I’ve always loved looking at people’s nursery photos, it’s just such a precious little space and the themes are so adorable! As we knew we weren’t finding out the gender of our baby, we always knew we’d have a gender neutral nursery, and there’s still so many themes to choose from. My favourites were under the sea and safari, but we went with safari after finding the perfect wallpaper.
Our box room had always been Paul’s home office since we moved in. Our bigger bedroom has built in wardrobes all the way around and we use it as a dressing room, so it just wouldn’t have been suitable for a nursery without ripping it all out. With Paul now having his own business and being fully home based, he had no choice but to move out of the box room so we could use it as a nursery, and move into an outdoor home office. This has made the whole process a lot more complicated and it’s taken a lot longer, with a lot more work than your usual nursery, but now it’s done it’s so worth it.
Planning and inspo
For me, Instagram has overtaken Pinterest now when it comes to making collections for inspo. I create boards and save instagram posts to look back on, which are so helpful. I used hashtags such as #smallnursery, #neutralnursery and #safarinursery to get inspo, I followed these hashtags and then saved posts that I liked whenever I saw them when generally using instagram. I made a couple of mood boards to explore colour schemes within the safari theme, and was torn between navy wallpaper and brown paint with a green leaf wall, or cream wallpaper and green paint with the leaf wall.
We decided on the navy colour scheme as we felt it was a little bit different. It’s turned out such a lovely shade. It’s really dark and doesn’t look too ‘blue’, which we were conscious about knowing we could be having a little girl! The wallpaper is by Graham and Brown, and is available at Wilko and The Range. At £20 a roll, it’s really affordable, and if you’re using your box room as a nursery like we are then you’ll only need a couple of rolls if you’re doing a feature wall.
TIP: It does tear easily though, and the pattern isn’t easy to match up, so we got a professional to put it up.
Choosing our paint took forever, you think colours are light until you test them and suddenly on the wall they’re really dark! We settled on this lovely sandy nude shade called Sassafrass tea, which is from B&Q’s Valspar range. We always go with this paint as it’s good quality and they have so many shades to pick from.
TIP: we always buy a tester pot at the same time to keep for touching up walls later on if they get scratched or you need to fill holes in.
I was most excited about our leaf wall. I knew I wanted this from the beginning as I haven’t seen it done in any other nurseries before. We used the IKEA FEJKA green leaf panels, they’re so well designed they just slot into each other a bit like a jigsaw, then you only need to screw along the outside. We just trimmed the excess using scissors so it fitted our walls. Although you can’t see a lot of the leaf wall because of the canopy, I think it just adds something a bit more special to the room and is perfect for the safari theme.
Another favourite part of the nursery for me is the Spinkie Dreamy hanging canopy. Paul was concerned this was a little too girly, but I’d loved it for so long I didn’t care. I think when blended in with the rest of room it doesn’t look girly at all! This is the champagne colour, but it’s also available in other beautiful shades. It’s not cheap at £139, but it’s such high quality.
We ordered this from a Spinkie UK distributor called Cute Creative Crafts. They also have loads of other cute nursery stuff so it’s worth taking a look. We were lucky this shade was in stock as you can wait weeks to get one of these. You can also add accessories like pom poms to these canopies that look super cute, and they have matching soft toys.
TIP: Be careful as there are loads of fakes around of this canopy from China that turn up looking nothing like the real thing! The real Spinkie one is really thick with loads of layers of tulle.
Our nursery furniture was a fab bargain from Aldi when they did a recent baby event. We had planned to get our furniture from IKEA, but this was such a good deal from Aldi we went with this instead for our wardrobe and changing unit.
The Aldi wardrobe is great inside, has multiple hanging rails and draws and is really spacious. I added in some IKEA KVARNVIK storage boxes for the top shelf in a lovely beige shade, these are also available in grey and in a bigger size. We also added some larger IKEA GABBIG storage boxes for on top of the wardrobe. At the moment these have nappies, wipes and 6-9 months and above clothes in, so they’re really handy already!
The changing table is also really well designed, it includes 2 drawers and 2 cupboard doors, and the top section where you change the baby completely removes and it can be used as a chest of drawers.
