S E R I E S : corners of our home i'll miss the most - ava's nursery
When we first moved into our house, I filled up and decorated every room except one. The little room at the end of the hall stayed empty and reserved for our 'one-day baby.' Some days I would walk in just to look around and imagine what it would be like when that day finally came -- when I could use the space to read to our sweet baby before putting her down to bed, or to sit on the floor with her as she stacked blocks.
While I patiently (not patiently) waited for that day, I pinned countless nursery design ideas on my 'one-day littles' Pinterest board. I also started growing a Fiddle Leaf Fig tree in the empty room so it would be big and settled by the time I started decorating around it. I even set-aside a 2013 calendar with painted maps of cities around the world (which made it through 3 moves over 4 years), with the thought that I could hang the prints in my future baby's nursery.
So you can imagine, the moment we found out we were pregnant, my mind started running wild with decor ideas to make this the perfect room for our little one. I obviously wanted to start right away, but since we wouldn't know the gender until 16-18 weeks, I started buying some gender-neutral items that would work well with any nursery design scheme.
First big purchase? A GIANT wingback rocking chair from 2Modern. I loved that this oversized chair had the old school rocking chair legs instead of the standard glider-style base you see in so many nurseries. I also loved that it would be wide enough for us to sit and read with our child as he or she grew older.
Second purchase? A gorgeous cognac leather Moroccan pouf that would serve as an ottoman. Both of these items could very easily fit within the design schemes I was dreaming up for either a little boy or sweet girl's nursery.
It felt like ages had passed, but we finally found out that our precious baby was a little girl who we would later name Ava. My decorating switched into hyperdrive. I wanted the room to feel eclectic and feminine, but not overtly girly. Natural woods, white, sage green, navy, blush... soft, cozy and comfortable. I drew design inspiration from an adorable eclectic nursery on I Spy DIY -- and ran with it to make it my own!
I started with the rug (ALWAYS start with the rug), because I knew it would set the tone for the rest of the room and I could then layer on top of it. I can't tell you how many rugs I looked at. On every website. Over the course of at least a month.. maybe two. See, the problem I constantly run into when I have a vision, is that what I'm envisioning doesn't always exist in real life. Despite the rug in my mind not matching any of the ones I found online, I knew the colors I wanted, and I knew I wanted geometric shapes to be a theme throughout. I stumbled upon this bright, fun and funky rug at Lulu & Georgia that fit the bill, and proceeded to throw my budget out the window (kidding... kind of) and ordered it on the spot.
I pulled the light sage green/aqua color from the rug and painted two walls in a similar calming hue (Sherwin-Williams' Desert Lake), and the other two walls in a very light grey (Sherwin-Williams' Icy Avalanche). I wanted colors she could grow with, that would also serve as a subtle backdrop for the fun pieces I would bring in.
From there, I added a sheepskin rug (love love love layered rugs.. apparently Ella our Maltipoo does too), a cozy faux fur throw on the rocking chair, and this Babyletto crib with sweet little geometric sheets.
**Side-note - I cannot believe how little she is here!! It's hard to believe that in just 8 months she has grown into such a curious, active and smiley little baby!
I was so excited to start adding decor to the walls -- hanging a mix of art, succulents and an antique french horn above the dresser and natural wood hexagon shelves on the adjacent wall.
The dresser is just a cheapie from Ikea (thoroughly anchored to the wall), but I replaced the hardware with gold hexagon knobs and bar pulls. It doubles as a changing table with the woven changing basket secured to the top, but as she gets older we can remove that and still use the beautiful dresser. I added the little 'seat belt' to the changing pad, but now that I look back, I shake my head because there is no WAY that little thing would keep our wiggly baby in place. A firm hold on her is the only thing that will cut it nowadays!
I really wanted something special to hang above her crib so I decided to paint a quote on a large canvas and frame it with natural wood. I searched Pinterest to find the perfect quote. So many had been used in every nursery known to man... but when I found this one, I got choked up because it embodied everything I would wish for my little girl. I added the line 'a spirit made of FIRE' because that is a necessary ingredient for all spunky and confident little girls (and I'm determined to raise one of those).
Lastly, I wanted to complete Ava's little reading nook, so I found two hanging bookshelves from Ikea and filled them with board books from the Bibylit series -- books that introduce babies to classic literature (Romeo & Juliet, The Secret Garden and Little Women, just to name a few). Each book is beautifully illustrated and focuses on a concept like colors or numbers. For a touch of whimsy, I added a pom pom garland and a soft fabric doll.
I had pictured this room in my head for years... a place where my little girl could lay on her belly on a cozy rug. Where I could snuggle her on the rocking chair and sing her a lullaby. It turned out better than I could have imagined, and I hope she loves it as much as I do, for years to come.
*Photos by Francesca Marchese Photography
*Theme inspiration - I Spy Design
Geometric Rug - Lulu & Georgia
Sheepskin Rug - Restoration Hardward
Crib - Babyletto on Amazon
Dresser - Ikea
Mobile - Restoration Hardware
Changing Basket - Design Dua
Light Fixture - World Market
Felt Ball Garland - The Rainbow Barn on Etsy
Comment below if you would like to know any additional sources!