Tag Archives: nursery

Friday Free-for-All: Favorites

30 Sep

Since DixieJulep recently celebrated it’s first blog-a-versary, I thought it would be fun to look back at the past year and review some of our favorite posts. Care to go down memory lane with me?

My Favorites

The Big Reveal
Completing ‘Lil Buddy’s nursery was a great feeling, and even more exciting when I got to share it with you all. I got such great feedback from everyone during the three moodboarding phases that I really felt the nursery design wasn’t just mine but something that was created with a lot of help from our friends and family.
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Friday Free-For-All: Catalogs and Caterpillars

12 Aug

It’s been a busy week around the office and the house, so I haven’t done much nesting worth posting about this week. One bit of excitement this week happened though: the delivery of the 2012 IKEA catalog.
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The Big Reveal: Our Baby Boy’s “Modern Meadow” Nursery

28 Dec

It’s been both a challenge and a pleasure transforming our under-used second bedroom–or let’s be honest, our “junk room”–to a clean, cozy space for our baby boy. Thank you to everyone who has followed us from our initial brainstorming, to three rounds of mood boards, to painting, and now, finally, today’s big reveal.

From Mood Board to Reality

The mood board development process was actually a great tool for clarifying and refining our rough design ideas, so by the time we selected our final mood board, we had a pretty good idea of exactly what we wanted. However, there are always some small adjustments when you start putting actual furniture into an actual space, so, of course, we did make a few modifications.

The biggest surprise to us was how much the furniture we selected filled the room. We intentionally selected pieces that were space-efficient and small in scale to avoid over-crowding our petite nursery. Even so, we found that when everything else was in the room, we no longer had space for the side-table we had planned. We also made some tweaks to the original floor-plan, and we settled a few small details we hadn’t decided in the planning stages, for example, lighting and a diaper pail.

Although we finished painting nearly a month ago, it took a few weeks to do all the shopping, assembling, arranging and, most time-consuming of all, staging all the finishing touches to get the room picture-perfect. It was all worth it in the end, though. The nursery feels so clean, calm and cozy that just sitting in there for a few minutes makes me happy. It was nice to have such a welcoming space to bring our baby boy home to.

The Pictures

This first image is the view as you walk into the room from our hallway. We re-covered the guest-room futon we already owned with a suede-like brown microfiber cover to create a cozy sitting area for nursing, cuddling, story-time and, of course, napping while baby sleeps. When our little one outgrows the convertible crib/toddler bed, the futon will become a hip, multi-functional “big boy” bed.

The botanical prints, purchased from Etsy and framed in affordable Ikea frames, help carry the theme and color palette throughout the room in an affordable way. They’re simple and classic enough that if we decorate our son’s room someday down the road, I could see reusing them in another space.

Ikea’s ever-popular Expedit bookcase was just the right size to house baby’s first library, a few toys and mementos and some neat woven toy-boxes, without crowding or dominating the room.

To create a cozy but modern sleeping space, we paired Ikea’s minimalist Gulliver crib with select elements from the “Bunny Meadow” bedding collection. The mobile and other pieces bring just the right amount of cuteness without making the room too baby-ish.

We placed our relaxing Eames-style fiberglass rocker next to the crib both to create an easy transition from nursing to crib and to help carry the rich, brick red accent color throughout the room.

We also included Ikea’s sturdy Mandal dresser to provide a steady, roomy changing area, as well as ample storage for everything from diapers, to clothes, to bedding.

We hope you enjoyed going through the design process with us. I’ve attempted to link to as many of the furniture and decor items, as possible, in the text above, but if you have any questions about the room or any feedback you’d like to share, please drop us a note in the comments section. We would love to hear from you!

Nest: Olioboard.com Review

16 Nov

When it comes to design, I tend to be an “I’ll know it when I see it” type of decision-maker. I don’t always know exactly where I’m headed until I have time to put some different concepts on paper and look at them side-by-side. That’s why having a convenient way to create and edit “mood boards” or “inspiration boards” was such a valuable tool when working on transforming our guest room to a nursery.

