Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Real Nursery designed by a Real Mama { a little chat }

After all the excitement and happiness that your heart holds the day you find out you're expecting a baby, after all those mixed feelings - happy, scared, anxious, worried - sink in, you get a second wind and sigh in relief and say:      ' I can definitely do this! 'Later on, comes the fun part...Designing for Baby! 

Nothing says I LOVE YOU and I WANT YOU IN MY LIFE more than preparing a nest for your little baby and I truly believe that those nests {a.k.a nurseries} are even more especial when they are designed, built, laid-out and decorated by mommy { and sometimes by daddy too! }. And today I am showing you just that. 

Colleen is a young mama from Minnesota who decided to keep the gender of her baby a surprise. She designed a beautiful neutral nursery with lots of vintage details that I am sure you will all love. 
Here is what she has to say about how she created such a especial room for her 'surprise gender' baby. 
One Cute Nursery: Tell us about your baby...                  
Colleen A: My baby boy is named Brennan Bradley and he's almost 15 months old.
OCN: and your main occupation?
CA: I am a stay at home Mom.
OCN:  Which piece, color or story -if any- inspired the nursery theme?
CA: We have this little wall decoration, with a mirror in the center and colored dots surrounding it. It was originally in our bedroom, until it dawned on me that it would be the perfect inspiration for our nursery.

OCN:  Which is your favorite piece of the room? That one you could not live without!
CA: I think the changing table/dresser.  It just looks so vintage- I love it!  If we are including little pieces or decorations, then definitely our sentimental shadow box!

A little TLC turned this second hand vintage dresser into
a beautiful and very useful changing table
OCN: Which piece was a bargain? Which one was a splurge?
CA: All of the pieces were bargains!  I guess if I have to classify one as a splurge, it would be our used crib at $100!  The rocking chair is borrowed, the changing table was $25 and the bookshelf and side table were purchased together for $25!  Yay for Craigslist!

At a $100, this beautiful second hand crib was the 'splurge'.
Mama Colleen sew  the bedskirt herself.
OCN: Where did you get ideas from? Internet, magazines, real rooms...your imagination!?
CA: I got some ideas from the Internet and talking to friends or family and some from my own imagination.
OCN: We always like to feature a product handmade in the USA. Is there any piece in the nursery likewise? 
This beautiful bedding made by Seams Sew Perfect,
little Brennan's grandma.

CA:  My mother-in-law is a master seamstress. We came up with a bumper design and she custom matched the thread in the embroidery to the paint colors. I took on the challenge of making the crib skirt myself.  I do a lot of needle crafts, but not too much sewing, so sewing projects definitely tend to challenge me more.  I managed to produce a nice looking pleated crib skirt in some awesome, room matching fabric. 
OCN: Could you tell us where did you get the dresser and the corner cabinet? {they are so beautiful!}
CA: The dresser was purchased off of Craigslist.  It was in rough shape, but my wonderful parents fixed it up for us!  The corner cabinet is actually a built-in that came with our house.  I'll be so sad to leave it behind when we decide to move to another place!

This corner cabinet is actually a built-in.
It is the perfect place to hold beautiful mementos.
OCN: Any heirlooms in the room? 
CA:  I don't believe I have any old/handed down heirlooms in the room, but plenty of sentimental items.  We have several handmade blankets from friends and family, Brennan's baptismal gown, blanket, and booties, our shadowbox, Brennan's birthday candle, and some of our wedding items like our unity candle and my garter.
OCN: Tell us a little about the keepsake frame {with those cute feet in there!}. How did you achieve that? What else do you keep in that frame?

We are in 'awe' with this keepsake box.
The casted baby feet makes it perfect!

CA: This is the most cherished item in the whole room, mostly because of the precious feet.  To make the feet, we used supplies purchased from Casting Keepsakes. We used our materials to make the casts of Brennan's hand and feet while we were in the hospital, the same day he was born!  Those feet are exact replicas of about 16 hour old feet!  I painted them with a pearlized white paint and mounted them in the frame.  Our frame also houses Brennan's and my hospital bracelets, his umbilical cord clip, the bottle cap from the bottle of celebratory sparkling cider we shared in the hospital, his birth announcement, and one of his first burp rags.
OCN:  What is the item(s) that baby enjoys the most in the room?
CA: When Brennan was really little, he just loved the paint job!  He would be mesmerized by the circles while he nursed, sometimes so much so that he wouldn't go to sleep!!  Now, I'm not sure which piece is his favorite.  I'd say he likes the bookshelf, table, and dresser evenly- they all have things in them that can be taken out and throw on the floor!

OCN: Finally, What is your best tip for expectant mommies that are decorating gender neutral nurseries?

CA: Just because you are doing a gender neutral nursery, it doesn't have to be boring!  So many are the typical pastel yellow or green with bears or ducks.  You can still spice it up and make it fun!  By using bright colors, you can make the room more visually stimulating for your baby, as well as making it a space you'll love to be in.  Bright themes tend to grow well with the child and may fit your toddler, grade-schooler or even teenager!  I could definitely see Brennan's nursery being a teen's room!

Thanks to Colleen for the beautiful pictures and inspiration. To learn more about this nursery design and to see even more pics, please visit her blog.


  1. Flavia! Thanks so much for doing this! It is beautiful! I love the way you put it together and I can't wait to share the link with all my friends and family! I'm adding your button to my blog. Let me know if I can ever do anything for you! Thanks again!

  2. What an awesome post. I love it!

  3. very nice!!! such a great nursery! keeping the gender a surprise is awesome... all our 3 were surprises! :)

  4. What a beautiful room! They did a great job!

    Visiting you from VoiceBoks!~Lisa
    I am all a twitter about life

  5. Coming by to visit via have a very nice blog here..hope you can visit my blog too..thanks!!

  6. Love the tips on this post. Love the changing table idea, all in one place. Follower from VoiceBok. See on Twitter too. Hope you can come by & visit my blog.
    Many blessings,

  7. i love that built-in! wow, i would want to live there forever just for that awesome carpentry. following from vb!

  8. Love the interview!...great job:) Checking in from voiceboks...

  9. I loved this interview and actually read about her beautiful nursery on her own blog. What a great idea for a post!

  10. Hello! New follower here reporting from VoiceBoks and I enjoyed your interview. I also loved this new mom's anitques white dressing table. And her baby is soooo precious with his ruddy cheeks. I'm so glad I found your blog. I hope you'll come vist and follow me so we can be official blogging friends. Thanks!

  11. Wonderful post - I love the ideas :) Both oour girls have vintage rooms - it was so much more fun! Visiting from voiceboks!

  12. I LOVE what you did with the dresser! Gorgeous!!! What a beautiful nursery! And that bedskirt is just so sweet! What a fabulous post. Following your blog now. It is great!

  13. Hi Flavia! The room is absolutely breathtaking and you are right: there's no better way to say to your little baby that you love him and want him in your life than to design the perfect room in which he can grow and play.

    You blog is inspiring! Samantha (vB)

  14. Such a cute nursery. My girls are 15 & 21 now, but the first nursery was decorated in bright colors and clowns & the second was pastels and Precious Moments & I loved decorating them both myself.

    Stopping by from Voice Bok!

  15. Hi again, Flavia! How fun to read these comments! I wanted you to know that I've given you the Stylish Blogger Award! I think you've done such a great job on your blog! Enjoy!

  16. So fun! Makes me want to remodel my big babies' rooms!

    Visiting from Voiceboks :)


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