My mom and I were shopping at Pier 1 Imports for an owl figurine for a high school graduation present. Instead, I stumbled upon 6ft tall giraffe, lion, and zebra wooden statues. I was 8 weeks pregnant and did not even know my baby’s gender so I was not entirely convinced that this would make for a beautiful nursery – until Toto’s song “Africa” came blaring over the store radio. I took it as a sign to proceed with the purchase! I called my husband to bring the truck and pick up the large merchandise pieces. As I was waiting for him, I continued to shop and ended up purchasing a tabletop lamp, a floor lamp, a decorative tree, a metal elephant statue, decorative animal print pillows and blankets, other smaller African animal wooden figurines, and ordered a shaggy rug that reminded me of a lion’s mane! No luck with the owl figurine but I ended up with my baby’s nursery room!
What brand and color of paint did you use?
The nursery room was already painted a nice neutral color from the previous owners and just seemed to fit with the jungle-theme colors.
What brand of crib did you buy? Where from?
I found a beautiful bedroom set, the Antiqued Charcoal Brown Jourdan Nursery Collection, from Restoration Hardware. I purchased the convertible crib, bookshelf, and dresser with removable changing tabletop. I also purchased a desk and nightstand to be used later.
What nursery bedding set did you use? Where did you buy it?
I was on a mission to find a simplistic nursery bedding set that went along with the jungle theme. I searched online endlessly. I found the perfect bedding set by Wendy Bellissimo – but it was discontinued! I found a seller on Amazon who literally had the last bedding set.
Tell us about your window treatments, nursery lighting, rugs, wall decor and accessories. Where did you buy them - were any handmade?
I went to Pier 1 Imports to pay a bill and found a banana wicker chair with ottoman and end table. I wanted a rocker but was in love with this chair and knew it would be perfect for the nursery jungle-theme. I bought the chair, ottoman, and end table but had the Amish add rocker legs to the chair, which made it both comfortable and practical to read and rock my little one to sleep.
I visited a
local craft show where a vendor was selling photographs of elephants, zebras, and giraffes. I bought them and had them framed at a local shop.
I found fake ferns from Jo-Ann Fabrics and placed them in a zebra planter found at Lowe’s.
My husband and I attended an art class at Paint Monkey where we painted a double feature of an African sunset with giraffes and elephants. It was the perfect touch that put a lot of meaning to the nursery. Later, I made a zebra stencil on poster board and had my baby shower guests sign it.
How did you store all your baby goodies? In baskets, on shelves?
I found banana wicker baskets and storage cubes at Garden Ridge to store toys, stuffed animals, and books.
How long did it take you? Was it easy, fun, difficult? What was your favorite part?
Ever since I found my animal statues at Pier 1 Imports, I was constantly on the look out for any other pieces that would make great additions to the nursery. My family and friends added to the nursery with trinkets and animal shaped books they bought for the baby shower, which are now displayed on the nursery bookshelf.
It never felt like a chore finding and decorating the nursery. It was exciting to find pieces for the nursery unexpectedly in various stores and craft shows and all aspects of decorating were equally fun. It took over 7 months and I was still finding items after he was born!
Did you do the entire nursery on your own or did someone help you? Who? What did they do?
I did the entire nursery myself with my mom’s input. My husband just got the heck out of my way!
What do you love most about your little one's finished baby room?
I love that it is not a traditional nursery. All of the items pair well with one another and they create a sophisticated grown-up space rather than a typical kitschy child’s jungle-themed room.
All of the pieces are special and helped create the overall look but the painting my husband and I created is the most special contribution to the room because it was something we did together and is a personal touch. The room has the potential to grow with my son, as he gets older. And based on the cost – he will have this theme until he is 18 years old!
Nursery Design Step-by-Step is a 105 page nursery design guide with over 100 nursery pictures to help you with planning your baby room, choosing a baby room design and implementing your nursery decorating project.
One at a time I'll take you through all the decisions you need to make in order to arrive at the best baby room design for you.