Owls and Alphabet Nursery
by Julie B
(King of Prussia, PA, USA)
Owls and Alphabet Nursery
I found my baby's bedding set first before we knew if we were having a boy or girl, so it provided me with the color palette for the baby nursery. I loved the gender-neutral sherbet colors and especially the argyle pattern on the bumper, so I was excited to come up with a design that would complement it. I decided to design and hand-paint two murals to incorporate the colors found in the bedding.
For most of the room we used Valspar paint because they come in the little sample sizes. Since I used so many different colors for the murals, I didn't want to waste money on larger cans of paint.
The background wall colors were High Noon and Sigh.
The accent colors were Gentle Wave; Breezy; Blue Eyes; Little Sprout; Pumpkin Bread; and Crocodile Smile.
The color of the chair rail and wall below, as well as the window and door trim, is all painted in Behr's Cottage White.
The inspiration for the tree mural came from a holiday card. I used a projector to display an image of trees on the wall which I traced and then hand-painted. The concept evolved along the way; for instance I decided to add leaves on the two white trees in the foreground to give added interest. I then hand sketched and painted the two owls using, again, the various colors found in the bedding.
The alphabet blocks wall was inspired by a picture I saw online where it appeared that they actually built a wall of blocks. Knowing we didn't have the means or time to do this (plus didn't want to eat up valuable space in the room!) I decided to do an adaptation. I found wood block letters at Michael's Arts & Crafts, and the trim outlining each letter was from Home Depot.
My husband and father-in-law crafted squares out of the trim for each of the blocks, and I coordinated and painted the various letters and backgrounds to create the look of a wall of stacked blocks. The idea also worked well to play up on a bump-out in the corner of the room where some of the plumbing is hidden inside.
The crib and dresser are by Stanley Furniture, in a distressed Espresso. We bought them from Baby Supermart in Broomall, PA.
As I mentioned, the nursery bedding set was purchased before anything else because I loved it and couldn't find anything comparable! It is from Land of Nod and the set is called Creatures Great and Small. I got the bumper and quilt, but I didn't like the dust ruffle in that set so I decided to order the dust ruffle from their Full Circle set. It complements the turquoise colors in the Creatures quilt.
It was important to me that the room be very cozy and a nice place for our son
to play when he gets older. Our house is not very big so his room needs to be a place where he can be comfortable. With that in mind, I wanted a part of the room to be devoted to reading and playing.
The armchair and ottoman (Babies R Us) are in a scrumptiously soft chenille, perfect for snuggling and reading together. On the adjacent wall, I hung Land of Nod's
Book Bin which keeps favorite books within reach. I also made sure to hang it low enough that our son will be able to retrieve books on his own when he's big enough.
We received a cuddly bearskin rug as a shower gift, which he loves to sit on, and his smaller toys are in a blue woven bin nearby.
The window treatments are custom wood blinds in a bleached wood. We added a dimmer switch for the ceiling light (a must for the early mornings!), and the floor lamp is from Ikea.
I also purchased a couple of art pieces which I loved for the room. One is Blue Auto by artist Avalisa, purchased from art.com. The other is from Land of Nod
, titled Great Outdoors - it matches the color palette perfectly and I love the little nature objects associated with each letter of the alphabet.
We also hung two espresso wall shelves to display frames, stuffed animals, and other sentimental items for the baby - they are also from Ikea.
Most of his clothes and linens are in his dresser, while the rest are hanging in the closet. His baby shoes are kept in a basket in the closet as well. Toys and supplies are kept on the wall shelves and floor baskets.The murals took almost 2 months to complete.
I worked on them for a couple of hours each day. The work was not difficult but I was trying to be meticulous and so took my time with finishing everything. The best part was seeing the ideas come to life!My husband played a big role
in helping with the alphabet mural. As I said, he and his father built the frames surrounding the letters, and once I had all the painting completed he hung all the letters and frames for me. He had also installed the chair rail, and painted the base coat on all the walls for me.I love that the owls and alphabet nursery is a unique design,
created by us. Every time I walk in my son's room, I am reminded of the time and care that we took to create a room full of love and comfort for our baby. I hope that our son loves playing and spending time in his room and knows how much his mommy and daddy love him!!
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share!
TIP: If painting or making your own tree seems a bit daunting, try an easy stick, removable tree wall decal. There are lots of beautiful ones available and they really brighten up the room!
If you're having trouble getting started with your baby room, don't miss my nursery decorating guide:
is a 105 page nursery design guide with over 100 nursery pictures to help you with planning your baby room, choosing a baby room design and implementing your nursery decorating project.
One at a time I'll take you through all the decisions you need to make in order to arrive at the best baby room design for you.