So many thoughts flashed through our minds when we were matched with our birth mother. Where do we start? Bottles, diapers, onesies? It can all be overwhelming, so we focused on one thing at a time. Planning is your friend. The more you plan, the better organized you will be for when the big day comes!
First focus: the nursery, which is the peaceful world we create for our precious little ones. My mother-in-law showed me the best way to turn our guest room into a tranquil wonderland for our baby and I want to share her guidance with new prospective dads.
Before picture of the nursery-to-be
Each nursery can have its own personality, with its own look. Here are the most important things we needed: a crib, rocking chair, recliner, diaper changing station, book shelf and wardrobe.
The fundamental items I've listed above makes up our daughter Alli Mae's nursery. We have found that each piece really plays an important role in our day-to-day life; each item has its own practical purpose. Practicality is the key word here. A piece of furniture may seem great for the space but if it isn't practical then you may want to rethink its placement.
For example, I really wanted to convert an old dresser that was very special to me into a diaper changing station. We found that when opening the drawers to the dresser, they would sometimes get stuck. When you have your baby on the top of the dresser on a diaper changing station and the diaper drawer becomes stuck you have a real problem. You want easy gliding drawers so you can keep one hand on the baby while the other is easily able tograb the diaper, onesie or whatever you may need.
After determining our furniture, we plugged them into a designing program that configured the space we had to work with. This really helped things move along more swiftly and correctly. The furniture may not fit as well in the room as it does in your head and the program really helped solve any problems before they occur.
Following the placement, we then picked out our color scheme. For Alli Mae's room I wanted a pastel lavender on the walls and white trim with white furniture. When we added this to the program I was able to see that we could really set off the peaceful effect I was going for if we painted the ceiling a lighter tone than the walls. I never would have thought about this if we didn't have this program.
Purple pastel on the walls
After we figured out what furniture to use, where to place it all, and the colors we needed, it was time for the next step: lighting.
We have three lights in her nursery: a main light fixture on the ceiling and two wall fixtures. From the beginning I knew I wanted a chandelier on the ceiling. We added a ceiling medallion to the chandelier, which really enhanced the overall effect. Keeping to the theme of practicality, we planned on using the wall sconces to help when reading bedtime stories.
Home Depot medallion
Natural lighting is so important for babies. They adapt to falling asleep during the day during nap-time when there is natural sunlight coming through the windows. I wanted to work with the light rather than block it, and found that "Battenburg lace" did the job perfectly. It allowed sunlight to shine in but blocked it just enough with the blinds.
After I found the perfect curtains, I could then spend time on added features to make the room "pop." One of my favourites: the forrest decals on the wall. It really was exciting to realize I did not have to paint pictures on the wall to give the effect I was looking for.
We found a website that specializes in removable sticker decals. They make different sceneries that really set off whatever theme or mood you want to create. We went with a winter forest look with birds, squirrels and deer. When the decals ship out, they are rolled up in tubes and come in large sheets. Before you begin to apply them on the walls, you have to cut each object out. This is time consuming but the finished product is well worth it!
After the decals were placed, it was time to add the final decorative touches like the mirror above Alli Mae's bed and the white shag rug on the floor. Fully decorated, we let the room air out for a couple of nights before finally using it.
To help get started, I Googled "lavender baby nursery" and found my inspiration. We worked tirelessly for about a week to get it completed. Once it all was done, I actually liked our nursery better than the inspiration I had found.
I was so grateful for Douglas and his mom's help! It took a lot of planning and organizing but at the end of a long week, the hard work payed off, and now our sweet angel has her very own tranquil wonderland...that is, until she gets old enough that she wants to change it!
Alli Mae's finished nursery
Listed below are the sights and places we used to get most of the contents and furniture for her nursery:
Shag rug- Wayfair.com
Battenburg lace curtains- Macys.com
Wall decals- innovativestencils.com
Wall paint- Home Depot
Light medallion- Home Depot
Wall sconces- Wayfair.com
Wall mirror- Target
I really hope you are able to create a beautiful and peaceful environment for your new precious bundle. Just remember to plan, organize and pace yourself. Most importantly, HAVE FUN! While you may not realize it now, you are creating not only a nursery but awesome memories you will have forever!
You can follow our journey on Instagram @nolapapa