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nursery | Building Our Nest
May 16 2012

Nursery Reveal

Ok, the time is here! Here are the pictures of the finished nursery! (Ok, “Phase 1″ finished… but still…)

I wanted to create a bright and cheerful room that could work for either a boy or a girl. I didn’t want it to be “themey” but rather based around color, so I found some fabric that I based the whole room around. We ended up using this fabric for the curtains.

I loved the greens and blues in it. The curtains were made by my mother-in-law and have a band of turquoise at the bottom. There are a lot of windows in the room and it required a lot of fabric.

We picked a nice cheery yellow for the walls – Glidden’s Buttercup, color-matched to Benjamin Moore paint (the only paint my husband thinks is worth anything…) and used some of Behr’s Bamboo Leaf and Peacock Feather for other accents in the room (we’ll get to those later).

We bought the bamboo roman shades at Home Depot and cut them to the width of the windows. We can never find exact matches for the old windows in our house and these shades are easy to cut to size.

We found both the sofa and the ottoman on Craigslist. The pillows are from Target (green & blue), Pier One (yellow) and the bigger quilted ones were made by my mother and my cousin.

The quilted pillow uses some of the curtain fabric

I found the side table on Craigslist and it was already refinished with dark turquoise legs! I didn’t have to do a thing to it! The green table lamp is from Target.

The crib is the Sundvik crib from IKEA. White and simple and inexpensive. We opted for simple white mesh breathable bumpers and rotate pale green, blue and yellow crib sheets from Target.

My mother sewed the crib skirt, from a coordinating fabric in the same line as the curtain fabric:

The art over the crib on the long window wall was a gift from my mother-in-law. It’s from Petit Collage, and while I’m not sure where she bought those, I know you can find it on Etsy. The other art is the cross-stitch birth announcement lovingly made by my mother. She’s been making cross-stitch birth announcements for years for numerous friends and family and I gave her a challenge with this one. I think a lot of child-oriented cross-stitch design is too overly sentimental or kitschy, so I found a neat Etsy shop that sells simple graphic bird and animal cross-stitch patterns and together we came up with a design combining several of the patterns and using the colors of the room.

We found the glider on Craigslist too – and I’m still considering recovering it, as the gray is the only gray in the room. Haven’t quite decided what to do yet. The teal blanket was crocheted by a co-worker of mine, who had absolutely NO idea that the color fits PERFECTLY in the room. We love it.

The mobile was a gift from my mother-in-law. She bought it at a local art gallery.

The tiny little rocking chair was my sisters’ and mine when we were little. I can’t wait for Marc to be old enough to sit in it!

I painted the backs of the cubbies with the Peacock feather color and some of the cubbies hold Marc’s amazing, growing library and some others have some awesome storage bins from Target. The top one holds keepsakes – his baptismal candle, several outfits I want to save – the middle one holds receiving blankets and burp cloths and the bottom one holds toys.

We took the door off of the closet and I sewed (with help from my mother-in-law!) the curtain to cover the door. It’s made from this fabric:

The dresser/changing table was one more Craigslist find and was a beat up old brown dresser with ugly handles and cracked drawer bottoms. My dad sanded and primed the dresser and I painted it with the Bamboo Leaf color and then the drawers with a gradation in color (we added varying amounts of white to the base color to get the other colors) to create a cool ombre effect. Kelly replaced the drawer bottoms and refaced the insides of the drawers. I love the way it looks, though, it’s an old dresser and has the quirks and stickiness of an old dresser.

I found some old baskets lying around the house and have all of Marc’s cloth diapers and liners stacked up in them and easily accessible.

I think the art wall is pretty fun and features a lot of my DIY projects. I found the mirror at a local thrift store. It was plastic and and ugly dark green. I painted it turquoise, as you can see. I also painted the wooden letters on the shelf and decoupaged the scrapbook paper on the M hanging on the wall. The art is from Etsy, mainly. The “Let the Wild Rumpus Start!” from “Where the Wild Things Are” quote is from rawartletterpress, the airplane is from UrbanTickle (it says “I hope that even the sky is not the limit for you”) and the M is for Monkey is from SeaUrchinStudio. The cross was from Marc’s godparents on the occasion of his baptism. The other painting on the shelf was painted in 1999 by my flatmate when I was living overseas in Croatia. It’s a simple painting of the Croatian coastline and the colors work perfectly in the room!

