Nursery Update: Part I

Today instead of Photo Share Tuesday, you finally get some updates on the nursery.

To say that it’s been difficult is to say nothing. Aside from the fact that we only have weekends to work on it, I have been strictly forbidden to even enter the room while the work is in progress. In addition to that, my husband is the kind of guy who would rather buy pretty things than make pretty things. I am not a crafty person either, but I am a creative person, so I have all these ideas and visions and I want them to come to life at minimal cost (lol).

So here we have one prospective parent who can’t work on the nursery (yes, we do buy low-VOC paint, and no, we still don’t feel it’s ok for me as a preggo to paint or be in the room that is painted) and another parent who really would rather postpone it till 2 weeks before Alexis arrives. So while I gotta give him props for calmly going and doing all these things I ask, my husband does tend to stop working an hour or two later, citing one of two things: “It’s a good start” or “I need a tool I don’t have to get it done right“.

For the past month, he forgot to pick up the paint from the store after he ordered it ( twice), didn’t get enough paint to finish the project (twice), realized he was missing a tool or something after starting a project that he simply can’t do without (once), threw a fit over having to refinish a dresser rather than buy a brand new one (once). So let’s just say it has not been easy for me and I’ve been doing NOTHING πŸ™‚

In the end, he always did get it done and worked really hard, but not without a lot of complaining and excuses . Let’s just say my husband is great at a lot of things, but he is not one who enjoys working with his hands rather than his brain (and to be completely honest I’m exactly the same way).

So here’s what the room looked like once we cleaned the junk out of it ( took us two weekends, since it was our “don’t know what to do with it, let’s put all our boxes and useless crap in” room)

Our biggest challenge so far is that the room is tiny. It’s not closet tiny, like I’ve seen some rooms be, but it’s the smallest room out of the 5 bedrooms and it was “meant” to be a nursery. All our other bedrooms have a pretty permanent use: master bedroom, movie theater, home office and a downstairs guest room. They are tooΒ specializedΒ to easily convert to a baby room, and guest bedroom is downstairs which is too far from master bedroom.


The only reason I am ok with Alexis having a smaller room is that we have a living room area downstairs that is currently a “mismatched furniture placeholder”, which I will convert to a playroom (photo on the left). It’s a large area and it’s goingΒ to look fabulous as an arts, crafts and play room for Alexis. So her bedroom will only be a place to sleep, not play. Once she grows up enough not to need a playroom or want more privacy, we’ll transfer her to the secluded guest room, which as a teenager she will love.


So here’s the direction we’re going in, with a lot of projects still ahead of us:


Our two primary colors, besides white, are lavender and soft yellow, with accents of muted, dark pink and aqua.

Sort of like the palette below.

We knew the walls were going to be lavender, but we weren’t sure how lavender we wanted to go until I decided on this palette. With so many colors in play, the walls had to stay subdued, so we picked out 2 lightest lavenders and got sample cans of them. Andrew painted two small areas with each paint and we gave ourselves a few days to decide.

The darker shade looked exactly what we thought the lightest lavender would. And the lighter shade looked almostΒ white. Β From experience, however, we knew to go lighter than our initial desire because once you paint the whole room with it, Β it will really smack you in the face. {dried paint swatches below}

So while we weren’t sure about this little hunch of ours, we decided to go with it and paint the room the lighter color and then repaint it with darker if we end up thinking it’s just way too light.Β Once the room was done and allowed to dry, we absolutely fell in love with the muted light lavender. It doesn’t overpower the small Β room and keeps things fresh and bright.

After the walls were finally done (we ran out of paint once), Andrew started working on fancying up those plain windows. The simple solution was to put casings around them. It was an easy job ( hehe of course- I didn’t do anything), but did take some time. Luckily Andrew had dome crownΒ moldingΒ in the past, so he had the tools to make the cuts and a better skill level. He then spray painted them white and that was it.


Next went the baseboard painting which turned into a disaster, since in some places the baseboard goes so deep into the carpet you can’t reach it. So a day of work wasted, since we’ll have to completely re-do them.

One good thing came out of running out of lavender paint half way through: because we weren’t able to paint the closet right away, it gave me an idea to paint it a different color to spice things up. After playing around with swatches, we decided to go with a super light shade of yellow. {the closet has doors that were taken off to be painted white}

The paint colors we used are Olympic Iris Isle and Sugared Shortbread.

Next step: CRIB.

We wanted to get a fancier crib, but after some thinking I vetoed spending $1000 on the crib we liked, because it seemed silly and I wasn’t sure what all the expenses for Alexis and her room would be, so it was better to play on the safer side money-wise.

