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Charlie’s (big kid) Room Styled to Sell + Get The Look



Charlie’s room is now a big kids room. And I am now a puddle of ‘mom’. We are moved out of that house, but I am still writing the content, memories flooding in of how wonderful those years were with that wallpaper. Charlie misses it and it motivates me to make his room in our new house super special, too. If you are on the fence about having a really fun wallpaper for your kids and are worried that it will be too stimulating, I’m here to say it’s not and that they love it. Even kids know when something is special.

For selling we styled this room more for a big kid since we needed to bring the crib over to our new house. Plus we were doing this bedding series with Target that would look so much better on a daybed than a crib, obviously, so we switched things up and man it looks good.


Everything is from the Pillowfort collection from Target. It’s just so gosh darn cute. We put in a daybed to help the room look bigger than a twin bed would have.


If only their toys really looked like that for more than 90 seconds after a shoot. Those little animals can really ruin a room pretty darn quickly.

Emily Henderson_Kids Room_Budget Friendly_Target_Bright_Happy_Clean_Modern_Charlies Room_4

The video gives the best styling tips, better than I could (even though I did it). Plus I was wrangling four kids tonight, making them a dope fort, which took 45 minutes, for them to spend approximately 6 minutes max inside, pretending that they barely liked it. It’s fine because look how pulled together this room is.

On the other side of the room we took the more real estate photo – pulled back and informational.

Emily Henderson_Kids Room_Budget Friendly_Target_Bright_Happy_Clean_Modern_Charlies Room_1

I love that little babyletto dresser from Target and can you believe that ladder is from there? I could use a blanket ladder in every room. It’s like a good pair of underwear – solves problems without adding bulk. When you start making underwear analogies you may need to just pull the covers over your tired head and call it a night.

Emily Henderson_Kids Room_Budget Friendly_Target_Bright_Happy_Clean_Modern_Charlies Room_3

It’s a pretty darn great room. That wallpaper made the rest of the room so easy to design. It had enough negative space that it still felt so bright and happy even though it was a bold paper.

Here’s how you can get that look:

Emily Henderson_Home_Charlies Room_Gender Neutral_Pillowfort_Target_Get the Look_3

1. Animal Wallpaper | 2. Dresser | 3. Gold Round Lamp | 4. Blue Dash Pillow | 5. Yellow Stripe Tassel Pillow | 6. Multi Color Tassel Pillow | 7. Yellow Striped Pillow | 8. Coral Fringe Pillow | 9. Panda Face Pillow | 10. Circle Knot Pillow | 11. Jane Denton Art | 12. Tassel Canopy | 13. Daybed | 14. Peach Pouf | 15. Rug | 16. Turquoise Sham Set | 17. Pom Pom Comforter Set | 18. Yellow Cactus Sheet Set | 19. Pink Throw | 20. Brass Table Lamp | 21. Blue Throw | 22. Wood Ladder | 23. Pink Swiss Cross Throw 24. Striped Fabric Bin | 25. Polar Bear Rocker | 26. Unicorn Toy | 27. Wooden Robot Toy | 28. Small Bookcase | 29. Pink Flaming Toy

Now the real question is – how am I going to make Charlie’s room 2.0 better than this one?

***Photos by Tessa Neustadt

Fin Mark


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I wish these posts had a bit more depth, like maybe insight from a realtor? Kinda feels like a big ol’ Target ad as it is. I know even slightly negative thoughts feel like too much right now, but I’m a daily reader and I’ve been thinking it since this series started.


i have to agree. although i don’t necessarily need realtor insight for charlie’s room, i think the pillowfort stuff looks really cheap with that high-end wallpaper, rug, etc. maybe it’s just because i know how amazing the room used to look? i like it when the target stuff is randomly placed and well thought out (like your collaboration with them used to be) opposed to the whole post being about it and not calling it an ad. i do LOVE any posts about the old house though so keep em coming!


completely disagree about it looking cheap. i work in sales in a high-end furniture showroom and am around expensive furniture all day, and while certain things are worth splurging on, everything doesn’t need to be expensive for a room to look nice. i.e. our sofas are amazing, but we once had marble candle holders that were ~$5,000 and I found nearly identical ones at Target for $20. Did they have the extravagant backstory of being handcrafted in Italy? Nope. But they looked good. I love that Emily has an amazing ability to mix high and low, creating rooms that are… Read more »


I disagree about the Pillowfort stuff looking cheap in this room…it blends beautifully and there is a real whimsical vibe here which would make it a very relatable option for most small children. Mixing high and low end items can make a room more affordable AND many times make it more interesting. The home decor market is huge these days and there are many ways to successfully make a home unique and beautiful without breaking the bank if you shop with an open mind.