You can see the door wall here, where we painted the chalkboard door and where we do Marc’s monthly picture taking.

I painted an old coat hook rack that was originally in the room hanging on the door with the blue paint and when Marc’s old enough, he can hang his coats there. Right now I’ve got a few sentimental pieces of clothing hanging on it. The purple outfit was knitted by Marc’s godmother after I complained about how all the purple clothes were on the girls’ side of the store. Boys can wear purple! The red sweater was knitted by his godfather. It’s a gorgeous Scandinavian design and has a hat, mittens and socks that go along with it. He wore the sweater on his baptism day. The lion outfit belonged to Marc’s uncle – his namesake – when he was an infant in the 60s.

I stretched this Amy Butler fabric over some wood to create art on the wall next to the door:

Now, you’re probably wondering what the heck is with the other wall in the room and why there are no pictures of it yet! Well, that’s because it’s the part of the room that’s not finished yet and won’t be until Phase 2 – or possibly Phase 3. But, just so you can see it, here it is:

Sad, I know. That green and blue bunting was actually the original inspiration for the room. It hung at our wedding and gave me the idea to do a room using green and blue. When this wall is finished, it will most likely still hang there, just over the wall of built-in cabinets that we are planning.

Right now this wall houses the wet diaper pail (that door is the door to the bathroom where we rinse out Marc’s cloth diapers so it’s very handy to have the pail right there) and a few of Marc’s bigger toys.

Oh, I just realized here that you can see the carpet that we have in the room in this picture – we chose teal carpet tiles from Flor. We ended up not making a full 8×10 rug out of them – I think Kelly wanted to show off more of the gleaming hardwood floors he worked so hard on!

By the way, that cradle was made by my father for my sister when she was a baby! Now it is holding Roar Bear (my teddy bear as a child) and Marc’s special Peter Rabbit (made by my mother for my little sister) and a sock monkey.

So, that’s the nursery. I’m absolutely in love with this room. It’s my favorite place in the whole house. It’s so bright and cheerful and happy and I think it reflects Marc’s happy little personality.

What do you think?

Bright and cheery room!

Happy little boy!



Apr 26 2012

Nursery: Phase 1 and 2

Are you getting sick of nursery updates yet, but not a “Finally, the nursery is finished!” update? I think I am…

Although, it’s going to be a while before I can really say “this nursery is DONE” because really, we’re only working right now on Nursery: Phase 1. Nursery: Phase 1 will be done when the baby is sleeping, nursing, getting changed, etc. in the room. To finish that up, the dresser needs a few tweaks and the clothes finally put in it and the closet curtain needs to go up. We are so almost there.

However, Nursery: Phase 2 will include

  • Installing crown molding
  • Finishing out the trim around the closet and the cubbies
  • Designing and building a wall of built-in bookshelves and cupboards along the bathroom door wall

That might take a while yet. So while we are almost done with Nursery Phase 1, know that it will be a while yet before the Nursery is completely done.

In the meantime, here are a few pictures of the recent updates:

Putting up art above the unfinished dresser


There’s a little taste of the dresser to come. I promise it is really cool!

Putting up art above the area where the crib will be


The crib is there now – and there’s a little boy sleeping through the night in it!

Sewing the closet curtain


My mother-in-law is finishing it up, which is awesome.

Getting the cubbies painted and arranged


Yes, the top cubby isn’t painted all the way to the top. I couldn’t reach it. That needs Kelly’s doing. Oh, the other thing is that we’ve moved that rocker out of the nursery. We needed to have a rocking chair downstairs for when my mother-in-law watches the baby during the week, so we moved this one downstairs. I found a rocker/glider on Craigslist for $40 and it’s in there now. It’s got a nice neutral dark gray fabric on it, but I’m thinking I may need to do a little reupholstering. I need to find a nice heavy-weight fabric for it though.

So there it is. Nursery: Phase 1 almost complete.


Mar 3 2012

We have textiles!

Guess what, folks? After getting a lot of the prep work (ceiling, windows, floors, trim, etc.) on the nursery done, we’ve finally gotten to the stage where we can start decorating! And first off, that means that the fabric that originally inspired the colors of the room has finally entered the room in the form of curtains. (My wonderful mother-in-law made the curtains, as my skills on the sewing machine just aren’t up to snuff yet.)

