I wanted to create a serene and elegant nursery for Noora that highlighted the things that matter most to us: reading and discovery, family and friends, and our Arab heritage. I chose a soft color palette of light grey walls, white furniture, and accents of pink, blue and beige. The theme is both soft/floral and storybook-based. The nursery is full of personal touches and gifts including a couple of DIY projects, a framed cross-stitch from my sister, many books that are gifts from close friends and family, a cute Arabic alphabet poster to remind Noora of the joys of reading and her heritage and a knit sweater from grandma.
While pregnant with Noora I was working on a project in New York city. When our usual Sheraton was sold out, I had the pleasure of staying in a wonderful boutique hotel in Soho. My room had framed pages from books as artwork and this gave me the idea of a story-book themed nursery. I also wanted something girly but elegant so I wove in delicate flowers, birds and animals throughout the room.
Elegant yet comfortable. Neat with personal elements and a touch of whimsy.
Crib - Ikea Hensvik $99
Bedding - Pottery Barn Kids Maya bedding $149 each for quilt and bumper, $19 each for sheets
Crib bird and flower mobile - DIY project, inspired by a design on Etsy that you can buy for $80
Crib wall art - white branch with blue birds is DIY hand-painted; cherry blossoms are a decal from AllModern $75 (branch was beige, painted over it in white)
Cross stitch - DIY from my sister
-Dutalier chair (was hard to find in white but found one at ToysRUs) $399
-Morrocan White Leather Pouff - Amazon $149 including shipping and stuffing
-Nightstand - Amazon $49
-Wall shelf - Land of Nod $109
-Lamb rocker - Pottery Barn Kids $149
-Arabic calligraphy prints - Etsy $20 each, Ikea frames
Dresser - Ikea Hemnes $399; pink 'crystal' knobs Target $12; Peter Rabbit knobs from Etsy
Victorian style mirror - Restoration Hardware Baby & Child $79
Storybook prints - Art.com ~$29 each; white gallery frames from Ikea ~$8 each
Changing pad - Boon $60 at Giggle (sleek, easy to clean, great toy hook that Noora loves)
Lamps - Ikea <$20 for shade and lamp
Deer Hamper - Little Sprouts on Amazon $25
Rug - Land of Nod 5'x8' flying carpet $199
Window bench/shelf - Overstock ~$100
My favorite items would have to be all of the wall art because they really bring the room to life and provide a personal touch as several are DIY. They also illustrate what we think is important - reading, curiousity, learning, adventure, and being close to one's heritage.
I suggest starting by searching for designs you like on the internet. Use pinterest or another method to keep track of everything you like. Don't worry about cost - just focus on design. Then, once you've refined and honed in on a look, start adding the actual products you might purchase. This is when you can edit for cost.
You don't have to spend a lot. For example, the Ikea crib was only $99 but it's made from a solid birch wood - stronger than pine! Remember, all cribs meet the same safety specs. The dresser was only $399 and it's nicer and roomier than other more expensive dressers. I gave it a personal touch by changing out the knobs.
Finally, it's nice to have some personal elements. Figure out what you're capable of doing and include a DIY project or two. It's something your little one will cherish. While it can save some money, be aware that these projects can be very time consuming. The wall branch and the crib mobile would have been well worth the money considering the amount of time I put into them, but I want my daughter to have things that I made for her.