Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Before & After: Tented Stripe Nursery

After what feels like a 1 million-year hiatus, I'm writing a blog post! And I have to say, it feels SO good to do so, it feels exciting just to have something new in my home to share with you. With the arrival of my third son, I had the excuse to get busy with the last baby bedroom in our house. It was begging for some decorating. We waited to find out the gender of our little Levi when he was born, so I didn't prepare ANYthing but a crib, dresser, and bookshelf. The room was beyond a blank canvas, as you will see below. Finally when he was about 6 months old, I mustered up the energy to plan and execute a design scheme for his room (it turns out 3 kids under 5 years old is no joke! Lol):

Inspiration rooms from top to bottom: Bruce Budd, Miles Redd, Mark D. Sikes. Illustrations by Ludwig Bemelmans.

I wanted to focus my attention on the biggest impact item, a 'hero' fabric or wallpaper; for this room I decided to install the stunning Brewster Home Cooper Denim Cabin Stripe wallpaper on all 4 walls AND the 5th wall, the ceiling. I wanted a go-big-or-go-home moment, especially in the smallest bedroom in our home. This way, the third child wouldn't feel like he got the lesser of the spaces! 

This wallpaper was perfect for the job because it had the classic tented stripe appearance I was going for, it looks like fabric with the texture and appearance of denim, and it's wipeable (perfect for a kids room). The fabulous people at Brewster Home Fashions were kind enough to share a coupon code for all of you to save 10% of a purchase from their beautiful collection of wallcoverings: use code NANCY10 on their website here

Truthfully, I felt like I had recently seen so many missed opportunities with rooms that I saw on social media; for example bedrooms with dormer ceilings that hadn't been papered all the way up. I'd say to myself, "aw, why didn't they take the wallpaper onto that nook/ceiling?" or "why did they only do a feature wall? It would have been so much more impactful taken everywhere!" Designers are preaching that an accent wall really isn't the best decorating solution, and can actually end up chopping up a room so that it looks LESS expansive than if you had carried the wallpaper, paint, or millwork onto all walls. Wrapping a whole room in a wallpaper or bold paint color ends up visually expanding the space (yes even on the ceiling!), and also means you can enjoy the view of it from every vantage point. 

So that's when I decided, I shouldn't just talk the talk, I need to walk the walk as well and do it myself! I'll admit I lost some sleep wondering if it would turn out, but on wallpaper day I quickly could see that it was exactly what the room needed. Here are some before & afters (all 'after' photos by the talented Tracey Ayton Photography - I wouldn't trust anyone else to photograph my home!)

You guys went crazy when I posted this sneak peek on IG!

I wanted to share the details of the space in a more precise way then Instagram would allow, break down my sources and even give you an idea of what a room like this would realistically cost. It's hard because the rooms I try to emulate, and the design style I align with is often unattainable to an 'average homeowner' like myself. So, many of you know I rely on second-hand sources like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, and this room was no different! 

Here's a list of what I bought second hand:
- Rattan Dresser $150
- Rattan child's chair $50
- Yellow velvet chair $200
- 2 paint-by-numbers nautical paintings $50 for the pair
- Tortoise lamp and lampshade (which I trimmed in a blue ribbon using fabric glue) $80
- Dollhouse $80

Brand new items I purchased included the chandelier for about $240 (from Shades of Light), rug for $200 (from Rugs USA), and custom table skirt $150, and Roman shade $500 (from Etsy). It's the mix of old and new & high and low that makes things interesting and can give you the overall desired look on a budget!

I bought a cheap Amazon Basics crib skirt, and with that same fabric glue that I used to gussy up the lampshade, I added blue grosgrain ribbon for a custom look. Whole project was less than $30! 

And then of course, my biggest and most time consuming DIY: the Bemelmans art canvas. I studied images from Bemelmans bar in NYC, as well as the Madeline picture books we have at home. My kids wanted me to add bits like the Eiffel Tower, Madeline's rescue dog Geneviève, and the carousel. So it's got our own custom twists; the kids watched me paint it step by step over about a month, and we all love how it turned out! I think it'll be a fun memory for them having seen it all come together over time.  

The Block print pillows were custom sewn for me by Barbara of Markova Design, the Rothko artwork was an Etsy download-able print for next to nothing. Florals were created by the talented Karla of Kerrisdale Design

So the grand total for the space, including installation costs for the wallpaper was just under $3500! Not bad I'd say, I'm happy with how it all turned out on that budget level. Thank you for all your support of this reveal over here on the blog and on IG! It means the world to me and I just love being able to share my joy of creating spaces for these growing little boys of mine. 

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