Color is so powerful in a room and especially in a child’s room as they are learning about the world and exploring it every day. That’s why we created a rainbow nursery for our son with a bright white coat of paint and every color you can imagine layered on top.
From the second our son came into our lives, I’d been dreaming and scheming about his room. I knew exactly what I wanted it to look like and I could picture every detail. I wanted it to be magical for him. I wanted it to be full of color, culture and items created by people we love. I’m so proud of it, and so beyond excited to share ALL the details with you today in case you’re looking to create a rainbow nursery of your own!
Ok but first, can we take a look at this before and after….
A Meaningful Gallery Wall
Art and gallery walls are a great way to add color to a room, and to include sentimental pieces you’ve been collecting, too.
This room has an amazing ledge that we knew we wanted to incorporate into some sort of gallery. After much debate, we decided to hang the artwork above it, and use the ledge to display some of our favorite colorful items.
Each piece on the wall either carries meaning for my family, or was created by an artist or photographer who we know or admire. I wanted to be able, in a few years, to point to each piece on the wall and tell our son all about how that person is chasing their dreams.
When creating a gallery wall of art and sentimental pieces, you can have as many colors and styles as you like, but try to repeat colors at least once to tie them all together. I have an entire guide on how to select and layout a gallery wall if you’d like more tips.
Get the best bang for your buck by using books as decor!
Children’s books come in every color of the rainbow, and building up a collection allows you to have a library of books to read with your little one and fill up your walls with color!
Rainbow bookshelves can by DIY’d with love with my tutorial or you can buy them already made.
Once you have them up, sort out and organize your books by color. You can even, eventually, swap in holiday books during the season!
A Nursery Reading Nook
Along with rainbow bookshelves, a rocking chair that doubles as a reading nook is key! We sit here every night to read bedtime stories. I honestly got this mint leather rocking chair solely because I loved the color but I’ve been SO happy that it’s leather. Arlo LOVES to scratch at furniture and if it was fabric, I’m afraid it would be torn to shreds like our couch currently is. This just looks better with age, so that’s been awesome. I paired it with a colorful foot stool which was made from Guatemalan and Mexican textiles.
Using A Dresser as a Changing Table
There is absolutely no reason to have a separate changing table. Instead, use a piece of furniture that can grow with your child, like a dresser!
We decided to put this dresser right below the gallery because our son loves to look up at all the art and play with the stuffed animals. It’s this Jenny Lind dresser and I love how whimsical it is!!!! (And it fits a lot!)
Add color with accessories or charms hung on the drawers.
Craft Projects for A Rainbow Nursery
Ahhhh and then comes my DIY projects!! This rainbow latch hook took me about six or seven months to complete. And honestly, it was totally worth it. It was definitely a labor of love but I really enjoyed having a project to work on gradually and I knew it would look SO GOOD above his crib. (Side note: we also got this organic mattress for him which we really love.)
You can learn how to make the rainbow latch hook here.
And right next to it, the giant five foot plush cactus I made!!!! This was another one that I just had a vision for and knew I had to make happen. I really love how it turned out!!
You can learn how to make the giant plush cactus here.
I chose this rattan animal head to tie in to some of the natural elements, like the changing basket, in the room. I added a little pom pom crown and garland to him for a pop of color!
Also, can we give a round of applause to this light fixture. ZOMG! It was the very first thing I bought for his room, actually. And what an improvement from that ceiling fan!!!
Of course, his room wouldn’t be complete without one of his dad’s photos in there! This balloon car one greets you right as you walk in his (yellow) door.
Photos by Jeff Mindell
And there you have it! I really poured my heart into every detail of this room. Every single piece in it has meaning. I love that so many items are handmade or designed by talented artists I know. I love that there are gifts from friends, near and far.
I love that Morocco, Australia, Mexico, Guatemala, and more are represented here. I love that there’s pink and there’s blue and there’s every color in between because all colors are for everyone. I love that there are items that I worked for months to make, just for him.
Below you will find a detailed source list. If there is not a source, unfortunately that means it was either a gift or I don’t have a source for that item!
Main Furniture + Storage Piece Sources
Crib | Organic Mattress | Organic Mattress Pad
Dresser | Rocking Chair
Rainbow Book Shelves from Land of Nod (No longer avail, but similar here or make your own!)