I love the pillow fort items both in this room and in my daughter’s room. Her room had beautiful expensive bedding and lovely finishes but when the quilt died, I didn’t want to replace it with another expensive one. Emily’s showcasing of the target items made me aware of the line and I got her that nice quilt for $30! It looks super cute amid the pricey stuff and serves to fill the gap til she’s older and we go with an older girl look.


I disagree, too — I think the room looks adorable!


Can you please share where the darling globe came from?


Me too!! I want that globe!


Your house is beautiful and this room is amazing, but I’m so curious about the whole staging of the house. It seems to be opposite of what I’ve heard about selling a house. Wouldn’t this room make it harder for the potential homebuyer to see themselves in the house or to picture another use for the room? Maybe it’s different in your area than in mine (Midwest), or maybe it’s more for your portfolio and website?


I think this a good point. The “styling to sell” is pretty much the opposite of what was shown the other day for Emily’s friend Scott’s house in Los Feliz.


I think the whimsical wallpaper in this room makes it harder to style for anything other than a kid’s room. So unless they were going to take the wallpaper down I think leaning into the kids vibe makes sense.

Wow, I absolutely love this kid’s room! I wish my room would have been so cozy when I was a child!
Greetings from Germany



I loved both of your nurseries in your old house. I can’t wait to see what you come up with for your kids’ new rooms!


Any tips on how to pick art to hang on busy wall paper? I have the gold hygge and west petal pusher in my daughter’s room. Having a hard time choosing art to hang on it.


Well you see she hung some art. Frame simple, but it wouldn’t have to be, wide matting so it doesn’t fight with the paper. simple art. Done. …perspective from another designer :))

Hi Irene,
I have that same wallpaper in my living room (since I designed the wallpaper) and here are some ways we hung art over that paper—rooms that Emily designed 😉
Overall, I find that if the art has a few common colors and isn’t too all over the place it helps to unify it on a patterned background.
Hope that helps!


Wow Joy! Thanks for responding we love the wall paper so much! It really is as Emily said, kids do know when something’s special, my daughter sure does. Love the way you hung your art-it’s inspiring! Hope I can be that fearless and go for it! Thanks again!

Its hard to imagine that this was ever a baby room!


One comment was that the Target stuff looks cheap against the lovely wallpaper. I’m a designer, work with high end stuff all the time and am amazed at how good Target things, especially their soft goods look. Not cheap at all. Another obvious point is that while you want yor staging to look great you don’t want to spend a tone of money on it. Right? Right.


you may have just sold me on a daybed for my girl’s room.


Can you tell me where you got the leather bear on the bookshelf? It’s adorable!


I thought I’d ask a political question on a non-politcal post to see if my question can be noticed. Emily, and anyone else: You are for health coverage for all, as am I. But I am really feeling the strain on my loyalty to the concept as my healthy family of 4 has seen our insurance rates more than double in 3 years time. Two years ago there were over 20 gold plans to choose from on the Marketplace for my area and now there are two. And they cost more than my mortgage and would be triple the cost… Read more »


Do you live in a state that didn’t accept subsidies? The CEO of my insurance company (Blue Cross/Anthem) makes 52,000 an HOUR. Why is my insurance so high again? It is so complicated and there is no “perfect” answer. Personally I would love to see us join countries with better health outcomes and happiness indexes and provide universal coverage and real support for working families. But our government has vastly different spending priorities. I hope you will call your Senator and Congressperson and share your story with them.


