Kate’s Nursery: Part 2

Before we kick off all the behind the scenes details of how I put Kate’s nursery together, I have a few more “final” pictures to share. These were taken by Andrea Elberg–the photographer who did Kate’s newborn photo shoot–and they capture the room so much better than I was able to!

If you read Part 1 of Kate’s nursery you already know that this room was inspired by this Old Navy tank top I was wearing that wonderful day we found out we were having a baby girl:

I really wanted to do something nontraditional, with colors you don’t typically see in a nursery, and these colors certainly fit the bill. We started out with the crib which I first showed you in this post. Little did you know this picture was also a little teaser of what was to come!

Next came choosing a paint color. I was pretty positive I wanted to do magenta walls, but I slapped a few plum colored paint swatches on the wall as well for some options. When choosing a color I like to scatter multiple swatches of each paint color around the room to see how the colors look in different light.

Choosing this paint color was probably the most difficult of all the rooms in our house, but I happy to report I got it right in one try. I picked Raspberry Pudding by Behr and I absolutely love how it turned out! It’s such a gorgeous, rich, deep color. I also used Behr’s Ultra Premium Plus paint, which has the primer built in, and I have to say this is THE BEST paint I have EVER used. It went on so beautifully. With a color this dark I could have easily needed to do multiple coats (and at 21 weeks pregnant who wants to deal with that?) but here’s how the room looked after just one coat:

See my wine glass filled with orange juice in the picture above? Since I couldn’t enjoy my usual routine of drinking wine while painting, I decided this was the next best thing.
After two coats of paint the walls were finished:

Next I turned my sight to Kate’s dresser. This dresser was a hand-me-down that we were given when we first moved into our house and had been sitting empty in one of our guest rooms. It was outdated and not my style, but it was in excellent condition, and a great size and shape. In the interest of doing the nursery as inexpensively as possible I decided to make it work. I spent a lot of time thinking about how to give this dresser its much needed facelift and was willing to settle for an “it’s fine” outcome versus an “I love it!” outcome. G had previously primed and painted it white before we put it in our guest room, but it still wasn’t doing much for me, so I decided to go with a dark color.

Here’s a before picture:

And the after:

I painted it Delicious Berry by Behr, and instead of fighting with the lines carved into the dresser, I decided to embrace them, changing out the hardware from the chunky wooden handles to these sleek chrome ones.

I am so thrilled with how this dresser turned out. I was willing to settle for an “it’s fine” outcome and instead it turned into a piece that I absolutely love. It’s definitely something we’ll be hanging on to for a long time!

Next came the tree. I found this Neu Tree wall decal from Wall Slicks and decided it would be the perfect focal point for the room. It’s advertised with the tree leaning to the left, but I knew I wanted to place it next to the window and have it leaning over the crib, so I contacted Wall Slicks to see if they’d reverse the image for me which they did. It just goes to show it never hurts to ask!

Putting it up was very easy, albeit time consuming. It goes up in pieces–starting with the trunk–by peeling the decal off its paper backing and adhering it to the wall (click pictures to enlarge):




Applying the branches and leaves:

The finished decal:

Once I had the decal completed I thought it needed a little color, so I decided to add more leaves in the accent colors I was using in the nursery. I considered trying to hand paint the colored leaves onto the wall, but I didn’t trust my hand to be steady enough for that not to turn into a total disaster. I then considered painting something that I could cut out and attach to the wall–but what? Canvas? Special paper? Wood pieces? The entire time I’m trying to figure this out, I’m staring at the paint chips of the accent colors I’d chosen taped to the wall.

Nice, large, paint chips.

Color already on thick paper.

For free.

I like to think that if I wasn’t pregnant when I was doing this room that I would have thought of it sooner, but really it’s hard to say because I’m sure I would have been drinking instead.

I would like to thank Home Depot for not kicking me out after raiding their paint chip selections for my little project. Once I had my stock pile safely smuggled back home I got to work tracing and cutting out leaves. This little project took FOREVER…

…but not as long as it took to decide where all my new leaves should go and to adhere them on.

