A Gender-Neutral Travel Inspired Nursery | Modern Animal Safari Theme
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Being born to two parents who have a fierce love of travel, not only means you’ll begin exploring the world before birth, but also that your room will be filled with aspirations of all the places you’ll see and the wondrous variety of creatures you’ll meet. Part of the joy of having kids is sharing your passions with them and seeing the world in a new light through their eyes. We are so excited to meet our little one, see them smile for the first time, and help them take their first steps – but even more, we are excited to introduce them to different cultures, watch them ride on the back of a camel, and have them explore the jaw-dropping nature around the world. And when we aren’t away traveling – we wanted a nursery to foster their adventurous spirit.
We wanted a nursery that would grow with them as they get older, would fit with the design of our house, and suit whatever personality they end up having. We live in a beautiful 1901 brick victorian row home with high ceilings, large windows, and exposed brick.
The design started with finding the perfect map mural. The colorful one that we fell in love with also incorporated our love of animals. Some of our favorite memories around the world involve the native wildlife – from petting alpacas in Peru to feeding monkeys in Japan to whale watching in Iceland. To highlight the safari theme, we included a 4-foot tall giraffe, an alpaca rocking chair, and a couple of stuffed animals (rabbit, fox, and llama). To fit in with the rest of our home, we went with more modern furniture that is practical long-term. The crib will convert into a toddler bed in the future. The beautiful quilt was handmade by the baby’s Mimi. We wanted a large space in the middle of the room for play, so we got a huge and extremely soft shag rug that practically stretches wall to wall.
The mural wallpaper came in strips that matched up to the size of our wallpaper. As wallpapering novices, we struggled a bit with getting the seams perfect and avoiding getting paste on the front of the paper. All in all, it was relatively easy to follow the instructions provided with the wallpaper and it was a DIY touch to the room. If only I could say that I painted it myself.
We picked out a dresser with pulls and accents reminiscent of a travel chest, but still modern. The color of the dresser worked well with the color palette of the mural. The dresser was part of a line of nursery furniture, which made it easy to get a matching changing table topper and changing pad to add on top. The topper screws on to the back of the dresser so it is stable when it is needed, but can be taken off to grow with baby. This eliminates the need for a separate changing table that would take up space, may not be used frequently, and will be obsolete in 3 years.
To either side of the dresser is a clothes hamper and an Ubbi diaper pail. We skipped getting an expensive glider and instead put in a recliner chair that we’ve had for years. The baby afghan on top is handmade by the baby’s grandma and the always pillow is in reference to a quote from Harry Potter and correlates to our child’s first name. The pouf ottoman adds extra comfort for the late-night feeds.
Onto the playful corner of the nursery, we have four bookshelves that were converted IKEA spice racks that I painted white. I foolishly painted them with white primer, sanded down the pieces and then assembled the shelves. If you were to use these spice racks in your own nursery, I’d suggest instead to assemble them first and then spray paint them the color that you want. The shelves are deep enough to have 3-4 layers of books on each one. Our colorful play-mat is from Lovevery and is designed to stimulate the baby’s brain at different stages during their first-year development. This pricey play gym comes with a booklet that details how you should encourage your baby to play during tummy time each month.
To add extra storage in the closet, we built an IKEA cubby storage system with a row of baskets at the bottom. To make changing easier and since we had enough room, we hung up all of the baby’s clothes with infant hangers that are divided by size markers. The dresser is filled with diapers, pants, smaller clothing accessories (hats, socks, bibs), sheets, burp cloths, and swaddles.
On the final wall, we have 3 floating shelves to display some of the knick-knacks we’ve picked up while traveling. We hope to fill out the shelves more with items we accumulate from trips with the baby and exchange the pictures of us in New Zealand and Japan while I was pregnant with pictures of the three of us. The shelves also provide a convenient place to put the baby monitor so it faces into the crib and can rotate to see the rest of the room.
So that is a look into our baby’s nursery. We will be bringing the little one home in just a matter of days!