A Retro Woodland Nursery for Cole

When I found out I was having a little boy, I could not wait to begin designing his nursery. (Let’s face it, I love any opportunity to redesign a room.) I knew I wanted to do a woodland theme to honor my husband’s love for hunting, but update the traditional earth tone color scheme to something bright and fun. Keeping in the style of our 1958 ranch home, I focused in on dark teal, turquoise, and orange for a retro vibe. Then, I stumbled on the then yet-to-be-released Elk Grove Collection from Birch Organic Fabric and it was a match made in heaven. From there, the fabric served as my core inspiration for my tiny outdoorsman-to-be.


While there are so many things I love about this room, I think my favorite part is the wall of frames. I once visited a restaurant in San Francisco that had an amazing design; covering the walls in red and black vinyl decals were inspirational quotes from famous people. Since then, I’ve wanted to recreate something like that in my home and Cole’s nursery was the perfect opportunity. I searched for quotes I felt were worthy of sharing with my son, and custom designed each print myself using Photoshop. The frames were inexpensive wood wall frames from Hobby Lobby that I painted in various colors to pop on the dark teal wall. Anchoring the collage of quotes is one of my nursery splurges, a wooden deer bust from Salty Bison that I stained to match the room’s trim. I know faux busts are a bit overdone right now, but this room HAD to have one.


Below the quote collage is a mid-century modern dresser that I rescued from a second hand store listing on Craigslist. I stripped, sanded, and repainted it a vibrant orange. I also lined the drawers in a white and gray chevron vinyl fabric. The top of the dresser serves as the changing table. I chose the clear Prince Lionheart Dresser Top Diaper Depot to blend in; I also liked that it had two diaper compartments which I use to separate day and overnight diapers.


Next to the dresser, I keep a rolling kitchen cart from IKEA (the Raskog Kitchen Cart). When I purchased it, I wasn’t sure exactly what we’d use it for… but I had to have it in that perfect turquoise color and industrial feel. We use it to store the essentials that you’re always reaching for in a hurry with a new baby. This includes burp cloths, bibs, changing pad covers, etc. The wheels allow it to be moved throughout the room, enhancing its functionality.

The one large window in the nursery lets in great natural light. It is framed by floor length orange polka dot tab top curtains that I made using the Dandie Sweet Potato print. The IKEA Expedit shelving unit holds a mix of books and toys and doubles as a night stand for the chair. The toys are stored in inexpensive green fabric bins by Closetmaid. I purchased an additional matching storage unit that is currently stored in Cole’s closet. When we outgrow our use for the rocker, I plan to move each storage unit to either side of the window and center a small table and chair set to play with beneath the window.


Speaking of the rocker and ottoman, that is also another one of my favorite pieces. It is the Newco Premium Rosie Glider and matching Ottoman from Babies ‘R Us, and was a baby shower gift from my in-laws. In my mind, that thing is the pièce de résistance. It is so cozy to cuddle with my little guy in; each night we read our books and sing a song in it before going to bed. The head of the chair is flanked with a handmade afghan that was a baby shower gift from my cousin, Stacy. The throw pillows I made myself in coordinating home décor fabrics. I love that little quote “Sweet Dreams Handsome” on the yellow chevron pillow.


On either side of the window, there are two floating shelves. They are Threshold from Target and hold a mix of things. Some are catching our overflow of books, while others display special gifts given to Cole. The pottery owl was a present Cole got when he was a few weeks old. Our next door neighbor hand painted it and snuck over while I was out to add Cole’s footprints to it. The orange polka dot piggy bank is from my mother-in-law. She had a “spare change” themed baby shower for me to jump start Cole’s college fund and that little guy was the star. There is also a hand drawn image and quote from my brother in a quirky red frame. Each is a visual reminder of just how loved our Mr. Cole Cheekies is.


