The Nursery Diaries :: Chapter 8

If you are new around here and missed the first seven chapters of this story here they are: Chapter 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.

Well friends, I think it is complete enough for a final reveal.  I have a 4.5 month old baby now and it has taken me almost 9 months to get this teeny-tiny room together.  My teeny-tiny client (and my life-size ones too) have had me quite preoccupied.  You know what they say about the Cobbler’s children.  

Just to refresh your memory, here’s the floor plan of the room we chose as the nursery.  The room barely measures 10′-8″ x 11′-4″… that excludes the space where the entry door swings in… which is not usable space anyway.  Those of you with 10′ x 14′ rugs in your living room… your rug covers more square footage than we have in our nursery. 

floor plan

When I set out to design the nursery I already had a majority of the furniture that I knew for sure I would use.  The crib (vintage… it was mine), the changing table (used to be a bar in our dining room), and two black bookcases with olive green interiors.  The bookcases I used in a project a few years ago, they are were part of a 3-piece unit that Crate & Barrel used to sell as an entertainment center.  They flanked an armoire that held a tv.  They say they are made in Italy (which sounds fancy, but they are really quite simple) and I have always loved their chalky matte black finish, perfect shade of green interior, and inset drawers.  Last year I upgraded that client’s home with all flat screen tvs and consoles instead of large entertainment centers, and when I did I scored those bookcases.   The room is very small.  The only new piece of furniture is the chair.  It was a gift from a generous client.  You may recall my Ikea chair strike out?  I often intervene on my client’s behalf by not allowing them to make design mistakes, this time a client intervened on my behalf.  She rescued me and knew I needed a chair that rocked.  I am so very grateful and I think of her every single time I rock and feed Sloane in that chair!  The little green side table is a garden stool, moved into the room from my garden!

at entry door

When you walk in the door this is your view.  Our hampers are from Tarjay.  The one on the left holds our dirty laundry and on the right it holds toys that Sloane isn’t quite big enough for just yet.  I actually have 3 of these hampers for future toy storage and will likely move them to the chair’s location once she is a big girl and doesn’t need Momma to rock her anymore (sniff).  The diaper tote bag I got at TJMaxx it is by Saltbox.  I guess it is discontinued, hence it finding its way to TJs.   The frame that the French alphabet print is in came from Marla’s store – if you are interested you can email Brittany(at)marlaandshane(dot)com .  It was a splurge, but once I took it out on approval I was sold.  That whole “out on approval” works to the retailers advantage.   


I really didn’t have a theme or scheme in mind when I designed this space.  Themes make me cringe.  And the only scheme was color related.  The Oscar de la Renta bedskirt fabric I had been hoarding for years set the palette.  The walls as you may already know are Comfort Gray by Sherwin Williams.  Our rug is an outdoor faux sisal from Homegoods.  It’s not exactly a rug you’d want to lay on or crawl on, but for now it works.  We may add an area carpet when Sloane gets a little older.

left and right

The lamps I bought almost two years ago at a Goodwill store that was near my dad’s place in Chicago.  My Mom and I both think the silhouettes look like a lady in a white dress with her hands on her hips.  The black linen (gold lined) lamp shades came from the Restoration Hardware outlet in Wisconsin (not too far from Chicago).  The shelves are filled with lots of little goodies.  On the right bottom shelf that box is the one that the vintage Barbie paperdoll set came in.  On the left bottom shelf, remember when my painters delivered my gold crib and also a little gift from them… they bought a pair of tennis shoes at Walmart and sprayed them gold too, they were a joke, but they sure crack me up.


I’m not a minimalist.  The more to look at the merrier I am.  The framed nametag was part of our maternity photo shoot, the frame is from TJMaxx (has a lovely burlap wrapped mat).  The silver cup in the foreground was mine.  The fruit rattles were the second purchase for Sloane (first being her chandelier), they came from friend Shawn’s store- Fitz & Emme [shawn(at)fitzandemme(dot)com].  The painting in the background is titled Faces South and is by local artist Teresa Cline.  It is one of my all time favorite paintings and it was a gift from Teresa a couple of years ago.  She sells custom paintings and giclee canvases here

birdseyeview of crib


When a very kind blog reader saw that I was planning to use that Dwell tiny pin dot crib sheet (which was discontinued), she emailed to offer me hers.  Thank you Jennifer (she has triplets!!! + 1 more, that’s equals 4 children under 4)!  She also has a beautiful home, as seen in the background of pictures on her blog.


