Category Archives: Nursery

Refinishing a Dresser

I’ve had a lot of people comment on the dresser in the nursery and how we Ben transformed it. We loved the idea of using a piece of furniture we already had and refinishing it for our little girl! The dresser went from this…
dresser8to this…
dresser9I still can’t believe how great it turned out and how perfect it looks in the nursery! This project began back on a cold February day when Ben decided to use a hand sander he’d gotten for x-mas several years ago and never opened.
dresser5He wiped it down, took off all the hardware and sanded it first with 80 grit sandpaper to rough it up and then with 200 grit paper to smooth things out. This took less than 30 minutes – I think it took us longer to drag it outside!
dresser3Fast forward several months later (after much moaning, groaning and unhelpful nagging comments by an impatient pregnant lady). One Sunday Ben asked me if I would mind if he worked on the dresser in the living room while watching golf… my response, “Of course, go for it!!” Who knew it was that easy?!
dresser2First he pried off the bumpers in order to make the bottom of the dresser completely level. He then secured wood blocks on the underside of the dresser.
dresser1Then Ryan Gosling Ben screwed in $4 fence post caps into the corners and the wood blocks. You can see a lot more details than we documented at this link.
dresser4Next came the very long, drawn out process of priming, painting and sealing the dresser. Ben used 2 coat of Kilz Clean Start zero VOC primer, 3 coats of Olympic zero VOC semi-gloss paint (color matched to SW 7009 Pearly White) and 4 coats of non-toxic, odor free Safecoat Acrylacq – whew!
dresser6Just when he thought he could call this project DONE, I hesitantly reminded him that we still needed to redo the hardware. Not. A. Happy. Camper. He started by using 400 grit sandpaper to rough them up.
dresser7Then he sprayed 4 thin coats of Rostoleum Universal All-Surface Spray Paint in the oil-rubbed bronze finish and let them dry outside for a few days. I was totally impressed with how well these turned out! I eventually want to do this to every gold doorknob in our house like in this post.
nursery_reveal3And here she is in all her beauty today! I can’t say this was the easiest project in the world, but it’s definitely the statement piece in the nursery! I absolutely love that Ben stuck with this and worked so hard on it. He MUST love me and his little girl because he does not enjoy DIY like I do:) What do y’all think?


The Big Nursery Reveal

Who’s ready for the highly anticipated nursery reveal?! I’m pretty sure the first night after we found out we were pregnant I began dreaming about designing the nursery for our little one:) So get comfy, grab an iced tea and enjoy!
nursery_reveal1Here’s the view when you first walk in the door. A decorator friend of mine did a nursery consultation several months ago which I stuck to pretty closely with a few twists of my own. I loved her vision and how it all came together!
nursery_reveal3Y’all, this dresser was a major labor of love by Ben for his little girl! He loosely used this tutorial to add the legs, then after 4 coats of paint, 3 coats of Acrylacq and spray painting the original hardware ORB later, it was finished! This was my dresser as a child so it has huge sentimental value to me.
nursery_reveal6This beautiful real cotton wreath was given to me by all my sweet hostesses at my Memphis shower and I think it really brings the entire nursery together! It adds texture and that “Southern” vintage feel I wanted. Look at those cute babies:)
nursery_reveal4I’m still absolutely loving the classic black crib which initially caught me off guard. I opted for no crib bumper and simple white sheets. My mom helped me make the crib skirt and I used the leftover fabric to add a couple of bows.
nursery_reveal7I got all of the art from Etsy and the frames are from IKEA.
nursery_reveal10I looked everywhere for a simple mobile and finally found the perfect one at a consignment sale. It was 1/2 off day so I scored this Pottery Barn find for $2.50!
nursery_reveal11These pillows were custom made for me by my friend Lauren. She used the same ribbon that lines the curtains.
nursery_reveal13This is my favorite baby gift! My mom (who has never quilted) decided to make a baby quilt for her granddaughter. I. absolutely. love. it. She worked so hard picking out the fabric and spent every waking moment trying to finish it before my shower. It is vintage, timeless and perfect!
nursery_reveal12I wrote a post about the curtains, but since then we also added a bamboo shade for extra room darkening and to break up all the white with some texture. We left the white blinds so that we can still have some privacy.
nursery_reveal8Originally we wanted a white rocker, but after finding this one on Craigslist for a fraction of the price we went for it. Since there is cream in the rug I think it totally works! The rug and rustic table came from My mom helped me make the chevron floor pouf which I blogged about here.
nursery_reveal9I got this adorable print from the same Etsy store which has a golden retriever in a pile of leaves. This is our way of honoring our first child, Cali, in the nursery:)
nursery_reveal2Here’s a little bit of a wider shot of this side of the room. The lamp on the table came from Target and the rustic wood coat rack came from an antique mall. I love the little details hidden all around this room.
nursery_reveal15I found these cute and practical drawer organizers at IKEA. I’m still waiting to get over saying “Awww” every time I pick up a piece of cute baby girl clothing.
nursery_reveal16We knew from the beginning that we wanted to use the dresser as a changing station. We just purchased a changing pad which is secured to the dresser and the brown polka dot cover is from Target.
nursery_reveal17I still have a lot of organizing to do, but her little closet is coming together and the cute closet dividers are already coming in handy!
nursery_reveal18The car seat and main stroller will go in the car and the BOB jogging stroller will more than likely live in our dining room once we start using it regularly.
nursery_reveal19In keeping it real, this is what the nursery really looks like with all the baby gear out and about. Where are you supposed to put all of this stuff?!
middle_br1Here’s a “before” shot of what this room looked like just a few short months ago. It’s come a LONG way and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out!

