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Toddler Room Reveal + 5 Design Tips

Little Miss Emily is 15 months old today. Yes, 15 months! I keep shaking my head in disbelief… somehow I have a toddler!? Every day she wakes up and learns something new. Today she learned how to say “spoon.” Yesterday she discovered how “fun” it is to throw things behind the couch and then yell “uh-oh!” It’s never a dull moment around here!

If you’ve been a longtime reader of mine you might remember seeing Emily’s original nursery reveal in January 2019. Well, a lot has happened since then… the biggest change being that we moved in May 2019. I’ll admit, I was really sad when it finally came time to pack up Emily’s old room. The first 4 months of her life were spent in that room… and those four walls quickly became my safe place during those early, unknown days of motherhood. As much as we loved that house (we spent 7 years there) it was time to find a home that had a layout better suited our new family. Enter our “forever house.”

We were lucky that all Emily’s new room needed was a coat of primer/paint (the original paint job just wasn’t going to cut it… yes, that is sponge painting!), so the day after we took possession, the painting got underway! Now, I’ve painted a lot of rooms, in a lot of houses, and I’m never short of amazed just how transformative paint can be… and it made a night and day difference in Emily’s room!

Rather than designing a completely new room, I tried very hard to keep as close to my original design as possible. And honestly, at first glance, these two rooms could be mistaken for the same room! With both rooms, my number one goal was to design a space that was practical and would grow with her, so none of her furniture or decor is overly girly or baby-ish, making the transition to a toddler room an easy one.

I loved Emily’s first nursery, so it should be no surprise that I LOVE this room as well! It’s the perfect little place for her to sleep, play, read and grow!

5 Tips & Tricks for Designing a Toddler Room

Having designed two rooms for Emily in the past 15 months, I do have some tips & tricks for you parents-to-be or those looking to update your toddler’s current room.

1. Pick a neutral paint colour. You might be tempted to reach for that can of bubblegum pink or sky blue, but I’m going to boldly tell you… don’t do it! Opt for a neutral or subtle colour on the walls and use decor and accessories to inject those pops of colour (if that’s what you’re looking for). That way, as your toddler grows you won’t find yourself painting their room for the umpteenth time! I chose “Coconut Sugar” by Para Paints for Emily’s room since it’s a nice soft white. And don’t overlook the type of paint you are going to use. You’ll want to find something that is low VOC and durable since chances are you will be scrubbing crayon off the wall sometime in the future!

2. Invest in furniture that can transition. Almost every nursery or toddler room has a dresser, side table, lighting, shelves and bed/crib. I highly recommend having a long-term outlook when selecting these pieces and invest in timeless furniture that can be used for the better part of a decade! Yes, these pieces might cost you a bit more in the upfront, but you’ll be able to keep them for years and years… if not in their room, maybe in another room of your home. I know I’ll be moving Emily’s glider from her room to the family room in our basement once she’s outgrown it!

3. Get creative with the decor and accessories. This is where things get FUN! Like I said in tip #1, inject personality using decor and accessories! Maybe pull in a bright and colourful area rug or hang some curtains featuring bold and graphic patterns. Art posters and wall stickers are also fun because they can easily be removed. There are lots of opportunities to make a room feel playful or unique to your child’s interests without painting the walls a wild colour!

4. Make room for play and quiet time. If you have a toddler you know they like to move! They. Are. Always. On. The. Move! When transitioning their room from a nursery to a bedroom/playroom you’ll want to clear the floor for fun! Get rid of the ottomans, bouncy chairs, bassinets, exersaucers and swings… that precious floor space will now be used for stuffy tea parties and monster truck crashes! At the same time, set up little nooks or corners where you can encourage them to quietly read, draw or play.

5. Don’t forget about SAFETY! At this point in your toddler’s life, everything is a toy. Everything in their path is either for climbing on, chewing, throwing, pushing, and pulling. Take a look around their room and identify anything that might be hazardous. Tether large furniture such as shelves and dressers to the wall. Make sure picture frames are securely attached. Remove any curtains or blinds that have strings. Get rid of anything glass. At the end of the day you want to create a space for your toddler where they can safely play independently (with you nearby, of course). Remove anything and everything that might jeopardize that safety.

I know I said 5 tips, but I just can’t help myself with this one… spend time in their space WITH them. They are only little for so long. Sit and have that tea party. Read a book in the corner. Count the glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling. Rock them to sleep in the glider. Before you know it there will be a sign on the door that says “no adults allowed,” so take the time… you’ll never regret it.

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