Inside the draws we used the IKEA SKUBB draw dividers, these are so handy for separating clothes sizes so you don’t get confused, and helps keeps the drawers organised and tidy. I got the mini chalkboard pegs and a liquid chalk pen from Amazon. These can be rubbed off and re-written when the baby’s sizes change. These are so helpful as it means we don’t have to keep getting clothes out to check the sizes.
I swapped the plain handles for some brass animal ones I found on Etsy, and they’re so adorable.
TIP: we had to buy a mix of different sized washers to get these to secure tightly as all the threads were different. I think these were shipped from China as well so they took a while to arrive.
Our cot is the Comfort Baby Global SmartGrow 7in1, and is a modular design where it starts off as a circle, then you add panels in to make it into a full size cot when the baby grows out of it. We’re using the round cot in our bedroom until the baby is around 6 months, then they’ll be moving into their nursery into their big cot. It’s a 7 in 1 bed, so can be used in so many different ways. This meant we didn’t need to buy a separate Moses basket or next to me, so saves on cost and also space in the house! I absolutely love the rounded design also as it’s unique. The baby’s cot will be kept completely clear except for a blanket tucked in at the edges until they’re old enough for a sleeping bag.
My favourite part. Accessories are what make a home I think. It’s where you can add your personality into a room and make it really personal.
Our stunning changing basket is the Olli Ella Reva, I knew I wanted this one from the very beginning as it’s just beautiful, and matches perfectly with the safari theme. It’s always sold out, so I kept checking for months until it became available again.
TIP: the inserts for the changing basket are sold separately, we ordered 2 so one can go in the wash, as I’m expecting these to get VERY messy! The inserts are available in a few different colours to match your nursery theme.
I absolutely LOVE our curtains and curtain accessories. The curtains are the Curtina Leopard Stone Jacquard Eyelet curtains from Dunelm and they’re available in a few different sizes and drops. I love that the leopard print is really subtle and the colour goes lovely with the others in the room. I’m not a huge fan of leopard print normally, but loved these so much. We thought the shorter drop would be more practical for a nursery and especially in a small room, but normally I love it when curtains are slightly too long and gather on the floor – maybe in our next house?!
Also from Dunelm, we got the Pair of Monkey Finals, Monkey Curtain Dresser (not sold in pairs), and the matching curtain pole. They’re just perfect for the theme and I’m so happy I found this range. Dunelm also have beautiful monkey lights and lamps that match, but unfortunately we don’t have the space in our little box room!
TIP: the rawlplugs supplied with the curtain dressers aren’t really big enough for keeping them in the wall, so order some bigger ones just in case it doesn’t work for you either.
The clear shelves on the feature wall are the IKEA MELLÖSA. They attach really easily to the wall with just 2 small screws, and are great for displaying frames, plants and other little ornaments. All of the frames on these shelves are also from Dunelm, how cute is the little leopard frame! I was made up when I came across this and had to order. Some frames are still blank as we’re waiting to know the gender and name of Baby E so we can order some personalised prints. I’ve popped some safari wallpaper samples in a few to add some colour to the room.
All of the hanging plants, pots and vases are from IKEA, all the pampas grasses and the Hakuna Matata print are from eBay, and the gold giraffe ornament was a fab little B&M find! A few people had seen it and messaged me about it so I was really happy I managed to get one.
The little white bookshelves are actually the IKEA BEKVAM spice racks, I sprayed them with a primer and then white spray paint I got from B&M and they turned out really well. These were a nightmare to stick to the wardrobe however. We tried ‘Sticks like Sh**’, spent £20 on heavy duty velcro strips and both failed, so we resorted to screwing straight into the wardrobe. They’re great here though as they’re out the way and easy to access.
TIP: go straight into screwing these into the wall or wherever you’re putting them, Don’t waste time and money on sticky things!
Our light shade is the IKEA TORARED seagrass pendant, and again it just went perfectly with the theme and was a bargain at just £13. This is super easy to put up, literally took about 20 seconds.
Finally, the macrame plant hanger was a gift and was handmade by my sister. I thought it was a lovely addition to the room and it’s extra special that’s it’s such a personal gift. My sister now lives in Canada so isn’t taking UK orders unfortunately, but I’m really glad Baby E has a little something from Auntie B in their room. The pot and plant inside the macrame hanger are IKEA.
Sorry for the long blog post, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about how we put out nursery together. We can’t wait to show Baby E their room, we hope they love it as much as we do! Let me know if you have any questions…
Love Mrs E