henry’s room – the reveal

We made it! With only a matter of weeks before baby number two arrives we managed to get Henry moved from his nursery and into his new bedroom. The other night he told me as he headed to bed that he thought his new room was really fun. I’ll take that as a huge compliment coming from a three year old boy! Here it is.

I painted three of the four walls Benjamin Moore – Old Navy. The ceiling, trim and remaining wall were painted Alpine White also by Benjamin Moore. I found the antique bed with intricately carved posts of palm leaves topped with what appear to be pineapples at The Barn in Mississauga, Ontario.  For linens, I paired indigo wood-block printed pillows I found at Haveli Home with a red and white striped duvet from Nautica. On the wall, is a Stendig calendar from December 2008, the month and year that Henry was born. Awhile back, I noticed it hanging in the office of a friend of mine and I thought it would make an interesting piece of art as a reminder of the day he was born. I’m trying to think of a good way to identify the date. (I’d love to hear your suggestions!) Once I figure that out I will be probably get it framed in a shadow box of some kind.

You might recognize the kilim rug on the floor. Up until now, it has been in our front hallway. However, I thought it would work well up here so I moved it upstairs. (I’ll show you what happened down in the entry way at a later date.) Also making it’s way upstairs was the vintage Union Jack I found at the Christie Antique Show a couple of years back. It just seemed to fit the vertical space beside the bed so perfectly. The white ceramic garden stool is also something I’ve had for awhile. It works for now as a small bedside table. Rounding out the image is the Noguchi paper lantern I purchased for the room.

I covered the window in Henry’s room with a wooden roman blind and then layered an Indian printed fabric over top. I made a simple curtain tieback using a length of nautical rope and a simple ring attached to the wall.

For toy and book storage, we created this stacked arrangement of vintage wooden crates. We nailed each of the crates to each other and then secured to them wall. I then filled the crates with a selection of sea-faring treasures, favorite toys and books. On the wall, is a string of old cork buoys I found at a vintage store a couple of years ago. They too seem to have finally found their home!

A close-up of the shelves. The red “X” by Leanne Shapton was given to me by my Hello! Neighbor photographer Kristin Sjaarda and the carved wooden dog bookend came from my husband’s childhood bedroom.

A collection of old sporting photographs my husband has started collecting will probably fill the one white wall in the room.

Finally, finishing off the end of Henry’s bed is his treasure chest. You should have seen the look on his face when I told him he has his own special box to store his found bounty! We still need to find a way to stop it from crashing down on his little fingers but I don’t think it will be too hard.

I’m so happy we managed to get him moved over before his baby sister arrived. Now, I can concentrate on making the nursery  a little more feminine and getting it set up for her appearance.

I’d love to hear what you think of Henry’s new room!

Filed under baby makes four, design work, house projects, you make it


  1. Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:21 AM | Permalink

    This is such a great room. I love all the details and the bed is amazing! I’ve been considering that colour for our wall in our bedroom and seeing it here makes me like it even more. Great job and congratulations on getting it done before baby arrives!

  2. Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

    Looks great, good job! I love the wall with the vintage wooden crates and all the knick knacks inside. I also love how you used the rope to tie the curtain back. Very cool 3 year olds room!

  3. Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:30 AM | Permalink

    This is fantastic, Emma! Love the colors, the textures, the vintage details. Your son is a very lucky kid! Congratulations!

  4. mb
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:40 AM | Permalink

    Old Navy, well I like it a lot. Great choice. What a happy room for your sweet pea. Great bed frame Emma.
    I have had Stendig calendars from the beginning of time. To commemorate a date I would draw in the number(in your case, you are fortunate as you have the white numbers to draw in, remember every month alternates white/black). Why not get some markers and draw a design on the day Henry was born, using the color accents in the room.

  5. Kim
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:48 AM | Permalink

    I love his room..looks amazing so many great ideas………but I would like to know how long will it last looking like this? Will Henry have it torn apart in no time, or is he a more subdued mellow child that will leave it looking like this? just curious!

  6. Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:05 AM | Permalink

    This is the most gorgeous little boy’s room ever! Heck, BIG boy’s room! Who wouldn’t love to be in this room? :) It is gorgeous Emma….you are SO good, my friend. Seriously. And thank you for reminding me about the idea of using rope as a tie back. LOVE that so much.

