As a decorating enthusiast, Brooke started decorating the second she saw two blue lines on her test. The room is 9.5’ x 9.5’ with a tiny fifth wall thrown in at an angle to make it even trickier. “This is such a tiny bedroom, it can only be the size of a suburban home’s laundry room. But a baby is a baby and they need a cozy place to rest,” Brooke said, adding that she had neutral and calming colors picked out early on for her son Owen’s nursery. “I love the neutral of a grey and I had a yellow crib when I was a baby.”
The design came together naturally as nearly everything in the room was second-hand. “The only budget I ever set out when decorating is “affordable”. I love buying things second hand because you achieve so much more character in the final look than you would if you bought everything at the store. Luckily for me, buying second-hand saves me half the cost.” The changing table and crib were from Craigslist, where Brooke found herself unknowingly picking it up from a childhood friend’s home.
“I thought a yellow Jenny Lind crib would be adorable,” Brooke said of her brightly colored crib. “I had my husband spray paint a second-hand crib (under my strict supervision!) and over a year later, the paint has held up perfectly.” Her biggest indulgence was the awning above the window. “I’m a web designer as was able to trade an artist friend of mine for this great metal awning. I painted it white with a little yellow poking through, and I love the softness that it added.”
Necessity inspired Brooke to make her own crib bedding. “Right now there are more cute bedding sets than ever before, but I didn’t find one that was “me.” My mom is an excellent seamstress, and I am intermediate, so together we came up with this bedding. I love picking out fabric patterns, and places like JoAnn Fabrics makes it easy because they sell the bumper padding pre-cut and perfectly sized for cribs.”
All of the DIY elements Brooke tackled made the room more affordable and more personal. Layered stencils on the walls gave a flat color a little dimension just by making a stencil and she used it in random areas of the room. Mobiles can be a little wild, so Brooke hung rice paper lanterns from the dollar store to give the little one some movement to stare at.
Brooke had this nursery finished before she hit her sixth month of pregnancy. “It was a good way to keep me moving on tired days and was more fun than doing normal around-the-house chores. I started with the walls and painting the crib. My mom helped me sew the crib bedding and recover the rocking chair while my husband helped paint. The only things left were wall-hangings and shelf decorations.
Brooke created posters modeled after vintage teaching cards that she saw at a flea market for $10 a piece. “The price wasn’t bad, but I’m a graphic designer and was able to make them myself for free.” The elephant was a lucky find in TJMaxx clearance for $10, and the shelves were hand-me-downs from her older sister. “In special rooms like nurseries, I think a little extra adornment on the walls is necessary! I took a shape that I had seen on a blog, printed it out, and made my own stencils using shelf-liner and an X-acto knife. My little boy likes to point them out and ‘ooo’ at them.”
The most meaningful item in Owen’s nursery is the rocking chair, which was Brooke’s mother’s that she used to rock all seven of her babies in. Its torn faux-leather seat was replaced with a beautiful taupe herringbone pattern with a new dark stain. “To have the chair that I know my mom rocked all of us kids in is beyond special. Plus it has a great mid-century style that I love.” Thanks Brooke for sharing Owen’s special space with us!