Sarah’s Nursery Tour (Before & After!)

Sarah (& Imogen's) Nursery Tour - Before and After! I don’t know about you other mamas out there, but decorating a nursery became priority number one to me when we got our house! Not that a baby absolutely needs a decorated room, but there’s something inside of us that just wants to make a sweet little nest for our baby birds. Or maybe we should all just admit that we’re all suckers for cute things. Anyway, this room was the first room we’ve ever gotten to decorate for our daughter, so I’m really excited to share!

Sarah's nursery tour- before and after!When we moved into this home, the room was painted a pretty blue. I promise you—I didn’t hate it (we left the inside of the closet blue), but the room only has one small window, and it felt very dark and closed in. Probably just because I’m a photographer, imagining taking photos in there with a flash just sent shudders down my spine. SHUDDERS. So we knew we would be going bright white with this room too (Valspar—Ultra White), except for our one coral wall (Valspar–Apricot Jam). And guys, it took 4-5 coats of white to cover up that blue. We painted this room every chance we got for a month! You wouldn’t believe how dark it actually was! We also had to update the trim to bright white because once we painted the walls white, the trim looked dark tan.

Sarah's nursery tour - click to see before and afters! Sarah's nursery tour - click to see before and afters! Sarah (& Imogen's) Nursery Tour - Before and After! Sarah (& Imogen's) Nursery Tour - Before and After! Whenever I post photos of Imogen’s room on my Instagram, the two most asked questions are, “Where did you get that rug?” and “What about that chair!?” The rug was from Rugs USA but is sadly no longer available (sorry, dudes), but our Hopson chair from Joybird is an absolute gem. We loved our Hopson sofa so much (see it in our living room tour here) that we chose the same collection for our nursery chair and opted to go with leather (which I’m so glad we did—you would not believe how many spills this poor chair has endured already!). It’s a comfy place to begin our day every morning with a bottle and a book, and it’s where we crash in the afternoon when it’s time for Imogen’s nap. And I have to brag on my grandmother for a second, who made (!!) the really cool long caterpillar! It’s one of the most special things in our nursery. We’ve ended up learning the value of a great doll too—some of Imogen’s favorites are from Hazel Village, and our Blabla doll was a gift from our friend Georganne (if you happen to live in Phoenix, her shop Frances is the sweetest spot to shop locally for bebe).

Sarah (& Imogen's) Nursery Tour - Before and After! Over in our reading corner, our pear print is from Fine Little Day—it was one of the first things we bought for her room. And you know we love our greenery, but there’s not very much in here because our little gal loves getting into plants now. If you have a little one that loves their plant grubbing, then you might want to check this post I did awhile back on child and pet-safe house plants. We’ve already had a scare where I caught her chomping down on a plant. Fortunately I knew it was non-toxic. Girl loves her ruffage.  🙂

Sarah (& Imogen's) Nursery Tour - Before and After! Sarah (& Imogen's) Nursery Tour - Before and After!Sarah's nursery tour - click to see before and afters! Sarah's nursery tour - click to see before and afters! Sarah's nursery tour - click to see before and afters! Before IQ was born, it was time to get a crib, but we were pretty tight on cash. (Planning a long distance move from AZ to MO will do that to ya!) We chose this crib from Ikea, and it has held up amazingly, and I love the simple look of the natural wood! Pretty surprising for a $70 crib! Another thing that has held up well is this strawberry-stamped crib sheet I made. We’ve now been using it for five months and the colors are still as vibrant as ever, after dozens of washings. And our sweet Roxy Marj lion blanket was a baby present from Elsie + Emma, definitely a favorite around here. 🙂

Sarah's nursery tour - click to see before and afters! Sarah's nursery tour - click to see before and afters! By now, you’ve already seen this amazing storage bench that Josh made, but just one more time, let’s hear it for that guy! He’s such a catch and IQ and I are lucky to have him! The layout of this room is a little hard to work with, with two corners of the room having low ceilings, so this bench ended up being perfect for what we needed, and functional on top of it.

