Life is good. Your baby is growing up faster than you can imagine. Bam! He's hit toddlerhood. And then, OOPS! (or not oops, depending on your planning), you're expecting another bundle of joy. Hmmm. What do you do when you're going to have two young kiddos (and two won't fit into the same crib)? How do you change a nursery into a big (or, at least bigger!) kid room?
No problem-o! Having experienced this myself, I am here to help. A few changes of furniture and some décor…voila! You've got yourself a toddler room he will love so much he won't even care about losing his crib. Now about sharing your attention……maybe not so much. But let's tackle what we can!
Here's how I created a big kid room for client Mark and his son Will recently. Check it out.
Mark had a great space to start with for the new room design for Will. The layout of the room was huge! A nice big bay window, tons of closet space, lots of natural light (okay, I might have been jealous of Will's room, but anyway). Mark also shared that Will really loved basketball (a boy after my own heart. Future Jayhawk, perhaps??), books of all sorts, animals and the color orange. One last request for the new room was that we incorporate space for the cousins to stay when they had sleepovers. Trust me, the room had space to do this! With this in mind, we were off to the races!
The biggest part of the project, and the part that used the most budget was the furniture. Since Will was still fairly small, we went with a toddler bed as a middle step between crib and big bed. Lots of cribs currently convert into this option, but with baby arriving soon, we decided to woo Noah with the idea of a new bed and leave the crib for baby #2. Money saving tip: cribs and toddler beds use the same sized mattress. Savings there! The other large purchase was a bunk bed, both for visiting cousins and for Will as he grew. Since there was plenty of room, we went with the full bed on bottom and twin on top. Will will have plenty of options when he gets to big bed size. Other complimentary furniture included a nightstand, cozy reading chair, bookshelves and toy storage.
Now that the large pieces were in place, we tackled the layout of the room. For this, we grouped the furniture into smaller areas. Will had his own nook for his toddler bed, nightstand, lamp, changing table/dresser. Another large area was given to the large bunk bed, and the last space was reserved for my favorite part of the room: the reading nook. We took advantage of the gorgeous bay window to give Will a reading nook. I always advocate for having a reading area as near to natural light as possible; the soft light and cozy placement inherently encourages reading. Everyone wins, right? So we put short bookcases (not blocking the light!) along each of the three sides of the window, a reading chair for Will (appropriately toddler sized) and a beanbag for friends or parents to join him. All set for furniture placement.
The last part (and the most fun) was the décor. The icing on the cake. The last hurrah. The…okay, I'm running out of metaphors here. But it's essential. Just like in other rooms, I like to have a "star" of the room. Often it's something colorful and/or with a pattern to base the rest of the room around. With Will's toddler room, I found a brightly colored, graphic rug. Other pieces fell into place…animal wall art here, a basketball lamp there, curtains…all based on Noah's tastes and complimenting the rug.
In the end, we had a big boy room that Will was ecstatic about, which in the end made Mom and Dad happy….and a whole happy family is always a nice outcome! They then turned their attention to where Baby #2 would stay, but that's a whole other story.
But the point is this: turning a nursery into a room fit for your favorite toddler need not strike panic into your family. There are steps to take to ease this transition. And if you're still stuck? Check out my design packages here; we can tackle it together.