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Map and Nautical Nursery


Creating this budget-friendly, relaxing, map/nautical nursery for our son was a family effort.  It's loaded with DIY projects and pitch-ins from my husband, mom, mother-in-law, grandmother, aunt, and of course, me.

I took a break from my career to stay at home with our first son (now two) and am blessed to still be staying home.  So, the budget for this room was considerably less than our first nursery.  Designing on a budget can be a lot of fun and requires you to be more creative and resourceful.  And, since we have touches from so many people in our life, it makes the room even more special!

Design Inspiration

We have an intense love for the ocean and beach, so that always seems to find its way into our home design and nurseries.  This is our first son's aqua and orange beach inspired nursery. I wanted a mellow and relaxing baby retreat this time around and I think we achieved it.  When I saw this inspiration board from Holly Mathis Interiors, it felt like it came right from my thoughts.  I used this a lot for inspiration in the room.

Decorating Style

On the contemporary side of transitional.  Clean lines, but warm, comfortable and livable.

Project Details

  • Paint:¬†My mom painted the room for us.¬† We used Sherwin Williams Softer Tan paint for the main walls.¬† It's a true, sandy-beige color.¬† We accented the back wall of the nook with Heavenly Blue paint by Benjamin Moore.
  • Map:¬†The map mural was one of the main splurges in the room and is from Pottery Barn.¬† My husband, mom and I put this up together.¬† It hangs like wallpaper, but is supposed to be easier to remove.¬†
  • Art:¬†Printable "He's Got the Whole World" and "First we had You..." Prints from my Etsy shop.
  • DIY Items:¬†1. My husband and I made the Baron sign (inspired by something I saw in a Pottery Barn catalog).¬† It's made from a skid, rope, old paint and paper mache letters spray painted with silver paint then sanded to distress.¬† 2. Fabric bunting.¬† 3. Pillows made by my aunt and I stenciled with a freezer paper B stencil.¬† 4. Shelf made by my husband years ago.¬† 5. Cross and Seahorse spray painted and sanded for a weathered look.
  • Crib Bedding:¬†I purchased the fabric and bumper pad fillers at¬†& Hobby Lobby and my mother-in-law made the bedding.¬† We purchased this Vogue¬†pattern, although she said it wasn't super helpful in making the bedding.¬† It was more for the extra accessories, which we didn't use.
  • Crib and Dresser/Changer:¬†This Bratt D√©cor¬†blu dresser wheat crib¬†came¬†from our first nursery.¬† We also got the cubbie, which is great toy storage in our lower level.¬† I don't think the crib is available any longer, but the dresser/changer and cubbie are at a SUPER DISCOUNT!
  • Daybed:¬†Potterybarn‚Äôs Stratton Daybed¬†with Baskets.¬† This also came from our first son's nursery and is great for storage.¬† I have clothes stored in the basket drawers.¬† If you have a place to put this bed where you can get to both sides, there are 6 basket drawers ‚Äď tons of storage.¬† We use the other three sturdy baskets to store other things like blankets, ¬†¬†¬†¬† toys, etc.
  • Daybed Bedding:¬†I wanted simple bedding here, but again, something beachy. We choose the Square-Tuck Duvet Cover and Shams by West¬†Elm.¬†¬† This also came from nursery #1.
  • Leather Chair:¬†This chair is on loan from my mom.¬† It's super comfy and reclines.¬† It will be a great quiet, cuddle place, especially for late night feedings.¬† It was purchased at a furniture store some time ago, not sure where.¬† It's similar to one here from Restoration Hardware, not super budget friendly.
  • Curtains:¬†I didn't realize how hard it was to find a sandy-beige curtain.¬† After much searching in stores and online, I found these curtains on¬†Amazon.¬† They are an almost perfect match to the paint, are grommet top (which open and close easily, and are good with the nautical theme) and they are black out too.¬† I wouldn't say they are true black out, but to get those in a beige is tough.¬† Plus, these feel like a nice cotton/slightly micro-suede like, instead of like plastic like most black outs.
  • Lighting:¬†I wanted a galvanized type barn/nautical light, but they were all really expensive.¬† I settled for this light from Home Depot and it looks nice in the room.

Favorite Items

There are so many things we love about the room, but the Baron sign is probably our favorite.  One, because it looks pretty cool, and two because daddy and mommy created it together while big brother supervised:)


1.  Create a nursery that makes you feel happy, relaxed and at peace while in it.

2.  A room doesn't have to be super expensive to be high style.  Be creative and do as much as you can yourself.  Not only will it save you money, but it will create an even more special nursery filled with lots of love.

3.  Buy quality when it comes to big items like the crib and dresser/changer and buy furniture that can grow with your little one.  Other things in the room are easy to find at a discount.  There are tons of sales in store and online if you're willing to do a little hunting.  Do searches online for discount codes for your favorite stores.  You can even get extra discounts for signing up for free newsletters and rewards programs.

4.  Enjoy the process with low stress.  It will all work out and look great!  Try to complete it a little early so you know it's all set for when your special boy or girl arrives.


Monday 17th of March 2014

Love blue and tan together for a baby boy! It is so soothing and calm! Your M.I.L. did a great job on the crib bedding. I love all of you D.I.Y.'s. The name and banner look great and look so professional. Oh....and I also love your first son's nursery. I am so "obsessed" with the beachy theme and the color aqua!