It started with an email a few months ago. “Hey, Aunty Sharon, wanna help me make Evan’s room into a fish-themed roomed?” And of course, for my little buddy, it was a definite yes! Me and Tanja (my cousin’s wife) got to work. It started with a visit to see what we were working with and here’s where it all started…

before1 before8  before2 Here was the wish list.

1. Make it a fun 2-year old boy fish-themed room.

2. See No. 1

We pretty much had the room to do what we wanted with, with just a few minor asks so we could keep the budget in check. These included leaving the shelving bin unit as it is, keeping the TV in for guests who visit, working with the furniture and bedding we had and leaving the wall color its current pretty sand color. You got it, Cuz, now let’s get some fish all up in here!

We picked our color palette based on the bedding – red, blue and white were our main colors. Very nautical. So, here’s how it all came together.


Correction. Tanja painted the furniture. As I worked on some of the elements of the room back at my place, Tanja took up the big task (her first time, too) to paint all the furniture white. She did a bang up job! It’s darn right perfect! On one of our shopping trips, we had a fun time picking out all the new knobs for the dressers, three in all. The red ones were actually white, and we painted them red on the spot.

dresserpaintedwhite drawerpullsdrawerknobs_after  smalldresser_afterWhat a difference some paint and new knobs make, huh? I love how whimsical it all feels now. I think the white paint is a nice fresh addition and brightens up the room. We found these fun knobs at Hobby Lobby and at 50% off, too.


I couldn’t wait to dive into some projects to surprise Evan with and to make them personal and perfect for a 2-year old’s dream of a fish room.




baitafterbucketbeforeSimple silver can from Michael’s. Added some rope, some paint and there you have a fun marker/crayon storage pail. I mean, bait bucket.



closeups1Tanja had these letters and I decided to do something fun with them. Sure, I was going to paint them, but we can do something better than that, can’t we?

before3Meet my inspiration.

bobberinspired paintingletters

evanletters_onthelineTanja and I wanted to hang Evan’s name from a fishing rod on the wall, so she got this old rod from her dad. It’s one of my many favorites in this room. And you’ll see that the once awkward spot on the mirror, now serves as a good place to feature the name art. We also threw on some fun nautical lures we got at Hobby Lobby and added some simple rope around the mirror.



fishbowl1I played around with the idea of floating some fake fish in water, but it just seemed like a maintenance issue and a not-so-kid-friendly option. So, I worked with these sea creatures you see below.

foamguysWith a little hot glue, a wooden skewer painted blue and a couple bags of pretty rocks, I was able to arrange the fish just how I wanted them, with them all facing forward for Evan to see. Sans water.





starfishafterTanja wanted to leave these bins as they were, but I was able to talk her into some easy-to-remove appliques. And when I saw these placemats at Home Goods, I knew we had something fun to work with. A snip here and there and a little double stick tape and we have some fun dressed-up toy bins.





evansfishdrawingsI wanted Evan to have something of his own to add to the room. I found some simple wooden frames at Michael’s, and with some leftover fish bowl creatures, some blue and white paint and crushed sea shells I already had on hand, I was able to create some frames for Evan to fill with his beautiful fish art.

frameswithshellsThe sea shell part was so simple. Add some glue to the area you want your shells to stick to and pour them on. I recommend you put something underneath it to catch it all and make it a less messy process.

frameshells Our little Picasso made us some fish art to feature on his wall and he couldn’t wait to show it to me when I got there to take pictures! I think they are beautiful fish, don’t you? evandrawings





bobbersThis was so simple to do. Seriously, get some fishing line and an assortment of bobbers and just clip them on and sash away. These guys just grab onto the wire, wherever you place them, and stay put. It’s a nice bit of color and themed-gloriousness. (it’s a word)

Along with some fun thrift store finds, like a lighthouse and a neat miniature captain’s wheel, Tanja and I also found some awesome stuff at Home Goods and a few other places online. Check out the school of fish Tanja got from Etsy.

smalldresserAnd we got this super cool giant crab at Home Goods, too. We just dazzled him up with some glossy red paint and made him the hero of the room!

crab_afterOh and you’ll see how we changed up the bed. We aged it with some white paint and added some fishing net for a little more fishy interest.

before6  sideviewInstead of buying a new lamp, we repurposed the already-looked-kind-of-nautical one you see below. You can’t see it in this picture, but the detail on the lamp kind of looks like shells. So we left it as it was and it added some nice texture to the room. The silhouettes of our fish creatures was an easy add-on. Provides an extra smile. Just like the smile on the adirondack chair frame. I’m sure Tanja will find an adorable pic to add there, soon!

lamp_after Now, let’s see it all. Every fishy part all coming together to make one happy room.

And of course, here’s the shot that says it all. Evan’s reaction to his new room!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI think we done good. Before I took off, I had to take some shots of my little buddy enjoying his brand new fishing spot.

happyevan_after evanfrog_after evanafter_puzzlemeandevan

I can’t thank these guys enough for inviting me over to be a part of this. It was such a rewarding experience to do what I love and do it for people I love. At first, it was a bit scary to design for someone else’s space, but it ended up being a piece of cake. You talk about what you want, what you love and you follow your gut. The story always come to life as it should. And Evan’s smile was inspiration enough. The goal was to just make it a happy space. I think we achieved that. Thank you Tanja, Mike, Evan and Aiden. What are we doing next?

Have you ever done a themed-room for a kid or maybe just for yourself? Like a fun rec room or theatre room? I so want to see what you’ve done. So share away!

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  1. Tanja - September 9, 2013

    Whoo hoo! Great job on my room auntie Sharon! I love it and can’t wait to show everyone when they come over. I LOVE all my fishy decorations. I’m lucky to have you as my auntie.

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