Baby Nursery

Welcome to the Nursery!

Since finding out I was pregnant back in February, I haven’t felt overwhelmed by too many things. Maybe I’m going into all of this like I’m under-trained for a race, but that’s how I’ve always performed my best — when I haven’t over-complicated, over-trained, or obsessed.

There are definitely things I have no idea how to do when it comes to becoming a parent. Breastfeeding is completely foreign to me, I haven’t even taken the breast pump out of the box, and I don’t yet know the proper way to install the baby’s car seat (but we’re doing that this weekend, and it will be safe as hell, don’t you worry).

The one thing that did overwhelm me, though, was what to do with the baby’s room. An interior decorator I am not. Sure, I can look at something and say whether I love it or hate it. But when faced with an empty room and a list of things a little human I’ve never even met needs, might need, might want, or might hate? Not a clue.

Baby Nursery
Testing out the goodies before baby needs them!

But now, many months, hours on, and Google Image searches later, and the baby’s room is mostly complete, and I am obsessed with it.

I knew pretty early on — definitely before we knew Baby Cristiano was / is a girl — that I wanted a few things to come through in the nursery. I wanted it to feel a little outdoorsy, which meant green on the walls. I knew I wanted it to feel relaxing and calming. I knew I didn’t want a lot of stuff. And I knew I wanted at least a few of my favorite animals in there: elephants, giraffes, and Ellie. The Ellie part was easy. She’ll be there. We have her already. Check!

Baby Nursery
Giraffes and ellies everywhere!

On the one hand, I loved that Brian pretty much left all of this up to me. We went and looked at cribs and different styles at one point, and we immediately agreed on the style of crib we liked and that white furniture was the way to go. But on the other hand, like I said, I’m not someone who can see an empty room and know exactly what I want to do with it. (This is precisely why we didn’t decorate at our wedding. We put up some white lights and a few gold sparkly things and that was it. I just didn’t care.)

And piece by piece, things started to come together. I love gold and white, so that’s sort of the main color theme. I obsessed over wallpaper for a while, and ended up choosing a peel-and-stick banana leaf print that promised “easy assembly” and ended with Brian hanging it himself while I left the house for a few hours. I think that’s just the way that needed to happen, and he did a great job and I stayed out of his way.

Baby Nursery
Save your marriage: Install wallpaper alone!

I ordered the happiest, most perfect curtains, only to find out once they arrived and Brian went to hang them that not only did I order the wrong size, but also that the window frame is surrounded by metal, so we can’t drill into it. So the curtains are on hold for now, which is fine since baby will probably be sleeping in our room for at least a little while at first.

And then there was the chair. I thought practical was the way to go when it came to a rocker. (I prefer rockers over gliders. I really don’t find gliders comfortable or fun.) I told Brian and the Pottery Barn Kids saleslady that we should get a simple tan rocker. She said that was smart. She said not to get white, because that would be a disaster waiting to happen, and that gray would be “too cold,” but that a nice tan color was wise.

Then I saw the swatch. At the very bottom of the list I saw, “hot pink.” I asked the nice lady if, “just for fun,” I could see what that would look like. She showed me, and I kid you not, I gasped. I loved it so much. But it wasn’t practical! It didn’t go with the green walls! (I know people will say it does — that it’s very Lilly Pulitzer-esque, or that they complement each other, and I get that, but I wasn’t feeling it right away.) But I loved it. I must have stood in that dang store for 45 minutes going back and forth. The sales woman, who was amazing, by the way, kept trying to tell me to stick with tan. Brian told me the pink was making me so happy and that I would regret not getting it.

And so I let Brian convince me to get a hot pink chair, and it is amazing. The day it showed up, I couldn’t stop smiling. I love it. (So basically I did everything for this baby’s room, but the two things I love the most — the pink rocker and the giraffe rocker — were both, in large part, thanks to Brian. Dang it.)

