Friday, September 2, 2011

Welcome to My Home: Vignettes from Nursery #1

I have three girls. Liking pink just goes with the job of being their mom.

But before I had my first daughter, I was determined to avoid pink. "Pink is passe," I would say, like one of the mean girls in Purplicious.  So in planning my first nursery, I settled on a pale blue and ivory color palette.  My goal was to create a serene, French-inspired, completely feminine space, without resorting to pink.  I found gorgeous ice blue dupioni silk Lulla Smith crib linens at a Baby Coco floor sample sale.  I had the walls painted Martha Stewart's French Ivory.  For contrast, I bought a distressed ebony crib and dresser/hutch combo.  I hung a voile canopy from the ceiling.

I fell in love with this comfortable Little Castle glider and ottoman, upholstered in black and ivory Central Park toile:

At first, my daughter was concerned the chair was too matchy-matchy with her wardrobe, but she eventually got over it:

With the basics in place, it was time to accessorize.

My favorite element is her dollhouse bookcase:

I had been eyeing this at Pottery Barn Kids, but I wanted a different color scheme and something more personalized.  My handy step-dad came to the rescue with his woodworking skills and made ours from scratch.  It's very sturdy and has withstood lots of abuse over the past five years.  My mom and an artist friend painted the bookcase to match the room.  We were going for a whimsical interpretation of "an old house in Paris, all covered with vines".  All three girls now love it and use it daily; it's an heirloom for our family.

A sweet table, with two chairs covered in more of the pale blue silk, provides a lovely tea party venue:

(Her tea party manners have improved in the four + years since the above picture was taken!)

My mom made voile sheers and these beautiful new-sew cornice boxes using still more of the pale blue dupioni silk:

We found this inexpensive shelf at Michael's and painted it to match the linens; the paint color is actually much lighter than it seems in these pictures:

Among other things, the shelf hosts antique books, her grandmother's silver baby cup and shoe, her own silver and pewter baby cups, and her vintage christening gown, worn by four generations of our family.

Many, if not most, nurseries these days feature the child's initial or name in wooden letters.  I didn't find most of the commercially available letters that inspiring, so I had Woodland Manufacturing make a large, scripted "M" (you can order almost any size or font, and the prices are very reasonable).  We then painted it.

A charming Winnie the Pooh clock, from Breed & Co:

Her baby book, covered in more pale blue dupioni silk:

A cozy lamb chair:

Of course, we didn't forget the walls.  Here's a vintage, original illustration from Little Women, which is so appropriate in a home full of sisters:

A 1905 Ladies Home Journal cover:

Her growth chart from Red Envelope (which she complains is designed for a boy; I still like it):


Black and white photographs of her on the beach:

My oldest's room is now no longer a nursery; we converted her crib to a double bed over two years ago and covered it with a pale blue duvet.  But most of the original elements are still in place, although she has "reorganized" things to her liking.  Stuffed animals now crowd the shelves; the perimeter of the room is now lined with doll furniture and accessories.  There are days we cannot walk from the door to the bed without stepping on piles of books and toys, but it is very much her space.

As I've mentioned before, we'll likely be moving to a different house within the next year.  My oldest is already planning her new decor.  Magenta! She insists. Lots of magenta!  I see a house full of pink in my future.  :)

(Sharing with a' la mode, Design Dazzle Savvy Southern Style, and On Sutton Place)


  1. What a lucky little girl to have such a lovely room. Thanks for coming to the Open House Party!

  2. Such a sweet, darling room. Thanks for sharing : )