And then come the nursery posts!

I think I've mentioned this a few times, but researching pretty pictures of nurseries is my new favorite hobby. Seriously. There are some majorly talented mommies out there decorating the heck out of their nurseries. So far I'm still on the 'I need to figure out my style' path and haven't committed to anything just yet. Since we will find out the sex of our baby part of me wants to wait to decide on colors until then, but the other part of me wants to get the show on the road and make the nursery mostly gender neutral, with a few gender-specific touches later on.

I've seen a billion gorgeous nurseries in my research but there is one that takes the cake for me. I would have never been brave enough to use this many bright colors (and I'll probably still chicken out) but please look at this awesomeness from Jennyology and tell me it's not the bomb. It's truly inspirational for me.

{All images posted with permission from Jennyology}
Those curtains! That apple green wall color! The touches of robin's egg blue! Handmade framed prints on the wall! I am truly in love, you guys. It's not too matchy-matchy, it has eccentric elements, and above all: NO PASTELS. This is a must for me no matter what. I'm not a fan, end of story.

This awesome nursery makes me want to use apple green, robin's egg blue, and maybe a touch of orange or pink for our colors. Thoughts? Maybe I'd keep the wall more of a neutral tone and then use these bright colors for other elements in the room (bedding, curtains, rug, chair, etc).

But here's the challenge, dear readers: we live in a duplex built in 1923. We have natural wood doors, frames, windows, baseboards, lighter colored hardwood floors. Which is totally fine if you are into the traditional look and I can appreciate the fact that the wood is 'pretty' and all of that. But both Nate and I love modern and clean decor which includes bright white doors, baseboards and windows. It's ironic because the downstairs unit where my in-laws live has all painted white wood. We adore it and my in-laws despise it so much that they are currently HAND STRIPPING every last bit of the white paint. This means they detach the doors and strip all the paint off, then stain and polyurethane the thing. Repeat about a hundred times for the baseboards, windows, and other woodwork and you have two very determined in-laws to make the home more traditional.

So I guess painting the nursery woodwork is out then, huh? Like I'd even ask....we'd be written out of the will for sure.

This is the current state of the nursery. It's our second bedroom which is both our guest room and 'office.' I have come to terms with the fact that we will lose the actual bed for our guests (ahem, Missouri visitors always welcome!) and will probably stick with an air mattress in our family room. Or possibly a pull out couch but more on that later. The computer will be moved into our living room which Nate hates but hey---I want a REAL nursery. Not some half-arsed room that serves multiple functions. I'm not sure why but I really feel a strong need to make this nursery a true baby haven.
the nursery before

So please ignore the awful panoramic shot....I really need a wide angle lens, huh?

The room has potential, no doubt. I mean the adorable notched arch above the window seat? It adds unique character. The cute little window on the right? Love it. And I do love our hardwood floors. Sure the room is small and not totally our style but we can make it work without a doubt. Like a good friend said, if Manhattan-ites can have nurseries in minute apartments we can make a great nursery out of our limited space.

But do you think going with bold bright colors in such a traditional home with natural woodwork will look completely ridiculous? I want to make it very 'us' and don't want to force the nursery to fit the duplex style instead of our style. After all, we'll probably only live here for a year after the baby is born so it won't be the kid's long term room or anything.

Ah, the decisions. Thoughts much appreciated. And stay tuned for furniture ideas and more inspiration.


  1. oh the painted woodwork... i also tend to like more modern feeling rooms with crisp white woodwork, but when we bought a house that was built in 1911 and still had all of the original unpainted woodwork, i decided to make it work with my style. i think that you can still use bold colors with natural woodwork and it can look great. we painted our guest room a very dark teal/navy color and i love how it turned out. i just used white in other ways - in the curtains, bedding, etc. to make the room seem more modern feeling. the woodwork gives the room character and i think that you have a great starting place for your nursery! can't wait to see how it turns out!

    ps- i really like the nursery you posted, i think you should try to bright green... i also like the idea of starting it now and making it more gender neutral and then adding to it later. good luck!

  2. very cute room, lot of room for potential. I agree your sample room is a lot of color. We decided to paint the wall that the crib is on a bright color, we also have a window alcove similar to yours and painted that blue with clouds then stenciled on top...the rest of the room so far is neutral (she is 18 months).

  3. OMG we have the exact same issue in our apartment that we rent from inlaws - mainly beautiful natural wood framing throughout, but I MUCH prefer the white!! We have two rooms painted the same taupe color - one with white trim and one with natural and room with white trim just pops so much more!! We have a room with natural wood trim we'd like to turn into a nursery someday and have talked about painting it a bright yellow and using green, orange and either blue/pink as accents, but it would look SO much better with white trim. I can't wait to see what you decide on!

