Farmhouse Nursery // Shelves & Picking Art

THE FARMHOUSE

Before I start this post, let me just say, please ignore the hardwood floors. After ripping up the carpets in the nursery, we discovered that the wood floors are in DIRE need of a sand and refinish (apparently the previous owners didn’t believe in tarps…?!), but we’re waiting until we have all the bedroom floors exposed before tackling that project.

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Okay, so we had this big, blank wall in the nursery and I struggled for weeks deciding what to do with it.  I would have loved to have a desk or a cozy reading nook there, but because of the wall’s position (it’s essentially along the walkway between the door and the baby nook), anything sticking out would have been in the way.  So, a low-clearance design option was a must. But that’s as far as I got.

Here’s what the wall looked like while I debated options.

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My first thought was to hang a gallery wall and I even had a lot of art ready to go, but I wasn’t really excited about that option. What this room really needed was more books accessible for the little guys, so shallow shelves popped into mind.

Narrow ledge shelves are nothing new or groundbreaking (not only are they all over the internet, but I used them in our first dining room some 8 odd years ago), but they are the perfect solution for here.

Building the shelves was pretty simple. I told Garrett what I wanted (essentially a ‘u’ shaped shelf no wider than the thickness of the open door), and 2 hours later he had crafted them out of a leftover pine 1×4.  I didn’t take any pictures during the process, but here are some more resources should you want to build something similar: 1, 2, 3.  Garrett filled the seams in our shelves with wood putty and then sanded them down.  The next morning, we hung the shelves and caulked any remaining seams.

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Next we primed the shelves.  And eventually we will paint the shelves the same color as the walls (Simply White), but I’m waiting until we get the paint out for our master bedroom. In the meantime, I’ve propped up lots of books and art for all of us to enjoy.

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Picking art was the hardest part of this project. I don’t think of myself as having an art eye, and I don’t have a clue about cool artists. I also don’t have a big budget for original paintings, for that matter.  So I went with my gut and picked out images that I found fun and whimsical and thought my family would enjoy.

Sources: 1 (Frank S. Guild) | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 (Paul Cezanne) | frames

All the prints are from Etsy and Costco’s image gallery. I’m still waiting for some of the art to arrive (did you notice the empty frames on the shelves?), but in the meantime, we’re working on our master bedroom for the One Room Challenge and recovering from eating faaarrrr too much cake during Brooks’ birthday over the weekend 😉 I’ll share this space again after we paint and get all of our art up on the shelf. Oh and did you notice my Rejuvenation Skyline rug came in (!!!!)?

Please dish!  Share your go-to sources for inexpensive, fun art in the comments.  I’m still searching for some great pieces for our master bedroom!

If you’re interested in learning more on anything in the nursery, here’s everything I’ve written to date: paint, carpets, wallpaper, design plan, hanging chair.

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. Tara and Percy are in the New York Times! If you don’t know who I’m talking about, check them out because they are amazing and everything they touch is gold!

p.p.s. Emily Henderson (yes, THE Emily Henderson), posted a picture of our #6daykitchenreno on her Instagram account! I jokingly told my sister it was the biggest moment of my life, but really, I’m feeling sooooo flattered!

p.p.p.s. We have ripe, plump Concord grapes coming out of our ears right now. And despite never being a grape girl in the past, I can’t get enough of their candy sweetness. I already used some 40 + pounds of grapes in grape jelly (that recipe is awesome!) and grape syrup (some of the jelly didn’t set), but what else can I use them in??!!

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The Farmhouse | Wallpapering the Baby Nook

THE FARMHOUSE

If you guys happened to be on Instagram at 2am on Saturday night, you were in good company with yours truly. Yes, 2am.  Normally that hour is reserved for sleep or the occasional baby feeding here at the farmhouse, but on Saturday night, Garrett and I were still up finishing our first ever DIY wallpaper job in the nursery closet. For any of you who missed it, here’s a look at the wallpaper.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Wallpaper 8.2

Stunning, right?! But before I gush over the pattern, let me back up and explain a couple of things. You may remember that two weeks ago, I shared a video in which I told you guys that I planned to leave the nursery closet as is, including the floral wallpaper and the particleboard built-ins. Remember what it looked like? Here’s a reminder:

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Closet

So why the sudden change of heart?

