Putting together a nursery is an atypical project, and it requires some atypical solutions. Unlike most room designs, your first baby's room starts from scratch. Leslie and I put together our current living space from an amalgamation of furniture, appliances, and decor that we had collected over the years, and we may add to it, or change it around, but all of our current rooms are just evolved forms of their past selves: the bedroom was always a bedroom, we just painted the walls, then got a new bed; and the living room was always a living room, we just swapped some furniture, and upgraded the tv set.A nursery, though...
Yeah. It's a blank canvas, which is good and bad. It gives you the freedom to select each part and make it exactly as you wish, but it can also be more challenging and costly. To furnish and decorate a room, in this case a nursery, from the ground up, you could spend a fortune: crib, dresser, bookshelves, changing table, rocker, and the list goes on. Or, you could salvage.
In the picture above is the crib, our only purchased-new item in the space so far. Babies are fragile little things, so it's best not to cut corners when it comes to their safety. Cribs are constantly undergoing design changes to improve their safety, so we chose to purchase new. In our case, we were lucky enough to get this one as a Christmas present from my parents. Thanks Mom and Dad! The rocker also came from them. It's solid wood and has been in the family for about 30 years.
The antique pram ($30, Easy Street Home Decor in Brooksville, FL), dolls ($5 each, Brooksville Flea Market) and rocking horse ($25, Great Stuff in Brooksville, FL) were all great finds for us. I think the pram looks a little spooky, and our dog, Clementine, is afraid of it, but if Lucy (our baby-to-be) likes it, then she can play with it. If she isn't a fan, we can always stick it in the garden and use it as a planter. Leslie was looking for a rocking horse for a few weeks before we found this one. We checked the tag and it was named "Junebug," which is Lucy June's unofficial nickname. Needless to say, we found our horse.
These two chairs and the bear came from Linda's Country Charm in Mt. Dora, FL ($35 and $20). The monkey belonged to Leslie when she was younger. We are both fortunate that our parents kept stuff from when we were kids, because now we have a lot to hand down to our own children. About 90% of our children's books came from my sisters' and my childhood library, and Leslie's excited that her old favorite pair of overalls will get to see some use again soon.
Leslie has been hauling this beat-up shelf around with her since long before we even met. It's been stained, sanded and painted more than any piece of furniture that we have, and it's not done yet. It's been a bookshelf (when our library was much less substantial), an office storage shelf, and most recently an outdoor tool and project shelf. I'll be slapping another layer of paint on it in the near future and cleaning it up for Lucy June to store her little library in. The lamp is a Habitat for Humanity find ($5); I stenciled the shade a while back, but the base could use some freshening up, too.
We have a lot of projects on the horizon to put this nursery together, and hopefully some more salvaged pieces will be uncovered to complete this space and keep us on budget.