An Office turned Nursery: BEFORE Pictures

Let’s Review: It’s been awhile since we chatted about our upcoming Nursery project. For those of you who may have missed that day, let’s review. NO, neither of us are pregnant but YES, we are in the beginning stages of designing our very first nursery. My older sister is expecting her first baby in July and she has asked the DIY Playbook to help get this space baby ready.

We are so excited to tackle the nursery and quite honestly, are a bit nervous since we are pretty darn clueless on all things baby. But that’s definitely not stopping us; we can’t wait to learn along the way and hopefully create a space that Katie loves.

Now, let’s get into the design details and the overall to-do list for this former office that is a soon-to-be baby’s room.
IMG_2716nursery_before-001Before baby, this space was a bit of a catch-all (we all have one of those rooms, right?). After Katie enlisted our help, the first thing we did was go visit the space (snapped a few pics) and sat down with her to chat about how her and her hubby envisioned the nursery. It was important for us to create a space that SHE and her hubby loved, not just a space that we dictated.
nursery_before-003Here’s what she told us:

Katie’s Wishlist

  • Gender Neutral (they aren’t finding out the gender in advance, so the nursery needs to be ready for baby boy OR baby girl)
  • Colors flow with the rest of the house. She wants the space to be appropriate for a baby, but she doesn’t want it to scream “nursery” since this space is right off of their family room/kitchen.
  • Neutral Walls
  • Rustic
  • “Theme”: Outdoorsy-ish <— KT & her hubby love the outdoors, they are both very active, and love camping/traveling/exploring. I’m hesitant to give this space a specific theme, but the general outdoorsy word helps me identify what “vibes” she’s hoping to get in this space.
  • She liked this crib and wanted the design to work around it
  • Wood wall

nursery_before-004It helped to get Katie’s insight before we started planning. Once she gave us that wishlist, we encouraged her to start a Pinterest board where she pinned ideas she really liked and we followed along to get a better idea of what she was visualizing. (<— It really helped, so much so that we added it as one of the first 5 steps in decorating a nursery post)
nursery_before-005After we started getting a better sense of her style in this space, Casey and I met to chat about ideas, some design challenges, and our general plan. Here’s what we came up with:

Design Challenges/Hesitations:

  • Size: The room is approximately 10 ft by 10 ft. There’s nothing wrong with that, but we did think this may be a design challenge when it comes to a rug size and fitting everything we wanted (furniture and secret storage).
  • Wood Wall: We LOVE a good wood wall, but we were hesitant to bring in a dark, rustic wood wall into a space that is smaller. We were scared that the dark wood wall that they wanted could make this space feel smaller/darker than it is. We were also nervous that a dark wood wall may be a little too masculine, which is perfect if they have a boy… but what if they have a girl? Would she hate Aunt Bridget forever for making her first room into a Man Cave? AND, we were also nervous that a wood wall is a tad more permanent and may be tough for them to take down in the case of a baby room re-design in a few years.
  • Furniture Layout: Two windows, which is awesome for light, but may make the furniture layout a bit of a challenge.
  • Casing under the windows: This is a characteristic that is all throughout their house and one that needs to stay because it’s so consistent. They aren’t bad, they are just new to us, so it’s something we needed to discuss when making our plan.

And speaking of the plan, here’s a very rough draft mood board of what design ideas we presented to Katie (for her approval of course).

nursery_moodboard_happy_camper.30 PMThis mood board is definitely subject to change, we just wanted to throw something together so that Katie could confirm that our thought process was the same as what she was envisioning. We like that this mood board space is gender neutral, has hints of the rustic element Katie noted, and has similar colors (in different shades) from the rest of her house.

We didn’t include this in our mood board, but Casey and I are thinking that we may want to incorporate rustic/wood temporary wallpaper into the nursery! The wallpaper would give Katie the wood wall element she wanted, without being married to it for the baby’s whole childhood. Just a thought… we obviously have a lot more work ahead of us!

IMG_2716Hopefully next time you see this space it will look less like an office and more like a nursery in the making! In the meantime, we would LOVE all the design/motherly advice you have for us in terms of DIY-ing a nursery. Anything specific we should keep in mind when moving forward? We are TAKING some serious NOTES and really need all the help we can get…  #suchrookies (don’t tell Katie)
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  • Jenny

    The mood board looks great! I am excited to see the space come together. One thing that I didn’t see in the space is a comfy/rocking chair. I have spent many hours in the middle of the night rocking my little ones. I think it is worth the money to get a comfy one.

    • Thanks Jenny, great point! We will definitely add a super comfy rocker to our list. =)

  • Lisa Martin

    How exciting! Thinking through the challenges before you begin is a great tip, and your list for this room is very well thought out. Can’t wait to watch the progress!

  • Katie

    I’m currently designing a nursery too! 🙂 I plan to keep the big things neutral (walls, glider, dresser, crib) so that the little decor touches and baby toys/books (because they are in a million colors!) shine. You guys look like you’re on that same path. Can’t wait to see.

    • Awww, congratulations!! We couldn’t agree more with the “baby stuff” being the colors that drive the design. =) Good luck, we’d love to see your progress along the way!

  • Stephanie

    The wood wall/wallpaper idea got me thinking… Did you consider a birch tree wallpaper pattern, maybe something similar to this link? It fits that rustic/outdoorsy theme that your sister wants and can be gender neutral. Just a thought!

    http://www.houzz.com/photos/37753696/Birch-Tree-Wallpaper-Peel-and-Stick-Gray-24×108-transitional-wallpaper

    • It’s funny that you included this because this option was definitely one we considered!!! We ended up going with something similar-“ish” (same color scheme and woods touches as the birch tree paper) but a tad more literal wood wall. Love the grey/white tones to make it lighter and more neutral. We can’t wait to see how it looks on the wall!! =)

      Thanks for the idea!!

  • shawnna griffin

    Oh this is going to be cool! Can’t wait to see the reveal! Hope ya’ll have a great weekend!

  • Allison

    I’ll second a comfy chair (with a lumbar pillow). Our upholstered glider was surprisingly affordable (and stylish) from Walmart.com. We’ve got two book ledges behind the glider, which has been perfect for reading All. The. Books in one sitting. One other glider tip- I draped a quilt over the back to protect the upholstery from spit-up (and greasy middle of the night mom hair).

    • Allison…quilt on chair = genius! See it’s those little tidbits that are sooooo helpful for these childless gals trying to design a functional nursery. thanks for the tips!