  4. Great nursery!! I love all the crazy colors. So fun!

    I definitely think you can do that style of nursery with your room. But personally, if I were to do it, I'd go all out. I wouldn't keep the walls neutral, I'd paint them a bright color. I think if you completely ignore the fact that the woodwork is there, it will turn out much better than if you try to work around it. I really think that bright colors and fun patterns are going to keep the eye away from the woodwork anyway. And really, I think the woodwork around the windows and the doors is the only issue - the flooring is great! Plus, it will probably be partially covered with a run anyway. And now that I think of it, the same can be said for the windows, since you'll have curtains hanging. Also, you can pull in white in so many other areas. Just looking at those pictures, all her furniture is white, all the prints are matted on white mats, all the lamp shades are white, she has white blankets laying around, there is white in the curtains...I really think that if you go all out, the woodwork is just gonna sorta shrink back and be completely unnoticeable.

    I'm looking forward to the final result!!

  5. I've been reading your blog for awhile now, but have never poster (i'm a stl girl and somehow came across your blog awhile back).

    Anyways, we have an old house with hardwood like yours and a 10 month old - his nursery is bright bright bright blue, with a rocket theme (simple reds and blues). It actually looks great with the hardwood! We actually got a white bed and it works really great.

    I love colorful nurseries and obsessed over them forever and I'm really happy with the final result.

  6. The room def has a lot of potential and looks very comfy for guests right now BUT I love love love love love the nursery! I think it is awesome and I did bookmark the pictures for our future baby room!

  7. Off topic - How did you do those shadow boxes for your race memorablia? I would really like to do something like that with my medal and number from my one and only 1/2 marathon. I also have little inspiration things friends gave me before the race and they're all shoved in a folder right now! Any ideas?

  8. I think that bright green with the dark woodwork would look fine - actually I think it would look great! Come to think of it, my friend, Meghan, lives in a duplex in tosa also and she has bright walls at it looks awesome(and as you know, they are all pretty much the same - dark woodwork, built ins, etc).

    Can't wait to see how it turns out! It will undoubtedly be fab.

  9. I love the bright cheerful colors, I personally would probably tone down the green just a wee bit and make it more of a bright sage versus the neon lime green that it looks on my screen (my color calibration could be off though), but that's just personal taste. I love the blue and green combo, that blue is beautiful and overall that room really works! I definitely want to use bright pops of color in greens, reds and blues!

  10. I would die for this room to work with.

  11. I absolutely LOVE that nursery! Go for it.

    And I'm 100% with you on the wood. Jim and I much prefer white trim and our house has nothing but fresh, clean, new wood baseboards. I don't have the heart to paint these since they are so new. BUT I did tell Jim we are, without a doubt, painting the trim white in our future nursery. Along with white crown molding...:) Yes I have thought about this thoroughly :)

    You ahve a great room to work with. I'm sure whatever you do will look fabulous.

  12. Your dream nursery is absolutely adorable....never in my wildest dreams would I be able to use colors like that, though! I'm too much of a wuss! I like colors, but I like to think of nurseries as quiet tranquil places....even though much to my dismay a LOT of screaming goes on in them! Anyway, back to you. I definitely think you could make the colors work with what you've got. I don't know about painting the walls, but you definitely can do fun colors with bedding, tapestries, prints and a big rug! I see an Ikea run in your near future :)

  13. Oh! And where the HECK is the crib in that nursery??? Surely its hidden in there somewhere, right? The baby doesn't sleep on the futon, right?!

  14. what i'm wondering if how the person that decorated that nursery found such incredible pieces? i mean, really, you could spend a lifetime in search of a robin's egg colored chair like that. ahhh. go bold with the colors. like you said, you'll probably be moving anyway. live on the edge. (and that means a lot because my whole house is beige right now) ;)

  15. I'm thinking the east and west walls should be that bright green and leaving the north and south walls white. I'm also seeing white nursery furniture and all the other colored accents from the pics. It would be very nice. A robin's egg blue window seat cushion would be nice as well. But, that's just me.

    I LOVED decorating my nursery!
    I did it while I was off at Christmas time (so, 20 weeks pregnant) and I'm sure I got yelled at for being on a ladder. :)

    I can wait to see what you decide!

  16. I just moved into an apartment full of wood trim and although I am starting to get used to it, I'm still finding it hard to decorate! I have no advice, but I figured I would commiserate. I love the idea of using bright colors in the nursery rather than the typical pastel color schemes. I can't wait to see what you come up with!

  17. Nancykate: Shadow boxes are easy and so much fun! I think most of mine came from Michaels and all you do is put your numbers, medals, maps, and stats in there. Here is a post about my shadowboxes, not sure if that helps.

    And thank you, ladies, for all of the advice! I'm feeling more confident with the bright bold colors now that I've heard your opinions. And it's nice to know I'm not the only one who is trying for the bright and modern look in a traditional home. Stay tuned! :)

  18. Bright colors rule... we have warm wood floors and we are going for turquoises, lime green, orange, grey and touches of black and white :)



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