Zadie's mom, Beth, channeled Tim Gunn while creating her daughter's bedroom: I see the space as a mix of modern and "make it work" because we really just had to use the resources available to us here in West Virginia with our limited budget. And make it work she did by adding functional pieces from Ikea (notably her brilliant use of the Trofast storage unit as a changing station) as well as memorable artwork including a fun mix of several alphabet card sets around the room's perimeter. The end result is a lovely space that is organized, uncluttered, filled with soft colors and has plenty of visual interest for young, curious eyes.
What was your overall inspiration or goal for this space?
I started with a sock monkey theme but it never really materialized. At first I was inspired by the Funky Monkey line of fabric by Erin Michaels (for Moda) but none of that made it into the room. I love monkeys but I wanted a clean, open, and relaxing feel to the space. It was also important to me to choose elements that would grow up with the baby so it won't feel too "little" when she gets big. I think I'm going to make a quilt with all the fabric I bought because curtains and bedding seemed too busy.
How did you decide on the paint colors for the walls? Did you get it right the first time?
The nursery was originally my studio. I had this gorgeous burgundy mohair couch that once belonged to Pittsburgh's Omelet King. I spent two weeks choosing the perfect shade of avocado green to go on the wall behind it and needed something a bit brighter for the other walls and picked the apple green color very easily. When I got pregnant and knew I had to give up the space for the baby, I still liked the apple so I looked for the right shade of aqua to complement it. I didn't want it to be too bright because the floors were already painted a color similar to the couch.
What challenges did you come across while putting the room together?
Our house was built in 1911 so it has some architectural challenges. The ceiling is sloped on two sides and I wanted to keep that curve so my husband and I spent a week (or more) putting up the beadboard ceiling a couple of years ago. We didn't think about molding until it was too late. When I started working on the nursery, I thought it would be a nice touch to have braided satin cord as molding but then I ran across the metal cable and went with that as a nice alternative. I like that the industrial feel to it makes that cottage-y look more modern.
The hardwood floors were trashed in that room and we couldn't afford to replace them so we painted them. The rugs are placed strategically over some of the bigger gashes. I really like that we got such a whimsical feel from a problem solver.
I've been collecting globes for a while and was happy when they fit so nicely into the space in both shape and color. I also have a few handmade items from friends and family that carry a lot of meaning. My mom made one of the sock monkeys for me when I was a little girl and friends made the others for the baby. These are the things I cherish most from my childhood and I'm hoping Zadie will feel the same.
How did you incorporate so many items from Ikea without having the nursery look like an Ikea showroom?
That probably has to do with the house. The bumpy plaster walls and painted (and many times re-painted) woodwork add character. I'm not sure I can take credit for that one!
Like us, you are clearly a big fan of Etsy. Do you have any tips for finding great things on Etsy or do you mainly browse?
I've had a shop (LemonCadet) on Etsy for almost two years so I spend a lot of time browsing and marking favorites. I like to Pounce and use the Time Machine 2. I'm a total impulse buyer.
Do you have any favorite resources to share?
When I was pregnant, I spent hours looking at this blog for nursery ideas. I also searched Flickr pools for great rooms.
What advice would you give parents who are starting to put a baby or child's room together or are looking to make changes to an existing space?
My strategy was to just take it one step at a time. I see our house as a space that evolves. It's never going to be finished. I love shopping and bringing new things into our lives and if the space were complete, I'd have to stop.
Beth, we're glad you've found inspiration at Ohdeedoh and now we thank you for inspiring others with your beautiful room for Zadie! (Don't forget to take a peek at Beth's shop, Lemon Cadet.)