Friday, August 22, 2014
The baby's nursery - Beach theme.
They say "nesting" is one of the hallmarks of pregnancy. That, plus an enormous belly that sticks straight out and shifts around night and day of its own volition. With baby three, I've been in full nesting mode all spring and summer.
I had hoped to get his room ready before August, since Bermuda summers are notoriously hot and humid. That is draining no matter what condition your body is in. I can assure you mine is in pretty miserable shape right now.
I only finished this last week, but since the baby is still not here, I am ahead of the game!
I failed to take any BEFORE pictures, which completely defeats the purpose of a redecorating post, but I know what it looked like. The only room available in our rental house was the one we were using as a guest room/office. It was a hodgepodge of mismatched furniture, drapes, and disorganization. I hated it.
First step - picking a theme and color. I went with coastal/beachy as it seemed a natural fit for living in BDA.
The walls are stark white, which is not what I wanted. Despite protests from Jeff (if we paint, we have to re-paint it white when we leave) it was time to paint - Benjamin Moore, Ocean Breeze. Pembroke Paint matched the color. I found a painter via a friend's recommendation. Normally, I would do the painting, but I thought it best to avoid the fumes and step stools.
The say there's minimal fumes, but I still think there some. Better safe than sorry.
The second big issue was storage. Having gone through the kid rodeo twice now, I know how critical organization can be. The room is relatively small, but it has a good size closet. I had hoped to either create a closet storage system or find a dresser, used. Bermuda has a Craig's List type service called "Emoo" to resell items. I've used it quite a lot to buy and sell things. I hoped I'd find something appropriate.
Closet storage systems that I liked were too expensive here and not worth the investment given we will eventually be moving when Jeff's work permit is up. Jeff was attracted to the cheap plastic bins that stack atop one another, which didn't appeal to me. So - the search for a dresser began. I kid you not that I have been looking since March.
I finally found this one at a consignment store. Its dimensions fit the closet, it was made all of wood, and I figured I could resell it once we leave the island. Resale is a big factor to consider as an ex pat. It doesn't always pay to reship this stuff back to the states. Apart from potential damage and cost, you have to think about how the furniture has soaked up the humidity and mold spores. The last thing you want is bringing something back to your home in the US, that's releasing moisture and is warped and smells.
I wasn't expecting to find an enormous living cockroach in it, but such is Bermuda. They are everywhere. It also wasn't cheap, like you would expect from a consignment shop, but I negotiated delivery down and saved Jeff the agony of throwing his back out again. Plus, I knew I could make it work.
Cleaned up and defumigated, I think it looks lovely. It has a lot of deep storage, so the baby's clothes can be organized by month while hanging items can be right above. There's a lot of space on top for baskets to store blankets, wraps and bibs, as well as decorative items. I may replace the knobs if I can find something more beachy.
There was also a bonus!
Unbeknownst to me, the dresser had a mirror that wasn't displayed when we saw it in the store. The shop owner sent it along with the delivery. I plan on using it in my daughter's room to create a vanity table. She's been admiring the very fancy one I have and promised we could create something for her. One more project to look forward to!
The walls were bare, so I pondered how to decorate them. After searching for ideas on Houzz.com, I pictured framed shells/ burlap, bursts of orange to pop. Luckily, while I was in the states, I spent a morning at Home Goods. Beachy must be a popular theme this year because coastal decorating items stocked the store. I bought two framed shells to bring back, baskets, and bedding for the guest bed.
The other major decor item was this canvas portrait. I took this picture of Jordan over Easter weekend when we went kite flying on the beach. To me, it encapsulated the best part of living on this island, and the colors were an exact match for what I wanted in the room. I had hoped to find a place on the island to create the canvas in the dimensions I wanted, but alas, that did not happen. So, onto Shutterfly - where I designed it and had it shipped to my parents house in NY (ignore the red shag carpeting in the room - that's their project to work on.)
While I was in the states, I picked it up, and brought it back to BDA as a checked item. It was worth the duty we had to pay.
I also wanted something to personalize the room. On Etsy, I found someone (Mangoseed) who creates hand made signs from beach driftwood and tin. They are so gorgeous. I got a Theo sign to hang right above the changing table.
This is the finished product overall. The crib is a lent item from a friend. The bedding is in the aqua/white and coral theme. The guest bedding is from the Home Goods collection with some re purposed pillows. The rug was ordered locally from Souza's. They were fantastic and it arrived in less than 2 weeks. Their customer service was top notch. Drapes were ordered from Bed, Bath and Beyond as well as the shell finials that you can't see too well. I tried to find locally, but failed. Another duty item. Sigh. I also loved the wall decals of fish and coral. Unfortunately, the walls in our house are textured concrete, so the decals do not lay flush the way I would like.
Overall, I love this room. It's bright and colorful and decidedly beachy - which I think makes sense given our locale. Unlike the nurseries I designed for Jordan and Mina, this one has no glider or such, but I can see myself using the guest bedroom to crash on when I have late night feedings or need a nap when the baby does.
The baby won't care what the room looks like, but I know I do! Given how much time I expect to be spending in here, I think it's worth it to create a serene environment that makes us/me happy.