There are many options for creating mood boards, including design software like Photoshop and InDesign, basic software like PowerPoint and free photo sharing applications like Photobucket and Picasa. However, I recently discovered a new tool, designed especially for this purpose, Olioboard.com.

Much like fashion site Polyvore.com, Olioboard is a web-based application that allows users to collect items from around the Web and combine them into an endless variety of mood boards. Olioboard is oriented specifically toward interior design and has partnerships with several popular retailers, who contribute libraries of items for inspiration.

After creating a series of nine mood boards for our nursery design, I feel like I have a pretty good feel for the site and I have to say I am absolutely a fan. The site has several advantages that make it a great tool, as well a few areas where it could improve. Here are my thoughts.


  • Free and Web-Based: One of the best things about Olioboard is that it is completely free, Web-based, and no special software is required. This is a great advantage because it means you can work on your mood boards any time, on any computer, and you don’t have to fill up your computer with special software or downloaded images.
  • Keeps You Organized: When you add an item to your Olioboard account, it not only saves the image, but the website also captures the URL of where you found the item, the name of the retailer and the price. This is great for quick reference when you’re working on your boards, and it gives you a handy shopping list to work from when you’ve selected your final board design.
  • Easy to Share: The Olioboard site gives you quick access to the URLs and html codes needed to share your boards online. You won’t have to upload your board to a photo-hosting site, but, instead, you can post your boards directly to any website, blog or message board.

Future Wish-List

While I think Olioboard is pretty darn great as it is, here are a few features I found myself wishing for when using the site myself.

  • Ability to Copy Whole Boards: For me, design tends to be somewhat of an iterative process, with me executing several variations on one theme and comparing slightly different versions side-by-side. Being able to copy and paste whole mood boards would make this easy; sadly, that is not an option on Olioboard. I would have saved a lot of time on my last design project if this had been an option, so I really hope Olioboard will continue adding it in the future.
  • Ability to Save Item Settings: On a similar note, it would be great to save settings such as cropping, scaling and transparency options, so that those settings apply every time you use the same item.
  • A More Robust Community: Olioboard.com is a fairly new site, having launched in summer of this year, so I suspect its community features are just starting to get going. When I started using the site about two months ago, I noted several areas that would facilitate greater dialogue and collaboration: 1) the ability to search other users, boards and items, 2) individual groups or boards for certain interest areas, and 3) the energy and excitement that comes with more users. Having just returned to the site, I’ve noticed that Olioboard seems to be actively updating its community features to make these ideas a reality. The search feature is up and running. A groups feature is listed as “coming soon.” And traffic seems to be picking up on the community pages. I’m excited to see the progress they’re making and look forward to using some of these new features to gather inspiration and connect with other users.

Readers, have you used Olioboard.com? If so, what did you think? What did you like about the tool? How could they make the site better?

Nest: Nursery Update – Going Green (Literally)

11 Nov

After finally selecting a design, I am proud to say that we’re making serious progress on the nursery. Last week, my husband and a friend painted the entire nursery.

We went from a very neutral but dull “builder beige” to a fresh pastel green.


The nursery “before” in its original “builder beige” color.


And my husband wrapping up the painting process.


We did learn a few lessons in the painting process:

  • Textured walls devour paint! We anticipated using one gallon of paint, based on the room’s square footage, but we actually ended up needing two whole gallons. A 100% increase in supplies and costs isn’t too bad on a project this small, but I’m glad we learned our lesson on this room, rather than discovering it when painting a much bigger space, like the great room.
  • Picking colors without a sample is for the brave. We decided not to purchase any sample paint, and instead, to rely on our initial selection based on color swatches in the store. I don’t regret our color choice or our process, but for a bigger project, I think I might want to do samples in the future, as no color ever really looks the same in store as it does on your wall.
  • Colors will grow on you with time and when seen in different lights. I have to admit that the first night I saw the paint on the walls, I was worried the color was a little too cool of  a green and that it wouldn’t be warm enough to go with the textiles in the room. However, we decided not to overreact and, instead, to bring in some of the furniture and decor and take a look at everything in different lighting. Wow, what a difference a few small changes and a few days makes. The wall color is actually a great match to the textiles we purchased and the warm colors in the furniture keep the room looking bright and cozy, not overly cool at all.

