When Andy and I found out that we were expecting we immediately had a million thoughts running through both of our minds: When do we call the doctor? When should we tell our families? Do we think it will be a boy or girl? What will we name them? What things do we need to buy?
The list goes on. But amidst the chaos that is prepping for a baby, one of the things I was most looking forward to was planning our nursery.
A Little History…
We’ve been in our home for a little over two years and are still very much in the process of making the space feel like ours. Because it’s a pretty large house (and because we were concurrently planning a wedding) we weren’t able to personalize the whole interior upon move-in and have, instead, been taking a room-by-room approach. We have the unique and special situation of living in a home that was built by Andy’s family so it’s been fun taking inspiration from the original living space and turning it into something unique to us.
The room we chose for the nursery was designed with the intent of being just that – it’s very close to the master bedroom and only has one large window. After Andy’s grandparents passed away, the house went to his mother and step-father who did a lot of updating before selling to us. Technically, we’re only the second nuclear family to reside in the house. Here’s a before photo of what the room looked like when we purchased the house:
Andy and I both knew we wanted to pick a theme for our nursery. Neither of us were really into the notion that boys should be surrounded with all blue and girls should be surrounded with all pink (same goes for trucks and princesses – sorry, not sorry). Instead, we wanted to create something fun and unique that would stimulate our baby’s thoughts and imagination. That being said, we did ultimately decide to wait to find out our baby’s gender before picking a theme (in case you missed the memo, we’re having a little boy!). We thought knowing the gender and name would help us better visualize and imagine the little person that would calling that room their own.
Because we were right in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and lock-down, Andy and I decided to make choosing a theme an event. We hooked his Mac up to the big screen in our living room and browsed Pinterest together. Ultimately, we ended up going with a Safari theme (all the cute animals!) – although enchanted woodland was a close second.
We were really drawn to Safari for a few reasons:
- Instilling a love for animals. I’m very much a wildlife preservation advocate and with both of us being animal-lovers, we knew we wanted a theme that would allow us to expose our son to a whole world of animals from a young age. If there is one thing that’s really important to us, it’s raising a human who is kind to creatures of all shapes and sizes.
- It’s a big, big world. We loved that this theme emphasized the vast nature of the world. We almost went with a woodland theme before realizing, “Wait a second. We can go out to our backyard and expose him to woodland life.” We wanted to use the nursery as an opportunity to teach him that the world expands so much farther beyond our own little corner of it.
- Gender neutral. We loved that this theme was gender neutral and could (should we so choose) be reused for another child in the future. Again – as previously mentioned – we’re not big believers in pushing the blue or pink.
- So many options! Before deciding on a theme, I would recommend browsing the web to see what kind of products are out there. While the safari theme may be a bit on the trendy side, I really don’t mind because it gives me a ton of different product options and prints to choose from.
If it sounds like a lot of thought went into this theme, that’s because it did! Andy and I spent a lot of time talking and thinking about the environment we were creating for our son to sleep and play in for the first few years of his life.
Mood Board and Color Scheme
Obviously I want our baby nursery to be as hygge as possible. I want the space to be warm (sorry grey tones that I love so much!), welcoming and not overly stimulating. To put my ideas together, I decided to create a mood board. If you’ve never created a mood board before, I would highly recommend giving it a try when planning any space! It can really help you pull your thoughts together and give you an idea of what a finished space might look like.
Not sure how to make a mood board? You’re essentially just creating a collage of different images, colors and textures that speak to the idea you have in mind. You can do this digitally (PowerPoint, Canva, Adobe Illustrator) or get crafty with magazines, print-outs and foam board.
Aside from our safari theme, my plan is to give the room a modern feel by adopting a Bohemian style. This will keep the room feeling fun and natural without being too kitschy (I’m really not into the tradition baby nursery vibe or rainbow explosion of plastic that I’ve come to associate with baby products). Deciding to go Boho also helped me narrow down our color palette. Having a color palette is really helpful when planning a space as it allows you to shop around and still keep everything looking succinct. Here are some colors I was able to draw out of our mood board:
I’m a big fan of using the earth tones for our nursery because it keeps the space feeling elevated and calm.
With a theme and color palette in place, these are some of the things Andy and I will be working on between now and November to get our son’s room ready for his big arrival:
Shopping: I’m a bit of a shop-o-holic so there is a part of me that has been rejoicing at this notion. To help make the shopping more approachable and affordable, I’m making a point to purchase a handful of items each week. Items include things like furniture, accent pieces and textiles (blankets, sheets, curtains, etc).
Assembling: Because we’ve been doing so much of our shopping online, Andy has the honor of assembling the furniture! He’ll also be working on changing out our power outlets from their outdated cream color to white, matching the room’s trim.
Searching: Babies come with a big price tag. I spend time each day browsing Facebook marketplace for gently used baby gear and clothing. I’ve also been keeping an eye on Zulily for deals. As our due date gets closer, family members have also been offering up some of their used items and items from our own childhood.
Crafting: For those who don’t know, I actually went to college for studio art! This was before I added a communications major and ended up treading (more like sprinting) down that path. Regardless, I love all things art and am – as an unavoidable result – pretty crafty. I’m looking forward to crafting several decor items for our son’s nursery – stay tuned for some fun DIYs but check out some of my inspiration in the meantime:
So far, planning this nursery has been one of the most enjoyable parts of being an expectant parent. It’s been a great opportunity for Andy and I to bond together as a couple as we build an environment especially for our son. To see some of the items we’ve been purchasing for our nursery, check out the nursery and decor section of our registry by clicking the button below.