Now that the Little Guy is almost five months old I am finally getting around to posting more info about how I decorated his nursery. I still have several projects under way to put the finishing touches on his room (probably just in time for him to move to a bigger space), but I thought I would go ahead and share what I have accomplished so far. For those of you that are new to Kitsch Designs here is a little recap: my husband and I just moved to Richmond, VA from Nashville, TN because his job was moved and we were relocated to this area. We left our beloved, funky 1960’s Tri-Level home and purchased a 1990’s Colonial in the ‘burbs. We were able to get much needed space, which I am slowly but surely revamping as time permits, and newer “bones” so to speak. (Nothing like the excitement of 3-prong outlets after having lived in older homes for the past 12 years!) We also made this move when I was approximately 7.5 months along and if it weren’t for the movers and my ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL mom, I just don’t know how we would have managed. Since the baby was coming so soon after relocating my husband made me swear I would not start any major projects. I was only allowed to work on the nursery. Now, this may make you stop and think, “what kind of husband puts his foot down like that”? Well, the kind that has a super stressful job and dislikes large remodeling projects that create messes that linger for months. The poor guy has seen my past work and although he has always loved the outcome he has suffered, very vocally I might add, through the chaos that leads to the finished product. The Mister is handy, but just does not enjoy DIY projects like I do. So, I tread as lightly as possible with my “works in progress” and it helps to keep the sanity. So, to keep the peace that is exactly what I did with the nursery project.
It started with the smallest of the bedrooms, which looked like this when we moved in:
A shot from the hallway into the room toward the little walk-in closet.
This shows the back wall of the room with the large and bright double window.
Here is the room shot from the closet doorway looking toward the door to the hall.
As you can see from these pictures the room was a blank canvas. In fact, the first time we viewed this home during the buying process I believe it had been set up for a boy because it was painted light blue and you can still see the remnants of that color on the trim peeking through the closet door in the first photo. The previous owners had painted the walls and trim white and left the plaid valance, which was also in shades of blue with cream and beige. The carpet is just a neutral beige and seems to be brand new, so we decided to leave it alone for now, plus it will be nice for the Little Guy to crawl around on in the near future.
So, a wide open, empty space…that’s what I had to work with and I will tell you I think it made for one of the most difficult projects yet! For some reason when I am having to “make-do” in a tight space I always seem to know exactly what direction to move in, but with this room I was stumped. My head was reeling because I knew this baby was coming and I had to figure out what to do for furniture (buy new or refinish old), what to do for window treatments (off the shelf or hand sewn), what color or colors to put on the walls, trim, etc, etc. Like I said, my head was spinning!
I finally decided that due to time and budget constraints I would have to make paint carry the room and I embarked on a project to liven up the walls with color. I also planned to purchase as many finished pieces for the room as possible, again due to the ticking clock that was my cooking baby. After finding a cute bedding set in pale blue and dark brown with a circular quilted motif things were set in motion.
My goal was to do something fun with paint, yet keep the room from being to juvenile. The Mister and I were not really interested in having a specific theme or adding cartoon characters that the little one (or the grown-ups for that matter) would soon detest. Also, the last thing I wanted to do was create another painting project for myself just a few years later. I ran with the circle idea and got crafty with some supplies from my local office store. I will be posting more details about that project soon.
Photo from the hallway door into the room.
The resulting walls have a colorful horizontal banding that will not only hold-up to a soon to be messy little man (hence the dark bottom band), but hopefully grow with him a bit too.
A shot of the room from the side opposite the hallway door.
Here is the dresser that serves double duty as a changing table.
We ended up purchasing a new crib to err on the side of safety and I spent the next several weeks searching local junk shops for the perfect changing table. At one really cool shop I found what I thought would be the most fantastic changing table and bookshelf. It was an old dining room hutch from the 1960’s or 70’s and the top portion of open shelving lifted right off the base, making it a great candidate for the bookshelf in the nursing and reading nook (pictured below). The remaining base had shelves behind two large doors, which flanked a center section of drawers and the top was just right for a changing pad and necessities. I figured a coat of shiny white paint to help it blend with the crib and we would be good to go. Unfortunately, when I returned the piece had just been purchased and carted away. Of course in my “baby is almost here!” nesting frenzy to get the work done I went into hysterics requiring a long soothing hug from The Mister as I commiserated about what I was going to do. I’m sure there are other women out there that have had similar meltdowns toward the end of their pregnancies and luckily we can look back now and just laugh about it.
The nursing and reading nook.
As you can see from the picture above we ended up with a simple white 3-shelf unit from Target. Although it was not a part of a nursery furniture set I thought it was generic enough to blend in well with the other pieces. Plus, with a simple design like this it can be moved to other locations in our home and not seem like a remnant from the baby’s room. Speaking of remnants, don’t you recognize that lamp from this project? Yep, it’s making the rounds again! We topped the windows with a sturdy wooden rod and curved finial, threaded with dark chocolate brown tab valances. For now we kept the white honeycomb blinds, but plan to replace those with black-out roman shades later.
