Monday Design Inspirations: 04/02/2012

A recycled toddler table and chairs DIY, sound-absorbing wall tiles, a ladder bookshelf DIY idea, a whimsical cloud shelf, and a fun idea to make your wooden spoons oh-so-much prettier!

DIY Recycled Table and Chairs for Kids

You never know what treasures you might stumble upon while out for a stroll! Dina of Honey + Fitz came across a mini table and chairs set that a neighbor was tossing out, and with a little work — and paint! — she transformed it into this adorable chalkboard top table and chairs set for her son Knox. How cool is that?

Sound-Absorbing Wood Wool Wall Tiles

If you’re baby is a light sleeper, then you might have found yourself day dreaming of ways to soundproof the nursery so that nothing can wake baby up. These modular hexagonal wall tiles, conceived by Form Us With Love and manufactured by Träullit Dekor, are made (in Sweden) from wood fibers mixed with cement and water. They have sound-absorbing properties that can actually improve the acoustics of a room, and are available in a variety of colors and can be assembled in various patterns to create a unique mural on your wall.

Retro Bookshelf Photo by Sharyn Cairns for Inside Out Australia. Image scans via Dust Jacket Attic

We love DIY projects that give old items new life! Check out this retro bookshelf made with an old ladder and a few painted pieces of wood. It’s a funky and functional piece that can be made at a minimal expense.

Handmade Cloud Shelf

Shelves in the nursery are a must in order to keep things organized or add a decorative touch to the walls. This custom cloud shelf (found on Etsy) is perfect for doing both! The whimsical cloud shape and the functionality of a shelf makes this a great buy for your little one’s room.

DIY Painted Wooden Spoons

Add a pop of color to your kitchen with this fun and easy diy! If you’re a color lover and have been looking into an easy and affordable way to add some fun into your kitchen, then look no further than this painted wooden spoons diy from Little Bit Funky.


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Giveaway: Chalkboard State Map

Chalkboard State Map Giveaway
We’ve long been lusting over these cool Chalkboard State Maps ($45) from Dirtsa Studio — and since we love to give away the things we love — we thought this would be a fun giveaway for you, our fabulous readers.

Made to order with the state of your choice, the hand drawn white outline is permanently painted on a pliable chalkboard fabric that hangs between two wooden dowels. A chalk holder hangs below, so you’ll always have a piece handy. When you’re tired of your doodles, just use a damp cloth to wipe them clean and start fresh.

The winner will receive a chalkboard state map (any state).

There are lots of ways to enter this giveaway (using Rafflecopter).

Enter here:

Monday Design Inspirations: 03/05/2012

*Pinterest Monday posts will now be called Monday Design Inspirations.

A DIY nautical knot shelf, retro storage tins, a fingerprint keepsake idea, beautiful safari cookies for a little girl’s baby shower, and an art wall idea for a small space!

Pottery Barn Kids has an adorable Swing Shelf (orig. $69, on sale for $50), perfect for a girl or a boy’s room. But why buy it, when you can make it yourself? Rebecca of Fresh Chick Design Studio shared this nautical knot shelf DIY — and it only cost her $12 to make! Check out all the details on Project Nursery.

These retro London Storage Tins (approx. $20) are fun and funky. The retro illustrations and bright colors make them perfect little knick knacks for nursery shelves. And as baby grows, these storage tins will be the perfect hiding place for your little ones special treasures.

Hearts made from fingerprints! Kristy of Kristy Makes shared this lovely keepsake idea, fingerprint hearts, that would be a wonderfully unique piece of art for any wall in your home.

We’re always in awe of the beautiful and creative baked goods we find online. These safari onesies and rattles for a girl baby shower are simply divine (also check out these 10 Baby Shower Cookies to drool for we featured a few months back).

We love a good chalkboard project, don’t you? This small wall in between two boys’ rooms was transformed into an art wall with a little bit of chalkboard paint and several inexpensive frames to display the boys’ creations. Full details at A Soft Place to Land.


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Baby Bowden’s Chic and Cheap Nursery

Gray and girlie! But not too girlie. This featured nursery is a mix of modern style and vintage finds — a sweet and neutral room for a little baby girl. An eclectic space that is both timeless and unique was created by incorporating handmade, vintage and new items into this bold yet soothing room for baby.

