And now, we wait. (And hang out in the Explorer’s Room.)

We’re as ready as we’re gonna get.

How do you really prepare for a baby? We have all of the truly necessary stuff, we’ve put everything in order, and we’ve cleared our schedules for the coming weeks. But I can’t think of anything we can do to even begin to prepare ourselves mentally for the fact that our little Robotaki is about to emerge and become a real, live, screaming human. I’m due in four days, which means this could happen anytime…we just don’t know when!

Back in London, we used to do a lot of traveling with friends. Usually our rallying cry on these trips was, “ARE YOU READY, EXPLORERS??” which morphed over time into referring to each other as Explorer Angela and Explorer Lefteris anytime we were embarking on something new – travel-related, of course, but also anything that involved exploring our inner worlds or new skills/ideas we hadn’t tried before. Somewhere along the way we realized that babies are the BEST explorers, because they’re exploring EVERYTHING all at once. And that is how we decided that turning the Moroccan Room into a Moroccan Nursery was the best thing we could do to instill a love of the exotic in our tiny explorer. Plus I’ve always found my various Moroccan bedrooms to be extremely soothing and stimulating at the same time.

So this is what I’ve been perfecting while we wait. There are soooo many more detail photos in the portfolio!

The view from the doorway. The walls are covered in a Ralph Lauren giant paisley print; I got over 40 yards of this years ago for $0.99/yard, marked down from $36.99, I think. I have NO IDEA what that store manager was thinking, but hey…I mounted it on some 1x2s and have hung those from ceilings of my various apartments. Instant atmosphere!

Using translucent contact paper as described here, I masked the “view” from the room (of our neighbor’s house about five feet away) while still letting in all of the light.

All of this furniture was either found somewhere used or made/significantly modifed by me over the years.

This dresser/changing table was a real labor of love. We bought the Tarva at Ikea for the base, and two nice wood planks to make a larger top plus four brackets from Home Depot to build this thing. You know what, I should really do a separate post showing the process on this, so for now those are the only details you’re getting. 🙂

I copied the design up top from a wall at the Alhambra, where we went for the holidays two years ago. The funny thing, though, is that I was actually copying from some random photo I found online and liked, all the while thinking “this design looks so familiar”. After a couple of weeks I moved some stuff around and re-found a print of a photo I’d taken of the same design! (It’s the second one here.)

For the drawer fronts, I just googled “Moorish patterns” for inspiration and went to town. The main thing in all of this was that I REALLY wanted to create a look of wood inlay, and that made the whole project orders of magnitude more complex and labor-intensive. Worth it, though! I also replaced the original handles with leather ones I made. Finally, we found a theme-appropriate cover for the changing pad – kinda hate to cover up the top, but it’s not so bad with that adorable thing.

Over to the crib! You can see that there are little white lights all around the room. This makes such a nice ambient light, and we have these controlled from a wireless switch near the door.

Above the crib on a small shelf is a bundle of Tibetan prayer flags I bought in Chengdu. I made the curtains years ago for my very first Moroccan bedroom, and they’re perfect here – for nap time we can draw them around the crib and it just makes the coziest little sleeping area. I kind of want to get in, to be honest. And finally the crib skirt – I whipped this up in the middle of the night from old Calico Corners fabric and trim I had on hand. I have a pretty nice stash of explorer’s-room-appropriate goodies for things like that.

Finally, we’ve left the low sofa (aka futon mattress, haha) in this room for two reasons: it gives me a place to put the million pillows I’ve made, and if Mama or Baba need to take a nap in the baby’s room, this will come in oh-so-handy.

The mirror is framed by skeins of yarn, and reflects a canvas print of one of Nidhi Chanani’s illustrations, and Tibetan prayer flags hang over the door.

Finally, the million pillows and blankets on the sofa round the whole thing out.

So there you have it. I couldn’t be happier. Now come out and SEE IT, baby!


  1. I found your blog while image-searching Ikea Tarva hacks. This is the most beautiful nursery I have ever seen. Well done!

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