Monday, March 5, 2012

5 Ways to Update a Nursery without Painting it

My friend Rebecca is expecting her second child - a baby girl! - later this summer. I'm so excited for her and secretly/not so secretly jealous that she gets to indulge in all the cute, ruffly pink goodness that is preparing for a little lady.  She's facing the all too common challenge that many second time moms deal with - transitioning the existing nursery from its current not-so-girly state AND simultaneously getting soon-to-be older brother's big boy room set up.  That's a lot to handle for anyone but especially for a hormone fueled pregnant woman!

So here's the challenge - transform a baby boy's nursery into a baby girl's nursery WITHOUT changing the furniture OR wall color.  Yup, with a to-do list a mile long, she and her husband have decided painting the nursery is just not going to happen.  Rebecca wants the room to look different of course.  She doesn't want to walk in an feel like she's in her son's old nursery.  She wants to personalize it for the arrival of her daughter! 

Certainly things like new curtains, accessories and lighting can completely transform a room but when it comes to playing down an existing wall color, I think the best course of action is to create something else to focus on.  Something so bold and interesting that you don't even care what color the walls are.  They become the supporting cast of the room's overall look. 

Here are 5 ways to minimize a room's wall color:

I would recommend something that works with the green but has some other, more feminine colors as well.  You can mount wallpaper on foam core and trim it with some inexpensive molding to create an instant focal point.  It's like a huge piece of art really.  





Speaking of art...
What color are the walls in this room?  Who cares?  You're to drawn in by the vibrant colors on that enormous piece of art to pay any attention to the wall color!  A large piece of art makes a can't NOT look at it. 


 Re-positionable and removable decals are a great way to change the look of a room.  They are super appropriate for a nursery which is perhaps the most temporary room in a home.  They come in a ton of playful designs and colors.  Some all over designs can even look like wallpaper.  Google "repositionable wall decals" and you'll get a plethora of options.  Etsy has some great options as well. 



I'm using the term "art" loosely here.  Create a bold collection of something big to focus your attention on.  
It doesn't get much more neutral than tan walls but this nursery is still sweet and girly as can be with the infusion of pink in this framed ABC art wall.  A can of spray paint could quickly unify any collection of orphan frames (y'know the ones you've had stacked at the back of your closet for years!)  A few sheets of pretty scrapbook paper + some of your favorite fonts and you're on your way.

A meandering trail of paper flowers would instantly add some femininity to the room.  I love the idea of doing a bunch in various shades of pink or purple, both of which would look fantastic and preppy when paired the existing green walls. 



Don't want to focus on the walls?  Draw your eye upward with something so interesting, you won't even care what's going on with the walls!  I particularly love this solution for a nursery because babies spend so much time on their backs.  A creative ceiling treatment can act as one enormous mobile!

I  recognize that this last photo is completely cheating in the "no paint" category but since I'm on a total pink ceiling kick I HAD to include it.  I can't stop thinking about Rebecca's green walls with a pink striped ceiling.  So Lily Pulitzer girly and preppy!