Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Mama Montage: Elements of a haphazard nursery design

Eight months and running in setting up Sprout's bedroom! This is what happens when you move into your first house with a one-month old infant: projects become extended start-stops. Heh. However, bit by bit, things are coming together for her nursery. I've been adding bedroom elements month by month--from her crib to a small bookcase to wall art--and wanted to show off some of her room's design elements.

Wall color/carpet, both original to the house.
The carpet was in pretty rough shape when we moved in (stains galore), but I was able to steam-clean it into usable submission. The wall color is an orangey-pink salmon, something I would not originally choose--but it works OK for now and is a happy color, at least. I'll probably wait to change it for when Sprout is a bit older and has a color preference. The photo also shows the lovely handmade quilt a co-worker gave me at one of my baby showers.

Book case, toy corner, improvised clothes storage.
Sprout already has a good collection of books (with more to come) and stuffed animals, mainly in thanks to her grandparents and my friends. A prize among her books is the complete Childcraft set from 1950, I think was the year. Both my mom and my sister and I grew up with the nursery rhymes and stories from Childraft. Some of the books are amusingly out-of-date and un-pc (a la 'the role of the mother in the home'), but I look forward to reading many of the poems and stories to Sprout when she's a bit older and less prone to tearing paper pages. As for clothes storage, right now I keep the clothes that fit Sprout in a large plastic bin in the corner; my childcare friend has a small dresser I plan to get when I have the time to haul it from across town (or when I can get the hubby over there with his truck).

All-important rocking chair.
This padded rocking chair saved my back during the first week I had Sprout home, when we were still in the apartment. This photo shows Sprout in the chair with my father, when he visited a few weeks back.

Changing table.
With this furniture item, we get what we paid for. I got this cheapish changing table as a baby gift from my baby shower registry. What's disatisfying about it is that the bottom two shelves popped out of their holding grooves relatively soon after setting it up. Those two shelves now sag; they were not designed to hold much weight at all, and my cloth diaper stash was too much for them. Much of the time now, I just end up changing Sprout on the floor as a result. So, if I had had the money and foresight at the time, I definitely would've bought a dresser with the changing table space on top.

We bought the new crib when Sprout was 6 months old. My mom got it for us as a Hanukkah gift (thanks, Mom!). Before the crib, we just used our Pack n' Play (which you can see behind the crib, in the photo below)--which worked great! I think the Pack n' Play has been one of our 'most useful' purchased baby items, along with the rocking chair.

Crib set.
I wasn't too picky about the crib set we ended up getting. I chose one that was on the cheaper side from Walmart, using a giftcard. I settled on a cute (not too girly) Pooh set. However, for something that was bought without much foresight, it ended up being a fitting design. For one thing, the hubby has been reading the original Winnie-the-Pooh story to Sprout from my iphone on nights that he's home/has the energy. For another thing, it surprisingly coordinated with other wall art I bought afterwards, as you'll see below.

Wall art.
My favorite elements of the room. In pictures, the art might not seem to go together, but it all really does! I used the quilt from the Pooh crib set and hung it on the wall above the crib on one side. On the other wall over the crib, I hung the three butterfly canvases. The butterflies are pretty girly, but as a set of three they help make things feel more unified. I've become a bit resigned to the pink girl onslaught, since much of the child's wardrobe is pink/purple clothes gifted to us; hopefully I can avoid Disney Princess/Barbie gendered marketing in years to come, though! Either way, the pink in the butterflies matches the pink in Piglet and Eeyore's nose. I like that the canvases are very light, so I could hang them over the crib. The third wall art item (which I'm most excited about!) is the tree wall decal. It fills up the bottom half of most of one wall. It took me almost an hour to put up this tree this past weekend, since I was a perfectionist with the leaf color distribution (art dork!). The leaf colors work really well with the peachy color on the walls--and unintentionally, the tree matches spot on with the Pooh quilt tree, down to the leaf design! It has been nice studying the tree on the wall while I nurse Sprout to sleep.

Next project: Rain gutter book shelves!
I'm excited about this project. I got the idea from a ParentHacks blog entry yesterday. Here's the project tutorial (and a photo of the project below). It's a cheap way to display books face out, so kids can see the books that they like (promoting more reading), plus gets the books off the floor (where a lot of my extra board books now are located). I plan on filling the extra wall space in the room with these shelves--when I get the time to collect the needed materials. What a cool project idea, right?


  1. I have a little anxiety imagining not having the nursery set up until after the baby! :P LOVE the gutter shelves! I'd been looking into some book racks for a skinny wall that's between the door and closet... and thinking about the playroom too. Really like this idea - wonder if you could also find wood molding or railing and scrape out a ledge to get the same thing but with a heavier product in the end. Hmm... I sent the link to Chan Man - maybe he will be inspired! :)

  2. The gutter shelves turned out really well! After watching the hubby get the initial shelf up, even I was able to figure out out to do it. I think I've seen people use wood molding before...and even a spice rack. I like the outward facing book look as well; we put one gutter shelf in the kitchen for our magazines.