I don’t think I could possibly find another angle of the nursery to take a pic of so it’s time to wrap up this reveal party. I’ll be 37 weeks this Friday so our baby girl could come any day now and we absolutely can’t wait to meet her! What do you think of our non-traditional, non-themed, vintage-inspired, simple nursery?

DIY Closet Dividers

While doing our baby registries, I came across some closet dividers that were super cute. I just couldn’t bring myself (or allow anyone else) to pay $20 + shipping for them so I found this tutorial and made my own!
DIY_closet_dividers6I love how they turned out and, even though I don’t think of myself as a “crafty” person, these were really easy! Mostly it was just a lot of fun making something for our little girl myself since I’m not a knitter:)
DIY_closet_dividers1I grabbed 6 wooden letter “O’s” and Spa Blue Americana acrylic paint at Hobby Lobby and the rest of the supplies (Mod Podge, scrapbook paper, stickers, brushes) at Michaels. I spent about $14 on this project, but many of you “crafties” would already have a lot of these supplies at home.
DIY_closet_dividers2First, I simply painted one side of the O’s – make sure to get the inside AND outside edges because they will show! Note: your fingers will get dirty.
DIY_closet_dividers3Then I traced around the O’s onto the scrapbook paper with a pencil and cut them out. It was suggested to use an exacto knife, but good scissors worked just fine for me. I cut an X to get to the middles easier like in elementary school.
DIY_closet_dividers4Now it was time to glue the scrapbook paper onto the O’s and paint a thin layer of Mod Podge on top. I didn’t bother with the other side and I waited to add the stickers until everything had completely dried.
DIY_closet_dividers5Here’s the final result – so cute if I do say so myself! Before starting this project, you will want to make sure that your closet bar is the kind that can lift out. If not, you’ll need to alter this project so that there’s a way to get the O’s on.
DIY_closet_dividers6Now all we need are some huggable baby hangers and a closet full of adorable clothes! These currently only go through 18 months, but since I didn’t Mod Podge the stickers I can easily switch them out as she grows.

Anyone else a big fan of easy craft projects that make you feel like superwoman? What DIY projects have you been up to lately? Am I the only new momma that felt like my head was going to explode when registering?

