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Iris’s Nursery Tour

Author: Charlotte O'Shea

I like pink. And I like blue. I wanted to create a calm and neutral space for our second baby and decided on the nursery colour scheme regardless of gender.

Gender Neutral Nursery ?

Is a nursery “gender neutral” only if you use 50 shades of beige? I’ve read various blogs and instagram captions over recent months, and I must admit I’m confused. Shouldn’t it be about choosing the colours you think work for your baby/your nursery/your home/what you like rather than avoiding “stereotypical” shades altogether? It seems the internet is awash with quite passive aggressive comments against using pink for a baby girl full stop for example. Ultimately we want equality and choice right?

I bought the Regal Wingback armchair from Calvers & Sudval in pink because I love it. It is so comfortable, and I didn’t question plonking my arse on it to feed my baby in the nursery, whether we were lucky enough to have a boy or a girl. The moral of this story is, choose what you like and what you think is best, all the judgy pants parent brigade can do one….it’s just a chair. Or bedlinen. Or a rug.

Panelled Walls

I fancied a statement wall but couldn’t decide on wallpaper – lots of lovely options, but nothing I could commit to. We had the panelling created by a carpenter in March 2018, I had the idea initially for the guest bedroom – our cottage goes around a corner which although gives it architectural merit from the outside, hurts my eyes indoors due to the on-the-wonk nature of the curvature. A panelled wall not only straightened out the guest room so it was far more useable, but we now have “secret” storage space behind. The panelling in Iris’s nursery is purely for aesthetics, and I really like the effect. I was also keen to pay homage to my family home, which was up for sale at the time (it sold in September to a developer so essentially no longer exists). We had a fully original oak panelled dining room which I had a nostalgic soft spot for. I occasionally had a google hang out call with the Rock My team there so my Dad could watch Mabel, which would sometimes result in exclamations of: “Where the hell are you? Downton Abbey?!” And so the panelling situation spread – we have floor to ceiling panelled cupboards in the playroom too.

I’m not going to lie, I was worried it might be a bit…naff. And now the whole panelling thing seems to be everywhere I’m pretty sure in the not too distant future it may be viewed much like having an avocado bathroom, with carpet in it. But for now it’s beaut. A bit of Downton in the Warwickshire countryside.

I’m not big on loads of accessories, I just think dusty…..and with all those nappies/vom covered clothes to change on the daily, I would rather Mr Sheen wasn’t required that often. I have a small shelf section (the set of shelves were a £15 bargain from Tiger) which houses some of Iris’s special/sentimental newborn gifts from friends and family. One of the first toys I bought her was the Finn & Emma “Penny The Pigeon” rattle which amuses me no end – I bought it from Natural Baby Shower – they had a 2 for 1 offer on at the time so I bought the flamingo too.

The graphic illustrations are from Monoqi who seem to do small runs of unusual things, they often have discounts and offers so its worth signing up to their newsletter if you’re after unique pieces.

I bought quite a few pieces from H&M, the rug, the bunting and the wooden peg rail were all from there. The hanging light and table lamp are matchy matchy – the “Asher” range from John Lewis. I find lighting in general difficult to choose, these have a grey smoked glass dome with a pink pattered glass inset which is really effective and unlike anything I’ve seen before.

I find traditional changing tables cumbersome and generally hugely overpriced so I created my own from a one-off Etsy set of drawers (recycled/upcycled) topped with a Leander “Matty” changing mat. I would hands down say the latter is one of the best things we invested in, it’s sturdy, durable, wipe-clean and doesn’t ever feel “cold”, I recommend them to everyone and anyone that will listen to me wang on about their awesomeness.

Iris’s “reading corner” was created using an old Ikea picture shelf and what is actually the “Cairn” bedside table from Made.com – it has three separate storage sections which is perfect for books. The wardrobe is also Mabel’s old Ikea one, painted in Farrow & Ball’s “Plummet” to give it a new lease of life (also see, cover up the bright green wax crayon scribbles that she kindly decorated it with aged 3).

Last but not least, and for a bit of “behind the scenes” reality – this is my upstairs landing on the day we photographed Iris’s nursery. I told Adam I would have to move a few “things” out of the wardrobe/out of the way…….

Let me know if I’ve forgotten anything or if you have any questions on any of the decor ideas, I would love to hear about your recent interiors renovations, gender neutral nursery or otherwise!

P.S I remember when I featured Mabel’s nursery on Rock My Style…..it is her 5th birthday today. Treasure every moment folks. Treasure EVERY moment.

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25 thoughts on “Iris’s Nursery Tour

  1. Oh Charlotte, this is the nursery of dreams! I’m not a big fan of pink personally, but that chair is just perfection!

    We are expecting our first in July and Operation Nursery is well under way. It’s quite a small room, and is north facing so doesn’t get a lot of light so for the walls we’ve kept it a grey-white colour but hoping to add a bit of colour with prints and accessories.

