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Madeline’s Navy Nursery (that started out gender neutral)


With our third baby on the way, we decided that this time we didn't want to find out the gender, as we had with our first two (a boy and then a girl). So, I designed a gender neutral nursery that could have the final (gender specific) touches after baby arrived.

Design Inspiration

Because my second child was only 2 and we often still used the glider in her room to read bedtime stories or rock her when she wasn't feeling well, I decided to reuse my older child's rocker that he wasn't using anymore. It was a navy Nurseryworks Sleepytime Rocker that we got for a steal in a baby store that had accidentally ordered an extra. However, recovering it was out of our budget, so I decided to design the nursery around the chair and add in touches of pinky-coral later if we ended up having a girl (which we did!).

Decorating Style

I would call my decorating style modern traditional, maybe a bit eclectic. I love a vintage piece, but it has to have a clean, airy feeling to it. Many weekends were spent scouring Kijiji and antique malls for pieces in my home, and I love to add custom touches to make things my own. But when the budget doesn't allow, I often buy from Ikea and restyle what I've bought, or whip out the sewing machine and make it myself (or ask my wonderful mom, whose sewing skills far outmeasure my own). Oh, and I have a passion for Etsy!

Project Details

This very small room was converted from an office/guest room to our third child's nursery, and still needed to function as a guest room when in a pinch, so there were some pieces we had to work with which definitely made it easier to stay on a budget, but also made it more of a challenge to make it look the way I had envisioned. All in all though, I'm very pleased with how it all turned out - and how little it cost me.

Chair: Sleepytime Rocker in navy by Nurseryworks

Floor Pouf/Ottoman: made by Aletafae on Etsy (fabric provided by me was Swavelle/Mill Creek's Gunnison Geyser)

Drapes sewn with backtaps and blackout liner in ivory twill sewn by me

Lumbar pillow and blue Ikat pillows on daybed sewn by me and mom, also in Swavelle/Mill Creek's Gunnison Geyser.

Pinwheel art above crib DIY using the tutorial from the blog viewalongtheway

Professional photos of the room and photos in the frame were taken by Alisa Groves Photography in St. Albert. The obviously non-professional photos of the room were just taken by my iphone.

The "Bushel and a Peck" print was done by Mandipity on Etsy. The other two were DIY.

The blue and white frames were from Zin Frames in British Columbia.

The PINK frame and corkboard were DIY as were the gold leaf piggy bank (a $5 Home Sense find), gold painted elephant bookends (a $5 goodwill find), and blue and distressed painted owl (a $4 goodwill find).

The dresser (Expedit with drawer inserts) and nightstand (Stuva) were covered in wood panelling vinyl from Panyl. The daybed and crib are also Ikea.

The lamp was from Home Sense and I used gold leaf on the base accents.

My mother sewed the bumperless mattress sheet, crib skirt, and changepad cover in blue flannel in the same Ikat fabric.

The mobile was a $2 find from Goodwill and was covered in old Paddington bears and blue sleeves, which I removed and replaced with a vintage circus toy set I found on Etsy from Cogg's Antiques.

Favorite Items

My favorite item is the Ikat fabric, especially on the ottoman, which was a bit of a splurge for this budget nursery.


Work with what you have and find ways to customize it with paint and fabric. No need to spend a fortune on a nursery when they are going to outgrow so much of it so fast. And decorate the way you want it. You'll be spending so much time in there, and it will be a long time before baby will have any appreciation for the décor. Enjoy your nursery!

Rae White, Rochester, NY

Friday 8th of November 2013

Just came across this and am so inspired! Can you describe how easy hard it is to use panyl?


Tuesday 23rd of July 2013

Beautiful nursery. The navy just pops and is so well done. Thanks for sharing!


Wednesday 17th of July 2013

Love the blue pinwheels on the wall and the wall gallery with blue frames.

May Mosley

Tuesday 16th of July 2013

Very nice modern room. I think it still needs more feminine details, though.