DIY Floor Pouf

Hello, incredibly patient readers! I’ve been busy soaking up quality time with Ben and Cali while we’re still a family of 3:) A few weekends ago we went to MO to help my sweet grandma celebrate her birthday. While there, my mom helped me (she did most of the work) make a floor pouf and a crib skirt for the nursery.chevron__floor_poufThis was my inspiration from Etsy. $109 + $35 shipping = $144. A similar one on West Elm is $249 + shipping. Instead, I grabbed $20 of fabric from a local fabric store and $30 of bean bag stuffing from Bed Bath & Beyond/Kmart = $50.
diy_floor_pouf8Here’s a sneak peak of final product. I love the fun pop this gives the room!
diy_floor_pouf2How did we tackle this project? We used the basic instructions from this blog post. Then I spent what seemed like hours measuring, cutting and ironing the fabric while mom sewed a simple 3-sided crib skirt together.
diy_floor_pouf1I was having trouble getting the fabric straight to measure, so mom showed me a trick. You make a small cut and pull a string from the fabric all the way down one side and then simply cut along the visible line to get a perfectly straight line. Have I mentioned that my mom is a genius? So smart!
diy_floor_pouf3We started by sewing together the sides into one big circle. After each piece was sewn, mom would hand it to me to iron the seams out flat so that it would lay better after it was all put together – great tip!
diy_floor_pouf4The hardest part was attaching the top and bottom pieces which took a little trial and error. We would pin one side at a time, mom would sew, I’d iron the seam. Rinse and repeat 7x’s leaving a gap big enough for the stuffing.
diy_floor_pouf5Then came the stuffing. Um, how cute are my parents concentrating so hard?! A lot of people use cotton batting/stuffing, but I opted for bean bag stuffing because I didn’t want it to always look “lumpy”. Then mom hand sewed the hole.
diy_floor_pouf7Here she is in all her black and white chevron yummy boldness! I like to think of this as a statement piece in the nursery as well as a practical place to put my tootsies during late night feedings. I couldn’t have done this without my mom’s mad sewing skills – she’s pretty amazing!
diy_crib_skirt1I also mentioned a crib skirt. It was simply 3 pieces of fabric I picked up at Jo-Anns that mom hemmed on all sides. We measured it to the length of the crib when it’s in the lowest position for a newborn. I used giant safety pins to attach it so that when we move the crib up we can readjust the length – easy peasy!
diy_crib_skirt2It has one pleat on both the front and the sides which mom whipped up like a champ. I’ve been very intentional about making the nursery gender-neutral, but I couldn’t resist this feminine, flowy fabric – so sweet for our little girl:)
blue_baby_shoesTomorrow I will be 28 weeks and my baby bump is growing – only 3 months left!

What do you think about our DIY floor pouf? Anyone else have a Martha Stewart supermom? Who’s ready for the big nursery reveal already?

Floor pouf image found here.

Nursery Progress: Curtains and Pillows

Happy Hump Day! I figured it was time to do another nursery update. This weekend we worked on one of my favorite parts of a room – the curtains!
nursery2Remember our nursery mood board that shows white curtains trimmed with green ribbon? Well, I scoured the internet looking for white, blackout, 95″, reasonably priced curtains. They don’t exist. Instead, I decided to use curtain clips to secure blackout material behind regular curtains like in this post.
custom_nusery_curtains3I found 95″ white curtains at Target for $35. The only problem was that they had grommets at the top which I simply cut off at the hem. Before any curtains were harmed, I clipped the grommets back and made sure the length was good.
blackout_nursery_curtainsI spy a baby bump in this pic! Ben took these pics so I would have proof that I do a few things around here:) I used a 60% off coupon at Jo-Ann’s to get 5.5 yards of blackout material for $15 and cut it to the exact size of the curtains.
curtain_hangingNext up was the painful process of curtain rod hanging. Even though we reused the rod, the old curtains were 84″ and I wanted to hang these to ceiling length. We also hung them 10″ outside of the windows. This is a little trick to make your windows appear taller, wider and to let more natural light in.
white_nursery_curtains2Ben had the brilliant idea of flipping the curtains around and hanging them by their “butts” so that the hem would look all pretty on top. You can’t even tell that the blackout material is hanging behind, but it makes a huge difference!
custom_nusery_curtains1My vision was finally starting to come together. It’s amazing how much curtains can add to a room, but there was still a little something missing…
custom_nursery_curtains4It was time to trim out those plain curtains with some ribbon. I grabbed Heat N’ Bond iron on hem tape from Michael’s, 1 1/2″ ribbon from Jo-Ann’s and scissors. I ended up just using the hemline as a guide instead of the leveler.
curtain_trimI used this pic for inspiration on how far over to place the ribbon.
custom_nusery_curtains5Have I mentioned how easy this stuff is to use? First I ironed the tape onto the ribbon, pulled off the paper and then ironed it onto the curtains. I use my iPhone stopwatch rather than the “Mississippi” method to count my seconds:)
custom_nursery_curtains2In no time I was done and couldn’t wait to get those babies rehung! We also plan on adding bamboo blinds behind the curtains for more darkening. We like to sleep like vampires, so we wouldn’t want anything less for our baby girl!
white_nusery_curtains1Oh what a difference a little emerald green accent ribbon can make! As you can see, it helps tie in those custom-made pillows perfectly.
custom_nursery_pillowsMy friend Lauren made these and she did a fantastic job! She used the same green ribbon as piping for two pillows and as accent ribbon for the other.
nursery_rocker_lampThere’s also a matching lumbar pillow for the rocker. The accent colors for the nursery are coral and emerald green so these are perfect! I also picked up this cute floral accent lamp at Target. It’s the first “girly” item I’ve bought, but I absolutely love how it pulls all the nursery colors together!

