I never really intended to do a blog post with a full nursery tour, but since I’m so happy (and proud!) with the result and I got a lot of questions following the sneak peeks on my Instagram Stories (@littlelarey), I thought I’d give it a go. Full disclosure: I also really love reading posts like this for inspiration, so I hope I can do the same for you!
Gender Neutral Nursery
Yes, this is a loaded subject in The Netherlands these days, and I’m definitely not planning on starting a whole debate or something, but for us it was important that our nursery would be gender neutral. Not that blue or pink were out of the question from the start, but we just wanted to stay away from gender stereotyping. What I had in mind for the nursery was roughly based on how we are as a couple, our adventurous lifestyle and the dreams we have for our little kiddo. Side note: this idea came to mind way before we knew our bambino would be a baby boy. We just figured any child of ours, boy or girl, would probably have a wild and wandering soul just like ours :).
Let’s Go Get Lost
For the nursery we were thinking something along the lines of a retro off the grid cabin let’s go get lost explorer’s club vibe – if that makes any sense. And since we’ve been collecting all sorts of knick knacks from our travels during the years, we already had a lot of stuff we could use to loosely create the vibe we were looking for. And I think the unfinished vintage yellow paint on the walls (I love that the husband knew exactly what I wanted from my pretty vague description) perfectly creates that retro vibe.
We were also keen on going for a cooler look than your typical cutesy goo-goo ga-ga uchi-kuchi nursery (you know what I mean). To be honest, the biggest accomplishment was when I realized I would definitely like this room to be my own – even as a grown up. Yes, obviously there are baby elements to be found in the room, but I think we managed to keep the overall vibe pretty rad.
Make It Don’t Buy It
Of course Pinterest was essential for finding inspiration, especially since I did a few DIY projects. To be honest, the only big expense we had for the nursery was the Stokke crib (that we managed to buy on sale since we specifically wanted the – now discontinued – walnut color, and we searched high and low for it). It definitely helped that we could reuse some furniture that was already in the study. So we revamped our Ikea Billy bookcase into a lovely baby wardrobe by making “doors” out of fabric (thanks for the sewing lesson, mom!). And the built-in desk was transformed into a changing table by throwing a beautiful changing mat on it. Bam! Easy does it.
One of the projects I’m most happy with is the Wild + Free canvas banner I made. I saw a picture of it on Pinterest forever ago and I immediately knew I wanted to have it. But then I saw that it’s €80 on Etsy. I kid you not! Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about supporting small businesses and independent artists, but this was ridiculous. So one day I cut up an old canvas bag I had laying around, sew it into a banner, traced the text on it with a Sharpie, and I used a wooden dowel and some string to hang it up. Total costs: €2 (for the dowel; other materials I already had on hand). Yes people, that is correct. (I roughly followed this tutorial if you want to make one yourself)
The same goes for the mobile above the crib. I saw some amazing ones on Etsy, but again for STEEP prices (€150 anyone?) so I decided to try my hand at making one based on this image. I bought some felt balls and feathers online and tied them with some string on a wooden frame. Total costs: €15. YEAH!
The wooden oar hanging above the crib was a fairly last minute addition. It had been standing in the study for years as a keepsake from the husband’s sailing days (yes, I questioned why you’d need an oar for sailing). And since I felt that wall could use something, I thought we’d figure out a way to hang it. Enter: nautical rope and my still pretty badass knotting skills. Initially, I wanted to paint the oar similar to this one you can buy on Etsy (I know you want to know: “only” €200) but the husband wanted to keep it original and used his veto. Okay, fair enough. Marriage is all about compromises, right? And to be honest, I’m also digging this vintage look.
Go Green, Go Earth
Since trying to live a conscious and sustainable life is important to us, we were set on thinking green in terms of preparing for the bambino as well. Obviously there’s a lot of stuff you “need” to buy (read: stuff the internet says you need to buy), and we tried to recycle and reuse as much as possible. When it comes to things we actually need (like a stroller, a crib, baby clothes) we try to buy stuff that is either sustainable or organic or at least will last us a very long time. For example, our Stokke Sleepi crib can be used from the newborn phase all the way up to when our little boy will be 10 years old.
My sister gave us a lot of baby clothes from my nephew, which is not only super cute but also super green. And almost all of the clothes we did need to buy ourselves are made from organic cotton or bamboo. I searched for hours online to find organic ánd affordable muslin cloths (highly recommend: these from Konges Sløjd, these from Fine Little Day, or these from Fresk). Obviously we’re also stocking up on natural Naif baby care products since our friend Niki has been drilling us for years :). All the bedding and even the changing mat is organic. That’s right. No chemicals on our baby’s butt!
Decorating is all about the little details, right? Well, that’s probably bullsh*t, but to be honest, all those little things did make it all come together. And since I know how frustrating it is when you see something on a picture online but it doesn’t say where it’s from, I’ll try to give as much details as possible. Mind you, a lot of stuff was bought on our travels or had already been in our home for quite some time. If you see something I’ve missed, please holla and I’ll get back to you soon!
Crib: Stokke Sleepi // Bedding: Imps & Elfs // Vintage Oar: family heirloom // String Lights: Cotton Ball Lights // Canvas Banner: DIY (tutorial) // Dream Catcher: bought in Canada at Our Native Land // Crib Mobile: DIY // Laundry Baskets: Sissy Boy Homeland // Changing Mat: Cam Cam Copenhagen // Blue & White Storage Baskets: H&M // Yellow Basket: Zana Products // Persian Art: brought from Iran // Night Lights Collection: Sissy Boy Homeland // Vintage Flask: bought in Scotland // Wooden Animals: collected from Zambia, Indonesia, Azores // Large Animal Prints: LILAxLOLA // Penguin Print: Crisp Sheets // Photo Prints: own collection // Kilim Pillows: Decolic Kilim Pillows // Embroidered Pillow: bought in Turkmenistan // Aztec Rug: bought in Santa Fe, NM // Wooden Coat Rack: Dille & Kamille // Grey & Blue Fabric Baskets: Ikea // Curtains: Ikea (discontinued) // Animal Nesting Dolls: Wee Gallery // Family Nesting Dolls: Sketch Inc. // Matryoshka Doll: bought in Russia // Music Box: bought in Russia // Animal Candle Holders: Store Without A Home (discontinued) // Trains: husband’s collection