As a mother of two boys (and an aunt to 7 boys), I have had little experience with much in the "girly" department. In April we were shocked at the odds that a little girl would be entering this family full of only boys. It looked like colors such as pink and purple may enter our life, as well as flowers and bows. I knew I wanted to create a feminine space, but I wanted it to remain sophisticated, yet sweet. It was too hard to resist the color pink after years of its absence, however, it is no surprise that the color blue found it's way into sweet Carolina's room too!
My initial color inspiration was white and pink. However, that plan was derailed when a red crib was generously lent to us by a friend. I switched gears and decided to go white with accents of red and blue. I struggled with trying to keep this project in the "girly" arena. The fabric of the bumper and skirt are linen and the bumper is trimmed with a beautiful lace, so that was my first touch of femininity. Next I brought in a collection of blue and white dishes, some in the family for multiple generations, a few purchased from a perfect little store in Camden, Me. While on a family vacation to Maine this summer, I found what was to be the inspiration piece for this room at that perfect store too, a cornflower blue and white hand-hooked wool rug. This rug was a gift to Carolina from her Nana. I never set out to include "birds", but some how they flew into this room. As luck would have it, a problem occurred with the red crib and it was replaced by a new white one, so accents of red were quickly pulled out. It seemed there was going to be a place for pink in this sweet room after all, but not in the way I initially had pictured. Rather than pink being the center, it is sprinkled with pink by little accents here and there. My favorite part of Carolina's room is that each piece has a story about how it found it's way into this room (oil paintings purchased in St. Petersburg, Russia, 13 years ago, cabinets sitting unwanted in a sibling's garage, plates passed down from generations, and a chair that I held her brothers in as newborns too), just like this soon to be little girl has found her way into our life.
Traditional and clean and sophisticated.
Crib: Kendall Crib - Pottery Barn Kids - New
Bumper and Bedskirt and pillow and birdcage - Restoration Hardware - New
Dresser and Changing Table - El Greco Furniture - Old
White Glider - 7 years old
Sheet and Changing Pad Cover - Annette Tatum - New
Antique Cabinet - found in my brother's garage from an aunt that had it from my grandmother
Hand-hooked wool rug and some blue and white dishes and silver dish "Question Everything" - Jo Ellen Designs, Camden, Me - The rug is designed by award-winning artist and illustrator Jo Ellen Stammen - www.joellendesigns.com - New
Other blue and white accessories - family collection
Steiff Animals - FAO Schwartz, NYC - New
Bronze Giraffe - LEO Designs, NYC - Old
Ballerina Elephant - BlaBla - New
Oil paintings- purchased on the street from an old Russian man in St. Petersburg in 2000
I love white, it is so crisp and clean and feminine. As a base it allowed me to add colors like pale pink and cornflower blue and remain true to the style of the room. My sister-in-law made the "CAROLINA" banner for my shower, I had shared with her an image of the rug and the sheet fabric and added that I wanted to add pink in the room with the red gone. She noted the birds in the rug and added them to hold the banner. I loved the banner so much that I pulled it into the room. And the birdcage was another gift from a friend that added to the birds, and my SIL made a bird for the cage for a shower center piece.
So many accents in this room have come from within my own home (dishes, giraffes, oil paintings, mirror, dresser, glider, and side table) that I have acquired over the years. Seeing each of these pieces has made it truly a special project to my heart because I can see the history within her room.
The Jo Ellen Designs rug. My roots with my boys are so honed into the color blue that I love that it found it's way into her room. Yet, the color has been transformed in this space to be sweet and feminine. And those tiny little birds were just the perfect finishing touches.
I stayed true to a hue that I was comfortable with, white, and I brought in a unfamiliar color, pink. And was surprised to have it a familiar color be the center of the room, blue. Stay in your comfort zone, yet explore new concepts, and don't be shocked when old bits pull it all together for a perfect project.