Child’s Name: Still a secret!
Child’s Age:
Due 11/1/11
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

What was your inspiration for the room?

Though we knew we were having a girl, I wanted to keep the room on the neutral side, so it could grow with her, and potentially be used for future kiddos as well. The grey walls and grey and white striped ceiling were the foundation of the room. I’m addicted to grey and stripes — especially combined! — and I hope to pass that neutral love on to my daughter! I also knew I wanted to incorporate a chalkboard wall somehow, and loved the idea of floor to ceiling book shelves. For the major items in the room, I kept to a simple color palette: white, grey and black, but then brightened everything up with a mix of primary pops and touches of pastel. I consider it a compliment when people don’t know if it’s a room for a little boy or girl- Hopefully it’s an inspiring space, but enough of a blank slate that our daughter can put her own personal stamp on it someday!

Favorite Items:

It’s so hard to say because I love it all! The ceiling was definitely an undertaking—picture 3 people, 2 ladders, 1 chair, a laser level and several rolls of painters tape!—but I could not be more thrilled with the results. My husband thought I was crazy to want to paint stripes on the ceiling—he apparently doesn’t read design blogs as much as I do!—but even he agrees that it’s part of what makes the entire room “pop”.

I also love the accent wall. It’s chalkboard, with a layer of magnetic paint underneath. We painted a collection of empty frames we already owned, and affixed them to the wall with velcro (so we can remove them later, but there’s no danger of little hands knocking them off the wall). I love that we can change up the entire look of the wall with a little bit of colored chalk — and eventually our little girl can create her own revolving art gallery!

The show-stopper of the room though, might be the book shelves. My husband (with the help of my dad and step-dad!) built custom ledges to store all of Baby B’s books. I love how they showcase the covers like art and add a ton of color to the room. The mixture of new and antique books reinforces the collected feel of the room, and the shelves are flexible enough that they could be used to display other items in the future.

Advice for other soon-to-be mamas designing a nursery?

I would say two things: make it your own and don’t settle. Designing this room was a long process, full of lots of projects, and several failures, but I’m so thankful we put so much effort into making it match our dream vision. We had to try three rounds of fabric, two lamps, and multiple rugs before we found the “winners”— but I’d rather go through that hassle if it means ending up with something I love. The projects too, while not easy, were definitely worth it. The dresser took more refurbishing than we thought, the curtain boxes weren’t exactly as simple as I hoped, and the glider was an all day struggle before it finally came out right. But again, all our mis-steps taught us something, and lead to a one of a kind room that got better with every try. Sure, it would be easier to go to a big-box store and buy a ready made themed set of baby items….But where is the fun in that! I say experiment! Cobble together free things with must-haves, and if you can’t find something you want? Make it!

DIY Projects:

Book Shelves: custom made with lumber and trim from Lowe’s. You can buy similar items from West Elm, or even Ikea, but making you know a handy man (or woman), making your own isn’t that hard, and is much cheaper.
Chair: My husband turned it into a rocker/glider using an old recliner base from a craigslist chair. Honey & Fitz has a great tutorial on how you can make your own. 
Pelmet boxes (window cornice): Made following a tutorial from Pearl Street Interiors
Crib skirt: Made using a similar method as this one from Urban Grace Interiors
Mobile: Handmade using a photo hanger from Urban Outfitters.
Rug: Assembled 6 small rugs from Urban Outfitters with rug tape. So easy, and ended up costing the same as a regular room-sized rug.

We ended up making or modifying a majority of the items in the room, which not only kept us to a really tight budget, but also resulted in a customized room with a ton of personal touches.

Room Resources:

Paint: Walls -Behr, made to match Disney’s Mickey’s Shadow; Ceiling stripes- Behr, a crazy mix of a few failed attempts of light grey, mixed with plain white ceiling paint until I liked it; Chalkboard wall- magnetic paint undercoat, with chalkboard topcoat- both Rusto-oleum.
Dresser: Free! A curbside find, refinished and painted in Citrus Zest
Crib: DaVinci Jenny Lind 3 in 1 Convertible Crib in White
Chair: repurposed Ikea Ektorp Tullsta armchair
Ottoman: slip-covered thrift store find
Giraffe rocker: Craigslist
Pillows: All repurposed from various rooms. Stripe – Urban Outfitters, Floral - Target, Bird-  etsy
(don’t worry… for safety, they’ll be taken out of the crib when baby arrives!)
Globe pillow: handmade by me!
Quilt: handmade gift from a friend
Window treatments and crib skirt: handmade, fabric from 1001 Peeps Illusion in Orange/White (no longer available but this one is similar)
Rug: Urban Outfitters
Art above books: vintage scarves in album frames
Mobile: handmade, using Urban Outfitters‘ photo hanger.
Throw blanket: Meijer
Frames on chalkboard wall: repurposed Ikea frames, embroidery hoops and vintage finds; all painted white for consistency.
Mirror: repurposed from West Elm
Metal “I” and “U” letters: Urban Outfitters

