Well, on to the purpose of this blog post....Harrison's nursery is finally finished!! It's been a work in progress and one that has taken much pondering, many hours on Pinterest, numerous trips back and forth to Babies R Us, Hobby Lobby, Lowes, Home Depot, Pier 1, TJ Maxx, Home Goods, and a number of other thrift shops and antique stores. But alas, the little room in our home is finally ready for it's inhabitant to move in! Drumroll please......here is the official BEFORE & AFTER photo.
The before was pretty bad huh?? That room was our office/craft room/firefighter collectibles room and had more junk that any couple should be allowed to have. It took months to clean out before we could even start thinking about making it a nursery....glad that is over! Whew!
|Click to find this tree decal on Etsy.|
With the tree being a deep brown color, I knew I wanted dark espresso furniture to go along with it, so that began the research on baby furniture. I will not even bore you with all of the crazy amount of research and shopping around we did for baby furniture or the number of "discussions" that my husband and I had about what was and was not an acceptable amount to spend on said baby furniture, but I'll just say that it was quite the process. Lessons learned about purchasing baby furniture.... 1) Do not go to Baby Furniture Plus. They have ridiculously overpriced furniture that is no better looking or better in quality than your average baby store. Even on sale, their prices are crazy! We got a crib, dresser, and all the accompanying toddler rail/bed rail conversion kit for way less than just what one piece would cost at that place. Save your time and skip over this place. 2) Buy Buy Baby has pretty and good quality baby furniture and you can use 20% off coupons on it, but Babies R' Us has also has pretty and good quality baby furniture, you can use 20% off coupons on it, AND they have a store credit card that you can apply for that gives you an additional 15% your first purchase. Babies R' Us will also take Buy Buy Baby's coupons (which are way easier to find), so it makes it even easier to save. Babies R' Us is the winner!!
After careful consideration, a LOT of research, and about 14 different trips to Babies R' Us, we decided on the Sorelle Vista Elite 4 in 1 crib and dresser. With 20% off coupons used on each piece and the 15% off we got from applying for the Babies R' Us credit card, we were able to get our crib and dresser (which we are using for a changing table - no need for an entirely separate piece of furniture) for a very reasonable price!!
I love the dark espresso color of the furniture, but even more so I love that it is very, very sturdy. Some of the cheaper cribs are not real wood, but this is made from real wood. It is heavy and very solid. The finish is very nice quality as well, and what I also love about this crib and dresser is that they have pedestal legs that sit the crib and dresser up off the floor. There are several models where the front of the crib and dresser have a wooden bar that goes all the way across flush to the floor. I had never really put much thought into that until I thought about how scratched up the wood would get from vacuuming, people kicking it when they walk by, Harrison ramming toy cars into it, etc. I love that I can vacuum right to the edge of the crib and dresser and partly underneath without hitting the wood and messing up the finish.
After we got the furniture and the tree for Harrison's room, I knew I had to pick out a color scheme and bedding pattern, which would kind of be the inspiration for the rest of the room. I went back and forth between shades of green and blue for his room, but I finally decided to go with a blue. I got several paint samples from Home Depot and we finally decided on a shade of blue with slight hints of green and grey by Behr called "Swan Sea." It is a beautiful color...very calming and serene.
I knew that my next step was to choose a crib bedding set. I dreaded this because I am so picky, and I absolutely hated all of the "themey" bedding sets at all the baby stores. I also really loved the look of the crib rail covers (a piece of bedding fabric that is tied to the bottom crib rail to protect it while still being stylish) that I had seen on some of the custom bedding sets at Baby Furniture Plus, but their prices were off the chain expensive, and none of the bedding sets at any of the baby stores even had crib rail covers. I looked online at some sites that did custom bedding that included rail covers, but pricing was literally in the $300-$600 range, which was totally out of the question, so I ended up asking one of my friends who sews if she might be willing to custom make Harrison's bedding set for a reasonable price, and she said yes!! I went scouring around town looking for a fabric for the bedding set, and I finally decided on some fabric from Hobby Lobby. The colors perfectly matched the dark brown espresso furniture and the blue/green Swan Sea wall color, so I knew it was meant to be. I showed my friend Katie a picture of what a crib rail cover looked like, and she said she could make one, so she made me a custom bedding set with crib bumpers, a crib rail cover, and a crib skirt. I absolutely love it!!! She did a fabulous job!
