Project Nursery Part 2…Oscar’s Yellow and Grey Chevron Nursery Reveal

After months of planning, moving house and some lessons in painting (read my blog here), I am finally ready to reveal Oscar’s Yellow & Grey Chevron Themed Nursery.

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This nursery has been a complete labour of love and I am absolutely thrilled with the end result. I cannot actually remember how I decided on the yellow and grey colour scheme, and I certainly had no idea that Chevron was going to be such a massive trend when I chose it for the soft furnishings.

I started collecting pieces for the nursery while I was pregnant with Oscar, even though we were still living in our two bedroom apartment with no prospect of a nursery to decorate. I carried on stockpiling throughout the remainder of the pregnancy and luckily we bought our new house a month after Oscar was born, so at least I had somewhere to put everything!

I eventually found the time to paint the nursery and I chose a lovely shade of grey called ‘Silver Princess’ for three of the four walls. I kept one wall white and painted a single grey chevron stripe as I thought it would create a good contrast against the solid grey walls.

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I also removed the ugly brass door handles and ripped out the old shelving from the built-in wardrobe. They were replaced with lovely chrome door handles and some brand new melamine shelving.

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Nursery Furniture

Oscar has inherited Sebastian’s Boori Country Classic Cot and Change Table.  I also needed some additional storage for Oscar’s clothes and thought that a chest of drawers would be the best solution.  It took me about 5 hours to assemble the eight-drawer unit and I am in no hurry to build another chest of drawers any time soon!

The final piece of furniture in the nursery is the IKEA Poang Chair which I had originally used in Sebastian’s nursery.  I wanted to give it a new lease of life so I ordered a slipcover from Bemz in a fabric called ‘A Paler Shade of Grey’.  The chair looks fantastic and it was definitely money well spent.  I have the Poang foot stool as well, and I had bought a new slipcover for that too, but it is just too cramped to have it in Oscar’s nursery so it is redundant for the time being!

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Soft Furnishings

I got the lovely Liz at Dezignz by Liz to make some fitted cot sheets in yellow chevron and grey chevron fabrics.  She made the fantastic change-mat cover with a panel of soft grey minky fabric down the centre, and also the yellow chevron crib rail cover.

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The very talented Shannon from Milly Molly Mandy made me a custom fleece-lined cot blanket and koala softie in a combination of grey chevron fabric, yellow striped fabric and navy polka-dot fabric.  They are both absolutely lovely and I am taking monthly photos of Oscar with his koala!

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I bought a beautiful Monogrammed Yellow Chevron Pillow Cover from nest2impress and a Personalised Yellow Chevron Decorative Sham Pillow from Pottery Barn Kids.

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My biggest indulgence in Oscar’s nursery was the Lemon Yellow Chevron Rug but I really think it completes the overall theme.  I must admit that it was a little smaller than I expected and Mr G nearly choked when I told him how much it cost!

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My very clever Mum made some gorgeous eyelet curtains in a Cornflower Yellow fabric with blackout lining.  I also put up a simple matchstick blind as we have floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the house and it adds some privacy whilst still letting light in.

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Wall Art

I absolutely love choosing wall art and there was no shortage of gorgeous prints to choose from.  The focal piece in the nursery is the framed birth announcement hanging above the chest of drawers.  I ordered the set of three prints from A Drop of Golden Sun and then displayed them in a thick white wooden frame.

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I could not resist this ‘A Little Man Sleeps Here’ print and I also chose a lovely Monogrammed Print with Chevron Background.

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I then have four different sized pictures arranged randomly on the smallest wall.

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The Welcome Heart Map Print is by May & Belle and I chose the Mottled Grey colour.  I also have a beautiful Owl Lullaby Lino Print which Dawn printed for me in a slightly metallic silver ink.

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The other prints are a commemorative birth certificate and a larger version of the custom whale birth announcement that was designed for us by Sheridan Original Prints (see my blog here).

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I have also used some Wall Stickers in the nursery and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy they were to apply!

