With a world of variables in play, it's difficult to find a way to tie a room together that can serve as a baby's bedroom but also a place that it's parents enjoy spending time.
Finding out you’re pregnant is an exciting and nerve racking time for any family. Many decide to move for different accommodations, school districts, and the like. We decided that our 1,020 sf condo had all the traits we adore about Columbus. Walkable attractions, access to public transit, and most importantly, a grocery store across the street. After finding out we were expecting a child, we decided to purchase our condo. This removed one unknown about the coming years and allowed us to focus on transforming Katie’s yoga and my dressing room, into a nursery.
Beige had to go, as did an unused single bed, golf club storage facility, and an old street sign on the wall. We took care of the easy removal tasks and with the help of my father, painted the room ‘Monorail Silver.’ This was our first step towards creating a gender neutral bedroom for our kin, but also a place that we would enjoy spending time.
Future grandfather painting the room Monorail Silver.
We collected a few of the larger pieces of furniture early on. With a general design sense in mind, wanting to keep the room fairly monochromatic with cool greys and white. Then add moments of color through items on the walls. We had long been fond of a Gus Modern glider and that was first on the checklist (along with its two month delivery schedule). After a strange craigslist process, we obtained a new Baby Letto crib in the style and color (grey) that we sought. With a chair for us and a bed for the baby, storage was next on the list.
An ikea trip was in order. As with many of our home design choices, the swedish manufacturer was again involved. Their simplistic, modern, and affordable work is a quick way to add sophisticated elements to any space. This trip included storage, lighting, and frames. Two shelves were going to be repurposed as bench storage, one for inside of the closet, and one as a seating feature under the beam shelf (see that past article here). The bookcase in the closet fits under hanging clothes, organizes shoes, and allows for another layer of storage. Two matching lights in different sizes give some lumination to the windowless room. Last on the ikea receipt was several white Ribba frames which would make up the gallery wall above the crib.
Gus Modern - Sparrow Glider. Closet bookcase storage.
Combining uses was necessary in the smaller confines of our space. To aid in this, we purchased and converted an old dresser to a changing table / dresser. This meant stripping down another craigslist find to accommodate the height we needed and preparing the surfaces for a different aesthetic. We gave the tired veneered wood base a few coats of white paint and stained the drawers dark. To add a personal touch, we lined each of the drawer interiors with old maps of locations we have lived and visited. This added a graphic element and level of interest inside, but also softened the rough drawer bottoms to avoid snags and splinters.
Though not exactly what we had in mind, the dresser serves beyond the lifespan of a changing table. We won’t always need a piece of furniture to change diapers, but having items that serve dual purposes increases their effectiveness in a small space. The simple update of paint and a little stain gives the dresser some new life and the map interiors add a personal touch to make it our own.
With many of the big pieces assembled we needed to figure out how everything could fit. After much deliberation, there was only one spatial solution in the 10′ x 11′ room. With crib, glider, dresser, and bench in place we were on to adding a little color. Over the last few months we had slowly been gathering items that had a personal connection or that we simply were drawn to. The latter was how we came about our favorite print in the room. While walking around the Columbus Arts Festival we spotted the print from across the street and both said we were going to get it before we entered Strawberry Luna‘s tent. Was only upon entering did we find out we had mutual friends and we coveted many of the Pittsburgh graphic designer’s prints and concert posters.
Other items to be included in the gallery wall were Katie’s 40 year old bicycle’s manual, local screen print featuring the Columbus skyline by Leah Storrs, a Blue Jackets game puck, Fraggle Rock/Death Star mash-up, and a ‘RINK 2’ license plate from a South Carolina zamboni. Also included in the room is an old educational measuring stick that we received from a relative. This oversized yardstick was a teaching tool at a Dayton elementary school before winding up in a basement and now our home. Lastly, is a national parks map that I put together to inspire us in reaching as many of the natural wonders so close to home.
Teaching ruler and self created National Parks Map.
As we patiently await this child’s arrival, we can rest knowing we have a place we are excited to spend time in, caring for and teaching our child. With personal touches and a classic approach we are proud of how the room has come together.