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"Under the Big Top" Boy's Nursery Design

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Nothing captures the imagination of little ones quite like a trip to the circus. And now with our red and white nursery, they can relive the excitement every day.

With balloons large and small floating up to a bright red ceiling, this nursery design idea is reminiscent of an afternoon at the circus.

The popcorn yellow walls and soft green accents bring balance to the big top fun and complete a simple yet wonderful red nursery that will inspire boys and girls alike.

Step-by-step instructions

Step 1 — Prime the ceiling and walls

To create your red and white nursery, start by applying Natura® zero-VOC primer on all surfaces to be painted and allow to dry.

Step 2 — Paint the ceiling and walls

Paint the ceiling first, using strawberry red (2003-20). Then paint the walls with hay stack (317) and the trim with linen white (912). For contrast, pick out an area to accent with kittery point green (HC-119), like in the window alcove in the picture.

Step 3 — Sketch out the balloons

Using a pencil, lightly trace small, medium, and large circles on the wall to create your "balloons." (Lightweight items from around the house, such as a storage container cover, a coffee can lid or a can of soup, can help you create the circles).

The balloons in your red nursery should have a free-flowing feel, so overlap some of the circles to create a random design around the room, as if dozens of helium balloons were just released.

Step 4 — Paint the balloons

Using a 3" roller, paint the largest circles with strawberry red (2003-20) to tie them in with the ceiling and help draw the eye upward. Paint the other balloons with kittery point green (HC-119) and under the big top (1675). Use an artists' brush for the fine details around the edges of each circle.

You can also create simple stencils by tracing and cutting your circles on acetate with scissors or a straight-edge knife. Using a roller adds color to the circles. Be sure to wipe off the stencils as you move them around the room to avoid streak marks.


  • Drop cloth 
  • Low-tack painter's tape 
  • Pencil
  • 3" Benjamin Moore roller
  • Roller tray 
  • Benjamin Moore paint brushes
  • Artists' brush

Paint Colors:

This cheerful nursery design idea features the following colors:

Get more kids' bedroom design ideas, and visit Color Gallery to explore our thousands of beautiful colors.

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