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I had these gorgeous chevron fabric letters made by Nicole at Cheekee Monkeez and I am thrilled with how they turned out.

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Finishing Touches

I applied a Personalised Whale Door Sticker to the nursery door.

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I completely fell in love with the Zachary Hunter Fabric Lantern by Kate Lauren as it matches the nursery theme perfectly.

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Hanging above the change table is a custom-made Felt Whale Mobile.  It has been beautifully made and Oscar absolutely loves looking up at it when I am getting him changed.

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I bought these Grey Harper Canvas Pop Up Totes (Chevron and Solid Grey) from Pottery Barn Kids and had them embroidered with ‘Explore’, ‘Dream’, ‘Create’ and ‘Imagine’.

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I found this fantastic 3 Sprouts Goat Laundry Hamper which coordinates with the colour scheme of the nursery and has plenty of space for all of Oscar’s laundry!

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This gorgeous Zuny Ida the Giraffe Yellow Bookend looks great sitting on top of the chest of drawers and can also be used as a doorstop or bookend.

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One of the first things I bought when I was planning the nursery was this gorgeous Diaper Caddy from Baffin Bags in yellow chevron with grey lining.  I can fit an entire pack of nappies in it and it just looks fantastic sitting on the change table.  I also have a smaller Fabric Storage Basket in grey elephant fabric with yellow lining which I use to store baby wipes.

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The final piece in the nursery is my beloved ubbi Diaper Pail which is the best nappy disposal system that I have come across, and it also looks super stylish.

I absolutely loved creating Oscar’s nursery and my love of all things Chevron shows no signs of waning!  My next project is to finish Sebastian’s toddler bedroom makeover and then both of my boys will have bedrooms to be proud of!

Project Nursery Part 1…My First Attempt at Painting a Room

I absolutely love our new house but it does need a little bit of love and attention in some places.  At the top of my list of jobs to do was painting Oscar’s bedroom and setting up the nursery.  I had never painted a room before and, after years of renting, it is so nice to finally be able to put my stamp on the interior and paint the walls whatever colour I want!

I started doing some internet research on how to go about painting a room and came up with a list of equipment I needed to buy on my next trip to Bunnings.

  • Canvas Drop Cloth
  • Spakfilla
  • Sanding Sponge
  • Sugar Soap
  • Masking Tape
  • Caulk
  • White Emulsion (for ceiling and one of the walls)
  • Grey Emulsion (for the rest of the walls)
  • Primer (for woodwork)
  • White Gloss Paint (for woodwork)
  • Roller & Paint Tray
  • Roller with Extension Pole
  • Angled Brush
  • Blue Painters Tape
  • Mini Roller

I then cleared out everything from Oscar’s bedroom, except for his Boori cot which is too wide to fit through the door without dismantling it.  The ceiling had clearly not been painted for a very long time and had a yellowish tinge to it, plus the walls were covered in holes that needed to be filled.

Nursery Before Shot

My first job was to fill all of the holes in the walls with Spakfilla and then sand the walls flat with a sanding sponge.  I then put some sugar soap in a spray bottle and washed all of the walls and woodwork to remove dirt and grease.  I used masking tape to cover the light switches and power socket, and then I taped off the carpet by pushing masking tape right under the skirting board (I resorted to using a cheese slicer as it was the closest thing I had to a flat instrument!).

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I had read about “Caulking” where you fill in the gap between the skirting board and the walls with decorators’ caulk to get a really neat finish.  I bought a cheap caulking gun but totally failed in my attempts to use it, so it was a big relief when I discovered that Bunnings sold a ‘Press N Go’ tube of caulk that could be used without a caulking gun.  I used my finger to smooth the caulk down and was amazed at how easy it was to get such a professional look.  I also decided to apply caulk to the gap between the ceiling alcove and the walls.

Our house has very old-fashioned door handles throughout and I am on a mission to replace them all with chrome fixtures.  I looked up how to remove a door handle and it turned out to be extremely straightforward, it just meant that I could no longer shut the door on my extremely inquisitive toddler!  I also removed the window latches and the wardrobe door handle before priming all of the woodwork.

