Interiors // The Nursery Transformation

March 31, 2019

I'm CRAZY excited to share with you the full before, during and after photos of our nursery transformation. This room used to be a spare room, basically junk room, that we never really had a purpose for. It had some quirky angles, three different windows which made placing furniture tricky, a damp stain on an old chimney breast and an awkward alcove. Yet we always knew that it would make a wonderful nursery some day. It's right next door to our bedroom since we moved into the new room too, and it feels cosy and looks over the garden. 

{disclaimer, this post is NOT sponsored by Valspar but I have worked with them on a paid partnership campaign over on Instagram. This blog is not part of the content/deliverables for that but as I'm talking about the paint we've used whilst doing up the nursery I thought I should note it here}.

When we moved into the house, we just skimmed the walls in here, painted them cream and put carpet down. Note that these before photos were taken once we'd cleared alll the junk out of here just after Christmas. It was a mammoth job to clear it all and rehome everything we'd stored in here, lots of charity shop missions and squeezing Ben's suits which used to fit in the wardrobe in here, into our other bedroom. After that, we were left with a blank shell to start transforming.

I've shared more on restoring the original floorboards and painting them in this blog post here.

With the floors finished, and the walls left with a THICK covering of dust, this room became a mini workshop for a couple of weeks whilst Ben worked on the toilet next door! {it was on our list to tart up and add a sink into before the baby arrives}. 

Chaos, and a lot of dust, for a few weeks.

Note the awkward alcove and stain in the photo above.

We had this beautiful French wardrobe in our old house, we bought it from eBay from a seller who lived in France and used to bring furniture back to the UK. We decided that for the best use of space in here it should cover the smallest window which didn't really give any light because of the aspect of it. We felt like the other two windows in here were enough and it meant we could use the room with a better layout. 

Ben studded out the alcove with plasterboard, to hide the stain {it wasn't proper damp, we had so many builders come to look at it and roofers to check the roof tiles etc!} and to level off the wall to make it easier to put a cot against rather than have an annoying inset. 

Next came the painting. I worked with Valspar on a paid partnership with this room. This blog post is not part of the content for the campaign, it was all for instagram, but I wanted to declare it here regardless.  

One particularly sunny February Saturday morning, we built the cot we'd ordered and painted the tester pots I'd picked up the day before to decide on a colour before we went to Richmond for the day. It was that really weirdly warm week in February and I just remember feeling so happy about designing the nursery for our growing bump and seeing it all start to come together. 

I'd spotted a vintage metal cot on Instagram when searching for nursery furniture ideas, it was by Incy Interiors and ridiculously gorgeous and the style we wanted to go for. Alas, it was more expensive than what we were looking to pay and only came in white or rose gold {which would have been too girly had we had a boy}. I questioned if a metal cot would feel too cold, but then a lot of parents with wooden cots said that their children have chewed on the bars of their wooden cots! And both Ben and I really loved this one. My friend actually found one similar on Wayfair and sent the link over to us, we then found it online here even cheaper. I wasn't sure whether to go for white or the vintage gold but my husband said we'd have a lot of white in here and the gold colour would be a nice contrast. I was soo unsure, but then it arrived and I loved the colour. It also goes really well with the wooden furniture we have in here. 

As much as we loved the look of the wooden wardrobe, I didn't want too much raw wood on show in here so we decided that it would look better painted after seeing some photos of painted furniture. I had to convince Ben at first but now it's painted, I'm so glad that we made the decision. Ben sanded the wood back to get rid of any old varnish before priming it all.

And then painting in the top coat. We had a French Grey colour colour matched by Valspar {as part of the campaign I did with them} in an Eggshell finish. 

Accessories started to arrive! I'd had so much fun choosing things once we found out that we were having a baby girl. Before we found out, I had moodboards of screenshots for both a boy and a girl's nursery. All neutral but with different accessories/pictures etc for each. 