    We decided not to find out the sex – which has been fine for nursery decoration as per above, but when it comes to shopping for clothes, it’s been slightly infuriating to say the least. I fully appreciate that in the early days, practicality is key so I’ve got the usual plain white vests/sleepsuits etc, but as with the nursery, I want a splash of colour as well. I’ve been trawling through seas of grey when it comes to unisex clothes and found I have to delve into the ‘boys’ section to find anything other than white/grey that could also be neutral. I did find some lovely red/navy/dark green/mustard yellow combos in Primark, but that’s about it! Just find it odd that the girls section is just a mass of pink without any deviation. Even prams have been a nightmare – although I did end up finding our chosen model in a lovely red which I’m very happy with! Sorry, that was a bit of a diversion, but hoping someone, somewhere might have some suggestions of where I can find a bit more colour that isn’t traditional pink/blue or endless grey…!

    1. Thanks Jo, it’s funny – I wasn’t a fan of pink until recently, for Mabel’s nursery I was all about the mint green!

      Clothes wise I really like John Lewis for newborn stuff, all sorts of interesting patterns and loads of colour variations. Sainsburys too – worth a butchers, they do have the usual traditional pieces but I find they have some lovely prints sometimes too x

    2. Thanks Charlotte and Sarah! I will take a look (yay for pay day on Thursday – perfect timing for some new purchases for both me and baby!)

  2. Happy Birthday to Mabel!! How can she be 5?! Just had to say that and also that I love your behind the scenes shot. So pleased you included it! X

  3. Absolutely love this and the pink chair! Just a quick question from somebody who is currently trying to pull a compact nursery together!

    We have a really small space so could fit and comfy chair and a tallboy chest of drawers or no chair / a stool and a big chest of drawers! Is storage or a chair in the actual nursery more important? We have a wardrobe in another room which can fit some bits!

    Thanks

    1. Hi Clare! It depends on how much storage is in the other room, I think a tallboy would work – nappies, bedlinen and most clothes could fit in that I would think? Do you have anywhere in the space you could put a peg rail to put coats/cardigans etc? baby clothes are so lovely I think it’s nice to have them on display x

    2. Just to add my opinion in case useful Claire – I’d say a comfy chair is a really nice thing to have in the nursery if you can fit it. We didn’t use ours a tonne at first as I mainly breastfed wherever I happened to be when the baby cried (!) but it comes in really useful for middle of the night shushing, and now that our daughter is sleeping in her own room we use it every day for bottle/bedtime story and a little cuddle before we put her down. Also, baby clothes are tiny, so you really don’t need that much storage! We have an ikea Hemnes chest of drawers (the 3 drawer 108cm wide one) and even now our daughter is 14 months all her clothes fit in one of the three drawers. Second one for nappies and bits and bobs and third one empty!

      1. Ps sorry *Clare – I know how irritating it can be to have your name misspelt when people can literally see it written it down!

      2. Thanks so much! Definitely set on a chair now! Just now a case of convincing my husband it’s essential for it to be in yellow velvet….

    3. Just to add to this, both of my children have had the same nursery (the older one then moved in to the spare room) and it is a small room. But having a chair is incredibly useful and we use it every single day when it comes to settling at night time. When Austin (hopefully) stops having night feeds/waking regularly we will move the chair to elsewhere in the house. But it’s been invaluable for now.

  4. Such a beautiful space, Charlotte! So much inspiration and I especially adore the reading corner. I also bought a pink chair for Odette’s room before we knew that she was a girl….simply because I loved it! xx

    1. I would love to see Odette’s nursery Sophie! and thank you – we finally got there in the end! x

  5. Happy birthday Mabel!! Can’t believe she is 5, time really does fly… Lovely nursery, I wasn’t a pink fan either with my first but got some pinky/coral cushions with spots from La Cerise sur le Gateau and they are perfect with her green walls. Although they don’t really match some of her bedlinen but hey ho, can’t have everything (well you can but I can’t justify buying more just to match the cushions!). And I ADORE that behind the scenes picture!! Marvellous 🙂

    1. Hi Annie! Oh those cushions sound lovely, Iris’s bunting has this random burnt orange colour in it but….I quite it, even though it doesn’t really go with anything else as such, green walls sound fab. Thanks for the Birthday Well Wishes xxx

  6. I totally adore this Charlotte. Thank you for sharing. Giving me broody vibes just so I can have another go at a nursery! Even the bunting, which I saw as gold rather than burnt orange!

  7. It’s beautiful! We have those Monoqi prints too, although not in banner format. They were in my daughter’s room initially and are now in my son’s.

    Congratulations on owning a 5 year old, it really is crazy how time flies! Xx

    1. It is so crazy, literally just had the Grandparents round who must feel it flies even quicker than we do x

  8. Gorgeous nursery, such a calm space. When we were decorating our nursery we went for a mint colour on the walls, we figured we could accessorise with lots of colour, and we didn’t find out beforehand if we were having a boy or girl. Our little boy is now 2 and the colour still works well.

    Happy birthday to Mabel, I still remember her beautiful nursery tour.

    1. Ah thanks Claire – I should say thanks for hanging around for so long (!) I love mint, we have a lot of Mabel’s original nursery accessories in the playroom (mint & peach) x

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