Several months ago I was thrilled to be contacted by my old friend, talented wedding photographer Nancy Ray. Nancy and I met when I lived in North Carolina. She knew me before babies, she photographed Knox’s nursery and our first family session. I haven’t seen her since we moved back to Boston but we’ve kept up via social media and when she announced she and her husband were expecting their first child, I secretly hoped she’d ask me to help with the nursery…and then she did!
The added twist was that they had budgeted $400 for the room (not including the glider and crib which Nancy’s parents were graciously gifting them and the dresser which they already own). Nancy’s husband Will is a financial coach and they are big proponents of living with less. I will admit that I freaked out about this number for a minute but then I decided to accept it as more of a challenge than a limitation. After all, we only needed finishing touches and between the baby shower and careful planning, I thought we could get close. Challenge accepted! Nancy had her registry at Target and Amazon. Between the 2, I knew I could get almost everything the room needed and her generous shower guests would be happy knowing they were getting something for the nursery.
The room we started with was challenging in size (just about 8.5′ x 10′) with an awkward layout that included 2 doors and a bumped out window area.
The basic floor plan – crib on one wall, dresser on the other and a rocking/nursing nook by the window. I love a chair by a window for those endless hours with a newborn.
Like lots of my clients lately, the Rays had decided not to find out the sex of the baby (is this a new trend?) so Nancy wanted a mostly neutral room with loads of natural textures and softness. She new she wanted to incorporate some scripture art and to keep the overall feel of the room really light and serene.
I approached her with the idea of doing just that but reserving a few items that would be gender specific and would be added to the room after the baby arrived. I’ve done this a few other times now with nursery clients and it’s been working great. It’s not exactly like planning 2 nurseries but it’s kind of like doing 1.5. Different people have different thresholds for just how much can be in flux when baby arrives (rugs and curtains and bedding or just art and accessories, for example). As a busy wedding photographer and entrepreneur, we decided we needed to get as much of the room done as possible early on and that we’d use primarily the gallery wall over the dresser to introduce gender specific touches after the birth. And of course, I wanted to leave room for all the beautiful photos that I knew Nancy would have of her new family. We worked out a detailed gallery wall plan and had several items that worked for both a boy and girl.
In the end, Nancy and Will were graced with a perfect baby girl, Milly so the girl option won!
Here’s the finished space! I’m really proud of how much we were able to do for so little money in this room. I picked my “moments” carefully but lighting was definitely top of my list. The Gold Lotus lantern from World Market is a great price AND it was another 20% off when Nancy got it. Score! Lamp and side table were from her Target registry.
As you can see, with such a neutral base, I really wanted to incorporate some form of an accent wall. I love the Cole & Son’s Woods wallpaper but since that wasn’t in the budget, I suggested this $60 stencil for a similar effect. The scripture art was gifted to Nancy from the lovely people at 25:40 Love. The crib is the Babyletto Lolly in white/natural. Love this crib so much.
How sweet is that little soft deer bust? I love him. He’s from this Etsy shop. The Proverbs art is from here. The little deer photo was gifted to Nancy at her shower and is from The Animal Print Shop. All photos by Nancy and everything else on the wall (the R, frames, etc) she already owned! So we only bought the bust and the proverbs art.
There was virtually no room for book storage in this space but we squeezed some in using the IKEA Bekvam spice racks.
The ladder you’ll recognize from the before photos. She already owned it and I thought the finish was perfect for the natural vibe of the room so we used it as a little display spot.
Just the greatest ever! Thank you Nancy for letting me be part of such a special time in your family’s life. I only wish I was closer and could snuggle that little baby and hug you in this beautiful room!