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“5 s’s” of Nursery Nesting.

My pregnancy has been plagued with morning all day sickness, and I partly believe that looking at “nursery decorating ideas” online was responsible for some of my nausea.  Why on earth are people so obsessed with decals?  And murals?  And the commercialization?  Babies don’t know who Elsa from Frozen or Thomas the Train are, so why are expecting mothers forced to subscribe to this garbage before their baby has even been born?


Because of my love for aesthetics, creating the baby’s room feels like participating in the role I was born to play.  I waited as long as I could before getting this project going, because I know that I can get out of control (read:over-budget) if I have too much time to let something roll around in my brain.  But the moral of this design story is there is a big difference between child friendly and childish.


While stalling on the nursery project, I read “The Happiest Baby on the Block” and memorized the 5 s’s for calming my future baby.  And then I started thinking about the nursery decor in the same regard, what would the 5 s’s be for calming a new mom’s nerves while planning a the baby’s room?


My 5 s’s for nursery design are: Style, Simplicity, Safety, Sanity, and Selfishness.



Just like all the other rooms in your house, it’s important to stay true to what your individual style is.  A nursery is no different, if you don’t stay true to your personal style the baby’s room will look out of place in your home- and odds are you will grow tired of it very quickly.



Our home is the epitome of my personal style (Mr Heatherland has been very accommodating to that), so I kept the nursery walls light and neutral like everywhere else, and this furniture could easily be moved into any other room and wouldn’t clash with anything.   





It’s easy to over-decorate a nursery.  So try to keep it simple and use what you have on hand until you know for sure you actually need something.  I got it in my head that I really wanted a rocking chair, because so many people told me to buy one, but then when I started thinking about it I haven’t actually ever sat in a rocking chair that I liked.


So I crossed that off the list and used a chair that I re-finished a few years ago.  It’s very comfortable, has a footstool, and if I decide later on that I really need something else, at least I didn’t make a needless purchase ahead of time.



I think every first time mom has a fears about their child’s safety.  Anything that moves, or anything that can be grabbed by my kid needed special consideration.  I examined the room, there were two things in particular that kept me up at night.

1.  The cord from the baby monitor made me nervous.



Not because I thought my baby would get strangled by it, but I did think my child would yank on it and it would tumble down on said child’s perfect little face.  To rectify the problem, I mounted a corner shelf above the door with a great vantage point aimed at the entire crib (as well as the whole room when zoomed out) and tucked the cord behind the shelf and the framework of the door.  There is officially nothing to grab.


2.  The mirrors I *had* to hang over the crib were a huge problem.


You may ask “Why didn’t you just not hang the mirrors?”  That’s a fair question, but the baby’s room is so small that I needed as many surfaces as possible to reflect light off of.  These mirrors each have a large wooden frame, so I marked the studs and screwed the frames directly into them in 4 spots each.  After they were secure, I patched and painted the holes in the frames.  These mirrors aren’t going anywhere.  Ever.



When the house is tidy, clean, and sparkling like a model home I am at my most sane.  There will be a huge shift in my particular brand of sanity once this baby comes.  But I can at least get some systems in place now to try and preserve a tiny shred of it.


Although things won’t always be clean, at least I can have supplies organized.  Starting with the dresser drawers.  Having diaper changing supplies and baby health accessories close at hand and visible in clear boxes will keep it simple when someone other than me is looking for a product.


Since the baby clothes are so tiny and don’t take up a lot of closet space, I installed some closet shelving and used 11×11″ collapsible office bins to give non-essential items a home.


I used chalkboard hangtags on them so they can stay labeled even as the contents change.




When your baby gets older he or she will tell you what they want their room to look like.  But until that day comes, you’re the one who has to look at the room.  It should soothe you, it should make you happy, and in summation:  The nursery is just another room for you for awhile.


When I thought of my nursery, I imagined a comfortable spot to read books to my unborn child.  Instead of wall art for Baby’s room, I used picture ledges to keep a good selection of books visible, and then when they are overflowing the unpopular books, or ones we outgrow will be moved to a bookshelf.


So far my favorite book is Owl Moon.  Hopefully I’ll be reading it to this little baby soon, not just my belly bump.

Horseplay in Heatherland.

When it comes to children’s toys, these days we are offered nothing but plastic.  But I am a sucker for wooden toys, especially when they have sentimental meaning.  Mr. Heatherland and I received this toy rocking horse from his Aunt Sandra, and this very special horse came with it’s own life story…

“I was Mr. Heatherland’s toy rocking horse.  And 30 years ago I was found on the porch with no head.  I was broken and ready for the bone yard.IMG_2493

Mr. Heatherland’s Aunt Sandra saw the state of me, took me in and replaced my head.  This was a great feat, because young Mr. Heatherland proclaimed that I could not be fixed!   For the next 20 years I lived under a baby grand piano in her house.


In 1999 I was moved with Aunt Sandra to a rental house with many other toys.  On Ash Wednesday, the “Great Fire” occurred and the house I was living in burned- but I was saved!


Besides a little smoke damage, and having a tail and mane in bad shape, I’m ready to go. For those 30 years it was Aunt Sandra’s intention to give me back to Mr. Heatherland so I can play with his son or daughter someday.


And that day has come.”

The weekend that we received this rocking horse to take home with us was also the anniversary of Mr. Heatherland’s Father’s passing.  We spent some time picking fruit from blueberry bushes he planted about 30 years ago.  It seemed only right and fitting that we named the horse Blueberry.


And since nothing enters Heatherland without getting a little makeover, let’s explore Blueberry’s Rehab:

Refinish the Body with Chalk PAint

  • Mr. Heatherland took Blueberry apart and primed him for me.  Then I painted all the pieces with one coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Gray (safe to use on children’s toys and while pregnant).


  • Then the pieces first got a coat of clear paste wax, which was allowed to dry.  I sanded the edges and high spots with 180 grit sand paper to expose some of the brown stain underneath for a distressed finish.


  • The last step was a very quick wipe down of Annie Sloan Dark wax (wipe on in small sections and wipe off), which was allowed to dry.  It’s important to note that the coat of clear wax will allow you more creative freedom with your dark wax.  Otherwise, if you dive right into the dark wax the chalk paint will absorb it and you won’t be able to wipe it off to your desired shade.



Make A New Mane

  • We found a hand painted alpaca yarn($36)  on a little trip through Maine.  I bought 2 hanks and I’m glad I did- I used every strand.


  • To make the mane, I made little bundles of cut yarn by first wrapping them around a card, then tying them tightly, and cutting them on the opposite side.  They looked like little yarn bowties.


  • I secured them up the spine of the horse with heavy duty staples.


  • The mane was about 30 of my little bundles of yarn (yes, it took awhile).

Make the saddle


  • I made a template out of a paper bag, then traced it (inverted) into the back of my cowhide.


Make the Tail


  • The Tail was easy.  I separated the remaining yarn into three pieces and braided it.


  • Then I stapled both ends of the yarn tail to the horses saddle, it created a little loop and gives the tail a little more interest.


IMG_4207 2IMG_4212


My, what a fancy saddle!

Even #sisalthesheep approves of the new (old) toy!


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