  7. Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

    It’s beautiful!!!
    Of course it’s very warm and aged already!!! I love that you added so many of your collected treasures to his new things!!
    What a wonderful room for a cool little man!
    What kids room DOESN’T get destroyed/taken apart? But when you put it back together you once again have a magical space!!!! Well done lady!

  8. Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

    Henry’s room looks amazing!! Thanks so much for sharing your work, as always.

    I was thinking along the same lines as mb to indicate the date Henry was born, but if he’d like to be involved in the process, you could put the calendar against a window, put a sheet of artist paper on top of the calendar, and trace out the date he was born. Once you have the sheet of paper with the numbers, you could let Henry draw on the paper in coordinating colors with the room on the numbers with markers or crayons so that he can see his own work in his very own room. This would be a bit messier, but I think it would look so cool if he were to paint on the numbers in either acrylic or watercolor paints that coordinate with the room’s color scheme.

    Then, just cut out the numbers and put them over the numbers on the calendar. The numbers could simply be tacked up or taped on the back of the paper. You could make this a fun thing where Henry gets to “paint his calendar numbers” every year.

    I noticed the rope in the wooden container in the room also… you could fill in the numbers with thick hemp (or very thin rope) to give the number a texture. You could use just one color of rope to fill in the numbers, or you could use alternating colors. I’d probably just glue the rope on the numbers in this case.

  9. nicole
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:16 AM | Permalink

    I was hoping we were going to see Henry’s new room today. So, so charming Emma! You managed to incorporate a theme without it looking cloying…no small feat! Funny thing about The Barn: my childhood home is located off the road that runs directly south of that store (off the Lakeshore). I frequently poked around in there as a teenager. As for marking the date of Henry’s birth (also my son’s name!), may I suggest either a red dot, like those marking a sold piece of art, or roughly shade in the number with a red pencil crayon? Can’t wait to see how you transform the nursery!

  10. Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

    Oh this room is simply fabulous! Love the layers, the depth and that it isn’t “themey”

    Fabulous, fabulous. fabulous!

  11. Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

    What a fantastic room. I just love all the details and the colour creates such a cosy space. The wooden crates are a fantastic addition. Love it all!

  12. Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:38 AM | Permalink

    I love it. What I love the most is that you thought about the future as well. You created a space that will need minor changes as Henry gets older Good for you and job well done. Love everything.

  13. Kristen S
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:46 AM | Permalink

    Final product looks great! It’s everything you were aiming for and more.

    For Henry’s calendar, what about just circling the date with red grease pencil? A bit expected I agree, but I like the boldness of it.

  14. Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

    It’s wonderful! Clever storage and full of warm textures. I love the twin bed frame too. Where did you find it? Great job Emma!

  15. Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

    i love so many things you’ve done! the calendar, crates, layers..and the treasure chest! beautifully designed! how does he like it?

  16. Posted April 23, 2012 at 11:05 AM | Permalink

    It really looks fantastic! I love the open storage and the wall colour is perfection.

  17. Posted April 23, 2012 at 11:11 AM | Permalink

    Such a thoughtful and well-layered design. Absolutely love the space! May borrow a few ideas (e.g. noguchi pendant) when it comes to changing up our little guy’s room! As a fellow Victorian home dweller, just wondering what is the square footage of the room and if it has a closet?

  18. Posted April 23, 2012 at 11:13 AM | Permalink

    I love the stacked wood crates and the vintage sporting photography.

  19. Posted April 23, 2012 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

    @Kim – Oh he’ll probably tear it apart but it can be put back together! That’s why I’m a big fan of baskets in kid’s rooms. It’s easy for him to access his toys and easy to put them away again as well!

  20. Posted April 23, 2012 at 11:15 AM | Permalink

    @Danie – Love your idea of tracing out the numbers and then getting Henry to paint/colour inside of them.

  21. Posted April 23, 2012 at 11:16 AM | Permalink

    @ Kristen – Yes, I’ve thought about the red grease pencil but worried about only having one shot at getting it right!

  22. Posted April 23, 2012 at 11:17 AM | Permalink

    @ Helen – The twin bed frame is from a place called The Barn in Mississauga, Ontario. There is a link to it in the post.

  23. Posted April 23, 2012 at 11:18 AM | Permalink

    @ shruti – of course, borrow away. The room does not have a closet. It measures 9 feet by 12 feet.

