Lisa's Vintage-Retro Room at the Grandparents'

My Room

Name: Lisa (9 months)
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

My husband and I moved into my parents house to be with family for the birth of our baby. We were allocated a room for their soon-to-be grandchild, and I lost no time in coming up with a design for the nursery. We didn't want to invest a lot in a temporary space, so my mission was to reuse whatever items we already had, and find reasonably priced additions.

One of the first items I found for the nursery was the floral wallpaper that defines the shelf and seating area. I stumbled on it at a thrift store, and it was perfect - the motif reminded me of an illustration from a German storybook, which is an ideal jumping off point for a nursery! The style was going to be vintage-retro, which worked with items we already had - like the dresser, side table, table lamp, and ceiling pendant. The rocking chair and ottoman were a gift to my husband, and the ottoman belonged to my parents. All of the big pieces worked very well together and unified either with wood tone or colour.

The mustard yellow, white/cream, and brown colours were taken from the baby quilt that I had made before I was even pregnant, and the blue was added to the palette when I found the wallpaper. I was lucky to find two fabrics that unified and reinforced the whole scheme - the curtain fabric (that was a table cloth originally), and the striped fabric on the toss cushions (originally placemats). The owl fabric I found on Carousel Designs - it adds a kid-friendly image to the upholstery and has a retro vibe, but isn't too juvenile.

The crib is a Craigslist find that was in perfect condition and had a vintage shape. It was hard to commit to painting it, but we needed to eliminate one of the large wood pieces; the chair and foot stool would be too difficult to paint, and the dresser is too valuable to me - so by default it had to be the crib. The crib is painted with no VOC paint, which took a HUGE amount of coats to cover (turns our no VOC primer isn't very adhesive).

The room needed a good focal point when you walk in the door, and I had found retro style alphabet flash cards that I decided to display in individual frames for maximum impact. (This was a relatively inexpensive project! The cards cost around $25, and the frames were $2 each from the dollar store.) I added a chair rail and painted the walls in two colours to reinforce the palette - blue and yellow. I think it adds just enough colour to the room without going overboard. In such a small space I thought it was important to stay as subdued as possible to not have the room over stimulating for a child. Aside from the focal wall, the other walls are a beige tone taken from the wallpaper. The paper's pattern is enough to add some interest, and the same goes for the curtain fabric on the opposite wall. The nursery turned out to be a very restful place for the parents, and a fun room for the baby!

Thanks Vera!

(Images: reader Vera)

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Family, My Room, Nursery & Kids

As Apartment Therapy's Family Editor, Carrie covers design and modern homelife with children. A lapsed librarian, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two kids and is in contention to break the record for most hours spent at the playground.

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