Coming Up With a Nursery Design Plan

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Lowe’s Home Improvement.

Now that the office is finally complete, it’s time to focus on the next room in our Finn Fixer Upper…our daughter’s nursery! I’ve been dreaming of this room for years (literally!) and I can’t believe the time has come to really put this room together. It still feels surreal. While we’ve been working on the office, I’ve spent a lot of time coming up with a nursery design plan.

The Nursery BeforeExtra bedroom in our Finn Fixer upperNursery before

When we first bought our house in May, this room was carpeted, had a large outdated fan, and wood trim. During phase one of our renovation, we replaced the floors, changed out the trim and doors, and installed canned lighting throughout our home. This left us with a nice blank slate.Our nursery before

We found out we were pregnant as soon as we moved in back in August and I would walk in this room and try my best to envision how we would set it up for our child. I spent so many days just sitting on the floor in the middle of the room daydreaming about our future family enjoying this space!

Coming Up With A Nursery Design PlanThe nursery before

Whenever I design any space, I like to first think about the overall feel and function of the room. This is not our forever home, so we wanted a space that would work well for our daughter for the next four to seven years. For us, that means creating lots of storage so we can do our best to keep things organized and looking tidy.Figuring out our nursery design plan

In terms of the feel, I didn’t want to go over-the-top girly with this space. Yes, I’m thrilled to have a daughter but I also want this room to reflect my personal style and flow well with the rest of our home. I’m aiming for a more sophisticated look, overall, with lots of adorable and feminine accents mixed throughout. That way, this room can evolve with our daughter as she grows up.

Traditional. Cozy. Feminine. Soft. Functional. I think those words best describe my goals for the nursery!

Gathering Nursery InspirationMy Nursery design plan pinterest board

Once I have an idea of how I want the room to feel, I head to Pinterest. At first, I created a secret board to pin nursery content (When I created it, I didn’t want word to get out that I was pregnant). But now, I’ve saved everything to this nursery board if you want to take a look. Here are a few photos of inspiration that really caught my eye…

studio mcgee nursery

Photo via Studio McGeedesign loves detail nursery

Photo via Design Loves Detail

photo via wit and delight

Photo via Wit & Delight

When you’re pinning, I think it’s important to not take it too seriously. Maybe you don’t love every single aspect of a room, but pin it if you feel drawn to it and make a note in the comment about what you do love. While I’m not trying to recreate any of the above rooms, there are elements in each that I really love!

Color Palette

Nursery Design Plan - warm color palette for girl's nursery

Cabinet Color – Kraftmaid Bonsai // (All Colors are Paints from HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams) White Duck // Romance // Liveable Green // Truly Taupe // Mink // Black Fox

After reviewing my Pinterest board, I came up with this color palette for the space. I would describe it as a combination of soft, warm colors with moody undertones. A majority of the space will be the sage color (the “Bonsai” for the Kraftmaid cabinet) but then I’ll have blush accents, throughout, to make it a tad girly. I still don’t have my exact paint colors chosen because I like to try out lots of samples on the walls to see what they look like throughout the day (more tips on choosing paint colors in this blog post). For now, though, this color palette is really guiding me as I finalize my nursery design plan.

Showstopping Built-InsDIY built-ins

The biggest (and most exciting!) addition to the room are the built-ins we’re adding around the front window. To maximize the storage in this space, I knew from the start that built-ins would be the way to go. While we DIY’ed the ones in our office (more details on those here), we decided to hire these out for a few reasons.

  1. Timing: Two huge building projects during my third trimester was just not going to happen.
  2. Window Placement: You’ll notice the small window on the right side of the room. In order to get the depth we need for the cabinets and shelves, we’re removing this window. Yes, we’ll lose a bit of light but it’s worth it to us.
  3. Convenience: As I’ll explain below, I designed and ordered the cabinets directly through Lowe’s Home Improvement, had them shipped to my house, and my contractor then installed them (and removed the window) in two days. Getting this huge task off my to-do list was a godsend!

DIY built-ins drawing from Lowe's

I’m planning to go into much more detail about the built-ins in tomorrow’s blog post (and I’ll reveal them installed!), but here’s the scoop on these. Most Lowe’s have a kitchen design center right in the store. While I haven’t designed a kitchen (yet!), I’ve actually used this free service multiple times for other spaces (my mom’s bathroom countertop and the design of our laundry cabinets). I go to the Wicker Park store and work with Joseph. He is a dream. Designing nursery built-ins

While they usually work with customers on kitchens, these designers can help you design and order built-in cabinets and entertainment centers! Built-ins are created with kitchen cabinets and shelves anyway, so why not build them in a different configuration to work in a different room?!The color bonsai

I visited the store with all of my measurements and worked with Joseph to come up with the above design and we chose the color “Bonsai” for the cabinets. We placed the order and four weeks later my custom cabinets arrived! I’ll have more details in tomorrow’s post (including price, cabinet details, etc.), but let me just say I am thrilled with how these bad boys turned out! So many people reach out to me to ask about built-ins and Lowe’s is such a wonderful option for this.

DIY Chair Rail

While the built-ins were entirely hired out, the rest of the space will be DIY’ed by Finn and me. We added chair rail to the rest of the room to add architectural interest on the blank walls and I’ll be sharing that tutorial next week. Here’s my inspiration for the molding…

wainscoting in nursery

Photo via Project Nursery

bathroom wainscoting

Photo via Craving Some Creativity

I love how it adds a traditional look to these otherwise plain and boring walls. I’m not 100% sure on the color just yet, but as of now, I want to paint the bottom to match the sage built-ins. And as for the wall above the wainscoting…maybe a taupe or suuuuper light blush paint color? I like to see everything together before I pull the trigger, so I’m not convinced one way or the other just yet! You can see a sneak peek of the chair rail in my Instagram story highlights, or just wait until next week’s tutorial.

Adorable & Organized ClosetHow to add wallpaper to a closet

You already saw the reveal of the wallpaper in the nursery closet and I’m still head over heels in love with the rose gold we chose. It’s so charming and subtle. I’ve found myself wandering into the room and gazing into the closet multiple times just to stare at it. Who knew wallpaper could be so dreamy?!

The pink dream

Photo via The Pink Dream

Home Sweet ruby closet

Photo via Home Sweet Ruby

Since that is already installed, we need to finalize the design of the rest of the closet. I used this Rubbermaid kit (similar) for my mom’s closet and it was so incredibly easy to use. I’m also interested in this Easy Track White Wood Closet Kit where I can have drawers and cubbies with bins (like these!).  Either way, we know we want lots of storage for clothing, diapers, and more. Plus we would like a bit of hanging for her teeny-tiny outfits!

Our Nursery Design Plan

Bonsai Color Cabinets // Wallpaper // Brass Pull //  Brass Knob // Hamper // Easy Track White Wood Closet Kit // Fabric Bin // HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams Colors “Romance” & “Truly Taupe

I’m so eager to get this space together, especially since our baby girl will be here in six weeks (where did the time go?!). Be sure to tune in tomorrow for the reveal of our sage green built-ins. Next week, I’ll have a post showcasing all of the furniture, decor, and lighting I’ve purchased for the space. We are getting there, friends…


Nursery Posts

The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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