With our first baby on the way, my husband and I were inundated with decisions on everything baby: the safest car seat, the best pediatrician, and the task of decorating the nursery (just to name a few).
My goal was to create a relaxing space that was cute and functional (filled with furniture and colors that could grow with the little guy) and wouldn't take a mortgage payment to pull off.
Boy or girl, I decided early on that a cool blue was an easy option to work with -- and a relaxing shade to be surrounded by during 2 a.m. feedings.
Upon a trip to a going-out-of-business sale at a local fabric store, I found this whimsical toile-inspired pattern that would dictate the color scheme. Knowing it may not be there on a second visit; I purchased most of the fabric and was able to use it in multiple ways.
Crib from Storkland Baby
Fleece Organic Baby Blanket on glider by Robbie Adrian
Chocolate rug: Posh Collection from Shaw Floors
Having a husband who's a contractor does come in handy. In exchange for odd jobs around their house, our neighbors "paid" him in furniture -- the glider and this dresser. Not only does it have plenty of storage, but it can also stay in baby's room long after being used as a changing station.
For a pop of color, I painted the knobs a bright green and hung alphabet prints above. A mirror and frames hung with bright ribbon would also complete the area.Wall art: Alphabet Prints by StrawberryLuna
A gift from my mother, our crib will also be around for years to come. As baby grows, it transitions into a toddler bed and then can be used as a headboard and footboard for a big boy bed.
To soften the area, luxurious neutral bedding keeps baby cozy, and a plush shag rug lies below for playtime after a long nap.
Bedding: Cameron Crib Set from Serena & Lily
Lamb: Cuddly Baa from B Braithwaite
With the quart of paint I purchased for the dresser knobs, I also spruced up this $10 shelf from a crafts store. It serves as a special place for our young baby's keepsakes and collections -- and is the perfect spot for a monitor to watch over him.
Artwork: "Baby Sleeping" Plaque by Litsy Designs
Monitor: Summer Handheld Video Monitor from B Braithwaite
A sterling silver cup and rattle (resting on my baby blanket) were must-haves for our little one's collection. To give them a personal touch, our friend (a calligraphy designer) created a custom monogram especially for him, and it was etched onto the silver pieces, leaving room for other monograms in the future.
Monogram: Custom Design by Allison R. Banks Designs
Engraving: Bob Rosser Hand Engraver
The beauty of having a custom monogram is the endless options for the design. Instead of hanging artwork over the crib, I opted to paint an elaborate version of his initials.
First, I took the original design and had it blown up in black and white. Using painter's tape, I attached transfer paper (from the crafts store) and the design to the wall. Finally, I traced the design onto the wall, and filled it in with acrylic paint.
I gave the windows special treatment in the nursery without spending too much, but it was quite the labor of love.
My mom hung the blackout shades (a nursery necessity), I hot-glued khaki trim (99 cents per yard at a fabric store) for a simple embellishment, and my mother-in-law made the valances, which hang from inexpensive cafe rods.
Shades: Blackout Roll-Up Shades from Country Curtains
They may be small, but babies need big storage! With a closet system that's easy to install and even easier to rearrange, we'll be able to accommodate the little one's changing needs. And lots of bins and baskets hold tiny socks, bibs, and diapers -- keeping them organized and stylishly stored away.
Shelving: Rubbermaid Custom Closet Set (and blue totes) from Lowe’s
Baskets: Sabrina Collection from Pottery Barn Kids
Outside of the closet, we still needed storage options that were easy to access. A clothes horse beside the dresser holds towels and onesies for quick changes. The lightweight hamper can easily be toted back and forth (and back again) to the laundry, and a diaper caddy will move with me and baby through the house.
Although toys are sure to be strewn all over our house soon, I found this trunk at a closeout store to house stuffed animals and games. When our little one gets older, he can use this piece to store secret treasures or sports equipment.
Rug: Trellis Rug in green from Pottery Barn Kids
A quiet fan was important to keep air flowing and baby comfy. The one we chose also has interchangeable blades available that you can mix and match for any kid's room.
To finish off the space, I brought the Southern tradition of painting porch ceilings blue into the nursery. It adds a touch of color above, and works well with the neutral walls.
Fan: Ashlyn Fan with Whisperwind Motor from Hunter Fans
Wall color: Pecan by Eddie Bauer Home
Ceiling Color: Custom Mixed