As hinted at in my earlier post, last weekend I headed to my little brother’s house to do a quick room makeover while his wife was at work. He and I wanted to surprise his wife with a nursery for their almost-born daughter Caroline. I was pretty stoked to be able to create a girly room for my niece.
They’re fortunate to have just the spot for Caroline – a spare bedroom complete with attached bath. But the room was not quite nursery-ready:
That Saturday we only had an 8-hour window in which to transform the room, so my brother toiled long and hard the night before, getting the space cleared out and painted. We chose a nice neutral beige to keep the room flexible and landlord-friendly:
They had already been given a crib and changing table, but had no storage for the baby’s toys and books. We hopped over to Ikea and Tar-jay and found a cute little bookshelf and some storage bins. The assembly of the bookshelf went off without a hitch. (That’s a first for me, actually.)
We chose not to install the cardboard backing on the bookshelf. I really liked how the tan walls showed through the shelf, so why mess with perfection?
Only a few hours later, we had the crib and changing table assembled. I just about had a fit when it all came together. All the cheerful cuteness of pink and green and stuffed animals was just too much. Here’s the view as you enter the room:
And a view of the crib and adjoining bathroom:
(Note: DO NOT WORRY – My sis-in-law is planning to replace the wooden blinds for baby-proof window shade.)
I had great hopes for this final wall, the one across from the crib. Alas, it did not materialize quite as planned. We’d planned to install a white wooden shelf above the crib – one with hooks on it for bibs, and baskets for diaper-changing necessities. A windy spray-paint disaster adventure happened, and with the quick turnaround time for the surprise, the shelf just didn’t work out. But it will eventually.
Now that I’ve shown you the room, let’s talk details.
I’m not sure my little bro can complete a project in a room without fiddling with some wires. In this instance it came in quite handy: he switched out the hideously generic overhead fixture for a precious $6 one from Ikea. I was amazed at how simple and easy it was – I think even I could do it, with the right instructions. In fact my bro’s going to put together a step-by-step guide for me to share with you all later this week.
He also installed a dimmer switch to provide customizable lighting. That ought to come in handy when he has to sneak into the room in the middle of the night to change those stinky diapers!
Ikea always offers a budget-friendly selection of plush toys for the little ones. I just loved the pink and green hand puppets, as well as the stuffed mouse – so of course I grabbed them for Caroline. I also threw together some framed art to dress up both the bookshelf and the walls.
I’ve got to give my bro props for spotting this whimsical owl lamp first at Tar-jay. I thought it was a perfect way to break up all the pink accents in the space, and we all know that lighting just makes a room.
We wanted to use the family rocking chair, so we added a cozy pink throw and a fun Owl pillow (again, Tar-jay) to tie it into the room. Not bad for a $20 chair update!
As soon as Caroline is old enough to be put to work, she can learn to stash her toys in these bins that slide right under the bookshelf.
Later that night I was thrilled to hear that my sis-in-law came home from a “rough day at work” to find a nursery that she loved. I love surprising people just as much as I love a good “While you were out!” But while little Caroline’s nursery is off to a good start, I’m already itching to do more with it.
That’s it for today, but I’ll be sure to share some more in-depth details later this week.