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Room To Grow: Talk Baby To Me

Some of the focal art pieces and furniture in the nursery

Nesting is a little bit about getting ready for the practical parts of parenting (hello, diapers!) and a lot about making room in your heart and home for another.

Photos by J. Alan Paul Photography

Nesting is a little bit about getting ready for the practical parts of parenting (hello, diapers!) and a lot about making room in your heart and home for another. A lot of life gets lived in the nursery. Knowing this, we set out to create a space full of opportunities to play and learn for our second born, Kristian Rhys. This time around we knew what to keep and what to ditch to create a unique nursery with a lot of heart. Here’s how.

A close-up shot of a mobile and wall art in the nursery

Pick A Theme

By theme, I don’t necessarily mean a genre or topic. I mean, pick something that inspires you to help guide you through your choices. Settling on an idea helps you narrow your focus and creates a more cohesive design. To get started, I pulled color swatches of light earthy tones and a pop of navy. Two secondary themes naturally arose from there as I picked items. Kristian’s room has a mixture of woodland and nautical touches. It’s not an obvious mix, which keeps it interesting and one-of-a-kind.

Some of the focal art pieces and furniture in the nursery

Step Away From The Baby Section

Essential items like crib covers and swaddles are found in the nursery aisle, but don’t be afraid to step away from the kid’s section for some of your furniture and decorative accents. Forget the “blue for boy, pink for girl” rule. Instead, pick playful touches. Patterned curtains from Anthropologie, a fur throw, delicately striped vintage rugs we scored during a sale at McNeal & Friends and unique textiles create a soft, but not babyish look in our nursery. An adult Room & Board dresser provides tons of storage because while babies are small, their stuff is not. The dresser works as a changing table now but can easily transition to a more sophisticated life later. The baby stage is short, invest in pieces that will grow and change with your child.

Katie Sullivan's son Kristian in his crib

Focus On A Focal Point

The obvious choice for a focal point is the crib, but don’t be afraid to change it up. We let a whimsical wallpaper by Cole & Son’s take center stage. The crib still has its moment in the sun, but it doesn’t make its impact until you’re fully in the room. Meanwhile, the wallpaper can be seen when you’re in the room or in the hall. A minimal shelf keeps the drama large, and the clutter small. Tucking the crib in the corner, also, allowed for maximum tummy-time space in the middle of the room.

Close up of the crib and some wall art

Create Dedicated Spaces

Baskets are your best friend. Use them to coral the clutter. In Kristian’s room, a small basket holds all the everyday essentials and a cute giraffe houses his growing collection of stuffed animals. We also have a major thing for books in our house. We built book ledges and installed them right where we need them to keep our bedtime stories accessible and organized.

Close up of a corner of the nursery with a chair and stool

Don’t Forget The Ceiling

If you think about it, your baby spends a lot of time staring at the ceiling. Give them a view. In our case, we went with a soft blue for just a tiny hint of drama. Ironically, the color is Sherwin Williams Hinting Blue with a bit of extra white added in.

Whites Paired with Brights

Children love color, but too much in one space can feel overpowering. We kept the walls a soft white. A few accessories and toys bring the flare.

A view of the crib and some of the wall decor in Katie Sullivan's nursery

A different view of the nursery

Nostalgic, Not Generic

Any parent who has spent late nights in a rocking chair knows a nursery is as much for them as it is for their baby. Add touches that remind you of things you hold dear, like your childhood or your history. In our case, we selected wolf pup art from The Animal Print Shop because my maiden name is Wolfe. The “Don’t Give Up the Ship” flag is a nod to our grandfathers who served in the navy and the side table once held court in my childhood bedroom.

Katie Sullivan with her two kids in the nursery


Crib – Pottery Barn Kids
Sheets – Serena & Lily
Pillows – McGee & Co; DEKOWE on Etsy
Flag – Cotton California on Etsy
Mobile – Restoration Hardware Teen
Bunting – Oeuf NYC
Elephant Rocker – Pottery Barn Kids
Ruler – Handmade gift
Bookshelves – DIY
Rocker – Pottery Barn Kids
Leather Pouf – Home Goods
Owl Lamp – Vintage
Dresser – Room & Board
Changing Pad Cover – SewGracebyV on Etsy
Small Basket – Target
Giraffe Basket – Pottery Barn Kids
Wallpaper – Cole & Sons from Wallpaper Direct
Shelf – DIY
Wolf Art – The Animal Print Shop
Side Table – Vintage
Chandelier – West Elm
Rug – Vintage from McNeal & Friends
Fur Rug – Costco
Curtains – Anthropologie
Felt Garland – Hello Maypole
Door Color – Sherwin Williams Privilege Green
Wall Color – Benjamin Moore White Dove

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For more information, contact:
Katie Sullivan
[email protected]

Connect with me on social media:
Facebook.com/Pretty Domesticated

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