room for baby : outside the stencil box

posted on: Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lovely contributor Bel from Nest Design Studio recently interviewed mum, Courtney, about her wee one's bold Baltimore space.

Courtney and her husband created a wallpaper-effect with a homemade stencil.

A dramatic gallery was created with white frames against black.

Bold and graphic with repurposed flair

who lives here?
Oliver Tate who is turning one year-old this month. This was his previous room in Baltimore, USA.


“I use Etsy a lot in my decorating for that one-of-a-kind feel. So most of the artwork was either Etsy-purchased or homemade," explained Courtney. "The large horse painting was bought from Trohv
in Baltimore and it's one of my favourites. A lot of Olly's toys are from Blabla. His fun owl lamp was another Trohv find -- it was a gift from my husband that was waiting there for me when we came home from the hospital with our little man.”

Courtney chose a bold graphic design and colour scheme that was out of the ordinary. “We actually made our own stencil on the computer and then transferred it to stencil paper and that's how we got the pattern on the wall. We wanted it to look like wallpaper without the long term commitment or headache of wallpaper. The paint colour is by Martha Stewart and it’s called Silhouette.


The cot was purchased from craigslist for $80 USD and it was originally white. Says Courtney, “After I found out I was having a boy I painted it Glacier Blue to add a fun pop. The dresser was a '50s craigslist purchase as well. I loved using an antique dresser with a punch of colour and modern knobs. The chair as well as the old fireplace mantel were both from Trohv. The chair can easily be found online these days. We got the $200 USD mantel on sale for 40 percent off at a warehouse sale and it was originally black. We painted it Glidden’s Banana Pepper Yellow and it made the perfect shelf against the black wall. We opted not to have a changing table because our room was very small we made do without one. We try not to be inside the box as much as possible.”


“We installed hardwood flooring and added storage in the closest. This room was previously my office and like I said, so small. So to add hardwood flooring was very budget friendly. We also changed the light fixture and replaced it with one that we found on”

best buys
"We thought the crib was a huge saving. We really tried to save on everything. We only splurged on the large horse painting and light fixture, which was only $120 USD. We were also lucky to be given the whimsical 'flying bulbs' in the corner from a Baltimore magazine photo shoot styled by Trohv employees. I also saved money by making my own DIY bed skirt for about $20 USD and purchasing a sheet off of Amazon. I made the fun yarn ball garland and scored the little antique kids chair for $20 USD as well. Also we took a $3 USD Ikea blanket and spent $12 USD to have it monogrammed with 'Olly' to give it a custom feel. All pillows were Anthropologie clearance. Overall we saved everywhere we could.”

top tip
“Don’t be afraid to go outside of the box and don’t listen to other people. This room is for you and your baby, not theirs. People thought I had lost my mind when I started painting his room black but I had my own vision and it worked out for us. Don’t always think traditional: like you must have a typical wooden rocker, a changing table, a matching bed set etc.…be creative in these areas and let your personality shine through. Like I said, don’t be afraid and you’ll be fine. After all, it is just paint and fabric, it can always be changed. I tried to think of something that could grow with him and our family.”

Can you believe Olly had to leave this gorgeous nursery behind when the family recently moved from Baltimore to California?! Courtney, we can’t wait to see what you come up with in Olly’s new room.

Thanks so much Courtney and Olly, for sharing your space with baby space.


  1. This is so awesome! I love all the little touches you've added to the room, and a good room to grow into! Bummer that he couldn't stay!

  2. What a lovely design! I'm just in the process of designing my son's room right now :)

  3. that's so lovely! I love their floors (I've been staring an flooring samples for a month so my eye automatically goes south :) he he he, I'll venture a guess that it is natural oak)
    The stencil is amazing! It must have been SO MUCH WORK!

  4. I think yellow is fast becoming the new red. How happy that room feels!

  5. wow this is such a great nursery and so special! I should remember more often to think outside the box!

  6. Just beautiful! The colors are nothing I would have though of but are so beautiful!
    I'm anxious to see what you are working on for little baby #3!

  7. Awesome post... looking so great...! I really like your theme style and design. Thank you for providing nice tutorial!

  8. I am impressed with the article that giving personal touch to every room will reflect our personality and that is precisely the substance of home improvement. Thanks for the information.

  9. This room looks great, I had loads of fun decorating my baby's nursery. You look amazing, good luck with everything! x

  10. Have just saved every image for when (if) we ever have a boy. This room is perfect and timeless. Lovely find;)

  11. Guardians once in a while neglect the benefit of investing energy outside with their small ones. It just about appears to be common to take a little child outside, however an infant? What would they be able to do outside? Taking your newborn child outside furnishes them with an affair that will advantage them until the end of time.


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