Clark (6 Months)
Southside of Chicago
For the first grandchild on both sides everyone wanted to be a part of preparing, so them helping with the room seemed only natural. They were all too excited to help.
My dad helped my husband paint. My little sister made paper stars in lieu of a mobile and the original 'the world awaits' watercolor on the dresser. My mother-in-law knitted the multi-color wool blanket to match the room. My father-in-law dug up the Robin Hood print and mini-busts from the attic, since they were in my husband's room growing up. My mother donated her only attempt at a painting, an impressive watercolor from the 70's. My wildly talented friends made all sorts of things (see Etsy sources below).
My grandma and mom also went to help me pick up (and subsequently paid for) my Craigslist crib. Cousins heaved the glider delivery from my backyard and unpacked it for me. My brother spray painted the knobs of the dresser (about 15 times for wear and tear) and about a million other tasks. Countless people from my family donated a favorite book or two for Clark's library, including old volumes. My not so do-it-your-selfer husband even installed the light! The room is a testament to the love and support that our Clark will have growing up.
1.) Space: The room is 7 x 10, (in a 1,000 square foot house) and kids have lots of things, and so do I. Storage is key. We worked vertically as well as found storage-friendly furniture pieces. Instead of a changing table I opted for a vintage dresser that can be used for years to come. The mirror entertains our son while changing and we don't have to worry about the mess in the drawers. Just close them up and forget about it. A hamper, open basket for easily accessible favorites, a storage trunk for toys that he is not quite interested in (yet), and two teeny closets give us ample room for all sorts of things. Books and more toys are layered into the room, acting as design elements as well as being functional. For example, Clark's larger than life vintage bugs are hanging by a couple nails and can be removed for play time.
2.) Paring Down: I am an avid garage, estate, and thrift store shopper. Some would call it hoarding. My treasures coupled with the accessibility of millions of ideas via the internet and gads of old magazines make it crazy-hard to pare down ideas into plans. It is really hard to find the right balance. I prefer a little bit more stuff than some, but I definitely have to keep some things in storage (like a vintage kid's xylophone that matches the color scheme perfectly)! If one searches hard, there are too many remarkable, odd, old objects to put in one small home. Additionally, the limitless D.I.Y. projects cranked out by other clever folks are SO tempting. Without simplifying, a kid's room can quickly turn into a cluttered playground instead of a restful and functional space.
3.) Champagne taste, beer budget: I love beautiful, artisan crafted things made of 'green' materials. Despite my love of all things old I love new and expensive things too. In this room, I really had to prioritize my spending because money is better put in the college savings than on the fleeting joys of baby gear. After shopping around, mostly on the internet, I decided to splurge on a couple of items and scrimp on the rest. This decision was largely a matter of being a responsible citizen of the Earth too. I decided on a new rug and exquisite looking glider, the rest was cheap or free. The only time I strayed from this plan was for the bear bean bag chair, which is one of my very favorite things in the room. My husband thought I was bananas for spending so much on it, but I use it everyday for floor play time, and I absolutely love it. Every now and then you've got to do something impractical.
(Images: Colleen W.)
• MY ROOM ARCHIVE
• SUBMIT A BABY OR KID'S SPACE
- Crib: Craigslist
- Prints of the framed original hot dog and hamburger friends scene: wolfandwren on Etsy
- Custom birth announcement painting: wolfandwren on Etsy
- Dinosaur air planter on dresser: oMEandoMY on Etsy
- Framed letterpress 'You Are Getting Very Sleepy': SycamoreStreetPress on Etsy
- Animals of High Moral Standing, framed glicee print: AnimaliaShop on Etsy
- Height ruler: StuartClaire on Etsy
- Bear bean bag chair: ChicSinCity on Etsy
- Old block words, flying books, book letters: my shop WalshWalshandSon on Etsy
- Rug, bookshelves, floating shelf, some frames: IKEA
- Jennifer DeLonge Luxe Glider, in green velvet: House and Hold
- Paint: on walls - Benjamin Moore Seaside Resort (725), on dresser and trim - Weimaraner (AF-155), on hardware - spray primer and white Rustoleum spray paint
- Linens: Buy, Buy Baby