Travis, of course, was the first one to check out the new room and newΒ furniture.

And it actually turned out even better, because my FIL was the one who bought us the crib. And while it’s not super expensive, I am still happy with the crib we got: it simple but Β nice and most of it will be covered with the awesome bedding my sister is sewing. Besides, we were completely limited with the type of crib we could get, due to the fact that the nursery has 3 (!!!) windows, which meant any crib with a solid back was out, since Β the back would cover some of the window regardless of where we’d place it. So side to side crib was our only option.

I am waiting til Black Friday to buy a mattress ( just like a lot of things), since we want to get an organic one and those suckers run $300 bucks (I’ll be writing about it in the next few weeks). We haven’tΒ completelyΒ decided on where exactly we’re putting the crib, so the main window is where it’s at right now.

The little monster things you’re seeing here are UGLY DOLLS and even though I am waiting to buy the little decorative stuff for the room until the big furniture is finished and moved in and I have a better idea of where we’re at and what we’re doing, I couldn’t resist these two and snatched them off aΒ Zulily sale. And they fit the decor colors we mapped out, so that’s a bonus.

So that’s as far as we have gotten with the nursery. I hate the generic cream outlet plates and the horrible mustard smoke detector ( who thinks of putting a mustard colored smoke detector into aΒ completelyΒ white room? Are mustard smoke detectors really that much cheaper that builders find it more profitable to use them?), so we’ll have to swap those.

Also waiting on the Black Friday sales are the white cordless roman shades. As much as I love flowy curtains, that’s just not safe in a baby’s room with 3 windows where we have no choice but to put the crib by one of the windows.


The work on the dresser has already started. I couldn’t find the dresser I hadΒ envisioned for less than $1200 ( and in wrong colors, too), so the next best thing is to refinish an old one. This is a dresser we bought off of craigslist for 100 bucks ( I swear, a dresser is the Β easiest thing to find there. I’ve been waiting on a perfect chandelier to buy and re-finish it and there’s been nothing even close to the simple chandelier base I need). I don’t have a good photo of the dresser and nightstand set, just the iphone snapshot I took when we bought it. Andrew already started stripping it and it’s an awful lot of work, because whatever finish it has, it doesn’t come off easily. So I see quite a few weekends spent on that project. I will try toΒ rememberΒ to snap photos of the progress to post later. Once done, it’ll be painted white with yellow handles.

In the meantime, while A is slaving at the dresser, I have a few projects of my own that involve wood and fabric. We’ll see how well they will turn out, but I’m not holding my breath.

My sister is sewing a crib set that will look somewhat like this but in lavender. My mom will bring it with her when she comes in January so unfortunately, we won’t get to see it till then. Just a quick note: we’re not planning on having the bumper like in the picture. While I love the look of this bumper, I told my sister to make it very thin, not pillowy and in the beginning Alexis will most likely be sleeping in the co-sleeper and for the times when she sleeps in the crib, we’ll remove the bumper completely until suffocation is not an issue. The bumper will be thin enough so she won’t be able to pull up on it when she’s older either.

I already have one of the canvas for the walls and an adorable mobile from Etsy, that I will be showing you guys in the next Nursery Update Post.

That is it for now. I am waiting to buy a lot of things until Black Friday sales and until the big pieces are finished and placed in the room so that I can assess exactly what I need to get. I cannot wait to start buying colorful pillows and art work and shelving, toys and books and make this room bright and colorful and a real baby girl’s room.

Hope you enjoyed this, because I certainly spent quite a few hours on this post. Β See you on Thursday for 27 week Bump update and keep your fingers crossed for me on Wednesday- I’ll be doing the glucose test πŸ™‚

Nursery Update II

Nursery Final Reveal

Nursery Update III


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  • Reply
    October 25, 2011 at 9:17 AM

    Oh I love the colors! And I hope the bedding is gonna come out beautiful πŸ™‚
    So are you going to turn that guest bedroom into Alexsis’s room when she’s a teenager?
    She’ll totally love it, cuz she’ll be able to sneak out unnoticed lol :)))))

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 25, 2011 at 10:47 AM

      Oh yeah, the privacy of that guestroom can’t be beat- she’ll be begging to go there before we know it πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    October 25, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    You probably already figured this out, but there are tools specifically for painting baseboards… it looks like a big blade and you use it to pull the carpet fibers away from the wall. Just go to Lowe’s or wherever and tell them you need a carpet shield for painting baseboards. I recommend not getting the cheap flimsy ones, get one that is sturdy plastic.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 25, 2011 at 10:46 AM

      Oh thanks! We didn’t know there are ones specifically for that, but we were going to buy a flexible thin metal board and do the same thing. Will definitely check it our at Lowes. thanks again!

