Nursery Mood Board: Whimsical and Retro

When Leila approached me…errr emailed me about doing another mood board for her home (I’ve already designed her living room and dining room), it felt like familiar territory.  This time, it was for her son’s nursery.  Oh, I could design nurseries all day long.  Here’s what she said in her note:

Hi Julia, 

I need your help with my son’s room. He is a 18months old boy and we need a few ideas from you. The color of the bedroom is Celery Stick. The rocking chair can go, since we dont really use it anymore, also I would like to use curtain for the close door and Im not sure if they should match the window curtains, what do you think? Anyways, Im going to leave this for the pro :)

Thank you again, 


With the crib, bookcase and paint color (she used Glidden’s Celery Stick on the walls) remaining in place–I came up with this mood board to spice up the rest of the room in a retro and whimsical way.

Here’s how it all breaks down:

1. I noticed the closet was the same color as the walls. To break things up, especially since you don’t have a closet door, paint the inside of the closet a dark, bold grayish-brown like the one I have pictured here. Check out Benjamin Moore’s Cromwell Gray.

2. I am not sure if the blue carpet is staying or going, but either way a punchy area rug like this one will bring the whole color palette together. It will be great over the existing carpet or whatever else you plan to do. Area Rug found here.

3. Curtains will change the room. I love these light-gray dotted ones for the neutral tone, playful pattern and the price is great, too! I would the same curtains on the windows and over the closet (we’ll get there in a minute). Curtains found here.

4. This affordable, playful pendant hanging softly in the center of the room is chic, yet kid appropriate, too.  Pendant found here.

5. I would get rid of that glider and ottoman. Funny, we recently sold ours, too! However, a chair is definitely still nice to have. Look for a smaller sized, stationary chair (gray would be nice) so you and your son still have a place to cuddle and read. Throw a bright turquoise pillow on it for a happy pop of color. Chair found here. Pillow found here.

6. I noticed you had a white dresser of sorts in the closet. You can either paint it, or check the online classifieds for a dresser and paint it a warm teal (take a look at Benjamin Moore’s Aruba Blue). Hang the curtain on the other side of the closet to cover hanging clothes, but your dresser will be pretty enough to happily display. Dresser found here.

7. Since you’ll want to show off your dresser, might as well show off a fun little toy, too. Fox found here.

8. A simple, gray, crib sheet will be a neutral and soothing color relief from all the color elsewhere. Crib sheet found here.

9. Above the crib, frame some artwork in white frames to break up all the black furniture you have. Look for prints with teal, yellow, green undertones like the ones I have pictured here.
Fox print here. Arrow print here. King Card print here. Flora Graphic art here.

10. These colorful baskets and the black and white rugby striped storage container are for the closet and the black bookshelf against the wall. Baskets and containers are a must when it comes to kids. Stash all of those miscellaneous items hanging out in the closet in organized baskets and put some toys in, too!
Black and White Rugby Container here. Colorful baskets here.

11. On top of the bookcase, display this educational toy that also serves as art. Abacus found here.

12. On the wall above the bookcase, hang some oversized zinc letters. Spell out your son’s name, A-B-C, or even “Fun.” Letters found here. Or DIY your own following our tutorial here

Could you use a little assistance like Leila? Is there a room in your home begging for some help?  Are you stuck in a design rut?  Send photos and your dilemma to and let’s get started.  Check out our Mood Boards page for more info. 


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