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Calvin’s Nursery

The nursery is ready! Let’s take a look, shall we?

Calvin's Nursery | Making it Lovely

The white walls are perfect. They keep the room from feeling weighed down by all of the wood, but there’s still plenty of color in the art, rug, bedding, and toys.

Calvin's Crib Bedding | Making it Lovely

The nursery was once a kitchen, from when our house had been split up into apartments. When we first started converting the space back into a bedroom, I was a little worried that the cabinetry would still feel kitchen-like, but now I’m so glad we kept them! I haven’t chosen shades yet for the windows, and I may make or buy a garland to hang over them, but even without those elements the built-ins add a lot of charm to the room.

Calvin's Nursery with Wood Built-ins| Making it Lovely

The changing pad is at counter-height (hello, former kitchen), and there’s plenty of room for everything I need within reach. The drawers below function as the dresser, a diaper pail and laundry basket are off to the right, and we have tons of storage. Board books, cute toys, and a few decorative pieces are displayed in the glass-front cabinet (which has a light inside, at the top).

Calvin's Nursery with Wood Built-ins| Making it Lovely

I wanted to be sure to include the the felt flowers that Eleanor made for Calvin, and my motto during pregnancy is in the nursery too. They’re to the left of the changing pad, by the lamp.

Nap All Day, Sleep All Night, Party Never

As much as I like the built-ins now though, they do take up full wall. The room is 10’x12′ but the floor space is only 10’x10′ because of them. A rectangular rug would have been OK in the room, but I was really hoping for something square and I found the 8’x8′ sky blue Eskimo rug at Lulu & Georgia, which they kindly provided for us. It isn’t super plush because it’s a flat weave, but it isn’t scratchy like some flat wool rugs can be, so it’s a nice surface to play on.

Play Table in Calvin's Nursery | Making it Lovely

Calvin's Nursery | Making it Lovely

The glider and ottoman are tucked into the little nook between the doorway and the built-ins. I thought about moving the diaper pail for the photos, but it’s a necessary part of the room and that’s where it is, so it stayed. It’s close to where I sit with the baby, but there’s no odor other than when you open it briefly to throw something in.

Nursery Glider | Making it Lovely

I had wanted to use the rectangular wooden play table that we’d had in Eleanor’s room at the old house, but it was too large so I grabbed the round one from the playroom upstairs. I know that it looks dangerously close to the radiator, but it’s fine. For whatever reason, that one doesn’t get as hot to the touch as the rest do (though the room stays comfortably warm). I had a bunch of art to choose from for that wall, and I thought about shelving too, but in the end I decided to hang that round mirror. It used to be in my office, in the old house, and I hadn’t found a good spot for it in this house until I tried it in the nursery. Also, I found the zebra on clearance and bought it as a nod to what the nursery could have looked like, had I gone with my original plan! (Which I still think would make for a very cute nursery.)

Play Area in Calvin's Nursery | Making it Lovely

There are baskets to the left of and beneath the crib are for toys. The room is definitely not wanting for more storage, but I think it’s nice to have some toys out and within easy reach rather than hiding all of them behind closed doors. Calvin is just starting to play with them (mostly bringing everything he can get his hands on to his mouth), but he’ll be interested in everything soon enough. Eleanor and August have been coming in to check everything out too.

Baskets Beneath the Crib | Making it Lovely

The crib is the same one that Eleanor and August both slept in, and I made that crib skirt when August was a baby. I bought the set of screenprints by Ryan Kapp five years ago at Renegade Craft Fair, and am glad I finally found just the right spot for them and had them framed.

Calvin's Nursery | Making it Lovely

So nice to have a sweet room of Calvin’s own, out of what was once a weird pass-through former kitchen. Yay!

Calvin's Nursery | Making it Lovely

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Progress in the Nursery

Calvin’s nursery is coming along! It’s fully functional now, but there are pictures to be hung, toys and books to be brought in, and maybe a light to deal with. We’re thinking of putting a ceiling fan in the room eventually, and I haven’t decided if I should take down the pendant that’s in the room now, or just leave it until we’re ready to switch it out. There are three recessed lights in the ceiling, so we wouldn’t be in the dark either way.

Parts for the Crib

The crib we’re using for Calvin’s nursery is the same one that both Eleanor and August slept in. It had a drop side originally, but we converted it to be stationary back in 2010 amidst massive recalls and changes in regulations. It’s safe and sturdy, and I still love the look of it.

The newly assembled crib was a novelty for the Balch children!

The Crib!


I’m wondering if I should bring in some shelving or bins for open toy storage. The room is definitely not lacking for storage with all of the built-ins, but it feels a little funny to be hiding everything away behind closed doors. Maybe a basket or two is enough though? It all spills out into the room as they get a little older anyway — maybe I should enjoy everything being out of sight while I still can.

The Nursery, as a Clean Slate

I had been considering a few colors, but I decided to go with white walls for Calvin’s nursery. It just felt right.

Calvin's Nursery / Former Second Kitchen

It’s creamier than the stark white that’s so prevalent today, but it works nicely with all of the wood. (The color is Crisp Linen White, by Glidden.) Without white trim to contribute to a light airy feeling, white paint that was too bright would have fought with the woodwork and made the room feel cold.

Calvin's Nursery / Former Second Kitchen

Before and after time!

This is the best angle to look at the room from, to understand the changes to the hallway and relocation of the doorway. The sink is gone, and you no longer have to walk through this portion of the house to get from the front to the back.

Second Floor Kitchen
Calvin's Nursery / Former Second Kitchen

Our Victorian was originally a single-family home, but it had been converted to apartments long ago (sometime around the Great Depression, I believe. We have some old paperwork and census information that I ought to write about!). Getting rid of this kitchen and turning it back into a bedroom is in line with how the house was originally designed.

Second Floor Kitchen
Calvin's Nursery / Former Second Kitchen

The radiator was not moved, but we did get rid of each of those three doorways you see here. We relocated one of them to a new wall that was built and reused the door and trim.

Second Floor Kitchen
Calvin's Nursery / Former Second Kitchen

I’m not in love with the cabinetry, but it is staying and will function as a closet, dresser, and additional storage space.

Second Floor Kitchen
Calvin's Nursery / Former Second Kitchen

Now that the new room has been painted, I can finally get started on the fun stuff!

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