project baby: getting the nursery ready

We’re in the process of converting the spare bedroom into the nursery. It was the last room we tackled when we moved in and the original makeover included removing wallpaper and putting on the textured paint treatment.

The previous owners failed to put sealer down under the wallpaper so when we stripped it, the wall beneath shredded to pieces as well. This added several weeks worth of repair work onto our little weekend project. Some areas were so bad the only way to fix them would have been to cut out the drywall and start over – or perhaps torching the place…Then, on our millionth trip back to Home Depot for more supplies, I stumbled on Ralph Lauren’s “River Rock” textured paint. It sounded like the perfect answer to our problems and their website made the process look so easy.

This paint ended up being very fussy to work with. It actually took a lot of effort achieve a random texture effect. At one point we ended up sponge painting tiny sections by hand. The end result resembles nothing like “the worn look of rocks awash in a turbulent stream of subtle sophistication”. To me it looks like a rain cloud threw up in there; much darker than our test sample which in turn makes the room feel smaller than it actually is – but perhaps my eye is not as sophisticated as Ralph’s. It also took every drop of 4 gallons of paint (rather than the suggestion of 2 for our size room). Needless to say it was a terrible experience the first time around and I had no desire to change it from what it was (which would include lots of sanding and priming and dust). Considering gray is the ‘in’ nursery color these days it works out. I suppose if we knew then what we know now, we could have just left the construction equipment wall paper up, waited 3 years, and called it a day.

Since then we replaced the carpet and window but we never really did get around to accessorizing. I could say that is because its ‘guest room’ status always felt too temporary to put much effort into, but it’s probably more because the redo was such a disappontment that I just stopped caring once it was good enough. We’ve gone back and forth about the purpose of that room several times since the paint fiasco. Possibilities included an office or a gym, but guests always seemed to show up just as we made a decision to change it so we never did. Just before summer we actually cleaned it out and put everything into storage so we could get started on the whole nursery thing, only to receive a call that my parents were coming to visit. Just like that, it was a guest room again.

A few weeks after they left, Scott cleared it out once again while I was away at work. I didn’t really get excited about the whole thing until we took a trip to Ikea to pick out the furniture. Kaylee’s Ikea set has served us well and I knew I wanted to duplicate it for the new baby. We did choose a different finish though, white this time, to give the baby’s room a slightly different look and brighten the room. I wasn’t sure about white at first, but it turned out to be the perfect counter to all that gray.

We’re going with a mod space/robot theme and I bought four yards of fabric from Fabricworm to get things started (it’s Birch Fabrics SPACE from the Circa 52 collection by Monaluna, organic cotton – swanky). Although, I’m not positive what exactly I’m going to do with it yet…a quilt, a crib skirt, a changing pad cover, curtains? Choices, choices…

I also whipped up a few wonky star pillows from fleece and microfiber (inspired by these). I just watched a few YouTube videos on creating a decent star shape without math, then drew out a pattern on newspaper in the approximate size I was looking for. It took me about an hour to cut and assemble both, with a bit longer the next night to sew up the opening I left for turning and stuffing.  Kaylee has already claimed them as her own. She drags them around the house, takes them to bed with her, she even took one to daycare the other day. Looks like I’ll be making another set.

I’m also working on a stuffed robot softie (a rip-off of this). I know I could have shelled out $30 bucks to buy it, but it was so simple I felt guilty not making one myself. Plus, I’ve got tons of fleece left from a failed pajama project that I need to use up and it was an excuse to use some of the fancy decorative stitches on my machine.

I also ordered some decals for the wall, but they have not arrived yet. And, that’s as far as I have gotten for now. I’ve got my eye on lots of inspiration around the web and have compiled it in a Pinterest board. More details and progress reports to come.

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