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Owen’s Bright and Colorful Nursery

When I was pregnant one of the most frequent questions I was asked was, “What’s the nursery theme?” I would begin by answering with my general color scheme. But I would almost always get puzzled looks. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t saying “Blue! With whales!” or “Grey and white. With chevron!” So I started saying with a smile, “The theme is that there isn’t a theme.” Then I would usually get something along the lines of “Oh. I’m sure it’ll look great!”

I decorated Owen’s nursery solely on what I liked because I knew I would be spending a good amount of time in this room. And let’s be honest, this is the short amount of time in his life when I can dictate almost all of his choices for him.

In terms of furniture, I couldn’t go crazy because the nursery is a rather small bedroom. 10 ft. by 11 ft. to be exact. (I use a special lens to fit the room into photos, like the one below, so the room appears larger than it actually is in some photos.)  So the main pieces in the room are the crib, dresser, and glider. I can’t tell you how many times I measured out the space and put down painters tape to map out where I would fit the furniture.

I didn’t really know where to start with planning out the nursery because I didn’t have anything I was working around like a piece of artwork. I did know that I wanted to paint the room a shade of blue. After purchasing approximately 10 samples, I settled on Sherwin Williams Tidewater. It’s a gorgeous light blue color with a hint of green in certain light. And I’m thankful Sherwin-Williams was willing to gift us the paint.

Want to know where I got a specific item in the nursery? Check out the source list here!

sherwin williams tidewater

Want to know why I had to wait so long to reveal the nursery? This guy right here– the glider.

I ordered the glider/recliner from Buy Buy Baby, as a gift from my parents. Well, when it came time to deliver the chair it had magically disappeared. The manufacturer said it had delivered it to the BBB store. BBB had no record of the delivery. So BBB had to rush order another glider for me, which still took 7 weeks. The manager at BBB handled the situation well. She had a loaner glider delivered for me to use until mine arrived, and she offered to refund half the price of my glider for my troubles. There was a minor issue with them charging my debit card instead of refunding the $300+, but they cleared that up after I brought it to their attention. Oof.

little castle treasure glider

I knew I wanted to put up book ledges because, as a former teacher, I love children’s books. For my baby shower, my mom asked guests to bring a book in lieu of a card. I think this is a brilliant idea. Instantly build your baby’s library.

land of nod book ledges

yellow nursery

I must have looked at 500 white cribs before I decided on this one from The Land of Nod. I wanted one that had clean lines, not a lot of fancy business going on, and could convert to a toddler bed. Success. And I’m so thankful that The Land of Nod wanted to partner with me on some of the nursery items.

Deciding on bedding was tortuous. I ended up going with a yellow and white striped crib sheet. The yellow matches the yellow in the curtains almost perfectly.

I was going to make a crib skirt but then I gave birth. But I think the crib looks good without a skirt.

colorful boy nursery

personalized baby blanket

Disclaimer:  Owen doesn’t currently sleep in his crib. I’m well aware that babies aren’t supposed to sleep with anything in their cribs. These pillows are purely for decorative purposes.

land of nod pillows

It may not look like it in this photo, but yes, we are able to fully open the closet doors.

land of nod elemental crib

I found the artwork above the crib on ebay. My initial plan was to hang a vintage pull down world map above the crib, but I never wanted to pay how much people were asking.

 During one of my late night ebay searching sessions I came across these vintage world programs. So I bought a couple lots and picked out the countries I wanted– Ireland, Germany, France, and Italy.

I opened the programs up so the front and back are showing and framed them without destroying the booklets.

Brad and I are both of German and Irish decent. I actually lived in Ireland for 10 weeks my senior of college. While living in Ireland, I was able to travel to France and Italy. So the countries I chose have some meaning to us. Hopefully I’ll be able to drag Brad and Owen over to Europe one day.

american geographic society around the world books

I utilized this little area between the bedroom and closet doors by hanging a multi-hook rack for Owen’s bath towel and other miscellaneous items. It’s also the perfect spot for his hamper.

baby boy nursery

This vintage sheet music cover belonged to my late Grandma June. I found it while going through a box of sheet music in my parents’ basement last year. I actually posted a photo of it, along with two other covers, on Instagram a couple days after finding them, with the caption “Wouldn’t these look awesome framed and hung in a nursery?” Foreshadowing FTW.

I looked it up and this particular sheet music was copyrighted in 1940.

Pinocchio sheet music cover

I love how she wrote her name on it. I always loved her handwriting.

I’m so happy there’s a little piece of her in Owen’s nursery. He would have been her first great grandchild, and she would’ve loved him to pieces.

framed vintage sheet music cover

One of my biggest nursery tips: use a dresser as a changing table.

We love the height of this Ikea Hemnes dresser. Brad and I are both tall people so it’s perfect for us.

ikea dresser nursery

baby shoes

Since we’re tall people, we had to make sure we put the shelf high enough so we wouldn’t smack our heads on it. So far, so good.

eclectic boy nursery

I love mixing old and new, especially if the old is sentimental to us in some way. You probably know this by now if you’re a regular reader.

