Friday, March 22, 2013

Decorating the Nursery for Adoption

Decorating our son's nursery began early on. We made the decision to adopt after many years and many doctors with attempts to conceive. Adoption became our option and we know it was the best decision we have ever made.

There were a lot of blogs on adoption that I went to because I wanted to have a nursery ready, but didn't want to have a nursery ready and then face heartache. In the end, after reading countless other stories of adoption, I decided to go for it.

I felt such peace about our decision to adopt that I knew decorating the nursery would only give our child that WAS coming a place to sleep and play. I know the nursery isn't the most important thing to have ready. After all, the baby needs food and a place to sleep. But, the planner in me wanted it done so I could enjoy our little bundle when he or she came home to his/her forever home.

I did a ton of research looking for images on the Internet-- especially Pinterest. I saw a TON of images I loved. But, we didn't know if our baby was going to be a boy or girl so I decided to go with neutral colors and then change a few things after we found out.

Our original idea was Dr. Seuss, but that was then changed. If we knew we were going to bring home a little boy, I loved the idea of rustic and vintage with wooden toys and red accents. If we were going to bring home a girl, it was going to be white lace and flowers, as girly as it could be. In the end, we decided on the theme of My NeighborhoodTotoro. 

This movie is a kids' movie from Japan. Granted, my husband is Chinese, but he grew up with a lot of movies from Japan. And, if you haven't ever watched a movie from the Studio Ghibli with director Hayao Miyazaki, you are missing out big time!! One of the newer ones released to the US was The Secret World of Arrietty. They are wonderfully imaginative movies with beautiful music and deep rooted meaning and lessons.

Okay, so back to the nursery. Our little one arrived exactly 9 months after we decided to adopt and had begun our paperwork. It is unheard of, but as I said this was a decision meant to be.

The first project for the nursery that I completed was the Glider/Ottoman cover. Friends gave us the chair and ottoman at no cost and it was in very good condition. In an effort to busy myself, I did something I hadn't ever done before- made a slip cover.
Original Fabric on the Arts and Crafts Glider
Ottoman 
How I Began with White thin cloth to make a pattern by pinning it on the chair
I labeled EVERYTHING with a Sharpie
I felt like giving up MANY times, but I wanted my child to be able to look at the nursery and see how much they were loved before they arrived and how much effort went into preparing a place for them. 

After a ton of searching for the PERFECT fabric, pinning, repinning, poking my fingers, breaking thread, long days, being tempted to give in, I finally finished!! I then covered the ottoman and made a pillow to coordinate. All of the fabric in the room came from fabric.com with a 20% coupon. The Chevron is a Michael Miller fabric and is called Premier Prints Zoom Zoom Twill Harmony- I know right! What a name!! The pillow has a grey back and Chevron front with a grey bird that I created and attached. The eye is a blue button I sewed on. 
The ottoman is the same Chevron pattern with an edging of blue ribbon with white polka dots. The grey ribbon on the corners was taken from my old Ann Taylor Loft bags (Yeah- I used to shop there back in my working day. Sigh!!) But, thrifty idea none the less. 
Chair with grey slipcover- the hardest part was the seam at the front
Ottoman
(http://strictlysimplestyle.blogspot.com/2010/07/no-sew-ottoman-slipcover.html)
Top Fabric on Panel
Changing Table from a friend- complete with 2 covers.
Boxes from left: burp clothes, bibs, socks
Curtain Panel

I saved some money here as well. The basket on top came from Hobby Lobby in a set of 3 for 50% off. I already had it- just repurposed it for diapers. The boxes on the bottom are actually gift boxes from Target. One came with a gift at a shower and the other two I purchased. A steal at $5 each- much cheaper than baskets. The folded items on the top shelf are sleeper sacks which our son LOVES to sleep in.
My next project was to create the window panel (actually, the painting had already begun before this, but more on that later). This is a lined panel with the same grey fabric as was used on the glider with a top fabric added for accent. This is a Micheal Miller fabric as well- can you tell I LOVE his designs?? It is called Micheal Miller Backyard Baby Lotsa Dots White. I loved it since it added a new pattern and the little dots have random leaves and acorns printed inside of them!! My husband pointed out it was perfect since Totoro is a forest animal who carries a bag of acorns around with him in the movie!! 


