Caroline’s Nursery

Caroline’s nursery is not actually a nursery. It’s really not even Caroline’s right now, since it’s full of toddler toys and doesn’t have a crib. But it does have nice carpet, a very comfy nursing chair, lots of pretty colorful things and a big closet full of little girl clothes. I’m pretty excited about the room in general, since in about a week I’m going to be staring down the barrel of taking care of two kids on my own (I have been SOOOO spoiled with E home and my mom here) and a fun place for all of us to hang out is going to make that a lot easier. Plus it will be PERFECT for play dates. Who wants to come over?!


My mom wrote “Caroline” in place of “Baby Girl” on the chalkboard tray before we brought her home.

View from the door

This room really needs to be painted. The paint is like primer, totally flat, and there are a zillion scratches and chips and scrapes on the walls. But I sort of figure it’s only a matter of time before someone colors on them in permanent marker anyway, so painting it now would be an exercise in futility. Also, I freaking hate painting.

From behind the glider

My favorite corner

The chair is from Babies R Us (this one is better than the defective one, but the seat is ALREADY kind of lopsided so I don’t recommend it, no matter how comfortable it seems in the store) but the ottoman came with our old glider that’s still in Little Evan’s room. My mom recovered the ugly beige with one of the cute fabrics I bought. Curtains are Ikea, pillows are from Target, blanket on the chair was a gift from my friend Amanda, tutu (hanging on the wall) and ribbon mobile are two of my craft projects.

Man, those moldings REALLY need a coat of paint. Yikes.

Here’s the most important nursery planning tip ever: BUY A DRESSER INSTEAD OF A CHANGING TABLE. Or at least buy a changing table with drawers. Those open shelves are useless. This one is from Ikea and it’s just the right size. Lamp and shade also from Ikea. If you can’t read the banner, it’s actually Charley Harper Flash Cards spelling out “Caroline” held on a ribbon by wooden clothes-pins. There mirrors were on clearance at Target for $1.25 so I bought 4 (the other two are on another wall) and painted the frames in bright colors to match the room. I hung them at toddler-height so Little Evan can play peek-a-boo with himself. (p.s. The child sized broom courtesy of a toddler who felt it REALLY belonged in this picture.)

The wall behind the main door

The floor pillows are my FAVORITE thing about the room. The fabric on top of the front pillow is what inspired the color scheme and the pink and orange fabrics were from Caroline’s baby shower. I’m terrible at sewing but my mom is AWESOME and after I tracked down some nice big fluffy pillow forms (Ikea! $6.99! It was cheaper than buying poly-fill!) she whipped these right up for me. Now they’re perfect for lounging around on the floor during play time. Mirrors are the other two I bought at Target and the baby hats/bows/booties are all just hanging on a ribbon with clothes pins. I went a little clothes-pin-crazy in here.

TA-DA! This is where the whole room started. So in case you were wondering, the theme of the room is orange, pink, green, blue, brown, birds, nature, vintage, nursery rhymes, and transportation. I have a hard time making choices.

I bought a yard of this fabric at Ikea. But it wasn’t at my local Ikea, it was during my super awesome fantastic amazingly amazing trip to Minnesota so it’s extra special. The frame was another freebie from after a garage sale that I spray painted orange.

Toddler play corner

Built-in book shelves. Please note my awesome variety of pretty much every book series ever written for children. And maybe one TOTALLY CHILD INAPPROPRIATE book by Edward Gorey.

Evan is in love with his little table and chairs (a Christmas gift from his grandma and grandpa)

Other stuff in this corner: Lamp & shade, easel, and abacus from Ikea. Animal shaped bins are from Target, various plastic toys from EVERY PLACE IN THE WHOLE WORLD THAT SELLS TOYS.

He really wanted to be in EVERY picture.

The canvas on the wall was super cheap at Target (on clearance, less than $5). It was bright and happy and figured I couldn’t even MAKE something for less. The table my doll house is on is actually an old dining room table from Ikea (this one, purchased by E at least 7 years ago, painted by me 5 years ago) that he shortened the legs on to make it toddler height. Hanging toy storage in the corner also from Ikea (they should really pay me commission or something for plugging their stuff, right?) The rocker Little Evan is sitting in was my mom’s when she was a child. It had an unfortunate run in with her dog that left it a little worse for the wear but it’s still functional. Plus it means a lot to have vintage stuff like that used by my kids.

A few details...

1. Vintage airplane mobile (my brother’s when he was a baby) It plays “Fly Me To The Moon”
2. Bebeh feet!
3. Vintage fabric birds hanging in the window over the doll house
4. Beautiful hand-made teether from Little Alouette. LOVE LOVE LOVE everything from Amy’s shop, plus she is an extremely nice person (I met her at The Creative Connection). I’m sitting on my hands right now to keep from ordering this little owl shaped teether. Or just getting three for $35. But Caroline can’t even see her hands yet so it seems a little excessive. For record, I’d get the owl, the hippo and the fawn. Just, you know, FYI.
5. Vintage tea cup from my Aunt Susan
6. Vintage dress (mine when I was little) hanging on the wall. Too pretty for the closet!
7. The “LOVE” sign is a wood cutout I bought for $1 at Joann’s and spray painted with a little help from some blue painter’s tape. The bird has a pull string that makes it play music and flap it’s wings (vintage from my childhood).
8. Easter ducky (also from Aunt Susan) sitting on nursery rhyme books from the baby shower

Thanks for visiting!

