Name: May (18 months)
Location: Campbell, California
Like any parents awaiting their child's arrival, Kari and her husband put a lot of work into their daughter May's room while waiting for her adoption from China to be complete. They redid the floors, moldings and doors and prepared 3.5 year old, Griffin, to be a big brother.
Like many of us, Kari found inspiration on Flickr, this time from the colors of a crafter's studio (Alicia Paulson of Posie Gets Cozy). I love the bright blue! It is great because nearly every color looks good with it and I didn't have to worry about all the pinks matching each other. I also love how it is framed in white.
I also love combining vintage with modern. I wanted to decorate with
vintage objects, but ones that had simple, contemporary style (nothing fussy). I had a lot of vintage items that had been passed down in the family or were just my own great finds that I wanted to incorporate in the room. I framed most of them in white to create a cohesive look.
May's room didn't begin as a blank slate. It's former life was as an office - olive green walls, brown painted floors, dark doors and a covered window. I actually doubted that it was going to work for awhile! But the bright blue paint and white trim did wonders. My husband put in the bamboo flooring himself. He also put in a new white door and trim. Our neighbor is an electrician, so he put in recessed lighting for us. I picked out a curtain (Ikea) that was sheer, so it lets in a lot of light while still providing privacy. Without it, we were looking right into our neighbors' kitchen!
Since her son refused to sleep in a crib, Kari anticipated the same reaction from May and planned ahead by putting a bed in the room as well (since the photos were taken they've moved the mattress to the floor so May feels more secure). What are Kari's favorite things about the room? I love the colors! It just feels good walking into that room. The chandelier is just a girls' room fantasy item. This one we bought at Ikea, so it wasn't expensive, but it still makes a big impact. The vintage pink and white quilt on the wall was a gift from my husband's grandmother... to our son! He didn't seem to mind passing it on to his sister. I found some old math flashcards at a library book sale years ago. They contain black ink drawings of apples, birds, pencils and kids - totally 50s and totally cute! Above the crib is an old alphabet embroidery that my grandmother made for me when I was little.
Also on the wall is a painting that Griffin made for May. I gave him some 12 x 12 cardstock to paint on and then framed it in a scrapbook-page size frame. I used wall shelves to display the little objects I collected for May while waiting for the adoption to go through. There are several crocheted animals scored on Etsy, including an adorable bird that came with its own little nest! I found a tiny bunny planter and a sweet Japanese mug at a thrift store and used them to store barrettes and hair bands. I hung a tiny vintage doll dress on the wall using rick-rack and button covered thumb tacks.
I found the Red Riding Hood paperdoll book on Ebay and framed it. The little blue houses with red polka dot roofs are from The Land of Nod. I almost died when I saw them! I love them so much. In the future, May can store her little toys, doll shoes, etc. in them. I also used vintage suitcases under the crib to store May's doll clothes. Her bookshelf is a large dollhouse I bought through Craigslist and painted white. She also has a shelf just for dolls and stuffed animals. Next to that I placed a little doll bed from Pottery Barn Kids. I made a doll by hand (pattern Wee Wonderfuls) and hung vintage doll sweaters on the wall above.
Kari has lots of sensible advice for putting together a nursery that will feel just right. It helped me to draw out my ideas before even getting started. I went through several drafts of how I wanted to arrange the furniture and how I wanted the walls to look. Also, don't be afraid to use "grown up" items in your child's room. You don't only have to shop at children's stores. Keep your eyes open everywhere and you never know what will inspire you.
Though a few things in the room were expensive (the floor!), most of it was done very inexpensively. Check out thrift stores, Ikea, Target - pick out the gems among all the stuff. Try to use a consistent color scheme to tie everything together. Ask around for things you need. Don't be afraid to use items from your family. I had mentioned to my mother that I was searching for doll clothes on Ebay and she sent me a whole box from when I was young. Some of the clothes in there were actually from when *she* was a little girl and my grandmother sewed them. These are the kinds of treasures that make a room personal and beautiful.
Think Kari has good taste? Then check out the online baby boutique she owns and operates - Hip and Little.