This apothecary jar is filled with Brad’s Lego creations from his childhood. I actually had some extra space at the top when I was filling it, and Brad was all “I can make more!” So he channeled his inner 8 year old and whipped up a couple more cars. I have a feeling he’s going to love reliving his childhood Lego days with Owen in a few years.

legos in apothecary jar

Brad plays guitar so he’s getting excited about teaching Owen one day. We picked out this ukuele for Owen’s first musical instrument. But I’ve already caught Brad scoping out half size guitars.

ukulele nursery

The Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs sheet music cover is another one that belonged to my Grandma June.

vintage snow white

I picked up these zinc letters while on our California babymoon. I’m all about bringing back souvenirs that are useful or have some sort of meaning from vacations. (I pass on kitschy sweatshirts and snow globes.)  And oddly enough, this was the only souvenir I brought home from California.

boy nursery

Again, with the old and sentimental– this globe was Brad’s growing up.

The miniature brass giraffe was part of a gift given to me from my best friend after I told her I was knocked up.

brass giraffe

My lovely mother helped me make these black-out curtains. It’s tradition that she help sew nearly all the curtains in my house.

jo jo corn yellow slub curtains

Choosing a fabric was another painstaking decision. But one day I grew tired of hemming and hawing and pulled the trigger on this fabric. I’m so happy I went with it because I love it. Owen digs it too. I catch him gazing at it while he nurses.

jo jo slub corn yellow

Brad’s dad came up a few months ago and helped us install the ceiling fan.

Another nursery tip: put your main light fixture on a dimmer.

I loved being able to dim the light really low during late night feedings. Who wants a blaring light in their face at 4 AM?

Now I dim it in the morning when Owen wakes up for his feeding and it’s still not very bright outside. We also dim it at night when we get Owen ready for bed.

blue and yellow nursery

There you have it. Owen’s bright and colorful nursery!

LOVE this bright and colorful nursery!

Want to know where I got a specific item in the nursery? Check out the source list here!

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  1. What an adorable nursery – I love that it has no ‘theme’! x

  2. Melissa G says:

    ADORABLE! My youngest children are 10 1/2 and I love that nowadays people DON’T do themes! The combination of everything you have in here is just lovely!!! I adore the pops of color and those curtains against the blue wall are gorgeous! Owen’s got a great “crib” 😉 Love it!!

  3. I love Owen’s nursery! I think it’s bright, and fun and playful. Perfect for a baby boy!

  4. Owen’s nursery is just darling! I love the jar full of legos. His bedroom is exactly laid out like the nursery I had for my boys. I had to take a double take. Everything from the closet to the window placement of the room is identical. I painted their room a blue as well. You did a fabulous job with his nursery!

  5. Such a great space! It will really grow with him. We had the same dresser for the boys’ nursery and loved it. Now it is in our bedroom!

  6. What a beautiful nursery! I love all of the sentimental pieces, so perfect.

  7. You created such a beautiful space! What a lucky little boy 🙂

  8. Alison S. from Iowa says:

    It looks soooo great Chelsea!! We also have our nursery light on a dimmer and it is by far the easiest and best thing we did for my daughter’s room. I can’t imagine being in there now with the light blaring at 4am!! Love the Target pouf and little garden stool next to the glider!

  9. I’m glad I’m not the only one that gets the ???????????? look when I say there is no theme in the nursery. We are just not into whales, or elephants, or sports enough to go with an entire theme. Your nursery is perfect! I love the old framed music from your grandma, and LOL at your husband making lego cars for the room. At least he put his touch on the nursery too huh? 🙂

  10. You did a wonderful job in the nursery! And I feel you pain on being asked about a nursery “theme” and not having a good answer. Why must there always be a theme?! Good job and I hope my “theme-less” nursery turns out as nice as yours 🙂

  11. I totally love it! And I agree with you, a nursery doesn’t need to be based on a theme. You did a great job!!

  12. Very cute! I love the artwork. I’m expecting twin girls in December and I get that question all the time about the theme! I have no theme, just girlie?

  13. I love this…my baby boy Owen is due in February and I’m not doing a theme either…just gray walls and whatever cute colors/patterns I decide to do. I hope mine turns out half as cute as this! 🙂

  14. Jen Hartz says:

    I love it! Good job, momma!

  15. It turned out lovely! I am with you– themes are not my style.

  16. Jessica S says:

    Such a cute and fun nursery! I’m expecting our first, and I keep getting the theme question, too! I don’t really want a lot of matchy-matchy stuff, so I hem and haw every time. I’ve also been looking for a glider/rocker and curtains. I’d love to know how you are liking the glider so far!

    1. I LOVE this glider. It’s also a recliner– bonus! It doesn’t look that comfy, but it’s so comfortable to sit in. Even Brad approves of it. Plus, the arms a little high so it’s nice for nursing (if you plan on breastfeeding).

      1. Jessica S says:

        Thanks for the reply!!

