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Let’s Talk Nursery #2

2014 June 22
by Becky

That’s right, Mrs. Planny-plannerson hasn’t done a stinkin’ thing for the new nursery.

I don’t know colors.
I don’t know theme.
I don’t know anything.

Well, we know where it will be. The main issue that’s been holding me back is a lack of walls around the new nursery.

Let’s Do a Quick House History

So our house was built circa 1906 and wasn’t touched renovation-wise until about 15 years ago, so let’s say in 1999. How do we know this? The woman who ran said renovation lives in our neighborhood and stopped by the day we moved in to tell us all about it. She’s renovated over 33 houses in our area!! I call her our “Neighborhood Ambassador.” After that big renovation which included removing the back staircase to add a 2nd floor bathroom, building out the attic, replacing all electrical and plumbing and appliances and HVAC, converting the FOUR fireplaces to gas, and refinishing all the mantels, floors, and woodwork. She did a fabulous job, it’s hard to even tell what’s original and what’s new because she matched the original style so perfectly. The basement was finished by the owners before us (yay!!!). And of course we recently worked on the kitchen and master bath.

Whew!! The house has already had a load of TLC.

How We Plan To Add A Room

One part of the original renovation I didn’t mention was the main staircase. It needed to be widened to meet city codes, therefore a  second floor bedroom was removed. The whole wall needed to be moved so instead of moving the room it was left as a large open landing. Sure it makes for a bright and airy upstairs. BUT, it means there are only two bedrooms on the second floor.

So our plan is to put it back.


Sure we have the attic with a full bathroom (which is currently the playroom/office) and the basement bedroom (a much needed guest room for family visitors) that are very usable, but we really wanted all of us on the same floor. After considering moving Ethan up to the attic, I quickly squashed the idea. The thought of climbing two flights of stairs to get a pair of socks or put away laundry or change midnight pee problems…no thank you. We could move the master bedroom up there—lots of people on our street have similar layouts and do that—but we love our new navy walls, fireplace, and shiny new bathroom too much.


Plus we love dedicating our finished attic to the play room (which will surely come in handy for Ethan when baby boy #2 arrives) and my little office in the turret, it’s just a great use of space.

AtticPlayroomAttic Playroom – still needs work but is still super fun!

TurretOfficeAttic office in the turret – unorganized and needs work but still productive

Stu was really the one pushing to turn the landing back into a bedroom. I wasn’t so sure at first, it’s going to be very small, around 76 sf (that’s 8.5′ x 9′). But in the end we feel like it’s a) a better use of the space, b) going back to the original house layout, and c) increasing value by adding another bedroom on the second floor. This neighborhood is FULL of families with kids so we’re sure a future buyer will appreciate the new layout.

I used the free tool to help me get my head around the size and shape of the new room. Not all the details (windows and closets) are included, some spaces are left off, and some measurements are just approximate, but here’s what the before and after will look like…

no-nursery-final-(1)Current Layout

New Nursery Floor PlanNew Layout

We’ll make sure plenty of light comes through the double doors by including several transom windows—one above the pocket door and two along the staircase wall.

While I’d never really considered built-ins an option before, the more I look at this space, the more I think built-in bookcases (maybe with bottom cabinets?) on each side of the crib wall would make so much sense. Just deep enough to hold a children’s hard cover and some baskets. That way we’d have plenty of storage in corners that would otherwise go to waste.

I’m not sure if we will have our contractor build them or if we’ll do an Ikea hack-job for these built-ins (not sure our 10 foot ceilings will make a pre-made option cost effective), but I’ve been inspired by a few beautiful nurseries.

Nursery Builtin Inspirations

Like these trimmed out book cases at Elements of Style (1), which seem perfect paired with rich gray walls (on my idea list) and a black crib (which I bought several months ago). I love this book ledge shelving over at Project Nursery (2), similar to what we did in the first and second version of Ethan’s nursery, and these shelf/cabinets from (3) are beautiful too. If we go more minimal. Or how cute is this built in over at Pepper Design Blog? (4)

To maximize the space, we’ll use a pocket door in the style of our other doors (we found one this weekend!! whoop!), we won’t put a door on the closet, and we will most likely put the changing table in said closet.

Construction begins Monday! We’re farming this one out so it goes super fastI’m already 20 weeks and at this point last time Ethan’s nursery was DONE.

Now can everyone send me ideas for decor? I’m so behind. 

8 Responses
  1. June 22, 2014

    How exciting! Sometimes small rooms are the most fun to design. One note on bedroom size for resale- you won’t be able to list it as a bedroom because it doesn’t meet the minimum dimensions to be called one. Doesn’t stop you from using it as one though…

    Can’t wait to see the progress. I love the nursery at Chezerby -small, simple, dark walls and no door on the closet. Their whole house transformation is spectacular.
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    • Becky permalink*
      June 23, 2014

      I love small spaces too!! And – in case anyone else wonders – thank you for checking again on the room size requirements, looks like we will make the cut and it will be an official room! And Chezerby is adorable, great recommendation!!

  2. Linda Johnson permalink
    June 23, 2014

    I love the idea of built in white book cases with a black crib (pic #1). It will be a great space for my second grandson and close to his big brother Ethan. Glad to hear your farming this project out and cannot wait to see the finished result.

    • Becky permalink*
      June 23, 2014

      We have the black crib! I had to replace our old one, it was shot after being taken apart and put back together so many times through the moves and conversion. Target had the one I wanted and the price was great so I nabbed it quick before they went out of stock. :)

  3. Lauren permalink
    June 23, 2014

    Ah, the 2nd child! I did not finish Evans room until he was 10 weeks old! He was sleeping in Moses bed in our room til then. Love the plans! The boys will love having rooms across the hall from each other someday.

    • Becky permalink*
      June 23, 2014

      Hey, all they need is a safe place, clean diapers, and boobs for those first few months, right?? Hope we’re pretty much wrapped up by end of October but with this creativity stall, who knows. It could be a year before that room is actually done! :)

  4. November 29, 2018

    Total agree with the built in book cases. Saves so much space

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