I am so, so happy to share our daughter’s (future) nursery with you all today! It has been my favorite design project ever. As soon as I started, I knew I wanted to create something neutral and airy. If I could sum up in a few words the feeling I wanted this nursery to have, it would be childlike and cozy.
These past few months as I have been working on this space have been the most incredible emotional experience for me. The chance to set up a space where our daughter’s first memories could happen warms my heart so much. It felt like the first gift I could give to her!
This post is sponsored by one of my favorite brands: The Land Of Nod. I’m not ashamed to say I have stalked their site for years (and even purchased a few random things for our adult rooms from them—haha!). They do a beautiful job of making children’s pieces with a strong design backbone. Pretty things that adults can appreciate as well.
But, I have to admit, I got a little nervous because Laura and I were BOTH decorating girls’ nurseries at the same time (here is hers!). We have a lot of similar tastes, so I was scared our rooms would look exactly the same. But as it turned out, they are totally and completely different. It was so much fun to decorate in tandem with one of my best friends and see how different our nurseries turned out!
I know some of you have been following our adoption from the first steps, but for the rest of you I’ll give a quick recap! We started the process of adopting a child from China last summer. Currently, we are one year into what is (on average) an 18-month program.
The process has been a roller coaster, but we couldn’t be more excited. Currently, we are on our agency’s waiting list to be matched with a child. The wait has not been easy, but our hearts have grown SO much. It’s been incredible! I truly believe that life’s painful moments can be used for good if you let them. And I can see future me looking back at present me, being even more thankful for the child in my arms.
Although we have not been matched yet, we felt ready to create a nursery based on what we do know. Every adoption is different, but in our process we were able to choose our child’s gender (we chose girl) and age (we chose under 2) and we know that most babies adopted from China are at least 1-year-old, so we have a pretty good idea of the age range she will be. That said, we will obviously be doing a round of tweaks to this room after we are matched, before we travel to China. So you will probably notice a few practical things missing (I haven’t ordered a diaper pail yet, I closed the closet doors because we are waiting to fill up the closet until we have an exact age, and I have no idea what level the crib will need to be adjusted to). So don’t worry, we will get to all of that in due time.
Anyway, if you have any more adoption questions, I am happy to answer in the comments. But let’s get back to DECOR for now …
Our daughter’s name will be Winter Bloom Larson. We chose Winter early in the process—within a month of beginning to adopt. We had a list of names and it stood out to both of us as the one. It hasn’t been a secret, so all our friends and family use Winter’s name to talk about her, which has been a great point of connection for all of us (especially the little cousins!). We chose Bloom for her middle name after our niece, Penelope Bloom. Penny thinks it is the coolest thing ever. I’ve never heard of cousins sharing a middle name before, but it’s pretty special to us. In our family, she is lovingly referred to by the other kiddos as “baby Winter.”
ETA: After being matched, we decided to instead name our girl “Nova Winter Larson“. We just felt Nova fit her more perfectly and kept Winter as the middle name because it’s been a big part of our adoption journey (we have used this name for her for over a year!). It’s a little sad to not use Penelope’s middle name this time, but we may use it next time!
The elephant hamper is from Amazon.
On the wise advice of a friend, I decided to choose a dresser that Winter could keep all through her childhood and teen years. We chose this beautiful campaign dresser. To temporarily make it into a changing table, we added this changing table topper, this changing pad and this changing pad cover. Once we don’t need it anymore, it can be unscrewed from the dresser and saved for our next kiddo!
The rattan mirror is by Justina Blakeney and it’s called The Ayo. It was the first thing I chose for this room and I love the personality and ’70s inspiration it brings to the space!
The simple scallop shelves were a last minute addition. I have been restyling them with baby trinkets nearly daily and I’m obsessed. I thought the etched wooden blocks would be fun for writing little messages out. They have letters, numbers and symbols. The unicorn plush can be found here. The swan and flamingo are from a little wooden toy brand I like called Holztiger. I have been collecting them.
The wallpaper is by my favorite painter, Lulie Wallace. She announced she was doing a wallpaper line a week or two after we started our adoption, so it was just fate! You’ll have to look at all her patterns here—it was not an easy decision. I love the bunnies! The monkey doll is from Etsy. We did a loose animal theme.
