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Baby Bowden’s Nursery


This is the room we prepared for our first baby- a little girl due November 1, 2011. Though we knew we were having a girl, I wanted to keep the room on the neutral side, so it could "grow up with her", and potentially be used for future kiddos as well. In addition, we wanted to keep to a budget, so we reused existing items as much as possible. We ended up making or modifying a majority of items in the room- and I love how all of that work resulted in a customized room with a ton of personal touches.

Project Details

Dresser- Free "curbside find"- refinished and painted.

Crib- new- DaVinci Jenny Lind

Chair- repurposed Ikea armchair- modified with a rocker/glider base from a craigslist recliner

Ottoman- slipcovered thrift store find

Table, lamp and clock- Target

Giraffe rocker- Craigslist

Pillows-Stripe- Urban Outfitters, Floral- target, Bird- etsy, Globe- handmade by me!

Quilt- gift from a friend

Window treatments and cribskirt- handmade, fabric from

Rug- Urban Outfitters doormats assembled with rug tape

Art above books- vintage scarves in album frames

Mobile- handmade, using Urban Outfitters photo hanger

Favorite Items

The grey walls (Disney color "mickey's shadow") and grey and white striped ceiling were the foundation of the room. I'm addicted to grey and stripes (especially combined!) and I plan to pass that neutral love on to my daughter. The ceiling was definitely an undertaking, but I could not be more thrilled with the results.

The accent wall is chalkboard, with a layer of magnetic paint underneath. We painted a collection of empty frames we already owned, and affixed them to the wall with velcro (so we can remove them later, but there's no danger of little hands knocking them off the wall). I love that we can change up the entire look of the wall with a little bit of colored chalk- and eventually our little girl can create her own revolving art gallery!

But perhaps my favorite part of the room are the book shelves. My husband (with the help of my dad and step-dad!) built custom ledges to store all of Baby B's books. I love how they showcase the covers like art and add a ton of color to the room.

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  1. avatar C says:

    How did you get the chalkboard paint to look so smooth and streak free… 4 coats in and ours is messy

  2. avatar nay2309 says:

    What a stunning room! I love how colourful and playful it is. Well done, its amazing!

  3. avatar Cjko says:

    Pier 1 has a lot of colorful rugs. I am still on a hunt for a rug as well. My husband vetos many I like. There is also a rainbow striped one on and has a lot as well.

  4. avatar Jessica says:

    I also tried ordering several rag rugs from Urban to tape together. But when I received them, they were all sooo completely different. It would have never looked like one big rug.

    It was a huge disappointment, because I love the look of your room. I’d love any other suggestions for a great place to find a colorful rug!

  5. avatar Jeff says:

    Just caught this room…amazing job all around. Love the rug. It looks like one that Anthropologie sells for close to $900. Chalkboard wall is perfect.

  6. avatar Heather says:

    Love the whole room. I am highly interested in the window treatments (the frames above the windows)… you state that you handmade them with fabric. Did you make the frames yourself or did you cover a premade frame. If it was premade, where did you get them?
    PS, you have my vote: )

  7. avatar Cjko says:

    I had similar issues with my urban outfitters rugs. I tried the same thing and ordered multiple shag rugs. First they were listed as 3×5 but were really only 2×3 and they didn’t even make them in 3×5 and then the colors were very different from rug to rug. i still haven’t found a rug i want yet. I did find a great site with reasonable prices and you can order samples. but my husband now says he hates shag rugs. This nursery is still one of the best i have seen. Love it!

  8. avatar JeanM1211 says:

    I love this room!! You did a great job. I took your decor advice on the rugs since I couldnt find what I was looking for and your idea was so clever and inventive..So I tried it with a shag rug similar to yours that was also from Urban Outfitters but more neutral since we arent finding out the sex of our baby..but the rugs completely didnt match the colors of the shag pieces online. So i had to return them :( I love the ones you used! but I dont know if Im having a girl LOL I ended up just getting a solid grey area rug to match our room…it works fine but i love what you did, wish it worked..but aw well lol

  9. avatar CourtneyJo says:

    Hey Amanda, it is a bit of a medium to dark shade of grey but I like that it is a bit dramatic. I tend to favor deep rich colors though, so you may have to judge your own comfort level and go for something that suits you. I do think the photos are pretty true to life… This room gets significant sun depending on the time of day, so that would be a factor as well. During the day it still feels bright, but at night it’s very cozy, so I think it’s perfect. Good luck!

  10. avatar Amanda says:

    I went by Home Depot and got a paint sample for the color listed here and it seems a little dark. It looks so beautiful in the room so I’m wondering what your initial reaction to the paint color was. Has the photo been lightened very much? I love the gray walls but don’t want to pick something that ends up too dark.

  11. avatar CourtneyJo says:

    Melina & MT- So glad you liked the projects! I didn’t do full tutorials, but I do have some details on my blog.

    Thanks for all the love everyone!

  12. avatar JamiesonBarkett says:

    I simply adore this room. I love the dark walls, stripe ceiling, yellow dresser on the wall with all the frames, the floor to ceiling wall shelves… Can I move in?? :)

  13. avatar Erin F says:

    You and your husband has done a fabulous job! I absolutely adore your creativity especially the homemade mobile and book shelves. Best wishes on your baby girl’s arrival.

  14. avatar Elizabeth G says:

    I love the rug, bookshelves, dresser and quilt. Best wishes!

  15. avatar MT says:

    Where can I find those fabulous bookshelves? Great job on the room!

  16. avatar Mischa says:

    Love, love, love this room! I’ve already forwarded this on to my husband and about 6 friends. Well done!

  17. avatar Melina says:

    I was wondering if you could explain how you repurposed the chair. I have that same chair from Ikea and find it very comfortable but I would LOVE to make it into a glider/rocker!

  18. avatar Laura says:

    This is such a creative idea! I love how you used the book covers as ‘art’. The rug picks up the colors perfect in the books. Very inspirational room, great job!

  19. avatar Deanna says:

    I love it all…gray walls add a depth to the room

  20. avatar CourtneyJo says:

    Recreate- ask and you shall receive! Mobile photo posted! Glad you like it!

  21. avatar Recreate says:

    I love the chalkboard wall and what you did with it. Your mobile looks interesting, but too bad there’s no close-up photo of it. Overall, your room is just amazing!

  22. avatar Dawn says:

    this is amazing, what a great job!

  23. avatar Renee says:

    Amaaaaazing job courtney & dustin!!!!! Absolutely love love love it!!!! Everything about it… Gorgeous. Can’t wait to see pics of the little one IN it :) xoxo

  24. avatar craftyp says:

    Fabulousness Courtney! Love it all- can’t wait for baby to arrive! love the scarves in frames idea (want to see close up ;)

  25. avatar CourtneyJo says:

    Thanks everyone….I’m thrilled you all like it!
    Cjko- it was so easy- just get some rug tape (cheap from lowe’s) and go to town! The whole thing ended up being about the same price as a large rug- and more unique!

  26. avatar Cjko says:

    I love the rug! Thanks so much for the idea of attaching more than one. I found a shag one I liked at Urban Outfitter’s but they only had a 3×5. Now i am going to get a few and do what you did. Adorable room! Love the colors.

  27. avatar stephanie says:

    i love love love this room! Thanks for the inspiration!

  28. avatar RedDirtRevival says:

    This is the first room I’ve seen on here that I’ve given 5 stars! I LOVE it!

  29. avatar yeyen11 says:

    Love the rug and ceiling! 5*!!

  30. avatar Holly says:

    Love the bookshelves, the rug, the ceiling and the walls!!! Looks great!!