Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Nursery Reveal

I've wanted to design a dinosaur-themed nursery for as long as I can remember. Evan and I were both dinosaur fanatics growing up and wished to be paleontologists at some point during our childhoods. It'd be wonderful to instill our love of the prehistoric world into the hearts and minds of our future kids.

Six months ago, I had nearly given up hope of being able to turn this dream nursery into a reality. Prior to then, Evan and I experienced three years' worth of loss and infertility. It was becoming increasingly difficult to keep a positive mindset about it, especially after being warned by multiple doctors that we should prepare ourselves for a future without biological children. We proceeded with infertility treatments, but the emotional toll it did to both of us was almost too much to bear.

And then, as Ian Malcolm surmised in Jurassic Park, life found a way.

This nursery has been my pet project since late April. Watching it unfold before our eyes and turn into something even better than what I had imagined is something that I hope our little one will treasure in the years to come. And here's how we did it!

First, I chose a bold color scheme.  The paint people at Lowe's thought I was crazy.  Everything was done in Olympic One paint in satin finishes; if anything was certain, these walls needed to be prepared for years' worth of wear and tear!

The entire room design was based on a dinosaur mural. Therefore, I painted the walls and ceiling first with Olympic's "Babbling Brook" to serve as a base coat and the sky.

Then, I used a paint roller and a brush to freehand a mountain range along all walls -- closet included -- with Olympic's "Sweet Annie." Everything below the mountain line was filled in.

I shaped one mountain into the form of a volcano, too!

This mural required dinosaurs -- large, realistic ones from floor to ceiling. To do so, Evan bought me an overhead school projector from eBay. I printed out a variety of our favorite dinosaur species onto transparencies. Then, we set up the projector and I outlined the dinosaurs' silhouettes directly onto the walls with a piece of chalk.

Here was the brachiosaurus:

The stegosaurus:

The triceratops:

And the T-Rex, popping out from a window.  We also painted a herd of parasaurolophus for one corner of the landscape and numerous pterodactyls / pteranodons throughout the sky.

Once the dinosaurs were stenciled onto the walls, I painted them individually in one bold color -- Olympic's "Orange Poppy," "Forsythia Blossom," and "Madeira Red" -- to make them stand out. I chose to leave the dinosaurs as silhouettes to not only make them easier to do, but to also give the room more of a whimsical feel.  A fresh coat of ultra white paint was applied to the trim and baseboards at this time, too.

To add an additional dimension to each of the dinosaurs, I cut out their names using my Silhouette Cutting Tool. These names were cut directly onto peel-and-stick wall vinyl, which I then adhered to the dinosaurs themselves, or the area surrounding them.

The outline for the volcano was freehanded by yours truly, and we crept the smoke onto the ceiling to add more dimension and interest. The lava was painted the same colors as the dinosaurs, and the smoke was, appropriately, Olympic's "Volcanic Ash." Then, Evan added realism to the volcano by using a hobby air brush in white and black accents on the smoke portion. He's far more artistic and skilled than me!

During this time, Evan and I were also in the middle of a whole-house floor install.  The nursery was the first to be done!  We ripped up the carpet and prepped for our new bamboo flooring.  More information about that install will be featured in another post.

This room also hosts a large walk-in closet. We removed the door to make the closet appear even bigger. I bought Closet-Maid storage systems and colorful cubes to provide additional storage space for clothes, bedding, and toys. Evan also installed metal shelving all the way to the ceiling for additional baskets and storage.

To finish the room, we added furniture, bedding, clothes, and various dinosaur tchotchkes throughout. I found a new home for my dinosaur silhouettes in the closet, too.

Then, as the last hoorah, I also sewed three dinosaur-themed pillows to match the room.

Ready for the reveal? Here's what the room looked like when we first moved into our home in 2011:

And here it is now!

A lot of people have asked us, "but what if you have a girl?" Turns out, we are having a girl, and girls can be paleontologists, too!  One thing I appreciate about this room is that the colors are vibrant but also gender-neutral. Both boys and girls would love it, and I know our little girl will adore this room.

Our child is going to have so much fun in this nursery. This is a room that will grow imaginations and encourage fun, silliness, and playtime. It's a room that I hope she will continue to love throughout her toddler and elementary school years.

How about some details?  Here's the floor:

Tadpoles Dino Playmat Set from
The crib:

Echo Sweet Potato Bedding Set from
Little Prints Crib Sheet from Land of Nod
Dinosaur Musical Mobile from
Reading nook: 

Tot Tutors Book Rack from
The changing table:

Little Prints Changing Pad Cover from Land of Nod

Circo Dinosaur Lamp from Target
The closet:

My brother, Cory, proudly painted a Corythosaurus for the nursery.
Cubes from Target
Baskets from Target
And for fun:

Dewey Dinosaur Rocker from
Oopsy Daisy Night Light from

We've put more care and attention into this nursery than any other room in our home, and couldn't have done it without the help of friends and family. A part of me is still in disbelief that we're going to become parents; we had mentally prepared ourselves for a future where we might not experience that. Creating this room has been emotional, rewarding, and exhilarating, and I cannot wait until we finally get to meet our little one in December.

If you and your spouse are going through this, too, or worry about miscarriage and infertility, the best advice I can offer you is find a good doctor, pray, confide in others who you love and trust, and don't ever give up.

Courtesy of a dear friend
Hope you love this nursery as much as we do!

You may find me linking up at these fantastic parties:

Monday: Boogieboard CottageC-R-A-F-TCraft-O-ManiacDIY Home Sweet Home,  Get Outta My Head PleaseThe Girl CreativeMad in CraftsMaking the World CuterOur Delightful HomePolish the StarsSerendipity and SpiceSew Can DoSkip to My LouThrifty Decor ChickToo Much Time on My HandsTuesday: A Bowl Full of LemonsCherished BlissCoastal CharmConfessions of a Stay at Home MommyDukes and DutchessesFunky Polka Dot GiraffeI'm Topsy TurvyMommy By Day Crafter by NightNap Time CreationsNot Just a HousewifeSugar Bee CraftsTip JunkieToday's Creative BlogWednesday: Adorned from Above, Free Pretty Things for YouGinger Snap CraftsHome Happy HomeIt's Just Called SpicyJAQS StudioLet Birds FlyLife with the Crust Cut OffThe NY Melrose FamilyRae Gun RamblingsThe Sasse LifeSew Much AdoSew WoodsySomeday CraftsSouthern LovelyThe Style SistersThursday: A Creative PrincessA Glimpse InsideCrafty, Scrappy, HappyHouse of HepworthsJust Winging ItMade in a DayThe Shabby Creek CottageSomewhat SimpleFriday: 2805The Answer is ChocolateBacon Time with the Hungry HypoCreation CornerFingerprints on the FridgeThe Grant LifeHappy-Go-LuckyIf It's Not BaroqueJust Us FourMom 4 RealMy Simple Home LifeNot Your Ordinary RecipesOne Artsy MamaThe Rooster and the HenSimply DesigningTatertots and JelloWhipperberryYoung and CraftySaturday: Be Different... Act NormalCandace CreationsFunky Junk InteriorsIt's OverflowingIt's So Very CheriNutmeg PlaceSunday: The Crafty CowgirlEmbellishing Life with Homemade GoodnessFlamingo ToesG*RatedNifty Thrifty Things

1 comment:

  1. aww, i love your message behind "life finds a way." congratulations.


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