Nurseries are nice, but..

There is no shortage of amazing nurseries and kid's rooms on PINTEREST. I've spent countless, um, lots of hours dreaming over researching nurseries, baby rooms and kid's dream rooms to gather inspiration and ideas.
All tastes are catered for, whether you're in to fairytale cute, industrial chic, scandinavian minimalist or romantic victorian, neutral, pastel or multi-coloured schemes.. there are photographs aplenty to excite, amaze and create the ooh ahh moment(s).

I would love to own one of those nurseries with the perfect colours on the wall, the amazing architectural details, the exquisite furniture (if you have a huge antique armoire in your garage that you're not using, please do call me) and the ooh ahh fabrics... but sadly, it's not to be. So instead, I'm mastering the art of 'making do'. But that's okay - I rather enjoy it. Anyone can do perfect, on an unlimited budget. But doing special on a tight one, is well, something pretty special in itself!

The closest I ever got to that perfect room was nine years ago when we brought Jesse home from the hospital. The 1920's weatherboard cottage we lived in had polished floor boards, picture rails and lovely timber windows - all we needed to do was lovingly paint the sunny front room a periwinkle blue and pale yellow. I was so thrilled to find a 'classic pooh' wallpaper border (self-stick!) to hang above the picture rails. What could be easier? Jonathan was less than thrilled when the self-stick border fell down three times in the first six weeks. Normal wallpaper glues failed to stick it. We ended up using something I think was cement based to make it stay up - and man I felt sorry for the new owners (no kids) when they moved in two years later.

A few houses down the track, the room we brought Arch home (pics below) was already painted a sort of murky blue. I've been intending to repaint it, and probably will, before he reaches highschool. I've used books (in an ever-changing array) as a main way to provide the decoration - balanced on top of the rail above the sliding door and piled into and on top of a small bookcase Jonathan had for years before we got married. Decals are on the door, and vintage golden book pages made in to bunting ( was a cute and cheap adornment for a wall I didn't want holes in.

An existing pinboard (covered in carpet would you believe, so no close up) has been an easy way to display everything from plates, to toys and calendars. And favourite colourful stuffed toys balance nicely on top of the cot.

And in terms of artwork, while I've always intended to buy that original Mary Cassatt, the short lifespan of a nursery has meant finances had to be diverted elsewhere (like to eating).

Here's a few ideas that have worked for me with Arch's room:
a) hanging a gorgeous paper bag that came with a gift when Arch was born (yes, this is cheap chic I know);
b) a retro fabric washer inside a shabby chic frame;
c) a greeting card with scrapbooking paper as the background in a gold timber frame ($10 from a homewares shop); and
d) the cover of a vintage (but falling apart) edition of Peter Pan, mounted on some wrapping paper again in an inexpensive timber gold frame.

So I cannot tell a lie, I will continue to swoon at the perfection I see on PINTEREST. But I'll also take quiet pleasure in the bits that work in Arch's room. It's not the perfect nursery by anyone's standards (the change table is a foam mat and I can't get all the cupboard doors to open..) but we've made it work and we've made it cute.
He likes it, and so do I.


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