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Our vintage eclectic nursery inspiration

These days it seems like it’s no longer a reasonable question to wonder where you should start in decorating a room. You start on Pinterest, on inspiration websites like Houzz, on blogs like Apartment Therapy, on entire websites – like Project Nursery in this case – dedicated to the type of room you need to design. There are moodboards, there are room tours, there are inspiration galleries, you name it. In a Brave New World kind of way, it’s more a question of having too many ideas that you need to choose from, to the point it can be a little overwhelming.

Our nursery is essentially a blank canvas (a blank canvas with no wallpaper on it at the moment, but let’s gloss over that bit), as it’s a room that aside from sometimes housing our exercise equipment or acting as a guest room has had no set purpose the entire time we’ve owned our house. It’s a pretty large room with a single large window, a generous-ish built-in wardrobe extending out from one corner, and no other set furnishing or décor to worry about it. Here’s a ‘before’ shot of sorts, as we started to prep the walls:

Nursery Before

A quick browse through my nursery board on Pinterest shows that I’m drawn to a variety of styles, but some common themes seem to be:

  • Bright, light spaces
  • Mixed, modern patterns
  • Monochrome or mid tones rather than primary colours or pastels
  • Pops of bright colour or even neon used as an accent
  • Quirky and vintage pieces
  • Unusual hand-drawn or hand-made animal accents
  • An eclectic mix of styles and items
  • A sweet feel – nothing too adult – but without being too babyish.

Here’s a perfect example:

Nursery Inspiration via Inside Out and SFGirlByBay

Inspiration from sfgirlbybay via Inside Out magazine

Should be easy, right? As we say here in Aotearoa, yeah, nah. Not easy in the least.

After a fair amount of deliberation and much more browsing than was probably necessary to achieve it, here’s what we’ve come up with as an indicative mood board of our inspiration for the nursery.

Our Vintage Eclectic Nursery Inspiration

Although I haven’t felt the need at all to pick a theme (nautical, woodland, or otherwise) I’ve been drawn from the beginning to a grey, turquoise and yellow colour palette (helpfully, it’s gender neutral), and generally speaking that’s what we’ll go with, as you can see. We’ve picked a few key ingredients that will anchor our design, as shown above:

  1. Some quirky wallpaper. This is probably the most controversial pick, if I’m being honest. This (kind of weird) animal wallpaper might be a little dark or creepy looking for some people in terms of its suitability for a kid’s room, but to me it’s a perfect way to really introduce that eclectic mix to the room, and I think it’s funny! The pattern is pretty full-on, so it will adorn just one feature wall of the room, behind the door (so not visible from the hallway).
  2. Pops of yellow. After I spotted the yellow geometric light fixture (pictured), I felt like I had pretty much locked in yellow as an accent colour. I haven’t worried at all about the shade of yellow, but we’ll have at least three substantial items in the room popping out in this colour.
  3. Oh so many animals. I am a sucker for animals. Little toy animals, prints of animals. Photos of animals. Adorable soft toy animals. You get the idea. The little one will have a series of hipster animal prints as pictured above, along with some gorgeous wooden Anamalz toys on display, this really sweet storage bin, and a much beloved soft toy or three.
  4. Refinished furniture. I just couldn’t get into the right frame of mind for too much white or stained-wood flat-pack to furnish this room. I’m really excited about using vintage pieces we’ve refinished ourselves instead, to add texture and a mix-n-match feel to the room that I think we’d otherwise miss out on. We’re pairing the chalk painted turquoise drawers pictured above with a mid-century lowboy chest in yellow and an ever-so-slightly distressed grey cot/crib.
  5. Prints. My last post covered my quest to design my own prints for a fabulous gallery wall. Most of the (many!) ideas I have are typographic, so I look forward to adding some words of wisdom (some of the words are not so much wise as wise-ass) to the room!

So there you have it, the plan of attack! We’re starting to pull it together now, so I hope to feature some ‘after’ shots in the near-ish future.

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Nursery walls

You don’t have to be a frequent flyer on Etsy or Pinterest to know that inspiration is rife for fun, affordable graphic prints for your home. But nonetheless, thinking about what should adorn your nursery walls is a daunting, and potentially expensive, exercise. In the end, I decided to use my limited budget on other things, and turned to my existing design knowledge and products for help in making some fun, personalised art that was kid-friendly, but makes this mama-to-be smile. My Scottish heritage inspired me to use this adorable tartan from my Getaway kit (link to store coming soon) for a little twist on something like this bold ‘Oh Yes’ print from Designsbyritz. I haven’t had it printed for the wall yet, but I’m really happy with how it turned out – colourful, a little different, and of course, wildly popular with the Scottish side of the family!

Och Aye Print