Nova’s Toddler Bedroom Update

As soon as we returned home from China I knew what needed to be swapped out in Nova’s nursery to update it for her needs. But the early days of motherhood were overwhelming, so I waited a few months before beginning the updates.

In hindsight, I am glad I waited a few extra months to fully do her room update because it gave me a chance to get to know Nova and her needs in this phase of her childhood. At 2 years old, she is changing so quickly, it’s hard to keep up.

This past month, I spent some time really working on her space and I’m excited to share today how we updated Nova’s toddler bedroom.

We decided to swap to a twin-size bed. My first instinct was a toddler-size bed, but my friend, Sarah, talked me into a twin because it will last so much longer. And since we decided to invest in an organic mattress, it may as well last as many years as possible. She can use this until she’s ready for a teenager room (which, believe me, is not on my mind right now … haha).

Here’s a link to the wicker headboard, the butterfly pillow, the alpaca doll and wallpaper.

What’s kind of funny to me is that when I originally shared our nursery tour a lot of people said we wouldn’t need the changing table set up, but we actually still use it every single day. The crib was what ended up going into storage. What’s funny is I have lots of friends with children Nova’s age and older who are still sleeping in cribs. I guess it just proves you just never know until you are in the situation and every child is different.

“Save Our Planet Raise A Hippie” makes me so happy! Although we are far from perfect, it reminds me every day that we need to be striving toward a more green, less wasteful lifestyle.

This cozy corner hasn’t changed too much except that I moved the sun mirror over here (Nova kept trying to play with it above our changing table).

I feel like The Home Edit will be proud of me for keeping Nova’s closet so decent. It’s pretty close to how they organized it for us—the only big change is that it’s WAY more full now.

Of all the chores in our house, washing and putting away her tiny clothes (and corralling her little sunglasses from all over) is my favorite! I try to take one day every weekend (but usually it’s every two weeks, to be honest) to straighten up her room and put all her clothes where they belong.

If you’re curious, we built this closet out … it was just a regular adult closet before with one bar and one shelf. I think it’s SO worth the time and money to build out a kids closet if you have the chance. It makes the space so much more useful. You can read all about that project here.

The changing details make me so happy! Her little guitar … her Disneyland hat (that she refused to wear at Disney but now wears all the time at home … lol), her white-haired doll from China. I love having this little shelf nook to organize and reorganize.

The books section has kind of exploded (although we keep the bulk of them in the playroom and swap them out frequently). Nova’s current favorite book is here on the bottom shelf, Triangle (which she calls “Tingle”). We introduce a new book into our bedtime routine about once or twice a week. She has already memorized several of her favorite stories—it’s so cute because it almost looks like she can read.

I’ve been considering replacing this rocking chair. It’s a little large for our space and we don’t use it much since it’s pressed against the wall. Do any of you moms have thoughts or opinions? I don’t want to regret it later on, but at the moment I feel like a smaller chair would better fit the space.

When it’s clean (which, she’s 2 … it’s not most of the time) this is my favorite room in our home. It’s full of the sweetest details and at the risk of sounding super cheesy … it feels magical at bedtime. I’m soaking in this season in our family because I know it will go by so fast. Every day is a gift … I really feel the weight of that right now. Every morning when I walk in there and she immediately yells, “Mama! Read books!” I feel like the luckiest person on the planet.

Thank you for sharing my joy!!! I love you. xx – Elsie

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

  • Where did you get this amazing wallpaper? Searching all over for it!

  • Hi! A couple questions… where is your top from?? And do you have a post of Nova’s sunglasses??

    Thanks so much for having such an inspiring site ✨

  • I love her room! I have a similar setup for my 2 year old’s room. We did a kid size chair instead of a full size chair so she can sit and read her books. She has a queen sized bed so we usually snuggle in bed for her bedtime routine instead of sitting in a chair. Works for us!

  • love the room very inspiring, do you mind telling me where you got the guitar wall hanger from?

  • Have you considered swapping the large chair out for some more casual floor seating? I know my toddler and I spend a lot of time lounging on the floor reading books. I know you could really make it your style, maybe even a sewing tutorial! Box cushions aren’t too difficult to make so you could choose your own fabric. Here are some ideas;

  • Soooo cute! What a perfect space for sweet dreams. Super job! your bedroom looks so beautiful, all things are amazing in your room. Thanks for sharing this post with us.

  • It is so sweet to see those little green Hunter boots in her closet. The photo shoot when you announced you planned to adopt must feel simultaneously so far away, and like it just happened!

  • Hi, loving every detail of Nova’s toddler room! Was just wondering where you found that adorable wooden swan and swan garland (over the books). Thanks!!

  • Keep the chair! It’s fun to be able to sot together and read even as she gets bigger 🙂

  • Is that Moroccan throw from world market? I think I have the same one! (And I have the matching Moroccan pillows haha – those ended up being overkill but whatcha gonna do)

  • I love the rocking chair. I have three kid’s who all share one big room, and while we do have a futon (or as my 4 year daughter calls it, The Crouton) that we can use at bed time, it’s not the most comfortable for an adult to sit on for long periods (we mainly got it as an alternate sleeping/sitting space for the kids to use), so I do wish we had a snuggly chair, because my kids still need us to be in there sometimes, especially my 4 year old, who likes when I play Chopin at bedtime for her on my phone). More than anything, if you do switch, think about having something that you and Jeremy would both be comfortable sitting on.

