Saturday, May 2, 2009
I've decided to consider the ground-breaking an official green light to start thinking in more concrete terms about decorating the new house. The hardest part to decorating any space (at least for me) is getting started, and I often find that the best place to begin is a particular paint color or fabric. With that in mind, I ordered some fabric swatches from Calico Corner and Mod Green Pod. Two of my favorites from Mod Green Pod are above and, while these aren't really the types of patterns (or colors) I would use in a family room or master bedroom, they're exactly the sort of fabrics I'd use in a girl's nursery.
Before I get any further with this, I should state for the record that I'm not pregnant. And, quite frankly, I have no intention of getting pregnant any time in the next year or so (sorry Mom!). That said though, as more and more of my girlfriends have children, I've found myself attending quite a few baby showers recently -- and, in light of several more impending births over the next 6-8 months, there's no indication that's going to change any time soon. As a result, I've been buying a lot of baby gifts recently and, naturally, have babies on the brain.
The great thing about decorating children's rooms is that you have total license to have fun with it: Be loud. Be whimsical. Be silly. Since I'm not generally a fan of pastels and I tend to avoid anything too precious, I like the idea of taking the typical pink or yellow girl's room and turning up the volume. The bright raspberry and gold are the perfect anecdote to cutesy, and yet the damask and butterflies are still pretty and age-appropriate. I also think it's silly to drop a lot of money on "temporary" furniture like changing tables and cribs. After all, in but a few short years your little one will have grown out of both. Instead, I'd go with some inexpensive pieces from Target or IKEA and then blow the majority of my budget on great fabrics and accessories that will surive the transition from nursery to child's room.
Because the fabric choices are rather loud, I'd keep the wall color quieter. Here, I chose a soft yellow paint (Sunshine) from Serena & Lily. Of course, you can find a similar color in less expensive paint, but I still think it's worthwhile to spring for low-VOC paint when you're painting a baby's room (or if you're painting while pregnant!). For furniture, I'd go with Dwell Studio for Target's Silver Lake crib ($249.99) and Silver Lake changing table ($249.99), but I'd swap out the minimalist hardware for some maximalist pink glass knobs ($8/knob) from Anthropologie. I think the tension between the modern furniture and ornate hardware would be very interesting. The straight lines of these pieces will also cut the sweetness of the patterns on the fabrics, as well as the curvy femininity of some of the smaller accent pieces. For crib bedding, I'd go for basic white, but I'd have [my mom make] the crib's bumper and changing pad cover out of Mod Green Pod's Butterfly Jubilee fabric in raspberry/honey ($39.75/yard).
Because every nursery needs at least one comfortable recliner, I'd add IKEA's EKTROP MUREN recliner ($299), which is actually quite comfortable. I'd take the slipcover taken to a seamstress though and have it copied in MGP's Wee Jubilee in raspberry ($39.75/yard). And of course, I'd throw in a coordinating pillow (or two) in the Butterfly Jubilee. Next to the chair, I'd place Serena & Lily's Curvee Shelf Table ($369). While it's a little more expensive, this is a piece that could easily see a baby well into adolescence. On top of the table, I'd put the Pagoda Lamp ($179) for some ambient light and another hit of bright pink. The curvy lines of the lamp and shade will compliment the side table and work well with the feminine patterns. For curtains, I'd hang floor-to-ceiling curtains (probably using oversize grommets) in the Wee Jubilee. Inside those, I'd hang Pine Cone Hill's pom-pom peony window sheers ($128/pair), which I spied in this month's House Beautiful.
Finally, for artwork I'd avoid anything too cutesy in favor of something more graphic, like framed black & white silhouettes of mommy, daddy and baby (and perhaps even Olivia!). Miss Crowland does some outstanding digital silhouettes for a great price and, since they arrive as PDF files, you can size (and reprint!) them to suit your needs. Also, if you missed my round up of great children's artwork, go HERE to see what I'll be gifting at upcoming showers or perhaps even keeping for myself one of these days!
...If you haven't already figured it out, I'm still not much farther in on decorating the new place for real than I was before I ordered the swatches. Oh well, still plenty of time. Even so, I'm always amazed at how much easier it is for me to decorate imaginary spaces than real ones. Does anyone else have this experience?