The time has finally come for me to show off the nursery to everyone!
I have to admit that I’m really happy with how it turned out. I think I have decent taste in decorating but I don’t consider myself an expert at it or anything. Still, I’m proud of myself for this one. I had ideas in my head but nothing laid out or pulled together until the end. And I love it!
I would say 99% of the items in this room were either reused from Isabella or made by me. She has been so good about sharing her old stuff. There were times when she would see something and say, “That’s mine!” but once we explained that the baby needed it now, she was cool with it. I’m very grateful that we didn’t have any temper tantrums or squabbles with her over any of the “stuff”. In fact, a lot of it she was more than happy to share and even offered to bring in extra things! Such a sweet girl.
There are 3 items that were new purchases (not counting things like ribbon or scrapbook paper, nor am I including the paint) and 1 that we still have left. I’ll point them out as we go on our little tour.
Anyway, enough talk. On with the show!
[Warning! Long post ahead! But don’t worry, a lot of it is pictures!]
Here’s what the room looked like when we started.
Basically a plain old room (which used to be our office) with paint swatches on the wall (this is the one we chose).
And here’s what it looks like now!
Quite a difference, eh? Let’s take a minute to see how we got here and then I’ll go around the room and show off some of the details.
The first step was to paint – obviously – which is CJ’s domain. It ended up taking longer than anticipated because we needed 3 coats of paint. That tan color doesn’t look all that dark on its own but when you put yellow over it, you find out how much shows through.
But at least CJ got some help from Samson.
“What? I’m helping dad!”
Here it is after all the painting was finished!
In the other pics the yellow on the walls looks a bit darker but that’s because I took them at night. This pic is the closest to the true color.
Now it was time to move in the furniture. All of it was already owned. The crib and changing table were Isabella’s and the bookshelf was an extra one we had in the office. This glider is the one we bought when Isabella was born and it’s seen better days. We plan to get a new recliner at some point when we have the extra money. For now this will do.
Then it was my turn to get in there and decorate!!
We decided to go with an Eric Carle themed room (he’s the author of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and other popular children’s books). However I’m not one that likes to be too “matchy” or over-do a theme to death. So while we pulled in many elements related to his work and the caterpillar, a lot of the room is just built around primary colors.
Here’s what you see when you come up the stairs and look in the door.
The master bedroom is directly to the left and the bathroom is immediately on the right, making this nursery room in an ideal location.
I love the bright red rug. This is one of the new purchases. I scoured the web looking for one that would be appropriate for a kid’s room, NOT have any design on it and be relatively inexpensive and came up with zilch. Then the other day while I was wandering around Target, I saw this rug and it was love at first sight – and on sale! My heart skipped a beat…
Samson likes it too.
Now we’ll go around the room counterclockwise and look at the details. Here is the room when you come in and look to the right.
Because the walls are all yellow, I tried to not use too much of that color in the decorating so you’ll see lots of green, red and blue.
Everything here is pretty basic. Changing pad and cover (of which I plan to get a new one at some point, probably in red or blue), bins with diapers, toiletry items and music (still need to get a CD player – do you know how hard it is to buy just a CD player? Everything out there now is an iPod music player or something). Bottom shelf has baby toys. Some are ones that the kid won’t use for a while but they were the right colors so I put them out as more of a decoration for now.
The framed images above the table were my creation!
Artwork that is strictly “words” is a big thing in the world of decorating right now (examples here and here) and I figured, how hard could it be to make? I basically took a couple excerpts from the “Hungry Caterpillar” book, laid them out in a fun way, with fun colors and printed them out. Took a couple hours just because I’m picky about layout and wanted to get them just right and aligned to work together. Then I just popped them in some frames and ta da!
I’m really happy with them. I like some of the subtle touches, liking matching the word “caterpillar” to the colors of the drawn image in the book and making up the word “butterfly” of all the colors. I also like how they both have dotted lines to tie them together visually. What can I say, my inner graphic designer (which was my major in college) had fun with this project!
The flower/butterfly decals underneath were Isabella’s addition. We moved those out of her room and she wanted the baby to have some. I thought that was so sweet of her so we’ll keep them in there for a while, even if the baby is a boy.
Continuing around the room…
The afghan was made for us by a friend of mine from work. She knew the colors of the room but not the theme, yet I think the blanket ties in perfectly! All the little circles look like lines of caterpillars! I love happy accidents!
The big caterpillar banner was another of my original creations.
