Design Notes: My Son Definitely Has a Bedroom That Is Not a Closet

As some of you may know, I dabble in interior design. I’m known in most design circles as The Woman Who Inherited a Bunch of Dorm Furniture From Her Older Sister. Plus, I’m married to The Guy Whose Framed High School Diploma is Bigger Than His Wingspan, so… you do the math. Naturally, friends/bloggers/industry folk/nobody have been hounding me to show off my son’s brand new nursery.

I’ll start with the “before” photo so you can understand the magnitude of this transformation:


This was an extra bedroom that, prior to baby #2, served no true purpose. It was just one of those “catch-all” rooms for me and Nate to store every single article of our clothing, underwear, shoes, luggage, hand bags, belts, suits, ties, and winter jackets. So, again, a pretty worthless space. But a bedroom. Definitely a bedroom. I knew from the moment we moved into this overpriced rental apartment that we would absolutely be having TWO babies in 20 months so it just made sense to have this extra bedroom available. You know? Bedroom.

As you may recall, my second pregnancy was the pits. I didn’t have much time nor energy to put towards the remodel, but – just like that time I transformed my parents’ old coffee table into my own coffee table – magic happened.

Here’s the final turnout:


Yup. It’s the same room. I couldn’t believe it either. Here’s a side-by-side to help your brain absorb it:

We are ardent sleep trainers, so we opted for the no-window window treatments. By eliminating the windows completely, there is no chance of this child associating sleep with light/life.

Now let’s walk through some of the details:


Here is the northern-facing wall. Don’t you just love the way the light doesn’t pour in from windows that don’t exist? Mesmerizing. I wanted to make sure these shelves were filled with trinkets that were important to my son. From top left: His mother’s collection of evening handbags which are filled with wedding favors and lipsticks; bags of designer high heels that are so small for mom that they just may fit a baby; unused hiking boots to show my son that it’s ok not to climb a mountain; a shoebox; the late Sean Taylor’s #21 Redskins jersey because dad was crushed by his senseless, untimely death, and because the white and burgundy really make the wall color pop;  a quilt to snuggle baby in when he’s 17 years old and the risk of SIDS has passed; a suitcase with a broken zipper that I’m too exhausted to go get fixed so maybe my son will grow up to be a zipper repairman so I don’t have to deal; dad’s shoeshine kit to create a calming, toxic air. (Note: Having objects on these shelves isn’t totally safe. But don’t worry… DC hasn’t had a serious earthquake in, like, four years!)


Here’s baby’s view from his bassinet. It’s what I call a “Stimulation Cluster Assortment” of belts, ties, and bags so that baby can experience textures and bright colors in a bedroom that has no light, no windows, and no air. I made sure that my lingerie was at the forefront of this collection because it’s never too early for them to form memories. How precious is the supple lace trim around the bust of that sexy, transparent white number? So cute!


This is the back of the door, where I’ve put all of my shoes. City streets, raccoon urine, manure, gasoline… these are just some of the things that the bottom of my shoes contribute to the overall aesthetic of this nursery.


Ok, I’ve saved my favorite part for last – the floors! This room has always been our neurotic dog’s favorite place to come dig his worries away (center) and then vomit up all the grass he ate on his last walk (top left). His creations are always unpredictable and out-of-the-box. I love how he brought out the deep sea green of the carpet foam (who knew?!). Mostly,  I really loved outsourcing the floorwork to a local, one-dog operation. He did an incredible job. The crumpled jeans are my husband’s contribution. He’s usually not totally involved with my bigger design projects, but for his own son’s nursery, he really stepped it up by kicking off his pants and then taking a 45 minute shower. Sometimes it really does take a village!

So, there you have it – a room that was once a bedroom is now definitely for sure a legitimate bedroom. So happy to have this bedroom for my baby boy! If you guys have any questions about some of my design choices, specific paint colors, or what it’s like to live in a home with plenty of bedrooms for my burgeoning Duggar family – ask in the comments!


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  1. daddy moo moo


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