Nicole's out to show that "theme" is not a dirty word. Her son's wonderful nursery is quite convincing! Nicole describes how it came together: I'm an American expat living and working in Croatia. In December 2009 my husband and I had our first child, Joseph. The inspiration for the room was our first "baby" --- our dachshund Guinness. Having Joseph allowed me to indulge in a lot of cute dachshund themed things which in an adult home would scream "crazy dog lady" but in a baby boy's nursery looks perfect (at least I think so!).
I feel like so many people are "anti-theme" for any room, including nurseries but I wanted to show that "theme" doesn't have to be a dirty word and that it can encompass more then just the latest Disney character.
We really faced two main challenges with the room...the first was the size. In America a room this size would be a walk-in closet. At first I thought it was a negative and I felt bad that our son wouldn't have a big space to play in. But once it was all done I loved how everything had its own space and fit together. And the reality is he's barely mobile so at least for this first year the giant kids room is so unnecessary. We put in some thin white shelves where the wall had an indention so that allowed some extra space to display gifts from family and friends. The one closet in the room is very shallow (you can not put a clothes hanger in it and shut the door), so almost all of the storage for baby clothes and other items went in the dresser.
The second challenge was trying to furnish and decorate the room from a foreign country. Many people romanticize living in "Europe" and how great it is to have "European" products, but for where we are the reality was a little different. Most stores do not have a wide selection...sometimes just two or three styles of cribs and with heavy local sales taxes (23%!) added to the overall expensive nature of most products, prices were often three times as much as what you would pay in the U.S. for something comparable. There also isn't a very strong "flea market" mentality here either so finding a nice old piece of furniture and refinishing it wasn't possible. "Modern" decorating for a kids room also isn't very common here, so almost everything new was very traditional "little baby boy" themed. The other issue for us was safety. Falling outside of the EU we weren't sure under what safety standard the items we would be buying were built and if there was a product recall, how would we know? So to keep the overall costs of the nursery down and to be sure the crib we bought was built under some type of regulatory system, we crossed the border into Austria and headed for Ikea! Cliche? Yes...but it worked for us. I love the Gulliver crib we bought...it was only about $100, the crib sits low so its easy to pick the baby up without a dropside, it's been very sturdy so far, and it was built in line with American and EU crib standards.
The rocker was an old wooden one from my husband's family that we had sitting around the apartment...we sanded it down and painted it white. We got a new chair pad from Carousel Designs to make it comfy. With a boppy I nursed in it, and now that he's not nursing we use it every night to rock him asleep.
Our greatest bargain was the "Circles Rug" from West Elm. During a trip to see family in the U.S. I stopped by the only West Elm in our city and asked about getting the rug in Espresso. We could only afford the 5X8. They only had one rug left in Espresso and it was an 8X10. Luckily, it was also a return item so I got a discount b/c it was the last one and b/c it was a return. We ended up getting a bigger rug (that fit perfect) for less then the price of the original 5X8 that we wanted. Very serendipitous.
Our biggest splurge was the Dachshund art over the crib. We got it from Etsy seller Gemini Studio. For the size we got it was about $250, but it matches our dachshund perfectly and it was the original piece that inspired me to go for a dachshund theme.
• Crib- Ikea Gulliver
• Dresser: Ikea Hemnes in white
• Dachshund Records Art: Etsy seller GeminiStudio
• Keep Calm Doxie Print: Etsy seller TheLobsterPot
• Split Dachshund Cloth Wall Art: Etsy seller Oliver Blu Designs
• Dachshund Family Print : Art.com sorig=cat&sorigid=0&dimvals=0&ui=de85f75c288e4d33907481c13af3cd95&searchstring=dachshund
•Dachshund book ends: Jonathan Adler for Barnes and Noble
• Dachshund lamp: Offi
•Rocking Chair Pad: Carousel Designs
•Curtains: leftover from when the room wasn't a nursery but they originally came came from Pottery Barn on sale - http://www.potterybarn.com/products/dupioni-silk-pole-pocket-drape/?pkey=csilk-drapes-shades
•Crib Set: Banana Fish Short Latte http://www.babyearth.com/banana-fish-short-latte-4-piece-crib-set.html. We chose not to use the bumper in the traditional way to reduce the SIDS risk, but I didn't want it to go to waste. Luckily the Gulliver crib from Ikea is a perfect shape for using the bumper as decoration.
Nursing Stool: Kidcraft