This past month and a half since we were matched with Nova have been so FULL of projects. I felt myself go into overdrive so quickly. There’s something so motivating (in the best possible way) about knowing everything is about to change! Our playroom was already more than half complete, but as soon as we found out we’ll be home soon with a kiddo, it had to be finished immediately!

A little back story on this room … we purchased a home with space for multiple kiddos, intending to stay here a long time and start our family here. After we set up Nova’s nursery, our social worker told us it might be better to limit the number of toys and distractions in her sleeping space. We had another bedroom next door set aside for our second child, so we decided to make it into a playroom. I’m so glad we did because it’s a delightful space and I absolutely hate the feeling of having “wasted” rooms that we aren’t using with piles of “stuff”.

A few months ago when my parents came to visit for a long weekend (and this room was still in “piles of stuff” status), my mom insisted we set up the playroom right then. We drove around town looking for the perfect art table and talking about books and games and art projects. It was a really sweet bonding time with my mom and I’m so glad she pushed me to get this room started.

But first, a couple “before” photos!

Here are a few photos from the day we closed on the house. As you can see, it’s come a long way! The window seat was a high point for me. I remember noticing it when we toured the house for the first time. Since this bedroom (along with the one we used for our nursery) is closest to the master bedroom, we always assumed they’d make good kiddo bedrooms.

First things first, I knew we needed a space for art projects! Making art projects with my mom pretty much sums up 90% of my childhood memories and it’s something I can’t wait to share with Nova!

Collin built custom shelves for me. I ordered these clear plastic jars from Amazon to fill the shelves with. They are about the size of a large peanut butter jar. In the lower part of the shelf we added storage for paint brushes and markers.

I found the table at Target as well as the white chairs.

I reserved this wall for our kiddo art collection. I purchased some of these gold clips and I am planning to fill this wall up season by season.

The cactus mobile was a gift from my friend, Rosie. It’s SO CUTE and special.

The rainbow fiber art is by Mandi Smethells Hills on Etsy. The chalkboard easel (it has a dry erase board on the back) is from Ikea.

Currently, I am prepping some holiday craft ideas. Since we will (likely) be arriving home not long before the holidays, we may not be ready to travel to see family this year. It’s already weighing on me a bit. We won’t have to make that choice until we’re home and we can decide what’s best for Nova, but at the moment I am coping by preparing so many craft projects for her and I to do together. It warms my heart!

I have always loved to keep journals! Jeremy … not so much. We’ve had so many journals through the years where I wrote in them 10x more than him … haha! So when I found this cool giant journal (we bought it years back at a local shop when we were traveling), I thought it would be perfect for to me document memories with Nova (and hopefully more kiddos on the way). I would LOVE to have something like this from my childhood. It’s kind of a random little thing, but could be magical!

Over here is our reading sofa. The pink velvet sofa is from Article. The vintage rug is from Apple + Oak in Nashville.

When I was in the middle of working on this room, my friend Karla came over and she encouraged me to add a comfy sofa and a place to read. I loved this idea … books are definitely my favorite thing to collect for Nova so far!

These two plush are made by Kelsey Davis Design on Etsy. You have to see her sloth design—it’s so cute! The llamazebra, bear, bunnyunicorn, and swan are from Target.

The wallpaper is from Juju papers (same as my entryway—I actually had enough left over for just one wall, so I used it here!).

The shelves are full of thoughtful gifts and special toys we’ve collected over the past 16 months since we started the adoption process.

Toy sources: Wooden rainbow/Grimm’s, Watermelon stacking toy/Sunshine and Pine, Lip Phone/Amazon (in red and in pink), Xylophone toy/Amazon, Flora The Flamingo Book, Child’s vintage basket/Boheme Vintage, Plush Car/Oeuf, Eyelash Basket/Indego Africa, 8-inch disco ball/Amazon.

This print from Roxy Marj was something I purchased forever ago when becoming a mom was still a far off dream to me. I love this quote!

I have a huge weakness for all things dinosaur. I hope Nova loves them as much as I do! These are from Sun and Stars co.

I got the cutest light fixture and ceiling medallion for our space from Lucent Lightshop.

This macrame planter is from a fellow Elsie—Elsie Goodwin, who owns Reform Fibers.

I will share more about the custom bench cushion I made soon. It was super easy to make!

Thanks so much for reading! I feel so lucky to be so close to become a mom, to have the opportunity to make these beautiful rooms for our little gal and to have you to share them with! I really do not take any of this for granted. This is the happiest time in my life! xx – Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop Presets.