Our insurance has gone way up and we are not on ACA, we get insurance through work and have had more or less the same plan for years. I think ACA is expensive because it has a disproportionately large group of people who need care (people who are healthy are not signing up). But the real problem is private insurance companies, who act as middlemen between us and our doctors, taking a huge chunk of money for themselves. ACA was always a huge compromise to placate the status quo insurance system. What we need in the US in Universal Health… Read more »


I agree Kelly. Another observation I have is that I have been dealing with infertility and IVF for a decade now, with zero insurance coverage. Infertility is largely not covered by insurance, and has gotten cheaper over the last two decades. I am sure it is large part due to the fact that consumers feel the pinch of having to pay for services, and therefore doctors have to learn how to be efficient. Market competition has helped the costs in that area tremendously. Same thing has happened in within plastic surgery. I know when I have insurance coverage for something…I… Read more »


Sadly, I live in a state that did accept subsidies and plans here are still that expensive. I thought I would ask a wider range of people across the country what their experience has been, because within my sphere, (I am a CPA, so I have to talk to hundreds of people about their insurance), my story is completely common. Middle class people (avg 75K -120K for a family of four are getting hit SO hard: Crappy insurance that is the equivalent or higher than our mortgages. If you wonder why people who think “change” in the form of Oompa… Read more »


Wow weirdly relevant to me today. I just left my job (and ergo lost insurance), but I’m young and have no health issues so I was comfortable being without it for awhile. But I just found out that because of Obamacare if I don’t get health insurance, I’ll be fined $700 for not having it. Crazy that they are punishing people (many who can’t afford health insurance) by fining them an amount they probably can’t afford. Give people the option, fine, but don’t force it upon everyone. Now as someone who never goes to the doctor, I’m essentially just going… Read more »


Paige, I totally feel for you, as I have effectively been “priced” out of the market and had to think about the penalty this year as well. I just want to explain the political rationale for the penalty: The ACA was only ever designed to be affordable if healthy young people signed up to subsidize the sick who were previously denied coverage. The last administration overestimated how many healthy young people would be willing to sign up. This is why premiums for us healthy stooges have soared. It is a fatal flaw in ACA that would have had to be… Read more »


Paige, I think it is like taxes, we pay taxes to pay for roads and parks and other things that us as a society share. If you don’t visit a specific local park do you think that you shouldn’t pay a percentage of taxes to pay for it? Or interstate roads, etc. You have to think of the possibility that one day you could visit it or someone in society will use it. And if we all pay into it it’ll be cheaper overall for everyone. If a national park cost $300 to get into because it’s not subsidized via… Read more »


Thanks for your input Natalia. Believe me, I so don’t want to be the person feeling annoyed by some how any idiot lives their lives. Do you have affordable health insurance through work? Do you get an ACA subsidy that makes your insurance reasonable? Or are you paying through the nose, but somehow keep your compassion intact? That is really my question…For all the people that are like “Yay, universal coverage!” (like I used to be) Is it because you have the luck of not being impacted so much by the negative side of ACA? A family member just admitted… Read more »


Strange place to discuss this- but this forum is always very respectful so I’m inclined to jump in! I’m in a similar situation (made the move to self employed) but I don’t begrudge the cost of insurance. It is insurance in case of a major unforeseen health issue. I am young, healthy with no preexsisting conditions or plans for children. But if I decided to have a child or have an accident or got some horrible disease- I like knowing there is a safety net in place to protect my future financial health. The Obamacare fine is less than a… Read more »


Paige, so sorry for your situation, but just wanted to make sure you knew that if you do decide to buy insurance, if your household earns between 100-400% of Federal Poverty level (poverty level for HH of 1 is $11.7K and for HH of 4 its $24.25K), you qualify for subsidies/tax credits to help towards the cost of buying health insurance. Also if you are in a state that expanded Medicaid and again your Household (however you define it) earns 138% of poverty level for that household size, insurance is basically free.

Nancy S

I’m in the same boat, we got hit over the head with this during the Thanksgiving holiday, giving us 5 days to choose between 2 plans. One of which my take home pay wouldn’t even cover (I’m going on 10 years, FT, with the same company), or would cover but I’d have to live in my car, so I had to take the one with an $8000 deductible. Now I just pray no one in my family of 3 gets sick this year. I can’t afford my out of pocket premium plus a medical bill. I don’t like Trump, but… Read more »


Amen over and over Nancy.

Is no one else in the country getting squeezed like this?!! Or are you okay with the squeeze because of higher order morals/values. It’s ugly to discover I do in fact have a price point at which I begin thinking “fend for yourselves you savages!”


