Nell’s Room: A Pattern Explosion

When we moved into our house last June, I immediately knew that the room with the built-ins and window seat would be Nell’s room.  When we found out I was pregnant seconds after moving in, everyone questioned if we shouldn’t just move Nell to the guest room and keep the “nursery” (as it was for the previous home owners) a nursery. But I felt strongly in the beginning that Peter was a boy (and then talked myself out of being convinced of it for most of the pregnancy) and I just had this picture of Nell in her room and the boys in the two rooms across the landing from Nell’s room. A girl’s wing and boy’s wing, if you will.


Anyway, this was Nell’s room when we moved into the house last June. Under the chair rail was a sage-y green and the top of the chair rail was yellow. The window seat was covered in jungle fabric that tied those colors together well, but Nell’s turquoise crib (my $69 painted IKEA pride and joy that we painted long before Pottery Barn Kids was jumping on the painted crib bandwagon) blended into the green too much and looked more green than turquoise with the colors. Plus, I had firmly established Nell’s color scheme as shades of blue and coral, and yellow and green didn’t work well with that.



Making Nell’s room her own was a very long process. In September, my mom and sister primed the green and painted the yellow gray (Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore). When B flew out to DC for a wedding in November, my mom and I put up beadboard wall paper on the bottom half of the walls (the same weekend my mom and B’s mom ridded Peter’s room of the cobalt blue paint).


We still had so far to go. This room needed color and pattern (and perhaps photos taken during daylight hours). I knew Nell’s room would be navy and turquoise with pops of coral, so immediately after we moved in last June, I ordered this Ikat print for the window seat and seven of these seaglass bins for under the bench. And that’s as far as I got until the painting happened last Fall. In February, we started to finally put the pieces into place when we moved Nell’s dresser and chair to the guest room so it could become the nursery, and the double bed from the guest room to Nell’s room for her to grow into and for guests. Did you follow that? Phew.

Enough talk, here’s Nell’s room as it stands today:


painted ikea crib

window seat


collage wall

So much of what’s in the room are things we already owned or I relocated from Caroline’s basement.  In fact, the only thing we purchased was the bedding. The room will continue to evolve – I’m sure in the next year sometime, the crib will come down, and artwork will change, but for now, we’re calling it done. And so, that’s Nell’s room. It’s a vibrant, colorful room and it fits her personality (and wardrobe) to a tee.


  1. I love it! Such great colors!

  2. What a great room for her to grow with! I love the bedding and the colors!

  3. So so so beautiful!!!! Love all the details and how nicely all the patterns coordinate!! That beadboard is PERFECT in her room. I’d love to hear about the framed necklace and… barrettes? They’re beautiful!!

    • The necklace and pins (I think for baby dresses) and thimble all belonged to Nell’s great-great and great-great-great grandmother on B’s side. B’s grandma gifted them to Nell when we were down there last Fall visiting, and I immediately put them in the shadow box with the note explaining who they belonged to originally. We also have B’s other grandma’s Rosary that I’m just waiting to display with her baptismal gown once Peter’s done wearing it :)

  4. Beautiful! I love the yellow “N” and the seaglass-coloured bins! And the window seat cushion. Such a sweet room!

  5. It is ADORABLE! Where is the white frame with the six openings on either side of the larger photo from? I have been looking for a frame like that for weeks!

    • I found it at Target about a year ago – I haven’t seen it lately at my Target, but that doesn’t mean it’s not available at other ones! Good luck.

  6. I love love love this room. Those built-ins were so great, but sort of didn’t really pop before. Now, they fit in with the beauty of all the patterns in the room. I love the colors you chose and the bedding is too stinkin’ fun.

  7. Emily! This looks great! Definitely not babyish and so inviting!

  8. Beautiful!! I don’t know how you manage to get it all done with so many cute little ones to keep you occupied! Love it! :)

  9. so fun and happy! mixing patterns and colors is the best! i’m sure she loves her girly (but not too girly!) retreat from her brothers ;)

  10. This is a room that is so perfect for a dreaming, scheming, beaming, little girl. (Can you tell I’ve been reading books with Quinn?) Happy, sweet, & spirited just like Nell (you know when she feels like it.)

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