I really loved the idea of adding a fireplace in this room to add a little more character. We've added fireplaces into our other bedrooms and I love the focal point that they give with a mantle and for adding a mirror on top/plants around them etc. Especially given the age of our house and the old chimney breasts in each room {although we've actually put the fireplaces in different positions to the old breast positions so that they work with the new style of room more}.

A few years back, when we were renovating our last house we bought a few old fireplaces on eBay, this was one that we didn't end up using and we'd stored in my parent's garage. I was so thrilled to rediscover it and it was perfect for the nursery, even having a heart on it! It was pretty rusty so we primed it with a wood/metal primer and used a Rustoleum multi surface primer to cover some rust spots that came through.

Then came the walls! Ben cleaned the dust from them before painting using paint pads and the premium v700 Matt range of Valspar paint {as part of my paid campaign} in Tidy White, a really lovely grey/off white colour not too light and not too dark that our friends had recommended. 
Their paint is Mumsnet rated for nurseries as it's fully scrubbable without damaging the colour. 

We used the Tidy White for the walls in matt emulsion and then the same French Grey colour matched eggshell for the furniture, shelf and fireplace. We bought this shelf at an antiques market a couple of years ago and I couldn't wait to repurpose it for the nursery to put things on top and hang things from it.

Ben cut a piece of skirting to fit the fireplace flush against the wall.

A few more coats of paint and a woodwork refresh later {you think the windows look OK until you paint everything else and then realise how yellow they look! We realised we hadn't painted them since we bought the house}.

And finally, it was time to add all the accessories. 

I'm going to write a separate post about the shutters for this room. I received them as a gift from California Shutters {having previously worked with them on a campaign}, I have a 25% off code valid until July if you're looking to order some, it's RVK25. We really love the look of shutters, and the flexibility they give on the look/light in a room. But they're not 100% black out so we might add a thin black out roller blind behind them once the baby uses the nursery to sleep in if it's too bright. I don't actually have photos of Ben installing these as I was in London last week and came home to him having surprised me by finishing off the woodwork painting, fitting the shutters and his Mum had dropped a chair off from his late Grandma's house! 

It made me cry {overly emotional pregnant woman here!} as both gestures were such an unexpected lovely surprise. We'd been wondering what kind of chair to get and this is one that Ben's Mum used to nurse her boys in at his Grandma's house so I love the story behind it along with the fact it's the perfect colour match to the vintage chest of drawers we already had and fits perfectly in that corner with low arms. {some people had said to go for a really comfy chair for middle of the night feeds or a rocking chair but I plan to feed in our bedroom in the night for the first 6 months at least whilst the baby is in our bedroom, and then after that we can see how we get on. We ideally want to put a little sofa on our landing at some point in the future for a bedtime story area, but can add some cushions to this if we feel it's a bit hard}. 

We already had the chest of drawers and decided to use it as a changing table. Storage wise, we've got these drawers for nappy changing supplies either on top or in the top drawer, then all the baby grows etc. Then the wardrobe has a big railing for hanging along with another small chest of drawers in and lots of space for storing nappies/a baby bath etc etc. It's like a magic wardrobe fitting so much inside. But I'm grateful for any storage we can get as babies come with so much gear! 

The cot serendipitously fit perfectly in the gap between the wardrobe and the wall!

And then came the best bit, putting the pictures up and adding the decorative finishing touches. 

It felt like the perfect blank canvas to decorate.

I'll add a list of sources as to where everything is from at the end of this post.

I couldn't WAIT to start hanging some cute babygrows up above the changing table. I love the idea of using them as decor in the room to add some colour and they can be changed seasonally.

Behind the door we wanted to have a reading area so bought some picture ledges from IKEA and Ben used his laser measure to centre them and put them up level.

My Mum had bought us this elephant at Christmas for the baby and so we thought it would be fun to have it sitting above the books, and I added a gold crown just because!

Can never have too many little hooks for displaying bits around the room. I think that's why I like the neutral walls so much in that you can jazz them up with dots of colour that can be changed easily.

