First of all, thank you all for your incredibly kind comments and messages after my post on Monday. They truly mean so much to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you… Now to the fun stuff.
Lately I’ve been helping my older sister (slash best friend in the entire world) decorate her new nursery/boys’ room. She is pregnant with her second boy, due this May, and has decided to make one larger bedroom in her house a shared room for both of her boys. She lives in California so we have been working together strictly through FaceTime, emails, and text messages and she and her husband have been doing all the shopping and installation themselves. She isΒ working from a very tightΒ budget so we have had to get really creative through DIY projects, IKEA and Target products, and Craigslisting both here and there and the process has been super fun.
To pull inspiration for the room, I looked toΒ none other than my nephew himself. Β He loves visiting his grandma and grandpa’s lake house in Wisconsin, playing in the water, going on boat rides, rolling around on carpets, wearing cool sunglasses and bright colors, and reading his many board books. He’s got some serious style for a 2-year-old and I knew the room needed to be fun, durable, and splashed with color to suit his ebullientΒ personality. So here’s the story of howΒ the room has come together so far:
This is how the room started out, which had been freshly painted a coat of Benjamin Moore London Fog. She didn’t want to re-paint and I didn’t think she needed to either because it’s a lovely neutral backdrop.
To start out, she removed as much as she couldΒ from the room and took everything off the walls. Then we evaluated the items she already ownedΒ that we could work with. She had some pretty cute items from the nursery in her previous home, including this state of Wisconsin print, a framed canvas print that a friend of ours made of an Instagram I took at our Wisconsin lake house, an adorable Manny & Simon yellow giraffe push toy, and this amazing linen-covered English roll-arm style glider and ottoman from RH Baby and Child.
I think it’s always best to use what you have first, so I used these items as inspiration for the new room. She also has this Pottery Barn KidsΒ espresso wood crib and changing table from her previous nursery which were perfectly cute and in greatΒ condition so there was no need to replace those.Β
IΒ originally entertained the idea of getting a toddler bed for her older son in a matching wood stain but we decided instead to try finding a matching Pottery Barn crib on Craigslist since they pop up all the time and get a toddler rail in the future. Her pediatrician hadΒ advised her not to change his sleeping situation too drastically within the same time of the new baby being born and he’s probably SO right about that! She was also quick to note that she preferred to keep him in a crib for as long as possible to avoid the middle-of-the-night escapes from bed and I was like yep, that’s also really smart!Β Man, the things you learn…
I love the teal/aqua color of the water in the lake print, and I knew we had to repeat that bright yellow color of the push toy elsewhere in the room. As you know I adore navy blue and consider it to be a neutral, so I knew a large mass of navy blue in something like a rug would pull everything together. Plus, with two boys, anything that is a dark color underfoot and can hide dirt and stains is a good idea in my book.
Here was the initial design board I sent to my sister, which included products I knew might be too expensive but I knew that we could replicate the look if we got creative.
She really loved that wool navy blue bordered rug, but wanted to find something more affordable.Β She found some okay-ish blue and white striped wool rugs at HomeGoods but they didn’t have that border detail that I wanted so I told her not to settle for anything that wasn’t perfect, and she agreed. (This is a good rule to follow for life!) So we decided on this chenille oneΒ instead which has a very similar look but is more affordable at $200 and will still provide plenty of durability for the years to come.
She also really loved this Land of Nod rope lamp. If it’s wrong to love a lamp, then I don’t want to be right.
She spottedΒ a similar one at HomeGoods for less.
We didn’t love the base as much and how the ends were fraying a lot, so I told her to wait on it and save up for the LON one. I couldn’t wait any longer and really wanted her to have the lamp of her dreams plus I needed to get a gift for the new baby sooo I just went ahead and bought it for her. Problem solved. :)
To repeat the yellow color of that toy and to break up all the blue, I thought it would be fun toΒ make a lumbar pillow with this adorable canoe paddle print fabric from Minted.
It’s definitely a more fun and playful craft-like print, not something I would ever use in an adult space, but it was perfect here.Β I get sort of bummed out when people use super expensive designer fabrics in rooms for babies, because if there’s any place where you can take yourself a little less seriously and have some fun, it’s a little kids’ room. She liked it too so we went for it. To save money, we even sent the fabric to my sister-in-law in WisconsinΒ who is an amazingΒ seamstress.
I knew those corded blinds in the room had to go (hello stranglingΒ hazard!), so we decided on these nice clean white sailcloth panels which were affordable and have built-in blackout liners, because as any parent knows, blackout drapes are SUPER important for successful naptimes!
To break up all the blue in the room and pick up on the yellow toy and pillow, I thinkΒ it would be fun to add a yellow grosgrain ribbon trim to the drapes. Since this is not a pressing item, we will probably wait a little bitΒ to tackle our ribbon trim DIY project.
As for the curtain hardware, I really love the look of this curtain rod with cast iron-finials and thought the contrast against the white panels and gray walls would be nice.
So to save money sheΒ found this set at Target which has a similar lookΒ but was only $27.
I love the heft and weight of these Pottery Barn cast iron rings and was insanely lucky enough to find them via Craigslist in Chicago for a really good price, so I bought them here and shipped them to her for way less than buying them retail.
I loved the look of these Anthropologie baskets to use as a hamper and toy storage but wanted to find something more affordable.
So when she was shopping at Target, we were FaceTiming while she walkedΒ through the store and we decided on these adorable teal bordered woven baskets. I thought they coordinated really nicely with the teal in herΒ Wisconsin prints. Gosh, whoever is running the Threshold line at Target deserves a big fat raise.
As a mom I know how important it is to have books readily available for storytime before bed. I really love the PBKids Madison 3-shelf bookrack in my own nursery and think every parent in the world needs one.
It’s so great to be able to see the front cover of the books before you pick them out, which allows the bookcovers to be used as art, plusΒ it’s petite. Again, we wanted to find a more affordable option. Since she had quite a bit of space on the wall adjacent to her glider, I knew we could get away with installing something even larger. So we decided to install three rows of IKEA RIBBA picture ledges, using 3 of the long ones alongside 3 of the short ones to create one large “book wall.” The thing with these picture ledge book walls is that you have to keep them SUPERΒ organized. You can’t display all of your books all at once and have to keep the selection seasonally edited or else everything will be falling off and looking messy and that’s no good. My sister assured me she would keep it edited so we proceeded and it turned out amazingly.
All for about half the price of the PBKids bookshelf and it provides storage for way more books. And my brother-in-lawΒ did quite a nice job installing them. Gotta love a guy who knows how to use a level and a drill. My nephew immediately fell in love with his book wall and I hope that it inspires him to pick up more books in the years to come. Let’s just hope the boys don’t try to scale the shelves with their hands and feet. :)
As for the crib sheets, I loved these sailboat printed ones but they were all sold out before we could get to them, darn.
So then I considered these star printed sheetsΒ in navy because they sort of remind me of watching the starry night sky at our lake house. Nostalgia won us over and sheΒ bought them with a coupon code I had. These will actually work out betterΒ because I imagine they’ll be super soft.
So here’s what the inspiration/design board looksΒ likeΒ now.
Next on the list to get a second crib, install the window panels, maybe find a new side table, finish sourcing and hang the wall art, organize the closet, and tie up a few other odds and ends, but it’s coming together. The important thing to remember is that it doesn’t all have to be done right before the baby arrives but I can completely relate to her impulse to “nest.” I am so excitedΒ to see how the room turns out and am even more excited to meet my new baby nephew!