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Squid & Birch is a lettering and design shop offering prints, cards, and flair for fans of all things nerdy and cheeky.

Nursery Tour

Nursery Tour

As promised, today I'm taking you on a full tour of Susanna's room.

A small room, it's 9 1/2 by 10 feet -- perfect for this doll.

When we moved into our house, all of the interior walls were beige and the nursery consisted of a portable crib and the changing table, which was the only piece of furniture we'd managed to finish.  This is the only "before" photo I have, which shows the original wall color, but an "after" shot of the changing table.

The first step was to paint the walls Misty Gray by Benjamin Moore.  I knew I wanted a neutral backdrop for all the pops of color I was going to add, but something on the gray spectrum rather than the brown.

Because of the space constraints, I opted to remove the closet door.  Adding one of the aforementioned color pops on the closet walls was an obvious choice.

The crib and changing table were gifted to us by our sweet friends Sarah and Cody, whose children have grown out of baby furniture.  My original plan was to purchase the Gulliver Crib from Ikea, but I can't turn down free furniture that's in pretty good shape!

The crib had a few minor scratches and was stained a dark cherry.  For this small room, I knew I wanted to keep the wood light.  I sanded down all the pieces, then painted the crib this matte gray color, which I just adore.  It may seem like a strange choice, but I really liked the rustic look of the sanded drawer underneath.  When I mentioned it to Chris, he remarked that he thought we should leave the drawer unpainted for contrast.  Decision made.

I added these cool knobs to tie in the gray and the crib was done.  I love the result, even more than the original crib I'd planned to purchase.

I don't have any "before" shots of the changing table, but it was stained the same color as the crib.  We painted it Simply White and added more fun knobs.

The little nicks in the paint job are the results of tiny chompers.

We're so grateful to Sarah and Cody; these are great pieces!

The rug we chose is made of braided silk scarves.  Super soft and full of fun colors, this was one of the first pieces I picked out for the room, along with the chevron hamper.

I know chevron is sort of everywhere right now and I'd hate to overdo it, but I'm really fond of the pattern and thought a couple of additions couldn't hurt.

Mounting the letters of Susanna's name in frames above the crib was a fun craft project.  I was inspired by this photo I found on Pinterest.  Over time, I collected frames I liked, then ordered the wood letters from this company.  I wanted to keep them classic, since there was already a lot going on with the frames, but they offer dozens of fonts from which to choose.

The leather chair was handed down by my parents.  A few cat scratches add, um, character.  The leather is super soft and makes for a very comfortable snuggling chair.  There wasn't much room for a side table, so I updated an old plant stand purchased years ago at a garage sale by painting the top to match the closet walls.

It's just the right size for a lamp, a bottle, and a bedtime book.

The quilt on the chair was made by my Aunt Marta.  It's not only beautiful, but the backing is minky so it's unbelievably soft.  Here's a little more of the detail.

I blogged about the baby quilt I made that now hangs over the crib and the wall grouping above the changing table here and here.

I've saved what is probably my favorite part of the room for last.  It's a wall shelf built by my late grandpa Dick Johnson.  It hung in my room as a little girl and I painted it to match Susanna's crib so she could have it in her room, too.



The sock monkey was also made by my Aunt Marta.  The little statue of mother and child was my first Mother's Day gift from Chris's parents.  The old fashioned music box plays "You Are My Sunshine" and came from my parents.

Hanging underneath are, from right to left, a baby bracelet and ring that my dad bought for me when I was a baby, then gave to me last year for Mother's Day; my childhood Mary Poppins music box that plays "Chim Chim Cher-ee"; a cute stuffed puppy from my mom that plays "Frere Jacques"; and a baby spoon handmade by our talented friend, George.

The only other thing I'd like to do with this room is to make wool blanket curtains for the windows like these.  First, they're cute.  Second, this room's a bit drafty and wool curtains will be insulating.  Hopefully I'll get those done by winter, making this the only "finished" room in our home.

As I've stated before, I had a lot of fun decorating this room.  Bringing in elements from my childhood, updating hand-me-downs, and finding new, fun pieces brought me a lot of joy.  Susanna has fun looking around her room and pointing out her favorite things everyday.

Left to right: Ethel Mermaid, Carl the Snowman, Mary (handmade by my mom and named after her mom,) Gertrude, Herbert, Cecil, and Belker Bun


  • Paint Colors (all by Benjamin Moore)
    • Walls: Misty Gray (eggshell finish)
    • Closet and Side Table: Mermaid Green (matte finish)
    • Crib and Shelf: Pewter (matte finish)
    • Changing Table: Simply White (eggshell finish)
  • Knobs: World Market
  • Rug: World Market
  • Lavender Wire Basket: Home Goods
  • Hamper: Home Goods
  • Wood Letters: Craft Cuts
  • Frames: Hobby Lobby
  • Paper Fans: Martha Stewart Paper Crafts, available at Michael's
  • Giant Clothespin (holding quilt): Amazon
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Happy Mother's Day

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