A Room With a View – Bennett’s Nursery Tour
Before writing this post, I was consulting my friend Elaina about what title to use. Her suggestion was “super cool awesome room with so much stuff in it but it doesn’t look cramped”. Seemed a bit of a mouthful, so I edited it a wee bit.
This room used to be Jack’s, but when the remodeling was going on, things got switched around. I originally wanted this room to be Bennett’s, but Jack didn’t want to move. He had to move out for a month in to the new room made out of part of our old master bedroom, while his room had the carpet ripped out, popcorn ceiling scraped, and painted. He ended up loving the new room so much that he just wanted to stay in there. Perfection!
Before we knew that Bennett was a Bennett (and not a Matilda), I had the color scheme picked out. I wanted bright, fun colors with whimsy and classical pieces. I didn’t want the room to scream “baby”, because I didn’t want to have to redo it again in a few years. Before Jack was born, we kind of just slapped his room together in our old apartment and because we couldn’t choose paint colors, and the room was tiny, we just put stuff in there and didn’t really take the time to personalize it. I wanted to be more thoughtful this time, and personalize the hell out of his space.
This room is full of family pieces that mean a lot to me. More than anything, this room used to be my room growing up. Tradition and meaning are oozing from every pore.
And yes, the room is full. Very full. The desire to have a bed in there for myself was the main event. Everything else was gravy. When Bennett is ready to move to a big boy bed, he will take Jack’s twin day bed, and Jack will get this double bed. We’ll probably end up recovering the homemade padded headboard for Jack, but that is a few years down the line. The rocker will eventually be moved to our room when we’re done with it.
From the hallway:
So remember when I found that amazing mid-century modern buffet at a garage sale for $15, and wanted to paint it teal until one of you dear readers pointed out to me that it was a very valuable (as in going for $1k on ebay valuable) piece of furniture? I vowed to one day paint something in my house teal. Boom! Teal crib.
Painted crib (with baby safe paint. That is a whole other post), and IKEA hacked dresser/changing table. The dresser was on sale at IKEA for $126. You have no idea how much trouble that dresser was to hack. I don’t either frankly because my poor uncle was tasked with it. He didn’t speak to me for a few weeks after it was done. Let’s just say he is not a fan of IKEA furniture at this point. He stained the front, painted the top and sides, and made the stock legs look mid-century modern by cutting them on an angle. He may have cursed my name during the whole process, but I love it and think it is the star of the room.
I looked everywhere for mid-century modern drawer pulls that I loved, but when I finally found some, they would have cost me over $60! So…I bought a $7 can of brassy spray paint, and sprayed the shit out of the pulls that came from IKEA. Winning!
The top two drawers hold all our cloth diapers. That’s a whole other post for another day. Cloth diapers hold a special place in my heart and must be discussed. In-depth. Every diaper you see is leftover from Jack. The initial investment seems large compared with disposable, but my $700 output will cover the tushies of two kids.
This drawer holds newborn cloth diapers. The changing table cover is leftover from Jack. Yay for free things to reuse!
This drawer holds bigger kid diapers, with a bin in the closet with extra big kid diapers.
The blue thing on the changing table is a picnic utensil holder (another $14 Home Goods find) that holds all our booty cleaning accessories. Spray bottle is for the cloth wipes, Vaseline (for temperature checks), and the world’s best booger sucker. Knowing we weren’t delivering at a hospital and may not have the opportunity to swipe the hospital-grade booger sucker, I freaked for a minute. The ones available in stores are terrible, and don’t accomplish anything. My friend Elaina kindly sent me her leftover one from her kids. No it is not gross; it’s family.
Bennett’s quilt. And to the left on the floor is a milk crate box that we used to use for shoes by the front door (don’t worry, I washed it) that is standing in for a bookshelf for right now. The room is too small and has too much in it for a full bookshelf.
Close up of the fabrics. Also, before you feel the need to tell me that a stuffed animal in the crib, with a quilt hanging off of it is dangerous, don’t worry, I know. The quilt is for photos, and the stuffed elephant in the back is from Jack and he wanted it in there for the “photo shoot”. Crib will be nothing but a sheet when an actual baby is in there.
I found these great green light-blocking curtains at Target on sale, but they were way too long for the space as it is right now. But I didn’t want to lose the length because once that bed is out of the room, I want long curtains. My sister came up with the idea of just temporarily shortening them, so that’s what I did. A few stitches here and there made curtains that are the perfect size, and are versatile for later down the road.
We had this rocker with Jack, and it was a gift from my fab in-laws. The footrest was a gift back in the day from my generous parents, and I have to say it is the most comfortable chair in the world. Seriously, total nap city. The table to the left of the chair belonged to my grandparents, and is a refugee from our living room remodel. The former lamp shade took one too many direct Nerf dart shots, and was replaced with this $14 Home Goods find. The white thing on top of it is a Jeopardy question of the day calendar from my nerdy coworker (I’m equally as nerdy), and I plan to read it once a day to remind myself I have a working brain.
If my house caught on fire, my family was safe and outside, this pillow is one of the things I would run back inside to get. My aunt gave my sister and I each one of these pillows a few years ago for Christmas. We opened them, said thanks for the cool pillows, and then got our asses emotionally handed to us when my aunt explained they were made from our deceased Grandfather’s ties. My gramps was one of the most important people in my life, and he died a little over a week before Jack was born. I spent the last few weeks before Jack’s birth at a hospice center with the rest of our family. He said he was going to hang on to meet Jack, his first great-grandchild, so I spent hours trying to get that boy to be born a week or so early so gramps could just go in peace. It’s an emotional time for me (shit, I’m crying now) and everyone in our family, but it worked out how it should have worked out. Grandpa didn’t make it, but Jack was born with a guardian angel looking out for him.
