The week of figuring it all out! If you read last weeks post, you’ll know when I started pricing things out and assembling the crib – I found myself in just a bit of a pickle! Well this week I spent some time sitting down and assessing what on my mood board was a must-have, what we could find substitutes for, and what made sense to search for secondhand. Plus… a little surprise entered when a new release came out from one of my favorite vendors that couldn’t have been more perfect!
The crib was the first and most important item we knew we had to find a replacement for, and while I was excited to get to shop for one, I knew it would not be easy as, I’ll be honest, I kind of hate all the cribs on the market. If we were talking an ideal scenario, I’d be getting one of those clear lucite cribs a la Dina Bandman’s SF showcase room – but I knew enough to know that even a knockoff of this masterpiece was going to run me thousands of dollars, and that was not in my reality! And while shopping vintage would also be a great way to get a crib that was a bit nicer than what I could buy new, I couldn’t get past the potential safety concerns of that… Safe sleep recommendations for babies are constantly changing and were just updated again this summer. With something our little one was going to spend so much time in – I wanted the piece of mind of something new I felt confident met those requirements and would be recalled should they change. So I checked in with Chris on budget, asking what he felt was a reasonable amount to spend on a crib, got a surprisingly healthy budget of no more than $500, and started my search.
On my first pass at cribs, while I’d been thrilled with the budget I’d been given in theory, of course, anything I liked that was wooden was well over $500, pushing more like $1,000. The budget-savvy side of me started looking for a metal crib, knowing from sourcing for clients that metal beds are often the way to go when you want something that looks nice and is sturdy but don’t want to spend a lot. Enter, the Little Seeds Monarch Ivy – I love the detailing & form of this crib, it was so affordable – coming in a whole $200 under budget, which I loved because I could then apply that savings to something that might be a little over budget elsewhere. It was girly but not so girly that it couldn’t work if we had a boy down the road – which was another important consideration. The one thing I couldn’t get past was the finish. The options of White, Grey, Bronze, and Black all felt wrong for the room. Still, the gold was that cheap spray-painted gold finish that I probably could have gotten over if it was going to be the only gold thing in the room… but it was going to be flanked by dressers with shiny real brass campaign hardware and potentially real brass lamps… and next to those I was just worried it was going to look SO fake. But I really needed a crib, and this was the only one I even somewhat liked that was within budget.
And then, my Mom saved the day! In going over baby stuff like the registry, baby shower plans, and what we still needed – she said she was really wanting to buy us a crib because she felt so bad that the one they’d originally given us had been incomplete and wanted to gift us this essential piece. I pulled up the Little Seeds one I’d been looking at but told her my concerns – and she didn’t love it either. So she asked, “Were there any that were over budget you really liked? Because I think we could spend a little bit more.” So we pulled up my Pinterest board and got to looking! We immediately landed on this gorgeous blush crib from Crate & Barrel, and both fell in love. I’d eliminated it as an option over a mere $99 dollars (It was priced at $599), and for being pink… but it was PERFECT. Though it didn’t check the box of also being suitable for a boy, the green colorway showed me that it could easily be repainted in a more masculine color if needed, and being Crate & Barrel, I knew it would hold up from a quality standpoint, for a potential second kid. Plus, she & I’d been planning a trip south to IKEA together in the next few weeks, so we were able to pick it up in person and skip the delivery fee! Now, not only did I have a crib that I absolutely loved, but also a little more room in the budget for the rest of the items we needed!
Now with the crib situated, we could dial in the must-have items for the rest of the space with a clear head. The big design element I felt was absolutely essential to the look & feel of the room was the campaign-style dressers I wanted to utilize as nightstands as they were the perfect fun pop of color. The dressers offered great storage, and being campaign style, I had initially pulled them purely as inspiration, knowing that was something I could likely find secondhand and paint yellow because $969 dressers weren’t exactly the most kid-friendly purchase. But as I searched secondhand, I couldn’t seem to find a pair available, nor were they the same petite proportions as these, which fit perfectly beside the crib. Luckily, after a bit of research, I was able to find the actual manufacturer & open a wholesale account – and get two for the price of one plus a couple of hundred dollars in shipping – which, thanks to the room in the budget, afforded by the crib, was much more doable! (designer perks!) They arrived super quickly, and the quality was beautiful. Now not only did I have some great storage space for clothes, but also a great new vendor to utilize for clients – something I especially appreciate as I missed both High Point Markets this year thanks to the timing of my first-trimester hyperemesis-induced bed-rest this spring canceling my travel plans and being due only a two weeks after fall market!
