Calvin's Room The Victorian House

The Nursery, as a Clean Slate

I had been considering a few colors, but I decided to go with white walls for Calvin’s nursery. It just felt right.

Calvin's Nursery / Former Second Kitchen

It’s creamier than the stark white that’s so prevalent today, but it works nicely with all of the wood. (The color is Crisp Linen White, by Glidden.) Without white trim to contribute to a light airy feeling, white paint that was too bright would have fought with the woodwork and made the room feel cold.

Calvin's Nursery / Former Second Kitchen

Before and after time!

This is the best angle to look at the room from, to understand the changes to the hallway and relocation of the doorway. The sink is gone, and you no longer have to walk through this portion of the house to get from the front to the back.

Second Floor Kitchen
Calvin's Nursery / Former Second Kitchen

Our Victorian was originally a single-family home, but it had been converted to apartments long ago (sometime around the Great Depression, I believe. We have some old paperwork and census information that I ought to write about!). Getting rid of this kitchen and turning it back into a bedroom is in line with how the house was originally designed.

Second Floor Kitchen
Calvin's Nursery / Former Second Kitchen

The radiator was not moved, but we did get rid of each of those three doorways you see here. We relocated one of them to a new wall that was built and reused the door and trim.

Second Floor Kitchen
Calvin's Nursery / Former Second Kitchen

I’m not in love with the cabinetry, but it is staying and will function as a closet, dresser, and additional storage space.

Second Floor Kitchen
Calvin's Nursery / Former Second Kitchen

Now that the new room has been painted, I can finally get started on the fun stuff!

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  • Stef
    January 26, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    I can’t imagine not being in love with that cabinetry! I think its magnificent! Over the years, hopefully you guys will grow to love it. In the meantime, the room has already come a long way.

    • Making it Lovely
      January 26, 2015 at 2:19 pm

      Lots of other people are in love with it! I appreciate it, but I don’t love it if I’m being honest.

    • Marcee ... ILLINOIS
      January 28, 2015 at 11:10 am

      Ditto Stef. Golly …. totally adore your cabinets Nicole. So very lovely, handy. Will be super spaces for Calvin’s clothing. The storage is amazing. Toys, books …. all those extras!

  • HollYo
    January 26, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    a beautiful blank canvas! Excited to see what you do with it.

  • Patrice
    January 26, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    I can’t wait to see what you come up with. Exciting!!!!

  • Laura
    January 26, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    You may like the cabinetry better after the room is decorated and you have used the space. I love built-ins. Such an efficient use of space.

    • Making it Lovely
      January 26, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      I think the wood will be softened once everything else is in the room, and I do love the storage.

  • Brandy
    January 26, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    That cabinet wall is amazing! That would have sold me on the entire house. Looks so so good! Can’t wait to see the final product + baby!

    • Making it Lovely
      January 26, 2015 at 2:21 pm

      Well, the baby is here! Calvin is three months old (and he sleeps in our room).

  • Jessica Martinez
    January 26, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    I noticed on the wall adjacent to your new door there is a decorative wood piece running along on the corner. What is this? I have one in my 1909 craftsman and always wondered what it was.

    • sarah
      January 26, 2015 at 1:45 pm

      I think they are corner guards. They predate drywall and the metal “L” on corners that is spackled over.

    • Making it Lovely
      January 26, 2015 at 2:18 pm

      Yep, corner guards. I’ve also seen them called corner beads. They protect the plaster, and although that is a new corner (and therefore drywall), we used it for consistency’s sake because all of the other corners in the house have their original guards.

  • Katie
    January 26, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    i am envious of those build ins! I think they would be great to store all that baby crap I don’t like having about. I also think I would like a sink in my nurseryalthough probably only while the baby is small. Can’t wait to see the finish.

    • Making it Lovely
      January 26, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      Oh, they’re fantastic for storing baby supplies and the big, garish plastic toys that Calvin’s too young for right now. All behind closed doors!

  • Glenda
    January 26, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Love the cabinetry for tons of storage. Can’t wait to see the finished room!

  • sophie
    January 26, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Amazing. It looks like such a warm and inviting room. The colour you have chosen really suits yhe wood. Well done!

