Name: Chase (aka Chasey Bear, Chunger, Ace of Chase...), 3 months old
Location: San Francisco, CA
Like many families in small homes and apartments, Mary and her husband needed to create a space that their daughter Chase could comfortably share with visiting guests. They've done just that by choosing soft, warm colors and incorporating items they already owned as well as added in a few thrift store and Ebay finds. As long as Chase doesn't snore, everyone is happy.
Does the room serve any other function?
The room is also a guest room. My mother wanted to stay with us for a few weeks before and after the birth. It's one of the reasons we moved to a bigger apartment. I wanted her and any other guests who wanted to come visit the baby to have their own space and feel comfortable in our home. Our old one-bedroom apartment just wouldn't have worked. The three weeks that my mom stayed with us were very special. Something amazing happens when three generations of women live together under one roof. You can't really explain it.
What was you inspiration or goal in putting this room together?
I wanted the room to be both adult and baby-friendly. I figured I'd spend almost as much time in the room as the baby so it's a space we should both like. And it had to work for guests.
The color choices in the room were driven by a navy blue, floral tablecloth I bought at Anthropologie over a year ago. It was on sale and, in spite of the fact that it was for a round table that we didn't own, I bought it. I just loved the pattern and figured I'd find a use for it one day. That one day struck when I realized how expensive crib bedding can be. I took the tablecloth out of the closet and made it into a crib skirt. With the left over fabric, I made a pillow for the bed. Next I stripped and stained an old dresser I bought seven years ago at an Atlanta thrift shop for $30. Originally it was baby blue and had sort of a shabby chic thing going on. For the baby's room, I wanted to clean it up a bit and decided to stain it the same navy blue in the crib skirt. I bought the bookshelf and the footstool at Stumasa, a store in Cole Valley that sells unfinished furniture, and painted them the same blue. Things were getting a bit too blue so I found a bright pink blanket (The Company Store) for the bed and for more color I hung up the 'Flock' and Steven Harrington prints. Originally, these were for hallway.
What challenges did you come across while putting the room together?
We struggled finding the right rug for the room. It was the last thing to go in. I love our apartment's hardwood floors but, for the baby's room, they seemed a bit too hard. The room needed that warm and cozy feeling. We also had to find something that didn't cost more than our car. Why are rugs so expensive? This was a challenge. After hours of research, we bought two rugs from West Elm. The first had a sort of Moroccan diamond pattern, which I loved but it wasn't soft enough. We returned it and came home with the rug in the room now. In the store I wasn't sure it would work but once we laid it down I loved it. I think Chase likes it too. She's been known to spend an hour or two just lying around on her plush bedroom floor.
What are your favorite elements or items in the room?
The rocking chair. Early on in my pregnancy, I was told by a kindly sales clerk at a fancy baby store that the only thing worth spending a lot of money on is a good nursing chair. Great advice especially considering it came from a woman working in a store that didn't sell chairs. Hence, the rocking chair. It's the one thing we splurged on. I didn't like the traditional rockers and gliders you find at most baby stores and the modern rockers I did like were a bit too big for the space. So I searched on eBay and within an hour I found the perfect mid century rocker. It was in Ohio and it was covered in a nubby rust-colored fabric but I knew it was perfect. I bought the chair and had it shipped to San Francisco. I hunted down cool but cheap fabric and had it reupholstered. All in, the chair was an $1000 investment. I hope to pass it down to Chase one day.
I also love the wall decals. My husband found them and I think they add a beautiful touch of fantasy.
Any great resources to share?
- Flensted mobiles are great. I learned about them from your blog.
- We got our hedgehogs from Design Public.
- Modern Nursery. Another Ohdeedoh find and the source of our wall decals.
- Stumasa is a great place for unfinished furniture. They also have lots of cute wooden baby toys.
What advice do you have for parents starting to put a baby or child's room together or looking to make changes?
I wouldn't run out and buy lots of baby stuff. Use furniture, art and fabric that you already own. Take the things that you love and that mean something to you and share them with your baby.