Maxwell’s Nursery Project: The Full Reveal

My pregnancy is dwindling down, and soon we will have a brand new baby up in this house. I can’t wait to be so exhausted in the most wonderful of ways. I totally get that “technically” a nursery doesn’t need to be complete until after the baby comes, since for the first few weeks or months he will be sleeping  in my bedroom, just feet away from me. But, I’m just not into that “waiting to do the nursery” approach. Why not do all the work, so that later when life is crazy, the nursery is not an added source of stress. Planning ahead can admittedly be quite scary when it comes to a baby, but the benefits of designing the nursery prior to birth outweigh the risks in my mind. Preparing Maxwell’s nursery during the pregnancy has given me a chance to focus on him, prepare for change, and create functional space for our family as I’m working on getting our house ready for two kids. Does anyone else with “kids” chuckle when you say things like, “The kids!”…it’s like wait, when did my life become this life.

The Before:before nursery pic

For over a year, I used this room as my home office. This photo is the office/nursery in transition. Nursery items started to arrive, while I was also packing up office stuff in big storage tubs. And okay, it’s also proof that I live in a mess most of the time, but I’m working on my life, so don’t judge me because I have other great qualities other than cleanliness. Seriously people, I’m working on it.

The After:

view from doorway

Bye bye home office, hello sweet nursery for Max. No surprise, I chose blues and greens as the color palette. If I had to put a name on the nursery theme, I would call it “Sheep-y & Circus”. Do those things even go together? Who gives a care, they do now. I originally wanted the nursery to be less playful, more sophisticated, but as things evolved and time went by, I became more obsessed with creating pattern play and introducing a colorful (yet monochromatic) color palette with a bit of a “pop”. Wall colors: “Nature’s Refection” by Behr, Matte Finish.

crib and painting symmetrical

I painted over the pineapple wall mural I spent so much time designing, and honestly, I don’t miss it at all. Pineapples are so 1.5 years ago.

The large sheep painting was painted by me, the canvas is 3×3 feet which I found at Michael’s Craft Store for 67% off! What! I’m very snobby about the canvases I buy, so the original price was like $70+. The discounted canvas plus wood for framing it cost about $25, that’s really cheap for large high impact art. I had trouble with the facial expression on Mr. Sheep, he looked sad and high for many days, until i was able to re-paint a calm smile that I’m happy with. I’ll probably let Ari pick out his actual name. Also, I wonder if anyone checked my canvas math.

Green crib shit is one of Ari’s, it pairs perfectly with the bright green grass on the painting. The crib skirt was a $20 purchase from target, originally plain white. I used apple slices and paint to create polka dot prints all over it, I like it much better than white.

detail of window wall

The cityscape mural helped tie many things together. First of all, it helped connect the themes by incorporating circus tents, playful pennants, and cute houses and buildings. It also unified all colors, and this was free for me to paint, as I have tons of green paint samples that I was able to use up. The other purpose of this little mural was to add visual height to this corner area. I kept feeling like something was missing, but now with the addition of the cityscape mural, things feel complete.

“Max The Boy” wall banner was a quick DIY, made from about $4 worth of heavy colored paper. It’s so light, I used thumb tacks to hold it up. The framed print above the Max banner is very special to me. It was created by my very good artist friend, Rachel Mauser. It reads,

“Days precious days,

Roll in and out like waves,

I have boards to bend,

I have planks to nail,

I have charts to make,

I have seas to sail!”

You know, before we found out the gender, we had planned on using “Leo” as a boys name. But the day we found out, we decided against it. Max was a name I suggested long ago, but Mike didn’t really react to it until literally the day we found the gender. There was never a very specific reason for Max (officially Maxwell August), but many things led to my infatuation and love of the name. I am very into short three letter names. They are simple, yet strong. Then, there’s that whole children’s book thing.  Max is found in the children’s book, “Where The Wild Things Are”, a book that tremendously influenced my childhood. I’m not unique in that influence, I’m sure many people my age were also equally as inspired by that book as I was. I often lived in my imagination, like Max, and found the illustrations to be dark and emotional, in an adventurous way. August as a middle name felt so right. If we had a girl, we were going to use “August” as her first or middle name, August is so lovely, so full of new beginnings and seasons, and feels earthy and adventurous. With masculine undertones, it really only felt exactly right to use as Max’s middle name.

corner view of wild things plus crib copy

Without going overboard with the whole “Where The Wild Things Are” thing, I did want to include just a tiny dose within his nursery. I framed these two illustrations, living right by his closet. I actually had more than one copy of the book, so I did rip these two pages out. It felt wrong, but I had to do it. The frames were frames we had laying around the house, originally gold. I gave them a quick white wash, and placed the illustrations inside. Free art, yes please.

