My husband and I are scuba divers and love the water, so when we found out we were pregnant, we knew an underwater scene was what we had to do to share our love of the ocean with our newest addition. Projecting the images on the wall to trace was our idea because our limited artistic skills could not produce the same realistic effect we were working towards.
What brand and color of paint did you use? Mostly we used "unloved" sample paints of various colors from Lowe's. These paints were samples that were returned or mixed and not purchased. We needed a variety of colors so we bought colors that we could use to mix our own variations. The sample paints were Valspar from Lowe's. The "sand" is a Valspar Granite Dust Stone. The walls are a Valspar Seaside Retreat East Coast.
If you added stripes, polka dots or other paint effects, tell us how you did it. We stippled the wall first using a stippling brush. The existing wall was painted a very pale blue/lavender almost white and we rolled over it with East Coast blue and used a stiff stippling brush to "bang" on the wall being sure to wipe the brush clean every few hits. This was done while the blues were still wet, but a few minutes after it was first rolled on being sure not to do too bigger sections, about 5' x 5' at a time.
In order to avoid seams or lines, we altered the rolling pattern and size of section completed.
For the merge into the ceiling for the wave effect, we used the same brush and brushed the colors together...
again, wiping between several strokes and keeping the strokes random. Mostly we brushed the ceiling color down into the wall color.
Then we taped off for the sandy bottom and used a textured paint which we added glitter to in order to give it a real sandy look. This was rolled on using a 3” nap roller.
For the fish and coral reef on the wall, we took actual pictures from our own dive trips and favorite dive magazine, Sport Diver, and turned them into transparencies at FedEx Kinkos.
We purchased an overhead projector off of Ebay and projected the images onto the wall. We then traced the images with a pencil. We used the colors in the photos as a guide, but added our own artistic take to make the fish more kid friendly, and gender friendly, as we were going to be surprised whether a girl or a boy.
The only fish we free-handed was the sting ray, as a real life sting ray can look intimidating and my husband's rule for all the fish was they needed to have a happy smile!
What brand of crib did you buy? Where from? The crib is a convertible crib by Delta purchased from Babies R Us.
What brand of furniture did you choose? Where did you buy it? The dresser and changing table are by Delta purchased from Babies R Us. The children's table is from my own childhood.
What bedding set did you use? Where did you buy it? With all the detail in the room, we chose to go with basic bedding with no design. The breathable bumpers are available from Amazon.com. A friend made the blanket on the crib from a sarong.
about your window treatments, lighting, rugs, wall decor and accessories. Where did you buy them - were any handmade? The window valences were purchased from Country curtains in Naperville, though the Trident curtain rod was made by my husband with scraps from an old steel trellis and welding putty, then spray painted gold. (He loves to brag about using old scraps I wish he would trash).
The shades and rug are from Home Depot. The fish lamp and crib mobile are from Burlington Coat Factory.
The switch plate and outlet covers are from Switchplate.com.
The fish, starfish and turtle wall decor were from the local zoo gift shop, Brookfield Zoo, and even though we know some are hung in the reach of little hands, they were cheap and can be removed or tossed if needed.
The handles on the closet were ordered from Lowe's.
The pictures on the shelves were found at a garage sale and there is a framed picture of my husband and I diving with a potato cod.
How did you store all your baby goodies? In baskets, on shelves? Everything is stored in drawers, on shelves or mostly in the closet which has a wire organizer (already installed when we purchased the home).
How long did it take you? Was it easy, fun, difficult? What was your favorite part? We started painting in September and had the very last piece (curtain Trident) completed around February 21, though the room was pretty much complete by mid January with only some minor details left - the baby was due February 7, 2011.
We spent an entire weekend painting the coral reef alone. The seal was the first undersea creature painted and took 2 days. We had a blast working on the room...
I had to convince my husband that we were done and didn't need any more fish. If it were up to him, we would still be painting!
My favorite part was that my husband wanted to be involved so much that I was not allowed to paint if he had to work late as we both really enjoyed painting the fish! Painting the fish was easy, but very time consuming as we mixed our own paint colors and had to wait for one color to dry before applying the next. Stippling the wall paint to provide a depth to the water was very difficult.
Did you do the entire nursery on your own or did someone help you? Who? What did they do? We did the entire room by ourselves.
What do you love most about your little one's finished room? That we can share our love for the ocean with our son who was born on Feb. 7, 2011. We can teach him about the fish that live in his room and that we can show him actual pictures of the fish on his wall and how what we put on his walls are more than paintings, they are memories of his parents' passion that we wanted to share with him. My husband's favorite is the seal or his trident; my favorite is the coral reef. The room is truly a labor of love from both me and my husband.
If you want to create an ocean theme nursery, check out ababy.com's ocean theme section - you get 10% discount if you buy any three or more items from the same theme!
More Under the Sea Theme Pages and Decorating Ideas...
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.