Storage Bench | Colorful Stool
Plush Unicorn Head | Pink Cactus | Chris Uphues Hearts*
Arlo Flag (DIY’d by me) | Abstract Art | Pineapple Print
Rainbow Print* | Paint Roller Print | Family Cross Stitch*
Neon Heart | Huichol Yarn Painting | VW Van
“Adventure” Neon Sign* | Acrylic Frames* | Acrylic Poster Hangers*
Star Wall Hook | Yellow Wall Hook | Cactus Wall Hook (No Longer Avail, Similar)
Balloon Car Print | Bright Side Banner
Cactus Pillow | Rainbow Pillow | Banana Pillow
“Like You This Much” Pillow | Ceiling Light Fixture* | Rug*
Giant Yarn Pom* | Changing Basket* | Serape Blanket*
Polka Dot Sheet | Pom Pom Garlands | Tassel Heart
Blinds | Curtain Rods | Pom Pom Curtains
Lion Rocking Horse | Rainbow Blocks
Rainbow Stacking Toy | Alligator Pull Toy
Dinosaur Stuffed Animals | Neon Wool Hedgehog
Wool Elephant | Neon Giraffe*
Arlo: “The Future Is Me” Romper
Me: Pink Cardigan | Jeans
Walls: Dunn Edwards “White”*
Door: Dunn Edwards “Highlighter”*
This post was created in partnership with The Land of Nod. All content and opinions are that of my own! Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep the Studio DIY party going! Read more about my editorial policies here.
Michelle Harriman says
I LOVE everything about this. The rainbow bookcase is definitely my favorite. Congratulations guys!!! You did an awesome job on Arlo’s room and I know he will love it!
I have been waiting for this. It was worth it. P-P-Popping with colour and perfect in every way! So much fun.
SO SO SO BEAUTIFUL! I’m in love with every little detail!
Serious nursery envy -from a mama who only deals with pastels and grays. Love love love the splash of colour which brings so much fun and joy to a white canvas and love the fact that each item is not there by chance. You feel blessed by Arlo but I’m sure he feels blessed every day to have both of you in his life and be surrounded by so much love. Big, fat congrats and well done!!!! (Catch up on your sleep now hahahaha) hugs from Trinidad and Tobago 🙂
Kaitlin Kirchner says
Oh my goodness!!! This is the most perfect, colorful, fun, unique, exciting and stunning room ever!!!! Can I have it as my own room?! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!! You have completely outdone yourself! I knew it would look awesome, but it blew every expectation out of the water! I know Arlo will love it for years to come! IN LOVE with the custom neon sign, rainbow latch hook and rainbow shelves!! You definitely should be proud of yourself!
Awww Kaitlin!! Thank you so much!!
I’m screaming. Could this be any more perfect?!? You are amazing!
I love this!!! I wish my room looked like this. And to answer your question I’d watch a live video about the meaning behind the gallery wall.
Wow!!! Most amazing room ever! I want it for myself, haha!! You did such a beautiful job. This makes me sooooo anxious to see the rest of the rooms in your house now! Xo
Eeeeee!! Thanks Josie!!!! Can’t wait to start sharing a few of the other rooms we’re working on!!
Love it 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
This is the baby room of my dreams! What a wonderfully bright and happy room for Arlo! You hit it out of the park. Still dying over Every detail. That galley wall though…perfection.
Kelly…..this room rocks! It’s the color explosion of my dreams. It will foster so much inspiration for Arlo for years to come!
Awww I sure hope it does!! Thank you Shae!!
👏👏👏👏 I could tell that every piece was meaningful and a lot of care and thought when into everything before I even read your full post! The print that says “The world would Have less colour without you” made me have something in my eye😢 Arlo is going to appreciate how much you’ve cared about every little detail of his life. That kind of love and energy is contagious, and he will take it with him as he gets older and continue to make the world more colorful🌈 thank you so much for sharing!💕
l can imagine what a joy and feast for the eyes and heart it must be to lie down in the middle of that rug with Arlo playing around you or crawling on you. A dream come true. The room is amazing. l just had a vision of future Arlo hanging that beautiful rainbow latch work in his own first child’s nursery – and had tears in my eyes. Kelly and Jeff, this nursery truly feels like being wrapped in a rainbow of love and life and joy. Bravo!!! Having just traveled deep down into Mexico, l recognize SO many of the colorful pieces you are sharing from the street markets we visited. Just wait until you walk through one yourself! ‘SO hard not to want to scoop up all of the color and warmth and texture. Watching the people make the pom poms and felt pillows you’ve shared, plus colorful rainbow baskets and purses and shoes in person was an amazing gift. l think that experience will grow your love for Arlo’s heritage all the more. l know it did so for our family. Thank you so much for sharing, and YES! Please do some stories on everything!!! 💗💗💗
Supplementary Exam says
Thanks.. A Great Share 🙂
I’m so sorry. l don’t know why that was in response to someone else’s comment! 🙈
It looks AMAZING!!!!!! What a bright and happy space. It’s so perfect for all three of you!!
