Picking a nursery theme and colors was a very difficult task for me. For months, I pored over websites in search of ideas without much success. I somehow couldn't picture the nursery that I wanted and was discouraged by what I saw online. At that point, I backtracked and tried to think of what I wanted for our baby. What would I want her to see when she was in her room? What would I want her to be surrounded by? The answers came easily: love, family, comfort and calm. This led me to the idea for our whit heirloom nursery.
I asked my mother and my mother-in-law to dig up some old family photo albums. I was in search of pictures of past generations and of our parents as children. We ultimately selected some photos of our own parents as children, our grandparents as young adults and our grandparents with us as babies. We converted all the photos to black and white (easy at Kinkos!) and bought off-white, very simple Pottery Barn frames.
Another way that I tried to add the presence of past generations was to use their artwork. My grandmothers (and one great grandmother) had embroidered things for me when I was born. They are old-fashioned, colorful pieces that are meaningful to me and solved my problem of having no idea what to put on the walls!
Our nursery is very small (we live in a city row house) so space was quite limited. It took some creative thinking to furnish the space because it's so tiny. We used an online "birds eye view" room planner to make sure that furniture we were buying would fit in the room and not render us without any floor space! With such a small room, we also wanted to keep the colors light in order to make the room seem (hopefully!) bigger.
We ultimately bought the Kendall
low profile crib from PBK as well as their Kendall dresser. These pieces have nice, straight lines (good for small rooms) and brought a clean look that I really liked. Our glider is also white and though it is made by Dutalier, I found it for twenty dollars in a second hand store. Best find for a mom on a budget!
Much of the remainder of the nursery was "do it yourself" (or "have husband do it"...) and second hand.
My husband remade the inside of the nursery closet in order to give us extra space in our tiny room (we used a great website called "Easy Closets" on which you can design your own closet and then install it yourself).
He also installed curtains (Bed Bath and Beyond), painted a bookcase and a night table (previously wood-colored) to match the PBK furniture (we had Lowe's match the color), put up a shelf above the changing table (also painted to match the furniture), installed blackout cordless blinds (Lowe's) and painted the entire room.
I found bedding, quilt (that we hung above the crib) and a mobile for the nursery on Craigslist (it's PBK "sweet lambie" bedding, but we weren't willing to pay full price!). The paint color of the room was also created by Lowe's: we brought in the lambie bedding and had them match one of the pale taupe colors in the print.
The finishing touches were books (mostly my old childhood books), a butterfly mobile (from Etsy!) and some toys/stuffed animals from childhood and friends. I did also buy a few little baskets from Bed, Bath and Beyond for more storage space.
We feel that we ended up with a tiny but storage-friendly room that is calming and welcoming. I love that our little girl will start her life surrounded by the works and pictures of past generations. She is due in three weeks...we can't wait!
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.