Nursery Tour

We were back in that same PB Kids a few weeks ago, and saw the woman who had helped us. As soon as she saw me, she exclaimed, “pink chair girl!” She asked to see pictures of the room, and when I showed her, she agreed that it was pretty awesome. She said she “tells people about me all the time,” but that she hasn’t sold any more pink chairs. WTF. Get on board, people! (And I found a perfect pillow for the chair to tie it together with the wallpaper!)

Now, with the room just about done, I feel really good about it. It makes me feel happy and calm. And every time I find Ellie in there, usually right in front of the crib or lying on the elephant blanket, I feel like my heart may actually explode and cause a huge mess, which would be annoying. I love that Ellie loves it in there, and hope she’s OK sharing it with a little sister.

Baby Nursery
We love it!

I’m no expert here (oh LOL), but here are a few things I learned throughout this experience:

  • DON’T register for stuff too early! There were a few key things for the baby’s room I really wanted (that perfect little giraffe rocker…), so I put them on our registry months and months ago. But they quickly sold out, were discontinued, or went on such exaggerated backorder that they wouldn’t arrive until December 28, 2018. I ended up buying a few of these things myself, and adjusted the rest of my picks accordingly. It wasn’t a big deal, but I would say buy the things you really want yourself early on to make sure you get them (and get them on time), and go from there.
  • Everything at Pottery Barn Kids goes on sale at some point. We got our crib, dresser, and rocker on major sale. It was unexpected and awesome. Don’t buy this stuff full price. It will get marked down, either online or in store, at some point. I promise.
  • Order furniture all at once! Then you only pay one delivery fee, even if the pieces don’t end up getting delivered on the same day. Our crib, rocker, and dresser were all delivered and set up on different days, but because we ordered them all together, we only paid one shipping and assembly fee. (When I went back later to order the matching ottoman for the rocker, the ottoman was on sale, but I would’ve had to pay another shipping fee, which was going to cost more than the ottoman itself! Hence why I ended up getting a non-matching ottoman pouf thing.)
  • Nothing really matters and the baby won’t care. I mean…right? I can absolutely admit that this room was ultimately a fun project for me, and that I love it and that I am fully aware an hours-old baby does not and will not care about the fact that I rolled and arranged all of her blankets in height order, or that her books are organized in ROYGBIV color order. It’s fine.

That’s it. Those are my only tips.

Baby Nursery
People say to read to your baby before it’s born. I read to Ellie, and hope baby is tuning in.

With that, here’s everything we got for the nursery.

Some of these are affiliate links, which I just started doing! May as well make like 10 cents here when I can, right? (But truly, if you buy anything through these links, thank you so much. I really do appreciate the support. I think I get like 14 cents whenever someone buys something, so…baby’s going to college someday!)


Dresser / Changing Table



Banana leaf pillow


End table

Floor lamp

Elephant night light

Elephant play mat

Picture frames

Elephant storage basket

Giraffe storage basket

Crib sheet

Crib blanket (hanging there for decoration / temporarily only)


Small storage basket

Stuffed animal storage basket

Gold diaper pail



9 Responses

  1. Gorgeous! Love! We couldn’t really do curtains in our nursery, so we ended up with motorized blackout shades and they have been amazing. So excited for you, Brian and Ellie.

  2. The room looks amazing! I love the rocker and you will love it too even years later when you’re rocking her back to sleep when she’s not feeling well. I’m grateful we got a rocker even now! I have a suggestion about the curtains…try tension rods. We have them hanging inside the window frame and it makes for easy hanging and easy changing. Also, get something truly blackout for curtains! There’s a lot of “blackout” curtains on the market that aren’t very good. Good luck 🙂

  3. Love, love the room! And I think I’m with you on the going in undertrained part. You’re going to be amazing, I mean exhibit A: Ellie! Don’t think this is creepy because I don’t actually know you, but you have a ginormous heart and an amazing sense of humor, both of which seem essential for this parenting thing. And honestly I think this Crohn’s stuff has made you extra tough, which seems like it will come in handy too. You soooo got this!

  4. “I know people will say it does — that it’s very Lilly Pulitzer-esque,” — by “people” did you mean me? Because I want to move into her room as an adult. Pink and green are v obviously my jam. And I’ll snuggle with you too?

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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