Pondering Henry’s Big Boy Room

When I designed Henry’s nursery I purposely took a serene, babyish angle because I knew that his future room (rooms– lets be honest, I’m a designer) would be more bold and boyish.  I also did/ don’t know if I’ll be able to have another baby so I wanted to go all out with the baby-ish look.

Well, now he’s a tiny person with a (vocal) penchant for animals, cars & trucks (tractors and lawnmowers, specifically) and a SERIOUS addiction to Curious George. Oh, and more recently dinosaurs.  So we’ve got a BOY on our hands now, and I feel like I’m going to need (want) to do a new room for him sooner rather than later. So I’ve been scheming. And have settled on a blue and red scheme (mostly because I saw this stripe Farrow & Ball paper go up on Amy Berry’s Instagram and instantly knew I needed to do it for Henry.)  So I’ve been scheming a bit and since one of you suggested I post about this thought I’d flush my ideas out a little further.

So here is where I am on the room. The striped walls and a navy upholstered daybed (made by LivenUp Design) with a trundle for future sleepovers. I’m loving this Peter Dunham star fabric for roman shades.  I love the look of a vintage Heriz rug for the floor in here. It’s tough and hides a lot and looks pretty cool, in my opinion.  I’d keep his changing table since it’s really a dresser and I love it. As well as his big Sharon Montrose lion photograph (because he is very into Lion King). I’d top the dresser with a shiny red Dunes & Duchess lamp.  It’s wood, so it won’t break if it gets pulled over.

stripe wallpaper // bed // rug // ceiling light // dresser // lion photograph // lamp // basket //  sconces // bedding // sheets // car art // bolster // bookshelf // side tables // abstract art // bins // ceiling fixture // wallpaper

Over the daybed I’d do swing arm sconces for reading (LED bulbs and a fabric shade mean no heat issues for little fingers).  For bedding I’d love some white and red shams and duvet (shown is Biscuit bedding, but PB Kids has a good one too!) and navy gingham sheets (or ships. Or cars and trucks.)  Red bolsters and a Robert Allen fabric throw pillow or two.  Above the bed I’d so a grid of framed Leslee Mitchell toy car photos.  Flanking each side side tables like these Serena & Lily ones (although would have to be a bit higher due to the height of the daybed sides).

On one other wall I’d do this wall mounted bookcase with durable bins for all the tiny things little guys collect (Legos, dinosaurs, “guys”….) and of course books. On another wall a print under plexi by Stephanie Henderson from Gregg Irby Gallery. I’ve had this print bookmarked for a while for this room!   And in his closet something really crazy like this Pierre Frey animal paper or this Sian Zeng dinosaur toile paper (it’s magnetic!)

All in, I want it to be a bright, bold, fun space that works while he ages.  He’s not ready for a big boy bed yet, but his crib would look cute in here in the meantime (see his nursery now HERE).

As far as this room goes, if we do get pregnant again it could easily change into a girls room– I’d paint the walls light blush and do curtains in this Lisa Fine pattern in Coral…SWOON).  OR as a guest room I’d go darker taupe on the walls and do everything in neutrals.

But lets hope it’s the former! :)


  1. Im sure you saw the new Curious George line of PJs at Hanna Andersson…but in case not, check it out! They are the best!

  2. I love everything about this room!!! We are getting ready to move our son into his big boy room and I am using the Biscuit Nacogdoches print. He too, like Henry, is obsessed with all things cars and trucks (and choo choos and beach balls – the only balls we allow in the house)! I was wanting to use one of the Gray Malin at the Parker prints but gosh its so $$$$$!!!

  3. Oh so exciting! We are currently doing our son’s “big boy” room – he’s 2.5. He looooves his new big boy bed (Austen bed from PB Kids) and lion sheets from Land of Nod (they have the most fun little kid sheets in my opinion). We also got a super cute dinosaur lamp from Target – which he got so excited about. I haven’t really switched up the artwork yet though, that lion is giving me some wall envy – I’ll have to get on that stat. Thanks for the timely post! :)

  4. Had to check out the Curious George PJs … the dinosaurs are pretty darn cute too. Forgive me but I LOVE footy PJs on little people. It was a sad day when my grandson outgrew them and it’s only a matter of time before my granddaughter out grows hers.
    Both rooms are adorable … and with a designing mom, I’m sure we’ll see more in the future. Thanks for sharing.