As I mentioned, the inspiration behind it all is the fabric I used to custom make the crib bedding. I chose the Elk Grove Multi print for the bed skirt, and the Elk Grove Patchwork print for the fitted sheet. For the bed skirt, I made it in 3 separate pieces so that I can adjust it when we lower the crib. I used this tutorial on Saroy.net as my guide. The fitted sheet was super easy to do following this step by step on Root & Blossom; I was done in an hour. It probably would have been faster if I wasn’t 8 months pregnant when I attempted it! I also purchased a 1/2 yard of the remaining prints in the Elk Grove Collection with the intention of tackling my first quilt. However, a fabulous online friend and former law school classmate to my husband, Miss Catherine Jopling of Blonde Ambition, surprised us with one in the mail (pictured in the bottom left below). Seriously… how sweet was that?! I encourage you to check out the link to her post to see a picture of the quilt in progress and learn about how it was made. I’m currently on the hunt for a hanger to display it in the nursery until Cole is big enough to snuggle up with it at night.


The wall behind the crib is a big focal point for the room. It is a full length vinyl decal of a birch forest complete with little baby deer, a rabbit, and two birds. I custom ordered it from InAnInstantArt on Etsy. I installed it all by myself, 7 months pregnant, in a weekend. Needless to say, it was super easy to do. I loved the fact that I could mix and match the pieces to come up with my own design. A few years from now, when Cole breaks my heart and tells me he no longer likes his room, it will be easy to peel off and start from scratch.


Last, but certainly not least, is the functional set of closet doors that line the last wall in the room. I hated the idea of losing that space to a plain old closet, so I painted the doors in magnetic paint, and then in chalkboard paint. This was probably my least favorite project in the room, but it turned out wonderful. While the magnetic and chalkboard paint from Rustoleum do the trick, they aren’t easy to work with. Being the control freak that I am, I painted them while I was pregnant, and was deathly afraid of poisoning my son and myself in the process; time will tell if we survived this DIY project unscathed. To finish them off, I ordered a few sets of letter and number magnets from MudPuppy on Amazon.com. Before Cole arrived, they helped me countdown. Now that he’s here, they are for leaving him sweet little notes or remembering his birth date.


This room was so much fun to design, and obviously holds a very special place in my heart. Thanks for stopping by to check it out! 

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How to Frame Fabric for Wall Art

I recently felt the need to redo the decor in our master bedroom. This is at the same time we are working to finish part of the basement, combine an office and a guestroom, and prepare a nursery for Baby Hawks. That said, my bedroom makeover needed to happen on the cheap.

I found a lot of the items on sale at Home Goods. However, I wasn’t willing to ante up the cost for framed wall art. I also couldn’t find anything I liked that matched my new quilt… so, I decided to make my own using fabric.

I found a fabric print I really liked at JoAnn’s – it was part of Waverly’s Modern Essentials line. It was 1/2 off, so I got a yard for $9.99. I then found two frames at Hobby Lobby. They were $34.99 each, but I stopped in on a 50% off all frames day :) The total cost for my two finished pictures was $45.00.

Below are the steps I took to frame the fabric.


  • Fabric
  • Frames
  • Duct Tape
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Marker/Pen

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Start by taking out the backing on the frame. If you have a print like mine, that needs to be lined up to look good, mark the center of the backing for alignment on the fabric. Do this on both ends.

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Line up the center of the backing with the center of the fabric pattern. You will want to lay your fabric face down.

Use Duct Tape to adhere the fabric to the backing. I chose Duct Tape because it allowed me to manipulate the fabric (you have to stretch it to bit), it wouldn’t take as long as glue to dry, and it’s not messy. I started by taping the top and bottom. Then, I folded and taped each corner. Lastly, I taped down the sides.

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When I was finished taping, I put it back in the frame and I was done! Two new wall pictures for $45.00, done in under a 1/2 hour.

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A better image of the room redo coming in a future post (ie: when I finish redoing it and the sun shows itself again).