Wyatt’s Bright & Bold Abode

updated May 4, 2019
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(Image credit: Whitney Johnson)

Name: Wyatt (6 Months)
Location: Tustin, California
Room Size: 10×12 ft

While I’m not usually a fan of primary-colored nurseries, I was absolutely smitten from the moment I stumbled across this happy space that Whitney Johnson created for her baby boy, Wyatt. By starting with a black and white base and adding small pops of primary colors throughout the space, she kept the room feeling colorful and happy without making it feel too saturated or busy. I also love that she was able to add so many personal touches to the space, telling a bit of her family’s story for her little one to enjoy as he grows.

(Image credit: Whitney Johnson)

How would you describe the look and feel of this room?
Simple and bright! Also all boy and hopefully a little bit playful. Those were my requirements, I guess you could say. I wasn’t really going for a specific theme, but knew I wanted it to be mostly black and white with pops of color everywhere. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with doing a baby’s room in pastel colors, but I had a feeling my little man needed something a bit more bold and bright instead.

What is your favorite piece or element?
For a long time when I was pregnant (basically as soon as I found out I was having a boy), I knew I wanted to have a cowhide rug in his room. I love that a cowhide can look rustic and modern all at the same time and also to pay homage to both my mom and my dad’s upbringing – they were raised on farms in northern Wyoming. I decided on a black and white one because I like the contrast and thought it would be easier to incorporate other bright colors into the room.

What was the biggest challenge decorating this room?
I decorated the whole room when I was pregnant, so I hadn’t met my baby boy yet. This might sound silly, but it was a little stressful decorating a room for a person you’ve never even met! It kind of all felt like a guessing game—wondering what he would be like and if his little personality would fit in to this space I was creating for him. Luckily, it all seems like a perfect fit. Also, when deciding what to put up on the walls, I had to think of something to put above his crib that wasn’t heavy and that wouldn’t fall in case of an earthquake. I decided on those little cloud cutouts and felt ball garland that I made myself. My husband and I double secured the garland where the wall meets the ceiling, and when Wyatt starts pulling himself up to stand we’ll be lowering the crib setting to still keep it out of his reach.

(Image credit: Whitney Johnson)

What do your friends say about the room?
People always first notice the gallery wall above the dresser. That was definitely what I spent the most time on, as far as “decorating” goes. It took me a few months to collect the pieces I wanted to include and decide on the perfect ones that would all go together. It was definitely a labor of love, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. People also ask about the colored knobs on the dresser, which are just wooden doll heads from Michael’s that I painted. Easiest DIY I’ve ever done!

Do you have any advice for parents creating a room for their child?
In the end, what I think made the whole process so successful was that essentially I was creating a space that I love to be in, and which was a representation of both my husband’s and my personality. Around the room there are several little tokens of our own interests and past experiences—the black and white Plato quote that my dad (an engineer) always quoted to us growing up, the movie poster for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid which was a movie my husband loved as a kid (he still remembers renting it with his dad and watching it for the first time) with the red frame he picked out, and also a print of one of my very favorite artists. I have very fond memories of creating Wyatt’s room for him because there was meaning and a reason behind everything I chose to place in it.

If money were no object, what’s your dream source?
Land of Nod, Ferm Living Shop, Fine Little Day, and Darling Clementine Shop.

I love the color palette – what was the inspiration?
The pairing of white with bright color is always what makes my heart beat a little faster, no matter what it is (photography, interiors, patterns, art, etc.). In my perfect world the walls of this room would be the whitest white, the floors would be white, and there would be a couple more windows to let more light in. But instead I just tried my best to keep things light and airy with lots of white, as well as playful and childish with bright colors. I wasn’t strict with what colors I included in the room, I just wanted lots of it. Although I ended up gravitating toward a lot of yellow (as I always do) and red.

(Image credit: Whitney Johnson)

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Thanks, Whitney! Readers, to see more of Whitney you can visit her blog, Eat Sleep Cuddle.