A unicorn bedroom doesn’t have to be a theme. We’re sharing how we incorporated magical elements to give Lucy the unicorn room of her big kid dreams!
The Evolution of Lucy’s Bedroom
Before jumping right into the story of how Lucy’s big kid room came to be, I’m sharing a few links below that show how far this space has come. Her nursery was my very favorite place to be, tied up with emotions and bundled with nostalgia. But I must admit, her big girl room has my whole heart smiling!
The ‘Scary’ Room | Creating a Closet System In a Tiny Room | Pretty In Pink Closet | Lucy’s Nursery | Picking the Perfect Purple | DIY Loft Bed + Ladder
Planning for a Unicorn Room
When we could no longer avoid Lucy’s wishes for a purple bedroom, we took that as an opportunity to dig our heels in, get a little uncomfortable, and make her vision a reality. She was very clear on her design direction – pink and purple and unicorns, please! – with little wiggle room on incorporating elements that she didn’t deem magical. I have no idea where our strong-willed daughter gets it (I say, with a nervous laugh).
When I say that we wanted to get ‘uncomfortable,’ I mean, how do you make purple work? Lucy went through paint chips with us, immediately nixing ones that leaned too gray, too beige. After initially thinking I would gently dip my toe into the purple waters, I realized that my strongest little critic wouldn’t allow for it. And so with a grimace and a leap, we went with purple purple. A pinky-purple at times, a grape-y purple at others, but even I was surprised when the winning color, Valspar’s Mellow Mauve, grew on me.
My favorite challenge, however, was sprinkling just enough magic dust into the room that she could truly call it her unicorn room. I’m not a huge fan of rooms with a theme, but I am a firm believer that any room can portray a mood; any room has the potential to make you feel a certain way. And for Lucy’s big kid room, she wanted it to feel like a whimsical hideaway, complete with soft surfaces to land on and nooks that beg you to cuddle up in them. So with a little help from my biggest helper, I started to pull together a plan.
I asked Lucy, What makes a room unicorn-y to you? You know, aside from unicorns ev-er-y-thing. She answers thoughtfully: Butterflies, rainbows, sparkles. Now, hear me out. There certainly are unicorns – her sheets, for one – but I wanted to help her see the bigger picture.
Throughout the room, I focused on textures and patterns. Glow-in-the-dark bedding, faux fur throws with purple undertones, fuzzy star pillows, bright brass accents disguised as flower sconces(!), and velvet shams in cream and plum.
Lucy’s Gallery Wall
On the wall, we surprised her with a few pieces of unicorn art! The unicorn cut out (framed on white, below) was her favorite art project she completed at school, the paint-by-number was a horse that I painted over, and the family photo is Lucy’s first Halloween dressed as a unicorn. I also sprinkled in the pink skull artwork (it used to be in our kitchen), an embroidered butterfly made by a friend, and a custom pennant – or as she calls it, her pizza slice!
My favorite piece in this cluster is a hand painted letter from People I’ve Loved. (It was a limited edition, so I can’t link the exact listing, apologies!) I waited almost 2 months for it to arrive, and as soon as I opened it up, I shared the words with Lucy. There is nothing I love more than watching her contemplate what others are saying, soaking it up. Afterwards, she didn’t say a word, only ran into my arms and squeezed me hard. It’s kind of amazing, how your heart can continue to explode with love again and again. And again.
About That Pink Closet
On the other side of the room, our pretty in pink closet is still going strong! It hasn’t changed one bit since I last shared it, unless you count the elimination of a changing pad and diaper pail.
Almost all of her clothes fit in the dresser, and most of the baskets you see are still empty! I use them to make small piles of items that she’s outgrown, and once they’re filled up, we pass them along or donate. I like knowing that as she grows older and her needs change, she still has plenty of storage space in this closet.
The Book Nook
We upgraded Lucy’s nursery bookcase to one that was tall, slim and narrow enough to fit in the small space behind her door. This bookcase from IKEA fit the bill (don’t worry, it’s attached to the wall), and I can’t recommend it enough! The taupe color was gorgeous for her space, but it’s available in a few other pretty colors, too.
