NURSERY REVEAL

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Shared in partnership with buybuy BABY.

As soon as we got home from the hospital after preterm labor, the nesting urge kicked into high gear. At that point, the nursery was still my office, and we didn’t even have a crib. Logically, it didn’t really matter if we did go into labor then, since at that point the baby would have likely spent weeks/months in the NICU, but still, I had to get the space ready, so that I could feel mentally prepared to welcome this baby. I think it was compounded with so much being out of my control in the midst of a stressful and chaotic pregnancy, and getting the space prepared was one thing I could control and wrap my mind around. The whole process was really helpful and with each week we checked off, more and more fun.

The space is tiny (and I get how that term is so relative, I’m sure there are New York City parents reading this thinking it looks massive), but what it does have going for it is the light in here is amazing, especially in the morning, which helps the space feel larger. It’s nine feet by nine feet, and the closet doubles as our laundry room (it’s not pictured, but the washer and dryer are tucked into the closet behind two white french doors opposite the dresser). The rocking chair I had with Trey is huge, but I love it so much and wasn’t ready to part with it for a smaller one, so that stayed. Once I knew I had to account for that rocker and with no closet space, I had to get creative elsewhere.

Enter: the Stokke mini crib gifted by buybuy BABY. I considered all the options before deciding on this one, and I absolutely love it. We have the mini size to start, which fits until about six months, and then we have the converter kit to full size crib and then eventual toddler bed. Even when it’s full size, the oval shape is a smaller footprint than standard rectangular cribs, and this mini size (pictured) is similar to a bassinet size. It can be configured with or without the wheels, which lock, for easy mobility. The size and look are perfect for this space and we are so happy with it. (I also feel the need to mention that either we will do without the art about the crib, or pull the crib far enough away from the wall for safety because yes, we are in an earthquake state and have to think about these things.)

We’re using the same dresser we had with Trey (that was originally lime green and we bought it secondhand) and we use the top as the changing table. This changing pad is my favorite because it wipes down and I have never had to wash a changing pad cover.

With minimal floor space available, I had to get some kind of storage on the walls. The shelving brackets are Ikea, and the white shelf is $6 MDF board at Home Depot. The hanging rack is this one.

The storage baskets we used and loved with Trey and will use again are by Pehr. Such beautiful storage that doesn’t scream “nursery” and can grow from baby to adult. I have the hamper, bin, and pint size and love them all.

The curtains are these in “blush,” and I love them. At only $14 a panel, I can get two for each side, creating a fuller, more expensive look. Pro tip: hang them high and wide to make a small space feel bigger, and get the longer size, 95”, to grace the floor with standard 8’ ceilings.

The sound machine is by Dohm, and we’ve used the same style for every sleep time and nap for Trey.

The monitor is by Safety 1st, and is Wi-Fi enabled. I’m excited to try this out.

Love this simple space! Designing the nursery is always one of my favorite parts of baby prep, and this was a fun space challenge and so sweet that I got to design for a girl this time.

Crib gifted and shared in partnership with buybuy BABY. buybuy BABY has a large selection of baby items all in one place, and also provides a registry option. Nursery design, words, and opinions are my own.

ON MAKING DESIGN MISTAKES

This is the first house we've owned, and probably not the last, so I'm trying to think of it as our "mistakes" house. I get to try out different designs, and see what makes sense for us versus what I see on Pinterest. I've already had a few "teachable moments" of design decisions that I would have done differently.

Take, for instance, that shelf on the mantel. It was wood before we moved in, and in an effort to get away from all the 90s wood trim and doors, everything was going either white (all walls and doors ) or black (hardware). So, white it went. It looked good against the then grey/blue walls, but once everything else was white, I realized I needed to add a little warmth back in. I assumed it was a done deal but Daniel knew of a way to get it back, by heating it, scraping it, and sanding it. He did it over the course of two nights, and the cost? Zero dollars, since we already had the tools. It was a little painful seeing all those layers of paint come off, but I knew that this time, I had the space to consider all my options and I knew that I was making the right decision. As a bonus, I didn't love the tone of the wood pre-paint (which is why maybe I was motivated to change it), but now that it's sanded to a lighter color, I love it. It's the shade my wood mantel dreams are made of. Had I not mistakenly painted it I wouldn't have known about this amazing color underneath.