My next project was a wall collage over Harrison's dresser. I had seen several collages in baby nurseries and I really loved the look of it, so I started collecting mirrors, frames, and other neat pieces and started placing them out on the floor until I found just the right collection of pieces that fit into the rectangular space above the dresser. I still have to add pictures in the frames, but I love how it turned out!!
The other pieces on his dresser are the changing pad, a little "necessities" tray I found at TJ Maxx
that has his homemade baby lotion, homemade diaper cream, and his brush and comb. We also got a Prince Lionheart wipe warmer for one of our shower gifts, and I bought the matching Prince Lionheart wipe warmer stand on Amazon for the wipe warmer to go on top of. I think it is a great use of space since the diapers store underneath it, and it also has two little caddies on each side for other baby products to be stored.
One of the biggest projects in the nursery turned out to be the bookshelf. I knew I wanted some kind of a shelf or hutch to go in his room that did not match the other pieces of furniture. I wanted it to be an accent piece....something that stood out, yet complimented the rest of the room...and something that was more rustic in feel with a shabby chic/distressed finish. I loved the grey color of the mirror over the dresser, so I thought a pretty grey color would be nice for said shelf/hutch. What turned out to be a nightmare was finding a piece that color that was not 500 freaking dollars. I found several awesome pieces at this shabby chic furniture wonderland called Nadeau Furniture in downtown Columbia, but it was way out of my budget. So I then shifted my searches to thrift stores and antique stores looking for a plain wooden bookshelf that I could refinish myself. I spent weekend after weekend driving all over God's green earth looking for a shelf, and lo and behold I finally found one...in a little antique shop in Hendersonville, NC that I just happened to look up on Google Maps while we were driving through on an apple picking trip to Sky Top Orchard. Random, I know. We pulled up the shop about 10 minutes before it closed, and I expected it to be a flop visit like every other place I had been to. But after quickly perusing through the store, I found the little pine shelf in a back room and knew it was the perfect size to fit in Harrison's room. And it was on SALE for only $112. Yay!! So we bought it and took it home, and I spent the next two months procrastinating on getting it refinished.
The refinishing of the bookshelf will probably end up being a post on it's own because I decided to experiment with the "chalk paint" technique. If you don't know what chalk paint is, Google it or look it up on Pinterest. It's a big thing these days with people who are into DIY home decor. Basically, it is a really pricey high quality type of paint that elicits itself to giving new life to older pieces of furniture and makes it easy to "distress" a piece with sanding or with a wax or stain. The most popular brand of chalk paint is by Annie Sloan, and it is crazy expensive and not easily found around these parts, so I did what I always do when I don't want to spend money on something - I googled until I figured out how to make my own!
Without going into all the details, basically we sanded the shelf, I painted the shelf with my DIY chalk paint recipe, I distressed the edges of the shelf with fine grit sand paper, and then I sealed the shelf with several coats of Polycrylic. It took me way longer than it should have to finish this project, but it was worth it. I really like the distressed look that it has and that it stands out in the room since it doesn't match the other pieces of furniture. It looks great in Harrison's room and it's already serving it's purpose holding his books and toys.
Over the last several months, I have slowly collected other pieces for Harrison's room like the little table beside the rocking chair....that came from Home Goods, as did the lamp. And the picture of the fire truck was one that my husband had gotten a long time ago. It is a pencil drawing of a real Lexington County truck. His one request was that if we had a little boy that he would get to hang the fire truck picture in the nursery, so I found a nice frame for it to go in and, if you look closely, you can even see where we wrote Harrison's name on the fire helmet in the picture.
I just want to end this post by giving a special thank you to all of you who have helped us to prepare for our little man! We are so grateful to all of our family and friends for all of your generosity and are so blessed to say that we truly have everything we need and more to take care of our sweet boy once he arrives. He has a beautiful nursery to come home to! My only request is that you continue to pray that he gets here soon! Like today would be great... :)