I ordered a few favourite books to start the nursery book display off, and then we found an amazing Oxfam Books store near us to pick up a few more second hand.

After a saga with Hermes losing two parcels over a couple of weeks containing things like the canopy to finish the nursery, I was eagerly waiting home for ParcelForce to deliver. I looked at the map all day, until our neighbour popped over to ask Ben & I to help her with something in her garden. I said I could go quickly if I listened out for the delivery driver. We came back across the road to open our front door to find a MISSED PARCEL leaflet! Nooooo! So we went driving around our village looking for the red van and thankfully found it and could finish off the nursery at last!

I'd fallen in love with the idea of a canopy over a cot to make it feel cosy and add some colour/warmth to the room along with a mobile to float above the cot for her to look up at someday.

I'd spotted these gold heart decorations on the Wiso's instagram account {dream nursery inspo} and couldn't resist ordering them to go with our gold cot. They're from Happy Decs, a really clever company that make removable wall decorations. The perfect alternative to wallpaper, you can jazz up plain walls whilst knowing you can remove them if you want a change. You get a lot of packs of stickers for a good price too. I wanted to put them all around the room but Ben said to keep it contained to this area, for now ;).

A liberty floral cot sheet. {you can still see the red stickers of the mattress plastic underneath, I'll take it off once I buy a waterproof mattress protector} from Coco & Wolf. I've also ordered cot sheets from That Darling Brand, so many gorgeous small brands to discover.

Adding colour with easily updatable accessories. 

And then it was just the finishing touches to add in. I'd been on the hunt {and multiple trips to Homesense} for a fluffy rug to make the room feel a little cosier under foot but none of them were right colour wise or size wise - we needed a fairly big one. Finally this one fit the bill perfectly to finish everything off.

The finished nursery;

I'm so glad to have discovered Scandiborn and Oskoe Living for nursery decorations with all of my favourite baby brands {they all seem to be Scandi!}. 

The sweetest little accessories, I don't want to wish away the baby years at all but can equally imagine a little toddler trailing this basket and suitcase around! Kindly gifted by a lovely Instagram friend called Jess who owns Cottage Toys. Products listed below.

Where's everything from? //
*some of these links are affiliate links

Wall colour; Valspar Tidy White in V700 Matt Range
Furniture colour, a French Grey colour matched V700 Interior Eggshell 
Floorboards, see this post for a guide to painting them
Book shelves, these Ikea picture ledges
Metal cot, online here
Heart Wall Stickers, Happy Decs online here
Changing basket, online here 
Hanging moon decoration from fireplace, online here
Cloud mobile, online here
Sophie La Giraffe {the teething toy that all babies adore!}, online here
Liberty Print Cot Bedding, Coco & Wolf online here
Pear print, online here
Coco Chanel book, online here
Various Jelly Cat Soft Toys, including this adorable bunny online here on the fireplace. 
Elephant, online here my Mum purchased in a local gift shop and I added the crown
Baby clothes hanging over the changing table, gifted from Organic Zoo online here
Bonjour Babygrow from Bob & Blossom online here
Baby hangers from Ikea, one is vintage
Baskets from Ikea
Suitcase and luggy pull along basket, gifted from Cottage Toys online here and here
Small wooden hooks online here
Cloud cushion online here
Rug, online here, from M&S, previously worked with brand.
Chair, vintage from my husband's grandma
Chest of drawers, vintage find
Wardrobe, vintage find
Wooden shelf, vintage find
Fireplace, vintage find from eBay
Shutters, gifted from California Shutters {use code RVK25 if you'd like 25% off}

I always feel like when you first finish a room that it's never quite finished as you'll add things in over time. I want to add a lamp in to soften the lighting and some more cushions. I especially wanted to keep a few gaps ready for cute baby things we find over the next few months or get given by friends/family when she arrives. Plus as she grows I'm sure we'll want to add some lovely toys and more books in here. But right now, I'm on cloud nine with it all and can't stop coming in here. The next part will be organising all the drawers with the teeny clothes! 

R <3 xx

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