Sunday, January 24, 2016

Charlie's Nursery

The nursery is one of my favorite decorating projects to date. The world of nursery furniture and decor is all kinds of fun, but I also loved this project because deadlines spur action. It was fun to see everything come together so quickly in just a few short months. Even though Charlie will be sleeping upstairs in our room for a while, I'm glad the nursery is all ready for him once he transitions. Ain't nobody got time to finish a nursery when there is a new baby to care for.

We literally changed everything in the room - from the light fixture to the paint to the window coverings to the furniture and decor. Here is a before photo from when the previous owners lived here. We had virtually left the room untouched for 2 years - it had served as storage for a few random things and the last of our moving boxes.

We didn't start doing any serious planning until midway through my pregnancy once we knew the gender. Make no mistake, if this baby had been a girl, there would have been a lot of pink involved (tastefully, I assure you). But once we knew Charlie was on the way, I wanted his room to look like a little man's room. None of this baby blue for us. I had visions of bold colors and graphic patterns. We decided to paint the walls gray to add a calm backdrop to the otherwise bold room. We went through a LOT of paint samples. Gray is impossible, but we finally found just the right shade.

The crib was next. I knew which crib I wanted right away - the only decision was pink or blue once we knew baby's gender. I ordered it sight unseen, but I couldn't be happier. I loved the navy and natural wood mixed together. It's simple and classic, but the two-tone element added just the right amount of interest. On top of that, it was affordable, easy to assemble, and it converts into a toddler bed and twin headboard.

The rocker is from West Elm in a gray basketweave fabric. I sat in a lot of rockers and over-agonized about this decision. It was, after all, the biggest purchase in the room, and a piece of furniture we hope to keep in our home for a long time. I settled on this one because it had the right balance of comfort and style. The fabric is soft, it's great for nursing, and it's easy to maneuver out of while holding a baby in your arms (a hugely important, but often overlooked aspect of rocking chairs). I really love it!

With so much navy and gray in the room, I wanted a contrasting pop of color in the rug to brighten things up. This bold yellow chevron rug from Land of Nod was the perfect addition. I also love the texture of the raised stripes. I think it will make a fun play mat for the trains, planes and automobiles that are surely in our future. Bonus: it also makes a great backdrop for photos!

One of my favorite parts of the room was the book wall. I saw the idea on pinterest and it couldn't have been easier or more affordable. I ordered clear, plastic card shelves from an industrial supplier that we hung by two screws on each end. It was possibly the easiest project of the nursery. The shelves not only provide great storage for tons of books, but it's a fun way to turn a book collection into a work of art. Storage + design feature = win/win. The clear shelves don't take up any visual space so the books add a pop of color without making the wall look too busy.

We already had the dresser, but I gave it a simple makeover by switching out the standard knobs for more fun navy blue ones. It turned into a changing table with the addition of a simple changing pad (this one, which I LOVE and highly recommend). The white shelf above the dresser is another practical favorite. It keeps everything we need organized and right at our fingertips, but out of baby's reach. I realize now more than ever that easy-access open shelving is the only way to go when you have a squirmy baby who needs to be changed.

The final touches were artwork, the mobile, toy bins and plush elephant head. I also re-framed a painting that was painted by a dear family friend when I was born. It's so special to be able to hang that in my little one's room.

Thus concludes the nursery tour. I'm so happy with how it turned out. We invested in the pieces that we can use for many years as Charlie grows and found more affordable options or re-purposed what we already had for some of the more short-term items.


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