Ruby!

Any advice for other people starting this process? Think about what is important to you in the design process. Do you want your kids to have a lot of say (depending on their ages) in the process? Do you want their 'sides' of the room to coordinate or match? Can you live with all girl on one side and all boy on the other or do you want it to be more seamless? Deciding on those things were the hardest part for me but once I chose to include a spectrum of their interests in a color palette we could all live with I was able to move forward.

If money was no object, what would your dream source be? I'd love to include more handmade items from Etsy sellers, and a vintage warehouse that has twin sized iron beds for when Ruby outgrows her crib. Oh, and possibly some fun things from Acorn!


Rug - Goodwill from Target
Fiberglass Modernica chair - Phorm (out of business)
Billy bookcase - IKEA
Dollhouse, Rocking Horse, Alligator - Plan Toys
Art - Ashley G, Pretty Little Thieves
Everything else - thrifted

(Thanks, Rachel!)

Images: Smile and Wave

Interested in sharing your child's room with Ohdeedoh? Contact the editors through our Nursery & Kids Room Submission Form. In addition to working with some readers to feature full tours, we will also share the best as "My Room" posts on Ohdeedoh — short, quick tours of great rooms.

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