Aidan's Blue, Green & Tranquil Room

Nursery Tour

Name & Age: Aidan, 17 months
Location: Chicago
Room Size: 11x10

Aidan's room is as peaceful as it is happy. His parents, Denise and Jason, took a pass on themes in favor of a serene and inviting palette. We are celebrating color in kid's rooms all month long and think that this is a great example of a nursery where color is the main design element.

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This cheerful, modern room was pulled off on a modest budget. Aidan's parents started from scratch and spent just over $1K. Budget constraints and a well-defined sense of what they wanted for Aidan pushed Denise and Jason into creative problem-solving. The revamped dresser from IKEA's as-is room ended up being one of the highlights in this nursery (hard to believe that the Mandal dresser started off black, birch and beat up). A specific and limited palette gives the room cohesion and creates a calming effect. We want to come over and chill with Aidan.

What is your favorite element in the room?
The wall color we chose, Benjamin Moore's Passion Blue. It really gave the room the brightness it needed without being too boyish or babyish. We wanted something that would compliment the white furniture and also give us the color we needed so we wouldn't have to bring in too much color in other places, like bedding or curtains. I also wanted to add some personal touches. On the shelves we display some Japanese plush toys and a frame I made of our last name in Katakana to play homage to Jason's Japanese heritage.

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What was the greatest decorating challenge?
Finding modern white furniture without breaking the bank! Even something as simple as white curtain rods or white shelves or a white nightstand were tough to find that fit our budget. We ended up spray painting the rods and shelves white. We were lucky enough to find an as-is dresser in the IKEA clearance aisle. It was originally wood and black. With a little sanding, paint and some love, we transformed it into the dresser we envisioned!

What do your friends say about the room?
They usually comment on how bright (our other rooms are darker) and modern-looking it is. They also mention how serene, calm but fun it looks without being too babyish. We wanted to keep the look simple (especially since we had plans to list our condo, which is on the market now), yet keep it from looking bare. I think the wall decal really helped with that element in designing the room.

What was your biggest indulgence?
The FLOR tiles we used for the rug. It was the one thing that I went over-budget on because I simply could not find a rug that pulled the blues, greens and whites together. I do justify the purchase with the fact that I can easily replace a tile should it get damaged, instead of buying a whole new rug. With the rambunctious toddler we have now, this is a major plus!

What advice would you give to someone designing a child's room for the first time?
Don't rely on the bedding to start you off with the designing process. With a boy-themed nursery, our choices were limited to sports, cars and animals, none of which appealed to us. Instead I chose to decorate the rest of the room itself and keep the bedding as neutral as possible. With as many times as we have changed the sheets, it was a good idea to go with something easy and practical. Use other areas of the room to bring color, fun and a little bit of whimsy into the room.

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Resources:
Paint: Benjamin Moore
Aidan Decal: Etsy Seller A Hint Of Chic Boutique
Crib: Wal-mart Baby Mod Parklane
Crib sheets: Gap
Curtains: Target
Curtain rods: Home Depot
Dresser: IKEA
Wall decals: Blik
Ceiling light fixture: IKEA
Nightstand: Wal-mart
Lamp: IKEA
Glider: Crib & Bed Outlet
Book shelves: Target
Closet knobs: Pottery Barn Kids

Thanks, Denise!

(Images: Denise Mitomi)

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