As soon as my husband and I found out we were going to become parents, we immediately began to think of all the little and big changes that would have to be made over the next nine months. Amidst the several household chores that had been pretty comfortable on our “To-Do” list for quite some time, a nursery had to be made for our soon to be little roommate, Emmett. This, however, was a job I didn’t mind doing!
My husband teases that sometimes I like change just for change’s sake, and I have to begrudgingly agree. Every once in a while I feel the urge to move things around in the house or get new stuff to mix things up decoratively – just to have the room a little different than before. Needing to make up a whole room in our house? That was a big change I had a lot of fun with and played right into my little decorating disease perfectly.
Our top priority in decorating was to keep the nursery practical and functional. For one thing, we knew that we wanted to keep the feel of the room gender neutral, as we plan on putting his siblings (God willing) in the room with him once the time came. With that in mind, we picked a neutral gray wall color and played around with other gender neutral colors throughout. We also wanted the furniture pieces in the nursery to be useful later on when not-so-little ones begin to run. (That is the main reason we didn’t shop at a children’s furniture store – the other being the high price tags associated with them). So we traded the bulky bureau/changing table combos and large 4 in one convertible cribs for pieces that would look great in a more adult setting in the future.
Finding furniture for the room was pretty easy. We kept a bureau that was in the room previously, but every other piece was new to the room. Jason and I made a date night (or two) to IKEA for much of the rest. (Any other couple make a night out of perusing the long winding goodness of IKEA like we do every so often?) There we bought the baby’s crib, children’s table and chair set, and rug. I was a little nervous about placing a rug on top of our carpeted floors, but I’m glad we did..the rug really makes the room! The chairs/tables and crib were also a score because of the low cost and because we weren’t too keen on buying a convertible crib due to our plan of having children close in age and needing a crib steadily for years at a time. The remaining furniture we bought off of Ebay, resulting in a mid-century modern dresser we placed a changing pad on top of to mimic a changing table, and a used (cheaper) upholstered chair that was actually discontinued from IKEA that we turned into a rocker (see post here).
Once the furniture found their places around the nursery, all that remained were the finishing touches. Once again, IKEA helped us out here. We bought a few organizational items, lamps, frames, and hanging shelves there. If you saw my brother’s post on the amazing baby shower he and my sister threw for me (see post here), you would have seen that they based the theme on my love for books, and I wanted the nursery to reflect the same importance on reading, so there is a large presence of children’s storybooks in the nursery. We used IKEA spice racks and photo ledges to hang an assortment of children’s books and a couple storybook themed prints (Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, New York, Dream Big, Winnie the Pooh, Happily Ever After.) Some were free, some I paid for. The rest of the finishing touches were all handmade. We threw in our DIY ottoman (see post here), monogram pillow with Emmett’s initial (see post here), and a handmade quilt my parents lovingly made.
We are so happy with how the room turned out, and it has quickly become our favorite room in the whole house. (Partly because we are head over heels for this little one!) Along with the design aspects we chose for the room, I especially love that there are so many handmade touches that we can one day share with him how they were made lovingly, in anticipation of his arrival. We plan on spending a lot of time in this room as Emmett gets older, where he could eventually grow to appreciate more than the crib and rocking with his mommy on the rocking chair. I look forward to watching my little boy playing with his toys on the carpet, drawing a new masterpiece on his little table, or reading a nighttime story with his daddy on the rocking chair. Thinking of these things makes my heart sing in happiness. For now, though, I will enjoy my little boy in the ways that I can, even if it sometimes just means watching him sleep peacefully in his crib. Motherhood is a wonderful thing.