Wilbur's Room - Bathroom to Nursery Renovation

Converting the tired old and out dated bathroom into a fourth bedroom had always been on our renovating hit list since moving in. Originally, back when the house was built in the 50's this room was a bedroom, but down the line previous owners decided to convert it to a bathroom. By the time we moved in the vanity was full of cracks and rust, the shower leaked and was poorly fitted, the tap ware was grimy and the bath - although beautiful - was frustratingly difficult to clean around. On top of that, the room still felt like a bedroom - a bedroom with a vanity, bath, shower and toilet awkwardly plonked inside. We needed the extra bedroom and knew when we moved in, that it would be on our renovation hit list. 

A couple of years later when I fell pregnant with Wilbur, we decided the time was right and hired some registered builders to come in and remove the vanity, bath, shower and toilet, as well as repair the floor and the walls where everything was removed. From there we set to work polishing the floor ourselves, restoring and painting the murky green walls and maroon dado rails a fresh white - Dulux White Duck Quarter - and selecting furnishings decor and wallpaper, to transform the space into a soft and cosy nursery for our beautiful babe Wilbur.

I love crisp interiors with pops of clean colour, so I knew that I wanted to create something playful, colourful and bright but soft and calming to suit its purpose as a nursery at the same time. I wanted to create something light, bright and playful - different to the purely monochrome nurseries you so often see for boys at the moment. I also eventually decided on a subtle 'Adventure' theme for the space. We love travelling and the experiences it can bring, so it's important to us to encourage our kids to explore and travel the world, which is why an adventurous theme felt like a great fit for the littlest of our tribe.  

With this in mind, I instantly fell in love with Home & Abode's Cactus print which captured the perfect colour-way to set a crisp and contemporary, yet very unique vibe in the space.  Cactus imagery is certainly on-trend at the moment but something I've never seen in a nursery setting - it's playful adventurous connotations sealed the deal for me. 

Another easy decision was the Ferm Living grid wallpaper from Design Stuff Group, which I used to pair with the Cactus print. This feature wall sets the tone for the entire space - contemporary and playful but still soft enough (paired with the right accessories) for a nursery. From there it was all about selecting the right functional pieces for the space - a chair, cot and a storage solution for clothes. I wanted to stick with neutral raw timber pieces which would ground the colour palette of the room and would have the potential to work in different interior settings down the track, if we ever wanted to move furniture between rooms.

Enter The Kensington armchair by Barnaby Lane - be still my interior beating heart - this chair is seriously the most stunning piece. Aside from it being beautifully designed, it's casual coastal aesthetic really suits the rest of our interiors, meaning we can use it in our lounge room once we no longer need it in Wilbur's room. Winning.

Storage was next on the hit list and the simple low line quality design of the Clarence Modern Drawer Chest Dresser by Retrojan really suited the evolving room concept. It's simple lines and retro vibe bring plenty of character to the space and six big drawers for storage was a huge tick on the brief.

It's always a juggle to stay within budget in any room design and to save some $$ in this case, we went for a simple timber cot from Target. Not bad for a bargain.

From there it was all about softening and adding colour and texture to the space with textiles, accessories and toys: sheers for the window, a splash of soft peppermint thanks to the beautiful wool Harper Rug from The Rug Collection, an heirloom Bear Blanket from Roxy Marj, the most divine and snuggly Merino Wool Blanket from Uimi, string shelf, basket and toys from Leo & Bella, soft toys from Lucky Boy Sunday, cushions from Country Road and Castle and Baby It's A Wild World print from Wild Boys & Girls.  Safe to say Wilbur loves his room!

A huge thanks to Carrie Young Photography for her amazing shots and the brands and stockists who create/stock these beautiful products and have contributed to this very special project for us. Also a big thanks to Mama Disrupt Magazine for featuring this room and an interview with me about motherhood in their incredible launch edition - get your copy here  x




Tess Beagley