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  • Writer's pictureElana

The Nursey: Our Tropical Oasis

With just over 2 weeks to go until baby’s due date, I thought it was about time I shared more details about our beautiful nursery with you.

When we started planning the nursery design, we had all sorts of fun ideas for themes. Navin asked me if this room was for me or for the baby… which was a great clarifying question…because really, it’s for me (or us, the parents…baby isn’t going to have a clue!) and I wanted it to be a calm place where we would feel as relaxed and happy as possible even when we’re sleep deprived and being screamed at by our little man while cleaning up the aftermath of explosive poop and fountains of pee. We decided to go with a tropical beach theme. I can’t think of a more relaxing place than the beach, and with Navin’s Caribbean background, it just seemed perfect. Navin got to work on painting the room and hand-painted this beautiful palm tree (no, it’s not a decal or template!). As you can see, it just makes you want to relax right under it. And naturally, that’s exactly where the crib is now.

I’ve already posted about my nursery sewing projects in a past post, so I won’t write about those here, but I am so happy with those curtains and bed skirt and accent pillow.

On the more arts-and-craftsy side, one of the first projects I worked on was a series of framed, colourful sea creatures. They were incredibly easy to make… just a plain white frame, scrapbook paper, and cut outs of sea creature silhouettes from plain white paper. Because the frames were actually shadow boxes, I put a few seashells inside of a couple of them. I also took some wine corks that we’d been collecting, sliced them up in various shapes, and created a couple of picture frames to display photos of the family. And living on the same shelf are the amazing crocheted sea creatures that my sister Jordana created without a pattern…just from her head!

Another talented crochet-artist, my mom made this adorably inviting hammock for baby’s stuffed animals to live in.

Then from the same supply of shells that our family has collected from various vacation destinations over the years (that I used in those shadow boxes), I filled up this great fill-your-own-base lamp with various seashells to really enhance the beach effect. Having an organized nursery was so important to me. (At least having it start out organized. I commit to nothing once this baby actually arrives). We were incredibly lucky to get loads of adorable baby boy hand-me-downs from my cousin and so we went from a completely empty closet to lots of clothes in a short amount of time. I am so grateful, and I also felt a little overwhelmed. Why do some sizes say “NB” for newborn and some say “0-3 months”. Is a newborn not 0 months? And why do some outfits have ranges “3-6 months” and some just say “6 months”? And how do you categorize baby clothes so you can find what you’re looking for? It’s overwhelming and confusing! So, obviously, I got to work on implementing some tools. Some of the organizing was super easy. For example, IKEA has these little drawer inserts that we put inside of the top dresser drawer so that socks don’t mix with hats, etc. I think they cost us all of $6. We also bought a green wooden box, turned it on its side and hung it up as shelving right beside the change pad for easy access to diapers and creams.

Also from IKEA (but inspired by Pinterest) are these great little spice racks that we’re using as book shelves. They’re great because they hang on the wall, and keep the books close to the glider, but have a little bar across the front so the books don’t just topple off the shelf and fall on the ground. They’d also be super-easy to paint but we liked the natural wood look for our tropical beach theme.

The baby’s room had a pretty large closet…definitely bigger than we need for those tiny clothes. But it was just one big shelf and one long rod. We wanted to organize it so that we could store non-clothing baby things in there too, and so that there were compartments and levels to help keep items separated vs. all the wasted space and clutter that would exist if we left the one rod and one shelf as is. Navin did a great job of installing a new closet system (just standard Closetmaid from Home Depot) to help separate the closet into sections and organize the space.

While we’re on the topic of closet organization, I found this other awesome idea on Pinterest to create closet dividers. We had a ton of cardboard lying around from crib/dresser/stroller/etc packaging, so I just used some of that cardboard and cut out circles with a hole in the middle and a wide slit so that I could slip it onto the closet rod. Then I bought cute scrapbook paper and glued it on top, affixing labels saying the appropriate size range.

We also found some great bins to put on the closet shelves so that future clothing and toys and other random items each have a dedicated home. I created little matching inserts (the decorative frame is taped on, but the white printed size insert is removable) to help me know what’s inside of each box without having to unfold things every time I want to check what size is inside or add to a box.

Thanks to everyone who has helped us create this cozy, relaxing space! And a huge thanks to Navin who has put a ton of work into creating our tropical oasis. Every time I walk in there I feel so relaxed and happy.

We’re all ready now. Anytime baby…anytime…

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