Thrifted Home Tour: Isobel’s Big Girl Room

Today I am pleased to show you a room that was a long time coming… Isobel’s big girl room! Or, as it’s known around these parts, “Isobel’s Pencil Room.” Did I ever tell you the story about why this room is called “the Pencil Room?” I’ve told the story so many times now that I forgot who I’ve told it to and I’m afraid of sounding like that weird aunt who tells the same story about her dogs over and over. I don’t want to be your weird aunt.  Your weird second cousin, maybe. But not your weird aunt.

As an added treat Etsy seller Miss Eva Diva is giving away one of the stunning brown and white poppy pillowcase covers, just like the one I bought for Isobel’s Jellyfish tent! That particular cover was a hit and I know a few of you purchased it after seeing it in the post because it is just that awesome. Now you not only have a chance to win that gorgeousness for yourself, you will also save 15% off your purchase with a coupon code! Keep reading for more details.

Like the other rooms in our house, we decorated this room on a limited budget of nearly nothing, and just about everything pictured here is second hand or thrifted. If you’d like to see how we did this with the rest of our house, check out the Thrifted Home Tour. Isobel’s toddler bed was a gift from my in-laws, and soon she’ll be upgrading to this gorgeous brass twin bed I scored at a yard sale. The pink plaid blanket was found on Etsy and is soft as a whisper. Although it’s not pictured here, she’s using a lion quilt my aunt made me when I was little to go along with this pink comforter and thrifted yellow, orange, and pink pillow case. Note the vintage unicorn print above the bed. Note the majesty.

Next to her bed is one of the most important elements in the room, and one of my favorite by far: while thrifting in Santa Cruz a few years ago I picked up this gold-tone bamboo faux-bois magazine rack that undoubtedly belonged to an old lady with wicked style. Anthony was rather perplexed, as he often is by some of my finds until I incorporate them into our house. Then it totally makes sense and even if he still doesn’t love them as much as I do he at least appreciates them. I had no idea what we were going to do with this rack until after Isobel was born. It perfectly stores the week’s current favorite bed time stories plus whatever library books she has checked out. We always know where to find them when they come due and it’s easy and convenient to pick a story at bedtime. You’ll notice she doesn’t have any other books in this room, and that’s because aside from these bedtime favorites I store all the family’s books, including Isobel’s, in our family library.

Next to the books we have her mini suitcases, suitable for a night at grandma’s, or, more often, all packed up for her trip to China. I bought the pink floral one on Etsy when I couldn’t find a nice one while thrifting, and the other one came from my dearest friend Jenn. Not only was this suitcase hers as a child, but she used it when the two of us were in band together. It held our piccolos, extra sheet music, tuning devices, and flute cleaning supplies. The memories I have of that Care Bear suitcase… it’s too much. I was honored when she passed it on to Isobel. Needless to say, my Care Bear-obsessed daughter flipped her shit when she saw it.

This bedroom is actually a much smaller room than the nursery, but people tend to think it’s bigger because it’s so much brighter. This was part of our strategy when setting up our house. Babies generally have a lot of accessories. They need a crib and a chair for rocking and generally come with a wide range of paraphernalia that is absolutely essential for a short period of time. The larger room for the nursery makes sense, but the deciding factor was the light. There was no way I wanted to put a baby down for a nap in a room that got this bright.

This chair actually belonged to my mother. My grandparents saved it for my sister and I to use and my parents, in turn, saved it for their grandchildren. I found the chalkboard, the stuffed Care Bears, and the letter sorter while thrifting.

I love the bright colors of the letter sorter–the photo really doesn’t do it justice–and originally thought it’d be a great place to store hair clips. I like it next to the chalk board, though, so I might fill it with chalk or magnets if I can figure out how to magnetize the board (suggestions welcome!). Thanks to Valentine’s day Isobel’s pretty obsessed with letters and mail so we might just end up using it for that, too.

Next to Isobel’s suitcases is a mid century modern solid wood bookcase I picked up for five bucks at a neighbor’s yard sale. As you can see the top is really roughed up but with a little TLC it could look amazing. The sides of the shelf are super cute and are visible here. The embroidery plus everything on top of the shelf, including Care-A-Lot, is thrifted, with the exception of the Irmi lamp, which was in my nursery as a baby.

You might remember the green containers as they match the thrifted compost bin in my kitchen, and the tree house/dollhouse was featured here.

