Several months ago, as I was parking my car at a restaurant to meet a new Tinder date (LOL I know…where is this post going, huh?), my phone began to ring. I answered it immediately as it was one of my best friends on the other line. He was going through a tough time, so I was hoping he was delivering some good news (something was being delivered alright, but we’d have to wait a little longer for that). He told me that he and his beautiful wife were expecting their first child and I immediately screamed with joy! He sounded nervous, but I could feel him smiling through the phone and I was the most excited I’d been all day. A child was entering into this world and I immediately had the perfect baby shower gift in mind. :-)
Today, my friends Harold and Tiffany are new parents to Baby Carter, but months ago they decided to wait until their child’s birth to find out if it was a girl or boy. Unisex décor and designs can seem tricky to many, but gender neutral nurseries are incredibly fun to me! It presents a challenge for colors, tones and styles, but also forces you to use your imagination and focus on one thing: making the unique space comfortable for the child to sleep, play and grow up in.
When I spoke to Harold on the phone, I was in the process of preparing for BLB’s launch that April. As it was top of mind, I didn’t hesitate in blurting out, “I’m going to design your nursery!” LOL Harold laughed and graciously obliged. Once my offer was accepted, I immediately went to work – searching for décor items, potential accent wall designs and the perfect crib for the bundle of joy, affectionately known as "Baby Uno" until birth.
Harold and Tiffany live in my home state of South Carolina, so committing to help them design the room would need to be done from 1,200 miles away. During our first virtual consultation via FaceTime, Tiffany gave me a tour of the bedroom they’d be transforming, already painted a solid light blue by the previous homeowners. They explained they wanted to keep the room blue with accents of white and grey. They also already selected a crib set from Toys R Us and wanted to play off the giraffe theme with additional wild animals.
Over time, I convinced Harold and Tiffany to go with turquoise or teal as the new primary color of the room and slowly began to build their design board. As comfort and functionality were key, I split the small bedroom into three parts: Change, Play and Sleep. On the right side, we’d position a dresser for changing Baby Uno and storing away his or her wardrobe and necessities – umm, you know…baby stuff. In the middle of the room in front of the window, we’d place all of Baby Uno’s toys with a fluffy rug in the center for comfortable tummy time, crawl time and play time. Lastly, the left side of the room would be designated for Baby Uno’s soon-to-be favorite four walls: his crib.
Here's the design board for Baby Uno's Nursery:
They loved the cribs I chose as options and went with a convertible crib from Joss & Main, later purchased by one of Baby Uno’s new grandparents. We selected a white dresser from IKEA and considered the possibility of updating the knobs to something more cute and custom at a later time. Floating shelves for displaying baby photos and keepsakes would go on each side of the crib wall with Baby Uno’s yet to be decided name adorned at the center above the crib. I found an awesome Zebra canvas that matched the nursery on clearance in HomeGoods in San Antonio and sent a photo of it to the parents for their approval. As Tiffany began to knock out the shopping and to-do lists I created for them, Harold hired a painter for the new striped walls and began assembling each new furniture item himself, piece by piece.
Baby Uno was due in August, so we couldn’t allow the summer to slip through our hands. There was no telling if he or she would decide to come early, so while I was on the East Coast visiting family with plans to attend one of Harold and Tiffany’s baby showers, we spent the day knocking out the rest of their shopping list. With Tiffany’s little sister tagging a long to give a helping hand, we visited Target, HomeGoods, Hobby Lobby and a few other stores picking up a white and grey trellis shag rug, a frosted globe curtain rod, some elephant storage baskets and a new table lamp, among other things.
Harold and Tiffany planned to have their good friend and talented designer, Danielle McKim of TUFT in Charlotte, NC reupholster a glider for the nursery. I really loved this idea as the room would include something old and classic, but adorned with a custom, fresh new look. TUFT stands for Today’s Unique Furniture Trends, and boy is Danielle’s store filled with them! They offer full design services, DIY workshops, custom furniture designs, art from local craft makers, pillows and draperies. Danielle and her husband are expecting a new baby boy themselves (I swear 2016 is the year of the Baby!) so congrats goes out to them too! She has created other unique items for Harold and Tiffany’s home and did an ahh-maaazing job on this glider reupholster!
With only a few things left to do, Harold repurposed a set of curtains from downstairs on the new curtain rods and began filling the shelves with new toys and stuffed animals gifted for Baby Uno at their showers. Knowing from experience with my nephews how quickly a child’s room can be filled with tons and tons of stuff, I recommended that we halt on purchasing any additional decor so there’d be plenty of room left to fill in with anticipated gifts and new belongings for Baby Uno. The only item remaining was the decorative wall decal I'd been asked to order once the baby arrived. With a girl and boy name chosen and emailed to me, it was only a matter of time...
Finally on August 18th, Baby Uno a.k.a. Carter made HIS miraculous debut. Luckily, Mom and Dad completed his nursery with the final touches right before his arrival.
Take a look:
For a complete look of all the After photos, check out Special Delivery in my Portfolio.
I thoroughly enjoyed this project, not just because the parents are my friends, but because I wanted to take the weight off of their shoulders and create something special that couldn’t simply be gifted from a registry. Children are truly a gift from God and I’m so happy that Baby Carter is finally here! See how God works? A very tough time turned into the best time of this couple’s lives. I take zero credit for that, I was just blessed to give this family another blessing. I hope Carter loves his new nursery as much as his parents do and I look forward to watching him grow, add artwork to the walls, toys to his shelves and make this unisex nursery design his own.
Convertible Crib – Joss & Main
Crib Sheet Set – Toys R Us
Dresser – IKEA
Rug – HomeGoods
Lamp – Target
Glider Reupholstery – TUFT
Toy Chest – Target
Curtains – Target
Side Table - Target
Curtain Rod – HomeGoods
Floating Shelves – Home Depot
Animal Photos – Amazon Marketplace
Cube Shelves – Target
Name Decal – Amazon
Baskets - HomeGoods
Photography – Carter’s Da-Da, Harold
Photo Editing – Quture Media