The crib skirt is adjustable (as I mentioned in Chapter 5) so when we lower the mattress as Sloane grows the skirt can be shortened and still fall flush to ‘kiss’ the ground.  The beauty of this design is that behind that skirt hides storage boxes of outgrown clothes!  Which is also a reason all beds in my house have bedskirts that ‘kiss’ the ground… extra storage! 

sloaneys friends

The little pink peek-a-boo bunny was mine when I was a baby.  I cleaned her up and she works great… give her pull a tug and before her song finishes Sloane is asleep.

right bkcaseclose

Sloane’s Mommasissy made the sock bunny for her for Christmas. It is so precious to have handmade things from my sister.  More than half of the clothes in the closet were handmade hand-me-downs from Darby and we are so grateful for all the time and energy that went into each precious outfit.  The little fields of flowers painting I painted in high school.  As our book collection grows our shelves will evolve.  Speaking of books, tried to sign up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, but my area has no sponsor?


Sorry about the glare, I should have turned the chandelier off!

close up paperdoll plates

The decoupaged plates were a very, very, very generous gift from my friend Annmarie and her creative partner-in-crime Laurie.  As I mentioned previously, I originally planned to shadowbox frame real vintage Barbie clothes.  I realized very early that wasn’t going to fly.  I didn’t have hours to spend on ebay waiting for auctions to end + the clothes alone were expensive, plus the cost of shadowbox frames.  When I found the vintage Barbie paperdolls on Etsy I emailed Annmarie to see if she thought I could handle the decoupage myself.  She told me to not even try (it’s difficult work folks), she would do it for me!  Can you imagine a more generous gift!?  I could not.  The day they arrived I was so excited I must have looked at them a million times.  They make me very happy.  Sloane loves them too!  Laurie and Annmarie have been in the decoupage business since 2003, took a hiatus for a couple of years…  but are now officially BACK IN ACTION!!  Check out their etsy shop: The Treehouse Press.  I’ve donated my paperdolls to their decoupage cause, so if you like them… they can be yours too. 

close up paperdoll plates2

I think it is safe to say that the green shorts + striped shirt outfit is my favorite!

chair and ottoman corner

Our chair and ottoman where we spend a lot of time.  When I put Sloane up on my shoulder she gazes at her Amanda Talley painting and seems to really love the large graphic design… which is good.  I have already warned her that Momma loves that painting too and may steal it from her one day.  I found the ottoman at my favorite antique store that is near my parent’s farm… had the cushion reupholstered and it is as good as new!


Our lamp is from the local Restoration Hardware outlet.  The chair is slipcovered in a natural diamond matelesse.  You may recall it was going to be slipcovered in a linen that matched the wall color, but it accidentally got made upholstered (not slipcovered) in linen… so they sent me a slipcover.  I decided to change the fabric on the slipcover… so I have one chair two looks. We’ll leave it slipcovered til Sloane is at a safer age to have a linen upholstered chair 18 years old.  You see where our bird mobile landed.


Over the changing table is an antique herb drying rack that my parents have had in their storage shed for years.  About fifteen years ago they went to England on an antique tour and bought three of these.  I talked mom into parting with this one.  Sloane’s daddy’s car had that personalized tag on it when he was in high school.  Where I come from personalized car tags are a just a little bit red.  As in neck.  Nothing against those of you that have them.  Because my dad has one and I love him.  And my husband had one.  And I love him too.  And I love that my daughter has his name.

detail with piglet

That photo of Sloaney Bologna was taken by the talented Amy Smith.  She looked more like me at that age (I think she was 14 days old in that photo)… these days she is looking much more like her daddy!

changing table2

Our changing table is not very exciting, the open shelves make me a little crazy being disheveled as they are… but the quick access to the necessities makes motherhood easier.  That cute green felt bag with the onesie on it (hanging over the changing table) was a gift from my Baker rep… hi Susan!  I adore it!


