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Monday, January 16, 2012

Taj's Travel / Cultural Themed Nursery

I'll start off with a pic of the nursery before we moved in.  It's a very small room, about 9 feet by 8 feet, which is why when the previous owners lived in the house, all they could squeeze in was a twin bed and a nightstand.  

The size of the room was the main challenge in creating the nursery.  Initially, when I found out that Taj (my second son) was a boy, I wasn't going to change the nursery at all, since it was all set from Nikhil's.  But, as the pregnancy continued, I really felt that urge to  nest.  Since Nikhil's nursery was put together very quickly, I didn't have time to plan things out they way I really wanted to.  This time, I was able to think things through, get inspired by other blogs and  so I ended up changing the artwork and theme of the room.

We repainted the walls a similar green, but a little less minty than the original owners and I changed the furniture layout, keeping the crib by the door so that we could peek in and see the baby. We painted right before we moved into the house and the color was chosen in like 3 seconds.  Originally, I wanted to save money and we weren't going to repaint the house before we moved in.  But, my brother-in-law convinced us that painting before we moved in was the best time to do it and would make the house really feel like "ours."  So, we literally had 2 days to choose colors for the whole house (and remember, we had just moved from Boston and sold all of our stuff in craig's list, so we had absolutely no furniture). We chose green because at the time I was pregnant with Nikhil and knew he was going to be a boy, but we knew we wanted more kids and wanted something gender neutral which would be acceptable for a girl too.   So, I had to do things backwards and find stuff that matched the wall color rather than vice versa.

 The jumping off point was the Michael Miller fabric I found for the crib sheet and crib skirt. I loved the green seersucker fabric for the bumpers (reminded me of North Carolina) with the soft minky dot fabric on the inside.  All the fabric was purchased online at

 My talented mom made the crib bumpers.  The crib skirt and sheet were made by a woman on Etsy whose shop is now closed.  Unfortunately, right after my mom had made the bumpers, the American Academy of Pediatrics came out with their policy statement regarding the hazards of bumpers.  But, we haven't left Taj to sleep in his crib yet (he sleeps in a bassinet in our room).  So I figured it's OK for now, since we're always watching him when he's in the crib, which is no more than about 10 minutes at a time right now.  When we transition him to the crib, we will remove the bumpers.

The awesome chevron curtains were made by my mother from fabric I bought at  It's Annette Tatum's chevron in blue.  She stitched them with black out liner and along with the Home Depot faux white wood blinds, they make it really dark during the day, perfect for naps.

I scored the rocking chair from costco for $200.  As with all things costco, it's not always available, but we were lucky that we found it right before Nikhil was born.  I used to have the footstool in here too, but it really made the room tiny, so I removed it and it's easy enough to rock.  The other thing that we added was carpet.  It's just a remnant, cut down to the size of the room with a super thick rug pad underneath.  It's way better than the 4x 6 area rug I had in here before, which really made the room smaller.  Plus, it wasn't as cushiony soft as the carpet.

I made the wall art below.  It has his name in English, Tamil and his Chinese name as well.  I bought paint pens in coordinating colors and printed out templates and traced them onto the canvas (after I had painted it blue with some leftover house paint).  For the post about the cute plane crib mobile that my mom made, click here.  Are you sensing the theme here?  I'm not talking about the travel/cultural theme of the nursery, but the theme that my mom was super instrumental in creating this nursery!

Jessica Flannigan's nursery
I love these custom prints designed by Lisa Barbero on Etsy.  I initially saw them on Jessica's nursery which was featured on chic cheap  Here's a pic of her nursery.  Once I saw it, I loved it and it's funny because I didn't run across her nursery pic for her son, Bodhi, until I had finished my nursery (all except for the art), but there are some definite similarities.

Like Jeff and I, Jessica and her husband are from 2 different backgrounds (check out her site).  And, she had the brilliant idea of having Lisa do cities that were meaningful to them.  I loved the idea of Taj having something like this in his room, so I had Lisa do prints for Madras, India (where my Mom is from), Zhongshan, China (where Jeff's father is from ) Honolulu (where Jeff is from and where we live now), as well as New York, where Jeff and I met.  I left out Raleigh where I grew up, only because I couldn't really think of an iconic skyline that NC had and NYC is more meaningful to the story of Taj.

Lisa did a fantastic job on the custom prints.  She was open to feedback and changed things until we happy with the end result. I really love the Madras one.  She captured the temple and St. George's church beautifully and even made an extra copy for my mom.

Continuing on the cultural, travel theme, I used letter blocks in English and Tamil and a globe for decoration.

A huge change I made was to remove the closet doors and shell out the cash to get a closet organizing system.  It has made the biggest change in the room and creates much more space, while also being a lot more organized than before.  Click here for the pic of the way the closet looked with Nikhil.

If you are interested in knowing where I purchased anything, just drop me an email or comment, and I'll be happy to reply!

1 comment:

  1. What an awesome post. I love how the nursery came together. And what a little cutie Taj is. Thank you so much for choosing me to make your art. :D