Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

3.5 years later: Otto's nursery/bedroom reveal!

It is taking me way, way too long to reach this point and write this post! Anyone who knows me would assume that I would’ve been all over the first baby nursery thing four years ago when I was pregnant with Otto. I really wish I had! I’ve many times been jealous of people who get to plan and decorate nurseries while still pregnant, without a baby or toddler to deal with, and I’ve never done that.

When I got pregnant with Otto we were living in and had just finished our first fixer upper house, which would’ve been a great place to bring him home to, but we were so anxious to be ready to buy this house that we sold that one and moved in with my parents… Then we realized we would not be able to buy this house on our timeline so we moved into a one-bedroom apartment. That’s where Otto was born, and he slept in the bassinet in our room and his dresser was in the living room. Then we moved into this house when he was about two months old and our lives became very stressful and full of house projects... and his room was the walk-through to the garage and had a nonworking fireplace in it and was drafty and funky. I shared his crib/rocking chair wall (latest here) some, but I didn’t like the rug and/or curtains and there was really only the one wall to show etc. etc. etc. etc. (complaining). Then last winter we moved our bedrooms upstairs and he got one of the best rooms in the house! West-facing windows, small but certainly not too small for a baby/toddler. It had been my office in the beginning of COVID and it was great for that too.

We also started doing Lucy's room last winter too, and our room, and Otto's room was not bad because it had everything he needed and even some special personal things like art. But there were a few things that I wanted to do to finish it, and I only just now have! With a couple of little DIY projects recently done and a cool antique shelf I finally found, I have finished Otto's room!

Classic + Modern Little Boy Bedroom/Nursery

The big challenge of this room is the change in styles I’ve preferred since I started buying things for him. His crib and rocker I picked out more than 3.5 years ago now and guess what? My tastes have changed. The rooms I originally had pinned on my nursery mood board (like if you scroll to the beginning) are very far from what I would choose now! But the crib and rocker are special, sentimental things now, and we still use them even though he’s not a baby anymore. So my decor challenge here was to make it work, in a sort of English country-inspired charming blue and red boy's room, with these modern minimalist IKEA/Scandinavian/mid 2010s central pieces!

I should share a "before" or two of this room... it had been a boys' room before, with some bold 90's decor choices and built-in bunk beds and train track around the ceiling!


We painted it white (Sherwin-Williams Alabaster, same as the rest of the house) before using it for other things till we moved upstairs. So the paint is one thing we didn't change before making it his room. Except the sun!

Jason painted the sun on the wall when we moved Otto up here. It’s another sentimental special thing that adds personal touch, not perfection, to the decor. Otto loves it! His third birthday cake had a sun just like it on the top that he and I made together.


This rug I picked out three or four years ago, though it was for our bedroom at the time. It’s funny, when I was originally doing Otto's nursery my favorite inspirations were Amber Interiors kid rooms which featured pale wood furniture, white midcentury dressers, lots of rattan and baskets, and distressed vintage Turkish rugs. Jason didn’t like this look or those rugs because he said they weren’t "baby" enough. But then when we shuffled our rooms upstairs, this rug was already here from when it was an office, and it just made sense to keep it here, and it’s very comfortable for playing on, so we ended up with a distressed vintage look rug here anyway! (Ironically probably not what I would choose if I started his room from scratch now!) I did try a red real vintage rug here a few months ago, and it looked good, but it was too narrow. So the blue one stayed. These faux vintage Loloi rugs are not my favorite, but they are soft and nice for a little kids to play on.


We obviously have a lot of gingham going on in here. A favorite pattern of mine right now, though I’ve liked it for a long time. I love his little toddler duvet comforter so much! I made two of these out of a queen size comforter and duvet cover that Lucy has the other (tutorial here). Otto also has a red and white gingham twin size comforter which he used for a while, but it’s just comically large for his little toddler bed. But we use the pillowcases sometimes. 

I’m not in love with the curtains but I really like the blue color. They are a printed gingham, not woven, and the background beige/grey color is a little weird. But there just aren’t that many options for cute patterned or gingham blackout curtains. The Roman shades on his windows are also “blackout," but really you need to double up both of these for actually blocking sunlight during the day.

DIY Pleated Lampshade

I also added pattern on his lampshade. My first pleated lampshade attempt and I think I would use this method if I did it again now, but I really like the fabric. It’s on this antique brass lamp which I’m very happy with.

IKEA Hack Dresser

Most recent DIY is the dresser. The dresser itself is maybe not what I would choose now, since I love antique wood dressers, but we already had this white one and I really love this brick color and bringing in some more color and something fun. Plus it’s great to use what we already have and what he’s familiar with. So this is an IKEA hack redone. I changed the handles on this white dresser when we got it, but it really needed a fresh coat of paint anyway, and those handles were so tiny and modern and not the style! I did these affordable wood knobs and painted them to match and I love them. Classic sort of English country vibe. Took me a while to gear up to do the dresser painting project but I’m so glad I did! 

I used Schnubs Paint, same brand I’ve used on two other pieces of kid furniture, and I’m so happy with it! It dries so, so fast and smooth! And really thick coverage! I did two coats but just barely. I probably could’ve done just one had I been a little bit more thorough. Really fantastic stuff! I used less than a quart. Color is called Candy Apple (not on their website anymore, but you can ask for it) but I mixed in a tiny bit of their Onyx that I had from my last Schnubs project. I also painted the picture frame around this elephant print. Jason picked that out for Otto when he was a baby and we have an elephant thing in our family so it’s very sentimental, but the beachy whitewashed wood Target frame I had it in totally did not go with anything else. So I painted it red too!

Vintage DIY Framed Alphabet 

The thing above his chair is another re-DIY (see it here). My mom made me an alphabet poster with those letters when I was a baby. It was huge and on a green background and in a plastic frame that had since broken, so I took it apart and cut down the letters and bought some tan and white gingham and framed it in a vintage frame. Otto helped.

Toys and Book Shelf

We’ve had the baskets of stuffed animals since he was a baby and when he was in the downstairs room there were some little built-in shelves that we used for books, but in this room we needed more storage options. We had the little white IKEA picture ledges which were cute but didn’t hold enough books, and were a little modern. So I looked and looked on Facebook Marketplace with no luck, but eventually found this antique wood shelf at an antique store for $24. It’s somebody’s shop project I think and has some homemade charm! I added a little stain to the bottom shelf that had some rings from where someone had stored dishes on it. It holds a lot more! (Honestly we usually keep some of these in the basket or downstairs, but it was fun to style a kid shelf!)

IKEA Toddler Bed

We will get him a twin size bed one of these days but the crib just fits so perfectly in the room, and until recently he used to sleep perpendicular to the mattress bunched up at the corner anyway. Also we kept him in a crib for as long as we could! Just not in any rush to upsize. I have a post about transitioning from the crib coming up in my parenting decisions series next week. 

Here he is enjoying his room. He's blurry but he's just so cute I had to include these. I spend a lot of time in here with him and Lucy, so happy we have a room we've all added to and love!

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