We were a little divided on leaving the ceiling fan (practical vs. pretty, the great ongoing debate around here), but in this instance, pretty won out. And in the hot summer months we can always bring a room fan in, right? (This is the argument I used and it worked, FYI. Irrefutable logic!) I love this ceiling pendant we found at Ikea. It gives off a sweet, cozy glow at night.

Sarah's nursery tour - click to see before and afters! Decorating the changing table area was a hard one because now IQ is at an age where she is constantly pulling at everything/into everything! But we did manage to fit one of Josh’s ice cream storm prints on our wall, and she hasn’t taken a grabby-handed interest in it so far. The cloud and star mobile was one of our favorite gifts we received before Imogen was even born! It’s going to be an heirloom piece for sure—it was made by our friend Jahje, and you can see her shop Baby Jives here. So I totally meant to put some backing or something in front of the frosted glass drawers to mask our disorganization because I’m a professional right? Just kidding. I’m just a parent who feels really proud that everything is even in drawers! If I could give myself an applause emoji right now, I would. 🙂

Sarah's nursery tour - click to see before and afters! Sarah's nursery tour - click to see before and afters! Sarah's nursery tour - click to see before and afters! Thanks for letting me share our sunny little nursery here on A Beautiful Mess!  So parents or parents-to-be: do you have a nursery or a sweet little space for baby? Leave me a link or tag me on Instagram (@arrowandapple), I’d love to see! I love seeing everyone’s ideas and how to make your space functional for kiddos. 🙂  xo- Sarah

Credits // Author: Sarah Rhodes. Photos: Laura Gummerman and Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with Lillian and Calliope from The Lightroom Collection.

  • Hi there,

    I love this space!
    Where did you get that little black swan?

  • Love your nursery and the eclectic colors! I’m due in July and I’m already itching to start decorating. The baby’s room is also currently dark blue (we just bought the house last month)…guess I’ve got 4-5 coats of white paint ahead of me 🙂

  • Oooh, thanks for sharing! That coral wall is spot-on! What a beautiful nursery that can grow with your gal. We’re currently in a one-bedroom apartment with our baby girl, but we’re making it work. I blogged about V’s nursery nook here:

  • Great nursery! I love how it is fun and playful, but will still be able to grow with her. The coral wall color is perfect. We have a nursery area in our room (link under my name^^) that is a great little area for our daughter. It has evolved a lot since I posted about it (mostly the art above the crib), but it is still our favorite spot in our home.

  • Yes, that Joybird chair is AMAZING!!!! So bright and cheery! Thanks for sharing your space!

  • So, so gorgeous! I love the pop of the wall colour amongst the white.

    erin //

  • I love your nursery – so beautiful! Do you mind sharing where the black and white square cushion is from? Looking for something similar to this. 🙂

  • Such a lovely space! For such a beautiful little girl 🙂

    I just adore that cloud and stars mobile! I would love to get one for my friend J who is expecting #3!

  • This is such a beautiful space! I love that it’s bright and colorful, but not too overwhelming either. What’s great is that she’ll definitely continue to grow into the space rather than out of it. Well done! Thank you for the inspiration. <3

  • Oh this nursery is just dreamy. I love your taste and the bright white walls and splashes of colour really make it so light and airy. Gorgeous!

  • This room is so cute. We are currently decorating a nursery for March. This is the vibe we want for ours too.

  • I love looking at other peoples’ nurseries, and I really love yours; it looks so light and airy. I just about bought that same crib. I should have.
    This is my son’s:

  • Where did you get your changing table? Love the whole room. Makes me want another baby!