wild things detail

That blue jean jacket was mine when I was a toddler, and Ari has sadly and suddenly outgrown it. I can’t wait for max to wear it.

dresser cropped full view

The dresser was such a steal! I didn’t actually steal it, don’t worry. I found it (plus it’s original 1050’s bow-tie knobs) at a local peddler’s mall. I love the shape, the lines are minimal and masculine, and the knobs are cute as ever. I sanded the top down to it’s original wood color, and because I’m cheap, I used coconut oil to moisturize it opposed to buying a $6 can of stain or oil. It worked great. The dresser drawers are painted “Mossy Bench” by Behr (High Gloss finish), and the knobs are painted “Garden Swing” by Behr (Satin finish). The changing pad is from Ari’s nursery. The pad cover was from Land Of Nod, designed by Joy Cho (the boss-lady behind the “Oh Joy!” blog). She actually has a new nursery line out at target right now. Diaper basket from target. Wicker laundry basket, from elsewhere in my house (we have so many).

These round wooden wall hooks are so cute, they were $5 each from Target. We have lot’s of scrap wood in the garage, so I used some to make a little wooden camera. The round lense is a lid to a toddler cup that we lost long ago. Baby clothes are so cute, and these hooks provide quick solutions for hanging out clothes for the next day. mobile view

That nursery mobile is one of my tip top favorite things in the room. My other artist friend (yes, I have many), Jenny Bolhofner, handmade it for me. Follow her on Instagram right now. It is handcrafted with perfection and full of love.  doterra close up

Side tables next to a rocker are essential with a new born. This side table was from Ari’s nursery, we don’t do bottles or anything with him anymore, so it really wasn’t being used. I did give it a coat of white paint, originally it was black. Do you see my essential oils? I’m so into them. I buy mine from my friend, Lauren. Here is her link. Lavender and On Guard are the two I researched as being top picks for baby. Lavender is calming, and helps with sleepy time and fussiness. On Guard helps build up the immune system. Both of these I will also be using. My personal favorite oil is the lemon essential oil. I’ve been using it on my face for 8 months, and it’s gotten rid of most of my skin discoloration, gives a boost of energy, and well, I crave lemons at all times so I definitely put it on my nose often so I can smell and be weird. What essential oils are you using? I need to know, now!

view from crib corner

I saved a lot of money by doing a lot of these nursery projects myself, but I did splurge on window treatments. The “Fiddle Leaf” fabric on the window valance is designer fabric, but I bought it when I first found out I was pregnant, and planned on using it as the inspiration for the nursery despite the gender. One yard is $75, but whatever, get over it. I also replaced super cheap blinds with a nicer wicker roman shade. The window is so small, it was only about $35 from Home Depot. Because I am only a below average amateur photographer, you really can’t even enjoy or see the shades, someone teach me how to photograph directly into a window without washing out all the color from overexposure.

detail of window wall

The white crib was a gift from my mother in law. The rocker was another splurge item. In my opinion, a rocker is more important than any other item in the nursery, including the bed. I spent hours upon hours rocking Ari in his rocker. Mike did too. And he eventually broke it, yet we still use it? Anyway, I absolutely hate the brownish tan color of this rocker, but I love everything else about it. We bought it on cyber monday from  I always wanted a pottery barn rocker, but this one was in our budget. I hate when you have to stay in a budget, how annoying. If you’re wondering why I didn’t return it since I hated the color, it’s because I’m lazy. The plaid rug is also from Overstock, like the rocker, the colors on overstock screen are not true to the real rug colors, but for $99, whatever, I can work around it.

view from closet

I mention this often, but I’m slowly but surely trying my hardest to tackle different rooms in my house, making things functional and systematic. Having this nursery complete feels great, I love having it checked off my ever growing “to-do” list. Other parts of my house remain complete chaos. And that’s not fabrication, legit, three rooms in my house are full of junk. Just yesterday I found a molding flower in a jar, I didn’t even know it was there. Yes, I threw it away. My problem is I bounce from project to project, I need to get better about finishing one thing completely before moving on. I have about six weeks left until the baby comes, but want to have my life together within two. I want rooms to be cleaned and organized, I want to have things all set up for when the baby comes, and I want to stop biting my nails so that they can be super cute while I’m delivering a baby.


4 Comments on “Maxwell’s Nursery Project: The Full Reveal

  1. Hi Lauren! I just found your site and already know that you will be one I follow regularly. Great job on the nursery!! I look forward to seeing more of your work!


    PS Try Frankincense EO 😀 I mix it with lemon EO for my face. I don’t have to use moisturizer

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