Monday, July 22, 2013

Bye-bye baby room

When we were two, our 1000 sq foot apartment was adequate. Two bedrooms, two baths, attached garage, in unit laundry, and walk in closets. Not too bad. Now we are three, and suddenly the walls seem closer, the carpet dirtier, the edges sharper. Moving day is fast approaching and so is the monumental task of packing 6 years of our life.

As I look around trying to decide where to start, I feel a little pang of sadness when I realized Lil' Bug's first nursery will be no more. What used to be our office/junk room, became a bright nursery with the help of my sister and good friends. I wish I could find the before picture, but its lost in the archives somewhere. So I want to share with you some of the DIY decorating moments I made before I pack them up.

 Ah, the crib. The crib that she didn't even sleep in until she was 6 months old! The dragonfly print bedding was made by my talented sister. I wanted something with a nod to our Asian heritage (she's 1⁄4 Chinese), but not overly so. I found some pagoda themed bedding in similar colors online, but wasn't willing to spend $400 for it! I took the color inspiration and pleaded with Auntie Em, and now we have a perfect bedding collection. Total cost was about $100. I made the "E" frame from the trusted IKEA Ung Drill, spray painted it white (the one that I got on sale for $19 was black), covered the backing with scrap fabric from the bedding, and hot glued an "E" from Michaels on it. Easy peasy!

As I mentioned before, we currently live in a rental. That means we aren't supposed to paint the walls. But as they say, don't ask permission, beg forgiveness! My sister and a friend helped me paint the walls, spouting something about an 8 month pregnant woman is not allowed to paint? Whatever! They painted 3 walls in a delightful turquoise blue, and the window wall has a stencil pattern (from Martha Stewart). When we told the apartment complex we were moving, and I mentioned the fact that we painted a room, we were strictly instructed to repaint the room white. So there's that...

The long wall needed a little something. I've had these 24" square canvases in the closet for 2 years because Michael's had and awesome buy one, get one for a penny sale I couldn't resist. The Martha Stewart stencil kit came with these patterns, add three bottles of color coordinated craft paint, and we have fun stenciled backgrounds. The white branch is made from sticky contact paper. Its easily removable and I think I will do something else with the pattern backgrounds in the new nursery.

This mobile is made from a wreath frame, fishing line, craft paper, dragonfly punch, and double stick tape. Inspired by all the ones I saw on Etsy ($70+!), I knew this would be an easy and cheap project. I think the total cost, including the punch, was $15. It hangs above the changing table. When I say, "where are the pretty dragonflies?", she knows exactly where to look. Too cute. 

The lamp was actually the very first thing I made for the room once I decided on a color scheme. The base and shade are both from Target, on sale of course! I've always loved the stacked acrylic ball bases because they don't take up too much visual space. Add ric-rac and hot glue and this little lamp is ready for late night diaper changes.

The lamp sits upon a small dresser I've had since my college days, back in the dark ages! No seriously, I've had it for 20 years, you do the math! I bought it unfinished for $150, which was a King's ransom to me back then. I painted it purple and green, because it was the 90's and I thought it was cool. Then I decided that a "shaker green" stain was even cooler. It stayed green for 15 years, and served mainly as storage for my handbags (before you judge, I worked at a designer handbag retailer, so I amassed an impressive collection with an employee discount!). Auntie Em actually did the last transformation into the corally-red that it is now. Its the perfect size for her little onesies, bibs, towels etc. The handbags found a new home in a giant storage bin.

Here are a couple wide shots of the room after 10 months of use. Real life happens, messes occur, clutter accumulates, but it will forever be Lil' Bug's first room.

Thanks for reading.



  1. How did I miss these posts! I LOVE her room and especially the dragonfly mobile! That is adorable. I need one for MY room!

    1. Thanks, Ren! If you look closely, there's even a small SBUX moment in the room. The white crates under the window and on the bottom of the bookshelf were once display items from a summer launch many years ago! They used to be green and orange (yay white spray paint!). I finally found a use for them after all this time!