Nova’s Playroom Reveal

This past month and a half since we were matched with Nova have been so FULL of projects. I felt myself go into overdrive so quickly. There’s something so motivating (in the best possible way) about knowing everything is about to change! Our playroom was already more than half complete, but as soon as we found out we’ll be home soon with a kiddo, it had to be finished immediately!

A little back story on this room … we purchased a home with space for multiple kiddos, intending to stay here a long time and start our family here. After we set up Nova’s nursery, our social worker told us it might be better to limit the number of toys and distractions in her sleeping space. We had another bedroom next door set aside for our second child, so we decided to make it into a playroom. I’m so glad we did because it’s a delightful space and I absolutely hate the feeling of having “wasted” rooms that we aren’t using with piles of “stuff”.

A few months ago when my parents came to visit for a long weekend (and this room was still in “piles of stuff” status), my mom insisted we set up the playroom right then. We drove around town looking for the perfect art table and talking about books and games and art projects. It was a really sweet bonding time with my mom and I’m so glad she pushed me to get this room started.

But first, a couple “before” photos!

Here are a few photos from the day we closed on the house. As you can see, it’s come a long way! The window seat was a high point for me. I remember noticing it when we toured the house for the first time. Since this bedroom (along with the one we used for our nursery) is closest to the master bedroom, we always assumed they’d make good kiddo bedrooms.

First things first, I knew we needed a space for art projects! Making art projects with my mom pretty much sums up 90% of my childhood memories and it’s something I can’t wait to share with Nova!

Collin built custom shelves for me. I ordered these clear plastic jars from Amazon to fill the shelves with. They are about the size of a large peanut butter jar. In the lower part of the shelf we added storage for paint brushes and markers.

I found the table at Target as well as the white chairs.

I reserved this wall for our kiddo art collection. I purchased some of these gold clips and I am planning to fill this wall up season by season.

The cactus mobile was a gift from my friend, Rosie. It’s SO CUTE and special.

The rainbow fiber art is by Mandi Smethells Hills on Etsy. The chalkboard easel (it has a dry erase board on the back) is from Ikea.

Currently, I am prepping some holiday craft ideas. Since we will (likely) be arriving home not long before the holidays, we may not be ready to travel to see family this year. It’s already weighing on me a bit. We won’t have to make that choice until we’re home and we can decide what’s best for Nova, but at the moment I am coping by preparing so many craft projects for her and I to do together. It warms my heart!

I have always loved to keep journals! Jeremy … not so much. We’ve had so many journals through the years where I wrote in them 10x more than him … haha! So when I found this cool giant journal (we bought it years back at a local shop when we were traveling), I thought it would be perfect for to me document memories with Nova (and hopefully more kiddos on the way). I would LOVE to have something like this from my childhood. It’s kind of a random little thing, but could be magical!

Over here is our reading sofa. The pink velvet sofa is from Article. The vintage rug is from Apple + Oak in Nashville.

When I was in the middle of working on this room, my friend Karla came over and she encouraged me to add a comfy sofa and a place to read. I loved this idea … books are definitely my favorite thing to collect for Nova so far!

These two plush are made by Kelsey Davis Design on Etsy. You have to see her sloth design—it’s so cute! The llamazebra, bear, bunnyunicorn, and swan are from Target.

The wallpaper is from Juju papers (same as my entryway—I actually had enough left over for just one wall, so I used it here!).

The shelves are full of thoughtful gifts and special toys we’ve collected over the past 16 months since we started the adoption process.

Toy sources: Wooden rainbow/Grimm’s, Watermelon stacking toy/Sunshine and Pine, Lip Phone/Amazon (in red and in pink), Xylophone toy/Amazon, Flora The Flamingo Book, Child’s vintage basket/Boheme Vintage, Plush Car/Oeuf, Eyelash Basket/Indego Africa, 8-inch disco ball/Amazon.

This print from Roxy Marj was something I purchased forever ago when becoming a mom was still a far off dream to me. I love this quote!

I have a huge weakness for all things dinosaur. I hope Nova loves them as much as I do! These are from Sun and Stars co.

I got the cutest light fixture and ceiling medallion for our space from Lucent Lightshop.

This macrame planter is from a fellow Elsie—Elsie Goodwin, who owns Reform Fibers.

I will share more about the custom bench cushion I made soon. It was super easy to make!

Thanks so much for reading! I feel so lucky to be so close to become a mom, to have the opportunity to make these beautiful rooms for our little gal and to have you to share them with! I really do not take any of this for granted. This is the happiest time in my life! xx – Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop Presets.

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  • This room is incredible! I’ve loved following the adoption story (I’ve been reading since before you and Jeremy were engaged!)- it’s perhaps been my favorite things to read here so far. <3 Nova is the luckiest kid in TN!

