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Graeme’s “Whooo Gives a Hoot” Tree-themed Nursery


I designed this nursery for our first-born son, who arrived April 9, 2012. I chose to use Grey as a neutral backdrop with hits of turquoise, lime green and dark blue. The hard furnishings are not the ubiquitous "ebony" colour, so popular these days; instead I chose to reuse my own birch childhood furniture, and incorporate the birch colour in the rest of the room in the shelves and lighting fixtures. The room is quite small (10' x 10'), so instead of overwhelming it with too much of the birch, I added elements of white in the crib, glider and shelf brackets. I was aiming for a relaxed version of Mid-Century, 1960's-Era "modern" style (though the birch furniture is in fact from the 1970's...).

Photographs courtesy of Mike Day: "The Art of Wee Ones", Toronto, ON, Canada (

Design Inspiration

I have always loved owls (one of the first books I remember reading was Farley Mowat's "Owls in the Attic"), and I remember my Grandmother having quite a collection when I was a child. I wanted to use owls as the unifying concept for Graeme's nursery, without it being too heavily influenced by cutesy images of owls, etc. Things finally came together when I saw this image: ( online, (though I did not end up purchasing my birch tree decals from that particular store).

Decorating Style

Eclectic! I enjoy using both modern and traditional approaches to design. Currently I am obsessed with Mid-Century Modern furniture and design, a nod to the popularity of shows such as Mad Men or the 'Cool-ness' of West Side Story.

Project Details

Crib: Loom by Nurseryworks, purchased at Ella+Elliot in Toronto (

Bedding (except the crib sheet and pillows) and Curtains: Sewn by my mom using fabrics from Michael Miller and Amy Butler, as well as two different duvet covers purchased at Canadian retailer Bouclair (matches the pillows).

Change table: Repurposed desk from the furniture set I used myself as a child and teenager. Dresser and small Bedside unit (beside glider) are also part of the set.

Change pad holder: Argington "Anywhere Changing Tray" (

Birch Cube: Ikea ( 

Mirror: re-purposed from another room

Rug: Ikea (

Glider: the Grano from Monte Design Inc. (

Grey paint: Benjamin Moore CC-518 Escarpment.

Birch trees: ordered from Canadian Etsy shop Evgie Nev (

Hanging lamp: Vintage from my parents' kitchen circa 1978

White Table Lamp, Bentwood lamp and Floral Globe lamp (on Dresser): Ikea (,, and

Mobile: Owls purchased at Etsy store LoveFelt Creations ( and Mobile Frame and Animal Art Cards bought at Simply Green Baby in Oakville, ON (

Bunting: DIY, created using scrapbooking paper, hemp twine and pre-cut vinyl letters. 

Artwork: DIY from scrapbooking paper I bought at Homesense and Ribba frames from Ikea, and Images found online in the public domain, and printed using iPhoto software.

Owl frame: Dwell Studio

"See no Evil, Hear no Evil, Speak no Evil" Owls: Winners

Roxie the Owl and her babies: Pier One Imports

Wooden Car reliefs: carved by my husband's father 25 years ago!

Favorite Items

I knew I wanted to include Bunting SOMEWHERE in Graeme's room... I'm so glad I did! The spelling of Graeme's name is a nod to my husband and my shared Scottish/Gaelic heritage (the more popular spelling, "Graham", is Anglo-Saxon). I also really love the carved car reliefs that were made by my husband's late father - I think they really personalize the room.


Gather images from many sources of what you like before you start buying items (unless, of course, you fall in love with something and MUST have it!), and have a clear idea of the look you hope to achieve. Purchase things over time and allow your design to develop organically rather than buying everything from one store or trying to recreate a specific "look" that you saw in a magazine or online. Try to incorporate a little DIY into your design for your little one... they will appreciate the story of how you made it just for them later on!


Saturday 30th of June 2012

I love everything about this room - the colors, the soothing birch decals, and of course, the owls. So many of our Etsy customers are owl fanatics - and we're right there with them. Congratulations Jennifer and Kris on a beautiful baby boy and a fantastic nursery! Lulukuku


Thursday 31st of May 2012

LOVE the color scheme!! As an art teacher, I can see that you have an art background beyond the music... the birch trees are perfect in there! just be careful with those pillows in the crib please- makes me nervous! maybe they were just for the photo op! ; )


Thursday 31st of May 2012

bonjour I'm a french new mom and I just discovered this blog.I think your nursery is absolutely amazing and I love birds too. Your mobile is wonderful. Great choices and nice tastes!Congrats for your work and welcome to the world Graeme!