  5. LOVE! i’m in the process of designing my two year old’s big boy room – love the idea of a daybed with trundle too!

    RANDOM question for Erin and readers – does anyone know who makes this fabric used on this ottoman? https://www.target.com/p/fairland-square-storage-ottoman-threshold-153/-/A-51761563#lnk=sametab&preselect=51647353

    Hoping it’s not unique to Target.. but the furniture is made by skyline furniture and i contacted them to find out but they wouldn’t spill… i want just the fabric for a diy bench. THANK YOU!

    1. I’ve seen this fabric before and don’t believe it’s unique to Target. I found one close but not exact made by Robert Allen – Rajita Tiger Midnight (was on sale at Housefabric.com) Good luck! It’s maddening to fall in love with a fabric and not be able to find it!!

  6. Just have to jump in here and say … perfection! I love every single idea you have and it all gels together perfectly. LOVE that you’d do an antique Persian rug. Can’t wait to see it!

  7. What age will Henry actually start sleeping in his big boy room? Hubby and I are working on getting preggo with #2 but if it happens quickly, #1 might get his big boy room around his second birthday. Everyone says to wait until kids are 3 before taking them out of the crib. What are your thoughts on a 2yo boy in a big boy bed? Thanks!

    1. Our 2.5 year old just moved to a big boy bed (full size), he loves it and so do we. That said I don’t trust that he wouldn’t fall out, so we pushed the bed into a corner for now and added a foam bumper (called Hiccapop) to one side. So far, so good! He’s actually done better in the full size bed than in his toddler bed (his crib minus the front rail) which he was using for the past few months. Good luck!

  8. Love this! My 16 year old son still has most of the navy and white decor with accents of red from his “big boy room” design when he turned 2!! I did want to comment on the daybed with trundle . I did that for my daughter’s new bedroom design when she turned 13 and, man, it is a total pain to make up a daybed! Our cleaning ladies basically gave up and started folding her twin quilt in half and laying it lengthwise on top since it is SUCH a pain to tuck it in on four sides. I bought a product called Beddy’s recently that is supposed to be easier (Google it), and, yes, it’s a little easier for daily use but a total pain to remove and put back on after weekly laundering. Just an FYI…

    1. Agree with Holly, 16 yo who seemed like yesterday was turning 2y (sniff sniff) still has things from his little boy room – boys are less apt (in my opinion) to change things up or care. His big basket of stuffed animals is still tucked in the corner and he does’t mind at all. Agree with the trundle – a total pain and in my mind boys less apt to do the sleep overs and if they do they usually bring a sleeping bag. – i would go straight to a double bed that he can stretch to grade /high school easily – my kids LOVED being in a double bed when they were little and its nice when they want you to snooze with them, much more room! love the colors – timeless and your little boy is adorbs!!

  9. Love it all. The only thing I would change and that is only because I raised three sons is the trundle. Upholstered beds unless totally scrubbable are not conducive to little hugs. Remember the grass Cloth? As much as I adore that bed I would save it for a guest room. IMHO. Just something to think about.

  10. Hi Erin –
    Your Henry’s Big Boy Room post today made me think of a couple of kids rooms that are in Victoria Hagan’s new book DREAM SPACES (best Christmas gift ever!).
    Pages 114-115 and 228 and 229 are both are red, white and blue kid bedrooms. The fabrics are to die for and the rugs are adorable! Check it out!
    Henry is a lucky little boy! Enjoy every minute!

  11. the comments re: boys and upholstered beds seem spot on. (ha! pun not intended, but enjoyed) One word – boogers.