The next essential investment piece was the rug, I loved how this rug from Momeni’s quilted pattern tied in all the colors I wanted to use in the space while feeling fun and playful – but not overly childlike so that it will have longevity in our home. Plus, being hooked wool, I knew it would be both soft and cushy for lots of tummy time – and durable for holding up against any rough play as she gets older. While it’s not the performance, indoor/outdoor or washable rug most would choose for a baby’s space, I personally feel that wool is the best choice for those wanting to balance washability with natural materials you know will be safe. Something we’re trying to be conscious about with our little one is limiting her exposure to plastic and other chemicals we don’t fully understand the effects of yet on humans, so with taking the effort to get wooden baby toys and natural fiber baby clothes – it seemed silly to then have her spending lots of time on a polyester or polypropylene rug, even though that was likely the most bulletproof choice. We have a hooked wool & viscose blend rug in our living room and have spilled coffee or dropped chocolate ice cream on it more than once with no major stains. So I’m hopeful that even with a cream background, this will be plenty durable for any baby messes that may arise!
So now, for our savvy savings! I did another pass at the drapes, clearly, I was going to need to readjust my thinking to keep those within reason. While I looked at other affordable options, nothing struck my fancy that wasn’t in the hundred-dollar-plus per panel range. Even my affordable secret weapon vendor – Half Price Drapes – didn’t have anything in the right green that wasn’t going to run me $600. But then I noticed in the clearance section… one of the samples I’d ordered and liked but Chris had vetoed because it was “too shiny” was marked down to a mere $50 per panel! I knew Chris’s thrifty nature might make him reconsider, plus the shine added a little bit of wow factor that made me feel like I could forgo adding decorative trim, so I presented the options to him again. The velvet we both liked at over $650 plus the cost of trim, or the Faux Taffeta he thought was too shiny at a mere $218, including shipping. After reminding him that this was a little girl’s after all and that we needed curtains so she could nap in the daytime, he agreed the shiny factor wasn’t so bad, and we ordered them that day! Unfortunately, they aren’t still available at the clearance pricing I scored them at, but you can find them here for $88 per panel, which is still a steal for nice lined curtains.
Now, if you’ll remember all my budget concerns were motivated by one thing, getting wallpaper in the space – and I had my heart set on a Scalamandre paper that was going to run me around $2,500 with installation. It’s funny how life works out because just as I was about to pull the trigger on ordering the Scalamandre, another wallpaper vendor I love, Hygge & West dropped a new collection of papers. I was ordering the last wallpaper selection for our River Road Renovation… and there on the home screen was the butterfly wallpaper I never knew I wanted but was perfect for the space! Butterflies were something I’d wanted to incorporate in the nursery so badly, but hadn’t quite figured out how yet. My mom had a special butterfly pin she’d given me as a kid that I treasured and had butterflies in her room as a child… then they’d been present in my childhood fairy-theme room, so it felt like a special element to make happen in my own daughter’s room. I’d toyed with the idea of sticking some colorful feather butterflies to the wallpaper above the crib but hadn’t figured out how to accomplish that without damaging the high-end wallpaper, so I’d been searching for other ideas. Not only did this paper incorporate the butterfly theme I’d been searching for, but it was the perfect colors to match the rug, and it saved me around $250 from the original Scalamandre selection. Sometimes, things just work out like that, and I couldn’t be happier that I hemmed & hawed over the budget because otherwise, I would have missed out on it entirely.
The other bonus with this new design was that we no longer needed to paint the ceiling to bring in some color – something Chris had been very resistant to and that my very pregnant body and penchant for procrastination would be extremely grateful not to need to accomplish in the coming weeks! Check out the concept board below for where we landed design-wise at the end of this week – I’m loving how it’s coming together! But we are still missing a few key pieces like an armoire & changing table, and that, my friends, is where VINTAGE comes into play, and I can’t wait to share with you all my secrets for finding what you need secondhand in next week’s post! Stay tuned for more – plus a peek at installing this gorgeous wallpaper! And don’t forget to check out all the other inspiring spaces involved in this season’s One Room Challenge!