Project Nursery: Inspiring Rooms

My usual decorating process goes something like this:

1. Collect inspiring images into a folder on my desktop (over days or months)
2. Identify and pull from those images what resonates with me from each room (maybe a beautiful chair or wallpaper pattern)
3. Compile an inspiration board of furniture & general aesthetic from the images
4. Use the inspiration board to inspire colors and patterns
5. And finally DIY and search out components of the board until the room is complete, tweaking to incorporate great finds and changing tastes

Try as I might, I’ve gotten as far as step 2 for the new nursery over the past 8 months (yes, 8 months!). That darn room has changed so many times in my mind that as soon as I’m ready to commit I change my mind again.

But here’s a look at step 2. Here are the images that have resonated with me over the past year for this reason or that:

Inspiring Nurseries, Nursery Inspiration, Decoration, Decor Kid's Rooms

It only adds to the conundrum that the room has to stay fairly gender neutral until baby comes. We’re both excited to wait for ‘the big surprise’ but it’s difficult to build a design concept that doesn’t inch too much towards masculine or feminine.

Inspiring Nurseries, Nursery Inspiration, Decoration, Decor Kid's Rooms

I’m pretty certain the basic colors will stay in the neutrals (white, tans, browns) with splashes of red accents. From there, baby blues and yellows can build up a more colorful backdrop and I’m excited to use a decent amount of playful patterns in various fabrics for crib bedding, window valences (to corral those three awkward windows), curtains, pillows, fabric decals and the like.

Inspiring Nurseries, Nursery Inspiration, Decoration, Decor Kid's Rooms

Here I go, back to the drawing board. If I don’t have a pretty descriptive inspiration board to help guide my choices I end up doubting and returning more than I’d care to admit! Laying out pattern and color choices in advance makes for a fun design process – and pulling all of the pieces together is always my favorite part.

Stay tuned!

Inspirational rooms from above: Ohdeedoh, Samantha Pynn, 6th Street Design School, Ish & Chi, Isabella & Max and others from months and months ago…

One More Reason to Throw a Fall Party…

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While the leaves don’t really change here in San Diego, I sure do love the idea of a fall celebration under the red and orange glow of an autumn maple shedding it’s summer foliage. So while I can dream, perhaps some of you can make this a reality!

Here’s a bit of inspiration by Sandra Downie Event Designs that has me oohing and ahhing over the changing seasons {sigh}.

French COuntry Fall Tablescape, Autumn, Dessert Table, Orange, November, Thanksgiving, Brown, Red, Changing Seasons, Decoration, Decor, Tablesetting

I love the fall colors and the simple, elegant designs (such as those beautiful zinnea and hypericum berry arrangements!). Check out these beautiful favor bags – handmade details created from torn book pages, newspaper and the like will always be a favorite.

Thanks to Kim for sharing this beautiful spread!

French COuntry Fall Tablescape, Autumn, Dessert Table, Orange, November, Thanksgiving, Brown, Red, Changing Seasons, Decoration, Decor, Tablesetting

Project Nursery: Stripe it Out

This past weekend was busy busy! Anxious to catch up on some much-needed nursery time, we dove head first into the room and began ripping out everything that needed replacing (read more about that and see the before pictures here). Out went the built-in cabinets, out went the light fixtures and off with the old, cracked window moldings.

While the inspiration board for the nursery isn’t quite finished yet… we knew that we wanted a bright and airy backdrop for the entire room and decided that the walls would be painted a light light neutral.

Hopefully these paint swatches don’t show up as too pink or too yellow on your computer screen – we were down to five neutrals when we decided that with the type of light that comes through our North-facing windows, the above off-white-with-a-tinge-of-tan should do the trick (for reference, we chose Believable Buff at 50% by Sherwin Williams). It was one huge lesson in never judging a paint by it’s swatch in the fluorescent lights of a hardware store, I probably drove back and forth ten times!

To keep the walls from becoming to bland, we thought it would be fun to add one striped accent wall along the most prominent stretch of the room:

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Inspiration: Samantha Pynn, BHG, DecorPad and below, The Lettered Cottage

Keeping it soft and subtle was key here – we were working in the world of whites & tans and this is a close example to what I had in mind:

Striping walls, striped walls, nursery, tan, white, how to, how-to, diy, paint

And so the room received a full covering in Believable Buff at 50%, and the stripes were filled in with Believable Buff at 35% (odd, I know, but I kept playing with the right blend at the Home Depot counter and I’m sure the paint man was going crazy).

Too keep the fumes from baby and me, Kevin was a sport about painting the entire room. Then he let my Mom and I stripe out the one wall once the room had been well ventilated, then he painted again.

I used tutorials from Centsational Girl and Young House Love (great suggestions!) to help guide the project, but ultimately walked away with a few tips and tricks – as well as lessons learned – of my own.


{DIY: Striping Walls}


*A gallon of paint to cover the room (or two quarts if you’re tackling just one wall)
*A quart of paint in the contrasting color (one quart per striped wall is a good estimate)
*Painting tape (we used Frog Tape)
*Ruler/measuring tape/L-square ruler
*2 people (very helpful!)

1. Paint the entire wall your base color: for us this was the slightly darker of the two shades (since the rest of the room was also the darker color). Let dry for several days to avoid pulling up paint when you attempt to remove the tape in the last step.

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2. Take time to pencil your lines: Measure your wall from ceiling to floor and divide the entire wall by the number of stripes you’d like to paint. Ours was 100″ high, so we broke the wall into ten 10″ stripes. While many of the tutorials I read suggested using a measuring tape to mark out your lines in various positions on the wall, I found that ultimately a level and an L-square ruler worked best for our old house. Because the walls and ceilings weren’t perfectly level/straight to begin with, we initially measured out the wall in 10″ increments and then used our level to connect the dots across the wall with a pencil (without the level, our lines began to look like they were sloping upwards).

2. Tape: Tape off your pencil lines by taping along the top of one line and then the bottom of the next (so that you ultimately end up with full 10″ stripes in each alternating color). We had heard great things about Frog Tape and gave it a shot, we definitely liked the results.

5. Seal the tape edges: This is a critical step and will save you much heartache! Seal the edge of the tape that marks off the new stripe color by painting it with a quick application of the current or base wall color (purchase a sample size of your current wall color if you didn’t start from step 1). Now, when a bit of paint bleeds through the tape, it will be the current wall color and not your the color of your new stripes – which would leave a jagged line.

6. Fill in your stripes: Apply two coats of the second stripe paint color between the wider tape lines.

7. Peel off tape: Next crucial step! Remove the tape shortly after applying the second coat so that the paint is still decently wet. If you wait until the paint is dry, the tape is more likely to pull up the below layers of paint and cause peeling and rough lines.

Striped Walls, White, Striping, Tan, DIY

Perfect back drop for baby’s room – I love how the stripes are soft and neutral, it’s a nice accent but not overwhelming. Now on to the windows, light fixtures, floors and inspiration board!

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