Friday, January 10, 2014

Project Nursery Update | Art Grouping #1

With the bones of the room just the way I want them, it's time to get on to the one of my favourite parts: the art! I have so enjoyed curating the art groupings for this nursery. I wanted the art to mark the space with a sense of joy and delight, not to mention a healthy dose of whimsy. This is the grouping that now sits over the change table. Here's what it looked like all laid out on the change table itself before we installed it:

And here's how we installed it, along with a bit of the story behind each piece!

The central piece is by far the most storied. It just happens to be Graham's favourite bear from when he was a little boy. This bear was/is undoubtedly besties with the Velveteen Rabbit, because his formerly velvet paws were rubbed raw by Graham's sweet little baby hands. Seriously, just picture that for a moment. Cue heart melting. I swoon at the sight of his roughly stitched patches, matted fur and cock-eyed smile, especially knowing that he comforted my man when he was just a little man! This bear has seen some really good lovin' in his time.

I commissioned my furniture maker to craft the beautiful natural walnut shadow box for Graham's bear to nestle into, and I love the way it turned out. Because the solid wood shadow box is heavy, we put two anchors into the wall and drilled screws right through the back of it, hiding the mechanics with a simple board that I covered in a piece of blue and cream abstract modern linen from Kelly Wearstler for Kravet. I love the modern backdrop it creates for Graham's vintage snuggler. A sweet little nest for this very "real" bear to call home.

Once the central piece was installed, we moved on to installing the two whimsical wood prints from Big Bear's Den that I picked up at this year's Christmas One of A Kind Show. I once again had my furniture maker craft the frames for these two little lovelies {which he then generously gave me as a Christmas gift! People are so kind!}. I'm thrilled with the result and love the way the walnut frames create a sense of warmth and connect with the wood on the change table/dresser. He made the frames to be installed with a wood block cleat on which to hang, and I love how stable this makes them. {See Graham installing the wood blocks above.}

The piece on the right says "wisdom begins with wonder," and I don't know about you, but I could use more awe and wonder in my daily life. I also think babies - and kids in general - are an invitation to be present and utterly mesmerized by simple beauty, observers of the oft-missed wonders in the world around us. It's a good little mantra for life, really!

From there it all came together rather perfectly with a few final pieces, as you can see below:

TOP RIGHT: A dollar store DIY of mine, simply mounting two feathers in a shadow box frame on a remnant piece of oyster coloured shagreen wallpaper. {Total cost: $1.50}

BOTTOM RIGHT: The most charmingly debonaire faux taxidermy rabbit from Felt Factory, which I also picked up at this year's One Of A Kind Show. I simply couldn't leave that booth without bringing one of her sweet woodland creatures home with me! It was love at first sight.

BOTTOM LEFT: A gorgeous piece by printmaker Emma Nishimura from Art Interiors, floated on top of a heavy piece of watercolour paper in a simple but lovely black shadowbox frame. I've secretly been coveting this piece for a long time and LOVE how it connects with the birds in flight on the drapery panels. I also love the sophistication and refinement of this delicate print.

TOP LEFT: These bocce balls are also from Art Interiors. I've actually owned this piece by artist Erin Vincent for a few years now. It used to sit on a bookcase in another room in the house, and I have to take this opportunity to once again make a case for the value of buying smalls. {I know, I'm a broken record!} But really, you can rearrange smalls endlessly, reinventing the look and feel of a room simply by moving around the art. I love the sense of play this little piece infuses into the overall look of this grouping, and the fresh pop of colour is quite welcome.

Overall the grouping is rather soft and gentle. A little bit sophisticated, a lotta bit whimsical, and it totally makes me smile. With each addition to the room I have the growing sense that I'm really going to enjoy spending time in here. It's a good feeling.

I promise to show you more photos of this grouping above the finished change table below. I'm thrilled with the beautiful change table topper that Graham made for me. It's simple, good looking and super functional. As if he hadn't already, Graham has quite firmly planted himself at the top of the super-husband list for life around here by making it. I am seriously so grateful for all of his talent and hard work!

And of course, there's also the art grouping on the panelled wall that sits above the crib to show you...and the crib itself...and the rug and the chair and the ottoman...and the baby. Oh yes, that small matter of meeting the petit oeuf for whom all of this has been created! I'd say he's the biggest reveal yet, wouldn't you? All in good time {she says calmly while secretly thinking "soon, I hope!"}.



  1. What a beautiful grouping and yes- your husband is so on the super-husband list ! Amazing!

    1. Thank you so much, Lisa! Can't wait to see how your personal reno unfolds this year! xo


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