I didn’t intend to at first, but it just kind of happened!
I knew I wanted a simple white crib. I almost picked the Jenny Lind style, but ultimately I chose the Carousel Crib in white. I love it! I was torn on whether or not to add a crib skirt (I think I will remove it when the crib is down to the lowest level), but for now I am loving the pop of pink. For the sheet, I got a bunch of options (you’re supposed to stock up, right?!) and my favorite is this botanical grey dot pattern. We chose this organic crib mattress (after upgrading to an organic mattress in our own bedroom two years ago we’ll never buy any other kind again).
Oh, by the way, I decided we didn’t need a mobile, but someone else please buy this one in my honor. It’s so cute!
The quilt hanging on the crib was a gift from an amazing Etsy seller called Quilt Kween. She let me pick out all the colors and I just love it so much. Is it bad that I don’t want my baby to ever throw up on it? Haha! “You have other blankets for throwing up on. This is your pretty blanket.” (Don’t burst my bubble!)
And the elephant pull toy on the ground is just too cute, right?
The “yarn art” (Haha! Can we call it that?) I whipped up the night before these photos were taken. I’m not going to post a DIY on it because it’s literally just tying yarn onto a dowel rod. It’s easy!
I will change this up periodically, depending on our kiddos age and the season. I pretty much just made it so that the colors would tie together in these photos.
This giant wicker giraffe was Nova’s first baby gift from “Aunt Laura.” It’s extremely special to me because what a CRAZY gift to buy someone. It showed how much she really knows me and I just love that she was brave enough to pull the trigger. I have only seen another one one time and it was at the Rose Bowl Flea (and it was painted white—poor thing!). So anyway, this is a true vintage gem and I feel so lucky to have it in our nursery.
The scalloped cowhide rug was a big choice. My considerations were that I wanted something that A. did not shed fur balls (that annoys me so much and I know this room will be extremely high traffic) and B. would be easy to clean. Cowhide rugs are very easy to clean (I won’t take up your time talking about it here, but ask me in the comments if you care). I like that it is a rug that can literally last for a lifetime. Plus, I have this thing with scallops!
The light fixture. Oh. My. God. Do I ever love this thing. I was joking on Instagram that I want to raise a child who can both appreciate Jonathan Adler and enjoy garage saleing with me! I found it at Wayfair and the ceiling medallion is from Amazon.
For curtains, I stayed consistent with the rest of the house (we have these pom pom curtains in almost every single room).
One of the things I am looking most forward to is bedtime stories. I cry almost every time I read a new children’s book. They are absolutely wonderful! I love our cozy pink Everly rocking chair. I paired it with a moroccan pouf.
I am thinking of how to best add a lamp over here. I am thinking a standing lamp, but something on the ceiling or wall is an option as well. Weigh in if you have a strong opinion. I want something with really soft, diffused light. We did find an adorable night light for now.
On the side table we have a little camera toy from Etsy that I had customized with her name. I love it because the wooden lens and dials really turn. And a fun cactus toy that I bought locally at Rich Hippies (find it online here). It’s a balancing toy, so I won’t keep it there for long (it’s just cute for this photo!). I mainly added the side table so I’d have a place for glasses of water.
We taught how to make the book ledges here. It’s an easy, one day DIY project!
Book links: The Mermaid and the Shoe, The Littlest Family’s Big Day, I Wished for You (our favorite adoption storybook), The Littlest Gardener (obviously had to have that one!), Hug Me (thank you, Sherri), Gaston, Antoinette (super obsessed with the illustrations in both these), Last Stop on Market Street, Home, Triangle, What Can I Be?, I Can Fly, The Wonderful Things You Will Be, Home (A Chinese/English book … thank you, Mom!), When I Was Small, Day Dreamers.
Well, thank you for coming on my tour! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments. Thank you for all your love and support. It’s been amazing to me to learn how many of you are adoption advocates yourselves! I’ve truly never felt closer to my blog readers than I have these past few seasons, sharing this journey with you. xx. Elsie
Credits//Author: Elsie Larson, Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.