Thursday, September 24, 2020

Our Rainbow Unicorn Bedroom Makeover

Ahh, I love room reveals, don't you?

So let's get right to it:

We did this Princess Elena room for our friends back in 2018, but little Ellie was ready for a new theme. Her favorite thing now is UNICORNS, so I was happy to go all-in.

And here it is finished!

::trumpet fanfare::

We kept the existing wall paint since it's only a few years old, and just covered up the flowers we painted last time:

On to newer and more rainbow-y things.

We used the new bedspread as a color guide, and bought sample-sizes of these three colors for the rainbow:

This toy elephant seemed to approve:

Here's the view from the door:

Ellie asked us to move her bed this way, because she likes sleeping against the wall. Her parents weren't a fan at first, but I think we made it work - and now I like it better than before!

Since Ellie never used her nightstand - except as a place for her bedside lamp to read by - we slid that into the closet and installed a wall lamp over the headboard instead:

I love how well the wall decals match the bedspread. Those two items are what I based the rest of the room around.

Ellie loves to read, and as we were getting started she mentioned how much she wished she had a little place to "crawl inside and read." You should have seen my eyes light up. "We can do that." :D

Which is how we ended up with her sweet little reading canopy:

It looks so magical at night, too.  Hang on, I'll show you in a minute.

Major shout-out to John for bringing this rainbow to life. The clouds were all his idea (they're foam board stuck up with poster tack!), plus he photoshopped the whole thing together to help me visualize where the stars & name should go.

(Fun/annoying fact about me: I can't visualize at all. Mostly I can't picture things in 3D, but even 2D can give me trouble. I think the Spatial Reasoning part of my brain just got left out. It makes building and decorating so, SO hard, but I love both and I'm stubborn, so I keep trying. Fortunately John's gotten really good at both being patient with my blank stares and also drawing things out in Photoshop, ha.)

Anyhoo, I bet you're ready to see the other side of the room now.

Here, we'll pivot together:

[Ross voice] "PIVOOOOT!"


You know how much I dislike spending money, so everything on this side is done with things Ellie already had. That's her old bedside lamp, and we re-used the sparkly tulle that used to frame her headboard to make her mirror EXTRA glam:

These are floral picks from Joann's: I bent the wires into a U shape to act as a curtain tie-back, then attached with 2 thumbtacks.

The sparkly wings are from an old pegasus Halloween costume I found in Ellie's closet. I'm telling you, when decorating a kids' room, check their closets. From toys to costumes, they have so many fun things in there you can use!

There's a lesson here for us adults, too: why not hang the clothes/jewelry/bags you love like art? It's more personal, starts better conversations, and best of all: it'll make you happy.

Ellie's dress-up ears are perched on 2 thumbtacks, not attached, so they can easily be taken down when she wants to wear them.

Again, all things she already had - including the coat rack.

If I back up with a panorama you can see the last feature we added:

Ellie didn't have any toy storage that she could access herself, so I wanted to add some now that she's old enough to pick up on her own.

If you saw my last post then you already know alllll about these. (Or if you missed it, click here!) Her mom reports Ellie is happily using the bins, so hopefully that means there are less toys on the floor.

We bought unicorn art for all the walls, but at the last minute Ellie told us she wanted to keep her old baby photos up, too.

No problem; I just gathered all the photos together into a little gallery wall:

I'm a little partial to that top photo anyway, since I'm the one who took it. :P

We even kept Ellie's original name letters, which John and I first installed over her crib! (I tried to find a nursery photo, but apparently I only posted the cherry blossom mural and butterfly mobile we made for it. The mural is just OK, but I still think the mobile is one of the prettiest things I've ever made.) It's interesting - and very relatable - to see how Ellie is attached to these things she's known all her life.

The last thing to show you are the fun lights around the room:

The one new thing on this side is the unicorn nightlight, which comes with a remote so you can change the color or have it rotate through them all:

I've been told Ellie loves going to sleep with this on!

Then we added a string of LED lights in the reading canopy, which is just magical in low light:


And that's the finished rainbow unicorn room!

The total cost for this makeover, which included the bedding, curtains, canopy, wall decals, lamp, color-changing nightlight, and even the unicorn book on the wall & stuffed animal on the bed, was about $150, all purchased from Amazon. The only extras were the paints for the rainbow and the vinyl name & stars we cut with our Cricut. I spent a lot of time finding everything, so I'm really pleased with how well it goes together!

