This week marks a major transition for our family; all three kids have started full time school! Overnight, it feels like our youngest, Xavier, is all grown up. In reality, he’s only 5, but it seemed fitting that I share the progression of his baby nursery and how, with some subtle changes, it became his big boy room.

neutral boy room

When I chose the wallpaper (no longer available) for this space, I wanted something neutral and sweet enough for a nursery but that could grow with him until early childhood. He still LOVES this numbers paper and has somehow managed not to use it as a colouring sheet! In a few months, we’ll be leaving this home behind and Xavier asked if we’ll be able to take his ‘wrapping paper’ aka wallpaper with him. Sadly, we won’t.

While we won’t be able to take the wallpaper, we’ll be able to take the garland that was made for this room. I love how simple a garland is on the wall and that it transitions so easily from baby to big boy room. I love adding handmade elements to the spaces I design and you can find some of my favourite garlands on Etsy.

Xavier's boy room

These Cuddle and Kind dolls are one of my favourite additions. Not only adorable, this Canadian company donates 10 meals to children in need for every doll sold. I love the heart behind them and the quality is high too.

As you likely already know, I love including book walls in kids rooms. It’s a gorgeous way to display books and creates a unique piece of rotating art that kids adore. I’ve previously shared how to create a book wall in your own kids room using my favourite book ledges.

Xavier's big boy room

The cloud and house pillows are the same from Xavier’s nursery and the star garland works as his nightlight.

bookwall in boy room
numbers wallpaper and cuddle + kind dolls


industrial art space

The idea for creating a home art space for kids came when our kitchen table started to be filled with paper, glue, pens and our kids wanted their art to stay for days. It was driving me crazy! I kept trying to clear it to one side when we ate dinner, and I finally realized that their art was more than a 15 minute activity to fill time; it was a treasure they had created as a way to express themselves and we needed more. More room, more time, more expression, more art. To be honest, it was a pretty simple solution: clean out and take over the back room of our basement which was filled with boxes and boxes of, ahem, junk.

I wasn't exactly sure of where to start so I started scrolling and scrolling through Pinterest, my favourite way to escape into design heaven and I began adding all of the spaces I loved to my Kids Art Studio board. 

Here are some of the ideas for art spaces that I found and loved.

Megan's home art studio has gone insanely viral and I can fully imagine having a playdate with her kids here. I love how friendly and inviting this space is and amazingly, she designs creative art spaces for kids through her site, The Art Pantry. Creating an art studio is an INSANE amount of work and I admire Megan for doing this for clients.

The Art Pantry kids art studio

The Art Pantry

I just love how the bookshelves take over the space below creating an atmosphere that I can imagine any little one whittling hours away in. I still love chalkboards, kid sized play tables and that whimsical air balloon mobile is dreamy too. 

modern kids art room

I saved this space because it appears to not have windows like the actual space we have in our basement. I liked the wall shelves but still fear an earthquake in Vancouver so knew that any art needed to be secured to the wall in our art room. I think I like how busy but clean this space is, the intentional lighting and the number of seats at the table. Again...hours and hours of art could happen here!

bright and light art room

Clipboards and jars! Simple tools that work...YES!!! I mean, look how much you can store (and see!) in those jars. Yup, I definitely needed jars.

art wall

The idea that I saw and KNEW I had to have was giant pegboard. Here is the inspo right here! This tutorial was helpful and the result (although a bit tricky) is so, SO amazing!

large pegboard

Vintage Revivals

As you know, I love simplicity. Ideas just don't have to be fancy (or pricey or hard!) to be so, so good. The below, a piece of rope and some wooden clothes pegs is just right for hanging kids art. I love this idea and knew we needed to use wall space a little like this to showcase special pieces.

kids art on walls

Mother Mag

I just can't wait to share our space this week. I love these spaces and love how versatile art rooms for kids are too. You can play there, read, paint, colour, draw, build anything you can dream up. Even a tiny little art nook is just so, so worth it.

Melissa Signature.png


Organic and neutral baby nursery in Vancouver

If you've been following along on my Instagram over the past couple of weeks (and if you don't, come follow!), you'll know that I've been busy decorating a new baby nursery. Well, this project is different than any I've done before as it is set up in a house to sell!!! That's right, this neutral baby room was set up entirely for staging a home.

Other than sharing the nursery reveal, I thought it would be fun to share how the space came together, how my thought process was different for this space given it is set up temporarily and most importantly, how to style your nursery to help with selling your home!

I started with two key pieces of furniture: the crib and the ladder shelf. Given the room is set up so temporarily, I left out a chair although if this space was going to be used with a baby, I would have moved the crib over and added one in. 

