So, you’re having a baby. And you love hearts, teddy bears and pastels. Congratulations, you’re in luck! A lot of what’s out there in the kids’ design world can still be considered pretty traditional home decor. But even though the last time I did this whole nursery design thing was only two years ago, I have been pleasantly surprised this time around by how many more options are out there for new ‘rents with less traditional taste. And, having the experience of spending a year-and-a-half using my boy’s former gear and furnishings (now donated to babe no. 2), I knew where to cut corners and where to put my coin according to my tastes.
In an earlier post, as you may recall, I coveted the IKEA Karlstad swivel chair in Ullevi Orange. Well, this is indeed the rocker that landed in my boy’s room and which perfectly complements his organic cotton Pixel Organics Lions Tigers & Kitties bedding. This chair is everything I’d hoped and, with the addition of a lumbar pillow, is super comfortable. Huck loves it, gleefully spins in it and it’s possibly the best story time chair ever with great elbow support for wide board books and the like. The footstool adds seating for parental guest appearances (we’ve been using the divide & conquer method since Boy Wonder Too arrived so we can eat dinner together before 10 PM).
When little Leo was born, Huck was just 19 months old, so it didn’t follow that he should be popped into a big-boy bed prematurely even though it was galling (though I’m not sure why) to purchase a second crib. Besides the risk of falling out of bed, I’ve heard horror stories of kids who had always slept like champs until they moved up to a big kid bed and parents installing baby gates on the doors of their kiddos’ rooms to keep them from wandering late at night and early in the morning. As Huck only started sleeping through the night at 10 months, I wasn’t prepared to risk even more sleep deprivation if I could help it.
I chose the Argington Sahara Crib $685.00 in birch with a trundle drawer $170.00 and toddler conversion kit $198 because I love the clean lines and that it doesn’t look like a crib when it converts to a toddler bed. Because the birch is paired with white accents on the crib rails and trundle, I was freed-up to choose a less expensive dresser and (when I get around to it) shelving and storage options. Please note, when purchasing a convertible crib, also buy the toddler conversion kit at the same time—the company I purchased our first crib from went bankrupt before I had a chance to buy the toddler conversion and now that pricey convertible crib isn’t really convertible. Is it? No, it is not. Grrr.
I’ve had great luck with the workmanship on a number of IKEA items. My Billy bookcases survived two moves and lived in three states—I only just retired them because I had cut them down to fit in a low-ceilinged basement rec room. I’ve had a set of four Gilbert chairs for about six years and I’ll probably keep them at least another two and the list goes on. If you have some mechanical skill and don’t mind spending an afternoon putting together a piece of furniture, I think a lot of this Swedish big box store’s items are worth the elbow grease in what they make up with style and economy. So I decided to forego the pricey and diminutive matching Argington Sahara Collection dresser $495.00 and/or changing table $795.00 in lieu of theIKEA Trondheim six drawer dresser $279.00.
I popped a dresser-top contoured changing pad on and voila, a changing table with twice the storage for about 60% less. This piece looks great with the Argington crib and has built-in tilt protectors. My sweet boy already put a sizable chip in it during a diaper change protest, but it touched-up brilliantly with eggshell-colored craft paint. “No biggie,” as Huck often says. Love it love it love it.
I finished off the room with some fun, mod accoutrement scored at IKEA, ModernWallGraphics.com, eBay and The Container Store. The Textur table lamp $29.99 amps up the orange with another layer in a darker color.
The Gyllen wall lamp $39.99 plays up the mod graphic aspect with a bold black & white rectilinear motif. Since I have overhead lighting in the room, I use two 7 watt nightlight bulbs for a calming, low lighting effect during bedtime.
A big fan of wall slicks for the kiddos and being burned-out on painting, I picked up the large accent pack of Modern Wall Graphic’s Safari Animals decals $60.00.
On eBay, I scored plexi Giraffe, Lion, Elephant and Hippo Mirrors (prices vary) from UK-based Carlton Publishing & Printing (catchy, I know), to tie-in the safari animal theme and provide changing table fun for my boy (for another great changing table mirror option, see my previous post).
A Container Store kids chair $9.99 in orange provides pint-size seating for book perusal.
I haven’t had a chance yet, what with the continual two-babe-bungle I’ve got going on, but I’m also planning on hanging a few of these Closetmaid cube shelves. I love them because they can be mounted to studs as floating shelves (a super-safe option for climbers!) in virtually any configuration, have a clean look, can be combined with removable canvas storage drawers in a number of colors and, at $24.99, they’re cheap as all get out.
Happy designing to you, modern-style mamas!