When we found out we were expecting twin girls, I was daunted by the idea of creating a functional nursery for two babies in such a small space. My husband and I bought a 1,000 sq. foot bungalow three years ago, before we were thinking about one, much less TWO, little ones. However, by piecing together items I love and hiding storage anywhere possible, we were able to work with the limited space we have to bring the nursery to life.
I started with items I had collected from my childhood home and the rest of the room developed from there. From the cotton boll wreath to several old quilts that had belonged to my mother, I began to pull together a "southern gothic" theme. An old wall calendar from Anthropologie containing vintage-looking bird prints became the jumping off point for the wall art.
I always gravitate to vintage pieces and unexpected color pairings. I need to be surrounded by lots of contrast and texture as well, so items made from burlap, to leather, to muslin often find their way into our rooms. I'm also a sucker for pattern!
We began with the paint color, a light sea-foam green, which I selected before we found out the babies' genders. Once we knew we were having girls, I wanted to add feminine, but not cloyingly sweet, details along with lots of beloved heirlooms.
Next, I found the material for the curtains: splashes of blooming cotton set against a mustard yellow backdrop. My mother-in-law come and helped sew the curtains, adding the fabric I had selected to some ivory muslin panels from Ikea she had picked up from a yard sale. She was such a lifesaver and brought a whole bag of diy tricks with her!
A vintage dresser from Craigslist was refreshed with some new knobs, and became a changing table for the girls. Conveniently, it had space underneath to accommodate baskets to stash burp cloths, blankets, etc.
We nabbed the nursing chair, an Eames reproduction, at a local consignment shop. A small stool made of corn husks, that had been part of my own nursery, serves as an ottoman.
Perhaps the only "new" items in the room were the cribs and the rug.
Cribs: Jenny Lind, Target
Rug: Leather and Hemp, Overstock.com
Dresser/Changing Table: Craigslist
Nursing Chair: Consignment shop
Curtains: DIY (Ikea panels with material from Joann's Fabric)
Hanging Shelves for books: Yard sale (painted the same color as the walls)
Lighting fixtures: Home Depot
The wreath on the door was made by my father with cotton blooms from my grandparents' farm. It makes me smile every time I look at it!
The basket hanging by the changing table held fruits and veggies in my childhood kitchen. Now it is used to stock diapers, creams, and pacifiers.
Above the door hang side by side silhouettes, one of my mother and one of me. They were made by a grandfather and grandson from South Carolina, who passed down the tradition. I can't wait to have similar ones made for our girls.
A friend made the mobiles hanging above the girls' cribs. She used twine, sticks, and crafted beautiful birds out of art paper. She even included a Mama Bird with 2 eggs! I love the way they sway and cast dancing shadows on the wall.
My pointe shoes hang above a Beatrix Potter tea set from my childhood. I can't wait to have tea parties with my girls!
Start early and take your time, adding layers as you go. Trust your instincts and only include pieces you absolutely love. Also, don't be afraid to repurpose items not typically found in a nursery! Finally, you don't have to spend a ton. We were gifted our cribs, but all the other design elements of the room were purchased for less than $500.