Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Nursery Tour - Part I

Yesterday I showed a little preview of Abe's room with my awesome panoramic collages. In case the cubist aspect of said collages was a little confusing, here's a map: 

Originally I wanted the crib sticking out into the room with the rocking chair in the corner by the window, but with the room being so small, that made it feel really crowded. We ended up with this arrangement because it left a nice play area in the middle of the room which we thought would be nice for when he was bigger. Now that he's bigger I'm glad this is how we did it - Abe loves to play in his room! 

The nursery is at the northwest corner of our house, and the west facing window is shaded for much of the day, so we knew we had to do something to make the room a bit brighter. We painted the walls Benjamin Moore's China White in an eggshell finish. It reads slightly gray, especially when compared to the trim, which we painted with Behr's glossy Ultra Pure White. We covered the hardwood floors with a white area rug which brightened up the room even more. 

We bought this rug from Ikea for the living room in our old apartment. It's the perfect size for Abe's room, and it's machine washable! 

I love how sunny and bright his room feels now, but I noticed he seemed to be having trouble napping during the day. Even though the windows already had pleated shades, I ended up making linen curtains with a muslin liner to help block out a bit more light. It's doesn't get dark when the curtains are closed but it's dim enough for sleeping.

Another big project was refinishing my childhood dresser. I knew I didn't want a separate changing table and in the 8x10 foot room there really wasn't space for one anyway. This dresser had always been in my room growing up, and was the perfect height for me to use as a changing table. (I'm only 5' 2" and most dressers these days are way too tall!) It needed some major updating though (see the transformation here), but after a little hard work and a lucky score on Craigslist, we had it looking better than new...because when it was new it still had hideous hardware. 

Most of the dresser is covered by the changing pad (which fit perfectly!), but I managed to eke out enough space for the ceramic mushroom nightlight (a childhood gift that I had packed away, and only remembered when I was thinking about buying a nightlight for the room), a frame to display Abe's first finger painting, the frog I made him for Easter, and a small crate that holds diapers, wipes, creams and lotions.

The sconce on the back wall is also from Ikea, but we replaced the original cover with a subtle yellow and white damask pattern that we liked better. It was the perfect solution for middle of the night diaper changes, since the nightlight was a bit too dim and all the other lights in the room (and even the hallway) were way too bright. 

Instead of traditional shelves, we installed Ribba picture ledges from Ikea. They're only a few inches deep so we don't have to worry about Abe hitting his head on them when we're changing his diaper. 

I mainly wanted a way to store his photo albums and baby book that would keep them out of his reach while having them on display. It's harder to forget about filling in his baby book when I see it everyday! Not impossible...but harder. The shelves also gave us a great spot for toys that were just too cute to hide in the toy box, a couple carved figurines that found their way into his room, and a vintage Fisher-Price radio that has been a life saver during diaper changes. It's always nice to have some distractions within easy reach...

Someday I'll do something fun with the shadow box on the shelf, but for now it holds a calender for August 2010 with Abe's birth date circled in red.

I love quotes and wanted to put something meaningful in Abe's room. I chose a quote from Abraham Lincoln that I liked and designed this 5x7 print using Photoshop and my old Epson printer (may it rest in peace). We picked up the chair and balloon print from L.B. Stewart at the Uptown Art Fair just a few weeks before Abe was born. The frame on the left holds a piece of scrapbook paper from Cosmo Cricket that I originally just had taped to the wall. Abe loved staring at it when he was a tiny baby, but once he gained more control over his arms and legs he ended up tearing it down. He still enjoys looking at it, but the frames are stuck on the wall with velcro Command strips, so they're not going anywhere.

My favorite piece of "art" is his birth announcement which I designed, photographed, and printed myself! I had a birth announcement picked out before Abe was born, but it needed a vertical photo and I fell in love with this shot (from this shoot I did when he was three weeks old). The fabric letters on the left I sewed by hand back when Abe used to go to bed early and slept all night long.

Whenever I wonder if Abe's room is themed I think "Yes. It's got a pirate robot!" Captain Blockbeard was a gift from my brother Ryan, made by his friend and former college roommate, William (half of the Oh Dier duo). It's nice to have creative friends...

The toy box was another piece of furniture that was rescued from my childhood home. I didn't do much to refurbish this one. Just cleaned it, sanded it (there were splatters of paint on the front), lined the bottom with the same paper I used for the dresser drawers, fixed a broken hinge, and installed a couple safety features. Abe's still too small to really dig in the toy box, but it's a good height for use as a play table.

I found this beverage bucket on sale at Target last summer and put it in Abe's room to corral all of his stuffed animals. He has no problem emptying this bin!

When we started looking at houses I limited our search to houses that were built before 1960. Old houses just have more character and I love the little details in our house (built in 1946), like the gorgeous window trim and vintage doorknobs.

I still have more to show but no time left if I want to get this posted today. Check back tomorrow for the rest of the nursery tour!

See part 2 of the nursery tour hereSee something you like? Check out our nursery source list here.

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