Arden's Sunny Garden Nursery

Small Kids, Big Color Entry # 43

Name: Arden
Age: 3 months
Location: Memphis, Tennessee

Color Inspiration: I found the crib blanket about three years ago, and I immediately thought the abstract flower design would serve as the perfect color inspiration for our nursery "one day."

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Color Inspiration continued: We pulled a gender-neutral wall color from the blanket because we painted the room before I became pregnant. The sunshiny orange is lively, cozy and just plain happy, and that was the main goal for the room's design scheme: to be a super-happy place for baby to grow, play and thrive.

The scheme is also inspired by the colors of nature: sky blue, grass green, sunshiny oranges and yellows, and petal-like pinks and purples, which were added after we found out our baby was a girl. The nursery windows look out into our backyard garden, so when Baby Arden was born, it didn't take long for the room to be called "Arden's Garden."

I painted the animal-themed artwork and brought in other animal accessories, as they seemed to fit well with a backyard garden theme. (Our garden often has our two crazy Pugs running wild in it!) Lastly, being "green" was a huge inspiration for the room, so almost everything is earth-friendly and supportive of good indoor air quality for the baby: lo-VOC wall paint, water-based acrylic paint for the art, an all-wool rug, organic bedding, soft or knit (non-plastic) toys, natural rattan containers for toy and blanket storage, a crib borrowed from a neighbor and grandma's old rocker, refurbished with 100% cotton fabrics.

Tip For Using Color: When working with a multi-colored scheme like this, don't overdo the color in every area of the room. Instead, set up vignettes that use just a couple of the room's colors, like we did in each cube of the bookcase. If the wall is a bright color, keep furniture and frames solid or neutral (such as brown and white) and allow books, art and accessories to add punches of color and pattern. Or do just the opposite: paint the walls a neutral white, cream or gray and let it serve as a backdrop for bright and funky furniture, drapery and bedding.

Colors Used: Lo-VOC wall paint is Olympic Premium Interior Latex Eggshell # B13-5 "Brass Mesh." Artwork colors (mixed in acrylic) were based on Olympic #A57-3 "South Pacific" (blue), Olympic #B68-6 "Antique Moss" (green), Olympic #B41-6 "Royal Plum" (purple) and Glidden #50yr 06/081 "Stewart House Brown" (brown). (The pink was not based on a manufacturer's paint.) Other items used in the room are Pottery Barn Teen "Brighton Stripe" rug, Ikea "Malm" dresser in White, West Elm "Rolling Storage" bookshelf in Chocolate and the crib blanket from Anthropologie.

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