Nursery Progress: Shopping For A Rug, A Light, & Curtain Fabric

You all remember where we left off when it comes to the big nursery makeover, right? We painted the walls a nice pear color and added a splash of light aqua to the ceiling:

Well… then it was time to go shopping. And not just any kind of shopping. Seriously determined we-have-a-goal-and-we’ll-make-fifty-stops-if-we-have-to shopping. And that goal was a lofty one. We set out on a Saturday morning with the hope of hunting down five distinct items for the recently painted nursery by that very evening:

  • Some sort of light fixture, either a big fun patterned pendant lamp or some sort of playful and sweet chandelier
  • A plush 5 x 8′ 100% wool rug (without any rubber backing or synthetic materials since we’re trying to keep the nursery as VOC-free as possible)
  • Tons and tons of fabric to create three curtain panels (two for the window and one for the now-doorless nursery closet)
  • A simple clean-lined curtain rod to hang the aforementioned window panels once they’re made
  • A vibrant mirror that will hang across from the window to reflect light around the room, thereby brightening the space)

That’s a pretty specific list, eh? We didn’t even really think it was possible, but we do our best under pressure so we listed all the items that we wanted out loud a few times- just so we had something to strive for. And what do you know… we actually returned home with every single item on our list! Sure it took us almost seven hours of driving around and ducking into nearly eight stores, but we got ‘er done. Plus we did this all on the same morning that we picked up our nursery paint. Yeah, we weren’t kidding when we said it was a serious shopping blitz. Here’s what our back seat looked like after a long (did I mention long?) day of shopping:

We’re actually approaching the transformation of this room just as we did all the other rooms in our house except for the recent basement and full bathroom makeover that we shared. In those instances we whipped up a mood board of sorts beforehand (check out the bathroom one here and the basement one here). But when it came to every other room here at Casa Petersik, we decorated in stages and took a let’s-see-what-we-find-and-go-from-there approach. The funny thing is that both methods are pretty parallel when you think about it.

Making a mood board usually involves us finding an item that we love and drawing inspiration from that single item’s style and/or color (be it a rug or a pillow or even a drawer pull) and building a room around it. So when we whip up mood boards we might start with a graphic patterned rug which leads us to other furnishings and accessories that seem to complement and play up all the things that we liked about the initial piece that started the whole board. Similarly, when we shop around and take a less pre-planned mood-board-ish approach, we usually still find something that gets us thinking in a certain direction, and from there we find other items that complement that initial item. There’s just more of an open plan with the second approach, since it’s not like we hop online and order everything in one fell swoop. Instead we sort of let things happen organically and do some fun pavement pounding over the course of a few weeks (or even months and -gasp- years) to create a room that we love in the end. Of course with a baby girl coming along in less than four months we don’t really have years to devote to this room, but we definitely don’t have to finish it within a week or two either.

So on this particular Saturday we didn’t have any pre-planned mood board to follow, we just had our cheerful pear and aqua walls as a starting point of sorts (tip: always bring your paint chips with you when you shop, so you can hold them up and see how they “play” with new items that you’re eying). The first stop was a local discount fabric store here in Richmond called The Interior Outlet. The first bolt of playful and graphic pattern to catch our eye was this print with a richer and brighter version of both our pear wall color (seen in the flowers) and our light aqua ceiling color (seen in the leaves). But although we liked the bold design, we wondered if there was something a bit less über modern and a smidge more modern-meets-traditional (since we envisioned clean lines and punchy patterns in the room without much stark white- and with a bit more of a charming lived-in look).

And then we saw this beauty. As Carrie on Sex & The City would say: well hello, lover. It really was love at first sight. Everything from the slightly deeper aqua background to the modern yet charming print felt warm and sweet and perfect for our little beanette. Plus when we held up our paint swatches they felt like they would seamlessly create the perfect backdrop for our new favorite fabric in the world. The other amazingly fortuitous thing about this particular fabric is that it’s actually an indoor/outdoor textile made by P Kaufmann/Waverly (which still feels soft and billowy to the touch, but is not only fade resistant but dirt, water, and wear resistant). Um, could it be more perfect for a little girl’s room?