  • Reply
    A Mom
    October 25, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    You’re concerned enough to not have any curtains and to buy an organic mattress but you’re essentially putting pillows all the way around the crib? The bedding is very pretty but very impractical when it comes to the safety of a baby.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 25, 2011 at 12:56 PM

      What pillows?I’m not sure the pillows you’re talking about…. Do you mean the thick bumper in the crib bedding photo? There will be no pillows or blankets in the crib, and the bumper will be a skinny thin breathable bumper ( not one of those pillowy ones). One of the reasons I didn’t buy this set ( besides price) and my sister is sewing it herself is the ability to make a thin flat bumper instead of the pillowy one.

  • Reply
    October 25, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    Love how it’s turning out- beautiful color choices. Now I know that it’s been a while since we had a baby- the whole thing the mattress sits on in the crib looks so different. WOW- now I feel OLD!! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    October 25, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    Love the colour and texture!
    Im addicted to lavender in decoration.

    Ugly toys looking so well

    Cant wait to seee next part!!!


  • Reply
    October 25, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    Love, love, love, Elena!! It’s coming along so nicely. Your sister sounds super talented, and what a wonderful keepsake for Alexis from her aunt! I really love how the yellow paint in the closet looks with the lavender room walls. That was an excellent idea! I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow for your glucose testing. I really disliked that part of pregnancy, and any other that included needles :S Oh, and that last picture of you, Alexis and Andrew is great!!

  • Reply
    October 25, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    Loving the colors! JC Penney ( has great sales on window shades, especially the pull-down blackout shades without cords. Can’t wait to see the finished project. πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 25, 2011 at 1:41 PM

      That was one of the places I looked at but I don’t remember why we discounted their shades. I got JCP shades for our bedroom since we don’t need cordless there (for now)

  • Reply
    October 25, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    If you are going to do a bumper, please do a mesh bumper, with no padding… as any padding is a suffocation risk! Mesh will keep limbs in the crib, but without inhibiting airflow. You can get one for $25 off of Amazon (in sage, yellow, pink or white):

    • Reply
      October 25, 2011 at 1:35 PM

      Whoa, I don’t know why it has all the numbers, but this is Meegs… I’ve commented before.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 25, 2011 at 1:39 PM

      Yeah, i wasn’t planning on having my sister make the puffy bumper. Just a thin flat one. I’ve looked at breathable bumpers before and it’s definitely something I’m going to keep in mind. Most likely what’s going to happen is by the time Alexis gets out of the co-sleeper and into the crib at 5 months, suffocation won’t be an issue (I gotta look up when softer bumpers are ok again).
      I should probably put a note in the post that I won’t have the pillowy bumper like on the pic, otherwise I think everyone will assume we’re going for the exact crib set.
      Thanks for the concern though- it’s always appreciated.

      • Reply
        October 25, 2011 at 5:08 PM

        I left the bumper out of the crib until my boy was much older, old enough to roll himself over. That being said, I just looked up what the reccommendations are and was surprised to find this answer at to the quesiton ‘should I use a crib bumper’? “No. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission recently called for a “re-examination” of bumpers after reports that 52 infants died from bumper-related incidents between 1990 and 2010. The danger? An infant could suffocate if his nose and mouth get trapped under or against the pad. Plus, the American Academy of Pediatrics warns that an older baby could use a bumper to climb out of the crib, so it poses a danger of baby falling too. We think bumping his head or getting his arm “stuck” between the rails is minor compared to that. To be completely safe, keep everything, except for a mattress, a fitted crib sheet and a light receiving blanket or swaddle (oh, and your baby!), out of the crib”

        • Reply
          Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
          October 25, 2011 at 5:39 PM

          Yup, I read the same exact advisory a few months ago and came to the same conclusion. I don’t expect her to sleep in the crib until she can roll over anyways, so that’s not going to be an issue, and the bumper will be flat enough that she won’t be able to step on it to climb out of the crib once she does get transferred into the crib.

          Though breathable bumpers are completely safe, they’re too thin to cause suffocation- so it’s the best of both worlds.

  • Reply
    October 25, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    AWESOME choices! I just love it!!!!! It’s beautiful. Maia has a HUGE collection of ugly dolls – her favorite, Moxy….I love them MUCH more than the traditonal teddy bear crap πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    October 25, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    It looks so cute and happy! I love your colour scheme.

