January 25, 2011

Nursery Makeover

Now I know this is a question that has been on the tips of your lips for weeks now, and quite possibly keeping you up at night . . .

Did we get the baby's room ready on time?

Sorta, kinda, yeah. It was mostly done by the time she came. I just added a few little touches here and there after she arrived. Ahem. Let's put it this way, there were sheets on her bed.

Remember how it looked? Like a cross between a tip and . . . well . . . a tip.

Part of the problem is that where we live, we don't have much storage. Because we'd dismantled the queen size bed in this former-spare-bedroom, the sudden appearance of all that clear floorspace was extremely appealing and acted like a magnet for a whole lot of stuff. You know, empty boxes, spare light fixtures, a toolbox, my fit ball, rope. Stuff.

About three weeks before the birth, John cleared it out, finding new homes for some of the stuff and ditching the rest.

Then I moved in and, with the zeal of a nesting pregnant woman combined with the misguided enthusiasm of a DIY Home Beautiful reader, I began creating The Nursery.

This was incredibly exciting for me because, despite having three step-kids and a little boy, I had never had the opportunity to create a Nursery.

The step-kids were 14, 11 and 8 when we set up home together for the first time and were unreasonably resistant to my ideas for nautical wall motifs and princess patterned curtains. Then when we had Jack, we didn't have a dedicated baby room at the house we were living in so he got shunted from one room to another, depending on which kids were staying with us at the time. Many times his cot was wheeled into the dining room for the night where he slumbered blissfully among the melted candles, empty wine bottles and the lingering scent of lamb korma wafting across his tiny nostrils. It is no wonder his idea of a great night out is going to The Rupee Room for a curry and naan before heading home to watch Masterchef.

Apart from all that, I was not just getting to decorate a baby's room, but a GIRL's baby room. I could see a lot of pink in my future. The question was, could I bear it? I like pink, don't get me wrong, but I didn't want to drown in the stuff. Especially not the frilly, lacy variety.

Looking around for inspiration, I went straight to the style guru Heather Armstrong at her website Dooce. Before Heather had Marlo in 2009, she wrote a post about putting the nursery together. The result was truly stunning and there was no way I was going to be able to create such a beautiful, stylish result. However I recalled one idea that I particularly liked. Here 'tis:

Two things I liked about this. The flowers crawling up the wall was a gorgeous touch, and from a practical point of view, utilising a chest of drawers for a change table was a great space saver. I promptly nicked the ideas. Thanks Heather!

I found another fabulous reference site at KidSpot - again some absolutely gorgeous nurseries (most beyond my spatial, technical and financial capabilities) but if you're after some ideas, there are some stunners to drool over (although some of them aren't exactly models of conformity when it comes to SIDS guidelines so ignore all those cot bumpers!)

Anyhoo, with a limited budget and a bit of homespun creative input, here is Francesca's Nursery.

We inherited some lovely furniture from friends - in the right colours!
These pretty Baboushka dolls are from Just 4 Kidz
We bought this Stokke cot when Jack was born and it has lasted beautifully
Jemima Puddleduck & Peter Rabbit keep those naughty Russian girls in check!

Francesca's parents and siblings keeping watch over her as she sleeps. Frames from Ikea.
I made the four canvases by painting them and applying paper birds, butterflies, hearts and dragonflies 

I cut individual blooms from a silk hydrangea (from Flower Power) & stuck them to the wall with pliable adhesive to create the climbing flower feature
So there you have it. Pretty and not too pink. I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts because I'm sure in approximately twelve years the walls will be plastered with the 2023 equivalent of Justin Bieber and the stars of High School Musical XIV!


  1. Very jealous of your very crafty skills Michelle. It looks beautiful.

  2. Nice job. Very sweet - love the Russian dolls and the Stokke cot. I'm having trouble on the follow-through...halfway through Ivy's bedroom and have lost all momentum...Hmmm. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. Mama M, you are the craft queen! But you'd better hurry up if you want to put any of your own spin on it cos Peanut sounds like she might have a few ideas of her own and it won't involve Russian dolls, unless they do a goth/black ghost range :)

  4. Wow it looks adorable! Love it!

    Thought I'd better check out/follow everyone who is attending the AusBlogCon. Pop over to bigwords if you get a moment x


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