And the $14.99 a yard price was nowhere near where most designer fabrics usually range, but it wasn’t exactly $2 a yard either. Especially because we needed tons of it to make two floor-to-ceiling window curtains plus a third curtain to use in lieu of a closet door. But when we did the math and deduced that each of the three panels that we needed would be around $35 a pop (plus we’d have a few feet of extra fabric to play with when it was all said and done) we decided to make our move. After all, the rest of our home’s breezy white curtains were just $7 each (thanks Ikea!) so we reasoned that splurging just this once for our baby girl was ok- especially because we’re pretty sure these babies will MAKE the room. Well, along with the other baby of course.

Plus we found the perfect clean-lined oil-rubbed bronze curtain rod with little ring hooks (won’t they look so posh for a bambino?) on clearance at Target for a total of $12 (for two packs of rings and the rod!). So we felt further vindicated that our custom made curtains would be well worth it in the end. Spoiler alert: we’ve since made them and they nearly made me cry with joy when we hung them up. Yeah they’re that good (stay tuned for that post early next week).

But back to our Saturday shopping spree. Here I am standing in front of the fabric store proudly showing off our new fabric and my baby bump. Side note: everyone, including fabric vendors, is nicer to you when you’re pregnant. No, we didn’t get a discount or anything but they were all smiles and treated me like a preferred customer. I could get used to this…

Ok, but back to the search. We checked off fabric and a rod but still had three more boxes to tick off: overhead lighting, a rug, and a mirror. So we headed over to a store that we knew could potentially kill at least two birds with one stone (that expression is kind of gross when you think about it). It’s called The Decorating Outlet, and it’s actually a local shop that we hit up from time to time- just to see what they have. And what do you know… they had THE PERFECT CHANDELIER. Everyone knows that I’m a sucker for capiz, and this capiz shell chandelier was aqua! Hello? Can you picture the happy dance that ensued (complete with some belly-holding to make sure not to jostle the beanette more than necessary)?

Yeah, it was kind of epic. And the great thing is that the nursery is actually visible from the master bedroom (and vice versa, they’re right across the hall from each other) so we love that this longer and punchier capiz chandy in the nursery will be visible from the master bedroom which boasts a wider and more subdued white version. It’s like they’re related but not too matchy-matchy. Almost like our master bedroom chandelier had a sweet playful little baby and we adopted it for the nursery across the hall. And I haven’t even told you the best part yet. It was marked down from $125 to $50. Sold!

Here’s a sneak peek of it hanging up with our lighter aqua ceiling and the fun pear wall in the background. We love the texture and the sort of childlike magic that it brings to the space. And we mentioned that it was longer than the one in the bedroom, right? In fact we feared that we might have to snip a few discs off the bottom since John’s a tall guy and we didn’t want him walking into it, but it’s perfect as is! Long and dramatic but totally walk-under-able. Whew.

But the party didn’t stop there. We knew the lighting outlet also had rugs, and thanks to an “end-of-season-clear-out” (which may or may not go on all year round- you know how those signs act like something is special but sometimes it’s always in effect?) all of their in-stock rugs were 50-75% off! As we mentioned we really wanted an 100% wool rug (without any rubber backing or synthetic materials since we’re trying to keep the nursery as VOC-free as possible) and they had a bunch on hand for us to choose from.

Unfortunately many of them had a bit of fun pattern, which was nice but we knew that we wanted our patterned curtains to be the star so we pulled out rug after rug in search of something simple, plush, 100% wool, and not three hundred dollars (even with the 50%- 75% off sale, many rugs were originally $800+ so they were still far beyond our budget). Then we saw a light blue 5 x 8 100% wool rug that was nice and cushy (and swanky- it was actually hand knotted). Our plush light blue find wasn’t exactly as aqua as the ceiling, but it was a soft powder blue and it was marked down from $399 to $99. Uh, yes please! We decided to buy it and see how it looked and if it was a bit too cool (and not aqua-ish enough to work with the ceiling, the chandy, and the curtains) we’d just bring it back. Thank goodness we snagged it because when we got home and put everything into the space it totally worked. And we actually remarked that we were happy it wasn’t light aqua like the ceiling since the more subdued gray undertone will definitely hide a lot more dirt and create some nice layered interest in the room. Score.

