Mildrid's Elephant Sanctuary

Nursery Tour

Name & Age: Mildrid, 7 weeks
Location: Chicago, IL
Room Size: 11x9 feet

Mildrid is brand new, but she already has a beautiful art collection and a wonderful library, all thanks to her parents, Jurgita and Vlad. They worked hard to put together this lovely room in anticipation of Mildrid. She is still rooming in with her folks, just down the hall in the very room where she was born. When she makes the move to her crib Mildrid is sure to love this room that started with an elephant and a girl.

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Years ago Jurgita spotted a John Drysdale picture of a girl with an elephant. When she and Vlad learned that they were expecting a girl that image came to mind, and Jurgita got to work sourcing other elephant artwork. Vlad was in charge of the hammer and nails, and together they curated a little collection that Mildrid can enjoy long after her crib days are over. Borrowing a page from some of their favorite rooms right here on Ohdeedoh, they gave her a big front-facing library. They painted the room a soothing shade of blue and punctuated it with peony pink for adorable results.

What is your favorite element in the room? My favorite part of the nursery is the wall montage of white-framed pictures, paintings, and prints of elephants, girls with elephants and peonies. The inspiration for this element came from John Drysdale's photograph depicting a girl hugging an elephant, which called to mind the meaning of our baby's name, Mildrid, "gentle strength." My second favorite part is the wall of books as it provides an ever-changing source of color and play, and also invites Mildrid's older toddler brother to hang out and "read" in the room. The original idea for this wall of books is undeniably attributed to rooms that I saw and loved on Ohdedoh (thank you!).

What was the greatest decorating challenge? We didn't account for the open space needed next to the book wall in order for it to be usable by the kids, so we had to change our furniture layout plans. It's not ideal that the crib is pushed against the northern wall, but it works.

What do your friends say about the room? Friends and family really like the room, and the book wall is definitely a hit. We get comments on how girly and sweet the room feels considering that it is full of elephants. One might expect it to feel like a jungle or a circus, but we took it in a different direction entirely.

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What was your biggest indulgence? All the elephant themed artwork. The majority of the images are limited edition prints and some are actually original art. A few pieces were produced by international artists (thank goodness for Etsy). It was an indulgence in a sense that these cost time, effort, and money to obtain but they will continue to adorn my kids' rooms for a long, long time.

What advice would you give to someone designing a child's room for the first time? Don't allow conventions to dictate what your child's room should be. Don't hesitate to explore unusual themes and go outside the "usual suspects" like jungle, princess, etc. Allow yourself to be inspired to take on a few DIY projects, even if you had never done so before (I found myself strangely attracted to sewing and taught myself enough to make the valance and crib skirt). I also would encourage one to live vicariously through their child and design the room that you would have wanted to have yourself growing up.

What is your dream shopping source? Etsy, because you can find everything for everyone on any budget, and while looking around you may also be inspired to create a few things yourself.

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Resources:
Etsy Artwork Merchants: piiapodersalu, Nicole Kristiana, The Jennuine Article, rkdsign88, This Crafty House, Erin A. Ellis, Kristen Powers Ink, solocosmo, Valerie Lorimer, planet MOMEKO, beehawk studio, stephenandmelanie
Crib & Dresser: Sorelle
Glider/Recliner: Newco Jayden
Bedside table, Closet containers, various white frames: Target
Book shelves and various white frames: Ikea
Rug, Lamp/Lampshade, Chandelier, Crib Bumper, Crib Sheet: Pottery Barn Kids
Paint: Thybony Jade Jewel (it's a local paint store brand, so I doubt it will be nationally available)
Memory Board, Valance, Crib Skirt: DIY

Thanks, Jurgita and Vlad!

(Images: Roni Shapira Ben-Yoseph)

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