I totally understand from where you are coming and your “judgey” feelings — me too. My husband and I did and do everything “right” and still our youngest child is profoundly disabled, medically fragile, and will die. So yes, when I see people knowingly engaging in stupid, harmless, expensive behaviors I want to rail “do you know how lucky you are?” But I don’t. Not going into the specifics of the ACA, part of living in a society is being part of a whole, even if we never partake. Like the people who remain childless paying taxes which support schools… Read more »


Man Dux, I needed to hear that so badly. My compassion is found. You are an amazing human, and have just elevated my game. Hug that beautiful boy of yours for me and give yourself a pat on the back for being an incredible human.


Everyone, even people who get work provided health insurance, are feeling the increase. In 2013, I paid $2.2k/yr for insurance (for just me) and there were zero deductibles and after $15/25 copays (and $100 for ER) all other care was 100% covered (yes I know very generous). Now my family of 3 pays $9.6K/yr (thats a 45.8% increase), and its not longer 100% covered. Theres a dedutible of $1000 and after that is reached, it only covers 90% of cost until a max out of pocket of $5000. So max out of pocket is almost $15K. And this is after… Read more »


The ACA was supposed to be a private-sector-friendly solution for getting the United States closer to universal health insurance, because there was no way that congress was going to vote for actual universal health insurance. In theory, health insurance companies are still supposed to make profits under the ACA (even if the profits were slightly smaller than before). What has happened in reality, is that not all of the insurance companies are seeing the profits they expected and so they are raising premiums or pulling out of state exchanges (let’s not forget the premiums in many places were rising even… Read more »


Thanks Emma. I am in a red state that has a medicaid gap. I’ve seen first hand how the gap has hurt some of my clients. Most of them are young married people, students typically. It was amazing to see the poorest of the poor be too rich for Medicare and too poor for ACA. Children had gap coverage, but adults still do not. I hadn’t thought of the “cost” of the gap though. Uninsured people truly are expensive. I once audited a public hospital on the Mexico border and was horrified by the emergency room costs being footed by… Read more »


The ACA was finally a compromise to the Republicans and the Profit Based Health Insurance power structure. My understanding from a lot of reading was Obama hoped that getting a questionable vehicle for universal health care on the road(no matter how flawed) would create that Foot in the door to an expansion of Medicare-taking the profit motive out of the equation. Not affecting the incomes of Physicians,nurses et al-just removing the 10% profit margin required by the Health Care Insurance industry. They are running like rodents cause they are finding actually covering care and still pulling down the Big Bucks… Read more »


I agree that insurance is heavily to blame, and costs were rising anyway. Costs rise when consumers don’t have a clue what they are paying. I am seeing this with insurance premiums as well. Those who are cozily covered by ACA don’t care that premiums have risen – because for them they haven’t. My mom works in a medical office and admits that prices don’t reflect the true economics – they are bumped up to whatever the insurance will reimburse. In some areas this is hurting doctors because reimbursement rates are too low (many private providers won’t accept medicaid anymore)… Read more »


Anna, thank you for asking this question in the first place. Everyone else who responded, thank you for an informative, highly civilized discussion. I’ve learned a lot.
Anna, I have a question for you that I’ve often wondered. Before the ACA, what sort of health insurance did you have? Did you have employer-provided insurance or simply go without health insurance? How would you personally feel about a complete repeal of the ACA?


I am self employed and have bought private health insurance pre-ACA from the main provider in my area. Pre-ACA we had four insurers to choose from, and hundreds of choices. Now we have two insurers and and probably 25 choices at all levels Platinum through Bronze. I am still with the same insurance that I had pre-ACA…but the cost has doubled, and the deductibles have almost tripled. I always liked shopping insurance on the private market because there were so many choices to suit your personal situation. (But there were NONE if you had a serious pre-existing condition such as… Read more »


Thank you, Anna, for explaining it further. Since I don’t know anyone who is self-employed and in your shoes, I was ignorant about the realities. This helps me understand the debate far better. I know only three people on ACA. One qualifies for subsidies, and the other two are cancer survivors with pre-existing conditions. It seems that, if I didn’t have employer insurance, I would be in your shoes. My sympathies.