Some folks like to see the little details… I’ll try not to bore you… but here are some shots for those of you.

drapery detail

The coral and ivory striped fabric is now discontinued… and that makes me wish I had bought a few extra yards.  Our tortoise natural woven roman shades came from Home Depot a few years ago.

sachet from d

My sister made the little scented sachet… it was part of a shower gift (back in July), but even now (7 months later) it still smells so wonderful!

Now, to keep it real… that Ikea chair that we didn’t really love has actually come in quite handy as a second chair in the room.  Every night Chance and I can be found in this room, together, giving Sloane her last feeding… and the second chair has been a big bonus.  We have come to love this time of day together.  If your nursery has enough space (not that ours really does, because it really is quite tight with the two chairs, but worth the compromise), I’d recommend two chairs so that both parents can be active (and comfortable) during the bedtime routine.  Chance gives the night bottle, so he gets the good chair, I’m usually sitting next to that kangaroo.  [I'm sure this doubled-up, tag-team approach to bedtime is one of those 'first children' deals.  Obviously if there were other children in the picture this wouldn't be possible.]


Not pictured: we have a few more pieces of art that we just need more wall space for!  Some is out being framed and some is leaning in the bathroom waiting to be hung in there.  And the closet… oh the closet…

I just loaded a picture of the closet.  Then I tried to find words to justify the mess.  And then I deleted it.  I couldn’t bear to post it with these images… I’ll post it later, I promise.  Just don’t want to end this post with a wild closet photo.

I hope this goes without saying… but just to reiterate my heart:  the most important element to this nursery  isn’t pictured above.  My precious daughter.  If I had nothing but a baby bed and a blanket I would be satisfied, because my baby is obviously of far more value than any silly thing I’ve posted here.  It wasn’t until she came that I realized the nursery wasn’t all that important.  Hence the time it’s taken me to get this posted! 

If you have any questions I will try to answer them in the comment section.  If your question has already been addressed in a previous chapter, then I will point you back to the other chapters!    

[All painted finishes have been tested for lead paint.  After a lot of criticism over my bumpers (which by design (stiff and not pillowy) are safer in my opinion than most on the market) I have purchased the breathable mesh bumpers which we will put up once she starts to roll over.  The metal paint does not have a high metal content, but for those concerned about her chewing on the bed, we have the plastic siderail protectors, they are just white and ugly, and we don't need them up right now.  We can put them up once she pulls up on the side of the crib and starts chewing.  When Sloane grows big enough to reach the bottom row of plates on the wall we will have to take them down and put them away for safe keeping.  All photos are mine, please ask permission if  you want use of them.]

tweet, tweet

No.  I’m not on twitter.  Nothing against those of you who are, but I can hardly function as it is, much less try to type what I’m attempting to accomplish.  I’m a pretty good multi-tasker, just not at that level.  Plus my updates would likely bore you to tears.  And I wouldn’t want that.  

I digress.  This is a mini Nursery Diaries update. 

Before Sloane’s arrival I was anti-mobile.  I don’t know why, I guess I thought it would interfere with the paperdoll plates?  BUT, I just bought this mobile after seeing it at a client-friend’s house (Hi CH!  I copied you! Highest form of flattery when your designer copies your design? Hope so!).

tweet tweet

closeup tweeties

Not sure if the colors are right or if I will even end up using it… but it was on SALE and those cute birds, I just couldn’t resist.  Hurry all you pregnant people, they won’t last long at $19.99!

slow but sure

I ain’t gonna lie… life as a working mother is a lot to handle. So much for the 30 free minutes I used to have to update the ole blog every so often. Over the weekend I did manage to get a little more done in the nursery. If you thought you missed the nursery reveal, alas you did not. I never dreamed I’d be back to work and the nursery would still not be at 100%.  I’m at the bottom of my own totem pole, of course I’ve kept trucking right along on work projects, but can’t seem to wrap up my own!  Good thing my precious little client loves me regardless!