I filled the bookcase with her books – finally eliminating her baby board books (queue the sad tears) – and fluffed it up with personal photos, her sound machine, glow light and a purple-y potted plant. The gem of this room is a gorgeous antique unicorn jewelry box, found by our friend Hannah while out thrifting. These are the friends you find and never let go of!
If you’re interested in Lucy’s favorite inclusive books, we rounded them up here, or you can find them on her Bookshop.org list right here.
I was so unsure at several points throughout this project. The purple walls terrified me initially, and they’ve somehow become my happy place. The light fixture was tough to get right; after returning the first option, we learned that linear was the way to go. I thought I needed to replace the rug, but after months of slow decorating, I’m happy we could hold onto the one from her nursery. And throughout it all, you cheered us on with encouragement and excitement!
It’s hard to put into words, but your enthusiasm for this project was a huge motivation for me. When in doubt, your messages and ideas (and links to All Things Unicorn, haha) helped me to stay the course and lean into my discomfort. So, thank you, as always, for being a part of this YBH community.
Unicorn Room Sources:
Paint Color + Furniture: Wall color is Valspar Mellow Mauve 1004-7C | DIY loft bed | daybed | bookcase | pouf | dresser (in closet)
Bedding + Textiles: curtains | rug | pom pom duvet covers | faux fur throw + pillow (in chinchilla slate) | unicorn sheets | glow-in-the-dark star sheets | star pillows | plum velvet shams | ivory velvet shams | candlewick shams
Lighting, Art + Accessories: linear ceilling light | bunk sconces | rainbow night light | butterfly sconce | wavy gold frame | rainbow bookend | Alphabodies ‘V’ print | ‘Dear You’ painting | pink skull print | Lucy pennant | ‘Today Is Yours’ print | ultrasound cyanotype print | framed doily | sound machine | echo glow light
I love this room! You and Lucy nailed it. I love the ladder you made and day bed set up seems such a good use of space! Can’t wait to see its evolution as Lucy grows!
Aw, thanks! Lucy is so proud of her space.
It feels sophisticated while still being a child’s room, when it could easily have gone tacky based on the theme. Seems to reflect the overall change that’s happening in your house with the addition of soft colors. It all plays well together.
What a sweet, cozy, lovely space you have created ! Love it!!!!
Beautiful! I’m so happy you went outside your comfort zone. Purple and unicorns scare me, but you nailed it!
They scare me too, but Lucy helped me to learn and love them both!
This would have been my DREAM room when I was a kid, and honestly it still is! My adult bedroom now is similar to this. Gah, this came out so perfect!
Love that! Thank you!
This is so good, Kim! I’m certain you’ve talked about this, but do you have a post on when you did the millwork for her room? I love it!
OHHH YES. We have a whole trim story for you! Hers was the most unique challenge in the whole house, but for good reason.
Beautiful!! Love the ???? theme!
I love the room! A true dream.
What is the height from the floor to the bunk bed?
Thank you! It’s about 5’ to the bottom. Our ceilings are 9.5’ tall.
It looks SO GOOD!!!
Kim!!! Unicorns ???? and rainbows ???? are what almost every little girl wants!!!! You only have so many years to enjoy it, so soak it in! (We currently have a Godzilla/spiderman phase going on…) This is my favorite room you have shown-so much love and personality… enjoy all the memories to come . ❤️
Lynda! Thank you!
Every little nook of this sweet room is so thoughtful and lovely. So well done!!
IT IS SO GOOD! You nailed it! Most importantly, what does Lucy think?
It may have been out of your comfort zone, but the colour, and the little touches all fit your style perfectly!
She’s absolutely obsessed! The moment any visitors arrive she shouts ‘Wanna see my room?!’
It’s just perfect! Lucy is going to have such special memories of creating this magical space with you.
Hi there! Love this room! Is this a toddler/youth bed or a twin? Or a Twin XL? Curious about maybe one day implementing something similar in one of my spaces one day! Thanks–
Thank you! Both are twin Leesa Studio mattresses.
Going a little crazy! Can’t seem to find the source for the gold frame you use for the “dear you” print. Hopefully, still available. Thanks!