Aside from Instagram captions, this is the first thing I’ve clicked publish on since Elin was born in April. How daunting it is to try to find time to write. While the baby naps I’ve been taking time here and there to sit down and write this. Each day I’m getting a tiny bit better at this whole mommy and baby thing, juggling infant care with basic household duties. I’m going back to work next month, so this blog post is a good practice run.
Back in February I wrote a little blog post about nursery trends. In that piece I touched on my philosophy in designing Elin’s room. Quick recap: I wanted to create an adult-friendly space that toed the line between sophisticated and fun. Not too childish. Not too girly.
We turned our muddy-colored guest room into a bright and airy space by painting the walls in Behr’s Night Blooming Jasmine, a cheery white with a hint of yellow. I think the paint’s amber undertones give the room a sunnier, warmer feel compared to a traditional cold, clinical white.
Because we have plaster walls, I try to be intentional with holes in the walls. So, we went minimal with hanging art and decor. Narrow floating wood ledges in a blonde finish are from Etsy, and provide a gallery wall to display artwork, books with pretty covers, and small tchotchkes.
Wendy Umanoff, a friend who is a local lighting designer, created a beautiful night light for Elin that I turn on for nursing in the evenings.
For decor I displayed artwork by my mom — watercolors she painted when I was a kid and cute mini canvases she painted as a teenager. The shelves also are a great place to showcase little ornaments like a Dala horse from my cousin Lauren and nesting dolls I’ve collected from my travels.
I store the remainder of Elin’s books in a rattan magazine rack that I picked up at an estate sale. And I corral her toys in a fun bin that my sister-in-law gave me at Elin’s baby shower.
To cut costs I screwed a universal changing table topper onto my IKEA Hemmes dresser rather than buying an entirely new piece of furniture.
My parents’ friends back home in Naples, Florida gave Elin this adorable stool from Hollow Woodworks. We’ve gotten so many compliments on the puzzle stool. I can’t wait for Elin to use it; but for now it’s a perch for the cats.
The abstract piece above the changing table was made by our neighbor, cut-paper artist Kirsten Kindler. And the Danish paper stars mobile was another gift from my cousin. She found it at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis.
I filled the SNIDAD rattan basket from IKEA with a mix of affordable throws and handmade blankets knit by family and friends. The Madeline doll was mine as a kid. And the other two dolls belonged to Elin’s cousin Lola, who generously decided to pass them along to her. The brown puppy dog was Graham’s when he was a wee one.
Pottery Barn Kids now carries more modern furnishings. We went with the Babyletto Lolly 3-in-1 crib, and then gussied it up with some whimsical bedding from Anthropologie. I’m in love with the boho crib skirt.
For our baby monitor we went with the Arlo, which also has a nightlight, two-way audio, and plays lullabies.
The mauve Mindra curtains with turquoise tassels are from Anthropologie. While my decorative launching point was the colorful animal bedding, the draperies made me realize that I wanted mauve to be the star of the show.
The chair is another piece from Pottery Barn Kids’ modern nursery line. Because we are short on space, I went with the narrow Paxton recliner rather than a bulky chair and ottoman combo. To add some texture and color to the chair, I draped a pink sheepskin from IKEA and sassy throw pillow from Target’s Opalhouse line.
The nursery chair was our most expensive item in the room, so I took on a high-low approach in decorating to cut costs. I paired the chair with the Lisabo blonde wooden side table and Ranarp floor lamp, both from IKEA.
The wool area rug is a hand-me-down that was purchased via Pottery Barn probably 15 to 20 years ago. I’ve used it in my bedroom in Lynchburg, our living room in Charlottesville and The Fan, and now our guest room and the baby nursery in our current house. The soft green and mauve paired nicely with all the other prints in the room. And, green is such a versatile color that it can be considered a neutral. After all, it is the most ubiquitous color in nature!
I can’t tell you how many shams I purchased and returned, trying to find the right mix to complement the colorful animal quilt. I ended up going with a cotton-linen blend euro sham in dark turquoise from Anthro, along with light pink standard shams piped in a fun tasseled edge from Target’s Opalhouse line.
We’ve gotten a lot of compliments on our daybed selection because — surprise! — it’s actually a queen! The Hemnes is an IKEA trundle that pulls out into a queen and has storage underneath. It’s brilliant.
For decor, I hung a painting by my dear friend, artist Elizabeth Carter Oliver. I’m also in need of a mirror to hang above the daybed. So if you have any suggestions, please leave your recommendations in the comments section below.