A home for baby

By Published On: August 6th, 2012

Written by: Suzanna Palmer August 05 2012 Today is an […]

Written by: Suzanna Palmer

Today is an exciting day for me. Nearly ten months after bringing our bouncing baby boy home from the hospital and nine months after moving into our new home, Jacob’s nursery is finally finished. Well, almost. There are still a couple of bare walls, but it’s close enough for me to share with you.

Because Tom and I were renting a one-bedroom apartment when Jacob was born, I didn’t bring him home from the hospital to a perfectly-decorated nursery. I didn’t mind much, but when we moved into our new home in November, I was determined that I would fix his room up the way I would have for his hospital homecoming.

And, now, nearly two months after moving his crib out of our room and into his bare abode, the space is finally photo-ready. We don’t exactly have money running out of our ears (though, for that matter who does? If you have someone in mind, you might want to tell them to see a doctor, quickly), I set our nursery budget at $175.

I was determined to keep the cost of everything in the room—from crib and dresser to paint, bedding, curtains and decorations—below that price point. Thanks to Craigslist, Goodwill, garage sales, family heirlooms, Lowe’s coupons and the gifts of friends and family, I’m happy to report that we did it! But, though I love a good bargain and his nursery is a definite study in “Cheapskate Tactics 101,” it’s certainly not the best part for me.

Since putting up the curtains in his room this week—Pottery Barn curtains for $3? Yes, please!—his nursery has become my favorite room in the house. Before his room was complete, I would go in and out only if I needed to put him down for bed or to pick out an outfit. Now, I love to just lie on the floor and soak it all in.

The soothing, sky-colored accent wall, the newly painted dresser my sister and I used as children, the wall plaque bearing a sweet poem that I gave to my mother for Mother’s Day as a child that she gave back to me at Jacob’s baby shower, the hundred-year-old rocking chair that rocked my father when he was a baby … Ahh, the whole room feels just perfect, which of course, makes it just right for my sweet little mister.

Without further ado, let’s take a tour shall we…

I went with a soft and sweet palette of blues, yellows and greens. Just right for a baby boy.

If I had it to do over again, I would go with a white crib, but I purchased this one (a 4-in-1 convertible) while we were still in our apartment. Even still, I love the storage—there is a cubby and hamper that can be swapped with shelves in the front and three shelves on the side.

The multi-colored drawers on the dresser started out as an experiment to see which color I liked best, but then I realized that color-blocking the doors would add visual interest. Unfortunately, I didn’t consider the order in the beginning, so the darkest drawer ended up on top instead of on the bottom. The decorations on top were gifts from family and friends, except the lamp I snagged for $3 at a garage sale and the kinda-wonky moss-covered “J” that I made from the “T” and “S” that hung on the barn doors at our wedding. Lastly, the frames on the dresser still hold the stock photos they came with, but, hey, baby steps, folks, baby steps. (Ba-dum-ching!)

My uber-talented sister painted this for us before Jacob was born to hang above his crib.

The most recent addition, these curtains were just what the room needed to tie everything together and were a lucky find at a consignment sale. The side panels are light-blocking curtains that we pull closed at night.

A coat of acrylic paint turned a $1 thrift store find into a cute and convenient place to hang his bath towels.

I begged my Nana for this rocking horse (and a coonskin cap) when I was a little girl during my Davy Crockett phase. Now, it sits proudly in the corner of Jacob’s room, and he is as big of a fan of it as I am.

Though, it’s not going to win any beauty contests, this old rocking chair may be favorite piece in the room. It sat in the corner of my Grandma’s hundred-year-old Pennsylvanian farmhouse for as long as anyone could remember, and she used it to rock her own five kids. My parents toted the centenarian rocker all the way down to Georgia just for J’s nursery. I tried to make peace with the icky brown Naugahyde, but finally tossed a couple of blankets and a Pottery Barn pillow on top.

Now, it’s our favorite spot for story time, and my favorite way to put Jacob to sleep. Hearing the creaking as I rock back and forth and running my hands along the wooden arms, worn smooth by time, I feel a special connection to my heritage and to my family.

Above the rocking chair, a shadow box holding the small plaque that I gave to my mother as a little girl. It reads like this:

So quickly grown, so very dear
Enjoy the wonder of each year
Before you know it, childhood’s passed
Cherish these moments while they last

And, cherishing those moments we are—especially the ones spent in the nursery.