The Nursery Makeover Begins… On Video!

We recently revealed that we’ll be working on a Young House Love nursery… just not for us. We’re super excited to create a fun and functional baby’s room for John’s sister Emily who’s expecting a little boy this October. And of course we have plenty of affordable DIY ideas up our sleeves that we’ll be sharing as we go. The first order of business in Emily’s blank canvas of a guest room was to get some paint up on those bare walls.

But we didn’t just settle for a fresh coat of soft blue-gray, we decided that a cheerful, modern and awesomely random vertical stripe effect was just the thing to get this makeover started with a bang.

The easy one-night process of taping, painting, and peeling was as simple as picking a color palette…


… getting that painter’s tape up on the wall…


… filling in each randomly sized and spaced stripe with one of our four accent colors and peeling off the tape to reveal…


… fresh slices of color around the room (we promise they’re straight, the camera lens just makes them bow out a little).


And we even whipped up this video of the entire painting process with more step by step details and paint color information:

Yes John’s awesomely long arms came in handy for the filming of this video. And that is an Oregon Trail icon on his painting shirt. Good times. Oh and you can watch it here on YouTube if you’re having trouble with Vimeo above.

And since we’ll be keeping a tally of how much our little nursery transformation costs, we’ll share the tally for this phase of the project. For a gallon of wall paint and three sample cans of our stripe colors (we already had the white paint on hand) the room got a totally new look to the tune of just $39. And we’ll also be using the leftover paint for a few more DIY projects around the room so we’ll get even more bang for our buck. Stay tuned…

And because we love a good teaser, we thought we’d share a glimpse of some of the bedding and upholstery choices along with our paint chip color palette so you guys can get a taste of the big picture:


Don’t you love those cute little elephants? Babies are so much fun, even before they’re born. So what about you guys. Any babies on the way? Any nursery makeover details that you’d like to share? Spill the bun-in-the-oven beans.


  1. says

    Looks great – can’t wait to see it all come together. I’m surprised you didn’t use a level to check that the lines were straight…in old homes you can’t really rely on measuring 8″ (or whatever your measurement is) from a wall or door since your lines likely won’t be straight. My painter friends always check with a level.

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Heather,

      We like to double check things by stepping back and using our eye to make sure nothing got crazy (you can definitely see something veer off course by taking a few steps back) but a level is also a great tool for foolproof double checking! Good call.


  2. Miranda says

    I like the color scheme and the elephants. Looks like you’ve selected colors that will grow with the boy!

    We’re currently working on a single-wide – trying to get it as close to the way I want it as possible on a tight budget. (With full-time jobs and two little guys to tend to, we only have about 1 hour each night for either my husband or me to spend sprucing up the place.) The hardest, most time-consuming part is removing those el-cheapo vinyl stips that scream “TRAILER” and filling the gaps. It doesn’t look as good as drywall when finished, but it’s a far cry better than the strips!

    We’re also replacing (actually covering) the flooring in the kitchen with peel-n-stick tile (with lots of good tips from your “It’s a Stick Up – Er Down” (April 09) — very useful! Thanks!

  3. meaghan says

    i’m currently working with my sister on her baby’s nursery, but because i’m in new york and she’s in texas, its a little tricky. i am really looking forward to sending the before an dafter pics when its all done!! nurseries are such fun! you can mix patterns and colors that may not have occurred to you for an other room in the house… so fun!

  4. Teeni says

    I’m so jealous! We’re expecting baby #3 in January. But we’re temporarily in a rental until we build again so I’ll be living vicariously through this nursery transformation until I can do my own again! Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Kendi says

    What a beautifully refreshing color scheme! I always joke with friends that my husband and I are going to have a “grown up” baby room. No pastels here! I really like the colors and the fabric you chose and am looking forward to seeing more. In the meantime, where did you find/source your fabrics? I have a hard time finding good looking boy fabrics that are modern and clean and the two you have are brilliant. Thanks so much!

    • says

      Hey Kendi,

      We actually got the elephant crib sheet from Target (from their 100% cotton Dwell line on sale for $6!) and the yellow slice of fabric is an arm cover for a thrift store chair that will be in the room (found for just $40 a while back at Love Of Jesus thrift here in Richmond). The geometric blue square fabric is actually the only yardage that we snagged at a fabric store here in Richmond called William’s & Sherrill (on sale of course) and we’ll be creating a super fun little DIY project with that so stay tuned…


  6. Nenn says

    At first I couldn’t imagine the colours you picked for a nursery. But when I saw the elephant print beside it – Wow!

    And I’ve got a question:
    How would you light up a wooden ceiling?

    Love your Blog,
    Vanessa from Germany

    • says

      Hey Nenn,

      Hmm, have you thought about whitewashing your wooden ceiling? You’ll still get the lovely wood grain texture but it will feel about a foot higher and a lot more open and airy. You could also install some great track lighting or a gorgeous fixture in the center of the ceiling instead (it’ll give off lots of light to keep things feeling lifted and reflective). Hope it helps!


  7. says

    I see that you’re using Glidden’s Vintage Yellow. I fell in love with that color this weekend when looking for a yellow that would accent some art in my living room, without being too bright and overpowering.

  8. Anne says

    LOVE the color palette and the stripes! This for sure is going to get filed in my head for a few years down the road.

    I totally agree with your taping method. After putting crown moulding up in our house my husband and I learned that nothing was level! Our walls and ceiling were all wonky so it helped just to step back and double check the measurements and level with our eyes.

    Can’t wait to see more


  9. says

    very cute. can’t wait to see the finished product.

    just wondering: since you’ve focused a lot on eco-friendliness on your site, i wanted to know if you happened to use low/no VOC paint for this project? just thought it would be something to consider when creating a room for a little one.

    • says

      Hey Jennifer,

      We were waiting for this question to come up! We’re all about respecting our client’s preferences and Emily wanted to go with Glidden so we respected her wishes (she was also on a completely different floor of her house the entire time we painted at our insistence). Glidden is actually one of the lower VOC paints on the market so that’s the good news- although it’s definitely something that some people would still avoid in favor of a no VOC option. Hope it helps!


  10. says

    I don’t use a level for hanging pictures. I use the ‘take-a-few-steps-back’ approach. But, I don’t think I’d be brave enough to create stripes on my wall without a level. It’s just too much of a larger scale for me.

    I love the color selection! And I really love how you’re not afraid to step out of the box with some of your design choices!

  11. CarMaj says

    This little guy is very lucky! I cannot wait for the after pictures!! The color scheme will last for a long time too which is great – Awesome job (as always!) Sherry & John!!

  12. Tiki says

    I recently saw the DWELL bedding at Target on sale, both for boys and girls and I was so tempted to buying them even though I don’t have any babies, am not pregnant, and am not planning on it in the immediate future. They are just too cute!!

  13. Elaine says

    We recently used Glidden to paint our bathroom. Out of necessity’s sake, we had to close the door to the bathroom for about 20 minutes while we were painting. We did have the ceiling-fan-thing (that thing that sucks out steam…an exhaustive fan?? idk!)…but we were concerned about the VOC. Even after 20 minutes in a small, small room with nearly no airflow, we couldn’t smell a thing and we didn’t have headaches or anything. Glidden is a good choice because of the low-VOC. Yay!

    • says

      Hey Elaine,

      So glad to hear it! That was our experience as well. We had the ceiling fan on and some windows and doors open for ventilation and there definitely wasn’t that typical “paint odor” at all. Thank goodness because I may just have fallen off of that step-ladder. Hehe.


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