Penguin books themed nursery

Way back at the start of 2010, before the birth of this blog and when we were still living in a Victorian terrace in south east London, I posted about the twins’ nursery on Young & Younger. I recently had to dig out the photographs for a work project, and thought that they could do with an airing on Growing Spaces. The nursery was decorated around the colours and timeless designs of Penguin Classic books, to create a bright and fun space for a boy and a girl to share.

penguin books tea towels

penguin books nursery

penguin books tea towels

framed penguin book

yellow wooden letter

We didn’t have much money left after renovating the rest of the house so the nursery had to be decorated on a budget. Instead of replastering all the walls, we used thick lining paper and painted the walls a very light grey, and the floorboards were painted white to maximise light. Despite being generally averse to colour in those days, I knew I wanted the nursery to be full of bright shades, so I used colours inspired by the Penguin classics series – orange, purple, green and blue.

I fell in love with some Penguin books canvasses but they were far too expensive, so we made artwork ourselves by stretching Penguin books tea towels over wooden frames, fixing them with staples on the back. My mother-in-law is very handy with a sewing machine, and she used more tea towels to make matching cushion covers. She also knitted the twins a blanket each in the nursery’s colours.

When we moved to our current home, we used all the same pieces in the twins’ new bedroom (apart from the cushions which are now on our living room sofa), so the Penguin books theme lives on. And when the room finally needs an update, I’ll be pinching that artwork for elsewhere in the house, as I’ve been coveting it since the nursery was finished!

(If you want to see a rather rambling video tour of the nursery – the first video blog I ever posted – click here).



  1. May 21, 2013 / 10:05 am

    Wow I really love this room. The idea of stretching tea towels is ingenious. I am certainly going to give that a go when we move house.

    Do you have any idea of room dimensions, it seems pretty spacious even with the two cotbeds!? Im amazed!

    • Heather
      May 22, 2013 / 10:10 am

      Thanks Jenni. I reckon dimensions-wise it was probably about 3m x 2.5m so not huge. The photos are a bit misleading – you get more of an idea from the video I think.

  2. May 21, 2013 / 2:25 pm

    Yet again, I find myself instantly impressed by your great taste! Love this as a nursery theme – so original, bright, non-fussy and unisex. Also loving the mixture of modern and vintage. Gorgeous.

    • Heather
      May 22, 2013 / 10:07 am

      Thanks Molly! I do really miss this room.

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