The rest of the nursery was just putting icing on the cake so to speak. My husband painted the stripes on the wall in blue and grey. One wall was already a grass green color from this being a guest room so I painted the mural on that wall- saved a TON of paint and time- thanks for the idea MOM!!
I found an armoire for $40 on Craiglist and it has wonderful DEEP drawers and reminds me of my grandma's house, PLUS it is from the 1920s. My favorite furniture style period- just look at those pulls!! Ok- so I am wiping my drool off the keyboard so I can get to the end of this blog post. Did I mention that we have GREAT friends? The crib also came from a friend of a friend. Pictures on that later. 
My Neighborhood Totoro Inspiration picture
The mural with a pond and a large Totoro added (notice his bue bag of acorns) 
The Tree- Beginnings
Tree Complete with little Totoro on the branch

Other items were picked up here and there and added at different times. I never got around to my State art I wanted to do or my chalkboard in a frame that I wanted to hang and add a verse of the day to for Declan every morning. I do have a frame I scored at Hobby Lobby for 70% off one day- it may find a new home soon. But, we do have state art that we received as a Baby gift- I will add a picture of it later.
I sat the armoire in the garage with the drawers out in the sun everyday to get rid of the old smell. I lined the drawers with scrapbooking paper and maps and I wiped it down with Olive oil to shine it up a little. I need to take a really good picture of the pulls- they are fabulous.
1920s Armoire
Baby shower gift- Dekor Diaper Disposal System (can be used as a regular trash can later!!) 
 $1 each at Target- I use them inside the large basket on the changing table for creams, etc. 
Dust ruffle for crib from Target (will add on crib later) 
Also from Joanns- felt bag for books
Basket 2 from set 
Totoro dolls- the one on the left I made of felt and the one on the right came from Gary's family 
Trash Can- 50% off in the items for back to College at JoAnn Fabrics
Mobile from Gary's parents
Star Light- we bought this on a trip to North Carolina one year with intentions of putting it in a nursery
(Chevron Trading Post & Bead Co.
http://www.chevronbeads.com/)
Declan LOVES his star light!
Felt bag at Target (Target Home Storage Net) - I splurged on this one at $20
So, there it is in a "nutshell." Our little one has found his forever home and we have found our heart's purpose. We are so wonderfully blessed and God has kept His promise to us even after 8 long years of praying and waiting- not always trusting, but always coming with a broken heart waiting for it to be filled with the love of a child. I can say I am proud of the fact that I did take so much time to prepare his room- he will know how much he was longed for and how much preparation went into preparing a place just for him!!!! 

Look in the future for a blog post on his new playroom. It is in the works. We are converting our dining room which we never used into a special room for him and his toys, etc.

***I forgot to add that I have a simple white trash can (tall) next to the changing table for dirty clothes and I keep a large box in the corner next to the changing table for folding clothes as he outgrows them-- saves a ton of time later.

Nursery Update: As our little man has grown so fast, he quickly outgrew the lovely armoire. So, after a search forever on Craigslist I finally found a dresser to replace this armoire so I would have more space for his clothes. I was very excited to have this dresser!!

It is a Stanley dresser from the Young America Collection. I was looking for something with the Pottery Barn feel without the Pottery Barn price. If you check Craigslist for Pottery Barn, you will easily still pay $400+ for a piece of furniture. Stanley is a great company as well. This dresser in its new state was PRICEY ($1,049 on their website). It was also in a special made to order color: Bluet. What did I pay for it you ask? A whopping $150.00!!! A steal if I say so myself. It does have a few knicks where the owner said it received in the moving process, but it works for me. Below is a photo from the website. I will upload a new photo of our dresser later.



This dresser has provided space for all of little man's clothing. From left to right: hats, extra wipes, socks, pants, onesies, pants and seasonal items, PJs. There are two drawers for pants because he is going to be tall and so I have two sizes out at all times!! I can't keep up. Ha!
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