Finally I was ready to begin painting after what seemed like hours of preparation.  My arms got quite a workout from painting the ceiling and the transformation from yellow to white was dramatic to say the least.  I painted one of the walls white at the same time and waited for it to dry before painting the rest of the walls grey.  After much deliberation, I settled on a shade called “Silver Princess” much to the dismay of Mr G who thought it sounded far too feminine for his son’s bedroom!

Nursery Ceiling

I taped off the edges of the white walls with blue painters tape and then applied the grey paint.  The colour looks fantastic and I am really pleased that I decided to keep one wall white as it is nice to see the contrast between the white and the grey.

I used blue painters tape and a mini roller to create a chevron feature wall after being inspired by House 36.  I decided to paint a single chevron pattern but may decide to do the whole wall later on.

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The final job was to paint all of the woodwork with gloss paint and I must admit that I found “cutting-in” to the walls extremely challenging.  It certainly requires a steady hand and next time I would be tempted to tape off the walls before painting the trim to get a sharper line.  Once everything was dry I had the pleasure of removing all of the masking tape and standing back to admire my hard work!

Our regular handyman was able to complete the finishing touches and put on a new door handle and wardrobe handle, as well as fix white safety window locks.  He also ripped out the existing shelves in the wardrobe and fitted some new white melamine shelves.  The door handles look perfect and really add a modern look to the nursery…I just cannot wait to replace the rest of the door handles now!

Nursery Door Before_After

It probably took me over a week to paint Oscar’s bedroom but I was only able to do a few hours each day when the boys were napping or after they had gone to bed.  It was not ideal that I did the majority of the painting in the evening as the lighting was poor and I fell victim to a couple of unforseen Moth attacks!  It took far longer to paint the woodwork than I had thought and I was up until midnight doing the priming alone.  In spite of all the sleep that I have lost to get the nursery painted, I am so pleased that I did it and feel such a sense of satisfaction every time I walk into Oscar’s room.

I am almost ready to reveal the completed nursery to you all, I am just waiting on some handmade blackout curtains and a couple of other finishing touches!

My First Week Flying Solo…

My in-laws headed back to the UK last a couple of weeks ago having spent almost 3 months in Australia.  They were originally meant to leave at the end of June but we convinced them to stay on for an extra month to help us move to the new house.  It was such a relief to push out their departure date as it bought me some extra time to mentally prepare myself for looking after Sebastian and Oscar on my own.  Of course, I was only delaying the inevitable and it is impossible to prepare yourself for something as unpredictable as a toddler and a newborn baby!

I got off to a really good start on Monday and we ventured out in the car to a local playgroup.  I had totally underestimated just how long it takes to get out of the house with two young children and loading up the car is now a monumental task, not to mention the time it takes to pack the baby bags!  I was amazed at how patient Seb was while I loaded up Oscar and all of our baggage.  He really is just the most lovely natured little boy and he completely adores his little brother.  Oscar slept for the whole time we were at playgroup so I could give Seb my full attention, although he was far more interested in pushing trucks and walkers around the play area!  Seb fell asleep on the very short car journey home and proceeded to have a two-hour nap, so I was able to feed Oscar and get myself some lunch before he woke up.  The afternoon passed without incident and I thoroughly enjoyed having the boys all to myself for the first time since Oscar was born.  I mentally high-fived myself for surviving my first day and rewarded myself with a well-earned glass of wine.

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Tuesday did not start out as well with Seb deciding to wake up at 4.15am.  Poor Mr G got up with him as I had already been awake feeding Oscar at midnight and 4am.  Oscar and I went back to sleep until just after 6am and I seized the opportunity to grab a quick shower while Oscar was waking up.  Mr G and Seb were in the living room having a ‘Dora the Explorer’ marathon, but my lovely husband still found time to make me a cup of tea and some breakfast (he worries that I will skip breakfast unless he makes it for me!).  Seb was suffering with his first ever episode of nappy rash and screaming his head off at every nappy change, which was not helped by the fact that his bowels were working overtime and his nappy needed to be changed every couple of hours.  Nappy rash aside, we had a good day and both boys were tucked up in bed by 7pm.

