A nursery full of elephants.

 
So I am something of a planner. I am not what one would call a fly by the seat of your pants kind of gal. In that spirit I knew that I would not feel relaxed until the nursery was 100% finished (minus the baby). I also know that realistically the baby will not really use this room for the first month or two (or more) of life, but the anal, OCD, type A parts of my personality needed it FINISHED with a big fat punctuation mark before baby enters the world. And so it is done. It was a project but one I absolutely loved working on.

I knew I wanted the space to be relatively neutral 1) in case we use it for future non-girl babies and 2) because I have realized with this pregnancy that I am not super into girly girl things for my baby. I am not super into girly girl things for myself either, but wasn’t sure if I would get pregnant and suddenly turn into a pile of mush at the site of bows and ruffles and lace and anything pink. And while I do think pink absolutely has a place for a little girl (there are several pink items in the nursery!), I’ve been much more drawn to grays and blues (and grays that end up being blues) and whites. So I started with some neutral walls (Benjamin Moore) that I thought would be gray gray (the name has gray in it, it looked gray in the sample we put up) but ended up being blue gray or gray blue really. It’s a little closer to baby boy blue than intended but after adding in the rest of the furniture and decor I think it works great for a little girl 🙂

From there I picked out curtain fabric. This was the hardest part because there were so many gorgeous, vibrant prints that I kept being drawn to, but which upon consideration I realized weren’t really what I wanted for a calm, soothing nursery. So I went with a neutral, quilted white with blackout lining and my awesome mom sewed them for me. And then came the really, really fun part, the decorating.

The first of many elephants in this room. What can I say? I love a good elephant. I think they represent gentle strength (and are just really darn cute). I didn’t really set out to have an elephant/animal theme but it kind of happened organically. I love animals and loved stuffed and toy animals growing up, and in a lot of ways I realized designing a nursery is a chance to relive all the things you loved in your own childhood. This print is from a local Richmond artist, ZouZou’s Basement, and I actually bought it a couple of years ago for our old house (I realize now it does sort of scream nursery, maybe that’s why I never hung it). It was the first thing I knew would go on the walls in the nursery.
More local prints (from James River Studios) that I found on Etsy. 

A baby shower gift from one of my sweetest, best friends, Laura. Charleston is my adopted spiritual home and I can’t wait to show my daughter the city I love so dearly. I hope it is as important a place to her one day as it is to me and I love that she will have a Charleston print hanging in her room from her earliest memories. 
The print above the crib is another Etsy find. I don’t do a lot of text elements in the rest of my house (you know, the “love” or “family” sign kind of deal, but for the nursery I thought it felt right. And I do think all girls have the power to move mountains and should be reminded of that from day 1 🙂

Another shower gift, this one from another other sweetest, bestest friend, Chrissy. My daughter is lucky to have so many aunties who have already showered her with such love.

Elephant #47! But seriously how could I not? This is from the website, Home Decorators. A little bit of a splurge for a laundry hamper, but so sweet and well made.

On the table next to the rocker. Giraffe bookends from PB Kids, elephant lamp from West End Antiques (it came with a super ugly black shade that I spray painted pink). Again, while I may not have gone full on girly with this nursery, pink definitely has its place.
Okay, I may have a slight problem. But I saw this bench at Home Goods and could not resist. Nightlife from PB kids.
Bookcase is PB kids but found at a local consignment store, Impulse (I will not buy big items new from PB kids, because there is no way I am spending that kind of money on furniture that will likely be colored on/pooped on/destroyed). The Shakespeare print is Etsy and little ceramic bear is actually a nightlight from Target’s new Pillow Fort line.
Rug from Home Goods that we had in our old master bedroom, ottoman is an old leather one that my mom recovered for me a couple of years ago for an apartment, and chair is from Babies R Us. Little table is consignment from Impulse. If you couldn’t tell I am a fan of consignment. 1. It’s cheaper in price 2. It’s almost always nicer in quality than anything you buy new and have to assemble from a million little pieces and 3. particularly in a brand new house I just crave older pieces of furniture. I am grounded by things that are old and worn and have had their own long lives before me. I just cannot be around only new stuff without feeling like I’m in a hotel. And I hope I can pass that obsessive, stubborn, oh so Southern need for age on to my daughter.
Wire hanging fruit baskets from World Market. Beanie Babies from my childhood saved miraculously all these years by my mother. No, they did not increase in value and make me rich as well all told ourselves they would. But man did seeing these little guys again at my shower bring back so many memories of childhood. I was OBSESSED for some strange reason with tiny stuffed animals stuffed with beans. I am very happy they didn’t end up in a trash can somewhere. Thanks for that mom!
Dresser/changing table consignment from the Laisy Daisy. Knobs from Anthropologie. They are so stinking cute I have to give you a close up.

And so there it is my friends, the nursery. We keep the door closed because of our destructive demon dogs, but every so often I like to open the door and walk in. I immediately feel a little calmer. The world is a little softer in this room (and more heavily populated by elephants) and that’s all I really wanted to accomplish with its design, a soft, safe place for a baby to grow and play and (hopefully) sleep incredibly soundly for 14 hours at a time. They do that from hour zero right?

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