Designing a colorful and modern nursery for our son, Theodore, was such a joy! Nesting during pregnancy is no joke, so putting together this sweet space for him was incredibly satisfying. I wanted to have fun with his room and embrace, rather than resist, the bright colors that are ubiquitous on kids’ stuff. I was mindful of buying non-toxic furniture (which was harder than I expected) and I took a deep dive into researching things like baby mattresses, noise machines, monitors, gliders and bedding. The room is evolving but I love spending time in it! Let’s get into it.
Crib & Wallpaper
The first two things I selected were the crib and the wallpaper. The crib is such an important piece, I’d recommend picking out a crib and building the room around that. I decided on this timeless, mid-century crib in acorn. The wood added some warmth to the room, and I simply love it! It’s GREENGUARD certified, meaning it is screened for 10,000 chemicals and is a low-emitting, safer option. As a new mama, this was very important to me. I could not be happier with the crib choice.
The removable, geometric wallpaper was a fun addition, and Theodore loves to stare at it! I wanted to add color to the walls, but since we are renting, I needed a temporary solution. The walls were originally painted a pastel turquoise, which didn’t fit into the bold and bright color palette I envisioned. I convinced my husband and the landlord it must be changed. Ha! My dad helped me paint the walls white, then Kam and I installed the removable geometric wallpaper. It was actually quite simple to install. We used two and a half rolls of it, and maybe three hours later, we had ourselves a bold accent wall.
Glider & Ottoman
Next, I went on a mission to find the most comfortable glider. This modern, high wingback glider and ottoman from Room and Board was the most comfortable one I tried. I was tempted to get it in yellow or gold fabric, but in the end opted for grey for longevity. The high back and sides create a cozy place to rest your head during those middle-of-the-night feedings and snuggles. We’ve already created so many memories in this swivel chair and foot rest.
Can we take a moment to recognize Fabiola Carava who snapped these photos of our family in the nursery? I love how the photos turned out and she is such a delight! Fabiola specializes in lifestyle photography and has a great eye for capturing special moments. Shooting with Fabiola was extremely natural — no awkward poses. She did a wonderful job capturing our family as well as the little details of Theodore’s nursery. We will cherish the images forever. I highly recommend her if you are in Chicago and looking for a family photoshoot.
Dresser & Nightstand
Although there is this beautiful matching dresser to our crib, I didn’t want to get too “matchy matchy.” I opted for this modern, white lacquer changing station which is a collaboration between West Elm and Pottery Barn (check both sites if you’re interested in it because the price can vary between stores). The lines and wooden legs align with the look and feel of the mid-century crib. Plus it is GREENGUARD certified. I love that the changing station has six roomy drawers and a removable topper to keep your changing station secure and organized. Once the diaper days are done, we can unscrew the top and continue using the piece as a normal dresser.
If you follow me on Instagram (@heylizzyfay), you know I was on the hunt for a round, red, side table. Every time I ordered one online, it arrived with a warning label on the package stating it may contain chemicals that cause cancer! Ugh! I did not feel good putting a piece like that in my baby’s room. It was tough finding non-toxic furniture online because the warnings aren’t stated in the online descriptions, then surprise! It arrives at you door with a warning in big red scary letters. No thanks! I decided to buy the matching nightstand which is also GREENGUARD certified.
Baby Monitor & Gadgets
We are really happy with the baby monitor we selected. When it came to a baby monitor, we simply wanted something reliable that enabled us to watch and listen to our little guy on our smart phones and tablet. There are some expensive monitors on the market that cost around $300 like the Nanit and Owlet that offer all sorts of insights, but we deemed those unnecessary. Plus friends who have used monitors that track things like breathing said it only caused them anxiety — so we kept it simple. We went with the Wyze.
The Wyze camera only costs $25. We bought a pack of two. I installed one above his crib using this $11 wall mount. It was super easy. The camera works great. The night vision is excellent and it even records 12-second snippets when it detects movement, which is a feature available without a subscription. We can peep at our baby on our phones and we use our ipad to monitor him at night or around the house. I’ve used the second monitor when he’d nap in our room. The camera comes with a magnet, which makes it portable and easy to secure for temporary uses. I attach the camera to the lamp shade on my nightstand using the magnet to watch him napping in the bassinet in our bedroom. So simple!
Because Theodore was born small for his gestational age at only 5 pounds 6 ounces, we were grateful to have the Hatch Baby Grow changing pad which has a built-in scale. This scale allowed us to keep a close eye on his weight and brought peace of mind knowing he was putting on those lbs (albeit slowly). The Hatch Baby Grow comes with an app so you can track your baby’s weight on your phone. We used that same app to track his diapers and feedings. You can track sleep on there too.
We also love the Hatch Rest Plus, which is a high-tech, white noise sound machine. It calms Theodore so well! The sound machine works as a clock and nightlight too. The Hatch Rest Plus comes with several sounds and colored lights, and it allows you to program your favorite. You can switch through the options with a simple tap on the machine, or control it on your phone. Theo likes the old “TV snow” sound the best. The Hatch also works as a toddler sleep trainer/alarm clock, where it can change to a specific color at a certain time to signal to your kid that it’s ok to get out of bed.
Bedding & Mattress
SIDS is every parent’s nightmare, so I spent a decent amount of time searching for the safest baby mattresses. I landed on this mattress because it’s touted as being 100% breathable, entirely washable, and non-toxic. It’s pricier than most mattresses, but the safety component makes it worth it to me. It’s GREENGUARD certified, which you know by now — I appreciate! We went with the mattress with one waterproof side which will come in handy during the toddler years. We’ve been really happy with it! We also purchased a couple of organic muslin and cotton crib sheets (including this one and this one) which are good for breathability as well.
Floating Bookshelf, Rug, & Accessories
- Floating Bookshelves – Displaying books add a splash of color to the white walls. These shelves keep books within arms reach of the glider too. The price is amazing and they were easy to install. I keep the rest of Theo’s books in these bins in his closet, and swap them out when we are ready for something new.
- Color Bar Rug – I knew I wanted a bold, colorful, show-stopping rug for his room. Crate&Kids has the best selection!
- Colorful Mobile – This is like a fun little piece of art — and Theodore loves it! I give it a twirl during diaper changes and it mesmerizes him.
- Personalized Stool – This was a special gift from a friend. The colorful letters make it a great piece of decor until Theo is big enough to use it. (I linked a similar stool.)
- Portable Playmat – I can bring this mat from room to room to give him a clean space to play. It folds up easily and has handles, so it’s great to use on-the-go.
- Wooden Plaque – Do It Together Workshops in Elmhurst made this custom wooden sign for Theo. This makes an incredible gift! You can personalize the sign with colors, font, and wood stain. DIT Workshops perfectly matched the blue from the geometric wallpaper and the acorn colored wood stain from his crib!
- Elephant Bank – My aunt gifted Theo this adorable kiddie bank and filled it with quarters from each state — including a quarter from 1820, which is Theo’s birthday (1-8-2020). What an incredible gift, right?
- Saucer Pendant Light – We were lucky this ceiling light was already in his room when we rented the place. Light fixtures can really make or break a room, and this one goes so well. (I’m not sure of the exact light, so I linked a similar one.)
Theodore’s colorful and modern nursery is still evolving, but it’s already such a special space to us. Are you designing a nursery? What are some essentials this room is missing? If you are expecting, be sure to check out my baby registry essentials, my second trimester pregnancy post, and watch the video about Theodore’s birth.