I used Modge Podge to paste the leaves onto the wall–a decision I’m sure I’ll regret later, but after trying several other ideas only to wake up the next morning to find all my hard work scattered across the carpet I was ready to pull my hair out and bust out the staple gun.

In the end, all the extra effort was totally worth it. I just love how this tree turned out!

The closet in this room is located above the stairs and you have to step up to get into it, so it’s not the most convenient use of space. I decided to use it for longer-term storage for things we don’t need to access on a regular basis such as our stockpile of diapers and wipes, and totes of clothes she doesn’t fit into yet. I decided to remove the closet door and replace it with a curtain because I wanted to be able to put the glider in the corner and did not have enough room to do so and allow for the surface area the door needed to swing open and closed. This room is so small that using a curtain instead of a door saved me a lot of space. I found this curtain at Pier 1 and couldn’t believe how well it matched the room. I had originally planned on doing something solid, but nothing looked right, so I got incredibly lucky to find something patterned that matched so well! The curtain is hung from little hooks I screwed above the door frame, and tie-back mounted inside the closet holds the curtain aside when needed.

Close up of the hooks I used to hang the curtain. They were originally black, but I painted them bronze to match the curtain grommets:

The wall art is a Nate Berkus panel I got on clearance from Linens N Things a couple of years ago. It was originally $80 but I only paid $10 for it! It was white with a black frame, and was a little banged up, so I spray painted it off-white. The banana leaf cube is from Target and doubles as an ottoman and storage for Kate’s toys. The bamboo roman shade and chocolate shag rug are also from Target. The glider (our big “splurge” for the room) is from Wal-Mart and I made the throw pillow out of the same fabric as the crib skirt.

Next I set my sights on the changing table area. Since we were only using the closet for longer-term storage, I knew I needed to make this space as functional as possible. I wanted storage for everything we’d need on a daily basis. I started with a changing pad (from Target) and a hung a shelf (from Home Depot) overhead. I used toggle bolts to secure the shelf brackets to the wall to ensure I had the strongest hold possible.

I knew I wanted to do baskets on the shelves, but deciding on which ones was of course a process. True to my “buy everything in sight and bring it home to see” process, I raided several stores and came home with A TON of baskets in all sorts of materials, shapes, and sizes.

I ended up going with the banana leaf cube baskets from Target in two different sizes. The baskets hold blankets, swaddlers, baby towels, crib sheets, and changing table linens. I made labels out of small wooden rectangles that I picked up at a craft store. I drilled 4 holes into them, painted them orange, printed labels out of cardstock and pasted them on. I then used matching orange embroidery floss to “sew” them onto the baskets.

Below the baskets I installed a curtain rod (from Bed, Bath & Beyond) to hold hanging pocket orgnaizers, made by my friend Steph from Mada’s Place out of a second floral curtain that I purchased from Pier 1. The pocket organizers hold everything I need close at hand when we’re at the changing table, as well as all the other little baby items that need a home (creams and ointments, baby toilitries, etc.). To the left of the hanging organizers are hooks (from Target) which can hold towels, blankets, or baby outfits.

There was just enough room to the left of the dresser for the Diaper Genie–a little item we’re already very much in love with. The two-drawer cube sitting on the dresser is from Target–the top drawer holds onesies, and the bottom drawer holds socks, baby leg warmers (another favorite of mine), and tights. The two baskets on the right side of the dresser are actually banana leaf DVD bins–one holds Kate’s diapers, and other holds wipes, baby lotion, hand sanitizer, and extra burp towels. On the back of the bedroom door I put up two hooks which hold a mesh laundry bag for Kate’s dirty clothes. With the exception of a few dresses that are hanging in the closet, all of Kate’s clothes are in her dresser. For right now we have all her newborn and 0-3 month clothing on the left side of the dresser, and all her 3-6 month clothes on the right side. Larger sized clothes are currently in totes in the closet until she can fit into them.

The overall result is cute–but most importantly it’s functional!

My last big project for this room was refinishing this antique high chair, which was actually my high chair when I was a child. I’ve always loved this chair and have been hanging on to it hoping to find a good spot for it to call home. Unfortunately it was in pretty bad shape, with most of the leg pieces no longer staying together.

