Skip the Pastels, Please: Peep This Bright, Rainbow Nursery

Studio DIY's Jeff and Kelly Mindell created this bright, happy space filled with a rainbow of colors. Get the story behind their bold makeover and their tips for pastel-weary parents-to-be.

Kelly Mindell plays with son Arlo in their Los Angeles home.

Photo by: Jeff Mindell Photography

Jeff Mindell Photography

Kelly Mindell plays with son Arlo in their Los Angeles home.

By: Liz Gray

If you've seen Studio DIY blogger Kelly Mindell's colorful Instagram account, you'll know she's a fan of saturated colors, rainbows and just generally fun DIYs and decor. So it's no surprise that when she and husband Jeff purchased a 1938 fixer-upper in Los Angeles, they weren't planning to play it safe color-wise. Exhibit A: Their son Arlo's nursery.

Photo by: Jeff Mindell Photography

Jeff Mindell Photography

From the bright yellow door to the rug to the wall decor, every detail of this room packs a colorful punch. The room told a different story on move-in day, though. Peach walls and slate-blue trim gave it a dated feel, but the room's good bones — beautiful hardwood floors and a built-in display ledge — meant that a coat of bright white paint totally transformed this space.

BEFORE

Jeff Mindell Photography

AFTER

Jeff Mindell Photography

Photo By: Jeff Mindell Photography

Photo By: Jeff Mindell Photography

Once the walls were done, bright accessories, including a vibrant gallery wall, brought this space to life. 

Photo by: Jeff Mindell Photography

Jeff Mindell Photography

So, how did they make it all magically fit? "We had a ton of pieces to choose from so laying out the grid on the floor really helped us before committing to a permanent placement on the wall," Kelly says. Jeff, who is a photographer by trade, "has a really great eye for symmetry and balance...so he helped make made everything fit." 

Photo by: Jeff Mindell Photography

Jeff Mindell Photography

The couple wanted a balance of photography and abstract art. They also added pieces of varying depths and textures, like a pompom-rimmed mirror and a neon sign alongside traditional framed pieces, to create even more interest. 

An oversized rainbow latch hook hangs behind the crib and was a DIY labor of love for Kelly. 

Photo by: Jeff Mindell Photography

Jeff Mindell Photography

"It took Kelly about 7 months to complete the piece from a vision that she had in her head," Jeff says. "It holds significant meaning to our family and even when she was exhausted at the end of many work days, she sat and would latch hook for hours into the night. It's now something that Arlo can look up at and enjoy for years to come!"

Photo by: Jeff Mindell Photography

Jeff Mindell Photography

Kelly also created an oversized, plush cactus for the space — much more toddler-friendly than the real thing!

Photo by: Jeff Mindell Photography

Jeff Mindell Photography


A set of rainbow shelves sort Arlo's books by color as a functional and bright focal point. "We definitely wanted to have a bold and colorful space that would stimulate Arlo creatively as he grows up, and I think we achieved that," Jeff says. 

Photo by: Jeff Mindell Photography

Jeff Mindell Photography

The couple worked with a design team from The Land of Nod to bring their vision to life and ensure the bright colors were vibrant but not overwhelming, so don't be afraid to bring in design backup. Another trick from Kelly: Balance brights with neutral pieces, like rattan trays and baskets, shag rugs or even wall decor. She also kept the room's furniture pieces and curtains bright white, allowing the more colorful elements room to shine. 

Photo by: Jeff Mindell Photography

Jeff Mindell Photography

For those considering going bold, the Mindells say: Just do it! "Don't be afraid to break from the norm and just go for it," Jeff says. "You'll spend just as much time in this room as your baby does so if you're one for bright colors, you might as well enjoy the space!"

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