    Kudos to your husband for refurnishing that dresser! I refurnished our dressers and night stands last fall and it seriously took FOREVER – between using so many pieces of sandpaper (Thank God for the electric sander or else I would have died. Well, not really but it would have been even more frustrating) and it being so cold and damp that each layer of stain took 2 – 3 days to dry. I hope yours takes much less time than that!

  • Reply
    October 25, 2011 at 5:43 PM

    LOVE the nursery ideas! It is so refreshing to see a girl’s nursery that isn’t pink. Just wondering, but if you have more kids will they share that nursery, or will you convert one of your other rooms?

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 25, 2011 at 6:35 PM

      The nursery is way too small for 2 kids to share, that’s for sure! I almost think it’s too small for one more or less grown kid. So we’ll definitely convert one of our other rooms for the older kid and keep this one as nursery and then play it by ear. Luckily we have enough bedrooms, we just would like to keep them the way they are, but will do whatever we have to to make room for our kids.

      • Reply
        October 26, 2011 at 5:43 PM

        Do you have a basement? That would be perfect for your office and such!

  • Reply
    October 25, 2011 at 6:08 PM

    Wow, it looks great so far! We are in the midst of re-doing our guest room into the nursery, as well, so I feel your pains about not being about to contribute directly to the project…I just provide lots of encouragement and “gentle” reminders to H to keep at it! πŸ™‚ (I feel like I could’ve written your 2nd & 3rd paragraphs myself…)
    Good luck with the glucose test! I just had mine 2 weeks ago and passed but actually had to do it at 14 weeks, too, because one of my hemoglobin levels came back a teensy bit high. Word of advice – even though they tell you to fast for 8 hours, I ate a tiny bit of sugar free protein (egg) about 1/2 hour before to avoid getting sick (and thus ending the test & having to redo it). It didn’t throw off the results, and I made it through without hurling like I had at the 14-week test. Ew. πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 25, 2011 at 6:39 PM

      Oh great @ glucose test! Now I am totally going to be afraid to throw up. πŸ™‚ lol

      • Reply
        October 26, 2011 at 4:21 PM

        Oh no! Sorry to scare you…you will likely be just fine! πŸ™‚ I think part of it for me the first time was that I was only 14 weeks and still getting morning sickness. Good luck!

        • Reply
          Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
          October 26, 2011 at 9:11 PM

          Hahahah! Yeah i thought that it was bad for you cuz of 14 weeks. I would have definitely thrown up had I done it at 14 weeks!
          Mine went fine, it wasn’t pleasant but it didn’t kill me.

  • Reply
    Melody Kulifaj
    October 25, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    Hello.. Super cute nursery so far. I am 2 weeks behind you and so I am just finishing up our nursery (for our little boy) I wanted to mention something about the mattress since it was important for me to buy an organic one (I found one for 300$, however I didnt end up buying it)

    There is a thing called the babesafe mattress wrap. There are a ton of studies on it from New Zealand talking about how once it was used the cases of SIDS almost stopped completely. It’s like a big pillow case that fully wraps any mattress and blocks and toxins that are form the mattress itself

    This is the website,

    I would definitely look into it since I know you are all about the health of your baby

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 25, 2011 at 9:10 PM

      Oh wow Melody! Thanks so much!!!!!! I’ll definitely look into it! I haven’t even heard that toxic gases are thought to be the culprit but it makes sense. I just wanted an organic mattress so that my baby was exposed to as few chemicals as possible in the beginning but this puts a completely different perspective in it, a tangible benefit for buying an organic mattress or the cover you recommended.
      Thanks again!

  • Reply
    October 26, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    FYI – The AAP just recently recommended to use absolutely no bumpers at all. My daughter is about a year, and we’ve been using a mesh bumper – but after reading this, we took them out and threw them in the garbage.

  • Reply
    October 26, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    Good luck on the glucose test! I’m sure your results will be just fine. (And it’s not too horrible, just like drinking flat orange soda really.)
    I LOVE the nursery so far! Those windows are gorgeous, and she’ll love all the sunlight. Love the lavender color. Our nursery walls are a pale yellow and our accents are pale blue, lavender, and pale green. Ha ha! Josh was the same way…he wouldn’t let me help painting (we used low VOC) either, but I was itching to do something…my nesting instincts were off the charts!
    This is making me want to do an updated nursery post on my blog…I never got as far as the actual reveal, just some sneak peeks. Funny thing is, Lillian still isn’t living in her nursery!
    By the way, I replied to your comment about the cloth books, but in case you didn’t get to see it, we got them at Can’t wait to see which ones you pick out.

