Personalised Nursery Decor
When I was expecting our child, I was adamant that I did not want to know the sex of my baby until it was held up to me and I saw it (or lack of ‘it’) with my own eyes, I was equally adamant that I did not want a neutral nothing of a nursery decor scheme. I wanted my baby’s nursery decor to be personalised to them, so I had to wait…
It’s a boy! Our son was welcomed to the world and I was in such a state that I couldn’t have given two hoots about that undecorated room. Time no longer moved on this plane, and all of my naïve plans of diving into my child’s bedroom design with zeal blew away like empty nappy bags in a draft.
It wasn’t until my baby became mesmerised by all things red, and smiled each time I put on a patterned dress that the fog in my baby brain cleared and I was inspired once again.
The nursery was formerly my home office space, and I had grown attached to my painted stripe border. In fact, had Brody been a girl then the pink colour scheme would have remained, so I decided that I’d keep the base biscuit stripe and repaint the others to a cut of striking red, cooled by a swathe of sky blue.
Scrapbook Nursery Theme
I always knew that I wanted this nursery decor project to result in a fun, stimulating space with lots for my baby to look at. Despite the most common nursery concept being a plain cream scene, bold coloured pattern gazing is a universal baby love, and so running with my own baby’s pattern fascination I collected an array of patterns in my selected contrasting hues for a ‘scrapbook’ feel:
A polka dot throw and cushion jazzed up my white nursing chair, which is actually just an IKEA armchair and footstool. This is the only nursery furniture that I purchased pre due date, and I always intended to colour it with a cover of sorts.
I chose to avoid actual nursing chairs as I personally am not a fan of their design but aside from that, I wanted to choose a piece that would look good anywhere in our home should I decide to shuffle things around.
Nursery Tree Mural
I knew from the beginning that I would create a tree mural for my baby. As a little girl this is something that I had dreamed of, so my child was going to have one whether they knew that they wanted one yet or not!
The tree focal point would also act as a perfect place to unify the patterns of the scrapbook nursery decor.
After selecting six different fabrics, I free-handed a tree silhouette up one wall and over the tier-fall, elongating the branches that would ‘shelter’ the nursing chair. The baby could look at the overhanging boughs as I nursed him, and enjoy this place as a magical story reading area later.
One at a time, I traced each leaf outline onto paper and used it as template, holding it against the fabric as I cut around it. I then used ModPodge to stick the fabric leaf directly to the plaster, lightly brushing another coat over the top to secure it in place.
Now a word of warning: do not do this if you are not prepared to replaster the target area once your child outgrows their tree–these leaves will leave quite a crater!
Once the tree was fully flourished, I realised I had enough fabric left over to fill the fronts of my IKEA bookcases. These units were already installed as part of my home studio, where they had looked rather sleek with their ice white fronts, but I knew they were making my baby’s room look chilly and clinical. I cut down the fabric and used double sided sticky tape to mount the cotton to the inner boards before securing them back into their frames.
The cupboards are home to a few spare baby supplies right now but offer masses of space for future toy storage and a little library.
I couldn’t believe my luck when I stumbled across cot bedding in matching colours, even featuring a deep red and biscuit stripe. Then, hours were saved when I discovered complementary gingham baby bunting in the same nursery range. I’d planned on sewing room bunting myself, but the reality check of being a new mother with no time to even brush a haystack of hair told me to snap up those packets of triangular joy and run. I think I might actually have skipped to the till.
Repurposed Cot Bumper
I transformed the matching cot bumper into a nursery storage/laundry bag by using the centre section of the bumper as the front, and folding each side around to form the back and an inner divider.
A quick straight stitch along the bottom holds it all together. I added plaited rope so that it could hang on a door hook, and knotted the existing cot ties to form tassels for a finishing touch.
Although the cot bedding has a beach hut theme, I resisted going wholeheartedly with the nautical range as I wanted my little boy’s room scheme to be unique.
Stars were already a growing theme, so when I found a cute red rocket cushion I snapped it up, then pondered how I could make sense of seaside meets outer space?
I decided to create my own fabric art depicting a starry scene of our red rocket soaring over said beach huts, and the two were pulled together. I made a second typographical piece.
I did embrace the seaside a little though since we live on the coast; with the idea of incorporating a real birdhouse on the painted tree, I managed to find a beachy looking one that even came complete with a string of mini bunting. I then revamped the bunting with my red and white polka dot fabric, as well as adding ‘curtains’ to the hole, then repainting the door panels and adding a shiny silver handle.
More time was saved when I sourced a seller who sold fabric covered letters, using the same craft shop characters I had originally intended covering myself. I requested fabrics to match the nursery décor, and she really did a great job.
A set of small nick-nak drawers, bought many moons ago from IKEA, offered up another opportunity for ModPodge craft. I painted them white, and used the last remnants of fabric to carefully cover each drawer front before adding raw wooden handles to tie-in the biscuit accent.
There are still bits I’d like for the room, such a crown moulding mantel shelf over the disused fireplace nook which holds a cheerful red and white star covered toy box. A chunky white mantel would provide a lovely finishing touch to the cute blue cubby hole, and also help link the nook with the star mirror situated above it.
Promises to fill the empty beach hut frame on the picture ledge have gone unfulfilled too, but one day soon that hut will proudly display my baby’s birth stats.
The entire room was gleefully cheap to put together, even the white blackout curtains were a bargain-bin find, hugely reduced because of damaged packaging.
I used one curtain cut in half for this window. The length was just short of the ground, and I discovered that our bunting was the perfect size to bridge the gap!
I tacked the string along the hemline, gathering up the extra tape into dinky dicky bows; I intend to add small buttons to their centres as a final detail.
My last find was the ‘LOVE’ rug. I searched for a red and white striped rug but then I found this and thought, “Which room holds more to love than a nursery?” I knew I’d found the one.
I adore the look of the cot bed across the corner of the room, but do beware of the very real danger of placing cots too close to windows, little hands should absolutely not be able to reach the chords of blinds or other hanging hazards. On another note, you may also find there is a draft in winter and excess sun in summer.
In our case, despite having a personalised nursery design after much hard work and professional bargain hunting by mammy, our boy is a cuddly co-sleeper!…