sasha's circus nursery

Today's guest post comes courtesy of Sasha from the blog The Four Dog Fig Farm. I love reading Sasha's blog partly because she lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico on a large farm and grows all kinds of wonderful food which she whips up into the most deliciously simple meals - a life far removed from my own in urban Toronto! The other day she posted this photo of herself in grade school... About a year after it was taken she decided her dress was much too boring and covered every photo she could find in glitter! (Quite artfully I might add - love that necklace and headband you gave yourself!) Makes me feel like I know you just a little bit better. Thanks Sasha for dropping by!

Hi Marion House Book readers! My name is Sasha and I blog about cooking, gardening, home renovation, and other creative pursuits, from Albuquerque, NM, only a couple thousand miles southwest of Emma and her lovely neighborhood. I'm trained as a Landscape Architect, but after getting laid off, am not sure that I want to continue that path, and am currently focusing on other creative pursuits-- like redesigning my friends' homes in my head. (Really lucrative!) Today I'm going to share one of my imaginary rooms.

My best friend is about to have a baby! She and her husband (above from their wedding announcement/painting) are really excited about the pending arrival, but much less so about the requisite accrual of baby stuff. For ecological and financial reasons, the idea of buying a lot of new things turns them off. Keeping to inexpensive new pieces, gently used pieces, things they already own, and focusing on furniture that will grow with the baby, I hope this imaginary nursery will inspire them.

I started with pale grey walls because its a landlord friendly color, and mom and dad rent. Grey is soothing and a little unexpected in a kid's room. Since small kids need color to stimulate their senses, I brought it in through the curtains, wall art, and light fixture.

To reflect the interests of each parent, I brought in a really cool staghorn fern and botanical rug, and a vintage child's easel. Mom is a Landscape Architect and dad is an artist.

Finally for fun, despite the parents not being the type to theme a room, I brought in some circus elements-- a monkey poster, the somewhat garish chandelier, an elephant growth chart, and clashing patterns with polka-dot curtains and a striped rug. Sort of a deconstructed circus.

The Elements:

1) Circus Growth Chart wall decal, $42. This is really cute, and claims to remove easily from the wall in order to be rental friendly. However, it's more of an inspirational image since dad's an artist, and mom used to be a graphic designer. I think they, or someone they know, can easily make something similar but unique.

2) Urban Outfitters Mid-Century Rocker Chair, $288. I've never seen any of Urban Outfitters' furniture in person, but I can't imagine the quality is great for such a low price. Mom has owned a mid-century rocking chair for years already, so this was really just a stand in for my mock-up.

3) This rose patterned kilim was an ebay auction that is now over. I didn't win it because it expired on a Sunday morning and I forgot to bid in time. Sigh. I love the graphic pattern, and think it works fine for a boy baby.

4) IKEA Stockholm Rand rug, from $179. I know this rug is ubiquitous, but there is something playful about it, and the stripes help reinforce the circus theme. Plus, its affordable.

5) Old dresser converted to changing table inspired by Young House Love. Alternatively if you look to The Marion House Book's most recent 'Hello!Neighbour' visit you'll see that Murray and Sian made a changing table using what look like two Malm dressers from IKEA.

6) Staghorn fern, one of my favorite plants. I think its a kind of cheeky way to put antlers, a traditional man/boy element, in a baby boy's room. You should be able to find one at a good plant nursery, but price will vary greatly according to size.

7)Urban Outfitters Prism Chandelier. I bought two of these a few years ago when they were on super sale. I thought they'd be fun in my bathroom, but really they've been sitting in storage awaiting the right home. No longer available, but a very similar options is the Gypsy Chandelier, $78-$158.

8) Monkeying Around poster, $55.00 with shipping.

9) IKEA Henny curtain panels, $39 per set. I wanted to add pattern to the room, and I've been eyeing these curtains for awhile.

10) Oeuf classic crib in birch, $890. There is no way that this family will be paying $900 for a crib. They'll probably try to get a hand-me-down, or go with the birch IKEA Gulliver crib, which converts into a child's bed, and costs a relative wee $139. I just couldn't find a photo of the Gulliver that was at the right angle for my mock-up.

11) 1960s child's easel, $140-$160, while it lasts. So cute! The top section has knobs that allow the graphics to change, like an old bus sign. Since Dad is a painter, this would come in handy since the little one will probably spend a lot of time with him in the studio!

I'm hoping to go out to California in November to visit the Mom and Dad, and if we get any part of this nursery installed I'll post pics on my blog. Thanks for reading! I had a lot of fun putting this together, and I hope you enjoyed it too.