    Also- I'm not sure if you've heard this feedback, but since most blog posts are long and detailed, it is sometimes easier to scroll and open the posts one is interested in in another tab (at least that's how I do it)- but when you press "read more" the previews go away and every post is full size, which makes it a little more difficult to navigate. It might be worth considering to keep the little preview blurbs even after clicking that button? Or maybe more readers prefer the other way. Either way, amazing blog!!! besos

    • I totally agree with this comment. I think of that EVERY SINGLE TIME I hit the site, wishing I could “read more” to check out all the new posts without having to rescan each and every post before it.

  • Elsie you are radiating with joy! I love seeing your journey and how you are sharing it! I was adopted so I love that you are sharing your joy and the process of adopting Nova! I’m so ecstatic for you!

  • This room is darling! My husband and I are newlyweds putting our first home together, and you have no idea how often I browse through your blog posts for inspiration. Ha ha! And I LOVE that Harold B. Lee quote. Harold B. Lee was a prophet in my church (LDS church). Another good quote about family and home is from another LDS prophet, David O. McKay: “No other success can compensate for failure in the home.” We don’t have kids yet, but I try to keep this in mind even now. I have the David O. McKay quote in a frame above my desk at home. 🙂 Thanks for sharing these beautiful snippets with all of us! I am truly happy for you and Jeremy. xo

  • This is so awesome! You are thinking of every tiny detail–you’ll be a great mom! I have almost no friends that are mothers, so…I’m actually learning a lot from you. I’ll be sad when you run out of rooms to remodel. If we could get you on HGTV with your own show, I would be eternally grateful! Hehehehe 😉

  • Nova is so lucky! Her bedroom and this playroom are so cute and adorable. I love your style!

  • Oh Elsie, I’m so emotional and excited for you, Jeremy, and Nova!! She is the luckiest girl to have two such loving parents waiting for her. I have adored following your journey since before you two got married, and can’t wait to watch your family grow more and more. xoxo

  • So creative, I love it. The journal idea is so sweet and precious! I hope y’all keep up with it. That’ll make for such a fun keepsake.

  • Just out of curiosity, is this the room where you painted the rainbow wall?

    This room is gorgeous!

  • Oh, how I’d love a window seat! They are so magical.

    Would love to know more about your journal plans. Are you planning on just writing down little anecdoetes, ect? I want this one for my kiddos: https://www.sprell.no/produkt/fyll-i-bok-hva-vil-du-bli-nar-du-blir-stor-mint

    It’s in Norwegian (but I’m sure there’s an english equivalent), but it basically has 365 open ended questions to ask your kids every day of the year, and spaces where you can write down their answers. Can’t wait to hear what they have to say!

  • Love all the toys ? They are just perfect! Going to have to grab a few for our new nursery we are working on for the One Room Challenge right now. Couldn’t be any sweeter, wishing your family the very best!

  • So stunning! Love visiting your site for inspiration. Currently renting in NYC but dreaming of the day I am a homeowner.
    Where did you get the fuzzy pink flamingo on the couch?

  • So lovely! I love the way you decorate all. That baby is sure to bee to happy in that space

  • This looks amazing! What a lucky lil lady you have coming home to you! Do you mind sharing where the organizer shelf is from with all the markers and paintbrushes in it? Thanks!

  • Elsie this is adorable!!! I’m doing my sons playroom right now + this is the best inspo!! ??? LOVE IT! Xoxo

  • So lovely! The journal is a great idea. My kids are grown now, and I love to think about all the wonderful things they said as small (and big!) kids. I used to jot down a few of the random sweet, insightful or just plain hilarious thoughts they expressed. I wish I had kept them all in one place but that can be hard to do when you’re in the think of parenting. Those memories are one of my greatest treasures! So excited for you & for the journey ahead.
    Also-an art table was the best investment ever!

  • So darling! Love what you did with the space! Also, where are all the animal heads from?! Love them!

  • I LOVE that you have a craft area all ready and the plush animal heads on the wall are gorgeous and such a good idea. Becoming a mum is so exciting and I wish you all the happiness and love in the world x

  • LOVE this space and all the fun whimsical details. The Color Story preset you use if gorgeous; so bright and airy. Which one is it?

  • LOVE this playroom! The art supplies organized in rainbow colors are my favorite! Love the artwork on the chalkboard too??

  • What a darling playroom! I’ve loved following your story, and look forward to seeing you all welcome your daughter home. I’m an adoptive mom (x2!) and know what a sweet and transitional time it is for all. So special.

    I also wondered if you could share where the darling Polaroid camera pillow is from?? I’m a photographer and would love to buy one for one of my girls!

  • Hello,

    great job on the room! It is, as always, stunning!
    I absolutely love the idea of the craft corner. Apart from drawing with 1 1/2 daughter I really have not tried anything else yet. I was amazed by the shelves with the different materials, textures and colors and I very much hope you will share some art projects ideas that you have for Nova. In the meantime I am enlarging the pics whith the craft shelves to identify their contents. 🙂

  • What fun your family is going to have in here! I love how visible and accessible everything is for your daughter, and the different areas for play and reading. (A window seat is a childhood dream!) I love snail stuff, so I was wondering: where did you get that great snail basket? Thanks!