Monday, January 6, 2014

Project Nursery Update | Creating a Feature Wall with Books + Art

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents."
Emilie Buchwald

I am a huge believer in the power of reading. Reading empowers, inspires, educates, enraptures and engages minds of all ages. Reading keeps us thinking, dreaming, imagining...reading has the power to transform, and reading together with our children allows us to create memories and a bond that will last a lifetime. It also sets them up for school with a natural love for language that is truly invaluable.

All this explains why my plans for the nursery were very much designed around where and how to create a feature wall of favourite books, and I'm truly delighted with how this little project has turned out!

The inspiration started with my favourite book publisher, Chronicle Books. I created a wish list of inspirational favourites featuring art and heart, whimsy and story in the way only the Chronicle Books library does. To my utter gratitude and amazement, Chronicle sent me all the books I had on my wish list as a generous gift for the nursery! It felt like Christmas morning opening the box to discover these charming and delightful volumes.

We bought three of these simple picture rails from IKEA to create the feature wall. Given that they come in a lacquered bright white, we started by painting them with a high-adhesive primer and then used my favourite trim colour - Sherwin Williams Creamy 7012 - to soften them and tie them in with the rest of the room.

To me, books are an indulgent opportunity to escape. They transport us into the adventure of our own imaginations through the imagination of the writer, taking us to quirky and delightful, familiar and foreign places, awakening our senses along the way.

"Children must be taught how to think, not what to think." 
Margaret Mead

I decided to play with this theme of travel and adventure for the top picture rail using art and two decidedly charming and debonaire French plushies. You may remember these plushies from my registry post awhile back? Well, a globe-trotting artist friend of mine just happened to take a trip to Berlin {from whence they hail} and graciously served as our "immigration and naturalization companion" for these two sweet little characters who came home to play with us. 

These Frenchies - from the brilliant Berlin maker Nicole of Nikoki - add a sense of whimsy and charm that makes my heart truly happy. For now they will stay safely on the top rail of this feature wall until our future world traveler is a little older when we will no doubt have countless picnics with Pierre Le Bear and Jean-Luc {an elephant who hails from Provence} complete with baguette and red wine and much merriment and adventure.

The art is a mix of 3 pieces that I have picked up along my travels. On the right, an oversized postcard we picked up on our last trip to England on a visit to the London Eye. Floating it over the mat in a simple frame from Pottery Barn elevates it to the status of display-worthy, and I love the sketched simplicity of it.

In the middle is my favourite piece in the trio, a Paris print that I found on Etsy, hand painted and then printed by the lovely and very talented Kim of Albie Designs. After I had purchased the print through Etsy, Kim blew me away with her unexpected generosity and refunded me the cost of the print as a gift for the nursery!! Kind and amazing people are everywhere, and it is such a delight to have been blessed by one such soul in the very talented and incredibly kind Kim.

On the left, a hot air balloon print that I bought at a liquidation warehouse for $5 {for two!} rounds out this little grouping and says "let's fly away together." I hope we will travel the world in real life as a family as this little man grows up, but I know that no matter what, we will be travelling the world together through these inspiring books and countless hours spent reading in this sweet little corner of our universe.

All that is left to complete this charming little nook is the swivel-glider chair from CR Laine, which is on its way! I can't wait to get that in place and - more importantly - to be holding our sweet baby boy in my arms and whispering inspiring stories and fabulous adventures into his ear for years to come.

There are many more updates to share on the nursery as things really are coming together. Assuming he holds out a bit longer I will share more with you very soon!



  1. What a lovely post (and nursery). Loving the inspiration for it, and can't wait watch the adventure unfold! Glad to see that Jean-Luc and Pierre Le Bear have transitioned well into the Canadian life! The art and books look great, Sarah!

    1. Thank you so much for serving as their "naturalization and immigration officer," sweet Sonya! They are very cozy in their new home and asked me to have you say hello to Berlin for them! xo


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