Moving & Shaking (Rearranging The Nursery)

We’re knee deep in the middle of a bunch o’ projects (in the office, the dining room, and the living room- yeah we’re all over the place), so we thought we’d share the one thing we actually completed in the meantime, which was a little moving (and some obligatory shaking) when it came to Clara’s nursery. Here’s what it looked like mid-chaos (chaos = really bad pics):

Why the furniture shuffle? Well, we arranged it for Clara’s seven month old self (she wasn’t even crawling when we moved in) and now she’s a fifteen month old walking fiend with a lot wider “wingspan” so we had to make some changes to keep her safe slash happy slash sleeping.

The issues:

  • an air vent was located near the foot of the crib, and sometimes when the air kicked on in the morning it would wake Clara up early. Which any parent will tell you is a tragedy.
  • a few slivers of sunshine landed right in the crib due to slipping out the side of the thick curtains & closed blinds (which also occasionally woke her up at the crack of dawn)
  • her taller height/longer reach meant she was getting closer to grabbing the nearby curtains from her crib, which evoked visions of finding her swinging from the rafters in the morning like a happy little monkey
  • the bench under the window wasn’t ever something Clara seemed interested in, but we worried when she got older she might try to climb up on it and get out the window (you know, when she enters the Houdini stage)
  • the ceramic table lamp on the side table was a lot more pull-downable thanks to our tall & active bean (time for something not-breakable and not-reachable)


  • there are just certain types of people who like to rearrange furniture, and we’re it

Here’s what it looked like before the switch:

So here are the changes I made (John was working and I was on Clara duty, so she loved “helping” me push things or clapping while I did all the work):

  • I pushed the crib around the room against every available wall and in every possible configuration and decided that we (Clara and I) liked it best under the high-hanging and securely mounted mobile & floating shelves that used to be over her changing table (bam, no more air vent or stream of sunshine issues – and everything hanging on the wall is a good foot out of Clara’s reach)
  • I was sure to pull the crib further away from the curtains so there’s no way Clara’s long arms can grab them from the new location (in some shots they look close but they’re over 2 feet from the crib, and the crib mattress is in the lowest position)
  • I played around with a bunch of places for the changing table and eventually settled on the wall full of frames (although some of them hung too low so I tweaked the arrangement so they wouldn’t get kicked mid-diaper-change)
  • I moved the chair, ottoman, and side table under the green mirror and added a not-ceramic-or-kid-height floor lamp that’s a lot more bean-safe
  • I moved the bench away from under the window and stuck it on the wall with the closet

And since all those bullets are probably as clear as mud, here’s a little sketch for ya:

Now that the rearranging dust has cleared, it’s deffffffinitely nowhere close to perfect. But it’s a huge improvement in the function department (no more safety or early-wake-up worries). And Clara, who has always awoken at 7:30 (at least for the last 5+ months straight) has slept til 8:00 since the switch (two days in a row!). Which is no small miracle. So if the room looked beyond ugly we’d probably leave the furniture right where it is. Haha. Just kidding. Not really.

Anyway, here’s the new setup:

And here are some details that make my sappy mom heart happy:

Of course there are more than a few things we’d still like to do in there (although we’re set on finishing the other projects around the house that we have in progress, so there’s no rush). But here’s the ol’ list:

  • get/make a less awkward side table for the chair and ottoman (that’s an already-had-it nightstand from our old guest room that we stuck baskets in to create drawers – and later removed since Clara now likes demands easier access)
  • hang something over the green bench in the corner (I already know what’s gonna go there – and let’s just say I’m feeling ducky about it)
  • sew a new pillow cover for the chair (the green pillow under the green mirror is a little “meh” for me – and we have lots of spare fabric from Clara’s photo project
  • expand Clara’s frame wall (height and width wise) with even more photos (John’s baby pic had to come down so it didn’t get kicked from the changing pad, and I’m dying to get it back up there out of Clara’s reach along with some other stuff)
  • DIY a dollhouse
  • make a beanbag for Clara’s closet reading nook
  • paint the area under the window with leftover magnetic paint under wall paint so she can have a fun “secret” magnet wall
  • add crown molding
  • paint the ceiling

There are probably a bunch more things that I’m forgetting. Oh well, one step at a time, right? And since we’re on the subject of the bean, here’s another little video for ya. So proud of our little “reader”:

Did you guys do any list-making or room rearranging this weekend? Did you do it while your hubby got his laptop on and the baby “helped”? Did you find all sorts of nasty dust bunnies that horrified you behind the furniture? Did your dog whine audibly and try to distract you by bringing in a toy to play with because he was so against the activity?

Psst- See how we made the flower mobile here, refinished Clara’s veneer dresser here, painted and upholstered the bench here, painted the green mirror here, made the curtains here, built the book ledges here, found the capiz shell chandelier here, made the art wall here, painted the walls here, and stamped Clara’s closet here.


  1. says

    I love how Clara’s room looks now. All of those little details just melt my heart. I think the “C” hook behind the door is my favorite! We actually just re-arranged our living room this weekend. Everything was sort of just plopped down wherever the movers put them so that was fun. It’s not perfect, but it’ll get there.