Source: Courtney Bowden of Bowdenisms


Would you like to see your nursery creation featured here, on Chic & Cheap Nursery? Shoot us an email with a few images of your room to contact [at] chiccheapnursery [dot] com.

5 Cool Ideas for your Toddler’s Room or Playroom for Under $30

When you’re decorating on a budget, Ikea is the place to go! But the best finds from Ikea are those that can be used for a completely different purpose than originally intended by the manufacturer. Give your toddler’s room or playroom a stylish update with these 5 Ikea finds.

Keep those toy cars off the floor with this clever idea! Ikea’s Grundtal metallic knife rack ($9) or the Asker metallic knife rack ($15) will do the trick.

Don’t know what to do with your child’s masterpieces? We think this idea to use Ikea’s Dignet Curtain Rings and Clips ($5)  and Ikea’s Dignet Curtain Wire ($13) to display your kids’ art is genius!

Let your tot’s creative juices flow — on a surface other than your walls — with a chalkboard easel. Ikea’s Mala easel ($15) is perfect for your child’s art corner or playroom and you can easily paint the wooden frame to match your decor.

From princess bracelets and lip gloss, to toy cars and trading cards, keep your toddler’s smaller — but valuable – possessions organized in Ikea’s PS Clock ($30).

Create an art studio for your kiddo with a little chalkboard paint — and Ikea’s Asker containers ($6), hooks ($4) and rails ($8) for them to store their art supplies!

image sources: unknown via style file, unknown via style file, real simple, flickr user jenerally speaking, ikea

Dark and Colorful Baby Nursery

I’m totally smitten with this colorful {yet dark} nursery. I love the drama of the black walls and how this new mom brought in the fun with colorful accent pieces. The pom poms and wall flowers make what would otherwise be a “flat” room POP, and the chalkboard area behind the changing table is genius! The crochet mobile and baby blanket were both made by the new mama, but my favorite item in the room? The Anthropologie rug! I’ve loved it since the first time I laid eyes on it and I’m so thrilled to see it in this nursery. It belongs there.

More details for this nursery can be found at Screamy Mimi.


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5 Inspired Ideas for Chalkboard in Your Tot’s Bedroom

Chalkboard as decor is a trend that just keeps getting bigger and bigger. And the truth is, I can’t get enough of it! If you’re not a chalkboard fan, you will be after you check out these inspired decor ideas.

If chalk dust is the only thing keeping you from embracing this trend, I’ve got good news for you. Chalk markers and dustless chalk have been invented. Yay 21st century!

1. Art Wall. Let your little one’s imagination soar with a chalkboard wall. Some chalkboard paint and hanging caddies are all you need to create a drawing area that will provide your artist-in-training endless hours of fun. Source: Felt So Cute

2. Chalkboard Dresser. It’s easy to stay organized when you know where everything goes. With a chalkboard dresser, you can label your drawers and have all of your tot’s items handy. I think this idea would be ideal on any type of storage system – like bookshelves and storage bins. Source: Apartment Therapy

3. Chalkboard Headboard. I love the idea of a chalkboard headboard for a guest room or child’s room. It’s perfect for leaving inspirational messages for your guests or tots. Source: The Inglenook Decor

4. Chalkboard Table Top.  A chalkboard-top table for a play room or nursery provides your kiddos with an activity table they can actually draw on. It could also work as an awesome, and kid-friendly, coffee table. Source: DIY Ideas

5. Chalkboard Labels. These babies allow you to label almost everything in your kids’ rooms – like jars, plastic bins, and toy boxes. And it’s easy to change the labels when needed. Just wipe! Source: Bradens Grace