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Baby Boy’s Sophisticated, Vintage and DIY Neutral Nursery


When we moved into this house, the two kids' bedrooms were light blue. We kept the color for my 3-year-old daughter's room, adding gray furniture and LOTS of colorful orange, lime green, and hot pink accessories. It's fabulous! But when we found out we were expecting a boy, I knew light blue was a little too on-the-nose for his nursery. So my husband and I came up with this neutral-colored, sophisticated, masculine nursery with plenty of handmade details and some fun vintage elements.

Decorating Style

In general, I shoot for "sophisticated but interesting."

Project Details

We started with the taupe walls. We couldn't find the exact shade we wanted, so we bought a bunch of samples and mixed them together until we had what we liked, and then had the result color-matched at Sherwin Williams. The result is basically the exact color of chocolate milk in person. Yum! :-)

One of the next things I did was purchase a huge vintage Dick and Jane book from eBay. It was a classroom edition that came in a giant red book with a built-in easel. It was $75, and I initially planned on reselling the individual pages we weren't going to use, but I just couldn't stand to break up the book, so we're hanging onto it and will put the pages back in when we're no longer using them in the nursery. They are in high gloss gray frames from IKEA. My husband and I cut the Ikea mats to custom size ourselves to save money.

The banner above the crib spells out the baby's name in vintage 1960s flash cards my mom gave me a long time ago. I love the colors and drawings. Some of them are not very politically correct! (Like "I" is for "Indian.") They are hung on a piece of twine with miniature clothespins.

The antlers are from a buck my husband shot. The toy deer is from Melissa and Doug and was surprisingly affordable for such a large toy. (I think around $55-60) It is very sturdy; my 3-year-old daughter has already "ridden" it many times.

We made the globe mobile with some mini globes we found on eBay. They were originally sold at World Market. We got into a bit of a bidding war over them, but I think ended up getting them for about $30, including shipping. The metal rings are from a website that sells Native American craft supplies (they are intended to be used for dreamcatchers), and were extremely cheap.

I sewed the crib bedding. I wasn't able to find a tutorial online for the knockoff "complete sheet" with piping, so I came up with my own and shared it on my blog. The sheet fabric is Kona cotton from Joann's. All the rest of the fabric I used is Premier Prints (see sources list below). The crib skirt is just three rectangles, hemmed and attached to the crib frame with ribbon. This way, the skirt can be easily adjusted when the crib is lowered. (I learned this lesson the hard way with my daughter's crib skirt.) The crib is the same one we used for my daughter, so it's no longer available, but it was made by Dutailier.

The rocking chair is an antique that belonged to my great-great aunt. I had it recovered a few years ago. I sewed the little floor pouf following this tutorial. I used beanbag filler from Walmart instead of poly-fill to stuff it. That makes it look a little lumpier, but hopefully it will be a little firmer and stand up well to abuse.

I made the curtains using painter's drop cloths from Lowe's and ironed on ribbon trim using Stitch Witchery. I don't even think I had to hem them. We used curtain clips to hang them on a galvanized pipe curtain rod my husband made. We found the idea online, but I can't remember where. If you make one of these, make sure to attach it to studs. It is VERY heavy and could be very hazardous if a child were able to pull it down.

The chair is a really old EKTORP from IKEA. Pillow covers handmade. We recovered an old Walmart storage cube ottoman, also.

The little wall storage unit is from IKEA. It is originally intended as a shoe cabinet. We are using it for board books. We have the cute little book ledges in my daughter's room and they drive me crazy -- she has tons of books and they fall off constantly. This will be easier to get books in and out of, and will keep them looking neater, too. The picture ledges are from Ikea. The 1950's vintage bike license plate is from Etsy. The Jeremiah 29:11 print is one I had originally made for my daughter's nursery in bright, candy colors. I was able to change the colors to match her little brother's room. I love that they both have the same mama-made print in their room, with my favorite verse. The lamp is Ikea. The galvanized lunch bucket/tool box thing is from Home Goods, as is the wire basket. The tiny chair is from IKEA. Gotta have lots of places for big sister to sit!

The rug is a 6' square wool rug from Overstock. Great price for a good quality rug.

The clock is from IKEA, too. My husband cut the peg board to size for me and painted it with another color we mixed ourselves from paints we already had in the garage. The little outfit is from Target and the hat is from Hobby Lobby. The galvanized bucket, which I've had for a while, is great as a hamper (a function it served in my daughter's room before I stole it for this nursery!) :-)



For more info, visit my blog,

Picture Frames: mostly IKEA Ribba in high gloss gray

Deer Toy: Melissa and Doug via Amazon

Dreamcatcher Rings for DIY Mobile: Nocbay

Changing Table: South Shore Precious via Wayfair

Book Storage (shoe cabinet): IKEA Hemnes

Vintage Bicycle License Plate: Etsy

Rug: Safavieh Handmade Cambridge Moroccan Navy Wool Area Rug (6' square) from Overstock

Lamp: IKEA Ranarp Work Lamp

Clock: IKEA Pugg Wall Clock

Home Decor Fabrics (all from

Premier Prints Zapp Brown/Natural

Premier Prints Wild West Pewter/Natural

Premier Prints Storm Check (no longer available)

The "You are so Loved" print came from Etsy, I think, but I currently can't find it in my purchase history and can't remember what shop it came from.

Favorite Items

The vintage Dick and Jane prints, vintage flash cards, and handmade pipe curtain rods are among my favorite elements.