With Idalia’s first birthday fast approaching (!!), I thought it might finally be time to post photos of her nursery. Having two kiddos has really taken over my blogging time, so this post is, oh, nearly a year late. But hopefully worth the wait!
Back before we knew that Perry’s name would be Perry (before we even knew he was a “he”!), we just called his room “the Explorer’s room”, and I really went for an exotic vibe in there. This time around we had an advantage, interior-design-wise: we didn’t get around to doing Ida’s room until she was a couple of months old, so we had already gotten to know her, and had the pleasure of enjoying her sunny personality. It was obvious that she was a little explorer, too, but (#1) I wanted to do something different but with equal personality for her room, and (#2) I already had this giant ocean-looking wall hanging I’d made years ago. Also, her middle name, “Kai”, means “ocean” in Hawaiian.
Slowly, the idea of a girl who lived her life aboard a cruise ship was born in my brain. I imagined her stopping in ports around the world, picking up seashells and trinkets as she went, living in a little luxury cabin on a boat. This is all far more romantic in a vintage cruise ship – no Carnival Cruise here. Little by little, Ida’s room took shape.
This is the view from her doorway.
The contact-paper-on-the-window technique I used in Perry’s room had worked so well that I did it again. This time I wanted it to look more like waves – the view she’d see from the window in her cabin. The chair above is an old Ikea piece I bought YEARS ago – it had skinny arms, and I added 1x4s to widen them (and the front legs). I’ve painted it various colors over the years, and it was already this semi-distressed teal color, which worked perfectly.
We hung a mirror on the wall behind the crib – I don’t know why these don’t come standard on all cribs, because this has been an endless source of entertainment for her. I originally made this wooden shelf to go above my desk, back when our current dining room was my office. It’s extremely sturdy, fit nicely (size-wise) above the crib, and I like the raw wood look in here.
Plus, it was perfect for accessorizing. I added a ton of things – a life preserver from the Alameda flea market, one of my favorite books (totally appropriate for this setting), a mini spyglass, seashells, Hawaiian flower hair accessories, baby Havaianas, a vintage poster, a stuffed crocheted crab, paper flowers, a boat that was a favor from Perry’s baptism in Greece, vintage glass bottles also from the flea market, origami seagulls that I made…
The list keeps evolving as I add and change things. My mom gave me a music box she bought for my grandmother in Switzerland – I added that. I picked up a tiny glass buoy when visiting my parents in Port Orchard, and that got added too.
In the corner, we needed something to hold diapers, etc. I found this thing – I think it was some kind of CD organizer – on the street. Brought it home, cleaned it up – it matches well with the shelf and is just right for holding all of those baby essentials. Above it, we hung a painting we bought in Hawaii and a mobile I made out of seashells, sticks, and little stuffed birds (which I also made!)
We added a boat we bought in Greece, and I made a bunch of coordinating burp cloths. I also made the windowshade!
This vintage travel poster felt just right, and I don’t think I could love the stuffed seagull more. The third shot below is taken while sitting in the chair, looking back toward the door. The closet doors are mirrored, and I hung a grass skirt as a valence. We keep a bunch of plastic leis on hand for playtime, too.
Finally, we get to the sea “view” and the beach. This giant wall hanging is made mostly of felt. If you ever attended Sunday School, you already know that felt sticks to felt, so it’s more than possible to create a little scene here out of smaller felt pieces. For now it’s just a sun and some clouds in the sky, but this will be a fun canvas in the coming years. In the top left corner you can also see the wing-flapping seagull. If you’ve ever visited a beach town, you’ve probably seen these in the kitschy shops near the shore – you pull down on the middle, and they’re balanced in a way that makes the bird’s wings flap gently for a long, long time.
Some pillows (from Ikea fabric I bought in London) and a woven beach tote/basket dress up the “beach”. The beach itself is a futon mattress folded over and covered with a big fleece blanket. I can’t say enough how much THE KIDS LOVE TO PLAY HERE. Of course they do, right? It’s a big soft place for them to flop around. We spend a lot of time snuggling here!
When Ida was smaller and had trouble sleeping, we used to complete the illusion by playing some “ocean waves” white noise. With the overhead light off and the paper lanterns glowing, I’d rock her to sleep, imagining the boat itself rocking in tropical waters as the band played slow jazz in the background.