Palmer House

Renovating and Restoring Our 1880 Folk Victorian

Well this post has been a long time coming (This post has actually taken me five days to write…newborns are not very patient)! I think I have been saying that I was going to post this nursery tour for over a month, but you know how it is when you are 9 months pregnant…getting up in the morning is a task, so the thought of taking pictures and then sitting down to post up a tour was overwhelming.

Since then, we have been blessed with a gorgeous baby boy, and we spend quite a bit of time in this little room.

If you are wondering if this room looks familiar, you would be right! This is the Little Blue Room aka The Sitting Room, which is now the temporary nursery! Michael’s permanent room will be the back bedroom, which has seemingly become the catch-all room at the moment. We were expecting to have the roof over that room repaired for leaks that were occurring, but now that little boy is here, our priorities have shifted. The roof is no longer leaking – and although that is due to a temporary, band-aid type of fix, it is working for now, so other fixes have become a priority.

So, for now, this little guy is staying in a temporary nursery set up in the Sitting Room. As you stand in the doorway, you can see the crib, the rocker and the makeshift changing table:

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It’s a little room, but it’s cozy! So let’s walk around the room:

As you step in the door, to the left the first thing you’ll see is our ironing board hidden inside a cupboard. Ok, not exactly what you would expect to find in a nursery, but it was there before this room was given its newest purpose, and we weren’t about to move it. So one could argue the room is multi-functional!

I put a small, quiet fan atop the ironing board cupboard to help with air circulation. Luckily, when we moved in, someone had already put central air in this 138-year-old house, and included this tiny room and the upstairs bathroom in the mix. So the fan is there to help push around the cool air coming out from that beautiful cast-iron reproduction duct (House of Antique Hardware). Having a fan in the room to help with temperature control and air circulation has been known to help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), so it was important to me to find a quiet fan for in the nursery.

Next is my last anniversary gift from my husband – that gorgeous wooden Betsy Ross flag.

Wood. History. Patriotism. The man knows the way to my heart!

The crib came from Wayfair.com in grey and it was super easy to assemble! I purposely didn’t want a convertible crib because we already have an entire twin bed set that my father made for me when I was young, so when the time comes, Michael will transition into that twin bed with side rails attached.

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The mobile was a gift from my Aunt and my cousin (The Peanutshell Farmhouse Sheep Musical Mobile in Grey). A word to the wise for those mama’s out there registering for baby items: make sure items like your mobile fit in between the slats of the crib you buy. This guy did, but just barely, and of course at the time I had ripped open and threw away all the packaging to the mobile, so if it hadn’t fit I wouldn’t have been able to exchange it! Micheal still has yet to actually sleep in his crib as he is in a basinet in our bedroom, but we made sure that we invested in a good quality mattress (Sealy FlexCool 2-Stage Airy Crib Mattress) and that all our sheets were very soft (Hello Spud Organic Cotton Jersey Fitted Crib Sheet).

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At the end of the crib, we have the “built-in bookcase”. I put that in quotes because this bookcase, at one time, was actually a doorway. Someone converted it at some point to create a crooked, very shallow built-in. I’m not complaining! There is something very sweet about it. Michael received quite a few books at his baby shower, but almost all of them were too long for the shelves in this shallow bookcase.

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So, I kept all of my late Uncle’s books on the shelves and placed Michael’s in the Hungry Hungry Caterpillar tote on the floor. Turns out those cloth totes are my jam – they hold a ton and they don’t scratch the wood floors! You will see quite a few of them in this room! Other items on the bookcase include Michael’s marquee bear night light (NoJo Bear Shaped Standing Marquee Light), a picture of his great grandfather (One of his namesake’s), and various other vintage and antique family items. The bear bean bag creates a little reading nook in the room, and it came from Pottery Barn Kids.

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Behold! The only window in this room! Before this room became the nursery, I purposely kept curtains off this window because I wanted as much light as I could get in this room for as long as possible during the day. This window and one small window in the stairwell are the only ways to get natural light in the upstairs hallway, and I wanted it streaming in! But when it comes to putting a little one down for a nap during the day, we have to tamper the light at least a little bit. So I found these curtains that I LOVE and want to put throughout the entire house! The are from Bed, Bath & Beyond ‘s new farmhouse line, Bee & Willow. They are simple white cotton curtains with tiny perforations in them to allow for airflow. Because they are a light, breathable cotton, they also allow for some light to pass through while blocking out any harsh, early morning sun this easterly side of the house gets. The rocker and ottoman were a hand-me-downs from my grandmother. The ottoman makes the room feel a bit cramped, but I am always thankful for it during those early-morning feedings!

More totes! The two larger totes hold all of the stuffed animals that Michael has been given so far. Life hack for moms: When you get those bath time gift sets at your baby shower – you know the ones that have the baby wash, shampoo, and lotion sitting in a little cloth basket with a bunch of straw filler on the bottom – don’t get rid of the cloth basket! The smallest purple cloth basket with all of the small and loose toys came from an Aveeno bath time gift set! I have two other similar bags from similar gift sets in the hall closet holding onto various small items like pacifiers and bath toys! They keep everything together and organized.

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On the opposite wall of the crib is our makeshift changing table. I am the first to admit that before I had a baby I didn’t get changing tables. I thought they were a waste of money – why drop hundreds of dollars on a changing table when you can just change your baby on the floor or on your bed? Because when you are running on three to four hours of sleep and have a screaming baby at 2 AM in a dirty diaper and are recovering from the birthing process yourself, the idea of bending over to change a baby on the floor is downright tear-provoking! That being said, we had no room for a changing table – not in this tiny room! We had a hand-me-down desk, again, from my grandmother that was already in the room and we had nowhere else to put the desk in the house. Therefore – presto – changing table! It used to live on the opposite wall under my Betsy Ross flag, but we swapped sides because I wanted to be able to see Michael in the crib from the hallway. I got a changing pad, applied non-skid matting to the bottom (the kind you would put in your kitchen drawer to keep things from sliding around) and put a diaper caddy next to it stocked with diapers, wipes, baby lotion, pacifiers and diaper cream. Stick a diaper pail next to the lot and it made as good a changing table as I have ever seen!

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Adventure certainly does await! (Michael was photo bombing from the womb! Changing Pad Cover)

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The next challenge was to figure out what to do with all of Michael’s clothing since we didn’t have a dresser. But I did have desk drawers and a hall closet! So in the top drawer, I placed all of the clothes that were newborn and 0-3 month size.

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The next drawer down was 3-6 month clothing…

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And the last drawer was 6 month and above. How did I get it all to fit? Google how to Marie Kondo your baby clothes!

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On the left side of the desk, the top drawer holds large muslin swaddling blankets and (not pictured) burp cloths. This is the drawer closest to the rocker, so having these two types of items close at hand is convenient.

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The next drawer down also holds swaddling blankets, but of the fleece variety, which I don’t plan on using during the summer months.

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Last is a drawer filled with swaddle sacks of various sizes and materials for different ages and times of the year.

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The last piece of the room is the “nightstand” next to the desk created out of old Drambuie liquor crates. These were in the room before and were simply re-purposed (I put felt furniture coasters on the bottom of the box to protect the wood floors!) The baby camera sits on top of these boxes along with a small desk lamp and a plush animal stacker from Pottery Barn Kids.

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Isn’t that the cutest toy you have ever seen??

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Some detail shots…

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So that concludes this nursery tour! I hope you found some inspiration or at least some enjoyment reading this post…I always like to see how people organize their homes! Until next time…

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