Remember that room I was going on and on about several months ago?
Yeah well it wrapped up just a week or so before the new occupant arrived…the final details took FOREVER and drove me nuts (like shrinking curtains and holes in plaster walls). Therefore I’ve been extremely behind on clicking “Publish” on this post, knowing I’d want to add a few more details after using the room for a bit.
Oh and the room is impossible to photograph. So bear with me.
Look back here to see how it all began, as just an empty space at the top of our main staircase. With surprisingly little time and expense (but a lot of help) we were able to transform formerly unused square footage into a third bedroom on our second floor, perfect for a nursery or office. We used some old, bought some new, and got creative with the theme—one that morphed from arrows to geometric shapes to a mixture of the two plus others.
We just added slowly, layering a patterns, textures, and colors. After finishing the back wall design, I agonized for week about a rug—any sort of pattern just competed with the wall arrows—so we picked up a simple shag rug and love it. Basic and oh so cheap. Getting it smaller than the edges of the furniture was key, anything bigger looked wrong. And it looks great below the big gray pouf, a last minute purchase that’s turned out to be extremely useful.
Storage was top on our minds when designing the room so anywhere we could sneak it in without ruining the fun, we did. Like the Ikea spice rack book shelves next to the rocker. The ledge shelving for pictures, and the industrial pipe rod down below where we’ll hang baskets and other hang-able items. My friend Catrina snagged the blue arrow shelf at Home Goods and it works perfect behind the rocker for yet more book storage…we have a lot of books and without good, close storage they pile up quickly.
See that little table tucked next to the chair? I agonized over it and finally pulled the trigger, ordering it in fear it would be too big for the space. But it arrived and is seriously perfect and couldn’t be cuter. It houses Finn’s white noise machine, lanolin, water bottles, and my Kindle…we sit there a LOT.
That under-the-crib real estate was too valuable to pass up so I found these two large baskets to store all kinds of bedding, burping, and pumping supplies. I’ll be editing their contents soon as there are about 6 sleep sacks in there and the only one we use is the Miracle Blanket.
Other than actually building the room, the changing table was probably my biggest “project”. When I was about one minute pregnant I randomly fell in love with this simple little mid-century-ish dresser at a local consignment store. On an impulse—not that normal for me—I bought it and plopped it in my garage with plans to paint it bright, shiny red. It was in rough shape.
Once the nursery plans started to form I realized with a little work, it would make the perfect changing table for our tiny room—we left the closet door-less for just this purpose. Here’s a look at the before and after:
It’s not as luxuriously spacious as Ethan’s giant Ikea dresser/changing table, but it fits the open closet perfectly and has just enough drawers to meet our needs. Plus, Ethan’s room is right next door for overflow when needed. I think the fact you can see under the dresser, due to the tall legs, opens things up a big in the small space. Plus it’s just really fun seeing those angle mount tapered legs!
Without getting too far into the before/after detail (that’s another post!) we basically chopped off the legs, added new ones, sanded the whole thing down, and hosed it with bright yellow paint.
Some shelving and a tiny closet rod help make the room’s “changing closet” extremely functional. We’re still moving things around a bit to meet our daily storage needs but overall it’s working out well. One change I made immediately was to flip the little crate (on the bottom right, just above the changing pad) over to hold our water dish and cloth wipes.
Artwork for the room popped up sporadically. I’d see a cute print on Brickyard Buffalo (a great flash sale site everyone should check out!), then I’d find a free printable or some wrapping paper I thought may work. The pant hangers were a fun addition to hang some of the prints while others got stuck in old frames I found long ago at Goodwill. Feathers, arrows, and, for some reason, antlers were the end result.
This “F” print is amazing and by a local artist. I picked it up at City Sprouts and love when Ethan tells me about all the little images, always emphasizing the “F” sound.
I even made some art! When I saw this geometric stitched elephant art I just had to give it a try. Once I had my canvas and some embroidery floss leftover from our felt alphabet project, things went very quickly. I followed the instructions exactly and it was enjoyable to spend a few evenings stitching away. The result is pretty adorable if I do say so myself.
I mentioned wrapping paper…this “print” is made up of a piece of beautiful Paper Source wrapping paper. Only a couple bucks set in a simple old frame. I love all the colors and textures, it was the perfect addition to the tiny wall between the doors.
I made Ethan’s mobile so when I saw this little ditty on Design Mom, I knew it was the perfect solution for Finn’s nursery. I picked up some air-dry sculpting clay on one of my million trips to the craft store and gave it a try. Ethan even had his own little clay project going on while I worked. After a couple hours of rolling and cutting, a few days of drying, and another few minutes of painting, we had a beautiful mobile I think Finn will love.
