How much did Polly’s Room cost? + Favorite Children’s Books!

February 25, 2021

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Yesterday was a big day on the blog. We revealed Polly’s modern cottage bedroom, and the comments are rolling in. We feel the positive energy coming from your excitement and it really does mean the world, especially because we really try to reflect so much of ourselves and our style into every space. After a reveal, we like to turn around and give you a breakdown of what a makeover like this costs. It can sometimes be tricky if there’s cost of labor, etc., but this room is small and very DIY friendly. 

We’ve done a few other budget breakdowns in the past, including our primary closet, the fullmer kitchen, and our previous primary bathroom, and it’s neat to be able to see a wide range of budgets and how the money is allocated. 

For Polly’s room, we actually used a lot of furnishings that we already had. We love a good “shop the house” game, plus this allowed us to be able to splurge on the custom-made curtains, add the wall paneling, and install the ceiling wallpaper of our dreams. We included the price of those things nonetheless, but I highly recommend incorporating a little bit of “old” with the “new” when you design your own rooms. Your wallet will thank you, AND this gives you permission to invest in a few quality things you absolutely love, and who knows, maybe someday those items will be “shopped” into future rooms.

Paint Color: Expressive Plum by Sherwin Williams – $75
Paneling – $410
Ceiling Wallpaper – $280 per roll
Tapestry – $198 (Moved in from the dining room.)
Spindle Daybed – $833
Toile Sheets – $59
Ivory Throw – $130 (From the girl’s bunk room in our last home.)
Gingham Pillow – $98 (Did a daily dupe of it here.)
Velvet Throw Pillow – $18 (already had)
Cuddle and Kind Doll – $57 (already had)
Floor Lamp – $349
Laundry Basket – $138 (From polly’s nursery.)
Curtains (custom by Martha & Ash)
Fabric for Curtains – $32.95 per yard x 16 yards = $527
Curtain Rod – $41
Glider – $899 (We have had this glider for 7 or 8 years.)
Throw Pillow – $238 (Stole from the basement.)
Pouf – $182
Book Basket – $31
Side Table – $120 (Moved in from the girl’s office.)
Table Lamp – $199
Wool Wall Giraffe – $168
Acrylic Shelves – $51


Not including items we already had, the total was actually…


Keep in mind, we usually remodel in phases. Polly’s phase one room update included adding the wall paneling, her big girl bed, and the book basket. Just a reminder that the reality of renovating a space for us doesn’t EVER look like one big shopping spree. It takes time, and is done one layer at a time. For a while I didn’t know what sheets to use for Polly’s room. I knew I wanted a floral print to incorporate my “floral, geometric pattern formula,” but I wasn’t about to buy just any sheets in order to finish the room. No. I waited until I stumbled across the most delicate, cottage-blue, vintage inspired sheets and “added to cart” immediately. It’s a process and sometimes takes time.

None of the books are included in the budget either. These are just books we have that Polly loves, and that we love reading to her, but we did do a round-up for you. Who would we even be without sharing a good round-up? Bedtime reading has always been in the routine, and actually I’m so glad we moved her favorite rocker back in so we can continue the nostalgia of snuggling up with a blanket and a book (in the chair that we have rocked both Polly and Faye in), and building memories. Would love to hear what your favorite books to read to your kids are! (Our current favorite is The Bad Seed–it’s so good and I like to do different voices, too)

1. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? $5
2. The Napping House $6
3. Library Lion $6
4. Next to You $7
5. Where the Wild Things Are $7
6. But Not the Hippopotamus $8
7. Whistle for Willie $8
8. May I Bring a Friend $9
9. Ten Minutes to Bed Little Dinosaur $10
10. The Bad Seed $11
11. Story Boat $13
12. No, David! $14
13. Charlotte the Scientist is Squished $14
14. The Rabbit Listened $15
15. Yoga Bunny $15
16. The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend $27

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What do you think?

  1. Aimee says:

    It is a hard thing to be so open with money. Hopefully everyone can appreciate that. Even if someone’s price range is much lower, the inspiration is THERE!!!

    LOVE LOVE LOVE all the rooms that have been done.

  2. Jan says:

    Favourite children’s book that I buy everyone is Elephant & Piggies “We are in a Book” by Mo Willems. It’s such a delight and both my kids loved it so much and I enjoyed reading it. :) Love Polly’s room.

  3. L says:

    Do you guys install the wallpaper yourselves or did you hire that out? I feel like it would be hard to install wallpaper on the ceiling unless your a professional ha!! But I’d love to have this done in my daughter’s room so was wondering how you tackled it. Thanks!

  4. Katie says:

    Love that you remodel in phases! Makes thinking about home updates a little less daunting. My sister has been following and sharing your updates forever and as a new homeowner I am now devouring years of your blog!!! Also for good books, The Good Egg is sister to The Bad Seed and both household staples here. Nana in the City and Alfie Runs Away also favorites that have withstood years of bedtime routine!!

  5. Tiffany says:

    So lovely! Can you tell me about that plaid throw on the arm of the chair? I didn’t see it in the list, and would love to get my hands on one :)

  6. Erica says:

    My kids (5, 2) run around the house quoting Dragons Love Tacos! It’s hilarious, and it touches on hosting too, so maybe that’s a fun fit for you guys who do lots of hosting!

  7. Jennifer Crawford-Beal says:

    Hi There! Would you mind linking the panelling you used? I’ve looked at Home Depot and can’t seem to locate a single grooved (like you’ve shown here) panel. Most shown are double groves and narrow. Thank YOU! We are embarking on a double bathroom renovation and I’d love to get these panels for our new look!

  8. Emily says:

    Thank you for sharing these budget details! It’s so helpful.

  9. Jill says:

    Julia, everything is so beautiful! And it’s such a luxury to have a separate toy/play room for all the things. Polly’s room can look like this every day! Ha!
    That floor lamp is special! It’s a shame to have the base hidden. I would want to admire it more. ;)
    Thank you so much for the cost breakdown.

  10. patricia says:

    It is hard to list prices for decorating because we almost never start from scratch … you were an exception and didn’t move any furniture from your old house other than Polly’s nursery. But mostly all of us have left overs and hand me downs as well as thrift store and estate sale finds. And some people are very lucky with road side finds. I’ll admit to finding a piece or two that needed a little paint or reupholstering. Then we play a game of musical chairs with our furniture. It’s fun to see pieces play new roles in unexpected places.

    That fancy chandelier NEEDED to be in Polly’s room, not the laundry.

  11. Amber says:

    Darling! Sweet Polly will enjoy her room for years to come and have so many lovely memories of it, I’m sure! It’s always fun to see your design ideas come to life in your spaces. Would you mind sharing what paneling you used on the walls and how you installed it vertically? Did you use glue since most boards wouldn’t be going into studs or did you use furring strips instead? I would love to install a similar look in my home and would love to hear your feedback on the process. Thank you!

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