To say I’d planned my hypothetical girl nursery in advance would be a most grave understatement; I’ve had a dedicated Pinterest board to the like for the past 8 years now— even well before the conception of my firstborn. I’d conjured up images of dainty yellow wall hangings and blush pink mobiles, the perfect one-of-a-kind antiques and delicious-as-icing lacy throw pillows. Endless bows would fill her baskets and my penchant for delicate florals would provide a subtle theme throughout. A bit serene with a splash of rustic-meets-whimsical is the best way to describe the design I’d daydreamed in my head.
” It needed a facelift and a little love, and I knew I could provide it with both. “
Needless to say, I’d put those pink plans on hold for a while and had the fun opportunity of designing two little dudes’ rooms within that time span. Yet, upon learning our last little one happened to go against the curve and sport an extra ‘X’ chromosome, I’d once again, returned to the drawing board, hormones raging and with a fun fury of nesting instincts, to design the perfect nursery for our little miss.
I’ve always loved finding the diamond-in-the-rough perfect heirloom piece that possesses just the right amount of ornamentation, yet with a modern flair. To me, there’s something so dreamy about antiques, like that of a storybook; they conjure up imaginary tales of times gone by. The wood grain details uneven grooves and beautiful weathering which exudes a charm simply not found with a new piece of furniture.
After much searching, I’d sourced the perfect dresser as the first piece chosen for the nursery, knowing it would act as the focal point for the room’s overall feel. It’s a gorgeous Edwardian piece dating back to the early 1900’s. A matching mirror complete with the sweetest subtle bow detailing, completes the look. But don’t get me wrong— the piece needed some work— yet, I didn’t let the thick black shiny lacquer deter me; I was able to look past the harsh exterior and knew that a beautiful blush pink would provide the subtle backdrop to allow the piece to come to life once again. It needed a facelift and a little love, and I knew I could provide it with both. The precious gold bow hardware from Crate and Kids was the ideal addition to the newly transformed piece.
Next up on the roster was what to do with the walls. Anyone who knows me, knows my love affair with grey— and all shades of it. I loved the way Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter looks in the rest of our house, so I knew it would be the ideal neutral canvas for a dreamy baby’s room. However, I wanted to add a rustic element that would be a calming and serene fixture on one of the walls. I looked into wallpaper, but couldn’t find the right print. I thought of a mural, but couldn’t decide on a design. That’s when I quickly remembered Stikwood! I’d seen their products showcased on Facebook and follow their beautiful Instagram page, so I knew it would act as the perfect accent that I was searching for. It adds the simplicity and ease of peel n’ stick adhesive, with the natural and sustainable practices that come from reclaimed wood. It’s truly the perfect blend of innovative design and natural beauty that I wanted for the room. After speaking with their design expects, I decided on a chair rail design on the one wall that the crib would sit up against. I opted for the weathered grey (go figure!) and love every square inch of its irregular, rustic design. The planks give way to their own natural mural of sorts and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. I can’t wait to use their products in other areas of the house as they’ve newly expanded to sliding barn doors and exposed wood shelving— (hmm, I see a kitchen project in my near future!) Check out their inspiring design ideas on Instagram, Facebook, or visit them online at www.stikwood.com.
I wanted to feature a few wall hangings over the wood chair railing that would breathe in a definitively feminine flair. I loved the idea of the subtle juxtaposition of pairing raw materials with beautiful lacy accents. So I choose to use several old ceiling rosettes of varying sizes, shapes, and designs and hung them in a variegated ‘scattered’ pattern across the wall. It was the perfect blend of old-meets-new, that I was looking for as an eye-catching element.
When we moved the boys into a shared room, I’d gone through both of their book shelves, divesting ourselves of those that we either no longer read, weren’t a big hit, or those that they’d simply outgrown and were now too old for. I’d moved over the latter pile and put them aside for baby sister’s collection, for which I’d continued to also add to over the course of the last several months (hello, Vera The Mouse and Angelina Ballerina!). However, now was the hard part of deciding on a unique way to display said books. It’s funny to me how we can get so accustomed to seeing our home, yet we’re hard-pressed to actually see the surroundings. Do you know what I mean? Sure, we’re familiar with our decor and belongings, but considering we’re in our homes day in-and- day-out, it’s often without an objective or discerning eye.
