Uli’s sweet animal-filled nursery

Guest post by Elka Karl

We never considered putting Uli in a separate bedroom. We were open to it if it seemed like that was what would be best for him, but I was really influenced by the co-sleeping information on Dr. Sears’ website. Plus, it just felt right for us, and that was definitely true as soon as Uli was born.

Garland I made and we used for wedding; wedding quilt given to us at . . . wedding

Also influencing us was our house’s size and the number of houseguests we usually entertain (at least one weekend a month is spent putting up friends or family, and usually more). Since we only have two bedrooms, and one of these is now a combination guest bedroom/nursery, we wanted to try to keep it reserved for guests for as long as possible. This was fairly easy since instead of a bed, we have a pullout sofabed (that’s actually very comfortable). Putting Uli’s crib in our room ensured that there was room for our guests when the bed was pulled out, and when they weren’t there, it left us a lot of room for playing.

My eight-year-old sister Grace and I made this mobile from $.49 Ikea stuffed animals, an embroidery hoop, and leftover fabric and ribbon. Uli loves it. The blanket was made by a friend who actually repeated a serenity prayer over it the entire time she was knitting. Seems to have worked–it helps Uli go to sleep quickly.

The “magic bunny” is in there as well. It has some serious good magic going on; we have no idea who gave it to us, but Uli holds it and noms on its ears as soon as we put him in the crib, and then falls asleep within a minute or two. I know that you’re not supposed to have animals/blankets in cribs, but I suppose we’re living on the edge with these exceptions. We bought the crib on Craigslist for $50 from another co-sleeping family, and it’s in terrific shape, and the crib sheet is vintage, thrifted. Uli sleeps in his crib for naps, and starts out his bedtime in it as well before moving into bed to co-sleep with us.

I love how sunny our bedroom is. Most of what I decorate with has been handmade or thrifted. We had the bedframe built by a local carpenter using FSC-certified maple and a no-VOC finish. We had it built high enough so our dog could sleep under the bed (it’s a real space saver in a small bedroom), but now I’m realizing that was a dumb decision with a baby who’s going to start crawling any second. I reupholstered the little Danish dining chair ($4) from St. Vincent’s in Amy Butler fabric, and a friend made the turned wood stool that the money tree’s sitting on.

We repainted the bedroom recently from a deep blue to a very light blue gray using a low-VOC paint. The coverlet is cotton, thrifted. I kind of hate the sconces (someday they’ll be replaced), but I love that we can adjust the light and leave it very low when we put Uli to bed.

I’d put up the bird mobile before Uli was born, but it’s something he’s stared at in bed with us since he was a tiny tiny newborn (well, tiny for Uli, he was born weighing nearly 10 pounds). I have these awesome early days mommy memories of reaching up, twirling the feather, and watching him track the mobile as it moved in circles above us.

Wall of Horse
This is the guest room/soon-to-be Uli’s room. There’s nothing subtle about this paint color. I think it’s Green Apple, another low-VOC paint job. I love it for this room. We used lots of browns in the curtains and the rug, and I think it plays off the walls well.

That’s a Russel Wright chair that I picked up for $40, which was a total steal. The jacket is one my mom saved from when I was a baby, and she embroidered the little bear on there. Our friends gave Uli the little alligator shoes.

Down below there are a bunch of soft toys, including some I made (such as that big square soft block). The afghan was made by Uli’s great-great Aunt Ilka/June (who I’m named after) for his parents’ wedding.

Big old pony
I designed the horse collage with a friend, who mapped it out on Photoshop. It was a long process to get it finished and hung (you can read more about it here), but it was totally worth it. Uli also really loves to look at all of the collage bits and pieces.

See the rest of the set here.

Comments on Uli’s sweet animal-filled nursery

  1. That horse is so fantastic, I want it in MY bedroom. The “learn more here” link isn’t linked, I very much wanted to learn more! The whole room is so whimsical, lucky kid!

  2. Lovely room! And don’t worry too much about the high bed. My son sleeps between us and never tries to exit the bed unless one of us gets up before the other. We solved the problem by alerting each other when we’re leaving so the remaining parent slings an arm over him to make sure he doesn’t go anywhere. This has worked great for nearly 17 months now. 🙂 (If you’re still worried, you could get bed rails, a Tres Tria, or just put the mattress on the floor for a little while.)

  3. I love this post and hope Offbeat Home is lots like this! Thanks for sharing your photos, love the double wedding ring quilt on the bed, and the buckets for storing clothes, great idea!

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