Mighty Life List
Jan 24 2007

Nesting: the Nursery

Me painting, originally uploaded by MaggieMason.

Bryan and I adore our spacious, reasonably priced, one-bedroom apartment, so instead of moving when I got pregnant we decided to convert the breakfast nook (my old office) into a nursery. I have a photo set going to record the process.

So far, we added doors to the arched entryway, Bryan tore down a wall of mirrors and painted the room (twice, as the first color looked like a Tiffanys explosion), and we enlisted some friends to help paint this bubble mural on one wall. We’re going for a nautical, 1950s Illustrated Encyclopedia look.

Here’s how we did the mural, easy peasy:

-The design is from a letterpress card that we love. I photographed it with my digital camera, discarded the color info in Photoshop, and turned the contrast way up.

– We borrowed a projector from Bryan’s office (Thanks, Adaptive Path!), and plugged it in to my computer. We opened the image in Photoshop and moved the projector around until the image fit the whole wall.

– I tried painting a single circle with a paintbrush, and it took forever. Our friend Rachel suggested using common household items (like glasses, bottles, tins) to stamp the bubbles. She is a genius.

– We filled paper plates with paint and got to stamping. Before marking the wall, we tested potential stampers on a piece of paper to be sure they’d work well. Glasses with wider lips seemed to work best. With Ryan and Rachel’s help the whole thing only took about 45 minutes.

-We ordered pizza.

26 Responses to “Nesting: the Nursery”

  • maggie Says:


  • slouching mom Says:

    Everything about that nursery is gorgeous. What makes me gasp, though, is that stunning stained glass inset. Aren’t you lucky to have a window like that to work with!

    Your “too Tiffany” worries remind me of an old episode of Trading Spaces in which Hildy (of course) made an entire room look like a Tiffany box, with the white ribbon, of course. The lucky owner’s face when she first saw it reminded me of the man’s face in Edvard Munch’s The Scream.

  • Mau Says:

    That nursery is going to be awesome!

    Hey Maggie, do you guys know the baby’s gender?

    Maybe it’s a secret?… even for you two?


  • samantha jo campen Says:

    That is awesome. Can’t wait to see the finished product–with the baby!!!!

  • Deborah White Says:

    Your nursery decor is glorious.

  • Amy Says:

    What a fantastic idea! It looks great.

  • doahleigh Says:

    I tried the projector thing with a tree design I had. I didn’t have as much luck. Of course, I couldn’t find a projector to borrow, so that was the main problem. Next time I’ll look harder. Your project looks great!

  • Krystyn Says:

    Very unique- it looks great!!

  • Mo Says:

    I like it!

    People suggested the projector idea to me when I was planning a meadow mural for my baby’s room. I couldn’t get one, so I was just going to grid it on — draw the image, divide it into squares, then reproduce each square at an increased size on the wall. But then my wife and I realized, “We’re going to move before she’s three, she won’t appreciate or even remember a mural.” So we’re stenciling butterflies instead.

  • Monkee Says:

    “nautical, 1950s Illustrated Encyclopedia look” I didn’t know I was capable of this kind of love…

  • rik Says:

    oh maggie, that’s such an incredible design! and a great way to go about making such a massive undertaking “easy peasy.”

  • kim at allconsuming Says:

    wow – what a fabulous idea and it looks spectacular!

  • Nichole Says:

    That looks fantastic!

  • luke Says:

    How come no one is asking the most important questions:
    – Where did you order pizza from?
    – What was on it?

    (and yes.yes. of course. it all looks fabulous)

  • clearlydistracted Says:

    I love the nursery – the bubbles are awesome.

    I hate the phrase “easy peasy”.

  • erin Says:

    dude, that is so awesome.
    you are very crafty and I admire that. i hope that when my day comes to get a room ready for a baby, I’ll have the energy to do things other than read magazines on the couch and watch the facts of life re-runs, leaving my unborn child to fend for themselves in the spare bedroom, a crib snuggled between broken printers my husband refuses to sell and text books I can’t seem to throw away!

  • margieblystone Says:

    Awesome Blossom!

  • shuna fish lydon Says:

    …it’s very old fashioned but I still love potato printing…

    this is a wondrous post!

  • Ryan Says:

    I love the theme. We’re going with sock monkeys. Yours makes us feel less than hip.

  • sarah Says:

    I especially like the doors you two put up :) Quite the transformation!

  • Grace Says:

    Oh this is Stacy Pancake’s card (pancakeandfranks.com)- she’s a phenomenal artist from SF. Glad you chose her work :)


  • Kristy Says:

    It looks gorgeous, but be prepared – your nursery may become little more than a storage space like ours is – those little monkeys really like to sleep near mama!

    Good luck Maggie!

  • Head Squawker Michele Says:

    OK, I’m feeling really awful about now. We live in a two-bedroom condo that became very cramped once baby showed up. I haven’t done anything to my daughter’s room because our space is so small and I wanted to wait until we moved into a bigger space. Thanks for showing me that no matter how big (or small) my home is, I can decorate my daughter’s room to make it beautiful.

  • catherine Says:

    so beautiful… my sis too did a water theme, underwater with fish, even the ceiling was painted to look as if you were under looking up to see the rays of sunshine bouncing on the waters surface…she found it incredibly soothing. I hope you find the same with your room. :)

  • Aunt Raina Says:

    I’m so glad you took after your Auntie! :-)

  • hongcgi Says:

    It is very nice!!!