The Nursery

Hi there friends! Seeing as how our little guy Owen is now a month old, I guess it’s about time I show you the nursery? I half-wrote this post a couple days before I went into labor, figuring I needed a couple more photos. One thing led to another, and post-baby I haven’t gotten around to it until now 🙂

So, maybe you might remember the original room looking something like this:

Bedroom #4, looking toward the closet

Or this? It doesn’t look as bad as some other areas of the house (it’s no Rotten Hole in the Roof), but the dingy, dirty walls, the wispy moth-eaten lace curtain swag, the faux mercury glass closet doors? Classy.

Bedroom #3

You know the drill by now: we swapped out the old parquet flooring for new bamboo, demo’d the closet, ceiling fan, baseboard, etc and painted it a crisp new white when we did our original huge overhaul a year ago. Then, pre-pregnancy, the room held two brief in-between states as the Room We Throw All Our Extra Crap In and then “The Library,” aka We Have Bookshelves and a Futon In Here. Somewhere around the end of January, my nesting instinct kicked in, and we began its transformation into the nursery. Here’s what it looks like now:


When people asked me, in the early months of pregnancy, whether I’d started working on the nursery, I’d always talk about the actual construction projects that needed to be done in there before any decoration started. The list wasn’t HUGE, but it did take some time (and we’re still not 100% done). We replaced the old steel single-paned window with a new double-paned, energy-efficient version when we did our (last!) round of window replacement. We hung one of the ceiling fans that we had brought over from the old house, and installed all new outlets and switches (with covers!). We added back a shelf and hanging bar to the closet (which still needs doors), and we added a new wall light. We hung a curtain rod, bought and hemmed curtains, and mounted a darkening pull-down shade. We still need baseboard in this room, as we do in the rest of the house.


All that being said, I was still very invested in Owen’s room looking cute. I wanted it to be light and airy, and not a hardcore “theme”, though the little decorative touches that we have added are in the woodland/lodge family. After painting the whole house, I didn’t feel like doing any more painting! White walls keep the room very bright, provide a neutral canvas for pops of color, and since this room will probably remain the nursery when we have our second, it’s gender-neutral. What results is a room with a very Scandinavian feel to it, with the white and light-colored wood, and a layer of masculine grays and burnt oranges. Since Owen’s initials are O.W.L., owl pieces are scattered throughout. 🙂


So, a few details. We were fortunate enough to (aside from the crib and diaper pail, of course), already own all the furniture in this room, so we didn’t have to buy much! The chair (from IKEA, like everything else in the room) was actually in Kyle’s office at school (his, not school property!), but we had the same one at home in dark brown. We switched the two to get the matching light colored wood, and I actually took our old cover and dyed it gray since they don’t sell a gray cover at IKEA. The old one was a cream color that, despite multiple washes and a long soak in oxyclean, retained lots of signs of beagle use over the years. Two $2.29 packets of Rit dye and a run through our washing machine later, and it came out pretty perfectly! It was my first time dying fabric and I have to say it was a total success. I would do this again in a heartbeat.

I’m super proud too of the quilt hanging over the back of the chair! It’s the first one I’ve ever made, and I had a really fun time working on it. I was inspired by this lovely quilt I spotted on Pinterest. My mom and I always planned to quilt over the winter months when I was a kid and we never got around to it, so this kind of fulfilled a longtime goal of mine.


These adorable prints were a baby shower gift from my mom. I love that they’re printed on wood, and the patterns in the illustrations make them really special. We framed them with cheapo Ribba frames from IKEA and the next conundrum was how to hang them on the block wall. We didn’t really want to drill into the block, especially since as a kids’ room, it’s likely to completely change layout a bunch of times. After consulting the Googles, we decided to try these heavy duty 3M hooks designed for hanging pictures, and so far they’re still hanging!


What’s that? An owl night light? You bet! My BFF Allison gave us this cute ceramic owl for Christmas, and I think it was intended to house a tea light. But one corded mini light bulb later and we were able to use it to create a soft glow for night time. We even bought a remote for it (I didn’t know these even existed, but it was like $5 at Target!) so that we can turn it on and off closer to the door.


This is my own wooden rocking horse from when I was a kid! It’s been hanging out in my grandmother’s office for the last 25 years, and I repossessed it for Owen to use.


To keep the arrow motif going from the chair cushion, I made these vintage-inspired arrows using wooden dowels, feathers, and string (inspired by this tutorial on Design Sponge). Hanging them was the most challenging part! I ended up using another 3M clear command hook and fishing line, which seems to be working just fine.


I had this wooden dresser from my years of single lady apartment living, and we didn’t really want to buy a separate changing table (as we tried to minimize how much baby-specific stuff we added to our space). So Kyle’s dad Wayne made this awesome topper for the dresser, which holds a changing pad and has a tray on the back to house extra stuff. Now that we’ve been making use of it for a month, it really is perfect – having the diapers, wipes, and everything right there at our fingertips is awesome! Anything to make middle-of-the-night changes go more easily is an A+ in my book. Then when we’re done with diaper days, the tray comes right back off and it’s a plain dresser again. Thanks so much Wayne!


To finish things off, we got this mobile, also from Petit Collage, from Colan and Becca. I just love their stuff, it’s so cute! I think the squirrel is my favorite 🙂


Lastly, as I mentioned, we added back shelving and hanging storage to the closet. It still houses a lot of my crafty stuff as well as a bunch of baby extras. You can also see our laundry hamper, which actually sits out in the room now. I’m looking forward to putting doors on this guy – I’m thinking chalkboard paint might be in order! The opening is a slightly weird size so we’ll have to see how it works out.

So that’s it – nursery accomplished! Just need to add those closet doors and some baseboard, and the room will be totally finished. Rare we can say that around here, but it’s exciting to be getting closer!

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1 Comment

  1. Kelli September 29th, 2013

    AHH! So much goodness here. Congrats! owen! So great. And wow, you made that room gorgeous!

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