Monday, June 10, 2013

A Room for Audrey

WARNING: This is a long post, and there is no reward for enduring to the end. ♦

Many moons before I knew I had a grandbaby on the way, I had this empty space upstairs needing a makeover and a purpose. I already have an office and a guest room upstairs, so my plan was sketchy at best. Three things I was sure of, however: The walls needed paint, the blinds needed a bonfire and the ceiling fan could cool somebody else on hot summer days.
After hearing a grandbaby was coming (you can read more about that here), I decided to make it a transitional room of sorts. The baby wouldn't be living with me, of course, but I would put a crib in there and let the space evolve as time and age dictated.

And so, the fun began!

After two coats of Beher's "Gentle Rain" (a color I had chosen many moons ago), I started thinking about furniture. Other than the crib, I wanted everything to be somewhat vintage. I had already bought a $20 coffee table at Goodwill, so I decided to paint it and figure out later if it stayed or went. I used Benjamin Moore Advance paint in "Super White."

I liked how it turned out, but I had no clue how to use it in a nursery. Maybe inspiration would strike before long.
Next, I wanted a chest of drawers, and I spotted the perfect one at a roadside flea market. It needed some sprucing up, but the price was right, so me and Twin Sis loaded it up and hauled it to my garage.

My original intent was to paint it, but the more I looked at it, the more I liked the warmth of the wood. It would bring contrast to the white crib I had ordered. The handles were corroded, so they would be soaked in Brasso and cleaned. The missing trim could be disguised with a brown marker until a more final fix could be done. (Don't judge me.)

Of course, every newborn needs a rocking chair, so I asked Mom if I could borrow hers from an extra guest room. She said yes, and agreed to me painting it. I used the Benjaman Moore's "Super White" paint.

Slowly, but surely, things were moving along. (And you may have moved along, too, but the story continues.)
I had planned to use "travel" as an underlying theme in the room, prior to grandbaby news. I wasn't sure how I'd incorporate that into a nursery, but where there's a will, there's a way.

I bought a few globes, and then my daughter mentioned a book from Dr. Seuss, "Oh, the places you'll go!" I ordered this custom piece from Etsy, and I think it's perfect.

Twin sister knew I was interested in using maps as decor, so she brought me some old ones that Mother was discarding. I was immediately drawn to the Texas map and decided to make a bunting banner out of it, which would be a real stretch for me, since I am creative, but not necessarily crafty. I didn't realize how special the map was, until I saw the date on it: 1969 - the year the Allen clan moved to Texas. (Is that special, or what?)

I can hear me telling Audrey the story now. "In 1969, your great-grandparents moved me and your great aunties from Mississippi to Texas, and this bunting banner was made from the map they used to help us navigate our way across the fruited plain in our covered wagon...I mean, Pontiac."

I have to tell you that each step of this project was oozing with "Nonni love," and this is, by far, my favorite thing in the room. Maybe I'll do a blog later with step-by-step instructions for making it.
There were a million other small projects and purchases along the way, but I think it's time to show you how it all came together. I do hope you are awake for the big reveal!

Drum roll.....

Audrey's Room!

 Special friends await Audrey's arrival.
The bunny on the upper left in the collage is Flopsy.
She was Leslie's favorite stuffed animal as a little girl.
The orange dog was Nonni's.

The suitcases and the white wicker chair came from our local antique gallery.

 I think the old Dixie chest brings such warmth to the room,
and I'm so glad I didn't paint it.

Thanks to my friend Ann for this wonderful picture frame.
It has special meaning to me.

 I love the colors of the maps and the globe.

 The ceramic dog basket on top of the chest was Mother's.
I loved it as a child, and I love it even more now.

This side of the room makes me smile. So many memories here.

Leslie got Big Bird for Christmas, the year she turned two. The little ladder he's sitting on came from a vintage shop in Galveston. The "Jesus Forgives" sign was made by Leslie in Sunday school while staying with Nana and Papa in the summer of '91. The wood rocker was a gift to Leslie from her MiMi Cox, and the lighted globe is a vintage Fisher-Price that Twin Sis found during her last trip.

I think the coffee table fits right in, don't you?

 This wall represents Audrey's mother, grandmother,
great-grandmother and great-great grandmother.

 The shoes (and dresses) are her mother's.

 The thimbles on top of the blocks are her great-grandmother's.
The letter was sent to me in 1979 from her great-great grandmother.

This adorable print was also her great-great grandmother's,
and Nonni adored it every time she went to visit.

 The tall "Fuzzy Wuzzy" puzzle was mine.

Well, I guess that's enough about "The Nursery that Nonni Built." If you are still reading, thank you for enduring to the end. I've spent many hours and a ton of energy in creating this room for my first grandchild. I hope only happy memories are made here, and that she comes to visit me often. ♦


  1. It's lovely - full of memories, love and just waiting for new memories to be made. Audrey is one blessed little girl already - you're going to be her Nonni. You will find love like no other you've ever known and I'm so happy about it~!

    1. Thank you, sweet friend. I can't imagine the love that will be between us, but I'm excited to experience it!

  2. I love the room you've lovingly prepared for Audrey. Is she your first grandchild? There's nothing like becoming a grandmother. I heard people say that but didn't realize what they meant until God blessed me with a sweet little girl who calls me Gaga. And, I never would have thought a coffee table would work in a nursery, but it's perfect. The fact that almost everything in the room has special meaning makes it more special. Spend many precious hours in that room loving and teaching Audrey. She is a blessed baby to be born to a grandmother that is so excited for her entry into this world.

    1. Yes, Janice, she is my first grandchild. Thanks for your kind words. I'm excited to meet her.

  3. Lovely! Everything fits perfectly! A lot of love in every detail and every corner, the suitcases are charming.


  4. Beautiful nursery for your new little much thought and care put into every element. She is blessed already!

  5. I love everything about this! It is perfect! And having a room for her at your house is soo good. You will use it death I am sure. I had a room at my old house for my grands and I have sooo missed it here. A closet full of toy shelves, a comfy futon to watch their movies on or to make into a bed to spend the night, a little table and chair set to work their puzzles, color or play games, an old entertainment unit that held the TV, their special kid videos, and the WEI. It was practically the most used room in the house. We even put a little Christmas tree in it at Christmas time and let them all decorate it. The possibilities go on and on. Anyway, good job Nonni! Let the memories begin!

  6. WoW!! Beautiful room! So much love in every picture and every word. You are a wonderful Nonni. Audrey is so blessed!

  7. Love it! And I know Audrey will too. :) Good job, Nonni!

  8. Perfect!
    Every detail has meaning...just like Audrey.

  9. The thoughtfulness and love you put into decorating that room for your grandchild is simply inspiring. Love how you wove family history into all the little details. Beautiful!

  10. Great-Aunt Dayle adores this room and knows Audrey will too. Your hard work is evident, as is your love for this blessed child.

  11. I love this!!! I mean I really and truly love every inch of it. I am just pathetic enough to already have a pin board for the future occasion of being a grandmother, and I am pinning this for it. (Don't judge me, either)

  12. This room evokes so much love--I'm sure precious little Audrey will soak up every ounce of it. Being a grandmother is one of the greatest joys in life. Congratulations!

  13. It's so very lovely and sweet. Enjoy yourself Grandma!

  14. This is such a sweet room for a sweet baby. I really love the bunting and the family story behind it. The old suitcases are great! Hope you have a great week.


  15. The room is absolutely perfect and will be enjoyed completely. Loving every thought out detail... the wall color is lovely and the orange accents with the white furniture pieces are so relaxing. Being a grandparent is so very special :) Excited for you all :)