toddler to little girl room: a tour of the bedroom makeover


With the start of the new year we decided to tackle our first home-improvement project – to convert our little girl’s room from a toddler space into something she could grow into for the next ten years. We had a few key goals. One, create a workspace for her to do crafts and homework. Two, pick a color palette that would be pretty yet flexible as her tastes change. And three, retain a touch of fun and whimsy. Here is the final room and we are all pretty pleased with it! It’s calm, yet fun. There’s a place for everything, and it doesn’t feel crowded. Here’s what you need to know.

The bed is a Sparrow Bed from Oeuf. The walls are Benjamin Moore beacon grey. The duvet cover is from Pottery Barn Teen.


The desk and shelves are from the Container Store. We went with Elfa shelves because they hold so much, yet are aren’t a heavy piece of furniture that would weigh the room down.


The curtains are from Target. We love the little tassel details. Hot fuchsia really pops off the grey-blue walls.


The room is almost too small to be arranged any other way. The space next to the bed is tiny, yet we needed something to put books and a clock on. Chad made a small little shelf which is just perfect. (And Isadora and I have loved reading The Secret Garden, btw.)


We debated by a new, colorful chair — say from Room and Board or Land of Nod — and may still do that someday. We found this one at a local online swap meet. It was $20 and says NYC Board of Education on the bottom. We painted just the top for a “dipped” look.


Isadora’s dresser is one which used to be mine. It’s a mid-century Russel Wright and quite hefty. We love the way it looks juxtaposed against the stenciled wall. Above, squirrel portraits we bought from a store in Columbus, OH when she was born, a Willy Wonka illustration we found off eBay, and a vintage globe I’ve had for ever.

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a little hawaii in february: our hula-themed birthday party


Little darlings, it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter — and our kid’s birthday landed smack in the dead middle of it. We’ve been trying to hang on to the aloha-vibe we picked up in Maui last November, but it ain’t easy when we’re iced-in. To help us all warm up a bit, we decided that this year (number 6!) Isadora would have a hula-themed birthday. I found a local hula teacher who specialized in lessons for children, and booked her as the main event. Around the house we mixed vintage Hawaiian decor with some tchotchke’s from new, inexpensive things from Oriental Trading Co. Below are photos of some highlights!

hulatopperA vintage tiki bowl mingles with some paper centerpieces from Oriental Trading Co.


On the mantle, more vintage tikis doubling as vases, along with a straw skirt — meant for a table but it worked better here for us.


Our safe for kiddies tropical punch included pineapple, orange, cranberry, and white grape juices with guava nectar and sparkling apple cider. Served with paper umbrellas, of course.


A rainbow of fruit featuring a mini-marshmallow cloud in the middle. Guess which got eaten first?


The piece de resistance: A hula girl cake! This one might need a separate post on its own, but lets say that we started with Wilton Doll Cake mold and a lot a of green food dye.


The finished piece of beauty.


From our partners

want it now: gizmine wooden humidifier


What are we going to do? The damn groundhog saw his shadow last weekend and it most definitely feels like winter has not yet finished. In addition to leaving our fleece-lined boots out, we’re also slathering on moisturizers and leaving our humidifiers running in an effort to combat the season’s chronic dryness. All humidifiers have their faults — we have yet to find one that doesn’t get gunky and need a vinegar bath every few weeks. This wooden one from Gizmine has most definitely peaked our curiosity. With no plugs or batteries, it simply houses water in its base. Made entirely of cypress wood, it gathers moisture in its sail-like curved top and diffuses it into the room. Supposedly, it smells nice too. For something so simple, it is pricey ($150 at but since it doubles as a zen sculpture, perhaps worth it?

Looking for more ideas? Here’s another Japanese humidifier we recommend. Found a humidifier you love? Let us know about it here!

From our partners

toddler to little girl room: stencils are the new wallpaper!

As we wrote about the last week, our decorating brains have been hurting trying to make decisions that would last a decade in our girl Isadora’s room. We’ve been transforming it from toddler cute to something that she will (hopefully) love even as a teen, step-by-step. After choosing a paint color — Benjamin Moore’s lovely Beacon Gray — we decided to spruce up two of her walls with a pattern.

We called in a ton of gorgeous samples from wallpaper sites and were amazed at the variety. From the colorful to the clever, the choices seem endless. We kept being drawn to the simplest of patterns with classic vibes, and soon realized that what we wanted was a very basic repeat that was the same tone and color as the walls. We started exploring the idea of stencils — which at first had us cringing with thoughts of 80’s style flowers everywhere. After looking around we were pleasantly surprised to find that stencils have come a long a way! They are some very lovely patterns available, and after watching a few YouTube videos, Chad became confident that he could pull this off in Isadora’s room.

We went with Julia Allover from Cutting Edge Stencils. One kit is $53 and comes with one large repeat plus a top stencil for hard to reach spots near the ceiling. The nice thing about the “wallpaper” look is that you don’t have to worry about being perfect. It’s nice to show some slight variation in the pattern rather than perfectly straight lines.



To create this look, we simply bought a small can of the next darker shade in the Beacon Gray spectrum – November Skies. In addition to the paint, you will need painter’s masking tape, paper towels, a foam roller, a tray and a (possibly) level. (A level is more important is you are using a more precise pattern than ours.



The video below is what we used to guide us. The secret is to keep your brush nearly dry. After you load it with paint, dry it off on paper towels before touching the wall. Also, after filling in the stencil, wait for it to be nearly dry before removing to move. That way you minimize smears on the stencil itself. Make sure the previous painted section is dry before overlapping it with the plastic stencils.

One word of caution: Corners are super tricky. Chad used a stencil brush for those spots. Save the smallest spots — like over a door — for the very end, in case you need to cut the stencil down to fit.

The whole project took about five hours and cost less than $200 in total. We’ve never wallpapered anything before — but something tells us this was much less expensive and complicated.



Got any questions? Leave a comment and we’ll do our best to get back to you!

From our partners

check out ikea’s gorgeous new $20 lamp, kvartar


Coming to Ikea stores in February is this lovely little artichoke of lamp, KVARTÄR, a pendant lamp that mixes a Scandinavian vibe with a dose of femininity. It’s made of flexible plastic and for only $20, would nicely illuminate any nook or dining area, no matter your price point. Add “visit Ikea” to your February to-do list to nab a Kvartar.

See more Ikea related posts on Shelterrific here.

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