I absolutely love James’ nursery. Decorating the room for our baby was part of the excitement and anticipation of becoming new parents. There’s a story behind every piece of furniture and art.
Part of the reason I love James’ room so much is that it’s the only room in the house that contains nothing from our old apartment in Hoboken. Every other room in the house has at least one thing from the apartment. That’s not to say that everything in the nursery is new. It isn’t. We bought the dresser with the changing top from someone in town. The second recliner came from my parents’ house and the side table came from Dan’s parents’ house. But we chose to add those pieces to the other things that we had picked out and purchased specifically for James.
We went on our first shopping trip for the nursery when we were in Boston for Christmas with Dan’s family. After looking at a few stores, we purchased the crib and mattress from Pottery Barn Kids. We also purchased the rocking swan. It’s not super practical, but I fell in love with it and had to have it. The salesperson gave it to us for a song because it was the floor model, the only one they had left, and they were sold out online. I added the little boater hat and blue ribbon to make it just a little more masculine for a baby boy’s room.
I had originally wanted to do a green nursery, with grey furniture and a bird theme. But I couldn’t find a green rug that I liked. When I found this swirly blue rug, I knew that it was perfect and we would design the rest of the nursery around it. It almost looks like rippling water for the swan to swim through.
I wanted the bird theme for the nursery to be more elegant than cute. The two large printed canvases are Audubon prints: the American White Pelican over the dresser with the changing top and the Louisiana Heron over the crib.
There are two smaller pieces of art in the nursery as well. One is a pastel drawing of a penguin that my friend Kerry made for James. The other is a watercolor swan that I painted for him. Kerry was one of my roommates in college. We took an art class together senior year. With twin two-year-old, boys she is my most experienced mama friend. I frequently ask Kerry for baby advice and vent to her about the less wonderful parts of motherhood.
The Danish Lucky Storks mobile hanging by the chairs is from Flensted Mobiles. Once we hung this piece in the nursery, we loved it so much that we decided to purchase the Scandinavian Swans mobile as well to hang over the crib. A mobile is a classic element of a nursery, but these delicate, airy creations are something that parents can really enjoy as well. I may still purchase the Crane Dance Mobile. I just have to decide where I might place it.
The turquoise curtains caused a bit of anguish when we hung them. I purchased two pairs of these curtains (one pair for each window) at the same time, from the same store. The packaging said that they were the same size. They were not. We hung the two sets and quickly realized that one set was several inches longer, dragging on the floor. Dan is much better with a sewing machine than I am. His mother owns The Pillowcase Company, and she taught him to sew when he was a kid. After Dan hemmed the longer set, it became obvious that we had marked them incorrectly and they needed to be hemmed again. He was not amused, but the second hemming did the trick.
Finally, the item in the nursery that I use the most was also the hardest to find: the rocking recliner. We searched for months before we found this chair. Our search was a bit like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. One chair was too soft, the next was too firm… I knew I would be spending a lot of time in this chair, nursing James, rocking him to sleep, reading to him, so I wanted it to be comfortable. I’m 5’9”, which is tall for a woman, but not extremely tall. My husband is very tall, 6’5”, so we wanted a chair with a high back. We had such a tough time finding a chair with a back tall enough for me to lean my head against. For anyone searching for a high-back, swiveling, rocking, recliner, look no further than the “Benji” chair from the Best Chairs Storytime Series.
After we found the right chair, I still had a tough decision to make because it came in our choice of a few hundred fabrics. After about an hour and a half of flipping through fabric swatches, I chose this light turquoise with white piping. This chair makes me smile, not because it’s turquoise (my favorite color), but because I already have so many great memories with James in that chair and I know I’ll have so many more in the future. Every item in the nursery was selected with love. It’s by far my favorite room in our home.