We’re so excited to be making progress on the nursery. We’ve already been out furniture shopping and bit-by-bit the room is coming together. Keep watching or subscribe now to make sure you don’t miss the “big reveal” coming soon.

Nest: And the Winning Mood Board Is …

18 Oct

We posted three sets of potential mood boards for our baby boy’s nursery in September, and the response from all our readers both here on the blog and on the other forums we shared them on has been phenomenal. Thank you so much to everyone who took time to weigh in on our design selections.

After getting feedback on our initial selections, we were able to short-list our options to three choices: Orange and Blue, Modern Meadow and Exotic Elephants. We kicked the tires on the furniture we were considering at Ikea, made some updates to all three boards, and finally, it was decision time. Ultimately, we still liked all three themes, but in the end, one of them just felt right. So the winner is …

Modern Meadow

The relaxing, tranquil mood of this theme is what won us over. While we loved the energy and playfulness of the Orange and Blue theme, we decided we wanted the nursery to be a peaceful sanctuary.

We made a few adjustments from the original board, substituting a sturdier dresser for the inexpensive one I originally chose and substituting a “terracotta” rocker for the original red, which was back-ordered into next year.

Now that the design work is done, it’s time to bring everything together. In the coming weeks, we’ll finish clearing our old furniture out of the room, painting the room and buying and assembling all the elements of the room. Stay tuned for updates as we prepare for our little one’s December arrival.

Look: Web Round-Up for Sept. 27

27 Sep

Eames rocker, as spotted on Apartment Therapy

Wow, two weeks has gone by fast, and it’s time again for another of our bi-monthly Web round-ups. Here are some links worth a click that I’ve spotted in the past couple weeks.

  • For pure eye-candy, it doesn’t get much better than this ode to the Eames rocker over on Style Carrot. With 19 shots of the classic, modern fiberglass rocking chair in all types of settings, this spread made me very excited about choosing this rocker for our own baby’s nursery.
  • I think every expectant parent worries about becoming that parent. You know what I’m talking about! The blog, STFU Parents, has a funny and sometimes cringe-worthy catalog of crazy dispatches from parents on Facebook and other sites. Great reality check and good for a laugh too.
  • John and Sherry over at Young House Love had a great article last week about saving money when getting ready for a new baby. Although their blog covers a wide variety of decorating and home-life topics, I have to admit I’ve especially enjoyed following their progress this years decorating their nursery and playroom, and their cloth diapering tutorial is the best article I’ve found on that subject. Definitely worth a click.
  • Finally, I almost squealed with delight at this collection of fabulous purple rooms and fashions over on Project Nursery. Purple is definitely not part of our soon-to-be nursery’s color palette, but it’s one of my personal faves when it comes to colors, so this collection of images was delicious and inspiring.

Nest: Nursery Mood Boards Set Three “Bright and Exotic”

18 Sep

Here is the third and final set of mood boards for the baby’s nursery. Check out the past ones here and here. This set has three very different themes, each one fun in its own way.

Board #1: Exotic Elephants

This board is a fresh and not-too-babyish take on a fairly popular nursery theme: elephants. I love the soft colors in the ikat patterned curtains from World Market, so I built the room’s color scheme around that. This is one of the only boards that features a white rocker, rather than red, because I found it went better with the soft color scheme. I kept the rest of the furniture white, as well, and paired it with some natural fiber accents and some bold vinyl wall decals.

Board #2: Orange and Blue

Here’s another departure from the green and red color scheme. The bright blue and orange in Trendy Peas’ nursery art inspired this color palette. The colors continue with some more art from Etsy and some cute, affordable furniture and accents from Ikea.

Board #3: Tiki Getaway

In concept, this is one of my favorite nursery themes, but in execution, I think this board is, well, just not quite there. I’m sharing it anyways though, because I’d love your feedback and you may be seeing a revised execution in the near future.