  24. Posted April 23, 2012 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

    What an amazing room! It something that he can grow with too. Congrats on getting it completed on time! An amazing feat in itself.

  25. Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:10 PM | Permalink

    Wow! It looks so great! I love that it is more grown up than a normal kids room but still manages to be young and playful. Congrats!


  26. Joan
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:24 PM | Permalink

    Henry’s room looks great! Love all the details. It is so well put together. For Henry’s birth date on the calendar maybe you could find some cool large magnifying glass and somehow afix it such that the lens magnifies his birth date. For me, magnifying glasses signify the curiosities of a child. And, of course, that date will forever be “magnified” in your mind!

  27. Frances
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

    Its a lovely space and it’s great that the furnishings will grow with him. I suspect that your objets in the shelves will be replaced with his active toys, but it’s his room, yes?

    What about a removable sticker for the calendar? You can find some in geometric shapes (or cut a sheet)…- bright circle around the number would look sharp & you wouldn’t have to worry about messing up.

    Finally, I hate to be a party pooper but those rope tie backs look like a strangulation hazard to me, along the lines of looped blind cords. Are the loose enough to let go if he puts weight on them?

  28. Lesley
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

    Can you share where you got the baskets below the Union Jack (hopefully someplace I can get them!)?
    Thanks, the room looks great.

  29. Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:05 PM | Permalink

    It’s very cute, but I might rethink the oodles of rope.

  30. Laura Sosin
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:03 PM | Permalink

    Nice work Emma – mega preggers and all! I especially love the wall colour, crate montage, gorgeous rug & textiles. Henry’s a lucky boy – woot!

  31. Laura Sosin
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

    oh…re: marker on the calendar. perhaps a “nautical star” in bold red if you’re looking to stick with theme. Pretty classic symbol…

  32. Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:19 PM | Permalink

    Fabulous!!! I love the idea of Henry coloring in his number. As for the treasure chest, we have one that my FIL made and he used hardware/hinges that make the lid close slowly. We haven’t had a problem yet. Beautiful job on Henry’s room! xo

  33. Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:57 PM | Permalink

    Incredible Emma! Its such a thoughtful room, with little design surprises everywhere. I love the crate storage most of all. What a wonderful room for Henry. Well done!

  34. Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:14 PM | Permalink

    @Joan – the magnifying glass is also an awesome idea – very original!

  35. Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:16 PM | Permalink

    @ Frances & Marla – Thanks for your concern about the rope. Of course, these things crossed my mind as well. The rope tie back on the curtains is loose and falls through the ring if pulled on. The rope in the crates probably won’t remain in the room as it has a strong smell of diesel. (It literally came off of an old boat). However, it looked so good I took some liberty with the photographs!

  36. Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:17 PM | Permalink

    @Lesley – the baskets below the Union Jack are from HomeSense. $16 each!

  37. Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:17 PM | Permalink

    @ Laura Sosin – Love the idea of a red star.

  38. Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:18 PM | Permalink

    @ Abbey H – good idea with the slow close hinges. I think I can get them from a kitchen supply store.

  39. Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:23 PM | Permalink

    This room is just beautiful Emma. The deep blue walls are so cozy and just perfect for a boy’s room. For some reason this room makes me think of Enid Blyton books – kids stories full of simple play, adventure, and imagination. I think my fave element are those buoys – I have seen them in so many garages and gravel driveways at home, I would never have thought of hanging them on the wall! I may have to borrow/blatantly copy this idea for my next big boy room! Amazing job as always, your rooms and style are such inspirations to me. :)

  40. Lesley
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 5:55 PM | Permalink

    Darn, looks like HomeSense doesn’t have an online shop for us non-Canadians.

  41. Cammie
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:23 PM | Permalink

    Fill the date in with Henry’s favorite color. OR stamp/print it with a somewhat transparent heart?

  42. Mary Anne P
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 7:56 AM | Permalink

    Beautiful Emma! I love all the details, the textures and colours. Much the thought and love went into this room! I love the navy walls and of course the wooden crate shelves. The room reminds me me of colonial India when it was occupied by the British. I think this is because of the detailed bed frame and of course the Union Jack. Well done and looking forward to meeting your new baby girl! Take care and the bestest wishes xoxo

  43. Kim
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 8:45 AM | Permalink

    I have been trying to decided on a white for the all the trim in my 100yr old house, not as easy as it sounds. Would you recommend the alpine white? I need a white that will go with everything and be in every room.

