This post has been a long time coming. If you've followed my story, you know it's been a journey to conception. These details are for another post, but suffice to say, a baby nursery is something I quietly dreamed of for a very long time, wondering if I'd ever get to see my vision through.
We beat the odds, and are expecting our baby boy any day now. I still pinch myself and need to take a deep breath when I write things like that. It's a dream I almost gave up on; a dream made possible by modern science. But I digress. You're here for the nursery reveal, right?
Nursery Theme & Backstory
When it came to choosing a nursery theme, I had an idea in mind, and leaned on Pinterest to turn my vision into a reality. My husband and I fell in love in Tucson, Arizona, so a desert-themed nursery seemed fitting. It would also coordinate with our house, which is overflowing with cactus, succulents, and Southwest-inspired decor. Finally, we'd incorporate elements and photography from our recent travels throughout the Mediterranean. Traveling while pregnant was pure joy, and we can't wait to meet our little explorer.
We talk often about migrating back down to Arizona in the colder months, renting out a Spanish-style casita and recreating the magic that brought us together in the first place, nearly 10 years ago. But for now, we've created our own little piece of the Southwest right here in Oregon.
All of this to say, all signs pointed to a desert-themed nursery.
Desert-Themed Nursery Reveal
To create the accent wall behind the crib, I ordered samples and swatches from numerous designers on Etsy and across the web. I wanted something that was appropriate for a baby, but not too baby-ish so it could transition into later years.
Wallpaper has come a long way. Peel-and-stick is the new frontier, requires fewer steps, and no glueing! This new variety is almost as easy as it sounds: it arrives in panels one to two feet wide, that act as giant, adhesive stickers for your wall. The panels can withstand being pulled, prodded, set and reset, multiple times until they're as close to perfect as they're going to get (the perfectionist in me is learning to let go). As part of my search, I was also looking for a non-toxic product for my eco-friendly nursery. Here's where I landed:
I found this gorgeous, watercolor cactus wallpaper via Think Noir Wallpaper. This shop alone has hundreds of modern and luxe peel-and-stick wallpaper options to choose from, in addition to traditional wallpaper options for each design.
If you're interested in creating a cactus-themed accent wall, or if you have another theme in mind, use my coupon code, TRAVELERSJOURNEY, for 10% off your purchase through April 23, 2018. Click here to visit the shop.
When it came to everything else in the room, I followed the same principals: Southwest-inspired, as non-toxic as possible, and transitional pieces that could last beyond infancy.
After days of comparison shopping, I settled on Spot on Square's Eicho Crib. I found out about this brand from fellow mom bloggers who were writing about eco-friendly cribs. Spot on Square was founded by a husband and wife team who wanted to create furniture that met strict eco and safety standards without compromising their modern aesthetic. Not only that, but their sustainability standards were more than a cut above the rest: knowing where the wood was sourced, what the finishes consisted of, and partnering only with conscientious manufacturers to conduct business fairly and ethically. For all intents and purposes, I found the closest thing to an organic crib, and it didn't entirely break the bank thanks to Black Friday pricing. Although not everything in my baby's life will meet this standard, it was important to me that the place he'd sleep for the first several years of his life limited exposure to chemicals. The crib has a conversion kit option, which I plan to purchase to extend its use. Purely from a stylistic point-of-view, I loved the look of the gray crib against the colorful accent wall, and the mid-century design fit well with our desert theme.
Babyletto is another great brand that's more mainstream and more affordable when it comes to creating a non-toxic nursery. From the moment I saw the Dottie Bookcase, I knew it was the perfect piece for our baby's room. The bookcase is taller than it looks, and I love having use of three open shelves to get creative with books, photos, and toys. Positioned below Pistachio the camel, who we encountered at the Dead Sea in Israel, the bookcase conjures up ancient pyramids and far-flung travel itineraries - a lifestyle we have every intention of continuing with our son. I had the 24x36 camel picture printed on canvas at Costco.
After more days of research, I purchased the Tuba Extra Wide Swivel Glider from Babyletto as well. I loved that the seat was described as "a seat and a half," large enough for a toddler to comfortably sit beside me so story time doesn't have to end sooner than I'm ready. Likewise, the chair seemed comfortable enough for my 6'2" husband per the reviews.
A glider was recommended to me for a few reasons. My dog is one of those that likes to sit close, and a glider, as opposed to rocking legs, could prevent injury. The motion of the glider is constant without much effort, making it easier to maneuver postpartum. Finally, the Babyletto glider was one of the most eco-friendly gliders I could find (you may be surprised to know that upholstery is often treated with flame-retardant chemicals). My husband and I both love this chair, and can't wait to rock our baby in it.
The rug was another important item. We had removed all of the carpet in our house a few years back, but our baby needed a soft place to land. Carpet and rugs often contain hidden chemicals, so I choose natural fabrics whenever possible. I loved how the Chumani Aztec Diamond Drops Tassel Rug's black and ivory print mixed well with the colors and textures of the room.
This Finn & Emma Baby Play Gym is made from hardwood and the dangling safari animals are organic. I figure this will be perfect for tummy time without the need for too many lights and sounds, especially early on. I love how simple things can trigger a baby's imagination and creativity, allowing them to think for themselves.
For the changing station, I wanted something that would be multi-functional, knowing I won't be changing my baby forever. I found a great deal on a Spot on Square's Oliv Dresser, which could also work as a changing table thanks to an extra ledge protruding out from the top of the dresser. It's still on sale and includes two felt bins, pictured (for a total savings of $390).
The artwork above the changing station is a watercolor painted by my stepdaughter, Paris. Our family is a little unconventional, she's 23 years old, and cannot wait to meet her baby brother. Over the last 10 years, I feel extremely fortunate to have such a deep and loving relationship with my stepdaughter.
Paris is one of a handful of family and friends who created handmade pieces for our baby's room. My marketing assistant created a macrame succulent holder, and a good friend hand-painted our baby's initials on wooden letters that are now hung in our nursery. We also received not one, but three handmade quilts, which will be well-loved and well-used in the months ahead.
When it comes to everything baby, I felt like I was being heavily marketed to, even before my baby announcement on Facebook. It's amazing how brands can use Google search history to target potential customers based on behavior, and it's impossible not to get sucked into the barrage of advertising citing the things you really need for your baby, and to be a "good" mom.
I did my best to keep a level head and lean toward minimalism. So when it came to clothes, and knowing how quickly babies grow, I wanted to minimize my impact. I reached out to friends with kids who happily shared hand-me downs. Thrift stores and websites like Poshmark and ThredUp were ideal for finding gently used clothing, organic fabrics, and clothing that was ethically made for children, not by children. In the end, the drawers are overflowing, a few favorites are hanging in the closet, and I feel good about the origin of these clothes.
I'm including a few more details about the smaller items pictured. Please note, with the exception of a small discount from Think Noir Wallpaper after my initial order, none of the items in this post are sponsored. They are simply brands that I discovered, fell in love with, and ultimately purchased for my baby's room. While I do occasionally post sponsored content, my choices were not paid for by the brands mentioned in any way. Feel free to leave comments below with any additional questions.
Other Items Pictured:
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