Why is it hard for you to imagine it being worse for you personally? Because it’s easy for me and I’m terrified it will be reality – Can you not imagine that one of your children is sick or your husband is and you can not buy any insurance? So you go bankrupt paying for medical costs. Depending on the situation maybe your family goes bankrupt trying to help you. That would be worse. It happens all the time. It doesn’t even have to be that catastrophic – you have no insurance for any of you – your children break… Read more »


Victoria, Great point about America having enough money for walls and wars. That really resonated with me. I don’t know if you didn’t read all my prior posts, or misread them. It is hard for me to imagine my personal INSURANCE situation being worse because I cannot afford the crappy plans that are being offered. $1200 per month for insurance that doesn’t even kick in a co-pay until you’ve spent $6000 per person? I can’t afford that. And that is the most affordable plan offered in my market. Can I imagine my life situation being much worse? Of course I… Read more »


Love love love your site. I come here almost every day. One thing recently, the ad on the bottom pops up several times when I read your post and I have to click on it to go away more than once. Is this just me? It has prevented me from wanting to finish reading the posts because I have to x it out too many times. That combined with the ads that are moving on the sides make it very cluttered with ads.

Thanks again for all the awesome content. 🙂



Same problem here. Content pics take forever to load but that ad keeps popping up at the speed of light 🙂


Me too ?. The site used to load really well, but the pictures take for ever now & it is much harder to navigate.


My grand daughter is 14 and still makes forts and her cat loves them too! The room is just wonderful and I love that it is gender neutral too.

Those colorful pillows make all the difference on that daybed. Love it!


I love the blanket ladder as much as you do, but when I went to Target to buy it with my 2.5 year old son, he was convinced it was a “fireman ladder” that he could climb! Ahk! I got too nervous about the idea of him climbing it, I couldn’t bring myself to buy it. I’m curious what your children think of it and how you talk to them about not using it to climb and play on, as I’d love to have one in our home. Thank you for the advice!


Em, where are the shades from? I’m having a very difficult time finding affordable roman shades for a larger window. I’m really digging the fabric on these, help? Xo


I second the shade request. I looked back on your roller shade post, but want to check out, specifically, the one in this post. Thanks!


I’m curious if you considered or were advised to remove the wallpaper before putting the house on the market. While lovely, it’s also quite specific. Is this something you’ll just deal with in closing if the buyer has a problem with it? Perhaps this isn’t really much of an issue at the price point of your home, as any buyer could likely afford to have it removed. DIY wallpaper removal might in fact be one of the nine circles of hell (been there, done that, never again.)

Love your blog! Thanks for all the great content.


I hope you never, ever stop collaborating with Target. One of my favorite parts of this blog is that I get to feast my eyes on beautiful things and then can actually afford to buy the things. I need you to curate items for me and teach me how to execute with vision. I love that I can furnish my house and still have money left over for other things in life.


I don’t think the pillow fort looks cheap. I think it looks great. With kids–they destroy everything anyway so why pay a premium? I love your house–but I don’t think it’s family friendly. All those outside stairs and no yard would turn me away. It’s also why you moved. So I hope that this ADORABLE styling of this room isn’t a detractor for some buyers. In my grandmother’s house, she had kept this very specific yellow butterfly wall paper. It had been there since the 1950’s and it was still in great shape. Last year, butterfly wallpaper was all over… Read more »


The styled room looks great. Every PillowFort post sends me to Target to browse the aisles. This room and IMO PillowFort’s best options are feminine/ for girls. I have a LO boy.

Could you style a boy’s room? I would love to see a PillowFort boys room that looks just as playful and bright as the girls. You may have to wait for them to come out with new fabric and accessories.


Not sure where these staging goodies (pillows, toys, art, etc.) are going after the sale, but perhaps they could be donated to a local women’s shelter? Just a thought – such lovely things.


I LOVE this room, and am ordering the bedding and pillows for my daughter. I would love to see a older boy (10ish) in this same fun style. Thanks!!


Those thread art pieces are so perfect in this room. And love the cheeky bit at the end of your video about maybe your child will now sleep through the night.


Beyond adorable Emily! When I grow up, I want to design kids spaces. 🙂


I’m curious about your comment that a daybed makes the room look bigger than a twin bed would. Why is this? I’ve been debating twin bed vs. daybed for my daughter’s room, and would love a designer’s perspective on this.


I love your nursery, but the wallpaper is so expensive! I actually don’t understand the cost of wallpaper, it seems like it would cost like $4000 to do a room this size. Can anyone else explain wallpaper pricing? Is one roll big enough to do a big chunk of the wall? Emily, would you consider sharing what you paid for this? Thanks!

I always looks like these type of blog. this is much informative and useful for everyone.

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