Well my sister came to visit – which is the start to many a good story – and we spent an evening chatting in here. I told her how this room was my favorite room in the house. And how the daylight streams in making it the perfect space for writing and photography. I told her how this room had to function as a nursery for Brooks (at least until we move him in with Wilder), a playroom for the kids, and an overflow room for guests. And I mentioned that with so many big windows, there wasn’t enough wall space for a crib, a dresser and a full-size bed/day-bed.

Then my sister had this amazing idea and she said, why not put the crib in the closet. Let me repeat that: why not put the crib in the closet. Okay, hearing that now, it sounds a little weird. After all, putting babies in closets seems more of a tiny-Manhattan-apartment thing than a 2700sf farmhouse thing. But it wasn’t weird, it was brilliant! And here’s why. We don’t really need an oversized, door-less closet in this room, and by gutting the built-ins and putting up some fresh wallpaper (preferably something less feminine for Brooks), this wouldn’t be a closet anymore but a cozy “baby nook” for the crib. And the rest of the room can be used as a playroom/office/guestroom.

See what I mean? Brilliant!

So I immediately got on Anthopologie’s website and ogled the wallpaper. I was a little indecisive in picking the pattern at first – they have sooooo many great options and after waiting 8 years to wallpaper something (anything!), I didn’t want to get it wrong – but we finally settled on the Kalahari Vignettes Pattern by Florence Balducci. It’s whimsical, and simple, and feels totally appropriate in a 104-year-old nursery/playroom/office/guestroom.

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While we waited for the wallpaper to arrive, Garrett demo’d the built-ins, took off plate covers and a couple pieces of molding, patched the walls, and primed the existing wallpaper.

When Saturday night finally rolled around, we got the boys to bed and then Garrett rummaged through the garage for some tools while I watched YouTube videos on how to wallpaper (this one and this one were helpful). Since it was dark and we were in a race to bedtime, I didn’t get any photos of the process besides a quick iPhone shot. But in the end, pre-pasted wallpaper installation was a totally do-able DIY and it took us just over 5 hours to complete. That’s about twice as long as I would have anticipated for a 6’x6′ closet, but wrapping the interior corners and cutting out for the small window really slowed us down. I would recommend that if you ever find yourself wallpapering, you watch lots of YouTube videos and give yourself plenty of extra time.

I should also confess that we did something the experts don’t recommend in here: we wallpapered over wallpaper. In our defense, the existing wallpaper was in really good condition and had no bubbles or rips. And we went to the added trouble of priming it, so the pattern wouldn’t bleed through. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if that was a huge mistake or not, but so far, I can’t tell what’s on the subsurface – it just looks beautiful!

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I wanted to mention one more thing. We are not going to wallpaper outside of the closet in this room. Our walls are really textured plus wallpaper is super expensive (this pattern rings in at $88/roll and we used 4 rolls just in the baby nook). The rolls that are hung up outside the closet are there so I could get some well-lit photos of the pattern.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Wallpaper 2

Now that wallpapering is done, it’s time for us to get this room ready for Labor Day guests, who arrive on Friday.  That gives us three days to tidy up. We’re going to need it, because this is what the room looks like right now:

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Yeah we’ve got our work cut out for us!

More on this room: before photos, priming/painting, pulling up carpets. And the introduction to the farmhouse: here.

I’d love to hear what you guys think about the wallpaper. And our grand idea for converting the closet to a baby nook.

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. The Boo and the Boy has got to be the best website for fun, kid room inspiration!  I’ve also pinned a lot of my favorites here!

p.p.s. Alicia Keys stopped wearing makeup and I’m all about it!

p.p.p.s. In case you were wondering, this is what summer nights are like at the farmhouse.

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