The theme was inspired by the adorable Little Kahuna baby blankets at Misopunk. The tiki statues pictured on the board are actually stand-ins for two slightly larger, slightly darker tiki statues we already own. I added in some simple, modern storage from Ikea and finished off the look with this great tiki print from Etsy.

Any tiki-themed room approaches the fine line between delightfully kitschy and just plain tacky. I think we stayed on the right side of the line here, but I’d also like to find a way to bring in a little bit more of the mid-century modern atmosphere, to round things out without going over the top.

So, now that you’ve seen all nine mood boards, what do you think? Which theme is your favorite? What could we do to tweak these boards to make them even better? I can’t wait to see your feedback, so leave me your thoughts in the comments section now.

Nest: Nursery Mood Boards Set Two “Fresh and Modern”

17 Sep

Here’s the next installment in my series of mood boards for my baby boy’s nursery. If you’re joining us for the first time, check out my introduction to the project and the previous round of boards here. This round has a theme of fresh and modern. Each of the boards is a modern take on nursery design.

Board #1: Black and White Graphical

I love the combination of bold black, white and red, so that was the inspiration for this board. This is probably the simplest of the the boards I designed for the nursery, but the individual elements combine together really well. The rug, shelves and art are all from Ikea.

Board #2: Urban Whimsy

This board combines some simple, streamlined furniture from Ikea with some hip, colorful accessories. The wall art comes from Ikea, and the fun, ruffly drapes come from Urban Outfitters.

Board #3: Mid-Mod

This look is classic mid-century modern. After visiting the Ikea store in person this week, I’ve come to realize that the dresser is a bit too short to make a good changing table, but I still love the overall look of this room. The dresser, armoire, side table, shelves and mirror are all from Ikea. The art is from Etsy.

Nest: Nursery Mood Boards Set One “Sweet and Playful”

15 Sep

After writing the little nursery design manifesto I posted last weekend, I felt very inspired to really dig into the nursery’s design. I had such a variety of inspirations and themes that it was difficult to decide where to begin, so I decided to make up several mood boards, using the nifty mood board creator on olioboard.com.

By the end of the weekend, I had a total of nine mood boards, with inspirations ranging from the traditional to the offbeat. To avoid making this a marathon of a blog post, I’m going to break the mood boards up into three sets.

Without further ado, here’s set one of my nursery mood boards. This group of boards features some sweet and playful themes. Of the boards I’ve created, these three are, perhaps, the most childlike or whimsical in theme.

Board #1: Modern Meadow

This board was inspired by a pretty traditional source, a set of crib bedding we spotted at Babies ‘R Us. While I don’t plan to use a bumper or bed skirt, the blanket and valance from the series set the tone for this board. To avoid making it too babyish, I selected some simple, clean-lined furniture from Ikea, then echoed the bedding’s meadow motif with some lovely modern botanical prints from Etsy.

Board #2: Summer Orchard

This theme grew naturally from some of our early color choices. The fresh green and bright red, naturally called to mind the colors of an orchard, and when I spotted these green, gold and red curtains from Ikea, I knew I had to build a mood board around them.

The natural finish of the Ikea dresser and the West Elm side table help bring together the outdoorsy feel, while the Orla Kiely-esque apple print from Etsy brings in the orchard motif in a modern way.


Board #3: Puppies and Primaries

Primary colors are a natural–albeit somewhat expected–choice for a little boy’s room. I decided to go for very playful, childlike accent pieces, like this Ikea nightstand and lamp and JCPenney locker. I also managed to incorporate these modern dog and cat prints from Etsy, which I fell in love with a while ago and have been itching to use somewhere. (For the mood board, I quickly selected prints that matched the color scheme, but in the real nursery, I would order custom prints with my pets’ breeds–weimaraner, cairn terrier and short-haired cat.)

Now that set one is complete, readers, I would love to hear your feedback both on which boards you like the best and on how some of them could be refined to take them to the next level. So, if you like (or hate!) what you see, please post a comment in the comments below.


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