Nursery Tour: Tessa's Handmade & Hand-Me-Down Haven

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Name: Tessa
Age: 2 weeks
Location: Central Florida

If you've been following along with Ryan and Cole as they awaited their daughter's arrival (photo documenting Cole's growing belly weekly along the way) the past nine months you may know that Tessa is finally here. And, she's relocated to roomier digs. Ryan and Cole didn't let a lack of funds stand in the way of creating a lovely and comfortable space for her. As much as we like to ooh and aah over new designs and products here at Ohdeedoh, time and again we're reminded that what really makes a room beautiful are the personal touches. Get resourceful, get crafty, get friends and family to pitch in....

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As gorgeous as Ryan's photography is, he's a darn good writer (which makes his blog, Pacing the Panic Room irresistible). So take it away Ryan....

The theme for our nursery was Hand Made and Hand-Me-Downs. Money has been tight to say the least, and there was a point when creating a space for the baby didn't seem like it was going to be much of anything beyond a hand-me-down crib and matching dresser drawers that Cole had tucked away at her Dad's house from when LB [Cole's son the "Littlest Buddy"] was a baby. Instead of getting bummed and feeling bad because we couldn't buy the best of the best for this baby on the way, we decided to take a more realistic approach to the room and celebrate where we are in this new marriage, new budding careers, and got off our asses and we set to work and enlisted help from our creative friends. The nursery became a great mix of old hand-me-downs, hand made details, and a mix of Cole's and my old knick knacks from our childhood. When it all came together we realized that in the end - had we had plenty of money to go hog wild and buy anything, we would have filled this little room with all brand new stuff and not ended up with a room full of history and good memories.

So we sat down and talked it out and figured that since we had no idea if it was a boy or a girl we would just keep the room soft and warm, and stick with muted colors and earth tones, adding some bright accents for a little punch of personality. The wood floors were such a mix of colors from cherry, to pine, to dark walnut, so we tried to mix up the wood colors from the main space fillers, the crib, and drawers. The little dark wood crate turned side table next to the recliner (which was stolen from her brother) was a find in Cole's father's garage-- an old wooden box that used to house Squirt sodas back in the day.

The little bamboo shelves at the entry were found on the side of the road, reassembled, and cleaned up. The boxes that the diapers (fuzzi bunz) are in are just old Clementine boxes that Cole covered in fabric. The old window that is seen hung on the wall and fitted with prints, was something that Cole's mother bought for her when she was a little girl at an antique shop that she has been lugging around for years now. She finally took it and cleaned it up, painted and varnished the glass to create a clean canvas, and then fitted it with these old prints that she had found at a local coffee house here.

The rest of the artwork in the room like the print hanging over the crib, and the prints on the bamboo shelf, were courtesy of the super talented Anna Bond, a friend who I am excited to say is in the midst of opening up her very first custom stationary store here in Central FL. She will have all of these prints and more available soon. Keep an eye out for the opening of her store here or just follow her work as she blogs about projects often here.

The mobile over the crib was a joint effort. Cole had a friend send her these tiny crocheted turtles so she took some old wire and some wood and strung herself up a mobile for the baby. You can see more of these woodland yarn critters here.

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Other contributions from friends came in the form of baby must-haves like comfy stuffed animals like the bright and bold, blue and red, big-eyed sea buddy in the basket of soft goods and a gorgeous baby blanket made by our friend Erin who keeps her Etsy shop "love granny" filled with custom hand made wearables and she honestly makes the best baby blankets in Brooklyn.

The book end was my Mother's that she gave me because I had always loved it as a kid, (the other half of that book end is in our bedroom). The books are a mix of old books from our childhood and classic stories that we want to share with the kids.

The only thing we actually bought was the red lamp for a whopping $25 and the rest of the nursery came together from a mix of left over gift cards that were wedding presents that we had luckily never used. Knick Knacks from travels and old toys from our childhood filled in the rest of the holes and all of the sudden we had a complete room.

Thanks Ryan, Cole, LB and Tessa! As we all know the real adventures are just starting for your family and we look forward to keeping up with you guys.

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Style, Family, Kids, Nursery & Kids, Tours

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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