It feels like this post is well overdue, as I’ve been talking about the Nursery for ages now. It’s very much been a labour of love, and out of all the rooms in our house, this is probably the one which we have put the most thought into.
When I discovered I was pregnant, I tried to avoid looking at anything nursery-related until at least our 12 week scan as I didn’t want to get my hopes up too early. However, when I saw a nursery featured in Homestyle magazine, it was hard to ignore just how perfect it was! As soon as we took that positive test, both myself and Mr Makes decided that we wouldn’t be finding out whether we were having a girl or boy, so our nursery would need to be gender-neutral (Although admittedly, I think we would have still chosen this route even if we did know!). I showed the article I’d seen to Mr Makes who was in agreement that it was perfect, however we dutifully put the magazine away and waited patiently!
Once we were past the all-important scan, we began thinking about what we wanted to do with the room. Colour-wise, the big decision was whether to paint the room white or grey. Initially I was hesitant to choose grey as we’d recently painted both our bedroom and living room in a pale grey shade that we loved. Many, many visits to Pinterest were made, and the nursery board was soon packed full of inspiration, and in addition to that original article we’d seen, most of the rooms that we truly loved were also grey. Given that I was already leaning towards white furniture, it felt like the right decision given that I didn’t want the room to look too clinical.
One thing we quickly learnt is that it’s really easy to get carried away when decorating a nursery, as there are so many beautiful things that you can buy. However, we didn’t have an endless pot of money and so early on we came up with a list of where we could save, and what we could spend on.
The main area we identified to make some savings was furniture. We’d already had a number of parents recommend Ikea for their cots, and we found a simple white one that would go perfectly in the room, but not break the bank.
We also needed to get some other furniture, such as drawers and a changing table. We picked the cheapest changing table, as we knew that it wouldn’t be used for long. In terms of other storage, we tried to pick items that could be used for many years to come, so picked from the general kids range rather than looking at specific nursery furniture. As well as a chest of drawers, we chose a small wardrobe that has actually been handy for storing away larger items.
The other item we needed to get was a chair. Again, I steered clear of specific nursery ranges, and instead chose a mid-century style Ikea armchair, that we fully intend to move into either our room or our living room once it is no longer needed for feeding.
One further area where we saved money was the clouds on the wall. We’d considered buying wall decals, but given that we already had lots of white paint, I decided to paint these on myself, with some help from my Mum! Using templates that I made, I drew faint outlines on the wall in pencil and then painted each cloud with white emulsion paint. It took about three coats in total, but time-wise, I don’t think I spent much longer than it would have taken to apply decals anyway!
A number of items in the nursery I’ve actually repurposed from other areas of the house. Many of the white frames we had in our old house, but we hadn’t yet found a use for them. They were just the right size for many of the prints we wanted, and we then topped them up with some basic black and white ones from Ikea.
Additionally, I’d purchased the Nikki McWilliams cushion some time ago, it was the perfect way to inject a bit of colour into the otherwise monochrome scheme and make the feeding chair just a little bit cosier.
Adding some detail
I made some items for the nursery myself, but given that we had been able to save money on the furniture, it was the decorative bits where we chose to spend a bit more.
I started by making some monochrome bunting and a wall hanging to brighten up the walls. I also wanted to include lots of pictures and tried to source prints from independent makers rather than the high street, mixing them with some prints that I created myself. We also framed some bright Hello Dodo postcards and a couple of greetings cards from Berylune and ONR, which was a really cost-effective way of adding more artwork.
We didn’t see the point in buying a bookshelf for the room, so instead bought a small crate from Ikea to store books in. Mr Makes brightened it up with a couple of coats of bright yellow spray paint, which works really well.
The finishing touches to the room were a cot mobile from John Lewis (purchased on sale, I can’t resist a bargain!), and then a blanket and sleeping bag from Mama Designs. We’ve also started to buy some soft toys for the baby, although I’m sure they will get plenty more of these as they grow up!
The nursery has definitely been a labour of love, and it’s had input from both me and Mr Makes, and my lovely parents. We finished the nursery with plenty of time to spare, which has meant that we’ve been able to enjoy getting it ready without too much time pressure. It will inevitably be a room that changes as our little one gets older, but I’m so happy that with the space that we’ve created.