The mirror next to the Jellyfish Tent is one of my favorite finds. I scored it for one dollar at this weird community sale that took place on a duck preserve/hunter’s campground a few miles out of town. I don’t even remember how we heard of it, but we found a lot of fun stuff that day. I had to convince Anthony to get the mirror, though, because it’s so gaudy it’s not exactly our usual style. But I wanted Isobel’s big girl room to have a mirror at her level so that she could admire her dress up experiments and learn to make really great faces. And come on, look at this mirror, I would have died for a mirror like this when I was a little girl. What screams ridiculous to an adult is the height of beauty to a small child. (Plus, I still think it’s pretty great). In the end, it was a dollar. How could he refuse?

And now I’d like to direct your attention to the awesome and amazing pillows inside the Jellyfish Tent and the adorable pillows. It’s still a favorite spot for reading, having a tea party, or cat-wrastlin’.

Next to the Jellyfish Tent is Isobel’s play kitchen set, which is not secondhand nor thrifted, but we did have gift cards with money on them left over for Toys ‘R Us so we bought this outrageously expensive set. We haven’t bought Isobel very many toys that weren’t dirt cheap, and she does play with this every day, so I consider the purchase justified. I do feel it could stand a makeover, though, so I’m collecting a few DIY ideas that I think are within my ability to spruce it up. I am also mollified by its lack of thriftiness by the fact that she plays with her Thrifted Kitchen toys with it exclusively. The mama and baby unicorn print above the kitchen was two dollars at a church sale.

Next to the kitchen is the blue shelf I bought at a yard sale for Isobel’s nursery, and its filled with secondhand toys I’ve collected. For storage I used an old bicycle basket, two plastic buckets from the grocery store, thrifted tins of various sizes, and cheap photo storage boxes from the craft store.

On top of the shelf we have more Care Bears, unicorns, and suitcases. I guess that’s sort of the theme that evolved. Huh.

I know I have a reputation for keeping a tidy, organized home, and this is due partly to me being a librarian and partly to my obsession for order, but please don’t think for a minute that this is the usual state of things. I tried to make everything accessible to her so she could mess the entire room up more quickly and efficiently. Yay, Montessori!

Less than five minutes after taking these photos, Little Miss Bee Back Pack (or “pack-pack”, as she calls it) came in and put everything back the way it goes:

It usually looks worse. Trust me.

And now! onto the good stuff:

Miss Eva Diva’s Pillow Cover Giveaway and Little Big Reader

Discount Code!

To win one of Miss Eva Diva’s gorgeous brown poppy pillow covers, please note the following:

Mandatory Entry:

1. You must visit Miss Eva Diva’s shop and tell me your favorite pillow cover here in the comments.

After that, for additional entries, you may:

2. Tweet the following message exactly:

“I entered @exlibris’ pillow cover giveaway at because I am just that awesome.”

Please leave a comment here saying you did so.

3. Like Miss Eva Diva’s shop on Facebook, and leave a comment here saying you did so.

A winner will be selected Friday morning, March 9, and will be announced at the beginning of the Follow Friday post. The sale will run until March 16, so if you didn’t win you can still score yourself a gorgeous pillow cover at 15% off! Use reader code LITTLEBIG at checkout.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Diana Leilani says

    I LOVE her Bee back pack. I was just surfing around last night looking at toddler back packs and book marked that exact one!

  2. Erin says

    What a great room. I adore the suitcase for her “China” travels. I am in the midst of preparing Jules’ room for full on crawling about mode. We too have furnished all on a shoe string. Hope she likes her future rooms as much as Isobel’s enjoys hers.

  3. says

    What an adorable room! In order to magnetize the chalkboard, you can paint it with magnetic primer & then chalkboard paint again. In which case you can pick a pretty color for the chalkboard! 

  4. Heidi says

    There is magnetic paint. You can paint a couple of coats on the chalkboard, then cover it with a coat of chalkboard paint, so it will be both magnetic and a chalkboard. :-)

  5. says

    Good day! I simply want to give a huge thumbs up for the nice information you have right here on this post. I will be coming back to your weblog for extra soon. we are always seeking for fun activities to do. Nice stuff, simply great! I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you weblog post. Thanks again!
    Young recently posted..hopes are highMy Profile

  6. says

    Wow! Her room is adorable! That is one of the cutest kid-kitchens I have ever seen. Our little Linden calls his back pack his “pack pack” too. Adorable. We even catch ourselves referring to our back packs and bags as pack packs!
    Hockey Wife (@HockeyWife_22) recently posted..You can play.My Profile

  7. says

    Hey, I reckon it might be the feel, the smell, the places it takes you to in your mind. Reading a great best seller is like visiting with a fascinating friend. The time flashes by, but the memories will last forever!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge