Well, it wasn't bad really. Your typical upstairs of a Cape Cod style home (my cousin Joy used to have a Cape Cod and said the upstairs of her house was, like, identical). Lots of 70-year-old wood paneling. A really bad carpet-squares job on the floor. Some 1970s hardware on the storage doors. Those really bad roll-up blinds on all the windows.
We actually didn't do a ton to this room other than get it baby-ready. Scott loved the wood paneling, didn't want to part with it. So we scrubbed it down with Murphy's Oil Soap and I must admit - it was very shiny and pretty after that, didn't bother me as much. We also left the carpeting, at least for now. It's not the best carpeting job by any stretch, but we're not sure how we want to end up in here and being a kid room, it's just going to get ruined anyway.
I felt like the wood paneling narrowed down my options for a nursery a bit. Not a problem, really, I considered it more of a fun challenge. I thought I could go a few ways here: do the Ralph Lauren lodge kind of feel, although that's a little too grown-up for a baby. Or I could go really throw-back retro, but hmmm. I can't pull that off as well as some of my decorating-savvy peers.
I ended up going with a third option - modern. Lots of white furniture, a more Scandinavian feel to go with the wood and the dormers. Since we decided not to find out the sex of the baby, I went with a neutral orange palette in the room. We nicknamed the baby "robot" (as I am sure you are already aware), but I found that hard to use to decorate on a neutral theme.
Instead, I let the modern and woodsy feel take over and went with a bird theme. I found cute prints to frame off of Etsy. We bought a cheap rug at JCPenney, in a deep brown. The bed in the room got neutral almond-colored bedding. The hardware on the doors and cabinetry was switched out with brushed chrome in a more modern style. And the gross roll-up blinds were replaced with crisp Roman shades.
The crib bedding. I sewed it all myself; one last big project before I had a kid and no longer the free time to sew for fun. I decided on fabric from Joel Dewberry's Aviary line, in a nice neutral orange and brown color scheme. I sewed a baby quilt, the bumper, and pillows for the room. Then we just bought simple white sheets and crib skirting. It all worked out quite nicely!
The mobile: I grabbed a nice-looking branch from the yard, fallen from one of our many big ole trees back there. Then I sewed birds from a pattern, a whole slew of different colors, and used embroidery floss as "feet" to sew them to the branches. Scott used fishing line and some other fishing contraption to attach it to the ceiling so it would spin.
A close-up of the baby quilt. At the time I wasn't sure how much we'd use it, since you don't really put a kid to bed with a blanket, but man: we use it a ton. A TON. I love that thing.
We bought a dresser on sale and I switched out the boring white wood knobs for a polished chrome, then added a modern polished chrome lamp and vintage mirror I found at a flea market, then I took the extra material from the bedding and made a TON of pillows for the spare bed in the room. Voila!
Peter's toy area. Lots of books, lots of toys. We keep more toys and some accessories of his (hats, shoes) in the fabric bins. The wall decal was another Etsy purchase.
And that's about it! These pictures were taken shortly before our baby made his appearance, so everything is nice and neat and totally not lived in yet. I need to take a few more recent pictures, but you get the general idea.
It's a great little room for a kid, and I can't wait to redecorate it when he gets older and needs a toddler room. Not like you're surprised, I'm sure. Nor will you be surprised that I hope Peter is up for a robot theme...