Then it was time to mirror hunt so we swung through TJ Maxx and then Marshall’s (which are pretty much our mirror holy grails, along with Home Goods) where we spotted this large and in charge stunner for… wait for it… $39. That’s pretty much unheard of for such a giant and detailed 30″ solid wood mirror. And of course we don’t plan to keep it black so you’ll just have to wait and see what color we’re going to paint it. Hint: it’s not going to be white- I know, we’re just shocking you left and right today.

So that’s how we hit up a slew of stores over the course of about seven hours and returned with a car full of stuff (poor Burger really had to pee by the time we got home to rescue him). We must admit that our shopping trips aren’t usually this fruitful, we just happened to be at the right places at the right time and did our best to see the promise in things that might not always look exactly right for a baby girl’s room (like the dramatic black mirror above). Oh and we devoted seven hours to the cause. Did we mention it was a long day of shopping? Because it was.

It’s also pretty cool that about 70% of our finds hailed from small local businesses (not only did we get our paint from a green boutique here in Richmond, but the rug, chandelier, and fabric all came from local outlets that we found either by driving by them or looking them up in the Yellow Pages. The lesson: don’t forget to check out specialty stores in your area, do some googling, and even ask the neighbors for suggestions when you’re on the hunt for something that you can’t seem to find at Target or Marshall’s. Of course two of our items (the curtain rod and the mirror) came from those big box stores so it really is a pretty balanced bounty. It just goes to show you that you never know where you’ll find your next deal, but if you keep an eye out and set out with a serious mission you just might come home with a packed car and a whittled down to-do list. Now we just need furniture, art, and storage galore…

But what about you guys? Do you have any favorite local haunts where you always score something special? Any big box stores that leave you giddy over the big box deals that they dole your way? Let’s talk about that serendipitous feeling of finding the right thing for the right price. There’s got to be at least one thing in your house that you can’t believe you snagged for such a steal.

Psst- Wanna see the nursery transformation from the very beginning? Here’s our first post about clearing the room and here’s our second one about painting the walls and ceiling.


  1. says

    I love the color scheme for a baby girl’s room and watching the whole thing take shape! I actually found that same mirror in royal blue at HomeGoods and hung it in our downstairs half-bath. I love the wood-work and the price.

    A question for you about paint rollers: I am painting the ceiling of our bedroom and I’m getting splattered by little paint drops from the roller throughout the process.

    I used Teflon rollers for some past paint jobs, but went with a slightly cheaper polyester version this time. I wonder if that’s responsible for the splatter. Any advice on favorite paint rollers? Thanks!

    • says

      It could be from any number of things, but too much pressure along with a low quality roller (which forces you to add more pressure) can definitely lead to splatters. We like high quality rollers by Purdy that are made for smooth surfaces. Hope it helps!


  2. Sarah says

    I love the nursery! My husband are expecting our first baby in May as well! Also having a girl!

    I am planning on having a similar chandelier in our nursery. Does your capiz chandelier have a bulb cover in it our can you see the bare bulb if you look up into it? I found a similar one for our nursery (in white) online but I am not sure if it just drapes over a bulb or if it is an actual chandelier.

    I have had a blast planning and shopping for our nursery! Looks like you are too!

  3. Meg says

    Hi guys! I love your blog and am only a few weeks ahead of Sherry but we don’t know if we’re having a boy or girl so the nursery is very gender neutral! We also live in Richmond and are trying to find a rug to work with the chair/ottoman that we already have. Any other suggestions on local places to find great deals on kid-friendly rugs? Thanks!

