Friday, June 25, 2010

A spot-on nursery

An adorable knuffle bunny handmade by my oldest friend.

We barely put the finishing touches on Alice’s nursery before she moved in (though she gave us plenty of time)! I finally had some time to style it and take some decent “After” photos. 
The giraffe theme evolved pretty organically. Last summer, when we first decided to start this little baby project, we bought a print of the giraffes from Disneyland’s “it’s a small world.” We like the original giraffes and this fun artistic interpretation, and were sure we could work it into our future nursery design somehow. Shortly thereafter, I picked up a fun postcard in Amsterdam with a giraffe on it. I put the postcard away in some safe place, and forgot all about it until I was clearing out the office to turn it into the nursery.

We wanted to do as little painting as possible to transition the room into a nursery, and decided to paint the top half of the walls a pale peach to compliment the pumpkin color we loved in the office. I was trying to decide how to make an attractive transition between the two colors and thought giraffe spots might be fun. I made a template in Adobe Illustrator, based on the pattern of the fun diaper bag I found, and cut about one million spots out of Friskit. I wanted the painting to be easy for Jon, since I wouldn't be helping. I figured I’d put up the spots and he could just power paint the top half of the walls. That plan worked great for Jon, his job was as easy as painting can be. I, however, spent 8 hours sticking each individual spot to the wall. I wasn’t even sure it would work, we’d only tested one spot, and I didn’t have a backup plan. Fortunately, it turned out perfectly (I don’t know what I would have done otherwise!). There was a little bleed around the edges, but I think that just adds to the effect. It was all worth it though, because Alice LOVES it! Her eyes follow the pattern wherever she is, especially when she’s on the changing table.You can get a better look at the photos on ths post, as well as some photos of the transformation in the photo gallery.

My mom sewed the curtains and pillow cases with this fabulous fabric from Scarlet Fig on I squealed with delight when I saw the fabric showcased on a design blog, only to realize I had saved it in my etsy favorites ages ago and then totally forgot about it! It ties together everything I envisioned for the room; vibrant colors, modern patterns, and a fun motif with a fresh and graphic treatment.

I don’t know what the total room cost came out to be (or how it compared to our original budget), but the only major costs were the crib and changing table. We spent a bit on the frames, the curtain rods and fabric, but the couch, bookshelves and crown molding ledges were repurposed from elsewhere in our house and garage. The china ball and tissue pom fixture over the crib was purchased and crafted for about $30, inspired by this room I originally saw featured on Ohdeedoh.

I'm not an interior designer or stylist, I think the room evolved organically into something even better than I could have planned - partly because of some truly treasured items hand-made with love. My mother made a beautiful cross-stitch of a mama and baby giraffe, two of my closest friends made the framed photos of Jon & I as babies with a sweet little girl silhouette, and my oldest closest friend (from the 1st grade) hand-stitched that adorable bunny. Jon picked out the letters for Alice’s name on the wall, choosing just the right font and height/thickness combo, and then hand-painted them and I lovingly applied and removed a million giraffe spots.

The end result is so fun and charming, it’s a wonderful place to read a story in the afternoon or nurse in the middle of the night. I love the way it turned out and I know Alice does too. I hope that it only continues to grow on her as she grows. She better enjoy it while she can, I have big plans for her first “big girl” room!
Art (Clockwise from top left): Monogram by me. 'it's a small world' giraffe print by Jimmy Pickering. Paris Monument art from Target. Gezellig postcard from Amsterdam. Empty frame waiting for a giraffe family by me. Mama & Baby giraffe cross-stitch by my mom. Erin & Jon as babies by Laura Vella & Melissa Ores.


  1. Where or where did you get the wooden letters? I am looking for ones just like this for my daughter's nursery. Your nursery is beautiful!

  2. Oh, I should have included that in the post! We got the wooden letters online from Discount Lettering Brands:

    We used the Garamond Book font in 12" height, 1/2" thickness. We were so happy to find the company's website, they had tons of options. We love the way the letters turned out and loved being able to get exactly what we wanted and paint them them ourselves! We attached them with 3M velcro which was a bit hard to get all laid out properly but Alice actually loves taking them off the wall and playing with them!


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