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Peter’s Classic Nursery


I didn't want a theme so we just went with "boy." I wanted to have classic elements that encouraged our son to use his imagination; I also wanted a room he could grow into. Everything in the room has meaning to either me or my husband; fishing and sports for him and literature and art for me. I love hanging out in there with my baby and that's the way a nursery should be!

Design Inspiration

I saw an image of a roman shade with green and yellow vertical stripes and I just fell in love with it. I loved that it wasn't your typical nursery color for a boy but it still totally worked. When I saw some fabric that was pretty much identical at my local discount fabric store,  I knew that was my starting point and I recreated the look. I loved the color scheme of green and brown in the image also, but I added primary colors as accents to bring lots of color to the room.

Decorating Style

I'm pretty traditional in most aspects in life, and decorating is no exception. I like to think my style is modeled after J.Crew: classic with a modern twist. For this room I wanted a very classic, boyish feel; especially since we were going with such a traditional name for our son. I also can't even fathom putting something in my home that doesn't have some sort of personal connection to me or my family members. I'm the same way with clothing; I won't wear a logo or graphic tee of any kind that doesn't represent me in some way.

Project Details

Most things in the room were made or redone with love. One of the first things we did was buy a used rocking chair off Craigslist. I saw one on that had been padded and reupholstered...retailing for $2400!! Yeah, not happening. We got one for 40 bucks and with the fabric and everything it was probably around $120 total. It was a labor of love though; my husband stripped the old tacky finish off and then stained it and then I added the padding and fabric. We love it! I love that it's really classic and traditional and it reminds me of an old pram with the curly legs. It's really comfortable too with the pouf, which I bought from


The crib was a definite splurge but we wanted a true beauty of a crib and I dare say we found it. I waited for it to go on sale, and like most other things at Pottery Barn, it did and I snatched it up. I've noticed they have since discontinued it. I think the room wouldn't be much without it and I can see it working in lots of other ways for our future children. It's a BEAUTIFUL piece of furniture.


My poor husband redid the changing table alone since I was about 8 months pregnant at that point. It was a real nightmare but of course it was worth it. It is the Berkeley changing table from Pottery Barn, but we got it for a steal from a local store called Downeast Outfitters. The natural finish didn't match our other dark furniture and I wanted a pop of color anyways so I had my husband strip the honey finish (don't hate me!), and paint it with semi-gloss oil based paint from Sherwin-Williams (the color is Grasshopper). Try stripping off an old finish and painting with oil based paint in the middle of winter in Utah and you'll know why it was a nightmare.


I made the fish mobile, the name pennant, the captain's mirror, THE SHADE (death), the Peter Pan quote, and the nursery rhyme art (I just bought a used nursery rhyme book and framed my favorite pictures/rhymes). The shade took me forever and I hate sewing AND our window is quite massive, so it was tortuous. And I was pregnant so bending over wasn't helping. :) I used a kit and it wouldn't have been that bad except our window is just really too big.


Other items:


Elephant hamper-Home Decorators


Wire shelf-T.J. Maxx! (I saw it and about died because it was only $30. I've seen similar ones online for $150!)


Bumper and Crib skirt-Pottery Barn

Brown gingham sheet-Carousel Designs

Family Tree-Sarah Jane Studios (love, love her stuff)

Dino puzzle-Amazon

Black storage ottoman-Target

Radio Flyer-Ebay


If you want to know anything else, just ask. :)

Favorite Items

Oh man, I love everything. This is really lame based on the number of projects we took on, but I seriously love that fox backpack! It brings a level of childishness to the room that I'm just over the moon for! I also love the crib, of course, and how functional the changing table is, but mostly I love that picture of my beautiful baby boy.


My first tip is to use and lay out a room or design board so you can see what works together and it also works for remembering where you found something so you can go purchase it later. It's supposed to be for creating style boards for outfits but it worked great for laying out a room too.


My next tip is once you do that, make a list of all the things you need to buy/accomplish before the room is complete and break it up over time so you are not stressed physically, financially or otherwise. Go over it with your family and decide who will be doing what and when. We had major projects like moving a piano and elliptical out of the room, repainting the walls, new carpet etc. that all kind of ended up in our lap all at once because we didn't plan well enough.


My other advice is don't follow trends. I may have a couple things that are trendy but overall I think the room is my aesthetic through and through and I'll look back on the pictures and still think it's a classic nursery.


Most importantly, HAVE FUN and get your husband in on it!

Victoria Alexis Arsenault

Monday 29th of October 2012

I LOVE the green paint on that changing table. Love love love it.

Florence Amber

Tuesday 19th of June 2012

Love those nursery rhyme artworks in frames! But I have to say that my favorite in this room is that large photo of Peter! So cute!