A Room for Baby Balloon

We are into surprise babies around here. By that I mean that we are on the don’t-find-out-the-gender bandwagon. I’m not going to argue that everyone should do it … I get that for emotional sanity, not everyone can! I’m also not going to argue that it’s one of life’s last true surprises as many folks do. It’s just FUN for us.

The first question I get from people is, “How do you decorate the nursery without knowing the gender?” I’m not really a stereotypical decorator anyway, so I just kind of go for it. For my first two, that meant lots of COLOR (those who know me best were not surprised at all). But Balloon’s room already had blue-on-blue striped wallpaper. It’s really pretty wallpaper, and we did NOT want to take down wallpaper. So I went with it. What has resulted is a sweet room that any baby would love. (As much as a baby gives a flip about their room, amiright?)

Before I give you a tour, let me just go ahead and say a few things: 1-I don’t know how to take and edit indoor pictures. The walls look a different color in every picture here. 2-Yes, there is stuff under the dresser and under the bed. I am not aiming to ever be a home-style blogger. Obviously. What I am is a real-life blogger. And for real … we store stuff under our beds.

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This sign hung over the doorway to Kenny’s nursery as a baby. What a sweet way to welcome people into our kiddo’s room.
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Woops … forgot to move the baby gate. Seriously … not a home-style blogger.

For the most part, I was okay with re-purposing items or buying things already made this time around. But I did craft/create a few things myself. For the video monitor, we needed a little more height. So I took a stack of books that we don’t really read but don’t want to get rid of (things like a Calculus text-book, some theology books on youth ministry, and a couple of classic novels) and covered them in pretty fabrics.

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The panda head and the laundry basket are both from Target. The diaper bag that is randomly stashed under the dresser is my favorite. Ask if you’re interested in details.

I had a dream of making these beautiful curtains that are white with a large-scale modern floral print in grey. Something very Marimekko in style. I did find the fabric I liked … and it was $60/yard. SO … I bought basic Ikea curtains and added grey fringe trim I got for $1/yard on my Fabricut run to Pryor. Then we hung them from the ceiling for a more dramatic effect. And you know what? I think I totally love them.

We decided to leave the bed in the room. It’s a big room, so space wasn’t an issue. And it’s nice to have a spare bed for guests. The quilt across the bottom of the bed matches nothing else in the room, and I don’t care. It was made by my grandmother, and we used it on Elsie’s bed for two years. It will stay and I do not need a perfectly matching room!

I also really wanted to recover our glider rocker. But that wasn’t in the budget. So I bought a slipcover. It looked awful. SO, I accepted that a baby’s going to be spitting up on it anyway. I hung some grey fabric across the back, decorated with my beautiful African marriage blanket (is that what it’s called, Em?), and threw some sherpa I’ve been hoarding on the ottoman. It’s not perfect, but it will do. I’ll keep you updated if Balloon has strong opinions on his/her non-recovered glider.

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Once the baby arrives, I plan to hang either their monogram (if a girl) or first initial (if a boy) on the wall here over the glider. 

The one item I was most excited about creating was the wall-hanging over the changing table. My sister-in-law Laura had sent me a snap of a really cool wall hanging made with yarn and a limb. So I took the idea and ran. I collected various grey, white, and patterned fabrics from my stash and cut strips from them. Then I simply looped them around a limb from the redbud tree we recently cut down. After hanging the strips, I trimmed them up to look evenly uneven. I used some scraps of black leather to hang my “art” on the wall. I LOVE IT SO MUCH.

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My favorite part of the room just got completed this weekend, though. As a nod to his/her in-utero nickname, I had Elsie and Caroline paint balloon pictures to go over the crib. They are messy and imperfect and don’t match anything in the room. AND I LOVE THEM.

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It’s baby week, y’all. We will meet our kiddo THIS WEEK. And I am so excited. I enjoyed creating this space for him or her. And it has been more fun than I ever imagined to see how excited my big girls have been by this process. I’ll be back tomorrow with another make for Balloon.

 

No affiliate links here. I still don’t know how to do that. I just wanted to be informative in case you liked any of my stuff.

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Southern Hospitality

I grew up in a home with an open door policy. Honestly, I never realized it was either unique or all that Southern … it was just the way it was. Everyone (truly) always knew they were welcome in our home. Friends and acquaintances spent countless hours in my childhood home. And my parents always always always made them feel welcome and like a part of the family.

This has defined hospitality for me throughout my life. Often, I think we point towards those with the prettiest houses or the best decorating skills or the most impressive cooking ability and say, “Wow, she’s so hospitable.” But what about those homes where you immediately feel welcomed and comfortable? To me, THAT is hospitality. That’s what I desire to cultivate and create in our home here in Tulsa. Call it Southern if you want … to me, it just feels right.

While all that holds true, sometimes I do like to entertain and decorate! This month my brother-in-law married a wonderful girl who is now my new sister. (YAY!) My mom graciously offered to host a bridal brunch for Laura and the bridesmaids. Then, the week of the wedding, my beloved uncle passed away, and my parents headed to NC to celebrate his life. Suddenly, I was hosting the bridal brunch. And you know what? I loved every minute.

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I got to decorate my tables like I never do … like people do on decorating blogs or pinterest. You know … in those ways that aren’t practical when you live with a four-year-old and a two-year-old. I got to break out my wedding china and my estate-sale-purchased silver flatware. I got to be fancy.

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One quirk about me is that I love using cloth napkins. We use cloth napkins daily … I love that they actually absorb the mess of a meal. I love that it’s not creating even more trash. I love that it makes even taco night feel a little fancy. So for this brunch, we bought a few yards of beautiful fabric and I turned them into cloth napkins!

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Fabric purchased from Hobby Lobby. The floral is by Fabric Traditions, and the gold crosses are by Brother Sister Design Studio. I’d never heard of either … I just thought they were pretty.

It’s a simple process. If you have a serger (I love my Brother 1034D*), it’s as simple as following the serger instructions for creating a rolled hem. I just cut the fabric into 20″ squares and serged the edges. Done.

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If you don’t have a serger, you could either use a finishing stitch on your machine like one of these two:

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Stitch 9 or stitch 20 would be good edge finishers.

Or you could just use pinking shears, cut a square of fabric, and call it a day. No one cares if their napkin edges aren’t “finished,” and it still lends that extra cloth-napkin touch to any meal.

Now that I’ve shown you my fancy, let me return to my regularly scheduled life of Legos, pjs, and “welcome to my home, please ignore the laundry!”

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Elsie just hollered from the other room, “Momma, why are we still wearing pajamas?” Because it’s Monday, kid.

You really are welcome … come on over!

*Not an affiliate link. I don’t know how to do that.