Name: Baby Jude (4 months)
Room Size: 10' x 12'
Kate and her husband live in a historic neighborhood in Virginia in a house that is over 100 years old. When they decided they would need a nursery, they turned to a small guest room that needed some serious TLC. After removing plaster, trim with lead paint, windows, and carpet that was glued to the floor, they spent an entire year reconstructing the room with new windows, drywall, refinished floors and crown moulding. With this blank slate, they set about creating this beautiful and bright space for the little boy they were now expecting.
Even knowing the gender of their baby, Kate decided she didn't want a themed or particularly "masculine" space. Instead, she chose a more gender-neutral palette and set about DIY-ing, thrifting, and upcycling. Kate repainted an old veneer dresser she had acquired at a thrift store and turned a trunk (made by a family member for her wedding) into a bench seat with lots of storage. Being budget conscious, the couple found inexpensive pieces, like the cubbies and baskets, and they constructed several elements from scratch, like the book nook shelves. Hanging planters spray painted white serve as toy storage. As a final touch, Kate used some of the pieces she sells in her Etsy shop, including the cloud shelf and cloud hooks. Much of the room comes from hard work and an eye for thrift store treasures, and Baby Jude couldn't be happier in his new space.
How would you describe the look and feel of this room?
Bright, and whimsical. We didn't add blinds or shades of any sort, which I thought I would regret due to privacy, but surprisingly it isn't an issue — the sheer curtains do a great job. Because of the curtain choice, there is so much wonderful natural light that pours in. We decided against any specific "theme." We instead used a palette of whimsical colors to inspire the space.
What is your favorite piece or element?
My husband's favorite piece is Jude's crib. It's the sparrow model from Oeuf, which I adore as well. But if I have to be honest, I love his plush "Waldo."
What was the biggest challenge decorating this room?
Besides the fact that this room had to be completely gutted before we could start with a clean slate, the biggest challenge we faced was making the most of this small space. Bare walls drive me crazy. We needed to make as much room for storage as possible. Deciding on where each big piece of furniture would function its best was a challenge as well.
What do your friends say about the room?
They adore his space. I think the element they rave about most is the wall color.
You are clearly great at remaking old furniture. Did you also make the balloon wall hangings? Do you have a favorite kind of DIY?
I can only dream of working with ceramics! The balloons came from an awesome vintage shop on Etsy, and I added string. Although the balloons were bought, a lot of the items in the room were in fact DIY. I created the bunting over Jude's crib (which is also available in our Etsy shop!). I made the hamper out of hardboard and gorilla glue tape, then wrapped it in fabric. The cloud shelf and cloud hooks were made by my husband and me. The "Book Nook" was created by my husband, custom to fit the corner. The Bob Dylan quoted plaque was a DIY project as well. I also made his pinstriped sailboat, changing pad cover, bean bag ottoman, plush monster, his humpback whale friend, and the pillows on the bench seat. I hope I'm not becoming too obnoxious here; I've made a lot of the elements in his room!
Love, love, LOVE the dresser you thrifted. Do you have any advice for people looking to acquire thrifted furniture? How can you tell you've found a good piece?
We tend to look for clues that the item is made well. Finding a solid wood piece is ideal, but wood veneer will suffice. We stay away from particle board. It is almost impossible to refinish. The weight of the object is a clear cut sign of the quality of the piece. The heavier the better. Heavy pieces mean solid wood, and durability. Granted, they are never fun to move. We like to look for "functional" pieces. We choose pieces that have lots of storage options, and will fit our space accurately. Our advice is to choose project pieces where you can envision the 'After' result.
If money were no object, what's your dream source?
My husband and I love to browse antique malls, estate sales, and antique auctions. We rarely purchase anything at these events because the prices reflect the rarity of the items. We would love to be able to buy antique and vintage pieces that are in better condition than the 'wear and tear' pieces we tend to find at thrift stores.
• Sparrow Crib: Oeuf
• Cubbies: Lowe's
• Shag pile rug: Lowe's
• Overhead Light: Lowe's
• Bunting: Shop Littles on Etsy
• Cloud Shelf and Hooks: Shop Littles on Etsy
• Wall planters: Anderson's Home and Garden
• Paint Color: Valspar Mint Whisper
Thanks, Kate! See more of Jude's room and read more about Kate's adventures at Simple Soul.
(Images: Kate Greenway)