This project has very much been a labour of love, with so much planning and imagining even before we got pregnant. I’m a very visual person, and I like to have clear pictures in my head of how things will look before starting anything new, so there wasn’t much decision-making required by the time we got past the planning and on to the actual doing. We rent our home, so couldn’t change the wall colours or carpet etc, but we have given the room quite an overhaul and are very happy with the results!
Without further ado, here is the nursery we have put together for our son!
The cot we purchased secondhand from TradeMe (NZ’s equivalent to Ebay or Craigslist) – solid wood with a drop side and plastic teething rails. These were rather ugly, so I whipped up a couple of quilted covers, backed with towelling. The most satisfying part of putting the nursery together has been all the crafting and repurposing. We only bought a few things new: the cot mattress (a Futonz futon with a latex core and wool/cotton mix), the stripey rug (NZ Woolmark from Target Furniture) and smaller items like the beanbag (the Warehouse) and baskets (TradeAid). The rest was already in the room, or has been scavenged from around the rest of the house. The frames on the wall came from our last house, where they held cards and postcards that I had picked up on my travels in 2007. We replaced these with suitably coloured pages from our scrapbooking paper resources.
The bunting behind the cot was the inspiration for the colour scheme. B. made it last year as an exemplar for a repurposing project she did with her class. The fabric came from items of clothing bought at a charity shop and cut up. She also made cushions, which look great on the cane chair that used to be in our lounge.
Once we had the colours sorted, it was heaps of fun to find things around the place that matched or complimented them well. The lanterns, for instance, were mostly leftover from our wedding two years, and the fabric covering the change mat came out of my stash (I’m partial to getting things in the Greenbeans sales…) I also made the curtains, way back when we moved into the house, as the originals were a heinous faded floral pattern. The outer layer of the big window curtains came from my parents’ beach house, and have had two layers of lining added (one wool for insulation, one thermal lining). The small window curtains still need relining – they’re a bit thin and cold.
The change-table was another large repurposing project. It’s a desk I had as a teenager back in the late nineties, and it has followed my sister and I through various flats, with and without its upper shelves. I borrowed an electric sander from a friend (who very kindly didn’t laugh at me for doing so) and attacked it out on the deck one day. It was extremely satisfying! It would be even more satisfying if the weather would cooperate to allow the next step of painting to be done…
We did manage to paint smaller items like this old lamp and a noticeboard frame to match on the wall to the left of the change-table. This colour will also crop up in a later post when I show some of the organisation of baby things… The elephant was a last minute purchase in Bangkok airport in 2011, as I tried to get rid of the last of my coinage during a long transit stop. We call her Nellie.
In terms of storage, we’re lucky to have two tall wardrobes built into the wall opposite the big ranch-slider windows. The left one has two hanging organisers stacked full of baby clothes (mostly hand-me-downs or charity shop finds), as well as four large crates of our fabric stash, and the right one is still our craft cupboard, with all sorts of goodies stored in it. That cupboard will definitely need a child-proof latch by the time our little man is big enough to open it himself!
In between the two wardrobes, we’ve just been able to fit an old white bookshelf (even older than the desk – this was in my childhood bedroom!) which will get the same sanding and painting treatment soon. On top, we have a few specimens of our owl collection (dotted all around the house), a peace lily for air purification and a few gifts. The books are a collection of old favourites and a couple of new purchases – after buying one for a friend, I had to own some of the BabyLit books! It might just be the teacher in me, but I think they are such awesome board books. (And they make perfect presents for other teacher friends too!)
There are a few other goodies to save for a later post – special items that have been handed down or crafted by family members. Also not in the photos are the fairy lights which surround the ceiling – the white strand lights are virtually unnoticeable in the daylight, but when turned on at night, they seriously make me melt. Perfect finishing touch to the best room in the house!