So what do y’all think of our progress? Anyone else try trimming out curtains with ribbon? Speaking of vampires, will I be the only one standing in line to buy Breaking Dawn 2 on DVD next week?

Curtain image found here.

Nursery Sneak Peek

Alright, who’s dying to see what we’ve done on the nursery since we painted it? As soon as Ben gave me a budget, I hit the ground running (a.k.a. we’re now on a first name basis with the FedEx guy:) This is just a peek!
nursery_sneakpeak5First I ordered this trellis wool rug. It’s so soft and will be perfect for playing with our baby girl on. You can also see my neutral Craigslist rocker. This is seriously the most comfortable chair we’ve ever owned and I paid $75 vs $800+ for it! The Bali tripod end table help adds texture and warmth to the space.
nursery_sneakpeak6Ben spent Sat morning putting the crib together in like 20 minutes. Walmart ended up having the best price with their site-to-store free shipping. I had no idea how much I would love this non-traditional black crib!
nursery_sneakpeak2I got the fence post tops which are waiting to be added to our repurposed dresser so it will be tall enough for a changing table. Linen white curtains and a few pillows will be trimmed in this emerald green ribbon. The artwork came too!
nursery_sneakpeak4I got another fantastic Craigslist deal on this barely used organic cotton mattress for $70 (it retails for $249)! A non-organic mattress would have cost $100+. It really pays to do your research and keep a hawk eye on CL.
nursery_sneakpeak3Since the crib assembly was easy-peasy, Ben decided to go ahead and sand the dresser on Sat. I’ll be doing a full blog post on this project once it’s complete.
nursery_sneakpeak1Last but not least, I have a friend making me some nursery pillows that these inserts are waiting to fill. $3 travel pillows from Walmart are the perfect size for a lumbar pillow and the back 18×18 square one was $10 at PB Outlet.

My mom is going to help me make a floor pouf and there are about 20 more projects I have in mind! What’s your favorite part of the nursery so far? Anyone think I’m cray cray for going with a black crib? Who else is addicted to CL?

Nursery Painting

This weekend I nicely asked begged Ben to paint the nursery and he got his mad painting skills on. This may be the fourth time we’ve painted this room in 8 yrs. Wow, I must have a hubby with the patience of Job!
middle_br3This is the deep tan color it was looking like pre-painting. Especially after finding out that we’re having a GIRL, I felt like this color was too masculine and fleshy.
nursery_painting3So we took it from Coastal Path to Filmy Green Baby Girl Green! Seriously, isn’t that the worst paint color name you’ve ever heard of?! We happily renamed it.
nursery_painting6Here you can see the 2 paint sample squares on the wall. The other one was called Sea Salt, but it was too blue. Have I mentioned that $3 paint samples are worth their weight in gold? I get the Olympic, No-VOC samples at Lowe’s and they can look up SW and BM paint colors in their system.
nursery_painting7We choose our usual go-to Benjamin Moore Natura No-VOC paint which isn’t cheap at $60/gallon, but totally worth it to us and our unborn baby’s health. Ben started with the cutting in and ended up doing 2 full coats.
nursery_painting5Here’s a shot from when you first walk in. How much a can of paint can completely transform a room still amazes me. I absolutely love how it turned out and can’t wait to start piecing this nursery together!
nursery_painting4That dresser is getting a makeover and staying put, but we’ve figured out a solution to get the filing cabinet out of there – whew!
nursery_painting2The weekend before we worked our butts off clearing out this room (including the closet)! We moved the other dresser and my leaning mirror into the guest bedroom and took a ginormous carload of stuff to Goodwill.
nursery_painting9I convinced Ben to invest in this Target bookcase which we put in the living room. We were able to fit all the books from the nursery with room to spare. Oh, and I sold the old dresser that used to be there on Craigslist for $35!
nursery_painting_8We also added this medallion to our ceiling fan. When we installed this new fan the base was smaller and the old paint showed. We had to take down the entire fan and reinstall it. This was a nightmare! Somehow we’re still married.
nursery_painting1One more after pic. I’m thinking that one of our weekend projects will be to spray paint all of our door handles ORB like in this blog post. That brass is killing me and my beautiful nursery plans softly!
ben_caliCali has been a very patient puppy throughout all of these house projects and changes. I think she knows something is up:) Also, I have the bestest husband in the entire world – love him!

So what do y’all think about the big nursery paint reveal? Any other horrible paint color names you’ve come across? Who can guess our next nursery project?