Benjamin Fox's Neutral Nursery Tour

When we bought this house 4 years ago, this room was a nursery, but it wouldn't be a nursery for us. No, we would use it as an office, a yoga room, an eventual bedroom when our twins decided they'd had enough of each other. Just thinking back to the first time we walked through this space, and where my head and heart were then, gives me chills. It's a strange reality, remembering how I'd numbed myself to the idea of our embryo that was waiting frozen at the fertility clinic. How I'd convinced myself - not to make a decision - but rather to just try not to think about it. The chills are certainly the confusing variety of not yet understanding how things would change and how we would be blessed with one more miracle IVF baby. Now when I am in this nursery, I know this was always meant to be Ben's room. It never felt quite right as an office. And now that Benjamin is 18 months, I thought it was the right time to finally share his space.

When I designed Alice and Isla's twin nursery, I planned and researched and poured over art on etsy and ordered the perfect fabric and ordered custom curtains. This time around, as it often happens with 2nd (or 3rd children), I went in knowing a few tricks. The key to good nursery design is to keep things simple, to make choices that will last and to remember that a lot of the so-called nursery essentials really aren't essential.

First, here's what the space looked like when we first took possession of the house (mid renovations):

It was pink or purple and it felt super tiny at the time.

Now here's what it looked like as my home studio for my textile art:

The wall colour is Farrow and Ball Pavillon Blue and we kept it as the wall colour in Ben's room because it's a nice not-quite-a-neutral but not-quite-a-colour colour.

My idea for this space as a nursery was to keep it light and neutral but with pops of colour. This time we went basic with the crib, spending less than $100 on this one from Ikea, and I love the light wood so much more than the two tone cribs we had for the girls. I snagged an organic crib mattress at HomeSense and picked up a pack of two jersey crib sheets on a whim at Ikea. It came with the turquoise one in this photo and a cream coloured one also.

The flush mount is one of my all time favourite flush mounts that I recommend to anyone looking for a boob light replacement. It was the fixture I chose for my office and it works perfectly in the nursery as well. We also have a himalayan sea salt lamp on the shelf opposite the dresser. I love a sea salt lamp in the bedroom because it gives off the right kind of light for sleep. I am a stickler about staying away from blue light tones at bedtime. I love how it's just a touch of colour. The wall hooks were an Ikea find that I painted with some sample pots I had left over. 

The nursery rocker and the dresser were both in Alice and Isla's twin nursery room. The leather rocker was a gift from my parents and the dresser was a hand-me-down from one of my Mother-in-law's friends and was originally a medium wood before we made it over painting it Farrow and Ball Cabbage White. After the twins, I used to tell people that rockers are over rated as we rarely used this one when the girls were little - but I've since changed my mind. I nurse Ben to sleep every nap and every night in this chair and it is such a comfortable place.

The low book shelf is a simple picture ledge and I always recommend these for playrooms and children's bedrooms because they can help themselves to books at a very young age.

The peanut changing pad was something I saw at a local baby boutique and then gasped at the price but it is so much better than the regular change pads with covers and it's definitely something I recommend as the resale value on used sites is crazy high! I usually throw a large cloth diaper on top of it in the cooler months but otherwise just leave it as is.

That little print behind the bunny is the only accessory we purchased for this space. The crayon print was a freebie inside these books that we love so much. The Marpac sound machine is a life saver and I love this one in particular because it's a fan that produces the white noise - as opposed to a track that loops.

The wall hanging is one of the very first weavings that I completed in this very room and it is very much at home here.

The hanging planter will eventually have a real plant in it I promise. It had two wave ferns in it originally and I loved them there, but then I also had a newborn who never slept in this nursery until he was eight months old (he started napping in here around then) - so I forgot about the plants and had to replace them with a fake.

The rug is a hang-me-down from Alice and Isla's original room design when we moved into our current home. Although I love the colours, it was never big enough for their space - and yes, it's not exactly the ideal size for this room either but it's good enough for now and I love the pops of colour.

Product Guide: Sniglar Crib from Ikea / Rug from Urban Outfitters (Similar / Similar)  / Blanket from Terra 20 / Keekaroo Peanut Changer / Hanging Planter from Homesense (Similar) / Wall shelf & brackets from Ikea / Curtains and Rod from Ikea / Bedding from Ikea / Backpack from Fjallraven / Ring Sling on Wall Shelf from Wildbird (Stellar) / Ring Slings on hooks (Potter & Pehar Single Layer Bellwoods and Potter & Pehar Double Layer Bluffs) / Wall Hanging (Contact for Custom Details) / Nursing Pillow Cover DIY by Ashley Izsak (See instructions here) / Nursing Pillow Insert Nneka from Milkface / Sound Machine by Marpac / Himalayan Salt Lamp / Jellycat Bunny / The Day the Crayons Quit Boxed Set with Print / Glider by Monte (Similar) / Bell Flush Mount Light Fixture by CB2