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Seb had another 4am start on Wednesday and we set off for our first walk of the day at 7.30am.  Seb was asleep by 8am and I got to sit down in a local coffee shop while both boys slept in the stroller.  We headed to the zoo mid-morning after I had prepared packed lunches, bottles and snacks.  Seb was so well behaved from start to finish and I think he will really enjoy weekly trips to Taronga Zoo now that we have invested in an annual membership.  Oscar was a complete angel all day as usual, but he does appear to have a slight aversion to the car which means I often have to pull over at the side of the road to settle him.  I swear I have done myself some serious damage with all of the awkward stretching into the back of the car!

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Another 4am wake-up on Thursday and another early nap for Sebastian, but it meant that we could spend the afternoon at the beach.  Mr G finished work early and it was an unexpected surprise to see him when we got home.  No sooner did we step into the house than both boys decided to have a melt-down so it was great to have Mr G there to organise Seb’s dinner while I bathed Oscar.  The end of the week was now in sight and it was such a struggle to stay wake for Oscar’s 10pm dream feed!

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Seb managed a 5am start on Friday and he had an hour nap in the stroller before my Mothers’ Group meeting at 10am.  It was our last formal session and they had arranged a morning tea for everyone.  Seb was slightly overwhelmed but thankfully I had brought along a beaker of milk to put him in a better mood!  We enjoyed lunch together on the deck and then drove to Manly in the afternoon with the intention of having a walk by the sea.  As it turned out, Seb fell asleep as I entered the car park and I spent 40 minutes trying to settle a very distressed Oscar outside of the car at the same time as a group of young boys started skateboarding very loudly!  We drove back as soon as I had got Oscar to sleep and it was an eerily quiet car journey home.  I have concluded that late afternoon trips out are a bad idea and that I am better off staying local before Seb has his dinner.  It will just be great when Seb starts waking up at a more reasonable and predictable hour as I will be able to plan outings for the morning without worrying that Seb will be asleep by the time we arrive at our destination.

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So I made it through my first week relatively unscathed, albeit completely and utterly shattered.  I have to walk up a monumentally steep hill every day to get to the local shopping centre for my morning coffee, and it does not seem to be getting any easier the more I do it.  But at least it will keep me fit and a takeaway coffee definitely incentivizes me to keep pushing through the pain!

I know that I am very lucky to have two easy-going sons who fill my days with laughter and cuddles.  I also have a fantastic husband who supports me as much as he can during the working week and lets me have a bit of a lie-in on the weekend.  The transition from one child to two is certainly challenging but we are falling into our own little routine that works for us.  The best thing of all is watching the boys interact with each other and seeing how much Seb loves his baby brother!

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Creating a Family First Aid Kit…

As part of my preparations for the big move to our new house, I decided to create Family First Aid Kit and organise all of our medical supplies.

I bought a large plastic box at the supermarket to hold our first aid supplies…

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  • Antiseptic Cream
  • Instant Ice Packs
  • Plasters
  • Burnaid Gel
  • Rehydration Formula Sachets
  • Stingose Spray
  • Elastoplast Spray Plaster – useful for applying to wounds in awkward places

I also have a basic first aid kit containing bandages, scissors, tweezers, safety pins, etc.  I received a First Aid Handbook when I attended a First Aid Course a couple of years ago and I will keep this in our first aid box for quick reference.

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I bought a small plastic drawer unit to hold general medical supplies…

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  • Nurofen/Paracetamol
  • Cold & Flu Tablets
  • Imodium
  • Strepsils
  • Antihistamine Tablets

I have a separate box containing all of the children’s medical supplies…

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  • Infacol Wind Drops
  • ‘Elmo’ Bump Buddy Cold Pack – lives in the fridge and can be used on bumps, bruises, scrapes and insect bites.