Even though the curtains are lined, we added some dark brown bamboo roman shades as well, to help block the light. Here is the single window all decorated. Once the wall of three windows is finished, I’ll put up a picture of that too.


Feb 6 2012

Chalkboard Door

We decided that one feature we’d like to add to the nursery is some kind of chalkboard wall, so that the baby has a sanctioned place to draw on the walls… :-) There really isn’t one wall in the room that works for a chalkboard wall, so we decided to paint the inside panels of the door with chalkboard paint. Eventually, we’ll add a little tray in between the two panels to hold chalk and an eraser.

The door, after scraping the paint off, sanding and priming

Kelly & I have a habit of painting our initials into things - see our blog

How cute is that?

The end result

And the chalkboard door is now serving as the backdrop to a monthly picture project with the baby. (The idea for which I found on Pinterest)

Here's the first month's picture


Feb 5 2012

Nursery Updates

Well, we have had a lot of progress on the nursery lately. Mainly because of this guy:

Marc

Marc William, born January 3

He came three weeks early, and the nursery was decidedly not finished yet. But Kelly got a bunch done in the two weeks he was home, and now my parents are in town and my father has been helping with the room as well. Here’s what we have done so far:

  • Finished scraping the window trim
  • Primed and painted the window trim
  • Caulked and sealed the window panes (72 in the room in all!)
  • Painted the room the bright cheery yellow color (it needed few coats)
  • Ripped up the carpet
  • Sanded the (in great condition!) floors
  • Stained and polyed the floors to a wonderful color and shine
  • …And Kelly is currently working on priming and painting the baseboards (including fixing some damaged baseboards) and installing the quarter round

Scraping the window trim

Lovely joinery in the old windows

Window trim got primed and painted

We tested three different shades of yellow before going for the lightest one.

Kelly had lots of help with the windows. Here, my parents are helping scrape paint off the glass panes.

Ripping up the carpet

We found the floors in such good shape!

The sanding finished

Staining his way out the door

The floors stained. We went with a lighter "pecan" shade.

Two coats of stain, two coats of poly later...

Shiny shiny floors...


Nov 15 2011

New Nursery floorplan

When we were clearing out the nursery, I finally got around to actually measuring the dimensions of the room, the windows, doors, etc. So you can imagine my surprise at how wildly off I was when I created the previous floorplan for the nursery. Here’s what I had pulled out of my head:

This is how the room is in actuality:

It is actually much larger than I had thought and more square than rectangular. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the following things:

  • We will be able to fit a rocking chair next to the crib against that wall
  • There is room for an 8×10 rug rather than a 5×8
  • Having just the far wall designated for built-in cabinets is plenty. Kelly convinced me that wrapping around the wall will just be more hassle than it’s worth and will inhibit opening the door all the way

Kelly has now gotten the skim coat on the ceiling. Next step, patching and sanding – then on to the window trim scraping!


Nov 12 2011

Nursery Progress

It might seem kind of strange that “progress” to us means that we now have an empty room. But, progress it is, since the room we designated the nursery until now has been the craft/office/storage/”attic staging area” room. But this week we (especially Kelly) worked hard at clearing it out so that we could get started on the demo (scraping the popcorn ceiling, window trim and ripping up the carpet).

Here are some pictures of the cleared out room, ready for demo:

Well, cleared out except for work tools and such...

Horrid icky carpet that has to go

The crib nook, bookshelves and closet

Door to the hallway, with the mother-to-be

The wall where the built in cabinets will go, eventually...

And this evening, as I was writing up this post, we had even more progress! Kelly got to work scraping the ceiling and it went a lot faster than he expected! All the bumps are gone and he says that he can’t see any cracks or seams on the ceiling, so he’s not sure why the popcorn was put up in the first place. (Hopefully, this bodes well for popcorn removal in pretty much all the other rooms in our house too…)

All he has to do now is give it a good sanding, then a skim coat of drywall mud

Of course, it made a huge mess in the room, but that’s just part of progress in any renovation, right?



Oct 19 2011

Nursery Details

Ok, I should probably give a few more details on the nursery inspiration board I made.

