Before and After: $50 Painted Murals Add Some Sunshine to this Once Dingy White Nursery

updated May 6, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
About this before & after
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Before: Empty room with hardwood floors and off-white walls
Credit: Sarah Blumer

Whether you’re a parent of little ones or just a fan of dreamy spaces for naptime and play, you’ve probably seen your fair share of gorgeous nursery inspiration, and the guest room-turned-rainbow-nursery in Sarah Blumer (@saynihay)’s 1940s Pittsburgh home is definitely one to add to your Pinterest board.

It didn’t start out that way, though. The space, Sarah says, actually went through several iterations before becoming a nursery. When she and her husband first moved into the house in 2013, they painted all of the walls white. “All of the walls and ceilings had that lived-in “smoker’s yellow” hue to them,” she says. “As soon as we moved in, I applied a few coats of bright white paint to the entire house and received instant gratification.”

Credit: Sarah Blumer

Sarah’s husband framed the windows (a $50 DIY project) and gave some TLC to the original walnut floors. The room was first rented out to a friend, and then it became a guest room. It was a blank canvas for a few years.

Credit: Sarah Blumer

Then came the fun upgrades, which included a geometric accent wall on one side of the room. “I’ll be honest, I painted the rainbow geometric mural long before I was ever even pregnant,” Sarah says. “I was bored one Saturday afternoon, with dreams of a baby girl in the way back of my mind. Nothing makes me happier than seeing bold, beautiful colors when I walk into a room.”

The mural took a couple days and cost less than $50.

Credit: Sarah Blumer

Once those dreams of a baby did come true, Sarah took her artistic skills to the other side of the room, where the crib would be, to create another fun and colorful mural. While the shapes are different from the other one, the shared color palette makes them feel cohesive. Like the first paint project, this one took a couple days and cost less than $50 total.

Of course, the new mural wasn’t the only thing that changed. The newly added shag rug and light fixture were sale finds from West Elm. The mirror above the custom dresser is by Umbra, and the gallery wall displays art by Sarah as well as local artists. The crib, glider, and all things “baby” were gifts from the registry.

And while it looks like a designer piece, the new dresser actually a DIY by Sarah’s husband. “We couldn’t find one that we loved with the dimensions we needed, so he built this mid-century modern inspired piece completely from scratch,” Sarah says.

Credit: Sarah Blumer

The queen bed stayed out of necessity, but it actually ended up being perfectly placed, a spot for Sarah and her husband to catch up on rest while the baby naps. Plus, in the future, it’ll help make space to accommodate guests.

With its adorable art and hand-painted murals, this now-nursery — the culmination of five years of upgrades — is like a whimsical children’s book come to life.

“It’s amazing what you can do with a few sample cans of paint, painter’s tape, time on your hands, and some inspiration,” Sarah says of her super-fun, welcoming nursery. “I love the brightness of this room, and the view at any angle makes me so happy! I love that my baby girl will grow up in such a sunny space, made with love just for her.”