paint stripes on wall toddler boy room

Room Makeover: Twin Boy Nursery to Toddler Room (without changing everything!)

Let’s face it:  We spend a lot of time (and money) to decorate a baby’s nursery for the amount of time they’ll use it!  Funny isn’t it? When you’re pregnant, it seems like ‘The Nursery’ is going to be a permanent thing.  Every little decorating detail is planned out with the precision of shuttle launch, and somehow, we easily justify dropping more cash on the baby’s room than our own bedrooms!  (Ya know, “because they’ll only be a baby once” :-))

But time flies, and within just a couple of years, Mr. Monkeypants is climbing out of (or worse, taking apart) the crib that you ‘just’ put together; and, now he wants a Lightening McQueen bed, and suddenly the whole room needs re-thinking. car rug idea for toddler room

I learned this lesson the expensive way on my first child (now 8).  So when the time came to decorate our twin boys’ nursery just over 3 years ago, I tried to choose nursery decor that didn’t scream baby.  I thought these mod elephants might would work well in a toddler room too.  So, fast forward 2-3 years to now. We recently accepted that we could no longer keep the boys in their cribs as much as we wished it so ;-). When Noah greeted me one morning holding a large bolt to Jack’s crib, we figured that it was probably time!

Nursery to Toddler Room Decor

First things first.  I had to do something about that chocolate brown feature wall.  OMG, what a mess. I swear some nights they’d throw their bottles at the wall just to see who could splat more milk.  It needed to be re-painted desperately, but I was still much too sentimental about that large ‘elephants’ wall quote, which I’ve  talked about here a few times, most recently in the post Elephants, spiders and the ’80s.

Instead, I decided to re-paint only the bottom of the wall that was the messiest with large horizontal aqua and white stripes.  To paint the stripes I just followed the advice of some of the abundant tutorials out there in blogland on how to paint horizontal wall stripes.  It was super easy but a little tedious. This paint treatment gave the room a fun punch of color, and allowed me to salvage the wall quote for another couple of years.

 paint stripes on wall toddler boy room

The monogram letters were in their nursery before; but I decided to hang them over their beds this time, in part so they’d identify with their own bed.  Otherwise, I figured they’d be fighting over who gets which bed every night!  Yes, I realize they’re exactly the same – but try telling that to an over-tired 3-year old boy!

horizonal painted stripes on wall

Because we started them off with toddler beds with crib-sized mattresses (no they didn’t get Lightening McQueen beds!)  it meant that we could still use some of the Carters elephant crib bedding we invested in when they were babies.  But I added some other new bedding like the brown starry duvets and name pillows from Pottery Barn Kids.

decorate a toddler boy room

The brown chevron (zigzag) and green elephant cushion covers are also new, both purchased on Etsy.  (And because I love making work for myself, we take all those toss cushions off at night, and put them back on in the morning…sigh. I so wish I didn’t love pretty things sometimes!) This was the first ‘chevron anything’ I purchased for our home, which is amazing considering how trendy its become over the last few years.  I like it in small doses, and it seems to work great in a kids’ room. Perhaps I’ll be all over zigzag by the time the trend dies down (if ever)!

toddler boy bedding decor

I debated keeping their nursery chair in the room in order to give them a bigger area to play , but they still love a good cuddle, so Mommy’s not ready to give that up any time soon ;-).

chevron blanket toddler room

Speaking of an area to play, that’s another new thing that I tried to incorporate in their toddler room.  This large vinyl play mat (from Toys R Us) doubles as an easy-to-clean rug under their beds.  They LOVE it!  It keeps them busy for awhile when they first wake (yay!), and throughout the day, you’ll find one of them in there just chilling out, playing with cars and trains.

toddler boy room cars

I also included a small area for their books and soft toys.  I think this fabric book shelf is a great option in a toddler room as the books are easy to access, and you don’t have to worry about the topple risk of a heavy bookshelf.

toddler boy room decorating


3 sprouts elephant canvas tub



toddler boy room bookshelf idea

Transitioning their room from a nursery to a toddler space was a lot of fun.  But I’ll admit there were some sad moments when the cribs were finally broken down and given away for good! But now that the baby stuff is gone, I’m loving their new space.

brown green aqua boys room

By sticking with the same ‘theme’ (elephants) and the same color scheme, and choosing decor that would work just as well for a toddler as a baby, I was able to pull off their little room makeover without breaking the bank.

Until next time,




Sharing this post with Beth at Home Stories A2Z:

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  1. Marty says

    Hey, I have an almost 3 year old, and a little over 4 year old boys, and I’m thinking of a similar setup. How do you like the arrangement with the beds touching? I see the post is from February, so you had time to test it for a good bit. :)

  2. Meredith says

    I’m IN LOVE with their room!! I’ve been swooning over their beds for months. We’re finally in the market to buy our little man a toddler bed. Could you please post a link to the beds your purchased? I can’t find them on Costo’s site. Thanks!!!

  3. Amy says

    I love the transition! I had the same feeling about the mod elephants and used the same exact beading for my son and it all worked for his convertable crib through toddler bed phases but now I think we need to transition to a full mattress since he is getting so tall but i don’t want to have to redo the whole room (green walls with brown and white zebra strip across the room and all the other decorations). Where did you find the brown starry duvet?

    • says

      Hi Jackie! I’m pretty sure they are Carter’s…we first bought them for their cribs (their toddler bed mattress is same size as the crib), so my memory is a bit fuzzy on it! Thanks for coming by! ~Kerri

  4. Libby says

    Your boys’ room is so adorable! Would you mind sharing where you got the cute blue and green chevron blanket at the foot of their beds?


  5. micaela ramey says

    I love your work! This space for two growing boys is adorable. I am just curious as to where and how you store toys and clothing.

    • says

      They came from Costco!I considered the Pottery Barn Kids version but when I checked Costco they had very similar versions for 1/3 the price! ~Kerri