The light-blue tie in the upper left quadrant that is third from the “center” was supposed to be the tie he wore to my wedding. My sister took him shopping for a whole new suit and outfit just for my wedding. Then, it was 104 degrees and he couldn’t wear it. Thankfully he was able to wear it later to my sister’s wedding (she got married in winter) so it wasn’t wasted, but I still zone in on that one every time I look at it.
Also in this corner is a very special canvas made especially for Bennett from my friend Kat. Kat has amazing Photoshop skills, and has done all but one of Jack’s birthday invites over the years. She has a ton of talent, and took the quote I wanted, the colors of the room and came up with this below in what seemed like hours. She then held the jpeg of the poster hostage until I informed her which Costco I shop at, and kindly bought it for me as a baby gift.
In case Bennett is anything like Jack, this basket of burp rags should last us about six hours. GERD (aggressive reflux) is a dick.
When we moved in to this house (it’s my parent’s rental, and the house I grew up in), the previous tenants who were total aholes had taken all of the closet doors. As in stole them out of the house. So, because we couldn’t afford to replace the ones in Jack’s room, we put some old curtains up there. And we found we love curtains as closet doors, especially for a kid’s room. You can’t pinch your fingers in curtains, and they are easy enough for little hands to open. These curtains were from our old apartment, and then later in our former bedroom in this house.
Hamper ($9.99 at Home Goods), and the stainless steel garbage can is leftover from Jack. We use it as the diaper pail for cloth diapers.
With all the clothes leftover from Jack, my nephew, and my cousin’s son, I ended up donating SEVEN huge garbage bags of clothing. Even with all that purging, I still have all of these clothes left. Organized by size in matching containers. Before you get a total organizing boner, know I had to use the matching containers because they are the only ones that fit up in that narrow shelf. I would have preferred to save money and use the other tubs we had, but alas.
Bins (Home Goods) hold baby carriers, “crap we can’t use yet but will end up using at some point”, blankets, extra cloth diapers, and toys. Bottom shelf also holds the Boppy and the “Breastfriend” which is a great breastfeeding pillow. I found it for my sister at a rummage sale when she was pregnant with my nephew, and it has also been used by my cousin. The Boppy never worked well for me, but I’ll be honest in that I put it in the rocker after having Jack to sit on post-partum because my Britney needed a wee bit of padding.
Bennett’s quilt, as modeled by Jack.
The store didn’t have enough of the fabric I wanted for the back, so we’re going to pretend the duel-fabric below was meant to happen. Yes…meant to happen.
When my mother-in-law was decorating Troy’s nursery before his arrival, she wasn’t exactly rolling in the dough. She bought a felt Noah’s Ark picture that was essentially a color by number project. Right before Jack was born, she found it in a box of stuff and gave it to us. I pressed it with a cool iron, framed it, and it hung in Jack’s room until he was about four. The colors don’t “match” anything in the room, and it isn’t a part of the general “theme”, but it means so much to me to have it in Bennett’s room. It has now hung in both Troy and Jack’s room, and will be loved and gazed at for years to come by another little dude in this family.
Sorry for all the photos (hope I didn’t crash your browser), but thanks for sticking around and taking a look at the room of a boy we’re very excited to meet.
But not too soon, because work deadline on the 27th and all. No pressure son.
What all these commenters are saying is that my title totally makes sense.
Darn it, you totally made me cry with your comments about your grandpa! We are trying for our first (insert Anjelah Johnson joke here), and my grandmother is really not doing well. Hopefully she will pull through!
Seriously, though, I’m super impressed at how you fit so much into that nursery, and yet everything is still usable! The colors are so lovely. Well done!
Good luck to you friend, with both the getting pregnant and your grandma’s health!
Looks great! I love the dresser.
Looks great dollface! Can’t wait to meet your little dude!
The room looks great & I’m in love with all the sentimental priceless family things in there. The tie pillow, ark picture & quilt you made are beyond awesomeness. It’s so cute Jack wanted his elephant in the photo shoot too.
Love the room. Looks incredibly well organized and thought-through. Good luck.
Love the room! I am cloth diapering my third kid so I totally understand the obsession. I also really want to see what baby carriers you have because I have a wee bit of an obsession with those as well. In fact, I help run my local babywearing group.
Well now, I need to know what kind of fluff and carriers YOU have!!!
Yeah! Everything that Paulette (above) said!! I have long admired your bluntness. I enjoy your sense of humor and your love for your family.
Bennett’s room is charming. And the love built in from ALL of your family is amazing. Bennett will be able to feel that vibe for a long time.
I can’t wait to meet your new son…so many folks are living vicariously through you.
But don’t worry….you probably only have about a thousand real stalkers out there 🙂
Love this room! You did a great job.
There is something so captivating about your posts. Maybe it’s your honesty? I feel like I am related to you. You have no qualms about using used stuff, but are not above buying things when necessary. And there is not even a smidgen of ego in your posts. Thank you for sharing your life with us!
You said it Paulette, I love reading your posts for all these reasons and because your no bs way of looking at life sometimes makes me snort with laughter. Good luck in these next few busy weeks, let us know how it’s all going when you can! Know you have lots of people thinking of you and wishing you well xxx
You’re so very kind Paulette; thank you!