Colors, fabrics and inspiration board

The first thing I should mention is that we are planning on finishing this room from floor to ceiling. Like the majority of the rooms in our house, the ceiling has a “popcorn” texture which is just downright awful. We plan on scraping the ceiling, patching and painting it. We will also rip up the carpet and refinish the floors. The baseboard and window trim (which was most likely painted with lead-based paint and is flaking off) needs to be scraped and prepped for new paint. We will also need to replace a few broken or cracked panes of glass as well as re-caulk the rest of the panes in our almost 100-year old non-energy efficient, but gorgeous windows.

Back bedroom

See this gorgeous yellow color?

This is what we have planned for the wall color. It is Glidden’s Canary Song, but we will most likely have it color matched at Benjamin Moore, which is the only paint Kelly will use. (I should say “use happily” as he has used other brands of paint before, but always with grumbling…) The cheery yellow color will be accented with these two bright fun colors:

These are Behr’s Peacock Feather and Bamboo Leaf, respectively, again we will color match them and use Benjamin Moore paint. The green will be for a beat up old dresser we bought off of Craigslist which has great bones. It will be the changing table and go along the wall to the right as you come in the door. Why buy a changing table when you can use an old dresser which has storage too? The blue color will show up in the back of these little nooks which were created when a previous owner took out a chimney (the previous fireplace was in the kitchen downstairs…) We will also trim out the front of those shelves, as they are a little unfinished.

Back bedroom closet

The closet will most likely lose the door (otherwise there isn’t much room for the dresser on that wall) and have a curtain hung there instead. Hopefully we can get a new shelving system in that closet as well and paint the paneling – white probably, but who knows.

Oh, and that lovely teal blue color will also show up in the rug, which we hope to create with FLOR carpet tiles.

We chose all those bright fun colors from this great fabric, which will be the curtains:

That line of fabric has some other great coordinating prints, which you can see here:

We will use some of those fabrics for the closet curtain and crib skirt and probably some pillows or something too.

In order to get maximum darkness in this room with so many windows, we will also install some dark brown bamboo shades, which are from Home Depot. The shade of brown is to ground the room a bit more and to connect with the floor color as well, which will be a medium tone brown.

Let’s see, what else is there. Oh yes! The crib. That one is easy-peasy. IKEA’s clean lined inexpensive Gulliver crib. Simple is best, in our opinion.

The crib will go in this little nook:

Back bedroom

We will also move one of our current living room couches (the one with the pull out bed) up to the nursery, slip-cover it in tan and put it in front of the long wall of windows.

You can see the very badly not-to-scale floor plan here:

Now, one of the biggest projects in this nursery plan (besides all the prep work of scraping the ceiling, trim, etc. which we hope to hire out…) is something that will most likely not get done before the baby comes. It’s that other section of wall to the left of the door. We want to design and build a whole wall and a half of built-in storage. Closets/storage is at a premium in this house and so adding some built-in storage would be a very good thing. Plus along that left hand wall by the door to the bathroom is an exposed heating duct. Not a great thing for a nursery, so we will enclose it within the built-ins. Oh, and the built-ins will all be painted a crisp white.

So, that’s the design plan in detail. What do you think?


Sep 13 2011

New Project!

I know, I know, we haven’t even finished up a bunch of old projects, much less blogged about the progress we’ve made – on the stairs, on the driveway gate… However, this project is very important and has a strict due date for finishing!

That’s right – a due date.

Baby Kellen

Baby Kellen will make his appearance on or about January 22, 2012, so we’ve got a nursery to create!

We have decided to turn the office/craft room into the nursery – it’s adjacent to the master bedroom through a Jack-and-Jill bathroom, so it really is the perfect spot for it. There’s no way I’m giving you all any pictures of the room in its current state (dumping ground for storage and a mess with office stuff and craft stuff), but here are some pictures from before we moved in:

Back bedroom
(We’ve got some work to do on the windows and window trim, that’s for sure…)

Back bedroom
(Looking towards the bathroom through to the master bedroom)

Back bedroom closet
(The biggest closet in the house and cute little shelf area from where there once was a chimney)

I’ll go into detail in a further post about what exactly we are going to have to get done in this room (newsflash: it’s a LOT!) but here are two pictures for you to contemplate in the meantime.

Hopeful floorplan

Colors, fabrics and inspiration board

This color scheme is so happy and bright, and I chose it even before we knew we are having a boy. I think it works just as well for girls.

More to follow…