WOW! Absolutely in love with Arlo’s room. You did such an amazing job and have such a great eye for detail. Arlo is one lucky kid!
The best kind of projects are the ones that bring you joy, and every detail of this room exudes the joy and love you feel for sweet Arlo! The UP face poster may have made me cry. I can’t wait for the latch hook tutorial!!! So happy for you guys! 💗
THIS IS PERFECTION!!! Can it be my bedroom? PLEASE? (With an adult sized bed though). Seriously, I love it so much! It’s so fun and I love that it’s not overly babyish, you know? The bright colors and white really set it apart from the many nurseries that, while still cute, are all pastels. LOOOOVEEEEEEEEE
Haha! Yes!! Thank you Mia!!
Happiest room ever! It is just perfect.
Jaime Hamilton says
Arlo’s room is so lovely! I love the bright rainbow colors! I organized my books by rainbow colors too!
GUYYYYYS! It’s just the happiest place ever. Fab partnership (obvs the land of nod stuff is to die for) but I love how many personal touches you added to it. So well done, friends! Congrats on checking this off your list Kelly!
I’ve been waiting to see this room for AGES now and I love it so much. It’s acthally quite similar to my own bedroom. The post was lovely and I’m going to be honest, I teared up a little 🙂 love you guys
WOW! This is my dream room! Absolutely stunning! You can see the heart and soul that was put into it. So pretty! Now, please come style my kids’ rooms. 🙂
The space is adorable and you can just see the love and care you put into it radiating from every corner. Thank you for sharing it!
What a beautiful, meaningful space, Kelly & Jeff! Arlo is one lucky dude! I love the colorful bookshelves and I’m wondering – do you have any adoption-specific books for kids that you read to him or you plan to read with him? Thanks!
Yes!! I’ve been thinking about doing a post on some of our favorite books (both adoption related and non-adoption related!), maybe I’ll get working on that sooner than later!?
Savannah Smiled says
After hearing about the latch hook for SOOOO long in stories, I couldn’t wait to see it. What a fun, rainbow dream room to grow up in. You can tell you put your full momma heart into it. Bye…gotta go cry now! 😍
THIS ROOM! This room is magical! Seriously, any child would dream of such a beautiful room. Arlo is one lucky little guy. Great work. It truly shows that you poured your heart and soul into this room and it’s absolutely breath-taking. Very nice work. By far my favoriate post I’ve ever seen from you guys and this is the first time I’ve commented on your blog. AMAZING!
Aw Jessica!! You’re going to make me cry!! Haha! Thank you so so much!!
LOVE!!! The absolute best way to have a pure white room with so much color added in! I especially love the artwork from friends and special things you’ve had or collected for Arlo and how you’ve incorporated cultural items! You and Jeff are truly inspiring in so many ways!
YOU KNOCKED IT OUT OF THE PARK!!! AMAZING!!!
Oh my stars! The cactus! Welllll, all of it. Woah. Wow. Yay and holy amazing. You’re one heck of a momma! 👍🏻
So beautiful and fun. Thank you for sharing every detail!
I think I need this giant cactus for my self!!! And gosh all those colors.. OMG! Love it! I could live in this room for ever!!! <3
I can’t even begin to pick a favorite with this room. It’s all so beautiful, thoughtful and cohesive! You two are so talented!! I do love the mint leather chair and the Adventure is out there art!! Congrats on sweet little Arlo and his stunning boudoir!
Beautiful and colorful room! I love the cactus so much. You are a great mum, you are great parents. <3
No other words but 1 AWESOME
Kristina B says
YAY!!! It’s all done!!! Your latch hook and cactus came out AMAZING and so worth the wait.
