Thursday, January 19, 2012

Something Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

I always knew what I would name a boy if we had one.  Elliott Christopher.  It's Chris's first and middle name switched.  Elliott.  So sweet.  However, over the eight years of trying to get pregnant I have had so many girls's names that I swore I would use.  Way back in 2003 it was Hannah Glory, Glory reflecting my John Piper days.  Then it was Claire Grey {my Grey's Anatomy days}, and then Stella Rose, Madeline {line not lyn}, Caroline, Audrey, Paige, and Marin.  I was prepared to have multiples, that's for sure, as long as they were girls.  I was online searching lists of names: French names, names popular in 1942, and I even looked at a list of rare Mormon names to see if there was anything that stuck out.  Teemarie and Delightra just weren't cutting it though.  I finally had it narrowed down to either Clara or Daphne.  I still love both of them.  By the way, naming our dog was this difficult as well.  The first couple days we had him he was Puppy, and even after we named him I kept thinking up new ones.  I didn't want to name my child and for weeks say to Chris, "Oh we could have named her ________."

Remember my trip to TX to see my family and best friend?  One evening, as we do every visit, my friend and I snuggled up on her soooo comfy chair-and-a-half and big ottoman to peruse the most recent Pottery Barn catalog together.  In light of recent circumstances {hehe, we're adopting} we were looking at PB Kids.  We came upon an item monogrammed "Amelia."  She asked, "What about Amelia?"
"I think it's great, but I don't think Chris would ever go for it.  But it would be so sweet.  We could call her Millie sometimes."
"Ohhh, Amelia Rose!"
We ooed and ahhed, and then quickly dismissed the unlikely possibility.

When I got back to MI and the name topic came up, as it did often, thanks to me, I mentioned Amelia to Chris.  "Yeah, I like it."  He didn't even hesitate.
"Seriously, you like it?"
And that was that.

If only decorating the nursery was that easy.  Since I was ten I wanted to be an interior decorator.  I went to Texas Tech specifically for their Interior Design program and promptly dropped all of my ID classes the second day of class once I realized "design" is different than "decorating."  An artist, I am not.  I knew I wanted to get started on the nursery A-SAP.  I am a super practical person and did not want to make decisions as life changing as decorating a room for my long awaited child once it was here.  Can you sense the drama in my voice words?  My plan was to do a gender neutral room and accessorize once we knew the gender.  Google Images became my best friend in the evenings.  I wanted to do thorough research before I made any decisions.  White crib or wood crib?  Classic or eclectic?  Pottery Barn or Anthropologie?  Here are some nurseries and images that I just loved.

neutral... love it.

 embroidery hoops with fun fabric... love it.

 simple and pretty... love it.

 random wall display... love it.

 stenciled wall... love it.

 vintage art... love it.

 flowers that flow out of an empty frame... hello?  love it.

Although there are some similarities between all of these, they're different too.  What to do?  Start with the basics, Manda.  Here's the room we're working with.

Light fixture needs to change.  You could bump your head on it if you walked under it.  The wall color was a smidge too yellow.  It was supposed to be Linen White when it was first painted but was mistinted.  We basically have a blank slate here.

We decided to go with a tan cream, not to be confused with a creamy tan.  Mediterranean White from Restoration Hardware.  I bought their paint fan deck a few years ago and love it, and Home Depot has great color matching.  I knew I wanted to use a dresser as a changing table and wanted to get furniture this kid could grow into and use for a long, long time.  I had my eye on IKEA's grey brown furniture for a while and thought it would be perfect for a nursery.  It's different, but soft and pretty.  Plus I am, to this day, in a major grey phase.  When Chris and I went to look at it in the store, we found the dresser $100 off in the As Is room.  It was already assembled and had one dent on the top that we could barely notice.  Mint condition!  We got the night stand and couch table to use as cubbies.  We bought a crib, bedding, and rocking chair.  The skeleton was in place.

I had three projects I wanted to work on.  A quilt, mobile, and lamp.  I won't go into too much detail about it all, but I will say that it was all looking a little girly.  If we got a boy, I was prepared to make another quilt and mobile.  I even splurged on white scalloped basket liners from PBK, knowing they were totally girly and would have a short life span if we got a boy.

I am mighty proud of my owl lamp.  I found it on Craig's List for $10 and it was hideous, painted brown and orange to look like a real owl.  Even after I knew what I was going to do I found this lamp from West Elm for $99!!!

SO without further adieu... the final, fully accessorized nursery.

I wanted curtains on rings that I could slide open and closed  as many times as needed during the day for naps.  Blackout curtains too.  So glad I spent the extra money for both of those details.

This rocking chair was my grandmother's when she was little.  I love how the outdated birds and flowers that my mom put on there in the 80's just happen to go perfectly with everything else.

The room looks so much bigger with the double bed out of it.

art from Home Goods, girly but sophisticated and could go anywhere in my house if her decor changes

the plates are actually tin and all connected, from Home Goods
nests and eggs, slight bird theme but didn't go crazy with it

 MY owl lamp!  How does it compare?  I love that mine is perched on a stump!

 new light fixture

The doll crib on the floor was mine when I was little, made by my grandfather Pappap.

Found a mobile for $15 at PBK and deconstructed it...

 sewed the birds... {pattern}

 and wrapped the arms in grey, of course, yarn.

The bedding and frame above the dresser are navy blue.  Love how it's dark like black, but less harsh and more sophisticated.

I love how it all came together in a matter of months.  It's a room I know she can grow into as she gets older.  But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself.  Baby?  What Baby?  Our home study still hasn't been approved in our story.

More to come,


  1. I love Amelia's nursery {even tho' you didn't know it was Amelia's at this point in the story ;o}. And I love this series! Keep it coming {please}...there is a reason God tells us over & over in Scripture to REMEMBER. It's so good for us!

  2. Thank you again for sharing this. I am enthralled by your story. As you may or may not know, our journey as parents is so completely different than yours, but I have also been passionate about adoption, and envious of those that do. Thank you for letting us share in your journey! Amelia is a lucky girl!

  3. This is crazy! But I had that owl lamp growing up! I know exactly how ugly they are "pre-white paint". haha We had like the complete set of 3. I love her nursery! You did such a great job.