handmade home decor: Henry's nursery

by Holly Mathis of Holly Mathis Interiors

Few things are more special or can be more of a blessing than preparing for  a new life to enter your home. Whether it’s a large room or a small corner, a baby space is special and can bring so much joy to the one making preparations.  It can also be stressful because (a) hormones are involved, (b) Mama is tired (especially if there are older siblings to care for), and (c) there are so many decorating choices and ideas out there. It can be overwhelming to say the least.  I encourage the moms I work with to do two things – keep it simple, and start early if possible!

When decorating 7-month-old-son Henry’s nursery I knew I wanted to keep much of the “bones” the same from his brother’s room: white furniture, linen colored walls (Laura Ashley Stone 2),  and white scalloped awnings.  Big brother’s room was more vintage and red… I wanted Henry’s room to have softer colors with a touch of a modern feel.

New fabrics and a few handmade items were all the room needed to totally change the look and feel!  In fact, using handmade items for a nursery is such a perfect fit.  So much love and creativity go in to these items – perfect for a baby’s room!

The fabrics in Henry’s nursery came from Fabric.com (Waverly trellis on drapes and Waverly stripe on bumper) and  Calico Corners (the organic leafy fabric, “Dahlia”, and the linen dot on the crib skirt). I made the drapes and placed them in the awnings with a shower rod!

I had the bedding made locally.  One hint – if you are having bedding made by hand – be clear about the bulk of the bumper.  If you want it thin or fat or square.  And the ties, oh the ties!  I thought wide linen ties would be gorgeous, and they are if ironed, but who has time to iron bumper pad ties?  I think narrow simple ties stay crisp looking longer.

The monogrammed art canvas is from Kim at Small Words.  She has a waiting list, but she is worth the wait.  Check out her portfolio.  She is so talented and paints these creations at her home studio in Tennessee.  Henry loves the chocolate brown paint and big dots!

photo courtesy of Pink Perch

The chocolate colored silhouette over the bed is from sarah + abraham.  It’s one of my favorite things in the room. I love the dark color against the light walls.  I simply framed the scalloped-edge print in a white mat/frame from Target, and it looks great.  Simple but not boring.  I’ve used these prints in several nurseries lately, and the moms all adore the artwork!

Initially, I did not have a mobile in Henry’s room. Finally I ordered the owl mobile from etsy seller Pink Perch.  At first I was not sure about the colors, but they really brighten up the room and catch his attention (the purpose of a mobile).  I just love the felt!  She even added his initials on the tree… so adorable!

The flashcards above the changer were a problem area for me in the nursery. Parents need to remember to hang safe items above cribs and changers – it isn’t long before little hands and feet can bump these things off the wall! I considered framing flashcards but already had the sarah + abraham print framed and loved how it looked.  I didn’t want to add more white frames to the small space, plus the cost of multiple frames, so I simply punched holes in the cards and added ribbon to hang them with tiny nails.

I used museum putty on the back of each card (just a small bit) to hold them in place.  I have really enjoyed this look even though I sort of just popped them on the wall as a temporary filler.  I purchased these cards from Land of Nod, but I would love to replace them with some of the cards I have seen on Etsy (much more unique), like these counting cards from Art and Philanthropy or these from Pretty Little Studio.  I could do an entire post (and will) on the wonderful letter and number cards available on Etsy and elsewhere… the possibilities are endless! But don’t get overwhelmed, keep it simple and enjoy!

[More sources: The tree above the crib is from Dali Decals, brown rug and white coat rack from Target, rocker and polka dot toy hamper from Pottery Barn Kids.]


  1. Mrs. Doodle says:

    Okay I LOVE this nursery. I have a question… did you make the scalloped awnings? if so, are they wood or fabric? I love that idea. So simple but such a statement.

    Great job on everything – it is really beautiful and simple.

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