  44. Posted April 24, 2012 at 9:04 AM | Permalink

    Hey Emma, what a beautiful room you created for Henry. And it’s so heartwarming that all your hard work paid off and he loves it. For the number I was thinking along the nautical line, and perhaps a shallow cylinder over the number, to mimic a ship window. It could be a red or bright yellow one.
    PS I miss you guys. :-)

  45. Posted April 24, 2012 at 10:17 AM | Permalink

    Wow, what a beautiful and fun room for a darling little boy! I love how dark you went with the wall color and the boxes stacked up is a fun “bookshelf” idea :) Love it all Emma!
    x Meagan

  46. Posted April 24, 2012 at 12:15 PM | Permalink

    @ Kim – It’s quite a warm white. You might want to try Benjamin Moore’s Cloud White as an alternative.

  47. Posted April 24, 2012 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

    How many coats did it take for the Old Navy paint? Darks can be tricky.

    Thinking about the calendar – how about a small piece of coloured cellophane taped with washi tape?

    And about the trunk – some sort of bumper so that it never closes completely will save his little fingers. Perhaps a rubber one (you know, the ones that you put behind framed art to protect the wall) on the front corners that you could attach with a glue gun. They have thicker ones that would be the width of his little fingers.

    Lovely job – and not so “cutesy” or so “perfect” either.

    Just saw that you recommended Cloud White to @Kim – my whole little cottage is painted in Cloud White!

  48. Cathy
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 1:59 AM | Permalink

    Great colour,texture and wow what a lucky little boy. Wounds like he is so pleased with it as he said it is “fun”.

  49. Posted April 25, 2012 at 9:13 AM | Permalink

    @ Sandra – It took 2 coats of the paint.

  50. Posted April 25, 2012 at 12:23 PM | Permalink

    oh wow Emma – it looks absolutely incredible! What a lucky little boy.

    Also, I just feel the need to mention that Leanne Shapton is my cousin! It makes me feel all sorts of wonderful that some of her art made its way into his space!

  51. Alanna
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 6:55 PM | Permalink

    what can i say emma …this is the coolest 3 year old boy’s room ever.

  52. PhillyLass
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 9:06 PM | Permalink

    Why not afix a wallet-sized baby photo of a newborn Henry on the appropriate day of his birthday calendar?

  53. Posted April 26, 2012 at 7:09 AM | Permalink

    It looks wonderful! Kind of grown-up little boy’s room. And what a relief for you to have it finished. Good luck with the new addition!

  54. Posted April 26, 2012 at 12:00 PM | Permalink

    I love all the vintage pieces in the room – it all looks WONDERFUL!!! So glad he loves it too!

  55. janet bailey
    Posted April 27, 2012 at 8:15 PM | Permalink

    Emma, what a tremendous job you’ve done! I love it. It’s indeed telling that Henry loves it to! Well done Emma & Myles on putting it all together, and just in time! xo

  56. Posted April 29, 2012 at 4:38 PM | Permalink

    It looks great Emma, and will definitely age well as Henry does. Can’t wait to see the nursery, but then what? You’ll be out of rooms in your house! I guess your backyard can be next… or some of the completed Marion Melbourne projects?

  57. Posted May 7, 2012 at 9:19 PM | Permalink

    Somehow I wondered over here today and am so happy I did!! I have 2 little boys and LOVE what you created for Henry. That Union Jack is so cool hung on the vertical and for the day he was born perhaps color in the number with red or circle it in red. Kind of like a “red letter day”! :)

    Am your newest follower!
    xo Elizabeth

  58. Posted May 16, 2012 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

    It’s come together so beautifully, Emma. I love the colors you’ve used and the kilim fits in so perfectly here.

  59. Posted June 22, 2012 at 9:52 AM | Permalink

    Hi. I love this, especially the rug, crates, and deep warm colours. However, the massive length of rope in the bottom cubby is freaking me out. Strangulation risk, no?

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  2. [...] walls) or money (the furniture). What I am willing to update is the rug (this one is currently in Henry’s new room), the curtains (these are inexpensive window coverings from Ikea that don’t block the light), [...]

  3. [...] might remember that I told you a few weeks ago that we had a new kilim rug in our hallway due to the old one being [...]

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