The second I found out I was pregnant I started imagining what kind of mural I wanted to paint in our baby’s room. Even though my parents weren’t ‘artists’ they both painted murals in my brother’s and my room when we were growing up. My first mural was a pretty straightforward – but awesome – rainbow with clouds that my mom painted. My brother’s was a life size outline of 1980’s tennis champion Ivan Lendl. As I recall, my dad painted it as a surprise when my brother was away for a few days at tennis camp. He loved it! I’m not sure he was quite as thrilled when my dad went on to surprise him a second time by painting a gigantic Nike stripe on my brother’s white car a few years later when he was in high school. It looked like he was driving around in a sneaker. Regardless, we felt the love and I always knew I would paint something for my own child. I just finished a small forest of birch trees on the walls our little one’s nursery.
My husband and I live in an apartment in a three family home. We own the house, and only plan on living here for a few more years, so I didn’t want to paint anything too involved or something that we’d have to worry about painting over when we rent the apartment. I stumbled upon a great stencil that could be projected on a wall from jenloveskev on etsy.com that was perfect! I just drew the birch trees on the wall freehand, but wanted to at least buy her stencil since I was using her idea. It’s a great drawing and would make it easy for even the least artistically inclined person to create a beautiful mural.
My husband and I each added a few things to the room that express our interests. My husband likes outer space and installed a great ceiling fan that features rocket ships and planet Earth. He also put an Uncle Milton Moon in My Room on our baby registry which was given to us by some friends at our shower. It’s a light that shows the 12 phases of the moon and even comes with a 15 minute guided tour of the moon CD.
I hung a branch that my dad and I cut from a tree in my parents’ backyard. We loved the Blessing Tree idea that we saw here on Offbeat Mama and hung prayers and wishes from the branch that were written for our baby by some of our closest friends. It’s like a beautiful mobile – only better – because it doesn’t need batteries or play awful music.
The one thing we did spend a lot of time researching was the furniture because we wanted something that would grow with our child and we were hoping to find something that was made in America. We opted for a crib and dresser from Stanley’s Young America line. The crib is equipped to turn into both a toddler and day bed and eventually converts into a full sized bed frame! It’s made really well and we love it. I’m sure our child will grow tired of it before it wears out.
The biggest challenge with creating our baby’s room was keeping it fairly simple. There are so many themes out there and so many useless things to buy! We listened to a great pediatrician on a panel who advised new parents to limit their children toys to 3 or 4 things. He said that if you overwhelm them with too many ‘things’ they’ll never really explore or learn how to use any of them. It can be tough to do that with all the gifts given at baby showers and holidays, but we think it’s a great philosophy and plan to adhere to it as much as we can. For now, we’ve got a great selection of books, some nice soft toys and a wall of picture frames ready to be filled with photographs of everyone who loves our soon-to-be-born son or daughter!