My second design mistake here was that I have clear, glass sconces which I assumed only Edison bulbs would look good in. Went for it. Decided I didn't like the orange-y hued lighting. So I researched all my options, and I didn't think this was possible, but I am crazy about these light bulbs. I can control them from my smart phone and the color temperature is completely custom, meaning I can make it cooler or warmer depending on the season/time of day/mood etc. So happy with them. They even look great in the clear glass which I was concerned about. Welcome to 2018 - when you can order anything online to be delivered to your house in 2 days and control the temperature shade of your light bulbs from your smart phone.

So, my lessons learned: try everything. You sometimes don't know if you like something until you see it in your own house, in your unique lighting, with your unique family. And, secondly, if you don't like it, it's probably changeable. Thankfully, home decor is not open heart surgery. If the stakes feel high, it's because we've placed that unnecessary pressure on ourselves to have these Pinteresty-perfect homes, when in reality, there really isn't a lot at stake here. It's home decor! If you try and it and don't like it, change it. This is our first house. I get to "try on" everything here, and the mistakes just mean I'm closer to finding my style and what works best for my taste and my family.

BEFORE: Beautiful, but stark and not enough contrast.

AFTER: Warmth! Texture! Variation! Love the change.

Shared in partnership with Poly and Bark, who makes the Camberly sconces, and Hue Bulbs, who makes the light bulbs.

MASTER BEDROOM DESIGN UPDATE

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We're three months into officially being in the new house and from day one the projects have been in full swing. It seems like we have so far to go (in some ways), and also like, oh my gosh we've done so much in such a short amount of time already. Trying to find the balance of we've come so far! But we have so much farther to go!

I feel like bedrooms can often go missed in a redesign because they're a space guests see less often. But I feel the opposite - we live here! It's important that this room gets some attention too. Maybe not all of the budget but certainly some thought and some strategic, affordable updates. Sharing some of the simple ways we've styled ours recently.

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Our bedroom is small, so we have a queen sized bed frame and currently no official "bed" or even headboard. I used euro sized pillows to create a "faux headboard" kind of look. They are an inexpensive way to give a bed height and dimension for a fraction of the cost of an actual headboard. Plus they had cushion and texture and a nice support to sit and read.

I love the look of all white bedding. I feel like it looks classic, clean, and crisp, and you can easily switch out less expensive pillow cases if you want to update the look seasonally. Our sheets, duvet cover, pillowcase shams, and blanket are all by Boll & Branch. They make ethically made, organic, luxurious bedding. Their bedding is stunning and the quality is excellent, but even more importantly, a portion of all sales goes to end human trafficking. I cried watching the video of the non-profit they support, Not For Sale, specifically helping children escape exploitation and slavery. To say it's a worthwhile cause is an understatement. The bedding is fantastic, yes, but I really love supporting companies who are making a lasting difference.

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Our pillow inserts, duvet, and mattress pad are by SLEEPHI, a Boston based bedding startup. They're on a mission to improve sleep, and have a unique "climabalance" technology for regulating temperature throughout the night. The pillows pictures are these, and are designed specifically for back and stomach sleepers. You can see they have that indent in the center, it's designed to keep the spine aligned at all angles. After sleeping on it for weeks I can attest that these are great. Use code 10SLEEPHI for 10% off everything except the comforter, which is on backorder.

A tip for bedding shopping: even though we have a queen sized bed, I buy my duvet and duvet cover in one size up (king) so that it hangs off the sides more easily and is more forgiving to share. I buy the fitted sheet in a queen, and we don't use a flat sheet (European style, and less to deal with when you make the bed), and the duvet goes right on top, with extra blankets for the winter. I run cold so I bundle up.

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Things we still need: matching nightstands and some kind of lighting (considering these). We painted all walls and trim before we moved in, and there is a tiny master bath in this room (not pictured, to the right of the dresser) that needs some TLC. Again, trying to focus on all that we have done instead of all that I wish we could do. The time constraints of having a toddler and doing it all yourself make for some good lessons in waiting patiently and being content with where you're at.

Shared in partnership with Boll & Branch and SLEEPHI.

Other sources: checkered pillow cases | letters | euro pillow inserts | large art by me | small art thrifted