Mary Graf is mom to Baby Presley Dean in Tazewell, Virginia.
What was your vision for the nursery?
When I found out I was pregnant, one of the first things I was excited about was creating a nursery for a boy or a girl. Once the sex was revealed, I knew that I wanted to create a bright and feminine oasis for Presley and I to bond in. I wanted it to be a room that could be enjoyed by us both. After all, Mom is in the nursery almost as much as baby! I wanted pops of pink, but didn’t want pink to be the main focus of the room. I worked hard to create a space that would grow with her for many years—requiring only small changes, such as a “big girl bed” one day.
What would you consider your most essential piece?
The most essential piece we purchased was the glider. My husband, David and I sat in many different chairs and chose one that we both loved and felt comfortable in. It isn’t something that we used much in the beginning months, because she was in our bedroom—but now that she is in her nursery, I’m in that glider before naptime and bedtime every day. It’s a comfortable place for us to sit through feedings, but also a cozy place to read a bedtime story and rock.
Although there is no “history” behind any of our furniture, there is a story behind our dresser. I knew that I wanted a unique accent piece, and preferably something that was painted. In my research I came across Tracey Bellion—of Tracey’s Fancy on Etsy—and the project was born. She paints beautiful custom furniture pieces that she purchases second hand. I sent her paint swatches and fabric swatches and let her creativity take charge. The result was the beautiful, distressed piece you see in the pictures. Again, this is something Presley will love for many years to come.
What are your favorite pieces and why?
I love every piece in my nursery. I love the ottoman (or pouf), which gives the room a modern Moroccan feel. I love the crib, because it has such beautiful detail in the wood. I love the dresser because it is unique to Presley’s nursery. Each piece was purchased on its own, at its own time. Therefore each piece was purchased because I loved it for its own reason.
Where did you find these pieces?
The crib, glider and lamp were all purchased from Baby Bloomers in Charleston, South Carolina. It is a wonderful store, with many beautiful selections. Spending a day in there with David was a good way for us to see things in person and feel them. Etsy was a great tool in finding my dresser. As for Pinterest, what a dream website for planning almost anything from a wedding to a nursery. I cannot say that there was one nursery on Pinterest that I wanted mine to look exactly lik— but it was a great tool to pull individual ideas from. If i saw a crib that I liked, I clicked on the pin and saved the website where I could get the information on it. I have a folder full of all my possibilities—who knows, I may want some of those ideas in my next nursery.
I have to say the best tip I received was that it’s never too early to start. When you have time on your side, everything from budgeting to making good decisions falls into place better. Having to do everything at once, when you’re under pressure usually results in spending more money than you want (and all at once) along with making spur of the moment decisions that you may not be happy with several months down the road.
What is your biggest secret confession?
Before Presley was born, I had everything organized so well. Now that she is here, what’s behind the closet doors is a bit scary! I haven’t been good about keeping things tidy in the closet or her dresser. She grows out of things so quickly, it’s a constant job keeping up with size changes.
Also, if I had to come up with one “regret” it would be getting a white glider. We need to scotch guard it, before it’s too late! It’s already starting to show a few spots.
Presley’s favorite spot is by far her crib! I have let her play in it since birth, and we started letting her sleep there at 12 weeks. It’s a place that she has fun before bath time, but it is familiar and comfortable to her at night. I’m happy that I created such a cozy place for her to exist.
What is your favorite spot in the room?
My favorite spot has to be the glider with the mirrored side table, complete between the two windows. It is a place that I created with the two of us in mind—just Mom and her baby. It’s a place that we bond, cuddle, cry and laugh. I love rocking my baby in such a pretty spot.
What would you like to add about designing a stunning nursery?
What makes a nursery stunning (or any room in your house for that matter) is making it unique and your own. What sets a stunning nursery or room apart from any other are unique custom pieces, whether it’s a piece of furniture or simple art that holds meaning or value. In Presley’s nursery, my first toe shoes from ballet class are hanging on her wall, along with a cross stitch piece created by her late grandmother, Carolyn, who she will only know about through stories. These are the pieces to me, that make her nursery uniquely hers, and for that reason, stunning.
Photo Credits: Jessica Leigh Hood Photography, jessicaleighhood.com