My favorite parts of his room are 1) how you want to point out how all the artists on his gallery wall followed their dreams and 2) looking through his books and being able to pick out why a few of them might be there. The Good Dinosaur (duh) The Wonderful Things You Will Be (A kid hanging onto balloons!) and one by Jimmy Fallon (I mean, hello…)
It’s SO GOOD Kelly. Nice work! You should be VERY proud. <3
Thanks lady!!! Yes, good eye on those books!! Lots of them have a lot of meaning to us. =)
Charlotte Collie says
BEST PARENTS EVER!! This is truly incredible!
You guys, this room is so beautiful!! And I love all of your sentiments! Great work!!!
aww thank you lady!!
I keep imagining life through Arlo’s eyes like a Disney movie! How he’ll grow up remembering the bright and bold yellow door and this magic little world you guys have created for him :’)
that is the goal!! Thank you 🙂
It is seriously amazing to me how you make colour look so NATURAL. This room looks like a dream. I wish I could live there! Such an inspiration. My son’s favourite colour is yellow and he would DIE to have that door!
what a compliment! Thank you!!
Brittney Guise says
WOW! This is so stunning! I’ve been following for years and it’s been such a hard, but beautiful journey. It’s awesome to see when things work out. This room is oozing with love for precious Arlo! X
ahh! thanks for hanging out with us through the years, Brittany!! Your words today are just.. wow -thank you!!
Lalalalalalala loveeeee Arlo’s nursery. I wouldnt have ever thought to do a colorful room for a fun baby boy. You are so inspiring and creative. Arlo’s blessed to have you.
thank you x 10000000 !!
no im not freaking crying at work over this right now!
ahh! i love this room SO MUCH!!!!
he’s the luckiest little guy ever!
and im so happy that you went COLORFUL vs basic “boy” colors.
i love this!
(come decorate my room now, please!)
all the art!
the book shelves!!!
everything is so perfect!!!
but your reasoning behind this room!
that’s what made me NOT cry.
love this kel. amazing job!
we never stray from the colorful over here! Thanks lady!!
THIS IS SO AMAZING. OH. MY. GOODNESS. This is truly the most beautiful nursery & bedroom I’ve seen. Ever. I AM SO IN LOVE. AHHHH. Seriously, I cannot contain my excitement, it’s so wonderful. It’s so so so inspiring. Arlo is so lucky to grow up in this room, and so incredibly lucky to have you & Jeff (& Bella, ofcourse) as his family. It’s just so stunning. I can’t handle the beauty. And OMG, that latch-hook turned out SO GREAT. So so good. Also, YES to the Instagram stories on the gallery wall. I know I am only 1 of the many followers that lost their mind waiting for this reveal, but it was so worth the wait! JUST SO GOOD. Bravo.
thank you SO MUCH Emily!!! Means the world to me.
Amanda J. says
Holy crap!! This is… awesome! It’s like… out of a story book!!!!
yay!! Glad you love it!
So much fun!! I’ve been waiting for this for so long. I’d definitely watch instagram stories about the gallery wall. (Please do that!)
Quick question: Do you anticipate this continuing to be Arlo’s room as he gets older? Or will it remain a nursery for any furture kiddos?
good question! One that we honestly don’t really know the answer to yet! Our guest room will eventually become a second kids room, but once we have more, we will have to re-evaluate at that time! 🙂
This will probably be his room to grow up in!
Marisa Morrison says
Arlo’s room is incredible, Kelly. I totally completely 100% get why you’re so pumped – I would be too!!!!!! I’m sure you’ve been dreaming about this moment forever, and I’m so happy for you that’s finally here. 🙂 Safe travels in Ohio!! xoxo
thank you so much Marisa!
That bookshelf is the thing of dreams! 😍
ugh it might be my fav thing in the room!
Amazing room, Kelly! Very inspirational. I love something Jeff saud too, about how you took the time to get it right and didn’t try to cut corners or settle. Also very inspirational! Which piece is from Australia?
He wasn’t kidding haha! We have a few items from Australia in the room, actually. Like the neon lucite frames on the gallery wall! They should be linked up in the post!
literally crying my eyes out! I love everything in this space, every inch you can see what love was put into this room by you. Arlo’s nursery just screams love and happiness!
thank you so much, Brittany!! We so appreciate your kind words 🙂
As a color phobic person with a house mostly beige and boring (except for the daring red kitchen cabinet doors) I adore watching you incorporate color in everything. I love Arlo’s nursery.
