Ben’s Room: Planning

Our son Ben was born on December 24, 2015.

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Photos by Morning Light Photography

And his clothes, crib and changing items have been in our room ever since.

It’s not a bad setup.

His crib, shown here, is actually moved between our bed and the wall:

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His clothes live in two dresser drawers, and his diaper stuff fits pretty neatly in these baskets.

But that is temporary:

Over the past four months, we have been renovating our basement and adding a fourth bedroom. That will be for hosting international homestay students.

The room that will become Ben’s nursery? It is occupied by a student we are hosting from the university.

But when the basement is done, our hosted student will be down there. Ben will stay upstairs and get the second bedroom instead. This room is approximately 10 x 11 feet, with windows that face north and east:

1 floor planSecond floor floor plan


Thankfully, this room is already renovated (new insulation, drywall, electrical, etc.)

After a long process…

1 2nd bedroomsault house - jarod plaster alth

It looked like this for our students. A blank canvas.

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There have been a couple minor changes since.

We added a ceiling fan and navy blackout curtains. The room is now navy, gray and white.

To make it into a nursery, I kept three things in mind:

  • We can pick things we like! He won’t care if its navy or yellow.
  • What will he notice?
    • Are there pleasant textures, colours and images?
    • Is there good contrast?
    • Is anything breakable (like art) well secured?
    • Is anything that could tangle (like curtains) safely far from the crib?
  • For simplicity’s sake, items should grow with him or future kids.
    • Neutral walls work now and later. Maybe he’ll pick out Paw Patrol bedding, or have a giant play mat for toy cars on the floor.
    • For now the art is mounted at adult height. Later it can move down on the walls, or into another room.
    • Install bookshelves, hooks, and toy bins he can use later
    • When he outgrows the crib, the crib mattress can go in a toddler bed or floor bed.
    • Clothes can be in the dresser – so the closet can be used for storage
    • The linens can be reused for another child, or sold as a set when we are done.

For the crib sheets, crib skirt, and change pad cover, Jarod and I went to Jo-Ann and got some navy, white and mint green fabric.


The antique rocking chair we are using has gold upholstery. A lovely student, Julia Chu, gave us a canvas with blue and some bright yellow on it.

Here I laid out a sample gallery wall layout. It has the painting from Julia, a few framed note cards and a mirror. Plus some placeholders (the book, plastic wrap and cork!) where other pieces will go.

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So a few yellow and gold accents will also be in the mix:

The mint is a little pale, so I picked up some wire baskets from Winners in a more intense aqua shade. And a can of Krylon in the Sea Glass colour to add more of the same aqua colour.

The rocking chair is a pretty bold shade of gold: These cushions on the seat (plus a couple comfy blankets!) should tone it down a little. They also tie the room colours together:

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(Cushions available here and here from Via Supply)

Also, my husband Jarod loves sharks. So I made some cloth diaper wipes out of this flannel. Perfect for even the tiniest fan of Shark Week!


(These sharks look a little aggressive… Much cuter shark art will be on the walls.)

This room has two huge advantages:

It is the first time we have just needed to pick out furniture and decorate!

It’s a good “easy” project to just do cosmetic and furnishing changes.

And although it was frustrating to have the room occupied at the beginning…

There has been a lot of time to plan and pick out items! And to search for them little by little.

Layout is still to be decided. As a small room, there are only so many options! But that can easily be done with trial and error.

There are a lot of combinations that won’t work (the crib can’t go under a window, for example. That leaves just two walls). So the right layout should reveal itself when we move the furniture in.

Here’s what I’ve got so far:

  • Furniture
    • Crib  – white pre-owned
    • Mattress     new, gift from registry
    • Dresser — mid-century teak from Kijiji
    • Chair      rocking chair we already had
    • Small ottoman       from downstairs 
    • Wooden desk       old desk Mer refinished a few years ago
    • Desk chair       from downstairs
    • Storage/toy Trunks      from downstairs
    • Book shelves
  • Smaller items
    • Wire baskets for cloth diapers on dresser (Winners, purchased with gift card/store credit)
    • Small lamp
    • White noise machine with built-in nightlight
    • Tall Rubbermaid tote/basket and pail liners for cloth diapers – inside fabric basket already owned
    • Laundry bin (already owned, will be hidden in closest)
    • Cushions for chair (this and this from Viasupply)
    • Change pad
    • Wall hooks
  • DIY
    • Linens
      • Change pad covers
      • Crib skirt
      • Crib sheets
      • Fabric garland from scraps
      • Blanket for rocking chair – white one, from when Mer was a baby
      • Blanket for rocking chair – DIY quilt with fabric scraps  finish sewing
    • Wall-mount stuffed animal storage
    • Art for shelf and Gallery wall – all white frames
      1. Emily Carr note card purchased at art gallery (already have + framed)
      2. Lawren Harris note card purchased at art gallery (already have + framed)
      3. Renee Anne – small bird note card purchased at art gallery (already have + framed)
      4. Julia Chu – “do everything in love” canvas (already have + framed)
      5. Arrow mirror
      6. Reversible “Jesus Loves You” to “Welcome Tiny Overlord” cross-stitch from Christy
      7. “Ben” party bunting from  Alicia
      8. “9 months” frame from Erin
      9. Shark art piece – friendly-looking 🙂 DIY?
      10. Black and white print..  “be brave little bear” by moss and twig?
    • Hanging plant (non-toxic)
    • Pot and hanger for plant
    • Hanging bracket mechanism for plant
    • Mobile?

It’s a pretty good start! And I look forward to finishing it in the next couple weeks.

Bens room

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