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It is good to know that we are prepared in the event of any first aid emergencies at home.  I plan on carrying out a quarterly inventory so that we do not run out of essential items and any expired medications get thrown out.

I hope you find this blog useful and get inspired to organise your own medical supplies!

A Phil & Ted Makeover…

Our Phil & Ted Explorer has been given a transformation thanks to the lovely Miss Michka of Lilli May Designs.  I had these reversible seat liners and strap covers custom-made to ‘Primp my Pram’!

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I chose this gorgeous ‘Retro Bottle Tops’ fabric from the ‘Going Coastal’ collection by Emily Herrick.  I just loved the quirky design and thought it would be perfect for my beach babies!

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On the reverse side of the liners I went with my favourite ‘Whales in Bermuda’ fabric.

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Miss Michka also made a custom liner for the double kit which is where little Oscar will sit once he is a bit bigger.

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I could not resist getting the matching Nappy Change Clutch to carry in the bottom of the stroller.

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I am thrilled with my custom liners and cannot wait to take the boys out for a spin!

Custom Birth Announcements…

I wanted to share the beautiful birth announcement cards that I had custom made to mark the arrival of my gorgeous baby boy Oscar.

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Our good friend Dawn Sheridan of Sheridan Art created this fabulous Whale-themed design for us and I could not be happier with the finished product.

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I had the image printed on a mixture of 15cm by 15cm and 10cm by 10cm recycled greeting cards to send out to family and friends.

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I included this lovely black and white photograph of Oscar inside each card.

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I also had a larger version of the birth announcement printed so that I could frame it to hang in Oscar’s nursery (when he eventually gets his own room!).

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A big thank you to Dawn for creating this very special keepsake!

My first 2 weeks with Oscar…

So it has been two weeks since our beautiful baby boy Oscar made his entrance into the world (albeit a world of yellow and grey chevron!) and we became a family of four.

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I might be tempting fate, but so far Oscar has been no trouble at all and I had completely forgotten just how much newborn babies sleep.  It obviously helps that my in-laws are here to look after Sebastian, which means that I can catch up on lost sleep during the daytime and also allow myself some time to recover from the birth.

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As Seb has been sleeping through the night since he was 9 months old, the hardest thing has been re-adjusting to waking every 3 or 4 hours during the night.  I am currently sleeping on the sofa, with Oscar in his bassinet next to me, for fear of Seb being woken up by his little brother’s crying.  So while Mr G is getting at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night, I am lucky if I get 3 hours of broken sleep before 5am when I get rudely awoken by an excitable toddler bounding into the living room.

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Aside from the lack of sleep, I really cannot complain as Oscar is such a calm and contented little baby.  He does not like having a bath or getting changed but I think that is the same for most new babies.  For the last fortnight he has spent most of the day sleeping but then has an unsettled couple of hours around the time that we sit down for dinner, so Mr G has been cutting my food up into bite-size pieces so that I can eat and hold Oscar at the same time.  I remember that Seb was exactly the same in the first few weeks and the only thing that would settle him was lying on Mr G’s chest, where he would then proceed to sleep until his late feed at 10pm.  Oscar seems to have this in common with his big brother and has been sleeping in daddy’s arms most evenings…I am even thinking of nicknaming my husband “the baby whisperer”!

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Sebastian has adapted amazingly to the arrival of his new brother and has shown no signs of jealousy.  He is incredibly curious when it comes to Oscar and keeps trying to touch his hair and face…needless to say we are using the word “Gentle” a lot during these interactions!  I was so worried about how Seb would cope with all the changes and it has been a huge relief to see him take such a keen interest in Oscar.

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I survived my first afternoon with the boys on my own today and it gave me some much-needed confidence that I will be able to cope once my in-laws leave.  I even managed to change Sebastian’s nappy with Oscar attached to me in the Baby Bjorn…no easy feat!  The grandparents are still here for another 3 weeks so I can enjoy some precious one-on-one time with Oscar and try to prepare myself for life after they leave.  So look out for some upcoming blogs on the theme of “Organisation” as I try to get my head around juggling so many different balls!