  • This room is so bright and full of that chair, lion blanket(E+E are the best), that cloud_starts, love everything, including that apricot wall color…cute little space for cute little IQ .. 🙂


  • I absolutely love what you guys did and the pairing of the cloud with Josh’s print is perfect! I love that print btw, I almost bought one when I saw it on his IG this past summer and now I’m thinking I need one. Seriously give him a hi-5. Also the pics of you and IQ are just too darn cute. She is such a doll.
    xo, Jahje

  • Beautiful, cheerful space! Love the curtains…handmade or can they be purchased somewhere?

  • Such a pretty space! I love the simplicity of it, but at the same time it’s soooo colorful and vibrant! Great job on it!

  • Peanut butter and jelly hands! What a great mental image and so true! Even right now we’re kind of just at the “banana-mush” hands stage but already I’ve been so thankful for the leather chair. 🙂 It’s definitely got me thinking for future purchases! Thanks for the input and parenting pro tip – they’re always welcome! <3 Sarah

  • Ha!! I thought it might be something like that! I see dads ‘excluded’ in blogs lots, especially in kid-related/designy stuff – I don’t get that vibe at all from any of your writing, so I was surprised/’bummed’ at the title but now I get it. Thanks for the reply and glad to hear you let Josh participate 😉

    PS: I think I am actually one of the mobile readers who has ‘complained’ about titles getting cut off…insert dumb-dumb emoji here.

  • Love love love it ALL! So sweet and not overdone. My littlest one has a corner of our room, and my almost-three-year-old has her own room. I love decorating them, though it never gets 100% finished.

  • It is absolutely amazing how that white just opens the room right up! I love it! Also.. the chair. We’ll be needing something wider when our two girls begin sharing a room, and that one is so stylish. I’ve already assigned my husband to build a storage bench like that! thank you for sharing all of this!

  • we share our bedroom with our baby girl!

  • So cute! There are so many cute ideas for nurseries so I completely understand the craze to decorate one. And there’s something nice about giving your kids a special place, isn’t there? Oh! As a side note: fall in love with leather. I have four kids and if you want your furniture to look good for more than a month, leather is the only way to go. Because no matter how much you train your kids to wash their hands after eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or to keep their shoes off the couch, there will be smudges and stains that will inevitably find their way to your furniture.

    So glad you shared your special nursery. It is delightful.

  • Thanks for the response 🙂 I had a sneaking suspicion, but wanted to confirm it. I hope they still have them. Their Room Essentials line changes far too quickly.

  • That’s high praise! You know decorating a nursery is just projecting our own style on our kid – no shame! 🙂 Her bedroom is a lot cooler than ours, for sure. 🙂 Thanks for the compliment! xo – Sarah

  • So sweet! I love your style – that headboard is amazing by the way! And your daughter is too cute – ahh! 🙂 Thank you for sharing! I love seeing small spaces that find a way to make things work – it encourages creativity. xo – Sarah

  • Well… I don’t have kids, nor do I have a husband/boyfriend/whatever with whom to have them… but I love this room and I want almost everything I can see in it! The chair, the rug, the art prints, the cloud and star mobile, and the lion blanket.

  • Don’t be bummed! We have to keep titles short around here for mobile readers. We still include Josh in the family here and there – don’t worry! 🙂 xo -Sarah

  • WOW! This is so beautiful. Probably my favourite kids room/nursery I’ve EVER seen!

    PS: I’m kinda bummed it’s not titled ‘Sarah and Joshua’s Nursery Tour’. Do you know what I mean?

  • What a pretty nursery! I love the cloud mobile! Also, your little girl is just the cutest 🙂


    Rach xxx

  • It’s amazing how choosing the *right colours can really open up a room…;)

  • This looks gorgeous, I can’t wait to decorate my little mans room ready for his arrival in March 🙂 xx

  • That apricot wall is amazing. I have been looking for a rug like that for years….

  • I love the whole room! Where did you get that sweet, super simple, scandi style bookshelf? I love that it is not too high. Thanks

  • This is my dream nursery! How beautiful! My Baby girl is eight months old and barely uses her nursery.

  • This is just gorgeous! I love the white walls and it’ll grow so well with her as she gets older.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.