A happy yellow, green, blue and teal nursery with DIY touches and hand-me-down toys

Guest post by Ellen Hampton Filgo
All photos by Ellen.

When it came to our child’s nursery, I wanted to create a bright and cheerful room that could work for either a boy or a girl. I didn’t want it to be “themey” but rather based around color, so I found some fabric that I based the whole room around. We ended up using this fabric for the curtains:

I loved the greens and blues in it. The curtains were made by my mother-in-law and have a band of turquoise at the bottom. There are a lot of windows in the room and it required a lot of fabric.

We picked a nice cheery yellow for the walls — Glidden’s Buttercup, color-matched to Benjamin Moore paint (the only paint my husband thinks is worth anything) and used some of Behr’s Bamboo Leaf and Peacock Feather for other accents in the room.

We bought the bamboo roman shades at Home Depot and cut them to the width of the windows. We can never find exact matches for the old windows in our house and these shades are easy to cut to size.

We found both the sofa and the ottoman on Craigslist. The pillows are from Target (green and blue), Pier One (yellow) and the bigger quilted ones were made by my mother and my cousin.

I found the side table on Craigslist and it was already refinished with dark turquoise legs! I didn’t have to do a thing to it! The green table lamp is from Target.

The crib is the Sundvik crib from IKEA. White and simple and inexpensive. We opted for simple white mesh breathable bumpers and rotate pale green, blue and yellow crib sheets from Target.

My mother sewed the crib skirt, from a coordinating fabric in the same line as the curtain fabric:

The art over the crib on the long window wall was a gift from my mother-in-law. It’s from Petit Collage, and while I’m not sure where she bought those, I know you can find it on Etsy. The other art is the cross-stitch birth announcement lovingly made by my mother. She’s been making cross-stitch birth announcements for years for numerous friends and family and I gave her a challenge with this one. I think a lot of child-oriented cross-stitch design is too overly sentimental or kitschy, so I found a neat Etsy shop that sells simple graphic bird and animal cross-stitch patterns and together we came up with a design combining several of the patterns and using the colors of the room.

We found the glider on Craigslist too — and I’m still considering recovering it, as the gray is the only gray in the room. Haven’t quite decided what to do yet. The teal blanket was crocheted by a co-worker of mine, who had absolutely NO idea that the color fits PERFECTLY in the room. We love it.

The mobile was a gift from my mother-in-law. She bought it at a local art gallery.

The tiny little rocking chair was my sisters’ and mine when we were little. I can’t wait for Marc to be old enough to sit in it!

I painted the backs of the cubbies with the Peacock feather color and some of the cubbies hold Marc’s amazing, growing library and some others have some awesome storage bins from Target. The top one holds keepsakes – his baptismal candle, several outfits I want to save – the middle one holds receiving blankets and burp cloths and the bottom one holds toys.

We took the door off of the closet and I sewed (with help from my mother-in-law!) the curtain to cover the door. It’s made from this fabric:

The dresser/changing table was one more Craigslist find and was a beat up old brown dresser with ugly handles and cracked drawer bottoms. My dad sanded and primed the dresser and I painted it with the Bamboo Leaf color and then the drawers with a gradation in color (we added varying amounts of white to the base color to get the other colors) to create a cool ombre effect. Kelly replaced the drawer bottoms and refaced the insides of the drawers. I love the way it looks, though it’s an old dresser and has the quirks and stickiness of an old dresser.

I found some old baskets lying around the house and have all of Marc’s cloth diapers and liners stacked up in them and easily accessible.

I think the art wall is pretty fun and features a lot of my DIY projects. I found the mirror at a local thrift store. It was plastic and and ugly dark green. I painted it turquoise, as you can see. I also painted the wooden letters on the shelf and decoupaged the scrapbook paper on the M hanging on the wall. The art is from Etsy, mainly. The “Let the Wild Rumpus Start!” from Where the Wild Things Are quote is from rawartletterpress, the airplane is from UrbanTickle (it says “I hope that even the sky is not the limit for you”) and the M is for Monkey is from SeaUrchinStudio. The cross was from Marc’s godparents on the occasion of his baptism. The other painting on the shelf was painted in 1999 by my flatmate when I was living overseas in Croatia. It’s a simple painting of the Croatian coastline and the colors work perfectly in the room!

You can see the door wall here, where we painted the chalkboard door and where we do Marc’s monthly picture taking.

I painted an old coat hook rack that was originally in the room hanging on the door with the blue paint and when Marc’s old enough, he can hang his coats there. Right now I’ve got a few sentimental pieces of clothing hanging on it. The purple outfit was knitted by Marc’s godmother after I complained about how all the purple clothes were on the girls’ side of the store. Boys can wear purple! The red sweater was knitted by his godfather. It’s a gorgeous Scandinavian design and has a hat, mittens and socks that go along with it. He wore the sweater on his baptism day. The lion outfit belonged to Marc’s uncle — his namesake — when he was an infant in the ’60s.

Ellen and Kelly are still working on stage two of their son’s nursery — you can read more about their plans here!

Comments on A happy yellow, green, blue and teal nursery with DIY touches and hand-me-down toys

  1. omg – I’ve been searching for blinds for my nursery and I CANNOT find anything. Tell me more! Home Depot you say? Did YOU cut them, or did they? Are they a dark wood? PLEASE, tell me more!

    • Yes, we got them from Home Depot. (It looks like there are a few different colors.)
      We cut them ourselves, carefully, with a power saw, all rolled up. Lots of little splinters of wood flew everywhere, though, so be careful!

        • Well, it depends on the size of your windows. We tried to buy a width that was only a little bigger than the window itself (we didn’t worry about length so much), so we only had to chop off a small bit. I’m not sure how cutting off more than just a few inches would work.

        • When you cut something like that be sure to tape next to your cut line like with painter’s tape or masking tape in general. It’ll give you an overall cleaner cut and help with splinters. We used to cut down blinds in my theatre guild on a semi-regular basis so I’ve done this a few time 😉 The tape makes everything better.

  2. Did you recently link to your blog on a post about painting ombre furniture? I swear I’ve seen this nursery before – I am totally in love with the colours & overall feeling of this room.

    • An additional note from the cutter of the blinds… You only have a few inches to play with before you would interfere with the shade rigging. Be sure and get the closest width possible to your actual windows.

      I cut the blinds with a 12″ compound mitre saw and it was barely enough for the 72″ length shade when rolled up tight. A bigger saw would make life easier.

      I also had to modify the top of the shade to fit the mounting hardware. It wasn’t hard, just ne ready to improvise a little.

    • An additional note from the cutter of the blinds… You only have a few inches to play with before you would interfere with the shade rigging. Be sure and get the closest width possible to your actual windows.

      I had to modify the top of the shade to fit the mounting hardware. It wasn’t hard, just ne ready to improvise a little.

  3. I LOVE the colors of this room!!! I don’t have kids yet, and generally don’t feel the need to have any for a few more years…but seeing a room like this got me excited anyway!

  4. Love the colors and that mobile is the effing bomb! I hated all the cheesy plastic mobiles and ended up making my son one out of origami fish!

  5. I love it! We’re currently preparing our nursery for the girl we’re expecting this fall, and our colors are pretty much the same as yours — we even also have a grey glider that just doesn’t quite match the rest of the room. 😛 Yay for unisex! Yay for Ellens!

  6. This is such a cheery and fun nursery!! I just love the colors. Do you remember where you purchased the fabric for your curtains? Thanks for the inspiration!

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