Name banners are also very popular these days (see here) so I thought, hey, why not make one using circles to represent the segments of the caterpillars body! I used scrapbook paper in different greens and patterns to add interest and then of course used a red one for the head. Adding the eyes was a last minute idea and I like it. Isabella thinks we should add legs and antennae but I’m undecided. I don’t necessarily want it to be too literal…more like give a representation of the caterpillar.
But if she insists, I’ll give in because I want her to feel included.
The idea is that once the baby is born, I’ll add it’s name – one letter for each segment. But let’s face it, the last thing I will want to do with a new baby is a craft project so it will most likely stay this way for a while, which is fine too.
The mobile is also hand made by me.
I just printed out images from his books, mounted them on scrapbook paper and strung them on some ribbon which was then tied to a hanger. About as basic as you can get. The backs of all of the images are either black with a white design or white with a black design, since babies don’t see in color right away. Plus it mixes it up a bit.
It was actually Isabella’s idea to make this. We had made a mobile for her outer space room and she thought we should make one for the baby. I was toying with the idea too so that settled it! She “helped” me make it in the sense that she picked out which animals to use and where to tie them on.
Next to the crib is the glider and chalkboard.
The red blanket on the glider was made for Isabella by another friend and she actually did use it a lot but has since moved on to other ones. So, since it was all the right colors, I put it in here! The chalkboard was Isabella’s too.
My parents bought it when we went on our Michigan trip 2 years ago, as something to keep her busy in the car. She never really got in to it though. It’s the perfect colors for the room so I stole it!
(Poor kid is giving up a lot of stuff…but she’s also getting a lot in exchange so don’t feel too sorry for her!)
I think we’ll have fun writing different messages or drawing pictures on the chalkboard!
And in the last corner….
The window is “naked” for now but we do plan to hang up curtains. Just haven’t gotten to it yet and I didn’t want to wait before showing off the room to the world! In the beginning we’ll move in Isabella’s curtains (she’s getting new ones for her room makeover). They’re purple so it works with the bright colors. Kind of a “girly” color so if we have a boy we will eventually change them out but it’s fine for the short term.
This is our make-shift dresser.
I batted around the idea for a while of getting a new dresser (or a used one and spiffying it up) but decided to just use what we had. I figured the bookshelf with canvas bins would work just as well for now – plus it helps add more pops of color.
The bins were one of the other new purchases. Cost me $5 for each one (on sale!) for a total of $30. Not too shabby!
I added to them some tags that I made with leftover scrapbook paper from the name banner, so that everyone knows where to find things, since I hope to have lots of people over helping at the beginning.
Also, I’m anal about organization and stuff… and we got a new label maker for free when we bought our printer so I’m label happy! Isabella has fun with it too.
The items on top of the dresser are a random collection of things.
The little tree was purchased from West Elm for like $1.50 on clearance. I couldn’t resist. It’s cute! I thought about painting it but decided leaving the natural wood was a nice change to break up the colors. I can always paint it later if I want.
The book and little horse are both Eric Carle items. The book was Isabella’s and is well worn, which I love. The little horse was a gift from my mom to the baby for Christmas. And then the blue clothespin picture holder I found on clearance at Michael’s for $2 or something. I bought one each for the baby and Isabella since both their rooms have blue. The picture in it is a placeholder for now (preview from our pregnancy photo shoot last weekend with H&J Creative Studio!). I’ll probably change it up to a picture of the baby once born.
And finally the bookshelf on the wall!
This is the last “purchase” for the room – $20. I wanted to display some Eric Carle books in a way that made them art all on their own. Figured facing them out on a shelf would do the trick. Plus I know we’ll read them a lot and they’re easy to access here when we want to. All of them were ones that we already had or were gifts at Christmas. The little caterpillar rattle was something Isabella found at Kohl’s and insisted we get for the baby. It was all of $6 so she didn’t need to do too much convincing. She likes to play with him too and who knows, he might even show up in some of those pregnancy photos!
Now, want to see something kind of sad?
Here’s the inside of the closet, on one side.
Yep, we only have 1 ‘outfit’ for the baby to wear. Everything else is onesies or pajamas that are in the dresser. But I’m not worried, the closet will get filled in when TTB arrives and we know the gender. Still, I think it’s funny how empty it looks.
And there you have it! The baby’s official room for the next couple years. We redid the whole thing for about $100. Our plan is to move TTB in to the room next to Isabella’s after a while, once he/she is a bit older, so that they can be next to each other. But for now, this is it!
Not to toot my own horn too much but like I said at the beginning, I’m really happy with the end result of the nursery. It’s everything I had in mind with a few surprises I hadn’t planned on. And I think it will suit our needs perfectly.
For more baby stuff, click one of these links!
Isabella’s birth story | 32 weeks | 34 weeks