This is precisely what happened one day while walking down our main hallway a couple of months ago. I’m not sure what on the wall actually caught my eye, but it drew me in to a set of coveted antique and intricately hand-carved wood frames that I’d purchased at a flea market years prior at Angle Island. I loved them immediately upon spotting them, knowing that wherever they ended up, they’d be perfect. Well, as a wall accent was where they’d been for the last several years, but once I looked at them again, I saw them in a whole new light, reimagining their perfect potential. I went to my local hardware store and purchased a few sets of ‘L’ brackets, wood glue, wood cut to specific specifications, and screws. From there, I started creating a ‘box’ at the back of the frames that would act as a ‘shelf’. Essentially, I’d created two bookshelf frames that tied in perfectly with her room’s blush color scheme. Don’t you just love when you realize the perfect design was right in front of you the entire time? 🙂
I’m a big believer in things happening for a specific reason, despite the fact that we rarely are aware of the reasoning at the time. Several months ago, I happened to be reading my emails, when I came across an article about an artist that created the most incredible paintings from your baby’s ultrasound image. I’d never seen anything like that before and could only imagine how special that would be to have such a commemorative piece of artwork from that celebratory time.
Now, I don’t know about you, but each time we were given ultrasound images, it felt like it brought me a little closer to my little one, gaining a glimpse at the person growing inside of me. Being that she was so small when most of them were taken, it’s an incredible piece of technology to actually acquire images of them from inside. It still eludes me as to how this is actually possible, but thankfully it is, and now I’d just discovered someone who takes it one step further, and puts a beautiful breath of life into the still image onto canvas.
I knew mediately I had to contact her. Laura Steerman, of Quaint Baby Art, was literally as sweet to chat with as her designs are to look at. She’s incredibly talented with a true passion and expert eye for translating into art, the wonderment a parent feels when looking at their baby’s beloved ultrasound. I sent her several photos from which to choose, and I just loved the one she’d selected to paint. It shows our little baby girl, feet up in the air, and one hand gesturing what looks like a ‘hello!’. It makes me smile every time I see it— and I couldn’t be happier having it hang right above her crib for all to see when they enter the nursery. It’s a true keepsake; a treasured piece of personal art that’s reminiscent of such a special time in a parent’s life. You can check her out on Facebook, Instagram, or on her website at www.QuaintBabyArt.com.
I’d searched high and low at so many of my favorite shops in the Bay Area, but couldn’t quite find the right mobile that I had envisioned in my mind. I wanted it to be simple and delicate, yet unique with a modern aesthetic. A lofty goal I realize for a little ole’ mobile, but I knew it had to exist and was determined to continue looking for it until I found it. And for some reason or another, I find mobiles to be a really important component of a nursery —I still have both of the boys’ from their nurseries, safely tucked away in my box of keepsakes. Hudson had a sweet hand-knitted Owl within a circular tree with varying strands of mushrooms by Blabla- it’s beyond cute! I can still remember the day my husband and I found it. This was well before owls were all the rage, and so finding anything with them on it— especially for a nursery— was no easy feat! With Hawk, I went in a completely different direction and opted for a cute rustic metal airplanes mobile from Restoration Hardware baby that I still adore to this day.
As I was certain it would, my steadfast dedication to finding the mobile I’d had musings of in my head for so many weeks, finally paid off, and lo and behold, during one of my many sleepless nights throughout this pregnancy when I’d been combing Etsy, I stumbled upon the perfect design for her room. A darling little shop located in Belarus (I admittingly had to do some googling for a quick geography lesson), which has the sweetest whimsical tale to boot, brought my design to fruition and had crafted exactly what I’d envisioned in my head. I’d reached out to Mary, the shop owner, and was delighted that she’d allow me to personalize the colors of the mobile to pick up those accent colors I’d so carefully selected for her room. Blush pink, goldish/mustard, and pure snow-white were the perfect pairing on an already perfect mobile. She was also kind enough to extend a promo code for all my followers who are interested in purchasing from her sweet little shop! Enter: KARSSON10 for 10% off at her Etsy shop.
At night, I’ll often spend a few minutes in her room, just moving things about and looking around at all the beautiful fixtures that have come together so seemlessly. The joy it brings me envisioning her playing in there in the months and years to come, is indescribable. It’s a strange calm before the storm; a foreshadowing of laughter and cries, diaper changes and middle of the night feedings. It’s a room that’ll see it all, and one of which I am so proud to have hand-selected every element. I love the organic way in which everything seemed to naturally complement one another. The rustic feel of the wood acted as a beautiful backdrop for the delicate mobile that hangs in front of it. The whimsical wall rosettes accented the beloved Edwardian dresser as if to nod off in collective acceptance. The delicate florals add the quintessential feminine finish providing the figurative bow on top of the already beautiful package. ~
*Nursery photos taken by ever-talented, Cristen Wright of Cristen Wright Photography. You can view a sampling of her incredible photos on her Facebook page, or contact her via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.