James’ first birthday is right around the corner. I’ve caught myself on two occasions flipping through the photos on my phone from his first day to the present and the changes and growth are unbelievable.

On one such occasion I stumbled across some photos I took of his room before he was born and said to myself, “His room has changed and grown too!”

Steve and I didn’t find out if the newest member of our family was going to be a boy or girl. We wanted to be surprised. We affectionately referred to the kick-boxer in my belly as “Blueberry” or “The Littlest Leroux.” As a result, when it came to “nesting” I was careful to make picks that would work for a little girl or a little boy.

I knew I wanted the nursery to focus on adventure and the outdoors. I fell in love with some wallpapered accent walls I saw on Pinterest and created my own. Instead of the gender neutral norms like green and yellow we chose to go with orange, red, navy, turquoise and grey. Things needed to go well together, but I was trying to avoid being matchy-matchy.

The nursery a few days before Littlest Leroux’s arrival.

I love the way the room turned out. It’s my favorite room in the house. It looks put together and fun, but not over the top. A year later it is easy for me to envision how the furniture, artwork and accessories will be moved around the room and/or reintegrated into other rooms in the house.

That said, there were a handful of things we didn’t think of right away when preparing for James’ arrival:

1. The first Amazon Prime order after James’ birth included a floor lamp with a dimmer and a digital clock for late night feedings.

Story time arm chair.

2. Steve wished we had a rocking chair. I didn’t disagree, but we never got around to finding one. Now that James is about to turn one I’m glad we never got around to it. While the rocking motion is great to soothe a fussy newborn, I don’t think it’s something we would have kept in his room through his toddler years. The arm chair will continue to get used as long as bedtime stories are part of our routine. And after that it can be put back in the master bedroom, living room or family room.

Bookcase to rest video monitor.

3. We had received a video baby monitor from a family member and when I finally got around to setting it up I looked around the room helplessly realizing there was no surface to put it on. We ended up buying a bookcase for that purpose, as well as off the floor storage for stuffed animals and books. The additional table top like surface also came in handy when James needed a humidifier during his first cold.

As a side note, we hated the video monitors. We tried two different brands and the range they covered was quite disappointing. If we had to do it over again we would go with a Nest camera with the app on our smart phones.

4. In hindsight I may have picked a solid color rug – or at least one that was easier to clean. I love the color and texture of the rug we have, but it’s not as practical as I would have hoped. I’ve already flipped it over to hide spit up and other stains.

And the things that went right or better than expected:

1. I still walk into that room everyday grateful for my choice of theme. The trees and adventure theme bring a smile to my face and James seems at home.

Changing station vs. changing table

2. Dresser as changing table. I would suggest this a thousand times over. Use a dresser and a changing pad. Then you won’t have to list the changing table on Craigslist in two years.

3. For Christmas, I was able to add a play tent seamlessly into the room. It adds more whimsy and makes afternoon story time more interesting for both of us.

4. The artwork. The things I chose for the walls were a mix of gifts, hand-made items, and things I already had in the house. Most are not traditional nursery decor, which works for us. I don’t want to redecorate every few years!

When I had finished wallpapering Steve accused me of decorating the most grown up nursery in the world. I think if he had his way the room would be baby blue, but a year later I am grateful I went with a neutral color and an unusual look. It’s a room James can truly grow into and hopefully instill a love of the outdoors, camping and of course, Maine.

Wallpaper: Wallpops!
Rug: Overstock.com
Crib: Babyletto
Pouf: Land of Nod
Bookcase: Land of Nod
Tent:Land of Nod
Mobile: Land of Nod
Campfire print: Little Truths Studio
Maine print: One Canoe Two
Lobster print: Design Army for Neenah Paper
“James is Awesome” print: Kacie Desmond-Meixell