I personally always loved the color and worn look of this chair, but in the interest of putting it in Kate’s nursery I decided to paint it to give it a more updated look. I chose orange because it’s my favorite color and this piece was so personal to me. Some sanding, wood glue, screws, and a few coats of paint (Pumpkin Patch by Behr) later and this chair was as good as new! I got this cute teddy bear for Kate from Toys R Us, and made this necktie out of the stripes from the extra curtain I had purchased for the hanging organizers.

In the interest of saving money, I decided not to buy fancy baby bedding and instead just went with a simple sheet (that’s all babies need anyway, right?) and a crib skirt. I had my friend Steph make the crib skirt out of a dark purple herringbone-patterned fabric. Since our crib sits in the corner I had her make the crib skirt in two different lengths. One “L” of the skirt (the side and end you see in these pictures) has a 25″ drop, which is the drop from the mattress to the floor when the crib is in its highest position. The other “L” of the skirt (currently not pictured) only has a 15″ drop, which is the drop from the mattress to the floor once Kate is older and the crib is moved to its lower positon. All I need to do is flip the skirt around and we’re all set–it’s like two crib skirts in one!

And last but not least, three totes slide perfectly underneath the crib for additional storage:

And once again, the finished product:

I’m pretty sure that’s everything anyone could possibly want to know about Kate’s nursery, but if by chance I missed anything you were wondering about feel free to ask!

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  1. 1

    This is the most beautiful nursery I’ve ever seen! Gorgeous! Love the colour combos.

  2. 2

    Oh my god that is the most GORGEOUS nursery ever! You are amazing I swear! Its beautiful and everything goes together so perfectly! Absolutely love it :)

  3. 3

    Those pictures are fabulous! Are you going to frame the tank top – or turn it into a pillow? I love that your 20 week ultrasound outfit inspired the room!

  4. 4
    CampDallas says:

    A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! Thank you for sharing all the details for how the room came together! I love how you utilized every inch possible – the changing area in particular is my favorite! This room is such an inspiration for an adorable, but most importantly, FUNCTIONAL baby space!

  5. 5

    Can you come help me decorate my whole house, please?!?! Absolutely gorgeous. I am so jealous of baby Kate!!

    Love, love, love everything.
    Thanks for sharing!

  6. 6

    it is perfection!

  7. 7

    I am so in awe of this! It’s gorgeous!

  8. 8

    Impressed does not seem to cover my feelings.. Although I think maybe you need to do some side work in ‘decorating’ seriously.

  9. 9

    What an awesome nursery! I love all the bright colors!

  10. 10

    simply amazing! wow. wow wow wow. you just don’t see nurseries with these bold, gorgeous, rich colors these days. everything is so muted! your little girl has such a kick-ass nursery :)
    i just painted my own “tree decal” in my guest bedroom and you’d be surprised how steady you can draw on your own walls :)

  11. 11

    The nursery is amazing! It’s so different than what you normally see in a nursery, and I love that. Great job!

    Quick question — what did you use to paint the curtain hooks bronze? I’m looking to do the same and am not sure what product to use to paint metal. Thanks!

  12. 12

    What a stunning room! I love that it was all inspired by a tank top too. The colors are so vivid – I love what you’ve done!

  13. 13

    It turned out beautifully. I absolutely love the color of the walls, and the dresser turned out so well. The colors are so dreamy. Very nice job, you’re very talented when it comes to projects like this!

  14. 14

    You are so amazingly creative and talented! And freakin’ hilarious! This killed me: “I like to think that if I wasn’t pregnant when I was doing this room that I would have thought of it sooner, but really it’s hard to say because I’m sure I would have been drinking instead.”

  15. 15

    I absolutely adore those magenta walls. And that darling tree ? Love that too. I know you are enjoying your precious moments with your sweet Kate. Big hugs.

  16. 16

    Oh my goodness…the room is spectacular!! It’s good to know I’m not the only one who “buys everything in sight and brings it home to see”…haha :)

  17. 17

    Stunning! Love all of the functionality of this room!