L O V E ! So beautiful, unique, colorful and a lot going on but doesn’t feel cluttered. It’s very balanced and I know how HARD “looking effortless” actually is. All the thought, planning and work shows, well done!
*Oh and now with that amazing stuffed cactus you don’t have to get a Christmas tree for his room every year because you could just wrap lights around the cactus and put little pins in to hang ornaments from! (even though I know you still will get him a tree because you love Christmas and want to) but just an idea, you could do both! Cactus Christmas trees are A THING you know! 😉
THIS IS AMAZING! #nurserygoals It’s so hard to choose a fave part, but I LOVE the cactus and the gallery wall! My daughter is 8 months old and I’ve been wanting to do a gallery in her room! This is great inspiration!
Random question: How did you hang the family cross-stitch? I don’t see a hook. Thanks!
SO beautiful!! Colorize my room next? 🙂
Also, I would love to see a giant plush cactus tutorial? I think my room might need one, too!
Laura Bogert says
Best nursery ever! My kids had a yellow nursery, so I was so excited to see the yellow door…but then everything else…WOW! My favorite is the rainbow book shelf!!
Aimee Swindall says
LOVE! Definitely inspiring me to add more color to my sons room!
Love everything about this!! Would love to hear the story of all the gallery wall pieces on Instagram.
Ps you should hire an intern to start making latchhook rainbow murals to sell in the shop. It’d be a big hit! 🙌
This room is so amazing! I love following you on Instagram and seeing all the fun colorful things you use. I love color and view black, white, tan, and grey as so boring! I love how you use color and make it so beautiful, I want my room to look like this. I always do everything by rainbow, doesn’t get much better than that!
LOVE all the house renos and everything that comes along with it. I CANNOT WAIT for the kitchen. I love that it leads me down a rabbit hole like ‘maybe I could do a latch hook – but its not what I came for… does that make sense? Its my absolute favourite thing.
This nursery is amazing! Not that I expected anything less…I would love to see stories about each Pierce in the gallery wall!
Merlynn H. Wierzbicki says
I love everything about this! So many pops of color, in a fun way. Will you be sharing how you made his tall cactus? I would love to have one in my bedroom. No one should be too old to have one in their bedroom.
Merlynn H. Wierzbicki
I swear I fall more in love with this room every time I come back to this post. I know you worked so hard on it, and it really shows through. Arlo is a very lucky little boy to have such wonderful parents who have created such a magical, colorful, beautiful space for him to grow up in. I look forward to seeing what you guys come up with for the rest of your home 🙂
Jana Mclean says
I love your use of colour (u becuase I am canadian :)) and having all the walls white, AMAZING. I can’t wait for you DIY Rainbow Latch Hook post. I am totally making it for my boys room!
Obsessed with the cactus. Any tips on how I can recreate on my own? So so cute! Help, I need one now! <3
I am turning a dresser into a changing table as well…I love your changing basket on top. Where is it from?
Nicole Bullock says
This made my day. Are you planning to/can you offer how to’s on making the rainbow wall hanging and the cactus?
Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land says
SMILING MY FACE OFF reading this post… Arlo’s room is BEYOND BEYOND!!! So beautifully colourful and fun, he will have such a blast growing up in this room! SO sweet Kelly, you really did an incredible job! You can feel the love in all the details. That rainbow rug is the cutest ever!! XO
Love your nursery SO much!! You did a beautiful job! Do you mind me asking where the crib sheet is from? It’s perfect! 🙂
This is the happiest and most amazing nursery I’ve ever seen!
Nice Art 🙂
Love this so much! I’m using this as inspiration for a rainbow room for my girls since I wanted it to be bright but not boring. Love love this so much. Any advice on where to find a similar rug? I’m having a hard time finding a bright enough rug. Thanks!
I just wanted to 1. let you know how much of a fan i am of your eye for color. I’ve been following you via instagram since you started. 2. let you know how much I adored your nursery makeover. When I found out I was pregnant September 2020, I instantly pinned the blog article. I’ve looked at it and studied it SO MANY TIMES. If you look at your analytics, I’m the one that keep visiting the page multiple times a day, haha. My house is neutral and boring. I knew I wanted a creative space for my soon to be little girl. I purchased the “I Like you this much pillow” because its so darn cute! And not from the same reseller, but a Mexican heart tassel. I’ve used your gallery wall as my inspo creating my room. I just hope i can get the room together before she arrives in may!