When starting any new project, I ask clients to send me measurements, photos of the room, inspiration photos, and their answers to a questionnaire. And I decided to do the same for my own project, our nursery! I figured it would both help me think through my design decisions, and help you understand more about how exactly e-design works. And I’m so glad that I did! It really helped to solidify some of the design decisions that I’m thinking through.
First I had to determine what I needed to do to just get it ready to be decorated. This room is by far the ugliest and most out of shape in the entire house, so bringing it up to “normal” is probably more work than the decorating. Getting trim replaced that our dog destroyed, getting the room painted and all of the holes filled, taking down blinds and replacing them with plantation shutters to cover up the hideous window, and replacing a very old, flickering light with a contemporary fan with a light. And although most designers are against fans, this is one area where I have to compromise with my husband. He loves fans and wants one in every bedroom. So, I gave in and that’s what we’re doing. Here’s our starting point.
Like I talked about before, I want the room to be one Weston can grow into, rather than out of. The room won’t have a theme, and it won’t be very “baby.” Instead I’m basing it off of a color scheme, as I normally do. And what activities will take place in the room, again as I would normally do. My color scheme will be light blue, white, and oatmeal. The investment pieces such as the crib, dresser, glider, window coverings, rug, and even paint color will all be either white or oatmeal colored. The easily interchangeable, inexpensive pieces will be where I bring in the light blue as this room will become the nursery for our second child once we have them. So, I don’t want to spend more than a couple hundred dollars, or maybe even less, transitioning from a boy to a girl if need be. Therefore, only items like crib skirts, sheets, possibly picture matting, wooden display toys, etc. will be light blue.
Now, designing a nursery is both similar to, and completely different than, any other bedroom. You need a lot of the same elements – a place to sleep, a place to store clothing, something to cover the windows, possibly a rug, etc. But, what these decisions are made on, entirely different! When I was designing our bedroom, I wasn’t thinking of what might happen to our loveseat if a dirty diaper was slung at it, or what would happen if the furniture was jumped off of, or other terrifying safety issues. I simply thought along the lines of, does this work in the room? Is it comfortable? Do I like it? Kids certainly do change everything!
And although it pains me to forfeit some design decisions for practicality, in the end I’m sure I’ll be glad that I made them. Although I have a great love for white, as my husband has reminded me many times, white doesn’t always mix with little ones, no matter how much I love it. So, I’m trying to keep the white to things that are wipeable or washable, walls, shutters, the crib, and the crib skirt. And the tan will need to do more of the heavy lifting, possibly a window seat cushion, the glider, the rug, bins for toys, etc. And of course, it will all need to still be washable.
And before we go any further, please let me warn you! Do not make the mistake I made many years ago. Always check the cleaning code on furniture before you buy it! Stay far away from any fabric that only has an S as a cleaning code, which means solvent or basically dry clean only. This is a recipe for disaster. I once bought a beautiful off white couch, and although I knew I would have to be careful because of the color, I didn’t know at the time the biggest downfall would be the cleaning code of the fabric. At that time I knew nothing about cleaning codes. Thankfully though, I did know enough to buy a cleaning package for the sofa. And here’s why.
That sofa was beyond annoying. Every time I spilled the tiniest thing, it had to be cleaned, and not by me because there are very few consumer dry clean products available. Instead I had to arrange to have the cleaning company that offered the cleaning package to come out every time. What a giant pain. But the ultimate demise of that stupid thing, wet hair. I sat down on the couch after a shower, and when I got up I was horrified. It looked like I had dumped a can of Coke all down the back cushion. And they were never able to get the stain out. Thankfully, the cleaning package I had purchased allowed me to get a new (and different) couch for free. But I vowed that day to never again buy a piece of furniture covered in an S code fabric. And as God as my witness, I never have!
Now, I say all of this because when I was looking at gliders recently at our local baby store. I found a chair that I loved, had it not been for one thing. Right shape, right price, and extremely comfortable. I was pumped! But, I looked through the 50 or so fabrics they had, and all but 3 of them had an S code. Whose ridiculous idea was this?! Only offer dry clean only fabrics on a product that will be used in a baby’s room? In my bedroom, maybe. In our baby’s bedroom? That’s insane. I would literally be throwing our money down the drain within days of Weston coming home – milk, diaper contents, spit up, the list goes on of everything that would most likely meet this “dry clean only” chair. No thanks, I have much more important things on my mind. So please, I beg of you, do not buy an S code fabric unless you’re sure it will never get dirty!
Now, back to the nursery mood board. Like I said, my color scheme is oatmeal, light blue, and white. And I want to focus on curiosity, education, and interactive learning through most of the items in the room. So, here’s my plan. First, Peter Rabbit. And I can’t take credit for this. My 3 year old nephew gets it all. Ever since he found out that I would be giving him a cousin, he has insisted that he was a boy, and that his name should be Peter Rabbit. When he sees me, he pats my belly and says, hi Peter Rabbit! I honestly didn’t remember much about Peter Rabbit, so I looked it up. And much to my delight, there are illustrations from Peter Rabbit available all over Etsy, they’re in the exact colors I need, and very sophisticated while still child like! So, those are definitely going up. Thanks little nephew for my design inspiration!
I’ll be incorporating a map either in a decal form or as a canvas, probably some egg prints that I have on hand that have a tan background, and a few other items I haven’t decided on yet. I’ll be getting a white crib that will eventually convert into a full size bed, a tan glider, and a dresser – which I’m still a little undecided on. To keep the room from getting too girly, or too white, I’m thinking I’ll get a dresser that is a light wood tone rather than painted white. And, if there’s room, which unfortunately there may not be, I’d like to get some IKEA bookcases and shelves to create a window seat and a place for books and toys. I’ll decide that once everything arrives. And now that I’ve pretty much chosen everything, we need to start buying! The glider takes 7-12 weeks to arrive, and my due date is only 15 weeks away. So, let’s just say we hope Weston comes right on time, not early!
So, here again is the final moodboard. Any tweaks or additions you would recommend? And for the Peter Rabbit Illustrations, one thing I’m unsure of is what color the matting should be. I’ll be using the inexpensive Ribba frames from IKEA and they come automatically with a white mat. Should I save money and use the mat it comes with, or replace it? If I replace it, should I replace it with tan matting to keep it neutral for the next baby or make it baby blue? I’d love to hear your thoughts! I also may be out of commission for the next few weeks in terms of posting as it’s go time with the nursery! Final decisions, purchasing, assembling, there’s lots of work to do before I get too big to move! But I’ll certainly be reachable via comments and email. And please do let me know any ideas you have on decorating the nursery, I’d love to hear them!