Leighton’s Lovely, Lively Nursery (and Shared Office)
Age: 1 month
Location: Madison, WI
Leighton (“the baby formerly known as Dos”) is sure to be a fun office mate for mom Melanie and they’ll both enjoy this happy, cozy yellow and grey space with a memorable, scrapbook-inspired wall. Many parents share a home office with a child and it’s not always easy to strike the right aesthetic balance for such a multifunctional space. But Melanie’s smart pairing of sophisticated neutrals with “energizing” accents achieves both a comfortable, stimulating room for Leighton as well as a charming adult workspace.
Inspiration: Designing this space was twice as fun because I knew I would get to to enjoy the fruits of my labor as the office space belongs to me! I love grey and knew I wanted to use it in the room and then chose yellow to go with it as we decided not to find out Leighton’s gender before she arrived. Once I had the colors I wanted to work with, I ran with it and then also selected turquoise as an accent to add more pop to the space.
Favorite Element: The yellow scalloped paint treatment. In my older daughter’s room I painted a tree on one of the walls to personalize her space. For Leighton’s room I wanted something fun to add character but didn’t want something that screamed nursery since my office is also sharing the space. Scallops have been a big trend in scrapbooking as of late – I work for a large online scrapbook retailer – and decided to incorporate them into the paint treatment instead of a more typical accent wall. My desk faces this wall so it’s a nice bright energizing color that I enjoy whether I’m in the space for me or doing something with Leighton.
Biggest Challenge: Getting time from my husband to help! My husband is a medical resident so his time is limited at best. My office space used to be on the side of the room that is now Leighton’s so I needed his help in moving furniture as well as painting and putting together the crib. Once those were finished, I was able to finish the rest on my own.
What Friends Say: It was the biggest compliment when I posted photos of the nursery on my blog when friends said I should submit them to Ohdeedoh. And now, here it is!
Proudest DIY: Those darn book slings! When I first saw the idea on Ohdeedoh, I immediately bookmarked them for possible use. I’ll be honest that my sewing machine and I aren’t the best of friends, but if I’m able to make these, anyone can! I love that when I’m changing Leighton, my older daughter is able to help herself to books. They were also the perfect length to fit under a shelf that was already in the space that I didn’t want to move.
Biggest Indulgence: The crib bedding. When I had my color scheme selected, I went to Etsy and immediately fell in love with this bedding. The colors were perfect and, ironically, the seller was the same woman who made my oldest daughter’s first birthday dress so i knew her craftsmanship was amazing. Even though it was my biggest purchase, the price was actually cheaper than the set that I bought for my older daughter. The best part was that I was able to customize it and add an elephant silhouette to the blanket and also purchase handmade at the same time. I highly recommend it!
Best advice: Start early! Especially when planning a baby’s space – you never know when they might arrive. Although, granted, my daughter’s were both nearly two weeks late, but I’ve heard that’s the case. I hate being rushed and always want to insure there’s enough time to complete a project without rushing. especially when relying on help from a husband or others’ unpredictable schedules it’s best to give yourself plenty of time to complete the project.
Dream source: Ohdeedoh has been a great resource for inspiration and to provide a jumping board for my own ideas!
Do you have concerns about sharing your office with a baby? Right now, I don’t really have any concerns. My oldest daughter loves spending time in Leighton’s room and as they get older, I think they’ll both enjoy playing on the rug within the space while I do some work. My office isn’t my main work space but usually a place where I’m working on craft projects so it has the possibility for it be fun for the three of us to do things together.
Did you have to get rid of things in your office to make room for Leighton? This room used to be a joint office space that I shared with my husband, so I technically kicked him out! His half of the room was really more like a holding area for his “stuff” so it made sense to move him and his stuff out and into another area of the house. This arrangement has actually worked really well for all of us.
Have you thought about how you’ll babyproof this space when Leighton is older? The room is pretty kid proof as is because of my older daughter. She’s helped me to continue to shift items around as she discovers items that aren’t in her best interest to play with. I’ve tried to keep items that they can interact with or play with on the lower shelves of my work table so that it doesn’t matter if they get into them. So far, so good!
Your scalloped paint treatment adds such a nice pop to the room – any tips for someone who wants to try it in their own home? Although I’m pretty particular about things, this was one project where free hand was key. I knew I wouldn’t be able to achieve smooth paint lines with a regular paint brush, so instead I used a foam craft brush to create the scallops – the ones you can pick up at a craft store for like ten cents a piece. These worked great as I was able to do the initial outline of the scallops and then simply toss the brush and start with a new one for the next coat. Also after the first coat, I stood across the room and was able to note where I wanted to make scallops bigger or combine two smaller scallops to make a larger one to even out the design. By being flexible, it was easier to be happy with the end result.
Thanks Melanie! Readers, you can visit Melanie at her blog.
(Images: Melanie Bauer)