A Neutral Nursery Times Three

I love moving, in the last four years we have lived in three different homes. That means three nurseries for our two babies. Two of those rooms were designed for Mila and the last time was for Marlowe.

Marlowe's Nursery
Marlowe’s Room

I have become quite accustomed to moving and actually look forward to the opportunity to work on a clean slate. Each time I designed the nursery I was able to improve on it, while still retaining the calming feeling the room should have. As I became a more experienced mother I learned about the importance of function over design, realizing I had to compromise a little with myself about some of my choices.

When putting together the nursery four years a go, it was important to me that the room remain neutral, but still have personality. I chose to go the neutral route even though I knew I was having a girl. For me, this was a clear choice. Firstly, I knew I wanted to give Mila a sibling one day who could also use this room, girl or boy. Secondly, in our first home, the nursery was the first room you would see upon entrance and I wanted it to seamlessly blend with the rest of the space. But mostly, I have an aversion to pink, especially on walls. I would much rather paint my daughters’ rooms blue or pretty much any other colour that isn’t so prescribed to femininity. If you have a daughter you know that the colour pink will inevitably make its way into your life like an explosion of Pepto Bismol, so if I can avoid being the one that brings it in to the home voluntary, I will.

I decided to paint the walls a warm grey, and used this colour in all three of our homes from then on. I searched high and low to find a crib that was unique and modern. When I found this one, I liked that it was both cream and dark brown. Four years a go, when I was searching for a unique crib, there weren’t many options available, but now the options seem endless.IMG_0624

This is a little peak into the nursery in our first home. We converted the den into Mila’s nursery and partially my closet. We lasted there for about 5 months with a newborn, before upgrading to a space with a real bedroom that had a DOOR. Lesson number one as a new mom: baby’s rooms need doors. Lesson number two: don’t put anything you hope to access on a regular basis (i.e. your clothes) in their rooms, you won’t be able to go anywhere near that space when they are sleeping, and they sleep A LOT.

Nursery Number 1
Nursery #1

Below is Mila’s second nursery. It had a door, along with a large window and an incredible view of the city. I chose grey, cream and brown as the main colours in the room, with accents of gold. I also included many personal items, including some of my old toys and pieces that we had acquired through our travels. I tried to include pieces with meaning, even the stuffed animals in the room are ones whose sales support an important charitable cause.

IMG_0198
Nursery #2
IMG_0195
Nursery #2
Mila's night light
Mila’s nightlight (the CN Tower) and view from her window

This is the final reincarnation of the nursery, now belonging fully to Marlowe. In case there’s any confusion as to whose room it is, I have her name displayed boldly on the window sill. I was able to add a new ceiling fixture to this room, so I picked this chandelier, a classic with a twist.

Marlowe's Nursery
Nursery #3

Other than the crib, the most important piece of furniture is the rocking chair, essential for nursing, reading, comforting and cuddling. This dark grey one was also purchased four years a go, when selection was limited. I like that it doesn’t look like the typical rocking chair. IMG_0656In this corner of the room I displayed pictures of Marlowe’s first year and some from her first birthday. Because I naturally gravitate to the black, white, grey and gold colour palette, all these pieces and photographs happen to go nicely with each other and the overall room decor.

IMG_0671IMG_0674Next to the chair is the dresser, which is a simple white Malm dresser from Ikea, spruced up with gold flower knobs from Anthropologie. On the dresser, I leaned three different styles, sizes and shapes of mirrors against the wall. The mirrors are used to reflect light and help the room feel more open. The lamp and ceramic castle are pieces from my old childhood room. I like mixing in the old with the new, I’m a little bit sentimental like that.  IMG_0653

The painting above the crib was painted by me for Mila’s first room. I wanted to paint one of my signature pieces for the room when I was pregnant with her. I spent a Sunday evening finishing up the trees, but since it was late, I decided to do the detail work the next day in better light. Well, it never happened because that Monday, Mila arrived a couple of weeks ahead of schedule. I decided to leave the painting “unfinished” because it didn’t feel right to add to it after Mila was born. Oh, and having a newborn took precedence over the joys of painting. IMG_0639

Next to the crib is an open book shelf from Ikea. It is the perfect size for board books and little knickknacks. I used the shelves to show-case some vintage toys that use to belong to my sister and I, including a mini teapot collection. A baby room is a perfect space to display small collections, but of course it is crucial that these items are well out of baby’s reach.IMG_0645Finally, one of my favourite pieces in the room is this framed dress. My great-aunt knit this dress for me when I was a baby. I have photographed both of my girls in this dress and it means a lot to me that my mother kept it for me. I can’t think of anything more meaningful and personal to have framed in Marlowe’s room than this dress.

Soon, this room will take on another transformation, as Marlowe grows out of her crib and we upgrade her to a big girl bed, but for now I’m just enjoying hanging out with my girls in their neutral nursery. IMG_5616

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