My aunt gifted us the lovely bentwood rocker and we believe it fits in nicely. I tried to love a glider, but I just could not make it happen. I know they are super comfortable and there are times that I wish I was sitting down in a big plush chair, but for some reason manufacturers just cannot seem to get it right with glider design (or if they do it’s so out of this world in price you would need to take out a separate mortgage to cover the cost). This rocker fit the bill completely. I found it at Target.com, added it to the registry and was nicely surprised when it arrived a couple of weeks later. This is another piece that does not perfectly match the crib and dresser because it is a natural wood, but I believe the white webbing helps it to blend. I found the little bentwood table/stool at my local Kroger for $13.00 and figured I could not pass up a nice spot to place a drink or magazine while I am tending to the Little Guy. They actually sell these little tables at my local Target too, but for considerably more, so I definitely got a deal. (GO BUDGET!) One last thing about the rocker, it has have a very deep seat which is perfect for the Mister and I since we are quite tall, but for nursing I did add a couple of pillows to assist in sitting at a more upright angle. I just happened to find both of these at Walmart (ugh!) and the color combo was perfect. The neck roll pillow was just a regular bolster with drawstring bows on the ends. I tied the bows into loops that I hung around the top corners of the rocker. As you can see it worked amazingly well and keeps the kinks out of my neck during those early morning feedings.
As I mentioned above, we went with a new crib to be sure we had a safe spot for the Little Guy to land and ended up with this design (Olivia) through Walmart.com (ugh again!) from Baby Mod. We really liked the clean modern lines of this piece and the fact that the mattress adjusts up and down rather than having a sliding rail (which can become loose and dangerous after use). As you all know from previous posts here and here, I lusted after the Sleepi Crib by Stokke, but it just was not in the budget. And, Target has some nice cribs by Dwell, but after seeing one in a display I felt it was not as sturdy as I would like (plus, it appeared to have a lot of screw holes that showed once it was put together). The Olivia crib is very solid, only has a couple of spots where you can see the screw heads and has a nice painted white and stained wood finish. Although bringing this crib in added another wood tone to the room we decided it would work, and once we had the bedding in place we were very pleased with the entire look. Note in the first crib photo (above and below again)
you can see that we have a full bumper, matching sheet and crib skirt. I really fell for this set from Walmart.com (really, again?) called Ticklicious because it was actually quilted rather than just printed with the circle design. Since I make and sell baby quilts as a side hobby my friends and family said they could not wait to see what I came up with for the nursery. It broke my heart a little to have to admit to them and myself that I simply did not have the time to sew anything with the baby coming so soon after moving. Once we received this set, though, I knew I had made the right decision. Each piece is of a very nice quality and the set includes not only the bumper, crib skirt and fitted crib sheet, but a set of toddler bed sheets and a fully quilted blanket that matches the bumper. This particular crib has a conversion piece included that transforms it into a toddler bed, so with one click of the mouse we were good to go for a while! We also mixed it up a bit by adding some of the Dwell Studio sheets at Target. I could not resist the super cute patterns in the Elephants bedding design. Once the little guy started to move around more I got paranoid about suffocation and pulled the bumper out. With the blue band of circles removed all the brown and white seemed overwhelming and I decided I liked the elephant patterned sheet with the blue and yellow peeking through to add some interest.
The changing station.
After the fiasco with the junk store hutch and as time was running out, I broke down and bought the matching Olivia dresser to use as a changing table. Even though these pieces are part of a set they did not seem to over the top matchy-matchy to me. Plus I thought it was a nice touch the way they used simple circular cut-outs as drawer pulls. I never intended to bring a table specific to changing into the room and lucky for the Mister and I we are both tall. So, using a dresser with a changing pad on top has worked out very well for us. I also chose not to anchor the changing pad to the back of the dresser with the little flaps and screws that they include, however for safety I have placed a super sticky rub gripper under the pad and it works like a charm.
As far as the other decor in the room, it was all just by accident and I am still working on that aspect of this space in order to bring it all together. The vintage globes and relief map ended up in this room because after we arrived we realized we had a small map collection going and the colors just meshed so well with this space. I am in the process of completing another wall art project with maps that will actually take the place of the relief map above the crib and I will share those photos once the project is finished. I knew I wanted a high shelf for our baby’s room, no matter what we were having, because I have a collection of heirloom teddy bears that I wanted to display. I also just completed the monogram hooks to add some interest above the changing table using the Jenn Ski Animal Alphabet cards. You can read more about that here. And, yes, that is a tiny skateboard leaning on the dresser. Don’t even get me started on that! The Mister is determined to have a little X-Games champ and is starting him out early.
So, this is our Little Guy’s space. I had a lot of fun putting it together and I believe he feels quite comfortable in there. It is an ever-evolving space, not only from my personal decorating aesthetic, but with the Little Guy’s changing needs as well.
I will be sure to share more details about the paint technique I used and other room details in the near future. In the mean time, tell me about your nursery projects or other big remodeling plans you are working on. I am always looking for inspiration and my next project to tackle.