  12. I second the experienced moms’ cautions on anything too dear in Henry’s room. Before you add those gorgeous side tables to a little boy’s room: I had an antique bureau in my son’s room; he carved his first and last name into the top, and ran his cars up and down the sides. Sigh…

  13. And don’t forget that accidents happen, like throw up and pee…will that make a difference when it goes on the rug. Stickers to on furniture, my boys started putting on antique dresser and fortunately they came off and now they have specific place to put stickers (they come in goody bags, library, bday parties) who knew!

  14. Hello. I am kindof in love with you. lol. In a non-gross way. :) I carry around your book to my two son’s swim team practice like it’s my Bible. I think you’re fabulous. (Maybe we were twins separated at birth, but you were the brave one – you must have gone first). I’d love to know the wallpaper/mural in Henry’s room now, where did you acquire? I was thinking for my dining room. Thank you! Yours truly. I’ve seen scenes at Anthropologie – but wondering how to measure, etc. That tree is to die for.

    ps I have turkish rugs in both of my boys rooms now and they are the BEST! They made great car roads when they were younger and are super forgiving. Great choice. Enjoy that age, they are 6 and 8 now and burp and arm fart and I miss their chubby paws and obsession with all things Melissa and Doug, Lion King, Cars, and Curious George.

    pss – where on earth did you score the brass horse head wall coat hangers? We too have a colonial with pretty much zero entrance and I would love to have something similar on our front wall. Everything I see out there is plebeian, even on eBay and Etsy. Thanks!

    1. The mural paper is Susan Harter. If you get a professional installer, she should be able to give you a precise estimate of how much you need, and Susan Harter custom-makes it for your room when you send measurements. Anthropologie or Rebel Walls are much cheaper options, but not nearly as custom/beautiful – better from a distance as well rather than close up because their picture is more grainy.

  15. I love everything you’ve picked out, but I must second (third?) the earlier comments about the daybed.

    The upholstery will get stained with bodily fluids (sorry to be gross, but from every orifice imaginable!), you will all smash your toes on the trundle so many times – you can’t get in close because you can’t put your feet under the bed – it leads to weird side turns, and the daybed is a nightmare to change.

    A bed with a metal or wooden headboard might be safer, or maybe an upholstered headboard that you can redo every few years as it gets grotty?

  16. Awe, Curious George! I loved him as a little kid, my kids loved him (now they are 18 and 16 sniff!) and I am so happy to hear he is still going strong! Love what you are doing with Henry’s big-boy room — they are so much fun to decorate!

  17. This looks really lovely. We loved a daybed with trundle as our daughter’s transition from the crib to a big bed. We initially faced it with the open side toward the wall, so it was effectively a crib, then turned it around so the open side faced the room but added a guard rail, and eventually removed the guard rail. It was a nice gentle transition for our daughter, who loved her crib and still loves all things cozy.

    One thought on the upholstered bed, though. It really looks great, but having just gotten through a truly awful stomach virus with our daughter, I don’t think I’d go with an upholstered bed for a kid. I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say we were glad to have cleanable surfaces in her room. Perhaps a wood bed painted blue? Same look, easier to clean.

  18. Having raised two boys I advise skipping that Persian rug and going cheap and acrylic, anything you won’t mind throwing away if neccessary. That way he can spill all the plastic goop he wants to down the road.
    Love the room and your plan. Love all your work.

  19. Love it! Did you see Mallory Mathison’s red and blue twin boy room at the Atlanta holiday house? Dreamy! Our daughters upholstered trundle has been great, except daddy getting dirty shoes on the interior of one end when lying down to read books at night. Vintage Jenny Lind daybed would also be great!

  20. Is he moving to a new room or are you replacing that gorgeous mural paper in the nursery? That mural is investment-grade beautiful… I hope you can find a way to keep it – or donate it to me somehow!

  21. I would love to see your take on a Montessori bedroom and/ or a Waldorf bedroom. Some might say those styles don’t need a designer, but I disagree. A designer could bridge the gap between educational and style.

    1. I know there is a lot of caution around upholstered beds but we have one in my son’s room (now 5 but this was his big boy bed when he was 3) and have had no problems. Also, Crypton fabric for the win!

Comments are closed.