I’ve been aware of the One Room Challenge for years. It’s so popular that my best friend (who isn’t a blogger) even participated several years ago. I’m not really a home decor blogger–but my photo archives for blog post ideas are filled with home projects. I’ve never done a big room makeover before, so I never had a reason to join the One Room Challenge.
But now I’m 21 weeks pregnant, and I need to prepare the house for a baby! I’m joining One Room Challenge with a guest bedroom makeover. Even though our baby will sleep in our bedroom for the first 3-6 months, I want to have a quiet space for nursing. Dan and I are transforming our multi-purpose room which is more of a storage space and less of a guest bedroom, into a nursery that doubles as a guest bedroom.
Luckily Dan did some of the big work on our guest bedroom last year! He and his dad built a Murphy bed with floor-to-ceiling shelves. This will give the nursery plenty of space most of the time, while still being usable as a guest bedroom the handful of times per year we actually have guests.
Even though the big project is already done, there’s a lot we need to do to create a nursery and guest bedroom combo in just 8 weeks… Especially because we’re in Orlando this week!
Let’s talk through the inspiration for our travel-themed nursery, and then go through our to-do list.
Oh the Places You’ll Go!
Very long story short, it’s taken me longer to get pregnant than I initially hoped. Not due to infertility, but because I was too sick with Crohn’s Disease for a healthy pregnancy. This means I’ve had years to plan out what I want to do, including a nursery theme.
I’ve loved the idea of a travel-themed nursery ever since I saw Jessica Lynn Writes nursery for her first child… 9 years ago! I actually loved her map pennants so much that Dan and I used them for our nerdy wedding reception!
But when it came to deciding the details of a travel-themed nursery, I was stuck. I also wanted to showcase our nerdy interests. After all, the rest of our house is decorated with maps AND Harry Potter art AND Star Wars art. Could I do all of that in a nursery?
Then I came across the popular nursery theme “Oh the places you’ll go!” from Dr. Seuss. Suddenly, everything I wanted made sense in a single theme.
Fantasy travel and real travel, with whimsical colors.
Plus, this means we can repurpose some of the art we already have around our house. Oh, and we can print off some of our travel photos!
Dark Wood Furniture
Honestly, we made this decision in 2021, without thinking of a nursery. When my dad sold my childhood home, I insisted on keeping my antique bedroom suite, which is dark wood. So we’ll use our existing dresser and… vanity? bedside table? that we took from my childhood bedroom. Dan also used dark wood for the shelving and Murphy bed.
I think dark wood furniture will be a lovely contrast to whimsical colors. Something brighter than pastels, but not as bold and vibrant as my home office.
Guest Bedroom Nursery To-Do List
Baby Flong is due in August 2023, and we have a lot of work to do before then! One reason I signed up for One Room Challenge was to give myself a deadline for completing the nursery in my second trimester.
Here is everything we need to do to prepare the nursery.
- Declutter and reorganize
- Deep clean
- Replace ceiling fan and curtains
- Choose existing art to hang in the nursery
- Pick out new nursery decor
- Acquire nursery essentials (mattress, bedding, nursing chair, etc.)
- Figure out nursery storage and organization system
Declutter and Reorganize
This is honestly the most time-consuming thing on our list. Dan refers to our guest bedroom as the Long Family Archives because we have so much stuff from my dad’s house. I need to clean out my bedroom closet and Dan’s office closet so I can move the stuff from the guest bedroom closet. Most of what’s in there I want to keep (my mom’s wedding dress, my grandma’s wedding dress, etc.).
I also have tons of memorabilia, photos, old costumes, and other stuff to sort through. What’s important to keep? What can I toss? And where can it all go besides the guest bedroom? Some of the items are baby things of mine and Harry’s, so I’m excited to figure out a way to use those with Baby Flong!
This is pretty straightforward. Once we remove everything from the guest bedroom, we need to deep clean. Scrub the walls, ceiling, baseboards, shelves, everything!
Replace Ceiling Fan and Curtains
The ceiling fan has been the same since we bought the house. It’s dated. I want to replace it.
Our curtains are simple and cheap that we bought when we bought the house. I want to get blackout curtains.
Choose Existing Art
We need to evaluate our existing art collection and decide what pieces will work for the travel-themed nursery. For example, we have two watercolors from my parents’ collection that show San Antonio’s riverwalk and Brennan’s in New Orleans. I love these watercolors because they represent special moments in my parents’ marriage and in my marriage to Dan.
Pick Out New Nursery Decor
I definitely want a sign or lettering that says “Oh the Places You’ll Go!” I would also love a Harry Potter map and a Star Wars map. We also need to go through our travel photos and print off a few favorites.
Acquire Nursery Essentials
These will be our big-ticket items for the nursery. We will register for all of this, and anything we don’t receive from family and friends, we’ll buy using a registry completion discount.
Organize the Nursery
This last step is vague because I won’t know what we need to do until we get to this step. We need to figure out how we’ll store our baby’s things in the nursery. How can we utilize the existing closet and storage space? What storage containers do we need to buy?
Guest Bedroom Before
Dan has actually already started on our guest bedroom makeover! I made him take a photo first. This panorama does a good job of showing just how much work needs to be done!
Decluttering and reorganizing will take a LOT of time. Most likely, we’ll do it in tandem with the other steps on this list.
Learn about the One Room Challenge and see the other participants!