Willow's Nursery

Believe it or not, I've been trying to do this blog post for weeks! Mostly because everyone keeps asking me for nursery photos, but also because I just wanted to be FINISHED with all baby things well before baby arrives. Well, best laid plans? I wound up not really finishing until this week. And of course, it's been so cloudy and dreary. I kept waiting for a day when the sun would light the room up all pretty like, but that just never happened and I grew impatient haha. That's my subtle way of saying I don't think my photos do the room justice! ;) 

There have been a lot of steps in this process! Sadly, I don't think I ever took a photo of what this room USED to look like. But my sister-in-law who lived in it all last summer can attest, it was kind of a disaster dumping ground. When we moved into our house, it was good timing for us and Erik's mom and stepdad, who had recently married and combined households... it meant we got a lot of leftover furniture! A surprising amount of our four bedroom house was fully furnished from the day we moved in. Willow's room, then the "bunk bed room," had:

One set of bunk beds
One computer desk and chair
One big wooden toy box
One tall wooden dresser
One wooden bookshelf

All this in addition to the little tiny things that accumulate over time... every book Erik has ever owned in his life seemed to wind up in this room. Every poem I ever wrote or photo I ever printed. It even hosted a huge punching bag and a ferret tether ball toy at one point haha. The closet was packed full of.... I don't even know. Just SO MUCH STUFF. Lots of childhood things that you wind up holding onto and not knowing why. Erik and I spent many hours in the past few months looking at things like our soccer and swimming trophies and thinking "why on earth would we keep this stuff?" So we didn't. And while at first it felt weird to toss things we'd had for over 20 years into the trash, it turned into a liberating release of STUFF. I'm still amazed at how good it feels even thinking about all the junk we purged these past few months. It's liberating.

This really all started during the master bedroom makeover in January. In all the reorganizing and shuffling things around, the entire house got a purge as I prepared to make our bedroom more functional and peaceful, to make my home office efficient, my camera equipment ALL IN ONE PLACE (seriously, I used to keep my equipment in our bedroom, the cases and boxes in the bunk bed room, my large portrait samples in the main guest room, the small samples in the dining room china cabinet, and even a bunch of stuff in my car trunk... it was ridiculous!). 

So back to Willow's room. What I know you're really interested in haha... it was during the master bedroom makeover that I told Erik it was his mission to get the bunk beds out of that room. Everything else I could deal with. I decided the book shelf and toy chest were things that could stay for Willow, but wasn't a fan of their scratched up, light wooden color. I mean, this is furniture Erik and his siblings grew up with, so it's seem some stuff. We moved the dresser into our master bedroom closet since Erik's been wanting a place to put folded clothes that's closer to where he actually gets dressed in the morning (first world problems, walking all the way from your master bath/walk in closet into your bedroom for a T-shirt! Ugh! haha!). I sold the desk and chair on Craigslist (I sold a LOT on Craigslist actually... and donated almost everything else to Goodwill).

It was March before this room was really empty-ish. That's when Erik painted the room green for me. And while he did that, my best friend since childhood, Kristen, helped me sand and spray paint Erik's old toy box. It was pretty hilarious seeing his reaction to that toy box... "It's just weird seeing something you used to store action figures in suddenly be bright pink." I took pictures of all this and I can't find them! I'm sure there's a memory card somewhere with them, but alas, I guess they'll turn up in September some time ;)

My mom and I made a trip to IKEA during all this, mostly for my new home office desk, but while we were there we figured we'd get a dresser and night stand for Willow. Well, when I got home and opened the box to assemble Willow's dresser (which was weeks after we bought it of course), it was the wrong color! I'd had this weird feeling in the store that that could happen because the nice man helping my mom and I load heavy stuff onto our cart was a little HURRIED to say the least. He reassured me he'd gotten the right one, but I should have ripped that sucker open in the parking lot. Luckily, my sweet mother-in-law lives a good two hours closer to IKEA than I do and returned the dresser for me and picked up the right one! She brought it down to us and she and I spent a day putting that monstrosity together. 

