Graham's Fabric Fabulous Nursery

Graham's Fabric Fabulous Nursery

Carrie McBride
Jul 29, 2010

Name: Graham
Age: 7 weeks
Location: Michigan
Room size: 10'x10'

At first glance you might not guess that this creative, colorful space is primarily a mix of Ikea and diy projects, but it's true. Amy and her husband Andy transformed a guest bedroom into a bright, perky, modern space for their newborn son, Graham, and we're entranced by the results. They put their signature stamp on his nursery by sprinkling it with interesting artwork and, most notably, a bevy of beautiful fabrics most of which Amy designed herself using Spoonflower.

What was the inspiration for Graham's room: I started looking for inspiration on Flickr and was drawn to some fabric collages that I found there. I really liked the idea of using fabric to inject a lot of color and pattern into the space while still having the room feel cohesive and grounded. I also love grey, particularly with warmer colors like yellow and orange, so that provided the backdrop for the space.

Were you nervous or confident about using gray for a baby's room? Not at all! Well, I suppose the wrong grey might look dreary, but the room has lots of windows (facing southwest) that let in wonderful natural light. The grey feels calming and subtly warm.

Tell us about your experience buying and creating Spoonflower fabrics for this room. Would you recommend this for someone who doesn't have much experience with this? I headed to Spoonflower because I knew I wanted to use some really interesting fabrics in the room and I couldn't find them in shops around where I live. At first, I bought fabric samples from other designers. I really liked several of the fabrics I first chose, but since I had a few ideas and my own color scheme in mind, I decided to try my hand at designing a few fabrics of my own. I have no training in drawing programs, so it took a while, but it was great fun and I really like the results. I'd definitely encourage others to give it a try. Spoonflower has info about how to get started that is easy to follow.

Any advice for browsing Spoonflower to find great designs? Like many other shopping sites, Spoonflower allows you to "favorite" different designs. I began browsing through the "what's hot" and "what's new" sections to get a feel for what the site offered and marked a few favorites along the way. Then I had a look at the favorites of some of my favorite designers--I always find the gems that way! Find someone whose aesthetic agrees with yours and then see what they think is special!

What is your favorite thing you bought or picked out? This is tough--I have so many favorite parts of the room. It all feels so special since my husband and I worked on it together. As far as purchases go, I'd say that little IKEA moose makes me smile---it's a nod to my hubby's Canadian heritage and, while it will be a few years, I look forward to the time when our little one will be rocking along on his moose!

What is your favorite element in his room? I really love the rain and clouds mobile. I was inspired to make it from some smaller scale mobiles I had seen on Etsy. I just love how its bright colors stand out from the grey walls. And it moves so beautifully in the breeze. Our little one is just starting to focus on it, which is so fun.

What was the biggest challenge decorating this room? Pacing myself! I wanted to do it all at once (when I get the "bug", it's hard for me to not be completely consumed by a project), but the demands of work and other family responsibilities meant I had to work on it here and there over about 3 months' time. In the end, I think the waiting paid off, as the room evolved even in that short time span.

What do your friends say about it? I'm so flattered by the wonderful compliments I've received about the nursery. Our friends love that it is colorful and bright and that it doesn't read all "boy." Many have said that this is a room a little one could grow up in without the need for redesigning/redecorating. That's a relief! (Although I'm always looking for another project...)

What was your biggest indulgence here? We didn't indulge in anything really. The crib was our most expensive item at about $320 and it was one of the first things I settled on--I just loved the simple, clean lines, the combination of white and the warm, pecan stain, and the extra storage. The rest of the items in the room were scored on the cheap!

Do you have any advice for parents or parents-to-be starting this process? Look in magazines, books, or online for photos that inspire you and imagine how you could take those inspiration rooms and make a space with your stamp on it. Work with what you love and don't be afraid to do something unconventional. Grey walls may not have been a traditional choice for a nursery, but I couldn't be happier with the choice.

If money were no object, what's your dream source:'s tough to settle on just one, but I do love to browse around fawn + forest. They have such a wonderfully edited selection of goodies

Wall paint: Benjamin Moore EcoSpec Egg Shell in Gray Horse 2140-50
Trim paint: Benjamin Moore EcoSpec Semi-gloss in Pure White
Green bookcase paint: Rustoleum ultracover 2x in Gloss Meadow Green
Crib: Amy Coe Westport Lifetime Crib
Dresser/changing table: Ikea Malm 6-drawer dresser
Rocking chair: hand-me down reupholstered in Spoonflower fabric
Window seat/bookcase: Ikea Expedit shelving unit
Window seat baskets: Ikea Pjas basket
Lamp: Ikea Hemma lamp base and yellow skirma shade
Ceiling fixture: Ikea Knappa pendant lamp
Rug: Ikea Havbro wool rug
Moose: Ikea Ekorre rocking moose
Clock: Baby Ben folding alarm clock
Round Bevel Mirror: Target
Wooden Tray with glass lining: Target
Hamper: wedding present from Crate and Barrel (fitted with a cotton liner made by Amy)
Roller shades: Levolor room darkening roller shades
Fan: purchased many years ago
Bird serving tray (on the green shelf): Ikea barbar tray
iPod docking station: Memorex minimove
Plaid wool throw: Roots
Ottoman: made by Amy (using this tutorial) with Waverly cross section green fabric from JoAnn
Cornices: upholstered in "dots and lines" fabric from Spoonflower by dolphin and condor
Rocking chair: upholstered in vine fabric designed by Amy and printed at Spoonflower
Pillows: made by Amy with fabric she designed and printed at Spoonflower (Weimaraner, Labrador, chevron, kumquat, vine)
Frog: made with Amy's celebrate bunting fabric using this tutorial
Crib skirt: made by Amy using // she designed and following this tutorial
Floral pillow: DwellStudio for Target
Hockey skate booties: Irish Hooks and Yarn
Crib sheet and changing pad cover: Carousel designs
Teal owl water color: painted by a family friend
From Deep Below paper cut print (whale): Fog and Thistle
Monsieur Under the Rain print: CosasMinimas
Sub(tract) housing print: Sloe Gin Fizz
Rainy day mobile: made by Amy from felt, polyfill, and a 12" embroidery hoop
Bunting decals: made by Amy
Three birds print and framed birth announcement: made by Amy
Fabric collage: made by Amy following this tutorial and various sizes of embroidery hoops (fabrics: orange swirl from JoAnn Fabrics, teal chevron by Amy, bonjour lapin by Heather Dutton, celebrate bunting by Amy, birdhouse by troismiettes, juicy calico fabric from JoAnn Fabrics, kumquat spot by Amy, confetti forest by Amy, enjoy the ride by Amy, fabric forest by troismiettes and love and paper airplanes by Amy)

Readers: Good news: you can purchase the fabrics Amy designed for Graham's nursery through Spoonflower. Think Amy has great taste? Check out the lovely jewelry she makes: she's currently on a little hiatus but you can see her sold items, favorite her shop and check back later. Amy also keeps a wonderful blog, the b-line which you should definitely visit.

Thanks Amy and Graham!
(Images: Amy Bethune)

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