  17. The nursery is perfection! I love how you have so many memories in there for him!

  18. I love it, Chelsea! So simple, clean, yet has a lot of meaning. That’s kinda what I wanted for Caroline’s nursery, too. I LOVE the idea of the toys in the apothecary jar!! My husband has TONS of old Star Wars toys he played with as a kid, so if we have another kid and it’s a boy, I’m totally stealing that idea!!!

  19. Adorable Chelsea. I love the wall arts and the shelves over the changing table the most!

  20. I am in love with Owen’s nursery! I love how it doesn’t have a “theme” and many of the items are sentimental!

  21. I love this “themeless” room! The paint color is beautiful and the pops of yellow too!

  22. This is such a beautiful and inspiring nursery! The details and special meanings behind it all complete this room! You did an amazing job! And I agree, using dressers as change tables is the greatest idea!
    Thanks for sharing, Owen is on lucky little boy 🙂

  23. I love everything about it… especially that adorable “Owen” blanket!

  24. I don’t make or take the time to look at people’s blogs or follow links in Facebook – life seems too busy. But whenever I see your posts, they have a calming effect on me! The colors, the content, the recipes (and I don’t cook, but I have been baking your yummy cookies!). I don’t know what it is, but I THANK you! Your posts and blog are such a lovely reprieve in my crazy, busy day. I enjoy seeing little Owen, your beautifully appointed home, the peonies (I’m from the East Coast and that has always been my favorite flower), and your overall photography is great! I’ve downloaded the apps on my iPhone that you suggested and have learned to take some fun shots.

    Just wanted to say THANK YOU! for sharing!
    Have a FABULOUS day,

    1. Thank you, Michelle! Your comment made my day! I’m so glad you get joy out of what I put on the blog. Seriously, this is one of the nicest, most sincere comments I’ve received in a long time. Thanks so much!

  25. Love this! So personalized and simple. Totally on board with the no theme theme. I would call our son’s room “stuff we like”.

    We have many of the same books too. “Little Blue Truck” (and the second one, “Little Blue Truck Leads the Way”) are currently favorites for my 19 month old!

  26. I love this! What a beautiful room! I also love the ingenious place for the towel hook and hamper. We have a similar small area between two doors in our little guy’s nursery and that looks like the perfect solution. Great colors and love the sheet music too. 🙂

  27. Love it! So bright and fresh. And you did a wonderful job picking things that will grow with him. Swap out some artwork and you’re set for a 5yo boy. And it’ll seem like just a few months before he’s there. Enjoy your snuggle time and remember on the hard days and times that they will pass.

  28. I love what you did with Owen’s nursery! This is sort of information that can really help. One day I will sure use your input, thank you.

  29. Where did you have the blanket made with his name repeated on it?

  30. Such and adorable nursery! I love the vintage + modern mixed together!

  31. It’s beautiful. I love the personal touches and not having a theme.

  32. Beautifully done! I, too, use the non-theme approach! 🙂

  33. I love how you mixed new and contemporary items with pieces from your own family history – you’ve created a beautiful space! I’m still waiting on my wee one to make his or her entrance – we’re just a few days away now I think – and I had a lot of fun putting together a gender neutral space. I chose grey and white, threw in some polka dots, chevrons, and animal pictures…I was specifically trying to avoid a theme – I think a theme can be very limiting, and who wants that when there are so many adorable things for nurseries?!

  34. Jennie Poole says:

    Love the “non theme” look! So adorable and original. It’s a room all about Owen and his roots and that’s so genuine ❤️

  35. Jaysson K. Bay says:

    Nice room but from what I can see your crib is in the way of maybe 1 closet door. Doesn’t that annoy you or do you just suck it up?


  36. Stephanie says:

    Hey! Can I ask where you purchased the side table and towel hook on the wall?? Super cute nursery! This is probably one of my favorites because its not a theme its just simply colorful and cute!

  37. I love the colors and style of your room! I like that it is not like a typical nursery and is so full of character. Great job!

  38. I love it all- too cute! I think I just bought that same blanket (or a very similar one) for my daughter’s nursery that’s currently in the works. Great minds!

  39. This is great! I love the color combination! And it all works together perfectly 🙂

  40. This is so lovely, I really like the pops of yellow in the textiles. Just discovered your blog via the Brag-Worthy Thursday link up!

  41. I had to pop over since our oldest son’s name is Owen and oh how I adore the nursery you have created! It is sheer perfections with all the touches of yellow and blues. But the children’s book and the artwork are my favorite pieces! Fabulous job!

    Thanks so much for sharing your creativity at the The DIY Collective this week! Please come back next week to show off your latest project!

  42. Such an adorable space. I love the artwork. I wanted to let you know that I am featuring this in a nursery roundup if you don’t mind.

  43. I’m wondering if now that your son is older and maybe getting himself dressed if you still like the size of this dresser or if you think a “child size” one is better?

  44. How did you secure the changing pad to the dresser? I’m planning to do the same and can’t figure it out.

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