Making Your House Work For You: $100 Rainbow Redo


My girl is turning five in a few weeks. Five! sigh. She’s our second and last so I’ve been perfectly content on holding on to the slightly updated nursery for as long as possible. 

I mean how sweet is this room? Her nursery had a “songbird” theme and pretty much the only thing we changed was swapping her crib for a bed and changing table for a dresser. All of that happened really suddenly when I was going through cancer treatment 3 years ago and couldn’t lift her into her crib anymore.

Some other furniture was added as we acquired it but the overall function and look of the room didn’t really change.

It’s important that spaces grow to accommodate the needs of your family and this had grown about as much as it could. 

Knowing that space needed to be rearranged, I decided to jump in head first and redo the whole room. I try to give the kids a say in what their spaces look like (recalled the Obstinate Orange paint conundrum) but still fitting in the overall color scheme of our house (blues and greens). 

She asked for a rainbow room with white walls and I immediately agreed.

It’s just perfect for her.

With the exception of a desk chair, some shelf brackets, and a lot of paint, we reused what we had.

The total cost of the room was around $100, not including paint or painting supplies.

There was admittedly a lot of paint and paint supplies.

Kid's Rainbow Room Makeover

The bed wall is probably my favorite with rainbow confetti raining down.

I cut 1.5″ circles from 631 Oracle vinyl on my Silhouette Cameo. It was a fun project for my daughter to help me with. I used painters tape as a boundary and we went to town.

Rainbow Confetti: Process

The bed was built by my brother and dad over twenty years ago. This is its fifth color scheme. I’ve been saving it for years in the attic to paint it a bright, crazy color…and that day has arrived.

I learned an important painting lesson while working on the bed. Gray primer is necessary for bright colors – which I knew but assumed since the bed was already dark gray it would be fine. Wrong. Above is a picture with one coat over primer on the headboard and footboard and two coats with no primer on the side rail. Huge difference. Do the primer!

Rainbow Confetti WallFunctionally, this arrangement lets her have a bedside lamp that she can turn off herself when she finishes reading and there is a basket under the bed to store her books in. 

The bedspread is from Zulily and is a lightweight quilt easy for washing. 

Walls: Sherwin Williams Extra White in Velvet Finish
Bed Color: Sherwin Williams Exuberant Pink
Confetti: Oracle 631 from The Vinyl Spectrum in Pink, Pastel Orange, Brimstone Yellow, Yellow Green, Pastel Green, Turquoise, Brilliant Blue, Violet
Chevron Lamp: Walmart

Rainbow Shelves

The desk was really the catalyst for the whole room redo. As she soon transitions away from nap time towards quiet time to get ready for kindergarten, I want her to have a space to build/color/tinker in her room. My parents were getting rid of the desk…so one free desk = a whole new room.

The shelves give the wall its rainbow look and are filled with color-coordinated storage bins. Since the desktop will get the most wear, I opted to leave it the original black finish and only paint the legs purple.

I added “shadows” of things she dreams of doing: a microscope, globe, Erlenmeyer flask, a tiara. She has big dreams (right now a “Narwhal scientist” or an ER doctor/Rockette combo) and I can’t wait to add more shapes to reflect her evolving dreams.

Chair: Snille from IKEA
Wall cups: Sunnersta from IKEA
Shelf brackets: Ekby Lerberg from IKEA
Shelf colors: Sherwin Williams Exuberant Pink, Invigorate, Cheerful, Electric Lime, Fountain
Desk color: Sherwin Williams Fully Purple
Colored bins: Dollar Tree

Rainbow Hair Bows

Also in this corner, she has everything to get ready in the morning. Most of her folded, in-season clothes are in the small white dresser, a bookcase for her “shoe store,” hair bow holder, jewelry chest for accessories, and a step stool inside the closet to reach the hanging clothes.

Zinnia Wall Stencil

The accent wall has bright zinnias stenciled in the same colors as the rest of the room. This was the most time-consuming wall, but I love the result. The floral accents the antique dresser while the colors keep it fun.

It’s important to me for this dresser to look at home in the bright room. This dresser was my mother’s growing up and then mine and now my daughter’s. My dad rebuilt the inner structure and refinished it so it will hopefully be used for generations to come.

Stencil: Bloomers Stencil from Royal Design Studio
Paint Colors: Sherwin Williams Exuberant Pink, Invigorate, Cheerful, Electric Lime, Nifty Turquoise, Fountain, Blue Chip, Fully Purple

Rainbow Gallery Frames

Painted frames give the gallery wall a rainbow flair (thanks to Made with Happy for the idea). It is full of special artifacts like her baby picture (purple frame), her baby hat I knitted (teal frame), a picture of her namesake (jade frame), a cross-stitch my grandmother (my daughter’s namesake) made for my nursery (orange frame), a picture of her and her brother – who is also her best friend (aqua frame), and the verse my husband and I chose for her when she was born.

I primed all the frames with gray spray primer and then brushed on the frame colors to match the other room accents. It would have been easier to use spray paint but I already had the other paint colors.

The curtains are a steal from Wayfair. I don’t love the feel of them, but they work in the room. The money and time I saved buying instead of making them I was able to invest elsewhere in the room…like hours of stenciling.

Kid's Rainbow Room Makeover

I loved her old room, but I adore her new room. It is perfectly her – with room for cartwheels. She brings sunshine and rainbows and joy to our family. I can’t wait to see all the ways this room grows with her and who she grows to be.