Friday, February 25, 2011

The Nursery at Merin's House - Before and After

Before (obviously during demolition - the previous glory of the room was, sadly, not recorded)



Before there was a pregnancy this room was "the baby's room".  Every choice, from paint to pictures, was made with joy and anticipation. It was a huge pleasure and privilege to help Merin prepare this space for  her very much desired baby. Before Ysa's birth, we were not aware of  her gender. That meant all the choices were made so that either "color" of baby - pink or blue - would be comfortable here; we would just tweak things by adding vintage metal trucks or tutus and bows after the big reveal.  Merin wanted a room that would be a reflection of not only her taste and style but also comfort and love. The budget was tiny but that just makes the challenge a lot more fun. 

When the house was purchased there was clean but worn broadloom covering the oak flooring. We stripped off two layers of wallpaper and found evidence of two previous paint colors under that! There was an unattractive home-made* looking desk mounted (most unfortunately) very securely to the wall. This room was ever so tired and dark. So off with the wallpaper, out with the carpeting, and on with the fun.


We chose a very soft, warm grey for the walls. The floors were refinished a dark nutmeg color (as throughout the house) and Jonathon contributed the sheepskin rug that I had pieced together for him (by hand! ) from individual sheepskins several years ago. On a trip to the flea market we found the super-fantastic vintage rocking horse and knew it was meant for this baby's room - the original blue paint was perfect. I had made the linen drapes for our apartment in Tokyo and when they were spiffed up by adding a wide band of striped yellow, grey and black fabric to the bottom they were perfect here as well. 


The pictures are actually vintage children's books from the 1950's. The format is the same as a comic book and the illustrations were so delightful that we wanted to use them as art. Off to Ikea for Ribba frames, down to my stash for some great textured paper from Korea (the paper looks like matelasse - with a lovely 3D texture - perfect again!), a little measuring and cutting and our masterpieces were done. 




Merin's teddy bear collection was retrieved from the wooden box of her childhood treasures - saved for this very time. (The flowered bear in the crate was made from a curtain that hung in Merin's great-grandmother's home and wears a collar made of a hand-crocheted doily that the same grandmother made, the little white bear on the shelf was made by her Aunt Shan.) Jonathon was recruited to do the design for the vinyl lettering on the roller blind and the wall above the dressers. A little more primping and....Ta da! Finito!

A lovely little room to welcome a sweet baby in this happy home. Not long used but Merin loved it and loved every moment of preparing it for Ysa. Happily, Ysa still sleeps in the same crib, with the same quilts her momma made, surrounded by the same nursery rhyme quotes, framed books and teddy bears. Just in a different house. But still a happy home - filled and overflowing with love. Sweet, lucky baby.


photos courtesy of eden lang pictures with the exception of the 4th (obviously iPhone pic) Thanks once again Eden!

* I am not opposed in any way to DIY - I just prefer things to look hand-crafted rather than home-made! Big difference.

4 comments:

Eden Lang said...

aw, this post makes me sad. I miss her so much. I just feel like crying. she put so much thought into her lovely home. you both did. but I miss her.

Cheri said...

Sorry - it was not my intention at all! to make you or anyone sad. But yes, we do miss her so much.

Jan said...

thanks for sharing the lovely memory of you and Merin doing the nursery. It was a nice visit down memory lane. your thought and words mean a lot to me and I'm sure that Ysa will appreciate your recordings of your thoughts of today

love from mom

Jamie said...

Oh wow - so beautiful. Your whole family could have had very successful design careers!!!