Thursday, April 13, 2006

raw materials

First, the room. Formerly Steve's study, it will be the baby's room. We've scraped off the yucky, purple-flowered border left up by the previous owners and taken down the olive curtains. We've bought a crib and put paint samples on the walls. We've chosen a color to try out on a full wall - a sagey-grassy one by Devine Paints called Blade that goes with a few of the fabric samples I've been collecting.

Second, the furniture. A cream-colored crib, which matches a cream-colored dresser that Steve used when he was a child. (Actually, he still uses it, so we'll need to buy a new one before we move the old one into this room.) A light-wood changing table. An antique, mahogany rocking chair that I've had for 15 years. So, a mix of woods and colors, which is fine by us. We don't need everything to match.

Third, the bedding. And here is the really fun part, the part where fantasies can start to fly.

I am enamored at the moment with this Nursery Rhyme Toile pattern from Carousel Designs, which comes with sage or blue accents. (It looks a lot like the Mother Goose design from Pine Creek Bedding.) Anyway, it has yellows, greens and blues that could be pulled out with different colored sheets, which makes it flexible. And the design is so whimsical - it sets my heart a-patter (even if the baby hardly notices it)!

I'm also into Carousel's Central Park Toile pattern (again, similar to Pine Creek Bedding's design). Especially the black-on-ecru, for some reason - and I never imagined I would gravitate toward something black for a baby's room. But I see it going with the green walls and sheets in any number of colors - like the mini-striped ones from Carousel (shown below in maize, although I like the sage). But I wonder, is toile too girly? Maybe not if it's paired with boyish colors... I heard of one woman who paired the black toile with burgundy sheets and accents for her infant son's room, and it sounded fabulous.

And then there are the bolder patterns, like those devoted to little animal creatures - the ones that might be a little more boyish. I think they're adorable, too. And I much prefer turtles and frogs to planes, trains and automobiles. (Pottery Barn Kids has some cute boy bedding along these lines, too.)

Listen to me! Six months ago, you never would have heard me rhapsodizing about baby bedding! How things change. It's so easy, and even surprisingly enjoyable, to get sucked into the whole Baby Industrial Complex, but I am wary of the capacity to evolve into a momzilla who plans her nursery as meticulously as she planned her wedding. I see those women on The Nest, obsessing over themes and chair rails and stencils and perfectly matched everything. More power to the people who love that sort of thing, and I have no doubt those nurseries are absolutely adorable, but it is just not me, or Steve, and it never will be. In fact, the problem with many of these bedding sets is that we don't really want or need many of the accent items - the pillows, the quilt, the diaper hanger - cute as they may be. And we're not sure we're going to use a crib bumper, either. So we'll have to figure out where to incorporate the patterns (drop skirt? curtains? rocking chair pad?) and where to use coordinating but simpler colors - without getting too "themey" about the whole thing.

Still, it's a lot of fun - so many options! I can't wait to see how it all comes together.


liz said...

Isn't it interesting how similar the wedding and baby industries are? And so devious. In the wedding realm, if you don't buy all the little matching toasting flutes and the very best of everything, you must not be truly in love--because doesn't your relationship deserve the very best? And then it gets worse--because then if you don't buy the very best of everything for your child, GASP--you must not care about your child's safety or giving it a good life.

Anyway. I love all the bedding you've posted! Is it wrong that I'm not pregnant and I love baby bedding? Probably not--after all, I've always been a sucker for bedding no matter whose bed it goes on. ;)

And I love the paint, too!

Emilie said...

I agree, Liz. It's no surprise that the people who wrote Bridal Bargains - to fend off the Wedding Industrial Complex - also wrote Baby Bargains! (I underlined and bookmarked both of them quite a bit!)

(And consider yourself ahead of the game - you've always enjoyed decorating, haven't you? And I know you like painting.) :)

Susanne said...

Em, I really like the pattern in the picture right below the picture with the stuffed puppy. Do you know if the pattern comes in red? But the grey, like in the picture, is beautiful too!

Susanne said...

Em, I really like the picture BELOW the picture with the stuffed puppy. Do you know if the pattern comes in red? But the grey pattern, as in the picture, is beautiful too.

Emilie said...

Sue, you must mean the black toile. I like that one, too! I don't think it comes in red, at least not with this company.

Ellen said...

From what I know about babies, they seem to be like the French: they enjoy stimulating colors, patterns, images and textures. Probably why Pat the Bunny is still a children's best-seller. Once when Teresa was a baby, I wore a red shirt and she was staring at me from across the room. With all this in mind, I am drawn to the turtles and frogs decor. They are less but more at the same time (and probably easier to mix and match with other things in your room). While I adore your taste and will just crave whatever you choose because it all looks fabulous, a child will probably get more stimulation from animal themes than toile, unless you go with your friend's idea to mix toile with bold colors. I love your room so far, and the LA Marathon poster is a great touch.
PS — Your photos from your trip are gorgeous! Perhaps you could frame them and hang them in baby's room!