  • Kara
    January 26, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    It looks fantastic! I’d love to see the hall.

    • Making it Lovely
      January 26, 2015 at 2:23 pm

      There’s a bunch of stuff in the hall, waiting to be put into the nursery, but I’ll take some final ‘after’ shots of the hall to share soon.

  • Antonia
    January 26, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    This looks great! What an amazing transformation.

  • Victoria
    January 26, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    I love the cabinetry but I have to say, I’m dying to paint it! It feels like an awful lot of wood for one room.

    • Marcee ... ILLINOIS
      January 28, 2015 at 11:12 am


  • Em
    January 26, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    I think the built-ins are great for the nursery. The counter under the window creates the perfect built-in changing table!

  • Kristen
    January 26, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    I think the cabinets are beautiful, but I completely understand your sentiment – they take up an ENTIRE wall and leave little room to get as creative as you’d probably want to get. With that said, you may learn to love those cabinets simply because you will be able to hide all the baby stuff that will otherwise take over the house! And you pretty much have a built-in change table that you will one day be able to transform into an awesome window seat/reading nook. Despite its challenges, it’s a great room to grow in to – and you’ll make it look fabulous! Can’t wait to see the results.

  • Julie
    January 26, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    Such beautiful millwork–we really don’t build houses with such craftsmanship anymore. I can understand not loving it though, it is a little heavy for a nursery. Love the white too! I think more people should embrace white walls, it’s such a good backdrop that lets you go a little crazier with color and patterns in the furniture & accessories (and they are easier than paint to switch out when you get tired of them).

  • judy
    January 26, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    I love that cabinetry! I think because it will be the room of a boy growing into a man. With the regimentation of that cabinetry he will wind up an Engineer or if you supply some beakers and a microscope perhaps a Scientist. It somehow says Laboratory or library to me but in a handsome way.

  • Bethany
    January 27, 2015 at 10:49 am

    If this were my room to decorate the next things I would do would be paint the radiator (matte black) and upgrade the light fixture.

  • Alexis
    January 27, 2015 at 11:08 am

    I’m on team cabinetry all the way, but curious if you thought of painting everything (walls, trim, woodwork). Looking forward to finished pictures.

  • Jen
    January 27, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    I think your changes to the room have improved it a lot, and made it into a really nice space for a baby’s room.

  • Christine@DecorumDIYer
    January 27, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    It looks lovely and I am happy that you choose what feels right to you. That said, I was getting excited at the notion of that gorgeous dark green you threw out there as a possibility. Oh well, maybe another room? As for the cabinetry – I’m jealous. :D

    • Christine@DecorumDIYer
      January 28, 2015 at 8:04 am

      Whoops! “Chose”, not choose. Sorry, my finger are faster than my brain sometimes. I really do try to proofread these things. My apologies.

  • Cari
    January 28, 2015 at 10:47 am

    I love that room. It is absolutely perfect for a nursery. I know that it is weird, but I might have kept the sink too. That is handy in a nursery and then Mama would have her sights on the room for a studio later. I can’t wait to see what you do with it. Having so much space to conceal unsightly items is such a blessing.

  • Heather
    January 30, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    I also love the cabinetry, and I think the natural wood and creamy walls are going to be the perfect canvas for you to do some of your amazing combinations of prints and colors on the floor, linens, and on the walls. I’m especially looking forward to what you’ll put in the cabinet with the glass doors. I think this is going to be your best nursery, yet, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out. Already such a phenomenal transformation!

  • Calvin’s Nursery | Making it Lovely
    February 11, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    […] The nursery was once a kitchen, from when our house had been split up into apartments. When we first started converting the space back into a bedroom, I was a little worried that the cabinetry would still feel kitchen-like, but now I’m so glad we kept them! I haven’t chosen shades yet for the windows, and I may make or buy a garland to hang over them, but even without those elements the built-ins add a lot of charm to the room. […]

  • A Look Back at 2015 | Making it Lovely
    December 22, 2015 at 11:50 am

    […] earlier this year when he was just a couple of months old. It took a while because we had to knock down walls and reconfigure the hallway to turn the second floor’s former kitchen into a bedroom. Doors were moved, plumbing was […]