Has anyone else felt deeply inspired, but also completely overwhelmed when beginning to plan your nursery? A quick search on Pinterest, Houzz, Instagram and Google yields so many amazing ideas, it can be difficult to chart a course. Plus, if you’re addicted to HGTV and décor magazines like me, you will get pulled in even more design directions. So, what to do? How to start?
We began by considering basic design principles and selecting one great inspiration point. Our room is very small, so there isn’t a natural focal point. Instead, we created one with our inspiration piece—a cheerful, soft-colored World Wall Map. At less than $15.00, it is not only cost effective, but it also hit all the right notes. The shades are soothing, yet kid-friendly. It’s 50″x 32″and fills the space nicely. You can’t get much more budget-friendly art!
We wanted something that looked antique and aged, but showed enough detail to be a teaching tool down the road. My husband, a self-described geography nut, found it on Amazon. He reads books about maps, spends hours looking at them (old maps, new maps, Google maps) and takes “vacations” daily on Google earth (saves us money right?). Instantly, we knew we had found the right theme for the room.
I can’t wait for Hudson to be old enough for us to point out countries and capitals. Keep in mind, this map comes unframed, so you will need to purchase or build a frame. I’ll cover that framing adventure in another post.
We also considered this wallpaper style map for a bolder look, but our space was far too small and has too many windows—they would have taken out an entire continent! This typography map from Etsy is another super stylish option if you are thinking of a black & white theme, with one accent color (maybe lime green, or fuschia for a girl).
Once we had a focal point, we turned to function. Our tiny room can’t accommodate much, so we had to think long and hard about what baby really needs. I can’t stand clutter, so we decided to strike a minimalist tone—crib, (very small) rocking chair, changing table (that doubles as a dresser) and that’s it.
We also added a very small mirrored nightstand from Pier One’s Hayworth collection (gorgeous) in front of the crib. It’s perfect for storing Hudson’s books, diaper cream and stuffed animals. I love how it reflects light and makes the room feel larger. Plus, it can easily transition to your master bedroom or a guest room when baby grows up. Best of all it’s marked WAY down (
$269.99 to $199.99). The dresser is an old family heirloom (it was in my room as a baby). By adding this changing table topper from Wayfair, you can combine storage with functionality. It can affix to any dresser, saving you money, if you have one you can repurpose. I like that the topper looks like it is part of the existing dresser. We purchased our topper from Babies R’ Us, so I liked a different option from Wayfair.
We rounded out the space with some great sheer pom pom curtains. They add a whimsical, childlike touch and are one of my favorite things in the room. We also purchased a floating shelf to display a metal toy horse I’ve had for years, as well as a framed copy of an invitation from my baby shower. Above our door, in the transom, we used metal letters from a craft store to spell out Hudson’s name. Initially, they were black. We spray painted them silver.
The crib is a family heirloom. It’s a great design, with built in storage underneath, but needed a facelift. I decided to paint it white to give the room a more open feel. We rounded out the nursery with light gray and ocean blue bedding and this cute mobile from Target, again in light gray. The hounds tooth rug we found on Overstock. It’s by our favorite rug maker Safavieh. Their products always feel thick and plush under your feet.
The final element—and a really meaningful one—is the framed map you see below. The old French image depicts Hudson Bay, perfect when your little one is named Hudson, right?!
We found it in the Library of Congress online map archive. What an amazing collection of images; there are hundreds! (If a map was published prior to 1922, there are no U.S. copyright protections) So, we saved it to a flash drive, took it to Office Depot, had them print it to fit our frame, then mounted it on poster board for framing.
This pretty light fixture was another Amazon score. It glows so nicely at night and is very calming for baby. Overall, we’ve been super happy with the result of this room, especially considering it’s a pretty tiny nursery.
What served as your jumping off point for nursery decor? I’d love to hear what inspired you.