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Vintage Modern Nursery in Gray and Turquoise


We have a small house where the nursery is very visible, so I wanted to create a design with a style and colors that would blend in with the rest of the house.   Translation:  Avoid "babyish" themes or colors, while still creating a space that is peaceful, fun, and functional for a child. This is a small room--about 10x12--so it was a challenge to fit in the needed furniture and storage space as part of the design.  We didn't have room for a dresser, so built removable shelves in the closet to keep clothes, toys, and the plethora of baby "stuff" you need nicely organized.  As his clothes get longer, we'll remove shelves to extend the space for hanging clothes.  I also added baskets throughout the room (including some great ones on sliders under the crib to store extra diapers!) to add storage that is movable while also bringing natural textures to the room. We wanted the primary color of the nursery to be gray to mix it up because the rest of our house is based in browns, but I left some natural browns in the room (baskets, wood knobs, silk lamp shade) to tie in the rest of the house and balance the cool tones in the room.

Design Inspiration

My inspiration came from many laborious hours researching online.  Many of the ideas for key elements came from Project Nursery, Olioboard (where you can create design board to visualize your project), and

Decorating Style

I like to mix old shapes and textures with fresh, modern colors. For instance, I like the juxtaposition of the Jenny Lind style crib and classic lines of the shaker-style changing table with the modern gray and turquoise colors and the bold paint design on the cabinet.

Project Details

DIY Tips:

  • We put up the chair rail to add some architectural detail to the room.¬† Molding for the whole room cost less than $40.
  • I¬†painted the stripes on the changing table/cabinet by painting the whole cabinet¬†light gray and then using painter's tape to create the darker stripes. ¬†The light color is the same Sherwin Williams paint as the walls, but in enamel.
  • The tissue paper poms were impossible to hang from the ceiling with tape or anything clear.¬† We ended up needing to use white cup hooks and hang them higher than planned to cover the hooks.¬† I look how they look, but I'd suggest thinking about hanging them when working on your design and not "poofing" them until you're ready to hang them.

Project Items:

Favorite Items

My favorite items are the changing table handmade by Asher's Grandpa and the poms and pennant, which add childish fun and flair to the room but still appeal to adult aesthetics. I also love the painted rocking chair customized with the darling gnome graphic and name (from Elephannie on Etsy).


I drove myself crazy trying to create the "perfect" nursery and spent literally dozens and dozens of hours researching fabric and shopping. In the end, I had to scrap a lot of ideas and return a lot of things but somehow it still came together.  It's not at all what I initially envisioned but I think that crazy nesting process helped me arrive at a room that we can love and that can easily grow and change with our son.


Sunday 20th of November 2011

Are those paintings or prints above the changing table? They look interesting.

Adult Toys

Monday 14th of November 2011

I've always wondered about this. Do women feel like adult toys are as good or better than doing it when a man?


Monday 14th of November 2011

I like that your nursery doesn't look baby-ish with the dominantly grey and white colors. That kiddie rocking chair is way too cute, too!