Saturday, January 17, 2009
How to decorate a nursery
I thought I'd post things I've wanted to post about through out the year but life got too busy. So here's a post on decorating Isla's baby room.
Since we didn't know the sex of Isla before she was born and we aren't fans of baby looking nurseries - my hubby came up with the idea of a Curious George jungle themed room. Since we had watched that movie about 100 times since it was Lilo's favorite movie we thought it would be cute. We didn't just want a monkey room or a jungle room - we were going for the look of the jungle that George painted in the movie.
We like the bold look of the palm trees and animals and how the painting went over the trim and doors.
First I started by measuring out all the walls and the placement of the window and doors and put it on graph paper. Then I watched the movie and actually took pictures of the tv so I can use for ideas on what to put on the walls. I looked online for pictures of the movie but didn't find much. Then I drew out on the graph paper what I wanted to paint on the wall.
In the room we painted the walls white and the trim a bright turquoise. We also bought thicker baseboards since the baseboards in the room were pretty dinky and would look weird painted the contrast colour. I painted the baseboards before they were installed and then just touched up the nail holes.
Before we(Rob) installed the baseboard we put in new carpet. The old carpet was so stained and gross that we needed to change it. We weren't sure what to do for flooring. We kinda liked the idea of laminate floor with a area rug but since the hallway is really nice hardwood the transition would have looked weird. So we looked at carpet - it was kinda expensive at first until the Home Depot guy helped us decide to install a really big area rug. We found a nice area rug that was a large as the room (8' x 9' or something like that). It was the first time we installed carpet but it was a small room so we thought we'd give it a try. Some of the things we learned - tac stripes have a direction, they have an arrow on them that I think should be pointed to the wall, the little spikes on them point slightly in one direction and that should be towards the wall. We didn't notice this at first. Place the tac stripes about an inch away from the wall and the underpad goes inside the tac stripe. We rented a knee kick thing to push the carpet in - that's why the tac strip needs to be pointed towards the wall so when you kick the carpet over it, it hooks on.
After the baseboards were on I drew out the shapes with pencil on the wall - I used the graph paper to figure out the size and scale of the palm trees and animals. Since I didn't want to buy a ton of different colours of paint - I borrowed some leftovers from a friend who painted multi-coloured stripes in her nursey and used some leftovers from Lilo's room. I did buy the brown and the green for the palm trees.
Before I painted I cut up garbage bags and taped them down on the floor (don't want to get paint on the new carpet). Good thing I did this because of course I ended up knocking over one of the paint cans. I also used a canvas tarp under the ladder so it wouldn't tear the garbabe bags.
So then I put on my painting clothes with big belly hanging out - because I did most of the painting the week before Isla was born.
I learnt that painting over the trim is a pain in the butt - especially if there are a bunch of cut outs in the trim - it doesn't go on as easily as George makes it look. So I had to use some smaller paint brushs to get a clean line in some spots. For the painting of George I use some black acrylic to give him some detail otherwise he didn't look like anything. And to get the straight lines for the balloon strings I used one piece of painters tape and then carefully painted next to it - using 2 piece of tape would have worked too but then you would have had to wait for the last line to dry before you did the next. So I just started on oneside and worked over.
When you do a big mural like this it's also important to think of where the furniture is going to go - you don't want to paint a big giraff and then have to put a dresser in front of it. I decided on the furniture layout but when it was in the room I didn't realize where I wanted the dresser was right over the vent - so I want to change it up.
To keep with the look I also re-painted the rocking chair - I love it.
I lucked in that some of the the accessories from Lilo's nursey matched this room. The change table pad, bed skirt and garbage can. It wasn't planned so that was nice.
The furniture was from my sister-in-law - we changed up the hardware when it was it Lilo's room. They were primary coloured balls before and I found these cute brushed silver animal head shaped knobs from Ikea that looked cute in both rooms.
So Isla is 9 months old already and I still love the room. Sometimes I think it might have made a better play room - not really a calm sleeping place but it's still so cute.
Oh and in case you're wondering why I did a new nursey and didn't just use Lilo's old room is because we moved. I also decorated a super cute big girl room for Lilo - but I don't have great photos of it yet. It was done before Isla's room except the curtains so I didn't get around to taking photos. I will and post about that room too.