Mindy is a graphic designer and photographer living in San Francisco, CA. When the stork came a knockin’, Mindy put those design skills to work to create a modern and bright nursery and the results are breathtaking!
Child’s Name: “Baby Boy P” for now.
Child’s Age: Due March 17, 2010
Location: San Francisco, CA
What was your inspiration for the room?
The Amy Ruppel small bird artwork on wood (on the frame wall below) had been sitting on the desk in my home office for years. I have always loved it, but have never had the perfect place to hang it. When we found out we were expecting a baby, I took the piece into the future nursery and leaned it against a bookshelf. A lot of the colors in the room are pulled from this painting and more importantly the overall mood of the room was inspired by Amy’s art. I wanted something modern, but still warm, fun for a baby without being too cutesy and neutral enough to work for a boy or a girl.
Describe your decorating style.
I am an anti-hoarder in all areas of my life and my decorating style tends to reflect my love of all things orderly. I embrace minimalism, but also like being surrounded by a few special pieces of art and accessories that make me happy. I try to keep all furniture neutral and accent with my favorite colors. I love greens, yellows and oranges and tried to create a space that will both grow with our son and fit into the style of the rest of the house.
Give us all the details about your room! Don’t forget to share with us any money saving tips you might have learned along the way.
Paint Color: Benjamin Moore “Gray Horse”. It was hard to find a gray that didn’t seem cold or clash with our already grayish carpet. We went with the low VOC Aura line of paint and it went on so easily, it almost made painting fun!
Crib: Oeuf Sparrow, purchased on Amazon.com (free shipping/delivery and no sales tax!) This was our one splurge, but I made sure to shop around for a good deal online.
Crib Bedding: The crib skirt is from Target‘s DwellStudio which is very reasonably priced. The fitted sheet was purchased on sale at a local baby store.
Pillows: Gray and orange pillows are from IKEA, Bird pillow from Urban Outfitters, kelly green pillow from Target’s DwellStudio (on sale from a few seasons ago).
Rug: Coqo Floral Rug from Anthropologie. This would have been another splurge, but I have a very nice boss who gave us each $200 gift cards as bonuses this year and I used mine for the rug.
Shelving on window seat: IKEA Expedit. I love the versatility, price and durability of the Expedit. Our windows have a really deep “seat” area that is too high for actually sitting but makes a great area to store all of the frequently used baby supplies (diapers, burp clothes, blankets, toys) as well as being the perfect height for diaper changes.
Dresser: Also IKEA Expedit shelving. This is the 2×2 Expedit and drawer inserts with IKEA Capita legs, and drawer knobs from Anthropologie. The yellow dairy crates on the bottom (to be used as hampers) are from The Container Store. I was looking for a small modern dresser and couldn’t find anything that was both the right size and a decent price. The total cost of “making” this dresser was $150 and I love the final result.
Wall Decal: From Blik. There are hundreds of wall decals out there (Etsy.com is a good resource) but the quality of the Blik decals is top notch and almost everyone thinks that the design was painted onto the gray wall which is great!
Artwork: Small bird piece inside of blank frame is amyruppel.com. Animal collage is petitcollage.com. Decorative papers in other frames from Paper Source. Large collage on canvas was inspired by the petitcollage piece and I created it for $25. A lot of art stores have canvas sales so I waited for the sale at Pearl Art and picked up this large canvas for a great price. I already had the paints and used an old Anthropologie catalog for the collage “bits”. I try to save my favorite catalogs for projects like this. The print on the dresser was downloaded (for free) and printed on thick card stock then mounted using photo corners.
Accessories: Vases, bowls and other accessories are all pieces I’ve had for years. I frequently walk around my house and move accessories from one room to another both to just freshen up the look and to keep me constantly thinking about new ways to arrange things. It’s a fun exercise and ends up saving me money when I’m having moments of feeling bored with any given room.
Aluminum Elephant. When we first found out we were going to be parents this summer, we were on an East Coast trip and while in DC we visited the Eastern Market and I saw a family selling animals made from recycled aluminum cans. My husband and I both love elephants and when I see this in the room I remember how exciting those first weeks of pregnancy were when it was just our little secret.
Ganesha Print: A Christmas gift from my sister-in-law. My husband is Indian and I love that we have something that both represents his culture and is fun and appropriate for a baby’s room. Print from gheehappy.com
Before you start shopping, look around your house for furniture, art, accessories you aren’t really using or might want to try in a new space. If your decorating style is consistent for each room it’s usually easy to find at least a few things to re-purpose. I saved a lot of money by doing this and created more open space in the common areas which I’m sure will be useful once our baby is mobile.
Spray paint is your friend! Try to look at the shape of an item and not the color. The frames on my frame wall were all purchased very cheaply at Ross and then disassembled and spray painted. I’ve “saved” many an item with a few coats of spray paint.
It’s important that a nursery be functional for the baby, but that doesn’t mean the design needs to be overly childish. We will be spending a lot of time in the room also and I want to love it as much as the rest of the house.
Don’t get mentally trapped into using only blues for boys and pinks for girls unless you already love those colors. There are so many other options out there and try to stick to colors you really like and that will grow with your child.
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