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Amara’s Travel Nursery


We wanted Amara's nursery to reflect two of our favorite things: travel and reading. Almost every piece in the nursery came from our own travels and all of the books are books from mine, my husband's, and my nephew's childhood, making every part of this nursery especially meaningful.

At the same time, we wanted this nursery to transition with our daughter as she grows older so we converted the walk-in closet into a mini playroom that she can use as her own play nook when she's older. We used neutral white fixtures and furniture so that she can decide on her own favorite color for her room as she gets older.


Design Inspiration

Our inspiration was the hot air balloon bag that we first found in Cappadocia, Turkey, while we were traveling around the world.  (You can read more about our travels at our site The Road Forks.)  After we found that bag, we kept running into hot air balloon and balloon accessories everywhere we went: from the Venetian glass balloons to the ceramic hot air balloon ornament purchased in Prague on the day we found out I was pregnant.

Decorating Style

Simple, clean, and a little bit quirky.

Project Details

My husband built the wall of books using 2 x 4 pine wood and crown molding, purchased at Home Depot.  The total cost for the bookshelves ran around $300.  My husband also built the swing-out arm above the changing pad using a simple dowel and a hinge so that we can hang toys on it to keep her occupied during the dreaded diaper changes.

The crib, dresser, and nightstand are from the Echelon Diya collection and the rug is the Momeni Lil Mo Hot Air Balloon Rug.  We purchased and customized the plane decal from the Etsy GraphicSpaces store.

The ceiling fan pull is the hot air balloon fan pull by Clementine Designs and we printed our own pictures from Cappadocia, Turkey, and Etosha Reserve, Namibia using Easy Canvas Prints.  The luggage boxes on dresser are from Michael's craft store and the customized changing pad cover is from the Etsy Sweet Mia Boutique store.

Lastly, we put in new shelving in the closet and hung hot air balloon lanterns from Oriental Trading Company.

A few random DIY tips:
- look around your house to see if you can re-use items before buying baby-specific things.  For example, instead of purchasing an expensive glider, we simply moved a comfy armchair and ottoman that we already had and it's perfect for nursing and cuddling the baby.
- Folding clothes is a lot easier than hanging clothes so having a wide dresser has come in very handy, especially since we are now running loads of newborn laundry every single day!  There are very few clothes hanging in the closet and, instead, we're using the closet for more books, toys, and other miscellaneous equipment.

Favorite Items

We both love the wall of books.  Every child who has come into the room instantly gravitates toward the mesmerizing collection of books and we know that this is going to help instill a love of reading in our child.


Don't be afraid to use non-traditional colors in your nursery!  Everyone was surprised when we told them we were painting our girl's nursery blue but the pops of red help keep it feminine without being too girly.

Take your time in envisioning your ideal nursery and building something you'll love.  We spent almost a solid month worth of weekends working on the nursery but we are so happy we put in that time because we are now in that room more than any other and it is such a cheerful and sunny place to be with our little daughter.

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