I would have loved to nest by feathering my baby’s room while I was baking Élie instead of the frantic box rummaging and resulting apartment tetrus I was actually doing. But timing had other ideas. Thank God for Pinterest, huh? At least I could scheme a while. The smallest of the three rooms (our bedroom, living room, É’s room) bore the brunt of the burden when we moved in. No immediate place for it? Baby’s room. So these before pictures are going to be very frightening. You’ve been warned! (All iphone pictures here)
This snap of the empty room will give you the best sense of its dimensions: the door opens flush against the left wall into a long and somewhat narrow room. The next image is half-way through moving day, when things started to go downhill.
And then, the really scary part.
It was terrifying, but apparently only to me and R. Someone else up there thought it was the best personal playground a cat could dream of! I almost felt bad for him as I started to move things around and get rid of things. Almost. From that point I worked really hard to make the piles go down but I was still digging when Élie arrived.
Over time, the room evolved as family came for a visit or I set up a make-shift office. But it was always with piles disguised as side tables or not disguised at all. I can’t find any pictures of that interim time but I’m pretty sure you’re not missing much.
Finally, around his nine month birthday, we managed to make enough of a room of it that we could put the little one to sleep in his own space without feeling like we were putting him in a storage room for the night. I just couldn’t do that, you know what I mean? More baby steps have brought it to where it is today and I have to say, even unfinished, I love being in this room. Here is our Élie’s room as it is now (again, many of these are quick iphone snaps of a tidied but not styled room!):
As you can see, someone was busy at work over in his reading corner as I snuck these pictures!
I love the cosy reading corner. I imagine curling up with Élie here when he is a bit older to read before bed or even just finding him there himself – he loves books! As with everything you see here, it is a project half done. We’ve just recently finished installing the shelves but really I’ll have to take them back down at some point to paint them white. They are recycled from our studio apartment and here against the pale gray, their color is driving me nuts. As for the corner itself, that great appliqué pillow is an old Hmong baby carrier I ordered from Etsy and sewed into a pillow case. I find the colors and stitching fascinating, imagining who made it, what they were thinking of as they stitched, and who was carried inside. More and larger pillows will join it along with a floor cushion but for now I tossed down things I have.
The opposite wall has two dressers pushed together with lots of clothes storage and a picture ledge that had been in our room holds some stuffed toys above. He points to the ones he wants and they are always hopping on and off that shelf! The framed pjs on the right are the ones he wore to come home from the hospital with a pair of little handknit socks. I used to knit pairs of baby socks while imagining who he would be as I took the bus for my (many, many) third trimester check-ups. The ‘buttons’ are vintage wooden bingo chips with the date of his birth 12*26*13.
The dressers are a funny story: I had seen the black one for a great price at the local thrift store and we thought it would be a good placeholder until we could save for the double dresser we really want. A couple months later I found the same dresser at the same thrift store, only in a natural wood finish! Ideally I would paint them both black (they are nothing expensive and a little beat up) but we are still planning on the dream dresser so I haven’t taken the time to do it…yet. Next to the dresser is a camp stool with a basket to hold the stroller’s accessories (rain cover, adapters, etc.) and two hook rails behind the door hold his coats and jackets and our sling.
This is our little spot in the evenings. Usually, Papa reads to him and then I nurse Élie. He loves watching that star hanging above us and it’s one of the first baby sign-language signs he worked on, signing star every night after I lay him in the crib. The armchair wasn’t meant for his room but I needed something comfortable for all the night nursings and so we moved this one in here. I’m not sure yet if it will eventually go back in the living room or stay here.
This last and least scenic view is the wardrobe next to the doorway. I’m still looking for handles I love (something vintage?) but this storage is our saving grace!
I think you will agree, the room is night and day from where it started but there are still plenty of things I’ve got on my list to finish. My initial color inspiration came from this luscious picture from Pure Vegetarian blog:
So using that as a rough jumping off point, here is a little idea board of where the room could end up:
We already have the star light, crib, pillow, and the large painting, a cloud and beach painting done by my uncle who was a wonderful artist. I can’t wait to manage to get it across the ocean to hang in here!
The perfect curtain fabric was given to us by my father who has been holding on to it for a while, leftover from a client project. Blue Brunchswig & Fils “Sea Coral” that I’ve only cut into panels and need to line and hem.
This is the dresser we are aiming for. It has such simple, classic lines and I know we would use it for years to come.
The rug that I tossed down in his room is too small and too dark, I’d love this one in a larger size to have a great play space!
Then we need to layer in some turquoise and orange splashes to bring in the color inspiration. This lamp is along the lines of what I’d like to find but I need something that isn’t too breakable in case it gets knocked off its perch.
Gosh I would love to be able to pull this room together right. now! Patience, Abigail. How about a little tour of the living room next week? This room, along with the kitchen, has been the focus of most of our DIY attention over the past year!