Today is a special edition of the advice column, for which I stopped taking submissions a few months ago. But this is a person I know in real life and so she gets a special advice column. Also she is having a baby. Yay!

DeAnn sent me a few pictures of the in-progress nursery:

It's basically a blank slate, which is my favorite kind of slate. And check out that awesome straight-up for-real zebra rug. Yes! I love it. I do, however, have some suggestions. Let's get started.

First, some basics.

1. The existing zebra rug stays. We'll build the rest of the room around it.

2. Every room needs some baskets. They hold things. Things like diapers, and baby toys! These from West Elm are pretty cute, but if you are on a tight budget, these plain wicker ones are also good. 

3. Those corner windows are kind of a trick to cover in an attractive manner, but I think DeAnn should have some Roman shades made in a soft gray linen, one for the big window and one for the small window. They should be outside mount so the shades meet at the corner, creating a seamless transition and giving the impression that you totally meant to do it that way. I recommend Gray Line Linen for this project -- their fabric is gorgeous and affordable.

4. And, PAINT. I want the trim and baseboards painted white, for sure. If you must, DeAnn, paint the walls white too. But if you're feeling daring and want the coolest nursery ever, do like the Rolling Stones did and paint it black. Well, dark gray. And then paint that sad brown door with a few coats of high-gloss green. You heard me. DEWIT. Paint colors, top to bottom: Benjamin Moore Super White, Witching Hour, and Pear Green (Apple Green is also good.).

We're also going to move some furniture around. The changing table needs to go where the bookcase currently is, and the crib needs to get centered on its existing wall (remove the hook). The bookcase can either be removed, or can go on the wall with the wide window, all the way into the corner next to the crib. The rug and rocker can stay where they are.

Now that we've got the basics covered, it's time to do some accessorizing, yes? I've selected some high/low accessory options:

1. In keeping with our black/gray/white theme, how about a graphic throw blanket to soften up that rocker? High: Jonathan Adler, $295. Low: West Elm, $29.

2. Every room needs some art, does it not? I'd love to see a great big painting over the crib. Wouldn't one of these look so good with our black walls, white trim, and hot green door? Yes. High: Aaron Collier, $2600(but seriously, don't buy this, because I want it bad.). Low: Michelle Armas, $150(which is actually a poster-size print of one of her paintings, and I'd do exactly what she recommends about mounting on Gator board and putting it in a floater frame).

3. Crib bedding. I would, as a lifelong Southern person, do the crazy poofy long-bed-skirty monstrosity on the left, but I know this is not for some. The one on the right is a little more cleanly lined, and definitely more affordable. And if you are on a crazy-tight budget, go buy some black and white mattress ticking, pay somebody's sister-in-law $20 to make a gathered bed skirt out of it (all the way to the floor, please!), and buy a white crib sheet from Target. DONE. High, $614. Low, $326.

4. Both of these options would be very cute next to the rocker, but only one of them is on sale for 20% off right now. Guess which one? High: Bungalow 5, $351. Low: West Elm, $129.

So that's that. Looking good, right? We're almost done -- I just have a couple of suggestions for some extras, totally optional. See below: 

1. You could wallpaper the crib wall, or not. This cute and subtle marine life print would look good with the dark (or white!) walls and either painting, though. Pattern People, Hygge & West, $135/roll.

2. Floating shelves over the changing table. I say definitely go for this one. Shelves hold lots of stuff! Like baskets, which also hold lots of stuff! IKEA LACK shelf, price varies.

3. Overhead pendant light. I love this classic Nelson lamp, but whatever you choose, put it on a dimmer. This is non-negotiable. Nelson saucer lamp, $269.

4. A jute rug for layering underneath the zebra. Will add a new and cozy textural dimension. Overstock has many.

5. Paint the bookshelf white if it is staying in the room.

6. Remove the star lanterns and replace them with this fabulous mobile (maybe in a more manly color). Mobile, $45.

7. A floor lamp for another light source, and for being cute near the rocker and side table. Taper Shade Floor Lamp, West Elm, $199.


Whew! I think that's it. I hope you use some of these suggestions, DeAnn, and I DEFINITELY want to see after pictures. Go, baby!

AuthorAB Chao
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