  18. 18

    Hey D,
    This might be a silly question, but how accesible are those baskets above the changing station? Are they easy to reach? Are you super tall?

    I guess at a compact 5’2″ I’m more tuned into stuff like that šŸ˜‰


  19. 19

    It looks amazing! I love the color combo and all the storage. The dresser is probably my favorite part of the room – I think the lines make it unique. I also recently used a Pier 1 curtain for something other than a curtain – I covered a chair in it and used the extra fabric to make two pillow. Gotta love reusing curtains for other uses!

  20. 20

    LOVE IT!! I love the non traditional colors. I looks fantastic!

  21. 21

    I love this nursery! I’m going to have to refer to this when it comes to creative storage ideas!

  22. 22

    What a beautiful nursery!! You are so good at thinking things through to create a stunning, yet functional room. I don’t know what your day job is, but you could certainly go into decorating some day.
    Thank you for sharing your process behind the nursery with us all.

  23. 23

    So, so fabulous! My favorite part is all the organization – you really thought of everything and worked to make it all accessible – the name of the game with a newborn! I really, really like it!

  24. 24

    It’s just beautiful. Raspberry Pudding–YUM. And I think my favorite part is the hand cut leaves you added onto that charming tree using the paint swatches. So creative, so clever. And, of course, the chair. I love sentimental touches like that in a nursery, especially.


  25. 25

    LOVE it!!!

  26. 26

    LOVE THIS! And The best part is that because you didn’t choose the stereotypical pale pink this will transform so easily into a little girl’s room!

  27. 27

    My twins are just turning three, and we have moved since their birth. Suddenly I miss their nursery. Like you we had PLAIN bedding, but the walls had giant squares in punchy colors painted on them, with a white stip between each square, white cribs, etc. Painting giant squares with one inch white stripes between takes a bit of math… (while NOT drinking wine!)

  28. 28

    SOOO in love with this nursery! I want a girl so bad now.

  29. 29

    You amaze me at how you thought of everything with this being your first baby. Not only that, but you did it with such style! Absolutely love the room.

  30. 30

    Thanks for sharing! We’re having a little one soon and since our nursery is also on the small side, it helps to have a detailed list of the ways that you were able to fit in all the necessities and still have a stylish room.

  31. 31

    You did an amazing job. It’s a gorgeous room for your precious Kate. I love the colors and all of your creative storage solutions. The crib skirt was a genius idea too. Love it all!


  32. 32

    Thank you so much everyone! It’s been so much fun sharing Kate’s nursery with all of you!

    @Emily–You know, I haven’t really thought about it, but you’re right, I should totally do something with the tank top! I planned on “saving” it for sure, but I like your ideas of doing something more creative with it. Thanks!

    @Julie–You can find little bottles of metallic paint at craft stores. I found this in the same aisle as all the little bottles of acrylic paint that you can buy for a dollar or two. I roughed up the hooks a bit before I painted them with sandpaper so the paint had a little something to stick to.

    @LizzieBeth–Good question! I’m only 5’4″ so the height of the shelf and baskets was definitely something I had to consider. I can reach the top of the baskets easily, but I can’t reach into them easily. If the basket is full I can reach what’s on top, otherwise I have to grab the basket, slide it off the shelf and pull it down to reach what’s inside. I don’t mind the extra step b/c I really wanted the shelf to be that height.

    @Andrea–I feel your pain! I painted the stripes in our powder room (while drinking wine *giggle*)and it wasn’t easy!

  33. 33

    Thank you so much for sharing about your baby nursery! I was very eager to find out what color you used. Now I want to buy some paint, lol.

  34. 34

    I love your use of color! Really, I’m a black and white girl to the end, but from time to time I’ll see a room full of color and go, “yay, that looks awesome!”

    I’m sure Kate is going to love her nursery.

  35. 35

    Seriously cute. I truly LOVE this room. How much fun is this!? This is my first time to your blog. You seem lovely.