Some day I’ll go into more detail on the tricks I discovered in this process, but over all this was simple project and looks great in the space.
Last but not least, there’s the bedding. I considered for a minute paying a premium for a crib sheet from Etsy, but after finding this ridiculously easy tutorial, I decided to order the fabric I wanted—adorable yellow herringbone—and make one myself. My sewing perfectionist mom was doubtful about the simple instructions, but we gave it a try and it worked perfectly! The cost for fabric and elastic was about $22 per fitted sheet and they took maybe 20 minutes to align, cut, and sew.
As for the skirt, I ordered enough of this simple grey and white stripe fabric to make three rectangles, one for the front and one for each end (I figured why do the back?), hemmed them, then secured them to the mattress support with ribbon. We will be able to easily shorten the skirt when we lower the mattress down the road by either trimming it at the unfinished top or just tying it higher on the mattress support.
Finding cute bedding for Ethan’s room was impossible so I knew making my own would be the way to go this time. So easy and exactly what I wanted.
So there it is! Our itty bitty nursery perfect for our itty bitty Finn. I’ve spent what feels like a year in that orange chair already and the dude is only a month old. The room is fun and visually stimulating in the daylight streaming through that big window but quite and calming in the wee hours of the morning, all very conducive to making baby happy.
If you are at all interested, here are way too many other posts about our nursery adventure:
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So here we are rounding out three weeks with Finn and I’m FINALLY getting a few side-by-side Ethan and Finn pictures together. I look down into Finn’s eyes when he’s nursing, watch his little body squirm as we change his diaper, listen to his “Naaa naa!!” cries when he’s hungry and think of Ethan…these two boys are like little twins.
See for yourself…
Ethan – One Day
Tough to find pictures to compare since most of Ethan’s early shots include a nose tube and a lovely jaundice hue, but I thought these did the trick. The one of Finn is at two weeks, Ethan’s is from day one. You’d never know there was a four pound size difference between them!
Last week was our first without help and it went swimmingly. Stu was back to work, Ethan was his usual patient, big-helper self, and Finn ate, slept and pooped. Finn’s little belly is rounding out and his awake periods are getting longer, usually about twice a day. He’s got to be over 7 pounds by now. We had visitors almost every day, bringing food and coffee, spoiling us, and getting some baby snuggle time in return.
Though most of our outings were school drop-offs and quick errands, we did venture out on Friday for a very fun morning at the zoo! The Wild Wonder Outpost at the zoo’s North entrance is our favorite winter hangout. It’s pretty much the perfect place to take a four year old and newborn as Ethan needs minimal supervision and there’s plenty of comfy baby holding/feeding/stroller space. Also a great place to meet friends. Plus it’s only $2 for members. Score.
Seriously, you will find us here a lot this winter.
We even ventured outside to check out the zoo’s awesome holiday decorations and a stop at the ape house—probably the only corner of the zoo we had never explored and just so you know, it’s awesome. Orangutans, chimps, and gigantic gorillas right up in yo face.
Some love from the “Queen” Orangutan
Finn had breakfast #2 at the zoo room and slept for the remainder of our time there. He missed the sea lion feeding, ape watching, and lunch but seemed pretty snugged up in his fleece-filled carseat. It was the first time in about two years using the good ole Bob stroller on anything other than a walk/run in the park…weird pushing a stroller around the zoo again! But wow will it be helpful now that we have hats, scarves, and coats to drag around with us.
Finn continues his rock-star sleep status each night. I fill him up at around 9:45pm again at 2am, and again at 6am when Ethan climbs into bed with us. Not too shabby! We’ve given him a few tub baths, during which he screams a little less each time. Washing Finn’s dark, fuzzy hair causes more flashbacks to Ethan’s first few months—it’s just uncanny.
I can’t wait till Finn is big enough to take baths with Ethan…they will have a blast. Till then, we’ve been improvising.
Another first this week? Snow! Finn’s first snow fell all night Saturday and is still coming down today. It’s a perfect winter wonderland outside. Ethan couldn’t wait to wake up to “piles and piles of snow!?” but seemed pretty happy with what we got.
This snow just solidifies my holiday mood…it’s officially the season! We’ll be here for Thanksgiving and plan to do a turkey and all the fixins for just our little family for the first time quite a few years. Fires in the fireplace and hot chocolate with marshmallows will be the daily theme from now till the end of the year.
The days seem to be flying by faster than ever. It will be nice to slow down in hibernation mode for a while.