I also put everything in a new List on my Amazon storefront for you, in case you'd like to browse. It includes everything we purchased, plus a few extras we didn't, but that would work well in the space. (The bedding keeps changing prices, but at the time we got it, it was about $35. And note that it only comes with one pillow sham, not two.)

I hope this was the rainbow you needed today, and reminds you to display the things you love, no matter HOW young, old, or weird you are. :p



  1. It is lovely. The reading canopy ... Oh, how I would have loved that. What a special place you've made!

  2. Such an awesomely magical and inexpensive makeover! LOVE those planter bins!! Genius!

  3. I think the bed against the wall is a nice balance with the dresser against the opposite wall. Lovely room! ~LST

  4. What paint do you guys use? because I assume you aren't expecting that giant flower to reappear any time soon. I did some stencils on my bedroom wall when I was a teen, the rooms been painted twice since and each time I've sanded and sealed before repainting, yet they keep making their way through.

    1. I had to ask John on this one: he says that's not uncommon with stencils, since the pigments they used back then gets reactivated by the successive layers of paint, and floats to the top. So the next time you go to paint over those sections, get either some Bin or any NON-water-based primer. That'll finally seal & cover it for good.

  5. WOW. I'm speechless! Except to say that I wish you guys could come to my house and make something like this for me (I'm 52, but still).

  6. Aphantasia - "no imagination" is the greek, but really this is struggling to visualise things - and is a thing & you can have it at varying degrees. I have friends with varying levels :)

    The room, and the reading nook, is lovely and as a 53 year old woman I kind want one!

    1. Oh wow, thx for the link, I'm fascinated to know it has a name!

    2. I had no idea it had a name. I definitely related to what you said Jen!

  7. Not being able to picture things in your mind is called aphantasia. My husband sent me a link talking about it, thrilled that he could put a word to what he experiences. It's really changed how we talk to each other about anything that isn't right in front of us. It helped me be much more patient.

  8. Really interested in any tips you've got for painting the rainbow stripes. Seriously considering doing this but worried I'll make a mess.

    1. The trick is all in the tape! Get yourself some good quality blue painters' tape, and you can make a nice gentle arc with it just like ours. Then before you paint, press down the tape edges as firmly as you can with your fingers. If you have a relatively smooth wall, your lines will be just about perfect. The bumpier the wall, the more touch-up you may have to do after.

      Oh, one other tip: you can buy sample size paints at Home Depot & Lowe's for about $3, which usually cover MUCH better than craft paint, have a better sheen, AND they'll custom color-match them for you. Highly recommend for rainbows.

  9. that's amazing, I would have loved this as a child. Hell, I'd still love it now. Those curtains are almost exactly what I've been looking for my lounge, shame shipping to the UK is so expensive. Still it gives me hope that what I want does exist

  10. What a lucky girl she is You guys are amazing!!!!

  11. You two are amazing...and Ellie is a very very lucky girl.

  12. That is fantastic! What a magical room. <3 Ellie is a lucky little girl.

  13. It's so cool that you guys have been responsible for Ellie's room makeovers since before she was even born! I really hope that no matter how many years go by that the two of you have some hand in her future rooms as well. What a great way to build some lasting memories for a kid, guaranteed she'll be telling stories about her awesome childhood room (And if in the future she has kids herself, I'm sure she'll be inspired to give them awesome rooms too)

  14. Gorgeous! Also, thank you for the Amazon link, because I am totally buying that unicorn nightlight...for myself! ��

  15. How did you get such perfect curves on the rainbow?!

    1. That's from the painter's tape: it can curve a little! John measured & marked several spots along the arc, then used the tape to make a smooth curve between them all.

  16. Yay! I've been looking to do a little rainbow over my daughter's bed. It gets so gross over there and the paint is off-white so it shows everything. I remember when I was in college I used to re-paint empty apartments and could always tell a kids room by the layer of slime on the wall. :) Now my own kid has it. It cracks me up. But rainbows are dreamy and happy and always the solution to everything.

  17. Late to the party, but thank you for linking that wall lamp! I've been looking for something like that for years, but I guess I didn't know the right search words to use.


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