  36. 36

    It’s gorgeous!! Congrats on the baby and providing her a beautiful room. I wanted to ask if you’d thought of using the decal tree as a growth chart? Seems like a perfect opportunity. :)

  37. 37

    I absolutely love love love the nursery. I think the tree makes the room, but then I see the closet curtain and the dresser/changing table. The room is just perfect!!!

  38. 38

    So I’m sitting here drooling over this nursery, wondering how I can do something this cool and saving pictures of your changing area, etc. And I go to your About Me section and realize you live 20 minutes from me. Small world! I live in Lake Mills and work in Madison! Gorgeous nursery – you did an amazing job.

  39. 39

    OH.MY.GOSH!!! beautiful job!!!!! only a room for a princess :) how lucky she is! IT LOOKS FANTASTIC!

  40. 40

    Love this room! I’ve been trying to find a way to dress up our walls without having to worry about permanence (we rent). That decal is awesome!!

    Who manufactures the crib? Do you know the style? Too cute!

  41. 41

    Thanks for the info, D! I’ll be sure to check out my craft store ASAP. Here I was thinking about spray paint but didn’t know how to control it enough. Your idea seems much better!

  42. 42

    I love this room! delicious berry? That name sure sums up that dresser, it’s delicious!

    Stop by my blog to enter to win a pair of sassy boots!

  43. 43

    What a happy, sweet, clever room. The attention to detail is amazing–you’ve made it both functional and beautiful. Love it!

  44. 44

    Thank you so much for all your sweet comments everyone!

    @Stephanie–A friend of mine suggested using the tree as a growth chart, too. I’d never thought of that! Very neat idea, but since it’s a decal (and not something more permanent that I can keep) I don’t think we’ll go that route. But who knows–maybe we will!

    @Jenny–Oh wow, that is such a coincidence! We have family in Lake Mills. Beautiful town!

    @MightySaphire–The crib brand is Pali. Hope that helps!

  45. 45

    Ok, a follow up question, D. Do you know the paint color name you used to paint those curtain hooks? I went to my local Joann’s today and came home with “Rich Espresso” in a metallic finish, but it’s a little too gold. Your hooks definitely look more brown. Thanks in advance!

  46. 46

    I am swooning. It’s BEAUTIFUL.

  47. 47

    @Julie–I’ve been looking for my little tube of paint, but I can’t for the life of me find it anywhere! Maybe I used it all and threw it away? Ugh, I don’t know. I’m sorry. But I can tell you that the hooks were originally black which I’m guessing helped quite a bit. If your hooks are a lighter color you may considering “priming” them by painting them black first, and then going over with the bronze. Hope that helps, and good luck!


  48. 48

    I simply adore this room.

  49. 49

    I just have to say…you have an amazing house beyond messure. If you lived in my city ….man I would find you and pay you to redo my whole house. You have fantastic taste.
    WOW…is all I could say.
    And the Nursery is the cutest, most functional, so organized and simple nursery I have ever seen.
    Thanks for sharing your house with us


  50. 50

    Having a 1 month old, I am still tryinig to perfect my nursery. We have done some similar things; with the changing table, crib, curtain. You have inspired me to do more and “recycle” more into my room- also to do a nursey story. I have family in Dallas and friends have a long drive to visit, so whyy not let them see it like you did? Thanks! You have great ideas and inspirations!-nat

  51. 51

    Love the nursery — and the entire blog for that matter =)

    I do have one question: now that Kate is sleeping in her room, I’m wondering how you’re liking the WalMart rocker? Other styles from WalMart have been rated poorly for comfort (too firm), but I love their lines and more affordable prices vs. PB, Land of Nod, etc. Your thoughts???

  52. 52

    Thank you so much everyone!

    @Erin–We’ve been using the glider daily for over 9 months now, and I love it. It’s still as nice and comfy as the day we brought it home!

  53. 53

    LOVE the colors and overall outcome. Wish I was as creative as you!

  54. 54

    How fantastic! I love it!!

  55. 55

    Thank you payettestork and Beth!

  56. 56
    pollyplum says:

    This room is STUNNING!!!I love the non-traditional colors!!!!

  57. 57
    pollyplum says:

    Where did you get the tree decal?

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