Designed by Love

20140910_140828 (3)Leaving behind Lily Rose’s lovely nursery may have been the hardest part of moving. I loved the designing and decorating of it; I poured so much heart into making it pretty, filling it with special touches in shades of mint, peach and pink. I searched online and in stores in various cities for personal touches to make it a beautiful space. I meant to write about this as soon as I was done with the decorating, but somehow baby’s impending arrival trumped things like blogging about nursery decor. As we finally set about the task of recreating her room in our new home, I wanted to remind myself of where I got certain pieces, and describe the joy of prettifying my baby girl’s room.

I started out with wanting owls and bright green, but when we found out we were expecting a girl, I realized the fashionable combo of peach and mint would make for a great nursery colour scheme. While I was surprised by how many things baby-related came in these colours, pink was still the predominant shade, so it made sense to use lots of it in my little girl’s room. We picked out the sweetest shade of mint for the walls and Jon did an amazing job of painting them (this was the one thing we couldn’t take with us and will have to wait until we own again to replicate). And when looking for baby room furniture, my desire for dark wood soon changed to clean white to compliment the pastel theme. Grey was added in as a neutral when things I wanted either didn’t come in my other chosen colours, or were so ridiculously priced that I had to opt for something else. I wanted to go for a bit of a shabby chic design and was hoping to find an old dresser I could use a change table, before realizing I didn’t want to fight with an old piece of furniture, no matter how pretty, each time I needed to change a nappy. We saved by ordering Stork Craft baby furniture off and online from Walmart, and instead of getting a fancy bookcase, we bought ones to assemble from Canadian Tire. We’ve since got a sweet white rocking horse from Jon’s parents and it goes perfectly with the rest of the decor.

20140910_140037 (1)I scoured the Internet for inspiration, creating a board on Pinterest, looking on Instagram, visiting other pregnancy and baby blogs, getting ideas from my friends’ gorgeous nurseries. I had never owned my own home before, so decorating was an interest I could finally cultivate, and I developed a passion for it quick. Etsy seemed to be my go-to for a lot of things. I was especially excited for the personalized LR wall decal in grey and white that I found on Urban Walls (thank you to my friend-with-the-best-taste-in-the-world-Jen for showing me this site, as well as starting my obsession with prints…oh and now tissue tassel garlands as well ha ha!). We used the decal to decorate the wall behind Lily Rose’s crib and it really became the focal point of the room, and has since been re-ordered in mint and pink to jazz up the neutral walls in our rental. Someday I am thinking the bow or polka dot decals will be great in her future big girl room <3. I ordered prints prints and more prints from Pixel Paper Hearts, Autumn Grey Designs and Field Trip to add into a photo wall and around the room. To add pops of colour, I ordered tissue pom poms from PomTree to hang in the corners of the nursery. My dear friend Jen ordered the most gorgeous tissue tassel garland to perfectly match the room and added it to the group gift from Splurge and my other great girlfriends. I’m loving tissue pom poms and tassel garlands, but I’m just not crafty enough to make them myself…that’s what Etsy is for;)

One of the things that was just too pricey to splurge on was baby bedding. When I looked into the mint and peach frilly finds I coveted on Etsy, the prices astounded me. Fine if you are Mariah Carey (ok, she’d have something costing thousands, not hundreds!) but for me, it seemed silly. And when I asked my seasoned mommy friends, they confirmed my feelings that not only was it just too much to spend, baby would hardly be using a comforter or bumper pads for who knows how long, and these things, while gorgeous, would maybe keep me up at night, fearing for baby’s safety. Like with the furniture, I found that Walmart, Target and were great for bedding as well as curtains (another thing I didn’t think it necessary to break the bank on…now if I could sew like my auntie Michelle and friend Cathy, I would have saved myself even more!).

20140910_135724We received so many sweet pieces that only added to the room:  pink elephant book ends from my cousin Brea-Anne, a precious silver bunny from my cousin Diane. The owl theme was still represented with cute white figurines from my Mom and wall decals from my friend Haley to put around the window. When I received so many teeny tiny, frilly baby dresses at my shower from my dear aunts Sharon, Heather and Lois, I knew that they needed to be hung on display on the wall, along with a rose shabby chic outfit from my Aunt Michelle, and cousins Tarren and Dakota. And all Lily Rose’s stuffed animals went up on a floating shelf, including ones gifted from friends and family and even some from my childhood collection, She has since received a cuddly new Care Bear from my friend Lindsay and her daughter Sadie, and two more from my aunts. The most special of her stuffy collection has to be a grey little bunny Jon actually had in his own cot when he was first born, and a pink owl we bought Lily to put in her hospital crib.

20140910_135645We were truly lucky to be given so many handmade pieces. Michelle is so talented and as soon as I saw how she created Union Jack pillows with fun fabric, I knew my baby’s room needed one as an homage to her English daddy. My crafty friend Cathy created a change pad cover in soft Minky fabric. At my baby shower, Jen’s mother Diane gifted me with a homemade mint and white afghan that now hangs over the cozy grey rocker my parents graciously bought us (Lily loves being rocked and it is a big part of her bedtime routine!). Haley’s mom Colleen made the cutest cupacke-themed quilt that brings together the many cupcake pieces in the room, perfect for a momma who has a passion for baking. The Lily Rose bunting Michelle and my friend Rachelle each created for their respective baby showers went up in the room as well.

I had a vision in my head, of what the room would look like. As a bit of a perfectionist, I struggled at times with fitting in so many pieces, different themes and various shades, but Jon reassured me that it didn’t need to be perfect, just perfect for our little girl. And when it was finished, it was even more beautiful than I’d imagined. I know that her room will change with moving houses as it has already done, and change even more as she grows, but creating a lovely nursery for Lily Rose was a true labour of love. Like the old saying goes, it’s not the gift but the thought that counts:  it wasn’t all the things we’d bought, or where we’d hung pictures, or the pretty paint on the walls, it was the intention behind these things. It was the act of nesting itself; it was Jon surprising me by putting together all the baby furniture himself one weekend while I was away; it was me searching for prints that spoke sweet words, looking for old frames at garage sales to surround them and Jon taking the time to paint them. And it was the love in what others gave us, helping us to design a beautiful home for Lily Rose to come home to.