Courtney Spena from A+ Life Blog dishes on how to curate the perfect space for your little one and shares the inspiration behind her chic, cactus themed nursery.
Courtney is a former hairstylist turned stay at home, homeschooling mom of 3 - Abigail (7), Mabel (2), and their newest little addition, baby Finn (1 month). She has been blogging for 5 years at A+ Life and lives with her family in southwest Missouri where they are transforming their current 1940's home into a space they are proudly making their own.
How did you come up with the concept for Finn's nursery?
The concept for Finn's nursery came on gradually, but I started with a few design "musts" for me. I didn't want it to be dark, I didn't want it to be sports themed, and I wanted it to be light and bright but definitely a boy's space. The first thing I decided on was white walls. I just knew I wouldn't be happy with any other color choice.
Next, was choosing a color for the crib - he was going to be using big sister's hand me down crib and it was painted coral. I debated between green and gray for quite a while, but kept being pulled toward a bright emerald green to pop against the white walls. (and thank goodness that's what I picked - it is my favorite thing in his nursery!) From there, I had the idea to move forward with a succulent/cactus theme for his nursery. My parents live in Phoenix, so while the girls and I were visiting this summer, I found the big cactus marquee light at a baby boutique. That absolutely solidified the cactus theme idea and was the perfect addition to his room!
Each detail just pulls everything together seamlessly and really makes this space so unique - how did it all come together?
The very first thing I bought for his nursery was the House Of Belonging sign that we have hanging above the crib. I was extremely picky about what I was willing to put in his space but when I saw this sign I immediately knew it was the one I wanted to put above his bright green crib!
As far as the furniture in his room goes, the dresser, nightstand, and glider were all the same pieces that had been in Finns big sisters nurseries. I simply changed the changing pad cover and swapped out the floor pouf for something more masculine.
I don't exactly remember at what point I decided to add the shiplap wall but I wanted to add some texture and interest to his room- I'm sure something on Pinterest likely sparked the idea. We discussed staining the wood, but once Jim had the natural pieces hung up, I loved the raw, unfinished look to the wood that I told him to leave it just as it was! And it is perfect.
And I absolutely LOVE the barn doors and that light fixture! When did you get the idea to incorporate that into his space?
My husband built the closet barn doors (and left those raw and unfinished as well!). I had been wanting to take down the original closet door because it swung open in the most inconvenient way and made it hard to get in and out of the room- barn doors were the perfect solution to that dilemma and added a really cool feature to his space. There wasn't any overhead lighting in his room, so Jim installed the cool industrial fan/light and changed out the simple gold fixture by the door to his room for a small schoolhouse light instead. I was pretty worried that his nursery might end up looking too sparce and "boring"- which can definitely be a danger with white nurseries! But I love how it all ended up coming together.
In your opinion, what are the five basic components that make for a well designed, modern nursery?
I'm absolutely not an expert! But, for me, I love:
1) simple and timeless basics, such as classic furniture and plain walls.
2) personalized and trendy pieces that are easy to be changed out, like the rug, accessories, and details like the light fixtures.
3) lots of contrast- light and dark, hard and soft, bright and subtle
4) think outside of the box- other than his crib, none of the things in Finn's room are baby or nursery items.
5) a handy and helpful husband! Ha! But really, this room wouldn't look nearly as good if it wasn't for his execution of all of my big dreams and ideas!
Any tips for moms currently in the process of designing a nursery?
You do you! Look to places like Instagram and Pinterest for general inspiration, but pick the things for your baby's room that fit YOUR budget and YOUR style. You'll be so much happier with the finished product when you do!
Want to see more of Courtney's gorgeous home updates and decorating style? Follow along on her blog at A+ Plus Life as she shares updating her oldest daughter's bedroom and converting it into a shared sister space!