  • Love Nova’s room! I personally love the rocking chair or the other readers suggestion of putting regular furniture feet on it. You could also make a “reading fort”. My girls love theirs they’ve had bean bags but right now they have just right for them size chairs and a canopy over top. They used to have a teepee but they thought a canopy was more princess-y 😀 whatever you do I’m sure it will be amazing! Keep us posted!

  • Looks great! We also have a book corner. We swapped out our rocker for a massive floor pillow with other smaller pillows. It’s super comfy, we can all squeeze on there, and it takes up less space. Plus it was a fun little DIY project. Might make for a nice blog post if you went this route ;).

    Love watching your little family grow! You guys are the cutest!
    Black Thistle Creative

  • This is so beautiful! On the rocking chair, Opal actually just started asking to be rocked to sleep at 2 1/2. What?! Anyway. I use it now almost more than when she was tiny! You never know?!

  • hi elsie! thanks for sharing all these details. novas room is just gorgeous and all the little details are magical.

    im wondering…where did you get the bedspread? im looking for a white bedspread / comforter that has some texture and novas looks beautiful! also love that textured white pillowcase!! ♥️♥️

  • Her bedroom is so darling! You did an amazing job!


  • Nova’s adorable, this is the perfect room for her, and I’m jealous of her sunnies collection! 🙂

  • It is true that they grow so quickly, that it is not worth it to change her bed every few years. Her room looks beautiful.

  • Absolutely stunning room! And I have such envy for that closet organization! Haha. I read that you spray painted the rods. Do you think that’s possible for an adult closet without it wearing out too much? Let me know if you guys can suggest a spray paint!

    Eva |

    • Yes! But it’s a certain brand of spray paint… I can’t remember. I will find out and do a whole post about it because it’s THE BEST gold spray paint ever….

  • Soooo lovely! What a perfect space for sweet dreams. I want to be a toddler again : )
    Also – kids’ books have the most luscious art!

  • If you end up swapping out the rocker – try a Nugget Comfort! We just got one for our almost two-year-old daughter and use it literally every day! She loves snuggling up on it with her books and dollies.

  • The room is beautiful! Do you mind sharing where the book shelves are from? We’ve been looking for something similar.

  • I look forward to these tours. I love your style. Also I wish more parents realized that it’s not a competition and that every child IS different in every situation. Thank you for pointing that out. ????

  • What an adorable room! I love how you did soft pink with it. Great post!

  • We have an ikea rocking chair and ottoman that I’ve considered swapping out for a love seat. My baby is 13 months and we use the rocker every night for bed time reading. I think a larger small-scale love seat would be fun for him to climb up next to me and I think he would love climbing around on it in general. My opinion is the bigger and more comfy the better so I think the chair you have is a good fit.

    • This is what we did! My daughter never liked rocking (she is only now, at 20 months, starting to enjoy any sort of cuddling) so our rocker was a huge waste of space and seemed much more dangerous than a regular chair — I was always anxious she was going to accidentally smoosh her toes beneath the rocker feet. We very quickly traded it out for a futon that is low to the ground, so she could easily and safely climb up onto it herself from an early age. I love having the extra seating for when the whole family wants to play together in her room, for story time, and for easier/more comfortable snuggling at night.

  • I have a similar rocking chair and I keep meaning to take off the rocker legs and replace them with furniture legs to decrease the footprint. I ended up removing it from my toddler’s room because it felt large for the room as well, plus he kept bringing it over to the light switch and turning his room into a rave at night.

  • Sooo adorable!! I’m curious if she uses rails on the bed or is she fine without them? I have an 18 month old so will be their before I know it, and was just wondering!

    • We added rails the DAY after we shot these photos. They are ugly like a hospital bed, but helpful at her age. 🙂

  • I love her new bed! Getting a twin-size now definitely seems like a practical decision. I’m also still really impressed by that closet. Do you mind sharing where you found the pre-made cabinet that you used in it? I’m about to work on improving the closet in our nursery (first baby due in August!) and am trying to find something similar that will fit. Nova’s room is so inspiring, and I really don’t think it’s too cheesy to say its magical! 🙂

    • The pre-made cabinet is from Lowe’s (it’s probably literally the cheapest one they carry… like what you’d use in a garage or something) and then we added hardware to make it look nicer. xx!

      Thanks for the kind words!

  • I love this bedroom, so sweet and cute. I wouldn’t swap out the chair personally, its nice and looks cozy and comfy perfect for Nova to crawl up into your lap when she wants to hear a story in the space, thats just my take on it – the bigger and comfier the chair the better 😀

  • Nova’s room is total #goals! I love how classic and sophisticated it looks, but it’s age-appropriate too. The giraffe next to the bed is adorable! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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