Beany’s nursery in our North Carolina apartment was a labor of love in a major way. I had a very clear vision of what I wanted the room to look like, and I spent months choosing fabric, sewing pillows and curtains, picking out furniture and putting it all together. Even with the mile-long to-do list, we had the room up and running at least a month before our baby girl arrived. Boy, how things are different the second time around.
When we moved to Boston last summer, we knew we’d have an extra kiddo in our roost come spring, but it wasn’t until fall that we found out he was a boy. As much as I loved all the décor we already had for Beany’s room, I was really excited for the chance to switch things up. Beany’s first nursery was decidedly girlie, and though I spent plenty of brain power trying to decide what colors or fabrics I could add to the existing palette to make it a little more masculine, I finally decided that our best option was to wipe the slate clean. We did already have neutral furniture for the room, so we weren’t starting from nothing, but we needed new colors, new art and a bunch of new fabric.
In incredibly atypical fashion for me, we let this space evolve over time. I tend to go headfirst into decorating and get as much done as quickly as I can, but Jared insisted we think about things a little more with this room. In the end, I think he was right. We built the space piece by piece until we felt like it was done, from the navy blue rug that was our anchor and jumping-off point (purchased nearly seven months ago) all the way to the poster-sized photo we put over the crib just a few weekends back. Because we took so long and thought so much about every detail, the end result is a room that makes us happy every time we walk into it (except during those bedtime battles, but that’s toddlerhood, right?).
Maybe going from purples to pinks doesn’t seem like the easiest way to boy-ify a room, but when paired with all the navy and blue, the palette balances out pretty well. Pink definitely reads stronger than the blue though, so it was important that we keep the pinks to accent pieces and let the navy show up in larger doses. That’s where the rug came in. We saw it in the store the day we found out Bear was a boy and brought it home that day. Instantly, the room felt less like an all-girl oasis and more like a little guy was getting ready to claim a bit of space for himself.
Beany is still very much a girlie girl though, and we didn’t want to squelch that just because a brother was on the way. By keeping large pieces like the rug and play chairs dark and boyish, there was plenty of space for all her favorite things.
This art wall is probably our favorite part of the room and another detail that’s grown piece by piece. And putting it together has taught me that there are few things I won’t stick in a frame. The Rudolph record was an antique store find a few years back. The brunette girl in the blue dress was the front of a box that Beany’s beloved doll Tessa came in. The princess on the purple background was a gift bag from my brother and sister-in-law for Beany’s first birthday. The little girl in the hood came on a shopping bag. The frog is a Crane’s stationery card. The Massachusetts map was quick DIY. The illustration at the top left is a poster from our new favorite Boston bakery. And the vase of flowers was painted by my mom when she was barely 11. Sprinkled in there, too, are a few bits of Beany’s artwork and a set of Peter Rabbit plates that were on my wall when I was little.
Fortunately we had the forethought to buy neutral furniture before Beany was born in case we had a boy later down the road. It means we’re always kind of working from a blank canvas, which leaves extra room for creativity when it comes to accent colors and accessories.
The tree in the pink pot started as Beany’s Christmas tree, but the girl loves it so much, we just couldn’t take it down. Beany’s bed is a calculated hodgepodge of patterns and pillows, all tied together with a love of pink. The flag banner was a fun evening project, just a bunch of fabric triangles sewn together and attached to quilt binding.
I swapped the colors on the poster I made for my best friend’s camping-themed baby shower to add another big splash of navy in the room. And the wreath was another quick DIY.
I loved this boat fabric and bought a heap of it hoping to make it into something fun. Between the crib skirt and the flag banner, I think there’s enough of it in the room to make a mark without going sailboat crazy.
Toy storage is an issue in any kid’s room, and it’s no different here. How do such small people acquire so much stuff? We try to keep things as minimal as possible, but we picked up a few storage bins (the pink/white chevrons and the blue/white waves) at TJ Maxx to corral the knick-knacks that needed a place to call home.
I’m sure things will continue to evolve as Beany and Bear grow, but for now we’re so happy with where it is. It’s the room we love most for the people we love most. And it doesn’t get better than that.
So without further adeiu, here’s the product list. I’ve done my best to make it as comprehensive as possible, but feel free to contact me with any other questions regarding items you see in the photos.
• Gulliver toddler bed, IKEA
• Throw pillows, DIY covers using this tutorial (fabric and trim from Jo-Ann Fabrics)
• Carter rug, Pottery Barn Kids
• Flag banner, DIY (fabric from Jo-Ann Fabrics)
• Finley play table, Pottery Barn Kids
• Carolina kids chairs, Pottery Barn Kids
• Tree and pink pot, IKEA
• Xhilaration white floor lamp, Target
• Threshold drum linen lamp shade (on tall white lamp), Target
• Shine quilt, handmade gift from sweet friends in Columbia, Missouri
• Ribba frames, IKEA
• Simply White Retro Kitchen Oven, Pottery Barn Kids
• Shabby Chic dresser, Target (no longer available)
• Shabby Chic bookshelf, Target (no longer available)
• DaVinci 4-in-1 convertible crib, Babies R Us (Ours is no longer available, but this one is pretty close.)
• Crib skirt, DIY using this tutorial
• Lamb mobile, Pottery Barn Kids (no longer available)
• Wreath, DIY using this tutorial
• Sleep under the Stars poster, DIY (get the free printable here)
• Toy storage bins (navy/white and pink/white), TJ Maxx
• Aqua Harper My First Anywhere Chair, Pottery Barn Kids
• Stacking tree, Plan Toys
• Blue Go Car, Kid O
I’d love to hear your stories of decorating trials and triumphs! Kids’ rooms, playrooms, living rooms, you name it! How did you start? How did you finish? And how did it all come together?