Mountainscape Nursery Makeover
Updated: Aug 31, 2019
My first big decorating project in our new-build home was to update Arlo’s plain white, pastel accented nursery into a more grown-up toddler's room. I want to stress that this was not about just buying a load of brand-new furniture and décor. All our home projects are done on a budget with a capital B, and so we kept all the furniture that we had brought with us from our previous home. Here is a break-down of how I transformed the room with a fun Mountainscape theme, using sophisticated, scandi-inspired tones of sage green and grey. The wall mural was hand-painted and all furnishings carefully selected or upcycled to suit our little boy who loves nature, the outdoors and adventure!
Before & After
Before I begin on any interior project, even in my own home, I create a detailed design board and spreadsheet of products and costs. This helps me to visualise the colour scheme and overall theme, as well as make sure my dreams align with the reality of my bank account! My dirty little design board secret? – I just create these in Excel, making excessive use of the Set Transparent Background tool.
Nursery Design Board
The main feature of Arlo’s nursery is the hand-painted mountainscape that scales all four walls of the room. I had initially been looking for wall decals to achieve this look, however couldn’t find any within our budget. I got my inspiration for this from Murals Wallpaper’s Summit Sage mural, so if you don’t fancy doing your own painting, just skip this paragraph and purchase their wallpaper! The best aspect of painting it yourself is that you can add your own individual details and chose exactly what colours you want. All the paint was bought from our local B&Q ‘s paint mixing counter and I used four different Valspar colours, all in Matt – Silver Moss for the base mountains (and the pattern over by the cot-bed), Misty Rainforest for the darkest mountains, Sprig of Sage is the brighter green mountains and Silver Eucalyptus for the remaining two. I sectioned off the mountain shapes using tape in order to create the bold white borders, and applied the paint using a small roller. Frog tape is the best product to use, but it is expensive, so I just used normal painter’s masking tape. I mostly made this up as I went along, my husband would have used a spirit leveller to make sure all the mountain triangles were geometrically accurate - but I just did it off sight! I did however deliberately make sure that the mountain patterns were at the right angle so I didn’t have to paint near the radiator, and when doing the base mountain by the cot-bed I continued my painting inside the window ledge frame to give it that lovely wrap-around feel.
Top tip for this project – the entire room was done for under £20 by buying £3 tester pots rather than full tins of paint. I always use tester pots if I’m painting with multiple colours, as they go a really long way.
AD | Arlo is incredibly lucky that Vertbaudet offered to send him some products for his nursery. Now, I never accept gifts from brands unless they are a) something I have wanted to try for a while or b) from a company I love and have previously bought from. Vertbaudet fall into the second category – when we decorated Teddy’s nursery in our previous home, I bought practically everything from here. I love their simple, fun scandi style, and all their products are incredibly reasonably priced considering how well-made and stylish they are. One of the key things I wanted to incorporate into the nursery was my children’s love of reading, providing plenty of storage for their vast collection of That’s Not My… and Dr. Seuss books, as well as dedicated areas for them to snuggle up and read. The Cloud Box on Wheels is perfect for my boys as they have separate bedrooms, so they can push their favourite books in-between the two. It’s also sturdy enough that even wobbly walkers would be able to stand steady against it. The rest of the books are kept in a Confetti Themed Book Chest, which is easily accessible and little people can readily see all the covers and titles. Arlo spends about 15 minutes dogmatically deciding on which book to read, so this is very important for him! Once the perfect book has been chosen, he loves to go into his Teepee to read - I think that so little of toddlers’ lives are away from their parents, they like having a smaller, private space like this to escape into and take ownership of.
A Room to Read
We bought our cotbed and dresser set from Mothercare about five years ago, and they still look brand new. I’d always advise new parents that after your baby has grown out of its moses basket/co-sleeper crib to get a large cotbed that you can take the sides down and turn into a toddler bed, as then you only have to invest in one piece of furniture for the next seven or so years. This room also contains one of my all-time favourite does-it-all pieces of furniture – the IKEA FLEKKE daybed. This can be a sofa or single bed with two very large storage drawers underneath, or it can pull out to a double bed. It consists of two single mattresses that are stacked when in single mode, and you just put one of them down on the side that pulls out for the double bed. We found the same IKEA mattresses new on Ebay for a fraction of the price – love a bargain! The best part about this bed is that even when it is pulled out to a double, you can still access and use the storage drawers. This makes it perfect for a spare room or nursery where you want plenty of storage and floor space, along with the options to have people stay over comfortably.
I had bought this mountain shelf from Vertbaudet years ago when we lived in our old flat. Despite being the wrong colours, it perfectly fitted the mountain theme I wanted, and so I upcycled it by painting the tips of the mountains in the same Valspar greens used on the walls. I also used a basket I found for 50p in a charity shop as a cute nappy caddy. I had an adorable Bedside Table that came with an option of three handle knobs – pink, white or mint. I decided to attach the white one but painted over using the same green as the wall. This is an example of a tiny detail that contributes to a beautifully cohesive scheme.
Re-paint your existing furniture for a bespoke look
Children get into everything, so I wanted to add some lovely finishing touches that were above little-hand height! The wall-mounted white ceramic birds were from George at ASDA and while they are no longer in stock, they still have a whole range of lovely Origami style ceramic figurines. I also had two A1 bespoke Mountain & Cloud posters printed in complementary colours to the nursery, these have since been added to the MYEPrints store as a pair.
I really hope that those of you with young children have been inspired to try your own nursery décor project – I found the painting so much fun and it really was so rewarding to know I had done it myself! Plus, I get a little ego-boost every time Arlo proudly tells someone ‘Mummy did it, Mummy paint my room!’. If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to ask in the comments section below. I’d also love to see your own mountain nursery makeovers, so please tag me on Instagram at @lydias_layton_life so I can marvel over your creations and re-share them!