• Melissa Sanabria

TODDLER'S WHIMSICAL SCANDINAVIAN BEDROOM DESIGN

Image Credit: The Design Files


I have a few projects in the works (mostly at my house, which I will eventually get to…I promise!) but I’m very excited about this one and I wanted to share it with you because it’s finally coming together! Friends of mine, Gray and Holli, were in the process of transitioning their daughter Violet’s room (she’s almost 3 and totally adorable) from a nursery to a toddler’s bedroom and they were having trouble pulling it together so that it was finished. It functions, but it’s not as inviting and comfortable as they would like. I think that as Violet’s needs were changing, the design choices in her room were made on the fly (as in “we need this <fill-in-the-blank> right now to make her comfortable / help her sleep / store her stuff”, etc.) with the plan to create something cohesive later. I have certainly been in that boat where I end up with a bunch of disparate pieces that I like but that don’t all come together.


Here’s a quick peek at Violet’s room before:



By the way, these photos were taken at 7:30 am just for me to use as reference so Gray and Holli were not exactly planning to put them out there for all to see, but they are being good sports and letting me share them. Thanks, guys! What you can see in these pictures is that her room has some very pretty original details like the 6 panel doors, brass doorknobs, and hardwood floors. They also had a wall of storage that was taking up a lot of space in the relatively small room (it’s about 10′ x 12′). The room was painted antique white, which I do like in certain spaces but here it was looking very beige. Antique white has a lot of red in it so it can lean to that pinky beige if the lighting isn’t just right.


So…later became sooner with baby #2 on the way (hence last week’s post about my favorite gifts for friends having babies) and this is where I come in. Holli relinquished (some) control and turned the design plan over to yours truly because it’s my jam and honestly I already had a secret Pinterest board going for Violet anyway because I’m crazy like that.


The goals for the design were to give Violet a room that she can grow into, but most importantly to create a room where she can play, read, and obviously, sleep but that also feels special and fun. Holli wanted to keep the room on the gender neutral side (not too girly) but she wanted pops of color and I even got the okay to to use some pink. Violet loves animals so we definitely wanted to incorporate that into the design. She is also the only three year old I know who loves Ethiopian food – Violet is one sophisticated chick! I’m working that angle by incorporating a few pretty Afro-insprired baskets into the design that she can use for storage (for more on this topic you can check out my post here). Holli and I did some pinning and here is where we landed for inspiration:



We talked about getting rid of the storage unit in Violet’s room because it takes up so much real estate. I wanted to create zones around the room that were dedicated spaces for Violet to read, play, and sleep, and that wouldn’t work with such a large piece along the wall. This was a hard decision and I completely get it. Furniture is expensive and it can be particularly difficult to get rid of furniture that you assembled yourself. Your blood, sweat, and tears went into lugging home and then assembling that Stuva storage combination…Hemnes dresser…Hensvik wardrobe…I have been attached to many self-assembled furniture items myself. But when they aren’t working for you anymore, I do believe that it’s time to let go and figure out what will serve you better in the long term.


To make up for the lost storage, I tried to add different storage options throughout the room. We also Elfa’d Violet’s small closet, which is an absolute must in old home with very little closet space. ALL of my closets have Elfa systems and they make me so very happy. You don’t have to go with Elfa, of course, there are other options. If you do want to go the Elfa route and it’s not a closet organizing emergency, I suggest doing it in either January or June, which is when The Container Store has great sales on Elfa closets (usually 30% off in January and free installation in June).


So here is what I did for a few options as a first pass:



While Holli and Gray like the idea of the zones, there were a few things that needed to be tweaked in the design. Option 1 was a no-go due the the striped rug, which was not their taste. I think my favorite part of Option 1 is the quilt which I’m tempted to get for Bea’s room. They also thwarted my desire to sneak in some mid-century modern items and were not into the brass wall sconce. The nightstand did not offer enough storage and that console table was sadly no longer available. Option 3 was my personal favorite, and Holli loved that rug but it was pushing the budget, which is why I tried a smaller version in Option 2 layered over their existing neutral sisal rug, but they really wanted a new, larger rug. Finally, they also didn’t love my suggestion for Benjamin Moore White Dove on the walls and wanted a little bit of color. Basically, they liked the color palette, the  cordless blackout shades, the bean bag chair and the art.


So, I tweaked and came up with a couple of additional options:


I have to say, that both of these options are pretty darn cute. Everyone was happy. Yay! The end.


Just kidding…but I will leave you all in suspense about which one they chose in the end! We are hoping to get everything installed before the holidays so hopefully I can have a big reveal post for you guys after that and I’ll include links for everything that we choose.


Before I send you on your way, I want to show you what we’re considering for beds. Holli wanted to wait until the design was final before deciding on the specific bed so this decision is still TBD. In Options 4 and 5 I’m showing a Jenny Lind headboard on the boards, which works well, but I did want to give Holli some more interesting options. Here’s what we’re thinking about:



I’m kind of obsessed with the beds from the American Iron Bed Company. They are all made in USA and they are designed to add a trundle if your heart desires. My #1 pick for Violet’s room is the Hillsboro bed and I also love the Coventry bed. They are shown in an aged iron finish but for Violet’s room, I would go with the rustic ivory finish. The Brooklyn bed is available at Target and is also very cute but not available as a solo headboard. Because Gray and Holli’s house is a colonial built in the 1930’s and it still has its pretty original details these iron beds would work really well and would add a vintage element to Violet’s room, which would complement the modern Scandinavian pieces making the room more interesting.


I have had so much fun helping plan a special space for Violet. Thank you, Gray and Holli for opening up your home to me and letting me come measure and take photos at 7am! Stay tuned for the big reveal, folks! I, for one, can not wait to see it all come together.

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