Thursday, January 21, 2016

How a Lady with No Clue About Design Designs an Adventure-Themed Nursery

First, that lady is me.

Second, my best design tip is . . . copy someone else. Also, find things you like and go from there. But mostly, just copy someone else. ;)

We knew we were going to be moving shortly after John Paul was born, so we didn't set up much of a nursery in our previous apartment. Just the essentials: a crib, a shelf to store things, a closet full of baby gear. That was about it.

We had every intention of fancying up our nursery after the move, but it took a few months to settle in, then things with breastfeeding got really challenging, then I got wrapped up in my Creighton Model education program, and before I knew it, we had an 8-month-old with a totally uninspired nursery.

Don't get me wrong. Babies don't care about all this design stuff. So really, I shouldn't have let it bother me. And for the most part, it didn't. Until . . .

A Facebook friend posted gush-worthy photographs of her beautifully designed adventure-themed nursery for their not-yet-born son. It was GORGEOUS. Straight out of a magazine gorgeous. And it finally inspired me to do at least something to spruce up John Paul's bedroom.

As luck would have it, on a trip to Target not long after seeing my friend's nursery photos, I discovered that's where she did most of her shopping! So I purchased a few of the wall decor pieces she had used, straight-up copying her style, and things have just taken off from there.

At this point, the nursery is still a work in progress, but we're getting there. I've collected a few items, and found several others on the internet that I'll probably be purchasing soon. I threw together this inspiration board to make sure my ideas are all working together.


Marquee Star Light // $15 via Target 

Gray, Green, and Blue Bunting Flags // $27 via pearlandjane shop on etsy

Silver Lamp // $70 via Target // We found a similar lamp at TJ Maxx for $35. It's rounder than this one.

Gray Rocking Chair // $284 via Wayfair // John's parents gifted us our rocker, which is not as wide, and a little plushier. Ours is actually a recliner. Very comfy! But if I could have a do-over, I'd totally get this one.

Old-Fashioned Map // $4 via The Paper Source // I framed it in a cheap plastic frame, then hand-lettered "Adventure is out there" over it. A fun little project!

Kendall Crib // $400 via Pottery Barn Kids // We got our Kendall crib as a gift from my parents, but they no longer sell it in the color you see above. I had to do a fancy google search to find it for the inspiration board.

Southwest Cross Stitch Pillow // $17 via Target

White Yarn Wall Hanging // $50 via TheLittleAvocado shop on etsy // I haven't purchased this yet and actually don't plan to. I figure I'll take a stab at making it myself. Can't be that hard, right? *famous last words*

Chevron Wall Mirrors // $13 via Target 

LOVE with Arrows Wall Decor // $20 via Target

Variegated Aqua Pouf // $99 via The Land of Nod

Triangle Vinyl Wall Stickers // $7 for 150 triangles via ArtForwardDecals on easy // I really want to get these vinyl wall stickers for the wall behind John Paul's crib, but I'm not sure if they'll work with our apartment's beige walls. Plus, I'm not entirely committed to the triangles. Clouds could be fun too. Or arrows. Or polka dots! But I really like how they make the wall look like wallpaper, without any commitment. They're easily removed! And safe (AKA won't fall down and hurt baby) for the crib area.

Climb Every Mountain Poster // $16 for an 8.5x11 print via NorseKids on etsy // John is actually planning on designing his own version of this poster using an app he likes. I just LOVE the reference to The Sound of Music, and the shape of the mountains fit in perfectly with some of the other triangular objects we have in the room.

Overall, the theme is adventure, the color scheme is gray, gold, and creme, with pops of blue and bright green, and triangular shapes are a common theme, found on several of the objects and wall decorations.

(Do I sound like I know what I'm talking about? 'Cause I don't. Haha.)

Because nursery decor doesn't actually matter in the grand scheme of things, we've tried to keep everything relatively affordable. We were blessed to have major furniture items gifted to us and everything else we're either trying to hand-make or purchase from not-too-expensive shops (AKA etsy and Target). If items are more expensive (like that teal pouf!), they have to be investment pieces that'll stand the test of time and work in other spaces as John Paul outgrows his nursery.

Whew! Design is hard!

Since the nursery is still a work in progress, I'll have to save photos of it for another post. But in the meantime, I can show you that little map project I created.

 To be continued . . .


  1. AHHH CUTE! Can't wait for more pics!

  2. It sounds like it's turning out well, despite the lack of planning. Our nursery was going to be sheep themed, and I had loads of things favorited on Etsy, which I have since removed.

    1. Bummer, Steph. :( Have you thought of themes for an older child's room?

  3. Nothing wrong with copying someone else!! And I agree - baby rooms are more for the parents than the child and the little one will certainly outgrow anything too juvenile before you blink twice! We are not doing much decorating, so my big decor splurge was on the bedding that coincidentally also has sort of an adventure theme about it. For some reason, arrows really speak to me, so that's what we went with. The colors are gray and mint (we'll add some coral if we have a girl) and so I think/hope it will be gender neutral for future babes, and grow with the first one too. :)

    1. Yes! Arrows!! And gray and mint . . . LOVE!! Plus the coral for a girl? Swoooon! I hope you'll post pics of your nursery once it's done!

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you! Our wedding had an adventure theme as well. I guess I really like adventure. :)

  5. Replies
    1. Thank, Lucky! I hope you get to decorate a nursery soon! <3

  6. Super fashionable and lovely! I'd love to see more photos and pics too!The idea with the map is amazing, Stephanie. Let the Lord bless your creations and your life. Looking forward to enjoying more posts from you!xo
    Kelly (writer at essay-writing-place)

  7. By the way, congrats on the first day of spring!!!
    With love


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