the big reveal: ethan's big boy pirate bedroom

Dude, it's finally finished. After months of planning and some pretty intense item-collecting (as in, many things were quite literally fished out of the ocean by my dad), Ethan's big boy bedroom is finally complete! I let Ethan choose any theme he wanted. I wasn't worried about him changing his mind a couple of years down the line -- I think I changed my bedroom theme up yearly growing up. My only thing was that I wanted the furniture to be able to grow with him, so I gave the axe to any consideration of character or themed beds that we'd have to end up replacing in a year or two. Ethan's new furniture arrived on Wednesday and I spent the rest of the week preparing everything. Tonight he goes to sleep in his finally-finished pirate bedroom and I think he loves it, which is a relief.

Ethan also asked for a pirate birthday party this year so after his party in June, I'll have some more similarly colored pennant banners, antiqued netting and other goodies to hang over the closet area to add more color and theme to that side of the room as well. We also haven't gotten around to buying new curtains yet, so the windows aren't finished yet. But, other than those little additions and details, his room is ready to go! I'm not sure what Ethan's deal with pirates is, but he sure loves skulls and crossbones so I had to throw in those at every opportunity. The huge Jolly Roger flag above his bed just might be his favorite thing in the world. I was also able to keep some little sentimental pieces from his nursery which helped keep my hormonal little heart afloat as I swapped out the baby for the big kid.

To see Ethan's original nursery, just click here!

The room:

(Definitely just realized I never pushed the nightstand back next to the bed after plugging in the lamp as I was looking at these photos. I quit! You get the idea.)

The details:

On top of the dresser, I have Ethan's air purifier and one of the distressed floats that my dad fished out of the ocean for me. I also wanted a real vintage globe and my dad surprised us with this one, which was his when he was Ethan's age. It makes it extra special knowing it's not just vintage looking, but it belonged to his Grandpa when he was little, too! You wouldn't believe how much the antiqued floats were selling for, either, so I love that my dad was able to find us some just floating at sea. I also love the magic and mystery behind them: you don't know where they came from, who they belonged to, or any details of their existence. It sort of adds some fun mystery to things! I also have Ethan's framed birth announcement which is leftover from his nursery. I can't believe that was nearly three years ago!

On the lower shelf, I have the framed family portrait of us from when Ethan was a newborn. It's been hanging in his nursery since it was taken. On the other shelf is a painting that my aunt made for Ethan. I topped off each shelf with some tsotchkes that I got down in the Keys -- a pirate ship made of shells and a wooden lighthouse. Also sharing a shelf with our family photo is a ceramic pirate ship that Ethan painted and, on the other shelf, is Ethan's beloved skull Pirate Boy. Pirate Boy definitely spent a good four months going everywhere with our family and Ethan sure was excited to see him again in his new pirate room!

On the back wall are Ethan's name letters. They're the same letters that he had in his nursery only I painted over the original design to match his current bedroom theme. That was nervewracking. I'm not an artist. I've never painted anything in my life. My teenage sister was supposed to paint them for me but bailed on me and I took the plunge -- and have to say they didn't turn out completely bad. I'm sort of proud of them! I had gotten some antiqued fish net to hang on the back wall and hung the letters above it. Also hanging are some more distressed floats that my dad fished out of the ocean for us as well as a small pirate flag that my dad found while on one of his travels (if you couldn't tell, my dad was sort of stoked about the pirate room, too).

On top of Ethan's nightstand is his new pirate lamp (repeat "this is a lamp, not a toy" 5,000 times and welcome to my life!) and a couple of framed pictures from family events we went to at the JCC. Ethan loves these pictures so I wanted to keep them where he could still easily see them. They used to sit on his dresser and he'd ask me to take them down all of the time for him to look at and hold. I also included the little round homemade chalkboard I made to hang on the wall of his nursery. My handwriting is pretty awful, so I decided my writing was a placeholder until my best friend comes into town with her flawless Etsy-worthy writing!

I love the new placement of the Dohmie sound conditioner on top of Ethan's bookcase -- it really helps keep away the noise from the outside windows. The "big floaty thing" (cue my husband, terrified, asking me "what are you doing with that thing?!" as I lugged it down the hallway) is some kind of boat buoy. That's not the technical term. I'm not sure what the technical term is. The point is, I wanted a distressed looking one and, again, my dad came through for me (my husband can't understand my love for all things frayed, old and weather-beaten but even he can't argue with free). I wasn't sure where I would put it at first, but the bookcase ended up being the perfect spot. It holds the video monitor in place perfectly (bonus!) and I just love the way the frayed, worn rope looks (I know, I'm weird). I found these two unique shells at a gift shop in the Keys and saved them for Ethan's room as well. The octopus photo album contains photos from Ethan's birth and first month of life and was in his nursery as well. Next is Ethan's beloved frog, Cohen, who got a new "ship sail" for his tank in honor of the new room. The birth announcement print on the shelf above the bookcase was also in Ethan's nursery and definitely found a place in his big boy room. Also sharing a shelf is another shell from the Keys as well as a little wax dolphin statue he made when we visited the Miami Seaquarium when he was super tiny.

The underwater themed guitar was a gift from my cousin when Ethan was born and has been hanging in his nursery. We moved it to the wall where the changing table used to be, near the windows, and it makes a great addition to the room! Then there's Ethan's new pirate bedding -- and, of course, the gigantic Jolly Roger flag!

Pirate bedding & stuffed octopus: Target
Red shag rug: Target
Pirate lamp: Target
Twin bed: Nova Twin by El Dorado
Nightstand: Nova Kids Nightstand by El Dorado
Bookcase & dresser: Wendy Forever collection by Pali Designs
Shelves: Target
Antiqued fish net and shells: Shell World Key Largo


  1. I love it! I don't think I have seen a theme like this before! Great work on the details!

  2. This looks mad awesome!
    How did you only get on comment!?

    You, my friend - have a mad good eye for indoor decor.
    We're just starting to finally put details together for our nursery, so I am definitely looking to your styling for some inspiration. (THANKS.)

  3. Thanks for the inspiration! I stole your pirate letter idea but made things a little easier for myself, I printed pattern paper and glued it onto the letters :) I only painted the sides of the letters! How did you attach the letters to the fish net? I have not figured out that part...

    Kind regards,

  4. What color did you paint the walls?

  5. Hi!!! I FINALLY the blog this is from!! (I found you on pinterest) did a massive search and I found you!! I'm trying to decide what to do for the remaining 3 walls when we do the pirate ship on the biggest wall. All of your pictures are gone saying update photobucket :( Anyhow, totally love your design! Hope to see the rest of it soon as you can get the pics back up!!


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