So this is the story of how our nursery became semi-decorated, only a year after our baby was born! I decided to write about it because we spent next to no money on this room, it’s tiny (8.5×7.5 feet, or 2.6×2.3 meters), and we’re renting so we couldn’t paint, or at least we probably could have if we painted over it before we move but neither of us are that invested in wall color, and between the painting and re-painting when we move it would have cost over $100 probably. Also, our apartment is also on the small side (about 800 sq ft) so we still needed to use this room to store some of our own things. So with all those limitations in mind, this is how his nursery has come together! (And yes, I use the words “come together” quite loosely, as his room is still somewhat bare and odd-looking.)
Before Will was born our small second bedroom was a combination office/guest room, but when I was pregnant we got rid of the twin bed and as much other stuff as we could, and the office-y essentials we either moved to a shelf that John built in the newly established nursery or brought into our living room (which is also our dining room and now home to our printer and papers, etc.).
I knew a regular-sized crib would feel too big, so we opted for this mini-crib. (Although if I had imagined in my wildest dreams that my tiny, innocent baby would one day be chewing the paint off his crib I would have bought the unpainted, natural wood version of the same crib. Sigh.) We also got an IKEA dresser that doubles as a changing table (actually, crib and dresser were gifts from our parents, thank you, parents! If our parents hadn’t helped us both these things would have been bought on craigslist).
We also had a set of white shelves (that we got from a friend for free several years ago), a little side table (that i got for free from a friend after college). We bought a swiveling, rocking recliner at Mimi’s Attic for about $50 (after John successfully haggled on the price). It has turned out to be one of the best purchases of all time. It’s SUPER comfortable, and I’ve spent countless hours there nursing and rocking the baby. When Will was born, that was really all that was in the room, except a sweet little IKEA mobile that used to hang above his changing table. Until his arms got long enough to pull it down. Sigh.
(On the shelves in the picture above are some white Skubb boxes from IKEA. They’re not the highest quality or most beautiful storage boxes, but they are extremely inexpensive, and they work. I use one to store clothes that Will has grown out of, and one for clothes that he’s about to grow into– I try to bring up the clothes that are a size bigger than he currently is so as he grows out of things, sniff sniff, I can move the smaller things out of his dresser and move larger things in. And then once every few months I bring up the big storage bin from the basement, pack away the things that are too small, pull out new things in the next size up, etc. I also use a Skubb box to store things for Goodwill or the consignment store, and several for toys that are out of rotation so we don’t end up with too many toys on the living room floor.)
Anyway, the walls were pretty bare. I just could never bring myself to spend money on decorative objects. But on a trip to Target a few months ago, the three of us together, I made John look at all the home decor aisles with me and he spotted a light blue wooden whale. We both loved it and in a moment of reckless abandon John threw it in the cart. I was appalled. But delighted. So we came home and he put it right up on the wall. $20.
Not long after that I decided I would buy A CURTAIN! Because Will had been waking up at the crack of 6:00 every morning and I was hoping that a black-out curtain would trick him into sleeping later. For a month or two I draped an old, brown fleece blanket over his window, but obviously that was depressing and so (after 4 or 5 trips to Target) I finally bought a navy, faux velvet blackout curtain. $29.99.
Other things in the room: My mom made us the blanket above, inspired by a blanket my sister-in-law has! I love the vintage alphabet design! The “You are my sunshine” canvas on the wall is also thanks to my mother, who did not appreciate the spartan aesthetic of the nursery last time she was visiting and bought this for us at T. J. Maxx. It’s also the song John sings to Will when he cries. The pillow on the chair is thanks to John’s mother, who gave us two of those pillows from IKEA a couple of years ago. Zigzag pattern blanket on the chair was a gift from my good friend Heather. ABCs picture was made for me by the women at our church as a baby shower gift.
So that’s our nursery, simple and spare, but I love it.