makin’ room for baby

After almost six months (!!!), our baby girl’s room is finally finished.  (If you’re in my inner circle, you know the struggle that this room has been, and I’m sure you’re tired of hearing the words “recessed lighting” come out of my mouth!)  As usual, Andrew’s wildly ambitious plans have come to fruition and the result is better than I ever thought possible.  And with two weeks to spare…

But first, here’s a couple BEFORE photos:

The room is the second-largest bedroom and is at the end of the hall and around the corner from our bedroom.  Its most striking feature is the wall of built-in closets opposite the window (not pictured in these photos).

The room has been largely unused since we moved into the house in 2012.  I did spruce it up back in 2014 with the orange rug and some décor, but it soon began to accumulate random odds and ends.  We always planned to turn it into a baby’s room, and are so thankful we can!

Back in February, I made plans for my mom to come out with the intention of decorating the baby’s room.  I ordered the crib and changing table, and started priming the walls.  I didn’t have a particular theme in mind, but rather just wanted a lot of color EVERYWHERE.  Unfortunately, (or fortunately) the built-ins were painted a creamy off-white, and choosing a wall color that wouldn’t make them look dingy would be tough, if not impossible.  Plus, I knew how much color I wanted to bring into the room, and I had an idea that perhaps WHITE walls would be best.  Andrew, who is shockingly opinionated about home décor, was hard to convince.  I knew white was the only option, and figured I could always paint over it easily if we changed our minds.  And isn’t painted trim all the rage now, anyway?

I started by priming the previously lime-green walls, and I re-purposed our teal pantry paint for the back walls of her built-ins.  I gave the interiors a fresh coat of white paint, too.

Just as I thought I’d have the painting finished in time to decorate the room with my mom, Andrew decided our baby girl NEEDED recessed lighting in her room.  At the time, I thought the idea was insane.  I knew it would add TONS of work and mess, nor did I really think having just the single overhead light was that much of a problem.  Well, as these things usually go, I couldn’t talk any sense into him, and he began cutting holes in her ceiling.

Mom and I finished the painting, and baby girl’s crib stayed in the box for many months while Andrew installed recessed lighting in not only her room, but also the office AND the hallway.  (In his defense, it was a logical progression and made sense related to our house’s then-current state of wiring and extreme lack of light.  Up until now, we rarely used that entire ‘wing’ of the house, and now that we’re going to start using it on a daily basis, the extra light makes a huge difference.)

I was dismayed at the inevitable multi-month delay in decorating my baby’s room, but I knew he was ‘nesting’ too.  At least Emily’s cheeky comment (“When most people want more light, they buy a lamp.”) cheered me up.

No, Andrew is certainly not ‘most people,’ and that’s what makes me love him all the more.  (Most of the time, anyway!)

So, without further ado, here are the AFTER photos:



Here are the details on the décor:

-The ceiling is painted Icy Blue (Valspar color, paint purchased at Sherwin Williams) at 75% of pigment.  With white walls, I knew I could experiment with some color on the ceiling and I couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out.

-I chose a cherry finish for the crib and changing table to match the petite rocking chair gifted to me by our dear friends, the Nyes, years ago.  I also knew cherry would look nice with the light walls.

-The shelves and hot water baseboard heater cover (both along back wall) were made by Andrew and painted by yours’ truly.  I painted the shelves and small table to match the blue of the existing twin bed.  The bed was originally supposed to be in baby’s room, but it felt unnecessarily crowded and Andrew talked me into taking it out.  It’s now in our office (pictured below).

-I spent a small fortune at The Container Store getting bins and baskets for her room.  With all the open space in the built-ins, I knew I needed a way to organize it all.  I particularly love the three-tier rolling cart next to the changing table, and the aqua bins and mint stacking baskets.  I thought the 3 Sprouts line was TOO CUTE, so I chose some cubes (peacock and rhino) and a toy bin (shark).

-The rug is ‘Like Minded‘ in pink from FLOR.  It was perhaps our most-debated item for the room. (Who am I kidding?  Andrew and I debate about EVERYTHING.) I knew I wanted it to be light but also have pops of color, and I was concerned about inevitable messes, like when a toddler gets mommy’s nail polish…  Of course, Andrew kept showing me beautiful, super-expensive, pastel-colored rugs that didn’t go with our décor at all.  Bless him, he really was trying.  So, on and on the debate went.  I was familiar with FLOR because we’d gotten the catalog in the past, but I didn’t think to look into their options.  That is, until I was flipping through their recent catalog and saw this carpet and knew IT WAS THE ONE.  I knew it in that instant, and there was no going back.  I love that their rugs are made up of tiles, and can be easily cleaned and re-arranged, and–thankfully–this rug happened to be on the lower end of their price point.  I was truly worried that whatever rug we chose wouldn’t look right once it was in the space, but it’s more perfect than I imagined!

-Because we’re cloth-diapering, I chose the Ubbi diaper pail as it doesn’t use special liners.  (We’ll start with disposables for the first couple weeks as we get through ‘survival mode.’)  Bonus: it comes in multiple colors!  I chose mint green.

-One of the most fun and meaningful details is her pineapple crib sheet, given to me by my best friend, Emily.  I found the sheet and matching swaddle on Anthropologie years ago (after we’d started our infertility stuff), but couldn’t bring myself to buy them.  I hoped they’d still be available if and when I the time came.  Well, Emily bought the swaddle the day I found out I was pregnant, and gifted me with the crib sheet later as part of a shower gift with more crib accessories. (Glad she got them when she did; I don’t think they’re available anymore!)

-The art above the book shelves is a ‘Fruit of the Spirit‘ printable banner from Etsy.  The framed pictures aren’t new, they were in the room before (see BEFORE photos) and are just whimsical animal prints I found on a girls’ weekend with Emily.  Most of the items on the shelves have some significance, such as my dad’s old copy of Goodnight Moon, the Nessie stuffed animal my dad got me on a trip to Scotland when I was young, a ceramic doll Andrew and I bought for baby and old Italian book we were given on our trip to Sicily this year. The giant sting ray stuffed animal (sitting in her crib) was–I think–the first item I bought for baby and I knew it when I saw it that I had to have it.  It’s teal, soft and squishy and abnormally large.

Because our bedroom is in a state of chaos (carpet ripped up, bed on subfloor, no timeline for putting a new wood floor down), I plan to sleep with baby in the office after we get home from the hospital.  Hopefully it will just be until the wood floor in our room is done, but it might last as long as she fits in the bassinet!  We’ll see.  I love how the twin bed fit in the office (so cozy!) without having to move either desk, and it’s next door to her room for easy diaper changes and midnight feedings. Her sound machine is ready to go, and I have snacks and wipes in the pockets of the bassinet.

With only two weeks to go, I’m sure I’m starting to ‘nest,’ although I’ve been doing that for nine months!  (As a friend has said, in the most loving way.)  I’ve definitely picked up the pace on getting things done that I feel ‘need’ to be done, like all the outdoor weeding and learning how to use all her gadgets, like the Halo Bassinest and MamaRoo swing. Did you know they have apps for baby swings and sound machines…? Crazy!



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