    • says

      Sarah- The chandelier doesn’t have a bulb cover, but unlike the larger, wider chandy in the bedroom (which you could see the bulb in if you laid directly under it), this one is much longer and skinnier (so it would be extremely hard to see the bulb from below since the capiz discs sort of envelope it more closely if that makes sense). We figure that our baby girl will gaze up at it (and the fun shadows that it casts on the ceiling) and we’re happy to report that it’s not too bright or anything like that- especially with the 60 watt bulb that it calls for. Hope it helps!

      Meg- Rugs are so hard! We would check out places like Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Target, Lowe’s and Home Depot (all places that we actually hunted for rugs the week before we found ours at The Decorating Outlet). Hope it helps!


  4. Jason says

    Thank you! I’ll look for the starburst…I’m getting ready to paint rooms and with a few other loose ends move in to the reno-reality first home:) I look forward to sending you and John pictures! You guys are just the best!

  5. Carissa says

    I ADORE the fabric you chose, too — it’s perfect! Girly and romantic, but also modern and (dare I say?) sophisiticated! Lucky, lucky bean!

    My first mirror color guess was, of course, white…but now I suspect maybe you’ll go pink!

  6. Melissa F says

    I must say I truly admire your ability to design and do it on such great budgets. I am completely inspired (being a graphic designer myself) to do more hands on interior work. I hope your daughter to be enjoys her beautiful new room! I wait in anticipation daily for your new posts!!

  7. says

    I LOVE the fabric you chose! I also like the more graphic one, but I think you’re right, the fabric you chose is sweeter, and more vintage-chic, and that’s my favorite style for a little girl’s nursery! Great choice! I am so looking forward to seeing the fabric in curtain form – I know it must be stunning.

  8. says

    Just saw someone else posted their guess for the mirror color, so now I have to put my guess in too! At first I assumed white, so I laughed when you told us, no, it’s not going to be white – I’m guessing a brighter green, like the green in the curtains, for some green tone-on-tone texture with the mirror on the wall. Can’t wait to see!

  9. says

    Hi Guys!

    I have the same mirror and I plan to use it in my master bedroom! I can’t wait to see what color you decide to paint it. I was thinking (for myself) to gold leaf it. I love the fabric that you chose for the window treatments and I can’t wait to see it hung!

    Have a great day

  10. says

    love the chandelier! it’s as if it were custom made for your room!

    whenever I’m looking for a special piece of furniture (for a reasonable price), I head over to Bloomsbury Loft in Powell, OH ( Their motto is “Make Room for Things You Love”!

    I picked up a gorgeous painted desk for my daughter’s room and a 1940’s red and white topped enamel drop leaf table.

  11. says

    What beautiful choices, I can’t wait to see the finished room. And the capiz chandelier is gorgeous, I’m so excited to see how it will look.

    Do you guys do most of your shopping in person at stores or do you do a lot of online home shopping as well? I like online shopping because of the convenience and variety of items, but I usually prefer to see things in the flesh before buying. Just wondering what you guys thought?

    • says

      Hey Jenny,

      We’d say we do a fair mix of both. We usually order items like a dining table or our console table online (both from Target actually) since they often have free shipping and we love the convenience (and can read reviews to feel more confident before we enter our credit card number) but then again we’ve purchased a lot of furnishings in person from places like thrift shops and garage sales, etc.

      When it comes to things that have a color (like rugs, pillows, mirrors, art) we usually stick to in-person purchasing since they’re easier to transport (ie: can fit in our small Nissan Maxima) and because online colors can vary so much that it can be tough to pin things down perfectly from an online image. Of course there are definitely exceptions and we don’t have any fear of online ordering for pretty much anything if the price is right (we’ve ordered some art, a few rugs, etc online and really liked the outcome). We just always read reviews to be sure we know what to expect. And there’s always a great return policy at most big box stores so that helps with the confidence factor too. Hope it helps!


  12. says

    Holy cow! What great finds!

    I love how the baby room decor isn’t looking like a typical babyroom. So, your baby girl can grow into the room! Btw, I see a Target curtain rod in the backseat of the car! They have such cute rods for great prices!

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