Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Decorating a Nursery

Decorating your baby's nursery can be such a fun project and a great way to bond with your baby before they arrive!

Start off by picking a theme. This can be anything from nautical, modern, princess or simply your favourite colour. For my daughter, due in October, I decided on nautical. The initial challenge was to create a nautical and beachy feel, while still keeping it girly. I found some very inspiring ideas on Pinterest and had a couple of great suggestions from friends and family along the way.

I began by choosing the wall colours, Provence Creme and Old Fashioned pink, painted in stripes as the focal wall and Lively Tune for the remaining 3 walls.  I always use Behr paint in our home, as I find it has the best coverage and the least odour.
The next challenge was to find the perfect oar to mount and suspend her name from. I started off looking at antique shops and my Uncles old cottage barn, but ended up purchasing this one at Walmart for $20 and found the letters, which I'm thrilled with, at Michaels. The letters were a little more than I wanted to spend, at $6.99 each, but after using a 40% off coupon, it was worth it. I hung the oar on 2 simple hooks and used rope to suspend the oar and then hemp string to suspend the name. I have since added a floating corner shelf to the right of the crib for the baby monitor and a toy net in the upper left corner. The net was a great addition to the room. You can either purchase a fishing net or a coordinating toy net and add accents like starfish and sand dollars. Be creative!

Next off, decide what pieces are essential in the room, before adding things that aren't. For Olivia's room, I knew I needed the crib, change table, diaper disposal and dresser for sure, but this left me with little storage space and nowhere for books. After what felt like endless searching, I found the above piece at Wicker Emporium. It came with bright yellow, red and blue drawers. After a suggestion from a friend, I used the "ombre" look and started with the middle drawer, using the Old Fashioned Pink wall paint, and kept aside enough to mix 2 additional colours. One I added white and one I added red to create the above look. I love how this turned out, but it still left me short on book storage..and every child's room needs books.

I had seen book sling, free standing units at Toys R Us, but wasn't thrilled by the colours or quality. After a little searching on Etsy and Pinterest, I discovered wall mount book slings. Greatest idea and takes up very little space! Click here for a free tutorial on how to make a book sling. All you need is 2 double curtain rod braces, 2 wooden dowels, fabric, thread and a sewing machine. (I will post the picture when mine is finished)

Finally, every baby room should have a comfortable place to sit. Since I was working with only a small remaining space to incorporate a chair, I thought small and found a club chair and will be having it recovered to coordinate with the book sling. As an accent on the chair, I will be making Olivia a name pillow. If you have the space, you may want to consider a glider or rocking chair to help soothe the baby in the wee hours of the morning.

When I picked out the crib, I didn't notice that a typical mobile wouldn't attach to the wide I had to think outside the box. I am currently making seahorses and startfish (from stencils I found for free online)out of felt and will hang them from the ceiling on a pulley and rope. Using the pulley will make it adjustable for when Olivia is able to sit/stand in her crib. Mobiles can come in all shapes and sizes. There are a ton of great ideas out there. Check out Pinterest for some inspiration or Etsy for someone to custom design one especially for your baby's room.

For random accent pieces, I have made a life ring, using an inflatable ring, paper mache, a little paint, rope and ribbon. I ordered, from Etsy, a 24" in diameter ships wheel wall decal. I purchased, on clearance from Wicker Emporium, a nautical picture frame and model ship. From Michaels, for only $1.50 each, I picked up 2 wall mount anchor shaped hooks and a little "Ahoy!" sign. From Pottery Barn, in Toronto, my brother picked up a seahorse nightlight, fish crib sheet (100% organic cotton), angel fish pillow and 2 paintings (starfish and seahorse) done on wood. Finally, I found a set of decorative 12" wooden oars on kijiji for $2, which I painted white with pink stripes.

The room is really coming together and has been a ton of fun to create! I'd love to hear your ideas and see the picture of the nurseries you've created!

*More pictures to come as the room develops.

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