I wasn't one of those moms who nested furiously and had the nursery done weeks in advance of baby's arrival. Yes, I started very slowly piecing it together months beforehand. But that was also because I was looking for the best bargains I could find, and because my husband is not the assembler of IKEA furniture in our household. And let's be honest here - you can only bend over and move boards around until a certain number of weeks in pregnancy, and then all bets are off.
There will be friends and acquaintances who reassure you that you will have time to put the finishing touches in the nursery once baby arrives. (Ha!!! How I laugh at that now.) My words of wisdom would be to definitely try to complete the nursery well in advance of your due date because you will be so exhausted by the end of it, that no nesting surge will provide you with the gumption to complete those projects. And you won't have sudden bursts of energy in your first half a year extreme sleep deprivation either. But also don't feel you have to have every detail of the nursery ironed out like what you see in glamorous photo shoots, because within a very short time, you will be transitioning that room for your little one to fit their new needs as they grow and develop in a toddler and preschooler.
Even at this point, 19 months after my amazing boy was born, there are a handful of projects that were never completed for his nursery. And I am choosing to see this a good thing, because now I know his interests and passions, and as I evolve his bedroom from a nursery to a toddler's room, I can customize it to be a space he loves even more! I will be sharing some ideas and inspiration I've found online that will help me redesign his bedroom in the next few months as we move towards his second birthday (updates on decor and DIY projects will be posted as they are completed).
5 TIPS FOR DECORATING A TODDLER'S BEDROOM
1. CREATING A BEDROOM THEME:
I have to admit, I’m not a big fan of "theme" rooms. When I began my son's room I placed a few cloud decals on the wall and hung a DIY "air balloon" mobile from the ceiling for some interest. He has enjoyed that over the last few months, and he has a true fascination and love for watching airplanes and helicopters when we are outside together. With that being said, I will be trying to incorporate a few more sky and air traffic objects throughout his room, and in order to do so I will need to keep the feeling light and airy (like his clouds), and maybe add in some metal decor for a hint of an industrial/mechanical vibe.
When choosing a theme or something you want the room to focus on, remember that fads will come and go. You should try to avoid anything using specific characters from cartoons or that may be timely (but extinct within a few years). Using a few key "theme" pieces or even focusing on decor that boasts consistent bright colours and patterns in some areas of the room can add in the ambience you’re looking for, whether it’s through the bed linens or even some artwork.
2. SELECTING FURNITURE & FIXTURES TO ADD TO THE AMBIENCE:
I will often go "shopping" around my own house to see what I can use that I already have. The fan that was in the guest room now resides in my son's room. Not only does it look great there, but it also provides some white noise so he doesn't wake up when we walk past his door. Try to keep your mind open to possible furniture, pillows, or art used elsewhere from your house. Or, if you see a piece of furniture somewhere in your home that would be perfect in your toddler's bedroom, you could consider re-purposing it so that's customized for that room.
Try to find furniture that will not only grow with your child, but will also provide flexible storage options as well. You will want to have things that can adapt with them as they grow so that you’re not having to invest in new pieces all of the time. The IKEA dresser we used as a change table has now been converted to a regular dresser again and will be with him for a number of years.
One item we hadn't previously changed was the light fixture - so this is something we will be looking for, hopefully incorporating some more industrial accents for the room. One upgrade we did make was to the light was a dimmer switch, which is amazing for bedtime routines and early mornings when full lights are just too bright!
3. CHOOSE COLOURS CAREFULLY:
For colour selections, we will continue to work with the pale yellow, grays and whites that originally inspired the room. They are bright and cheerful in my son's small sun filled room, and they work well with a variety of decor but still allow us to keep it feeling light, airy and certainly more open.
We didn't have one inspiration idea from Pinterest, but rather a collection of elements we liked, and a colour swatch, grey and cream rug, and a grey recliner we fell in love with. And we made them work together.
4. ADD IN ELEMENTS OF FUN:
Because this is a little boys room, we want to throw in some elements for fun as well. Teepee's are definitely very popular at the moment, so I will be looking into how to make one for my son, as he has definitely shown an interest in having his own private place to play inside of. An airplane clock would also be a lot of fun for a bit of whimsy.
I had originally purchased a canvas intending to make some art before was born, and I will now be adding to the airplane and clouds theme with a landscape silhouette image for more depth to the room as a DIY art project.
As our son grows and develops, he will want to engage in imaginative play and he has already shown us his love of books. A more accessible bookcase and toys that will grow with him will also be added. However, we will ensure there are places for the toys to go to sleep at night - out of sight, out of mind.
5. Get Crafty:
I wouldn't generally consider myself a crafter on a day-to-day basis, but with my son’s room, I had to bring those skills back out of the closet and dust them off in order to create a beautiful and unique room on a small budget. As I mentioned before, I will be doing a DIY painted canvas for his room as part of the evolving toddler bedroom theme.
I am also very fond of buying and upcycling used items. I love looking for thrift bargains, and I get very excited about not having to pay full price, and also about being able to customize something as well! If I do buy new, I often will shop at discount stores, and I can certainly be found frequenting IKEA (where a lot of their furniture can be customized, especially the unfinished furniture pieces & home accessories).