    PS – Did you guys just add a videos tab? I just noticed it and it’s nice having all the videos in one place!

  2. says

    Clara’s room is the one that I’ve followed most consistently throughout the projects and guh, I still love all of the great details you’ve put in there.

    Okay, seeing that to-do list makes me wanna know: how does one DIY a dollhouse?!

    • says

      Good question! The answer: uh, no idea. Haha. I pinned a few on Pinterest that I love, and was hoping we could use some thin craft wood or lumber to build a basic house-shaped box with rooms and then I could have fun painting and wallpapering and furnishing them with tiny things. It’s scary how much fun that sounds like to me- and I think Clara would love playing with it too!


    • says

      I know the unfinished furniture store near where I grew up had bare dollhouses that were, as you described, basically the shell of a house. I had a plastic one in my youth and I loved putting little LEGO people in there and pasting up all of the stickers for furniture and stuff. I think I played with it til I was about 10.

    • says

      My mum built me a dolls house and people recommended that it should be strong enough for children to clambour on top of it. But, my mum always regretted this because it meant the dolls house was huge and clunky. But at the same time, I don’t think we’d have been able to play with it until we were much older if it hadn’t been so sturdy.

      Anyway, you always say Clara is pretty gentle, but I just thought you should know this is one of those things you’ll need to make a decision on (and there isn’t a right decision!).

      Seeing how much you love decorating houses though, maybe you should consider one sturdier one now for the toddler years and a fancier, fragile one when she’s older :)

    • says

      Do you guys know the Blog “Made by Joel”? He does the cutest, really simple and reduced kids toys. Most of them really easy to DIY, too.

      He likes to leave a lot to the kid’s imagination.
      So his “doll house”looks like this:

      Maybe that would be a good solution for the first years? Good accessibility, easy to store away, no danger of climbing up and falling down…

      And while you’re at it: Have a look at this adorable flower-building-toy. Love it!

    • Monique says

      I’ve heard of people starting off with a bookcase and then adding the separation between the rooms of the dollhouse and adding the top? to DIY the dollhouse.

      And Sherry, I’m the kind of person who obsessively needs to rearrange rooms all the time.. so I get where you were coming from!

  3. says

    I really like how the reading nook looks now. Is Clara able to reach the bookshelves from her crib? I’m sure you would have moved them if she could, but I’m just wondering. Also, is the C hook from HL? I saw those last year and wanted to get some for our boys, but they didn’t carry a V. What’s up with that? Oh, and my son helped me rearrange some furniture last week, too. Funny, because I’m actually writing the post right now.

    • says

      Those shelves are a good foot out of her reach or so with the crib mattress in the lowest position. As for the C hook, that’s from a secondhand store in Delaware (we found it on vacation). We just painted it over with no-VOC paint since it was a bit flaky/chippy when we got it.


  4. says

    Looks good, and I bet you love that you can see straight into the “sweet sixteen” closet from the chair.

    A few weekends ago we re-arranged the bedroom and I still get a thrill everytime we go in there (as well as wondering why it took us so long).

  5. says

    Clara is a smart cookie! And I bet she would point to herself if asked where that was. ;)

    Since buying our house in April, I have been taking on dozens of diys durng the day while Chris is at work….our little 18 month old (Greta) “helps” every step of the way. Her favorite part? Definitely cleanup. She loves that Swiffer Wetjet.

    • says

      Haha- I love that! Can’t wait until Clara gets into cleaning. Right now it’s more about taking things off of shelves and out of baskets. Haha. And occasionally shoving them back in with lots of singing and encouragement.


  6. Lindsey d. says

    I, too, have a thing for rearranging furniture. It’s so much fun! And I love figuring out how things will work best. A few weeks ago, I tackled my master bedroom (master in name only as I own a 75-year-old house and the bedrooms are tiny. Moving the bed to another wall and shifting a dresser, bedside table and chair suddenly made the room seem SO MUCH LARGER! I even brought in another piece of furniture and it’s still amazing how big the room seems.

    This weekend, I took down some very neat shelves that I rigged from old house shutters. I like them, but they were a little too heavy for the wall. I came home from work last week to find one coming off it’s screws and everything in danger of falling, including a big, glass hurricane lamp. Next up, spackling, repainting and getting started on another gallery wall! All while finding time to refinish a Craigslist dresser that will become a bathroom vanity. Eek! No time for any of it!

  7. Lynn says

    Love your baby stuff. Where are those elephant blocks from? I think its an elephant, the wooden blocks with the pink stencil showing. I would love to find a set of those.

  8. Catherine says

    We set up the nursery, so LOTS of furniture arranging there! I am now toying with the idea of a yellow ribbon chandelier. Do you think it would work to glue ribbons to an existing lampshade?

    • says

      Oh yeah, I would think that would work. You can reupholster lamp shades with high heat glue for glue guns and fabric, so as long as you don’t have glue too close to the bulb that will melt, it should be great.


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