  • Reply
    October 26, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    Beautiful start! I love the lavender color

  • Reply
    October 27, 2011 at 12:24 AM

    You have overlooked a golden rule of baby-proofing. Not to place a crib or playpen by a window. Considering all three walls in that room have windows, I would have chosen to use a different room since you have five bedrooms. Or you could use these:

    I have a 13 month old son, he knows how to climb and open doors and windows already. I would never feel comfortable with him so close to a window. Please at least get the guards.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 27, 2011 at 8:41 AM

      Luckily, these are already kid proof windows. There’s no way a kid, let alone a baby or toddler, can open one. I have trouble opening them. Plus we have a few months before we have to worry about baby proofing. So worse comes to worst, we’ll baby proof them further when times comes.
      All the other bedrooms, besides having a lot of windows as well, just aren’t a good fit for a nursery.

      • Reply
        October 27, 2011 at 9:22 AM

        Move the crib. Seriously. Also, the issues with toxic gasses in mattresses and a correlation to SIDS are very well documented. The mattress cover sounds amazing. But please move the crib. You would be floored by what a child can do that adults cannot. Little fingers are much more skilled than we think.

        • Reply
          Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
          October 27, 2011 at 9:37 AM

          It’s physically impossible for a kid to open those windows. It has two latches that need to be pressed at the same time and pushed up while pressed in order to open the window. A toddler’s arm span is not long enough to grab onto them, push them up and push the window at the same time. And you have to put enough force to push it up- I have to call my husband to open them sometimes.
          Of course, we won’t just rely on this, we’ll do some kind of window proofing once she’s closer to being able to pull up.

  • Reply
    October 27, 2011 at 9:22 AM

    I got to use the bumper I had for roughly 2 weeks. My newborn was super squirmy and would squirm her way over to the bumper so it came out. I agree to not even bother with it. Its a pain in the behind to remove and put back in (which is what you were describing doing if/when she uses the crib) and you end up having to find a place to put it when its out thats not in the way. I saw that you had a plug on the one wall (with no window) I would highly recommend that you get these versus the stick in kind. My 9 month old (at the time) figured out the stick in kind and was able to pull them out (I couldnt but he could….). I know you have a minute for serious babyproofing but if you install them now (versus later) you dont have to worry about doing it and you get used to using them.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 27, 2011 at 9:33 AM

      We have a million plugs all over the house ( 4-5 in each room) so I’ll definitely have to install protectors. Thanks for the tip on that particular one (ouch it’s gonna get expensive lol)

  • Reply
    October 27, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    oh wait…that looks like a cable outlet (and I see a phone outlet) you can get the flat panel kind for those (solid piece of plastic) but I still would get the outlet covers like the ones I linked to versus the stick in kind for the other outlets

  • Reply
    October 28, 2011 at 7:58 AM

    I love the colors that you’ve chosen and the white crib! The windows are great, but some babies cannot sleep with light (like mine) so you might want to get black out shades. Once we got them, our slept so much better!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      October 28, 2011 at 10:40 AM

      Definitely! I’ve already picked out the shades and just waiting on better sales to buy them. They’ll be white but with black out lining, so hopefully that’s going to be enough.

  • Reply
    December 7, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    I love your colors and how bright the room is! We are also expecting our first baby in a few months. I have been looking around for an organic mattress and there was nothing under $300 so I’ve been waiting for a good sale.

    Yesterday, I saw that Zulilly currently has the GreenBuds Organic Crib mattress on sale for under $200!!

    I just picked on up for our little one on the way and thought I’d pass along the deal. I called the company last night before buying it and they confirmed that no chemicals are added and they have an organic cotton and organic wool cover that comes with it.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      December 7, 2011 at 6:52 PM

      Haha! Same thing here. I’ve been waiting for naturepedic to go on sale but nothing. I did see greenbuds and my husband and I spent a few hours discussing and researching the company and their mattress. However, after going back and forth we decided to still buy naturepedic due to the fact that both latex and wool are well known allergens and according to naturepedic website, doctors advise children to stay away from them. I’m not so concerned with wool really since I’m planning on using a wool mattress pad but I do know people can be highly allergic to latex.
      So I personally don’t think it’s such a big deal since the baby wouldn’t come in direct contact with latex but my husband wanted to stick with no latex just in case. So if he’s ok paying 100 bucks more, I’m ok too!

      Thanks for mentioning it though! I really appreciate it!

  • Reply
    December 22, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    The first thing I bought for our girl was an ugly doll, too! I love them!

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