Planning a Colorful Nursery for the Little Sapling

From day one, I knew I didn’t want a traditional pastel or pink nursery for our little girl.  Bring on the colors!  Did you know, though, that it’s pretty hard to find nursery bedding and other items in primary colors like royal blue and red?

Primary Color Mid-century Nursery

I pulled inspiration for the nursery design from two elements – the red kilim rug that I currently have in storage, and the colorful Japanese fabrics that I use for many of the pillows in my shop.  All of the major items have been found or purchased, so let me walk you through my mood board.

The background:  My office (future nursery) is painted in Sherwin Williams’ “Lively Yellow.”  Don’t let the name fool you – it’s more of a green than a yellow in person. I was going to repaint the room white, and bring color in with art and the rug, etc, but I found that the current color coordinated well with the rest of the look – so why make extra work?

1.  Mid-century walnut dresser:  Ryan and I bought this at our favorite vintage shop, Just L, in New Hampshire.  We found them on our first road trip as a couple, and then we registered with them for our wedding – so it seemed fitting to have something from them in the baby’s room.  We just have to go pick it up sometime before the new year. It’s 6 feet long but on the shallow side, which is great because it will probably move into our bedroom someday.  It does have feet but I accidentally left them off when making this image.

2.  The primary fabrics in the room:  The striped pattern will be box valances on the windows.  The other two fabrics will be accents on other items in the room.

3.  Caravan Crib:  It was important to us to find a crib Made in the USA, and this fits the bill while also looking awesome.  The crib is made in New England from solid maple wood, by Kalon Studios – a small furniture company.

4.  Blue Rocking Arm Chair:  This chair was my grandma’s, and has been sitting around an unused room in my parents’ house.  It swivels and rocks and is very comfy, and I love the idea of using a family piece in the baby’s room.  The royal blue color is perfect, but the upholstery was shredded by my parents’ cat, so we’re having it reupholstered – probably in a stain-treated royal blue velvet.

5. Red Kilim Rug:  I’ve had this rug since my first DC apartment, and I’m pretty proud that I only paid $25 for it on Craigslist.  Last winter I had it professionally cleaned, but we didn’t have a good place for it in our house.  Since we were trying to have a baby even back then, I suggested we save it for the nursery – and he was on board.

Accessories:  I’ve been slowly collecting awesome art and accessories for the room, which I’ll show you in a future post.

With only 9 1/2 weeks to go until the baby’s due date, we need to get this nursery completed.  Over the weekend my dad and I did paint touch-ups in the room, moved my closet out of there and into the master bedroom, and he and Ryan assembled the crib.  We’re making progress, and hopefully will have it wrapped up by Christmas.

Also? It feels really good to be working on a design project again!

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My mom.

Three weeks ago today my mom passed away. I haven’t been inspired to share this on the blog, or anywhere for that matter.  But at some point you have to share and move on, and I thought maybe by sharing this here, it would help others who are preparing to encounter a similar situation.  I really wanted to know what to expect.

Jane Mom

My mom had been moving around the house with the help of the walker up until the Saturday night before she passed.  She was battling end stage Multiple Myeloma, a blood cancer that shows up as lesions in the bones.  Thanks to side effects of one of the last chemos she tried, she also was severely anemic because her body had stopped producing new red blood cells. Finally, she was also in kidney failure caused by the Multiple Myeloma, and that’s what ultimately took her life.

So on Saturday night my mom went to bed and didn’t get out of bed again.  When the hospice nurse woke her up to check her on Sunday, my mom was fairly incoherent from the end stage of kidney failure.  We talked to her, but she didn’t speak again.  She did convey a little with facial expressions.

When Ryan and I left for home on Sunday, it was clear that my mom wouldn’t be getting out of bed or talking and being herself again.  At that point my only wish was that she pass quickly and easily, because she never wanted to be stuck like a vegetable in bed.

We drove back to Delaware on Monday after work, and spent some time talking to my mom and holding her hand that night before going to bed.  At this point she was in a deep sleep and there was no response.

On Tuesday morning I awoke before the sun came up because the baby was kicking me more than ever before.  I lay in bed for a while, unable to sleep.  Finally I went downstairs, and my dad and I went in to sit with my mom.  She appeared to be gasping for breath, but was completely out of it.  We got my brother, who had also spent the night.  I took her hand in mine and said good morning, and with the three of us there beside her, she took one more breath and was gone.

I had read a lot about what to expect when someone passes at home, and many people believe that a dying person will wait for her loved ones to be present. I now wonder if that is really possible.

So that’s what’s been going on with me.  I am truly thankful that my mom didn’t get stuck in bed for more than 2 days, and I am also thankful that Ryan and I did spend almost every weekend of the last 4 months with her.  While you’d always like more time with someone, at least we had that time.

I think the saddest thing is knowing that she almost lived long enough to meet the baby, and she wanted to meet her so, so much.

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Easy DIY Slipcover for IKEA Jules Desk Chair

When I completed my Janery Studio Makeover, I did a lot of simple projects to make the space look and feel a little more finished.  One was the simple slipcover I created for my Ikea Jules desk chair that I use when I’m sewing.

Simple Ikea Desk Chair Slipcover

The swiveling wheels and the $39 price tag made this a great find for the sewing studio, but the aesthetics of the chair left a bit to be desired.

All the chair needed was a more decorative cover for the back, and with its simple lines I knew I could easily make a cover to slip right over it.

Ikea Chair Slipcover Sewing

  1. First, I hemmed a piece of fabric that was a little more than 2 x the width of the chair back.
  2. I traced the outline of the back of the chair onto wax paper to create a template.
  3. I folded the hemmed piece of fabric in half, wrong sides out, and then ironed that waxed paper onto the two layers of fabric.
  4. I then used my machine to sew through the paper and the two layers of fabric – sewing about 1″ wider than the line I had traced on the waxed paper.  (If you sewed right on the line your slipcover would end up too tight to fit on the chair back.)
  5. Then I cut around the seam I sewed, leaving about 1/3″ between the seam and my cutting line.
  6. I peeled off the waxed paper, turned the cover right side out, and slid it over the back of my chair.

Voila! In under 30 minutes I had a simple cover that made my simple desk chair look a lot nicer in the studio.

Ikea Jules Desk Chair SlipcoverIt’s always nice to have such a quick and easy DIY project actually work out. :)

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