I LOVE designing and decorating! One of my latest room makeovers was to turn our old office into a nursery for our new baby girl.
This room is in the downstairs/basement of our home and as many basement rooms do, it had one of those ledges on the outer wall (from the concrete foundation wall). I’ve always hated those things! They just seem like dust collectors or knick-knack holders. I decided to use the space above the ledge to put in some custom-built shelves. Finally, a use for this wasted space!
I didn’t want the open shelves to start looking too jumbled with all of the contents, so I got some simple white gift boxes with seafoam lids in bulk for storing some of the items. To the front of each box, I attached a small card-catalog style label holder to hold a card describing the contents within.
I hand-painted charcoal gray designs on the back wall of the shelving unit and trimmed it with molding to dress it up. Then added custom drapes made from a heavy brown duck cloth. I turned some clear glass knob finials into curtain tie-backs to hold them open. Now I have tons of room to store baby’s books, small toys, hats, hair accessories, socks, shoes, blankets, etc.
For a color scheme, I wanted to go with subtle, relaxing colors. For a while, I was planning on a dusty mauve for an accent, but in the end decided on a pale mint color for the accent color, which I painted on the half-wall below the bookshelves. I also found mint chiffon scarves and tied them onto the drapes for a splash of extra color. The rest of the room I painted in antique white. The floors are Boathouse Pine Pergo. To soften the room, I added a shaggy area rug in a warm cream color.
I decided I would use a dresser as a changing table (why waste space with a separate changing table when a dresser can double for clothing storage and a changing station?). I searched and searched and finally found just what I was looking for on Craigslist, a French provincial style antique! It was already painted off-white, but the paint was really sticky and I had already been toying with the idea of doing a silvery finished dresser anyway, so I decided to re-finish it. I read tons of DIY blogs (Little Green Notebook Blog, A Bit of Whimsy Blog) on silver-leafing. One of them mentioned using aluminum leafing instead of silver to cut the cost, which got me to thinking, “I wonder what would happen if you used aluminum foil?” So I Googled it, and sure enough, I wasn’t the first one with the idea (The Ivy Cottage Blog). I was a little nervous about doing it since it would pretty much ruin the dresser if I didn’t like the results (and aluminum foil just sounds kind of tacky), but I went for it anyway. I am pretty happy with how it turned out, though I wouldn’t recommend tackling it while 7 months pregnant (it was a lot of work on my hands and knees)!
I have a small collection of old metal crates (I buy them at antique stores whenever I see some for a good deal). So I hung two of them on the wall above the changing table/dresser. One holds stuffed animals, and the other diapers, which is super handy!
For art, I found some champagne colored metallic oval frames at Hobby Lobby and hung 8 of them in two rows of 4. Inside, I put vintage themed carnival images in muted hues of blues and greens.
I decided to paint the crib in a dark grayish brown using organic, non-toxic paint (Ecos Paint) and an eco-friendly low odor varnish. To dress up the changing pad a little, I took the box that it came in, cut off one side to make it into a “tray”, then covered it with a taupe brown textured fabric and trimmed with a ribbon of frayed white fabric roses. A comfy rocking chair/glider and ottoman in a neutral linen color sits in the corner, for nursing and rocking baby.
As a final touch, I hung a beautiful, sparkly chandelier I found at Home Depot. Probably my favorite part of the whole room!