Gus’s Modern Nursery on a Budget

published Jun 7, 2011
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Name: Gus
Age: Still cookin’, expected July 2011
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Room Size: 110 sq. feet

After seeing Alison and Jeff’s house tour and the playroom they created for their son, Finn, we were thrilled to finally see the big reveal for the nursery Alison created for their new baby (due in July!). Of course, we weren’t at all surprised that the room is a beautiful blend of mid-century modern with warm touches of handmade accessories, vintage toys, and textural crocheted pieces. The surprise was that they pulled off this design success on a relatively tight budget.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
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What was your inspiration in designing this room?
My inspiration for this room came from the same place most other inspirations come from for me: the good old internet. I am a big fan of my flickr searches, my ohdeedoh obsessing, and my blog hounding. Everything I do always comes from bits and pieces of ideas I get from other places. One of the rooms that inspired me the most was a little turquoise room I found on flickr that was chock-full of yellow accents. I decided a long time ago if I were to ever have a girl, that this would the color palette I would use in her room. About 3 months ago we found out we were having another boy, and I had to adjust my design plan a bit. I felt like the turquoise and yellow were a bit too feminine for a boy and since I was reusing my first son’s grey Oeuf crib I decided to go with a light grey backdrop and keep the yellow accents going.

What was your biggest challenge?

Our biggest challenges were space and money. Like a lot of nurseries this room was not huge, approximately 10×11 square feet with a big window on one wall, and two doors on the others. It was a little tricky to place a crib and furniture in the room. So it took a few weeks to figure out what the floor plan would be and how that furniture and layout would someday segue into a big kid’s room with twin bed, storage and a dresser. The other big challenge was money, this being our second kid we were freaking out a little bit about how strapped we’d be and needed to do this baby’s room on the cheap. We were lucky and received the grey Oeuf crib as a shower gift for our first son, Finn, and were able to reuse it. We bought all the furniture at Ikea and didn’t have to spend more than $160 on the dresser and window bench. We reused a lot of toys and books from our first son, and purchased new prints and a few accessories from etsy, such as the mirror. We also reconfigured an Eames shell chair we had into a rocking chair by buying a rocker base from Ebay and picking up a grey pouf from CB2 to rest our weary legs on. Perfect for late-night wake up calls.

What is your favorite part of the room?
I have two favorite parts of the room and both have to do with seating. First, I love the rocking chair; it really has a good rock to it. I also love the window bench. It’s comfortable to sit on and, even more importantly, it’s inviting. Most of all, I didn’t want my eldest son (who will be 3 in July) to feel that he was not involved in this room and I think that with all the low seating and storage we’ve incorporated he feels really welcome to come in and chat with me or his dad while we’re rocking the new baby.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

What is your proudest DIY project?

My proudest DIY without a doubt is the lined grommet curtains I sewed with love. We never had the luxury with our first son of having lined curtains to keep the bright sun out during nap time, so there were times that I was hanging full sized quilts from the windows to make the room dark enough for him to nap. These new curtains look awesome and turn the room from bright –white-south-facing sun to total darkness in less than 5 seconds. Oh, I love them so.

Do you have any advice for other parents who are just starting on the nursery design process?

My best advice would be to start with a thought out plan and fill in the blanks as you go. I did a few different mood boards of my room and added to them as the room came along. I added one of the mood boards on the end of my tour for you to see. A plan helps to save time and money. I know if I didn’t have a plan that I probably wouldn’t have stayed on budget and I’m not sure I would have kept the look consistent.

Malm 4-drawer dresser: Ikea
Owl lamp & shade: Target online
Custom bus roll print: MySweetPrints on Etsy
Window seat: Expedit 1×5 shelf from Ikea
Owl book end: Vintage find on etsy
Curtain fabric: Premier prints via
Vintage toys: Etsy, garage sales, and ebay
Storage bins: Woven baskets from Ikea
Desk: Saved from the garbage truck, found in the alley
Mirror: Vintage find on Etsy
Crib: Oeuf Sparrow crib in grey from OeufNYC
Changing table crib attachment: Oeuf Sparrow changing station from OeufNYC
Quilt: Handmade by me and my Grandma, pattern inspired by: CarsonToo on Etsy
Bear & whale screen prints: printsbyamandajames on Etsy
Grey tool-bench style drawers: from Ikea, (not sure if they make these anymore)
Paint color: Mythic paint matched to
Rocker base: Ebay seller modernconscience
Grey knitted pouf: CB2

Thanks, Alison! Be sure to check out Alison’s beautiful blog, Deuce Cities Henhouse, and her handmade Gocco printed stationery at The Henhouse Press.

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