A peek inside: our whimsical gender neutral nursery
In January 2015 when I first found out I was pregnant, I was overwhelmed. We had just started trying and became pregnant right away. To be honest, I wasn’t ready. I needed more time and everything I read said to expect many months. I was looking forward to the charting and planning. But there it was: that extra line.
To avoid thinking about the massive impending change to our lives, I spent the next 38 weeks focusing my attention to designing the nursery. I had Pinterest boards galore and wandered in and out of my husband’s then-office almost daily to get measurements of walls and windows. I had scraps of paper with sketches, diagrams, and ideas. I used an online program to lay out the room to make sure everything fit perfectly. I must have looked at that layout a thousand times, tweaking the placement of the crib, rocking chair, sofa, table, toy chest, bookcase, and dresser.
I agonized (with a good amount of pleasure) every little detail. Although light blue, we didn’t find out the baby’s sex in advance and designed the room to be gender neutral. I wanted a palette of soothing blues, whites, and greys with whimsical and humorous touches everywhere.
I researched options for mobiles and then created my own with multi-colored pinwheels (contrasty patterns closest to the baby for optimal stimulation, of course!).
I couldn’t have standard curtain rods – oh no – I wanted strips of suede supporting birch branches to hold the curtains. Tie-backs were costume jewelry necklaces that I picked up at second-hand stores.
In addition to the curtain rods, my incredible (and incredibly patient and agreeable) husband put up the plank accent wall and stained it just the right color. The handles on the basic dresser were functioned out of various blue spigots. Of course I have a large canvas of my little Nugget too!
The assorted alphabet letters had been collected gradually over a decade and used to reside in my previous kitchens.
Almost everything on the gallery wall has sentimental value. You can see a trio of monkeys from our trip to Mexico when I was 7 months pregnant, renderings of our two dogs in Elizabethan garb (that I originally created as my first anniversary gift to my husband), the embroidered piece my mother made for me when she was pregnant, the bright trolley car from Andy’s time in Brazil, a black and white print of us on our wedding day in Italy, an original sketch picked up in Florence during our honeymoon, ceramic cowboy chimes Andy had in his room as a child, a postcard from Andy’s NY hometown, a Paddington Bear and Beatrix Potter books from my childhood, Asher’s days-old hand and footprints, and more.
I wanted something extra sweet and special so I painted a little Fievel Mousekewitz mouse in a secret space beside the dresser (An American Tail was my favorite movie as a child).
I spent countless hours considering and creating the nursery. The biggest labor of love was 250 yards of star garland for the ceiling. I am not especially good with a sewing machine. After punching out hundreds of silver and gold stars (thanks, Tanti!), there was a lot of grunting, cursing, headaches, and tangled thread to get the look I envisioned.
The room makes me happy and all of the anxiety and doubt I had while pregnant melted away when Asher arrived. Rocking and nursing him those first few months in that room was wonderful.
Now that he’s almost 2, there’s usually a lot more chaos but you can still see the lovely nursery I imagined over two years ago.
“The joy of motherhood comes in moments. There will be hard times and frustrating times. But amid the challenges, there are shining moments of joy and satisfaction.”
~ Elder M. Russell Ballard