Friday, February 25, 2011

A Few More Nursery Details

There were a few details I wanted to write about when I wrote about Myla's nursery, but the post threatened to be a mile long.  So I decided to give your eyes a break (and keep you coming back for more!) and write another post. :-)

There were a few small touches in the nursery that really customized the room and pulled everything together.  All in all, it was not an incredibly expensive nursery.  The only "new" piece of furniture was a dresser purchased on Criaglist.  None of the pieces in the room matched (dark crib, white shelves, light, two-toned dresser), so, instead of trying to paint everything (painting isn't really Rachel's favorite hobby) or starting from scratch (not in the budget!), we made a few small changes that tied the room together. 

On the dresser Rachel and I had talked about painting the knobs to match the bedding or even modge-podging colored copies of the crib sheet to the knobs.  (You can see in the photo above that I took a knob off to experiment with the painting idea.) 

In the end, time got away from us and Rachel ended up finding perfect knobs at Hobby Lobby for half price.  For just $15 total we tied in the green in the room and added an element of fun.

With more time, I probably would have painted a little pink and green around the knobs to strengthen their presence and further customize the piece, but sometimes you just have to say "enough is enough." And Rachel is probably sick of feeding me lunch when I come over there to work!  :-)

We used the same idea of tying in the green with the white bookshelf in the room.  By itself it was fine, but it lacked presence and pizzaz!

The shelf has been in the family for a while and has seen better days, so I covered the back with polka dotted scrap book paper!

It freshened up the shelf and brought in the green and polka dots that are used in so much of the room, all while hiding some imperfections.  I would love to have found wrapping paper or wallpaper to have a more continuous look (without seams), but I couldn't find just what I wanted, and we couldn't complain about the cost of six pieces of scrapbook paper and some spray adhesive!  

The other detail I wanted to share is the birdhouses I made for the dormer window.  I bought them all at Michael's for a total of $11.  (The little ones were $1, and I got the big ones on sale for $3 each.)  I used paints that we had already bought for the room, some scrap ribbon I had lying around my house, scrapbook paper, and some colored photocopies of fabric from the room to make each house unique and fun.  We hung them from the ceiling with cup hooks (well-anchored for the big houses!) and fishing wire. 

For less than $50 (and a little bit of time), these three projects made this room much more customized, colorful, and creative! 

Come back next week as I share some of the little staging projects I helped do in other parts of Rachel's house.  Can you tell someone is nesting?  (No, not me!!!)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Whimsical and Colorful Pottery-Barn Inspired Nursery!

Finally!  Myla's nursery is "done for now!"  (If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I don't believe in a finished room.)


The inspiration for the room all started with the Pottery Barn Brooke crib bedding, which is now discontinued.  Rachel really loved the quilt and sheet but neither of us was crazy about the crib skirt, so we headed to the fabric store and began looking at fabrics, thinking of ways to personalize and perfect the room.

Rachel was a fabric store virgin, and it was so fun to watch evolve from a deer in headlights to - albeit a few weeks later - a confident fabric shopper, making final selections with very little help.

The walls were already blue and Rachel didn't want to repaint, so we looked at tying together two or three different colors and patterns that would compliment the blue.  The bedding was very accommodating with many colors and styles to choose from, and after studying countless samples and swatches, Rachel chose gorgeous bright pink and whimsical green fabrics.  I suggested accenting them with a chocolate brown to help ground them a little, and suddenly all of the details began to fall into place.   

I made a basic ruffled crib skirt with the green fabric.  We had planned to use both pink and green in the skirt, but the store didn't have enough pink, and ordering more proved to be a real hassle.  We eventually decided that it wasn't worth it anyway, since the front of the bed hides most of the skirt:


I also made the curtains with the pink and green fabrics and lined them with blackout fabric, making the room deliciously cave-like at nap time.   

I had envisioned big, bold trees on the walls, and Rachel was very trusting, allowing me to pursue my vision with no more than a quick explanation of what I wanted to do.  Actually, before I drew the trees, she at least knew I could handle a paintbrush because I first won her over with this owl.  It is a replica of the owl found in Myla's crib sheet (except with different colors):

I just love the way he looks at everyone who enters the room!

We used many sentimental items in the room including a bookshelf that used to belong to Rachel's mom, a toy baby bed that was in the family, and some shelves that Rachel's mom gave her:

The shelves were unfinished, so we painted them white.  At some point there will also be a giant, colorful, letter "M" under the higher shelf, made by Rachel's sister-in-law, Brooke.

The space in the above photo is a dormer window, and it is an awkward space for any room.  Eventually I could see it becoming a secret play area with fun curtains closing it off from the rest of the room or maybe acting as a homework space with a long, narrow, built-in desk.  For now, Rachel plans to use it as a sleeping spot.  The chair pulls out into a little bed, which she will use when she is nursing and her husband has to get some uninterrupted sleep.

In my last post I mentioned that our mutual friend Katie made a sign and pillow for the nursery.  Katie and I conspired through email so that it was a total surprise to Rachel.  The sign is absa-stinkin-perfect!

All I did was send her some photos and describe the space where we would put it, and look how well she did!  It fits beautifully in the awkward space between the crib and the wall vent!  (I can just see a framed, matted black and white baby photo on either side of the canvas, can't you?!)

(Katie is so talented, and you can order a custom sign of your own in her Etsy store!  And no, she didn't ask me to promote her in any way!)

Katie also made an extra-firm pillow that will help Rachel to support her newborn without getting a tired arm.  Very, very good thinking from a mom with experience.

Plus, it's just cute!

Behind the chair is this darling birdcage wall hanging which we found at a local fabric store.  I have since seen it online in several places, so I know you can find it too if you want it for yourself.  (Search for "bird cage photo hanger.")

I clipped some cards and well wishes from the shower wishing tree to the cage to fill it up a little.

And speaking of the wishing tree, I was elated to find out that we were going to be able to keep the one from the shower and use it in the room!  I had desperately wanted to use real branches in the room in some way, and I got my wish without having to do the spray painting myself!

Rachel already had this beautiful Pottery Barn vase and some crystals to put inside it, so I just bought some clip-on butterflies at Michael's to add some interest to the branches.  (Hooray for doing this room at the beginning of spring!)  The butterflies were on sale, and this whole display cost about $4.  I especially love that the spray paint didn't fully adhere and has a crackled, mottled finish.  Way better for this project than if it was thick and even...

The crystals in the bottom of the vase tie in nicely with the chandelier, which you can sort of see below:

Even though you can't see it completely, if you're thinking the light fixture looks familiar,  you're right.  It's the same one I have in Cora's room!  

Flattery.  :-)

Designing this room was such a joy!  In my next life I think I will get to exclusively design and execute children's spaces.  :-)

Update: If you're here visiting from Fingerprints on the Fridge or another blog, thanks for stopping by!!  If you like reading about this nursery I did for my friend, Rachel, there is another post with more details here.  Thanks again for visiting!

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