Toddler Nursery Design Ideas

Dear Sarah,

I’ve recently moved into a new home with my twins, Lilah and Cameron. They are ready to graduate to “big-kid” beds and will continue to share a room, but I’ll be starting from scratch with decorating. I’m not crazy about traditional pink and blue colour schemes or “themed” wallpaper or decals. I’m not sure how to give my children a bedroom that feels like a “kid” space while still keeping it fresh and calm enough to blend with the more sophisticated feel of the other rooms in our home.


– Chuck R., Toronto.


Chuck Nursery copy

Congratulations on your new home. It seems as though children these days are cooler than ever – even toddlers. With this in mind, I’ve created a plan for Lilah’s and Cameron’s new nursery – ahem, big-kid bedroom. The colour scheme is fresh and contemporary while the finishes and accessories are age-appropriate.

To bring the scale down to a toddler’s perspective, I would paint wide horizontal bands around the perimeter. Using three different greys – I’m suggesting “Shape Shifter”, “Grand Illusion”, and “Outer Space Cadet” from Para – will add interest while remaining neutral and chic.

A nice way to transition to a full-size twin bed is by first having them use a toddler bed. This one from P’Kolino (pictured) is shorter than a standard twin bed and has side pieces to help your children feel secure. Since this bed will be used for a limited time, its clever design allows for repurposing as it transforms into a mod chair. Two together will make a wonderfully cozy corner for sharing books or just hanging out together.

Bedding is a great way to infuse a little colour into this neutral room, as well. Stepping away from the well-known butter yellow nursery, this mellowed chartreuse will be comfortable for both Lilah and Cameron. The whimsical elephant motif is playful and charming.

It’s important that this room remain child-centred and is not mistaken for a guest room. A fun twist on the standard alphabet wall decals is to frame hand sketches of alphabet graphics. Whether the pieces are created by a commissioned artist or by you and your twins, these framed pieces are both educational and beautiful. Hang them inside one of the horizontal stripes and wrap them around the entire room.

A centred light fixture adds a finishing touch to the space. The pendant is the one thing in the room that doesn’t have to be childproofed, so it’s a great opportunity to add some impact. The clean, modern glass globe is juxtaposed with the intricate cut metal pieces that depict tropical botanicals. The light reflects and refracts the warm metal and reinforces the polished aesthetic of this no-longer-baby room.

It’s a space that is more than ready to welcome Lilah and Cameron, and their growing toddler lifestyle!


Good luck!





Images; 1. Mitani, available through Ella & Elliot2. Ella & Elliot3. West Elm,  4. Para5. Ella & Elliot6. Ikea (Frames), 7. P’Kolino


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