I’m so excited to finally be able to post again and to post about Bennett’s nursery. I’d be lying if I said I had it all done and everything in place by the time he was born. That was not the case. I didn’t rush to finish his nursery because I never have styled a room with any sort of timeline before. Instead, I have put rooms together piece by piece as I come across things that inspire me and fit into the decor. Nurseries in general, kind of pose an exception to this rule since you begin creating a room with the intention of it being ready in time for the baby’s arrival. Plus, with our plans to have Bennett sleep in our room once he was born, I knew we’d initially have limited use for his room anyway.
During my pregnancy, so many people asked me what the “theme” of his nursery would be. The style and plan I had in mind, couldn’t be categorized by a theme so I was always left without a clear explanation of what the room would be. I had decided the room would be grey and yellow- that was my plan for the color scheme whether we were having a boy or girl. Once I painted the walls and picked out the furniture, I realized I needed to “boy” it up a little more.
Many of the rooms that I have decorated have been inspired by one piece that I built a room around. I found this cardboard deer head this summer and knew I wanted it to be focal point in the room. I spray painted it white but couldn’t figure out exactly where to place it. I knew it was too small to be a focal point. I also knew I wanted big frames with over-sized mattes to hang pictures of Bennett. That’s when I decided that I would use an empty frame to “frame” the deer head. I picked up a framed picture at the Good Will for $8, removed just the frame, spray painted it gold, and it was the perfect frame for the deer head. It is definitely my favorite spot in the room.
I love a soft look, but I wanted there to be textures and colors that were slightly more rugged. With this in mind, I wanted to really mix textures and prints. To compliment the soft white in the crib and bureau, I chose accents that incorporated wood, metal, banana fibers, leather, and burlap throughout the room. When it came to the bedding, I knew I wouldn’t want a “set”. For some reason, I have never been a fan of anything that is too matchy-matchy (official term, right?). Before I had even come across a crib sheet that I liked, I got a yellow chevron one at my shower which was perfect. With that, I decided to incorporate other prints throughout the room like the gingham crib skirt and ikat throw pillow. I knew I didn’t want a bumper since it is not recommended due to SIDs risk and along with that, I didn’t plan to add much of anything to the crib. But while he was not sleeping in the crib, I loved the idea of a lumbar pillow so I thought this natural colored pillow along with this flokati blanket (used as a rug for his monthly pictures) was a nice look against the busy patterns of the chevron and gingham.
My second favorite spot in his room is this hanging branch. It was an act of fate that I found a fallen branch hanging out of the trash in our garage that my husband had picked up from the lawn. I wanted to somehow use it in the room and let me tell you, it was no easy task to get this looking right! First I had to saw the branch to the right size and sand it down (cut to me, barefoot and pregnant in the garage working on this project last summer)! I had a hard time finding the right size hangers that fit the space and the look. I even went so far as to ask a Gap employee if I could buy some baby Gap hangers from the store. After he looked at me like I was crazy, he said no. So instead, I had these wooden hangers from Ikea which were perfect with the exception of a metal piece on either end that made the hanger too wide. Luckily, my dad was in town so along with helping me hang the branch, he solved my hanger conundrum by pulling out the metal pieces at the end, leaving me with the perfect size baby hangers. I decided to hang some sentimental pieces from the branch: a onesie a friend sent for Bennett that has a picture of the state of MA and says “Makes Me Happy”, the outfit he wore home from the hospital, and a hand knit sweater from a family friend. After all the work, I am so happy with how this area turned out.
The award for “best accessory” in the room goes to the white leather Moroccan pouf. I saw one from Serena & Lily and fell in LOVE with it. But, it was $450! I’ll pass. Not to mention, I pride myself on finding pricey looks for way less money. That’s when a friend mentioned I should check Amazon to see if they have something similar. I don’t know why but up until recently, I never think to use Amazon! Well I checked Amazon and found a white leather Moroccan pouf for $125! It is the perfect size for the space and I love (repeat, LOVE) how it looks with the rocker.
All summer long I continued to pick up pieces that were fitting for the room. I had my mind set on finding a yellow, vintage suitcase to use in the room. With it being unfortunately so specific, it was impossible to find. And I looked everywhere. I came across one at a thrift store outside Charlotte for just $9! It was blue but I didn’t care! With a lot of taping to protect the gold buckles and hinges, I spray painted the suitcase and got this thing looking exactly how I wanted it. I also came across this figurine of a mom and baby giraffe at the same thrift store and was totally drawn to it and knew it needed a place in the nursery. I knew I wanted framed art of some sort and decided to look through children’s books for inspiration. I came across a really old copy of one of those Golden Books…. remember those? They’re the ones that had a gold binding and cartoon characters on the back cover. It was a book of classic nursery rhymes and I cut out and framed the stories about little boys.
For a changing table, I decided to use an Ikea bureau with a changing pad on top. I used an Ikea trash can for his hamper (it’s way too pretty to be a trash can anyway). I had bought a shadow box to hang in the room, but couldn’t decide what to put in it. I wanted it to be something meaningful, like a keepsake, but I was coming up empty handed. Finally, I thought of displaying pictures of Scott and I as babies and then adding a picture of Bennett. I think I am closer to toddler age in my picture. As child #3, the baby pictures are few and far between of my early years so this one had to do the trick. As the center of this wall, I created art using a block letter that I covered in a yellow gingham print against a grey chevron background. And to balance the whole look, I created art again by printing and framing the meaning of Bennett’s name. Although we had already decided for sure that we wanted to name our son Bennett, when we learned that the meaning of his name was “little blessed one”, it really sealed the deal for us.
In addition to the pieces that I came across while putting together Bennett’s nursery, we also received such great hand made things from family. Scott’s mom made these paintings for Bennett and they worked perfectly on the wall by the window. Scott’s dad made this amazing toy box which is such a wonderful, useful keepsake that Bennett will use for years to come. And finally, my grandmother made this adorable quilt for Bennett. I still have the quilt that she made for me as a child as well as a throw my other grandmother made for me. These handmade things make for such amazing and meaningful keepsakes from family.
There are still some areas that I want to work on or change. I made the light fixture to replace the dome light in the room. I love how this fixture looks in the room at night because it creates stripes across the walls and ceiling which looks really cool. I’d like to cover the light bulbs so that it doesn’t look like the dome is missing. I also would like some new curtains. These were the curtains we had in the room when it was Scott’s office and they are just a solid grey. I am thinking white panel curtains with yellow pom-poms along the inside seam.
This room puts a smile on my face each time I pass it. Aside from it being just the look I wanted, it’s Bennett’s room and he is all the reason I need to smile.