Here are my key tips for styling your baby's room for sale.

pillows in baby nursery
cloud mobile

Keep colours neutral:

When I saw the room, I knew that a simple white crib would be perfect and this one from Babyletto fit the space well. A white crib works perfectly for either gender and I wanted to keep the space neutral so prospective buyers could envision a baby boy or girl in the room. I just love this cloud mobile from The Butter Flying. This colour palette works equally well if you are setting your nursery up and waiting for the big day for a gender surprise too.

A simple white ladder shelf in a children's room

Make the most of the space but leave options: 

My goal was to make the small room feel bigger, to highlight how babies only need a few things and to show that by keeping the clothes organization elsewhere (there is a built in storage solution in the closet), you can keep the room tidy and calm. Although this space is quite minimal, this also enables the new owners to see that they could add in some of their own personal touches easily (such as a special photo on the wall or some art). The key here is to keep the paint soft and bright, bring in just enough furniture to give an idea and leave the window coverings open to enhance natural light.

shelves with baby clothes, books and toys in kids nursery

Add in some personal (but not too personal!) touches:

I wanted the prospective owners to feel connected to the space when they walk in. A few sweet baby outfits hanging usually bring the oohs and aahs and adding books and some simple toys could helps parents envision sitting and reading to their baby in this space. These little details also made me dream of snuggling a newborn again!!! 

If you love the soft, organic, neutral vibe that this nursery has, you can find all of the details to shop the look below. 

Design board for a neutral nursery



Etsy garland GIF

In the same way as a necklace adds that final touch to an outfit, a garland adds that final touch to a children's room. They come in so many different styles and literally the entire spectrum of colours; there really is one for everyone. Since garlands can dress up everything from a picture on a wall to a book shelf or even a set of hooks, I thought it would be fun to share how different garlands can change the vibe of a room and 25 of my favourites from Etsy!

Cloud garland in children's room

This simple cloud garland by The Full Nest is perfect for a neutral nursery or for a playroom where you are looking for a little pretty that could literally be used anywhere. This would be ideal for a nursery where the gender of baby isn't known and would also make the perfect gift for a mama-to-be!

tassel garland in children's room

Look how much impact this tissue garland by Gen Woo has!!! It is just so pretty!!! This garland not only adds a little fun in this room, it is versatile enough to use for party decor and a nice safe option for above a crib.

yarn garland in kids bedroom

This Jae to the Wall yarn garland is so sweet and subtle that it could literally work anywhere! I love how the texture adds a little oomph to the wall and ties in nicely with the rug and blanket. 

In case you were wondering, Etsy literally has thousands of garlands on offer and SO many are just darling. I've rounded up my top 25 below...which is your favourite?

25 favourite garlands for kids rooms from Etsy

1./ Bead garland; 2./ Heart garland; 3./ Tassel garland; 4./ Animal garland; 5./ Sheep garland; 6./ Mountain garland; 7./ Leaf garland; 8./ Flag garland; 9./ Felt garland; 10./ Star garland; 11./ Yarn garland; 12./ Feather garland; 13./ Cloud garland; 14./ Wool heart garland; 15./ Pom pom garland; 16./ Glitter garland; 17./ Rain garland; 18./ Neutral garland; 19./ Beige star garland; 20./ Drop garland; 21./ Boxwood garland; 22./ Snow tassel garland; 23./ Flower garland; 24./ Scallop garland; 25./ Pink grey garland.

* Thank you to our friends at Jae to the Wall, Full Nest Design and Gen Woo for making this post possible.

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book wall kids room green
book wall in kids room
book wall in monochrome boys room

You know I love them! You've seen them in nearly all of the rooms that I create and in nurseries and kids' rooms around the globe...book walls are absolutely art for your children's rooms!

In this post, I wanted to share how amazing book walls look, how versatile they are for you and your kids, how to create one that will work perfectly in your own child's room and where to find some of the key shelves that you see on popular blogs and magazines to use on your own.

book wall in toddler boy room

One of the best things about book walls is the versatility; they can be used purely for books or for display of toys which can be rotated or special items for play. These ledges provide open access for your children and encourage reaching for a book or toy, whichever is placed at their height. I also love how special (or expensive) books can be stored out of reach, allowing the parents to choose which books get chewed on or read most.

book wall in neutral toddler room

The key is to mount them with enough space for your tallest books. I like to space them between 15-17" apart vertically, allowing space for books and for your eye to have a bit of white space. Make sure to hit a stud in the wall or use an anchor to ensure that when kids pull on the ledge, it won't budge. 

Ubabub book wall in baby girl nursery

When I specify book walls for clients, I have specific go-to sources, which I've listed below especially for you! I love the way the clear acrylic shelves from Ubabub help to highlight the beauty of the book covers and how these tiny white shelves help to fit into small spaces. 

book ledges or shelves for kids room

01.// White picture ledge; 02.// Dark book ledge; 03.// Wooden bookshelves; 04.// Gold book ledge; 05.// Clear acrylic shelf; 06.// Grey book ledge; 07.// Dark book ledge; 08.// Tiny book ledge.

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