So in the end, it’s not really a design-magazine worthy kind of space but I’m totally in love with it. Better yet, the kids seem to really like it.

Oh my God, saying “the kids” sounds so weird. I have KIDS.

If I missed the source for anything you’re wondering about, let me know and I can tell you where it came from. Full disclosure: the two or three Amazon links do go through my associates account so I get like, 4 cents or something if you purchase the item by clicking through my link.

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20 Responses to “Caroline’s Nursery”

  1. MKP says:

    Gaaaah I want to eat the make-me-small side of the mushroom so I can go play in your playroom. Everything always looks all goldeny in your pics. I especially love the way you hang things on the wall I wouldn’t think to display, but would love to see, like the baby dress and the tutu. And the ribbon mobile looks AWESOME. It’s really weird that I see pictures of an internet friend’s home and am like “HEY I KNOW THAT MOBILE!!!”….right?

  2. LOVE LOVE LOVE the whole thing! You did such a great job!!! You blended so many different things together and it all looks perfect. What can I bribe you with to come to my house??!?!?!

  3. LCW says:

    I love it! and I’m using it as inspiration when we move into our forever home (hopefully the end of this year). In the meantime I’m going to make some oversized floor pillows and “steal” your idea to hang hats from a clothesline. You did a fantastic job and thank you for sharing!

  4. chantal says:

    love it…you did an amazing job… I am going to steal the ribbon and clothespins idea to decorate my kids rooms thanks….xoxo

  5. Page says:

    I just found your blog and was intrigued when I found out that you’re a fellow Navy wife! Love the room :)

  6. TMae says:

    You really are a great decorator – I love it! O’s room was decorated by…well, it wasn’t decorated at all. Though I did put a fresh coat of paint on it when I found out I was pregnant. So maybe that counts?

    And the kids can totally grow into Edward Gorey, right?

  7. Natalie says:

    It’s perfect. I’m jealous of all the space! I love the floor pillows, I want to go that direction myself w/ the girls’ reading corner. We have a similar little card table and it is the best.thing.ever. Seriously. Until little Evan gets enterprising enough to put a chair on TOP of the table to sit on it (happened to me last week). But other than trying to scare the crap out of me, it’s great for art projects/scribbles/snacks/etc.

    Love the whole room. I would cover the walls in chalkboard paint and just let em have at it. May be dark, but at least you don’t have to scrub marker off the wall. ;)

  8. Jessica says:

    Oh my, I LOVE! This is such fun funky room with the big windows and slanted ceiling. Really a great space. I have a basement playroom that I want to fix up and you gave me some wonderful ideas. Thank you.

  9. Jennie says:

    I love all the vintage! So eclectic, yet functional, and FUN! Bet the KIDS have a ball in there!

  10. Love it! How long ago were those animal bins are Target? Adorable. Most everything in Spencer’s room is from Ikea. Their stuff is genius, especially the smaller regular stuff that can be used for kids.

  11. Colleen says:

    Aaaah that dollhouse is so cute! I want a tour of that too!

  12. Kim says:

    Love it! It looks like you guys have a fun place to get snowed in tomorrow :)
    And I want to see the doll house, too! Just what I need- more reasons to try for the girl.

  13. I think it looks great. I love the bright colors and I’m really liking the dresser. Such a great idea to get a for-real dresser. I’m not a parent, but that just seems practical. Kids don’t need changed forever, right?

    RIGHT? Becuase having kids seems difficult now, but changing them forever? Unbearable. ;)

  14. Molly says:

    Oh Suzanne, I super duper love it. Like, love it so much, that I’d like to come live in that room. Can you add a bed? I can fit in a twin sized one, I promise ;)

    Your KIDS (I know, it’s weird saying it at first, isn’t it?) are very lucky to have you as their mama.

  15. Londonmum says:

    what a great room! Such a good mix of little girl baby cute with toddler fun stuff. Looks like a brilliant place to hang out with both of them and if I could jump on the plane for a day I’d totally come for a playdate. It staggers me to think that you can do something like this and also have time to look after 2 kids. How do you do it???

  16. Suzanne says:

    I love this room. Seriously, I may fly all the way north just to curl up on those floor pillows. You did a fabulous job! It’s colorful, unique, cheerful and so warm and inviting. Totally design-magazine worthy!

  17. andrea says:

    Beautiful. I LOVE the space. It is huuuuuge. Wow, your two kiddies are super lucky to have such an amazing space to play in when it’s cold outside. I love all the little details, but my fave is the toy plane that plays “fly me to the moom”. Also, all the vintage toys make it so much more special. Sign us up for a playdate :)

  18. Kyley Leger says:

    We bought the same chair from BRU. We got home and it was lopsided and the cushion wasn’t level. I couldn’t believe it since the display model was so comfortable. I still don’t get it. I know a lot of bodies have been in the tester and it looks good.

  19. […] with spray adhesive. -All the paint, felt and ribbons are from previous projects, especially Caroline’s Nursery. -The bright colored pillow covers are from Life’s Candy, my wonderful friend Mae’s […]

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