This whole room is such a group effort. I can't believe how much I'm writing about a room makeover, but it's seriously been such a process. From the clearing out, to all the painting of walls and furniture and little things, to the endless furniture assembly. I mean, my mother-in-law MADE the curtains... she MADE the crib sheets and the beautiful matching quilt, and even the cover for the changing pad! If it's fabric, she probably made it. The cube shelf only exists because somehow two people at my baby shower had the same idea to wrap their baby gift with the exact same floral fabric drawer! I mean, I went on Target's website and there were like 30 fabric drawer colors they could have chosen, but they both had this idea on their own and picked the exact same drawer. How crazy? And it coincidentally matched all the spray paint I'd already bought. It's just weird how much of this nursery was not planned and wound up coming together... despite my only guidelines for people about my nursery plans being that the walls would be green and the furniture white. That's basically all I knew haha.

Okay, I'm going to stop telling you the life story of this room and just show you the part that everyone wants to see, which are the pictures! Starting with the only real "before" pictures I bothered to take... what a blogging failure I am haha but know that all the painted furniture basically looked like this beforehand!

Erik didn't even recognize the bookshelf... haha, which is kind of amazing since he's the one who carried it up and down the stairs for me but uh anyway... ;)

There's something about my brain that can't create interesting collage arrangements like the one on this wall. I know I LIKE them and want them, but my brain just says "SYMMETRY" and "RULE OF THIRDS" and my spatial awareness stops there. So Erik is the designer behind all these things haha. Those frames are all just leftover frames from around the house. Almost all of them were black and I just used leftover spray paint from the furniture to jazz them up. And the gorgeous "W" is made from perfectly wrapped yarn by Kristen! It was one of her many gifts to little Will.

Night stand from IKEA and the lamp is from Target.

My parents bought this crib for us... it's from Amazon. I think Davinci is the brand. The artwork on the walls is some of the only decorative stuff I actually BOUGHT for this room. The gold willow tree print is from Etsy (yeah, I had to do at least one tree thing, it was impossible not to... I almost did willow branches everywhere). The quote prints were digital downloads from Etsy that cost about $5 and I had printed by my photo lab.

And of course, again, all the crib linens were made by my mother in law. Can you spot the narwhals in the quilt? ;) 

You know "Paint Nite" events? Where you go and drink wine and learn to paint something cool? Well, I've done a couple with my mom, but let's be real, I don't love my paintings haha. So I decided to use my leftover spray paint to paint over these canvases I had lying around instead of tossing them out. I wrapped some string around them to try and create a cool design. It wasn't quite as effective as I hoped. The paint definitely got under the string, but hey, it's still some color for the wall.

That IKEA dresser absolutely rocks. So much storage. I was really adamant about NOT wanting a changing table that I'd be trying to pawn off on someone in a couple years. This dresser I'm confident will be usable for many years to come.

The fabric board is another old canvas I had lying around but not in use. I bought one yard of pretty fabric and stapled it with some padding over the canvas and wrapped the ribbon around it. I'm anticipating one day storing all of Willow's hair ties and girly things in it. This was obviously something I saw on Pinterest, it totally screams PINTEREST PROJECT. But what a good idea! I've babysat little girls and finding all their hair bows and clips is definitely a process sometimes haha. Erik mocks the string lights, but I think they'll make a good, less harsh night light for late night diaper changes and feedings. And of course, something fun for Willow to stare at while her butt gets cleaned ;) 

And that is IT. It is done! And so is this blog post! At long last. If you actually read all this, kudos to you. You're more diligent than me and more patient than Lily who cannot believe I am still writing this and am not back to cuddling with her, which is pretty much our MO these days.

Six days til D-day, y'all. We finished this sucker just in time! haha