Oh nurseries. The first room in a person's history. So much opportunity. So many options. For Cadence's room, (like everything else for him) I didn't want something that screamed "BABY" and for boys there is a serious lack of stylish decor options at the baby stores. It's all cartoons and tow trucks. Womp Womp. We wanted something with more depth to it. A room that not only looked nice to adults but was also stimulating for a baby and that had some sort of meaning behind it.
To decide on a "theme", we thought about things that were important to us that we could incorporate in his room so that his room was more than just a pretty space. His name is Cadence Archer and his name has a depth of meaning behind it. "Cadence" because my husband is a crazy talented drummer and we met in a band in college. We jokingly decided long before we were married that if/when we ever made people, the first one would be named Cadence as a nod to our musical ties. We figured that the name worked for a boy or a girl. "Archer" is his middle name because of my grandfather. We wanted to name him for someone in the family but not by just giving him their name. My grandfather is a Sagittarius (as am I) and every day of his life has has worn a gold Sagittarius medallion with an archer on it. I've loved it since I was a little girl and he has always said how it will one day belong to me because I am the only other one in the family that shares the sign. We decided that "Archer" was the perfect reference to that special bond. "Archer" got us thinking about astrology and astronomy and we decided to go with a theme like that for the room. Growing up, my dad would always point out the stars in the sky to me and we would lay on my grandpa's dock at midnight wrapped up in blankets watching meteor showers. I wanted all those special memories to be tied into his nursery. (You can see my nursery planning board on Pinterest here.)
So we painted one wall midnight blue. I found a vintage astronomy chart and a print from a lithograph of a comet decades ago. We even printed out real photos from the Hubble telescope of the Orion nebula (my favorite constellation) and some other stars (did you know that anyone can download high resolution files for free from the Hubble telescope since it's paid for with our tax dollars?! It's amazing!) We bought hand-hammered metal stars from an artist on Etsy for a bit of manliness, I made a mobile out of garland from Anthropologie's BHLDN wedding line because they looked like little green moons to me (and also because I could not for the life of me find a baby mobile that I liked). We also dug out the night creatures from the beenie baby collection from my childhood and placed them around the room. Inspired by a DIY I saw on Apartment Therapy I made a light up canvas to look like stars in the night sky (using leftover paint from the blue wall and tiny LED lights from Ikea), and we found an ottoman from Urban Outfitters that is like a big vintage globe. Little owl and checkered knobs from Anthropology turned an ikea dresser into something more special and we picked up a vintage record holder from our favorite local antique shop and are using it to hold all the baby books we got at my shower. There's lots more details I could go on and on about but since I'm sure you just want to see it, I'll shut up now and give you the goods...
To keep from overspending, we re-used and re-purposed a lot of things for the nursery. We already owned the chair from Ikea and the table we re-purposed as a changing table. (Both were in our old studio space.) We also already had the white shelf and the record holder that we used for his books. A lot of the decorations we collected from our own childhoods (like the beanie babies, the drummer figurine, the Noah's Ark prints). And a couple projects were kept inexpensive by DIY-ing them (the chalkboard, mobile, and light up canvas). My mom bought Cadence's crib for him which transitions into a toddler bed so we'll be able to use it for a long time. The only piece of furniture we had to buy was the dresser. We used the same neutral paint color on three of the walls as we used in our living room so we just used the leftovers we already had in the garage. All in all, I think we did a pretty good job putting together this space on a relatively modest makeover budget.
So does he like it? We've been taking Cadence into his room since his first few days on the Earth and he really loves it in there. We made a point to let him nap in there and to change him in there after he was a few weeks old so that he is used to the room and it would never be a shock to transition him into it. As soon as walk in, if he's fussing, he'll calm down. He LOVES to be laying on his changing table and stare at the green "moons" and out the window at the tree canopy and blue sky. In his crib he stares up at the gallery wall. I think that he likes the contrast between the dark frames and the white mats around the photos. I will sit and bounce him in the chair and he'll fall asleep for hours. The room as a mellowing affect that is palpable and I'm kind of in love with it.
Paint Colors: Martha Stewart Whetstone Gray & Olympic Calvary | Crib: Babymod "Olivia"
Light Up Canvas: DIY | Rustic Framed Chalkboard: DIY
Green Garland on chalkboard & mobile: BHLDN Poka Dot Garland
Wicker Owl: Cracker Barrel Gift Shop | Wire Book Holder: Vintage Record Stand
Plush Bat & Chameleon: Vintage TY Beanie Babies from my childhood
Little Drummer Figurine: Vintage from Nate's childhood
Wooden Sign Language Blocks: Gift from a friend (from Little Sapling Toys)
Dresser Knobs: Anthropologie | Sheepskin Throw: Ikea
Green pillow: Urban Outfitters Velvet Pintuck Pillow
Drumstick: One of my husband's old ones from our band
Vintage NASA Matchbooks: Gifted from a client (THANKS!)
Vintage Star Chart: Miss Quite Contrary on Etsy | Vintage Print of Comet: Miss Quite Contrary on Etsy
Hammered Metal Stars: MetalMeltersLLC on Etsy | Noah's Ark Lithographs: Vintage