Designing a nursery fit for a Princess: week 1

It’s been a busy week behind the scenes as we begin our countdown to the birth of Tricia’s baby girl, Elizabeth, and her new nursery.

Before the transformation
See that space? That’s the area we’re working on. Tricia’s immediate (and big) project is decluttering and she talks about the plan to do that in her post from Tuesday. In the meanwhile, it’s been my project to take the bones of that space and design a pretty room that will fit the needs of baby and mama.

I started by sending a little questionaire to Tricia. In addition to finding out the basic measurements of the room, window, and closet, I needed to know how she intended to use the space, her general design style, and what “feel” she wanted to shoot for. Through the questionaire, I discovered that Tricia loves the romance and details of Victorian design (hmmm… now who would have figured a romance writer would love romantic details? LOL !). And she’ll need the nursery to be a quiet retreat for her and the little princess for nursing and naps (and escaping a busy man-filled household I bet!).

We also discussed the design budget and potential challenges. Tricia wants to use a budget of $300 -$500 for this project. (I know some of you might be raising your eyebrows at this, but hey, this is a blog about BUDGET design, remember? We’re gonna rock that room for well within that budget, I promise you!)

Tricia’s in-laws have a white crib and bassinet in storage that baby Elizabeth will be able to use. This is a blessing, because that means we don’t have to budget for those big purchases. The minus (or challenge) is that they are white, and the room is white, and their home is a rental, so there’s no painting. This means we’re gonna have to bring color into the room in some other way… most likely accessories and fabric treatments. The other challenge is that the one small closet in the room has a slanted floor. This limits its use for storage somewhat, so buying furniture that will provide storage for onesies and cloth diapers and other baby accoutrement will be a big priority!

So let’s review. Our goals for the nursery are:

  • Create a peaceful, calming, Victorian retreat
  • Provide plenty of storage
  • Bring color into the space with accessories and fabric
  • Stay within a $500 budget

Tricia also requested that we include a comfy glider for late night nursing and general cuddling.

Armed with that information, here’s the results of my work for the week:

Floorplan (via Jordan’s Room Planner)

Nursery Floorplan
And, debuting for the first time ever, here is the inspiration board for baby Elizabeth’s Victorian inspired nursery:

Nursery Inspiration Board by Shauntelle Hamlett

1. Color & pattern inspiration, 2. Custom curtains similar to these in toile with pom-pom fringe, 3. Definitely need a victorian style mirror, 4. if we can’t find a dresser, we could do this to an inexpensive bookcase, 5. Must have bookcase for $50, 6. cute side table – $18, 7. example of victorian style dresser, 8. These are the details we need on pillows, bedskirts, curtains, 9. crib bedskirt inspiration, love color, add pom-pom fringe 10. pom-pom fringe, 11. glider, 12. example of boudoir pillows 13. dark olive ribbon to add to curtains, bedskirt, pillows

What do you think Tricia? What do ya’ll think? Does this provide the bones of a pretty and soothing Victorian nursery? I am a little nervous about the feedback…so be gentle with me! 🙂

So that’s it from me so far. If Tricia agrees with these ideas at this point, the next step will be to create a source list for the items that have to be bought and a DIY list for the accessories and decorations that we’ll be making. I have some GREAT ideas brewing for inexpensive DIY projects… so go tell Tricia to give me the go ahead so I can start letting ya’ll in on them!


10 thoughts on “Designing a nursery fit for a Princess: week 1

  1. Tricia Ballad says:

    Shauntelle, the short version is: “I love it!!!”

    I’ll post the long version tonight or tomorrow, unfortunately deadlines are lurking just outside my door, and unlike a certain famous author, I’m not at all fond of the whooshing noise they make as they go flying by!

  2. Michelle says:

    I love your ideas – it’s going to be a lovely nursery.

    I live in a rental as well, so I understand about the no-painting. Another way to bring in color might be to make some sort of panels of fabric. I’m not exactly sure how to hang them, but something like that would work with a romantic girly room. Maybe with some sort of inexpensive frame-work?

    I look forward to seeing how your project progresses.

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  4. Jrizzo says:

    Love the ideas!!! I love the pink fabric. I had this idea for a friend who couldn’t paint on her walls. It’s a total budget idea…..
    My other idea (which I haven’t been able to try yet, but chompping at the bit to do..) is to make long frames out of inexpensive molding, glue fabric to the back and then use double stick velcro to put it to the walls. That pink fabric would look adorable! Like decorative wall panels. I don’t know if this is a helpful idea or not…
    I bet YOU can do it for under $300!
    Jen R

  5. Shannon says:

    Too cool! I am so excited to see what you come up with. I am learning that not having a huge budget is just fine you plan properly and are willing to put in a little elbow grease!

  6. Tricia Ballad says:

    Ok, deadlines have been met, so I’m free to spend a half hour ogling your inspiration board! I’m especially excited about the bookcase turned dresser/storage. I love that all those pretty outfits and adorable cloth diapers can be on display, not just tucked into a drawer. I’m imagining lots of pretty cloth lined baskets, and maybe a hanging rod for dresses inserted in one of the openings. I also liked the curtain hung in the bookcase to hide the not-so-pretty stuff.

    I can’t wait to order the little side table too – it will be perfect next to the glider, to hold a water glass and maybe a book or two to read while I rock Miss Elizabeth to sleep in the afternoons.

  7. Aja says:

    My Two Cents

    If you hang the mirror on the wall over the bookcase you can puchase one of those ergonomic pillows
    (like this one and put that on top covered in your choice of fabric and use it as a changing table too. Just make sure it’s the right height, so your not breaking you back doing it. It will also be nice for baby Elizabeth to look at herself in the mirror while she’s being changed (or atleast I think it will, I don’t have any children,lol).

  8. Aja says:

    Oh yeah, if you do decide to use this idea, be sure to put a piece of rubber shelf liner or rug stop under the pillow to keep it from sliding on the top of the dresser/bookcase.

    BTW great job Shauntelle!

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