Designing a Baby Boy Nursery – Our long awaited sons warm and cozy nursery

(Everything you see, we bought with our own money – nothing was sponsored or gifted). This post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.

Designing a baby boy nursery, corner gallery wall. walnut crib, dark nursery, cozy nursery

He’s here!! Our rainbow baby is finally here after nearly three years of secondary infertility, surgeries, tears, needles, prayers, and so much hope in a hard season of waiting and dreaming of designing a baby boy nursery. He’s here. And I would love to show you around his nursery!!

In 2021 I set out to complete the One Room Challenge to turn this small room into a study for my husband, who had been working from home since the pandemic began. For nearly two years it was our daughters nursery and at 15 months we moved her into a much bigger room in the house and created a new big girl room for her!

A few weeks prior to the One Room Challenge starting I had suffered an ectopic pregnancy following an IUI, which ended with me having emergency surgery. To be completely honest I was pouring myself into this “study” design project to distract myself from the trauma that came from the entire experience. To try and put a band-aide on the fact that we weren’t preparing this room into a nursery like we were supposed to be. Three weeks in my excitement for the project fizzled out and I never really finished it. This is how I left it; a beautiful moody room with Urbane Bronze walls, porpoise ceiling, a fun corner gallery wall with empty frames and a rocking chair that was the biggest sign of hope that we could use this room for what we really had been praying for someday.

Fast forward through a failed adoption, prepping for IVF, egg retrieval, mock transfers, biopsies, bloodwork, so much acupuncture, ultrasounds, tears, anxiety, so much painful gas, and finally… a dreamy pregnancy after that 20 week ultrasounds to calm my nerves. It was time to turn this space into what it was destined to be, a nursery for our miracle rainbow baby boy.

We loved the dark moody color of the room, the rust door, and the corner gallery wall, so we knew all of that was staying. Really it made the transition from study in progress to nursery pretty seamless because all it truly needed was a crib, and maybe a changing pad.

Corner gallery wall:

The most personal and fun part of this room for me to work on and curate was the corner gallery wall. Let me first preface with this penny pinching tip: Get your frames at your local Goodwill. They are usually overrun with them and if you have the time and patience you will usually find something you are looking for for a literal fraction of the price of buying new. Do you see those price tags on there? What were they… $2.99? I paid anywhere from $.99 to $2.99 per frame, that’s it. Why pay more? Why?

I slowly started adding to these frames in the months leading up to meeting him. I knew I wanted the photos/keepsakes in these frames to be black and white or at least very muted to not let it become overwhelming in the end. There were already a lot of frames in the space, I didn’t also need a lot of colors too.

Whats in the frames you ask? A western US map by Moore, topographical 3d printed map of Washington, some black and white sketchy illustrations of the ocean, some cute black and white and gold foil greeting cards we bought while we were traveling when I was pregnant with him, and my personal favorites: His 5 day old embryo photo (thank you IVF) and the little drawing his big sister drew for him specifically asking to have it be a part of this gallery.

The other bit of artwork featured in his room is this driftwood wall hanging. I will quickly invite you to scroll back up to the version of this room that was our daughter’s nursery. Do you see it? The driftwood mobile, yes we might have this thing with driftwood. In her nursery my husband and I had collected it off the beach on our babymoon in Oregon. When it came time to design another long awaited nursery, I knew it had to have more driftwood. It’s free, its all natural, and its beautifully sculptural and forever holds the memory of the three of us collecting the pieces for it on our last vacation as a trio. Some of my favorite words to describe the things I design my home with: free (or very inexpensive) and meaningful.

The Crib:

When I switched gears to nursery design in this dark space, I always envisioned a rich, dark wood crib. Especially for a boy, plus I just kind of wanted everything opposite of his sister since we had given away/sold all of the baby things up to this point. Knowing what I wanted and the fact that I had about 30 weeks to search for one, I began my facebook marketplace hunt, casually. Here’s the key with marketplace: PATIENCE.

I am so diligent and consistent with my Facebook marketplace browsing (every morning in bed, and can we PLEASE just get a facebook marketplace app, Meta, please!) that I definitely have it working for me now. It knows what I like to look for and knows pretty great things to suggest to me. But I’m stubborn and I hate paying too much for anything I find. Like $10-$40 is the sweet spot for me for most items. When I see an item I like, I usually “save” it. This tells that little algorithm to suggest more like it in the future.

All that being said, I spent weeks clicking on, saving, sharing wood cribs in my area getting really close to giving in and buying new…until finally, THE ONE. This gorgeous solid walnut crib from Room+Board. A $1350 crib in brand new condition, for $300. Albeit a little higher than my usual marketplace purchases, but OH so worth it.

The drapes I always envisioned in a light color, either in a plaid or a velvet. Something heavy, either visually, or physically. I ended up with a white velvet blackout drape. To frame the windows and break up the space a little bit, brighten it up but keep the same cozy feel with the texture.
The rocking chair was one of those few “baby” items I was not going to let go of, honestly I’ll probably keep it longer than I should. The rest of this room is mostly filled with repurposed pieces from around my house, one of my penny pinching tricks of the trade: try using what you have already in your home before buying new. The walnut shelves (which match the crib) we had used in every iteration of the room, the cross section wood side table with pin legs that I made 5 years ago for my daughters very first nursery, a lamp I found at goodwill, and the wood filing cabinet/desk I refinished that my neighbor set on the curb for free (thanks Kels!), and the rug I moved out of our room.

The closet:

The moment I took the doors off the closet in this room, it was a game changer. We just gained so much more square footage in this small space and I knew we had to keep them off and use it. It ended up being the perfect space for the file cabinet turned dresser/changing table. It was a little tricky to change a messy diaper with no lighting in there, but nothing a cutie little lamp couldn’t fix! The tricky part of this integrated closet changing table situation was the missing clothing rod, so this is where I had to get creative. I knew there had to be SOMETHING that I could attach to the closet system that I already had in place. After lots of looking I ended up with this solution. A few Elfa system rod holders from The Container Store, and the cheapest 6’ long wood rod that would fit in these holders. That “rod” happened to be square from Home Depot, but it works and I love the way it looks.

A room that has come full circle and gets to fulfill its destiny as a nursery once again. A room that I once thought needed a yellow ceiling (turns out it makes for a much better changing pad color). A room full of second hand furniture, hand me downs, and SO MUCH love for our little buddy. Welcome home son!!


Wall color: Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze
Ceiling Color: Sherwin Williams Porpoise
Door Color: Sherwin Williams Brandywine
Crib Sheets
Rocking chair
Closet Mirror
Closet Baskets

Designing a Baby Boy Nursery

1 thought on “Designing a Baby Boy Nursery – Our long awaited sons warm and cozy nursery”

  1. Pingback: closet without doors- making use of your hidden 35 square ft

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