An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Not Maria’s nursery

Last week we were finally able to put the final touches on the baby’s nursery after what seemed like months of living with piles of crap up to our ears. Because before we could even address the nursery we had to tackle sixteen other projects first, and in the meantime everything we were collecting for the baby started to stack up in wobbly mountains throughout the living room. Every time we had company over I had to give a rambling explanation of why the path from the front door to the kitchen was booby-trapped, why there was a stack of burp cloths plopped on top of a wad of crib sheets teetering precariously on top of a bulk package of disposable breast pads. FOR MY CRACKED AND LEAKING NIPPLES. AREN’T YOU GLAD YOU CAME OVER TO MY HOUSE?

One of the biggest things to check off our list was new carpet in the basement, something we’ve been planning to do since we moved into the house. The previous owners had a cat who lived primarily in the basement, and since we never had the carpets professionally cleaned before moving in, Jon’s allergies have made living his life nearly impossible. In fact, I may have brought up Jon’s allergies to our marriage counselor more than once, and she may have told me that OH MY GOD SHUT UP isn’t perhaps the most helpful reaction a wife can give to a husband who is complaining that his eyes have swollen shut.

So I took her advice, and the next time it happened I tossed a glass of water in his face and said SNAP OUT OF IT, FRANCIS. Much more instructive.

In the days leading up to the carpet installation I made a bet with Jon that it wouldn’t take more than 15 minutes for him to declare that his allergies had been cured. He has a habit of doing this, stumbling over cures for various ailments and announcing, “I’m healed!” before he’s even popped the pill or rubbed in the ointment. He will look at a bottle of vitamins and pronounce that he already feels better, and when I point out that I cannot take him seriously he will start listing off all the reviews he read about these vitamins, all the comparison shopping and painstaking research he did and A FIVE-STAR AMAZON RATING CANNOT BE WRONG, HEATHER.

And I am not even kidding, there wasn’t more than five square feet of new carpet on the floor when Jon handed me a twenty dollar bill and said YOU WIN. This is just another example of how well we know each other, how deeply we accept and understand each other’s various neuroses, and I’ll just go ahead and admit that I have the better deal here because I am not married to someone who is Southern.

Once the carpet was in we were able to assemble all the other moving parts, starting with an antique brass bed that my mother found at a flea market well over ten years ago:

Why do we have a bed in the nursery? One, this room will serve double-duty as a guest room for the next year or so. And two, Armstrongs are not known for their peaceful sleeping habits. If this baby proves to be anything like Leta, Jon and I will most likely take turns with night duty in this room while the other one gets some sleep in our room. So let’s just say that this bed will prove as vital as my Prozac to keeping the family intact.

Next we moved in the crib:

And then the dresser where all the baby clothes that Leta used to wear are now stored:

Jon schlepped down boxes and boxes of those clothes from the attic last weekend, and I spent three days washing and folding tiny onesies and nightgowns in between curling up in a ball and crying about how small Leta used to be. Where did that baby go? That irritable, chubby baby who screamed a lot every day with the screaming? I remember the moment she first discovered that she could fit both of her feet into her mouth, the delight on her face revealing that she had finally found a reason to go on living.

And then fast forward to last night as I’m giving her a bath and she goes, “These bubbles won’t melt, right? Because only ice and chocolate melt. I love science!”

Just to preempt any questions in the comments, here is where I got everything:

All bedding is from Target.

Crib is the Oeuf Sparrow Crib in white.

Lamp is the Twine Floor Lamp from CB2.

Wallpaper is Daydream in yellow by Julia Rothman for Hygge & West.

Dresser is from a local place called Specialty Furniture.

Magnetic flower art on the wall is from Chiasso.

Handmade bunnies are from Loobylu.

  • I love it! Makes me want to have another baby so I can decorate another nursery. 🙂

  • old mom

    Makes me want to have another baby!~OK. Maybe not! I have old eggs! BEAUTIFUL job!
    Happy pushing!

  • Sam

    Little Not Maria’s Nursery looks beautiful – love the color scheme. She’s a lucky lass

  • Krissa

    Oh! Love.

    Although if it were me, I would’ve staged a picture with an odd square of carpet somewhere and just left it for the wolves. I’m also waiting for the “yeah yeah, nice nursery and almost-end-of-gestating and all, but the BANNER is OLD OH MY GAWD.”

    I get some sort of perverse pleasure out of the crazies on your site. They are different from other crazies.

  • Susan

    The bed and room is very pretty, you have great taste. Just a heads up — we had an antique brass bed also (my great grandparent’s) when my oldest was two it dawned on us it was painted — with leaded paint. We had him tested and everything was fine but you may want to get that thing sealed and/or tested. We have the bed but it has been sealed. Or maybe, happily, it doesn’t have paint on it.

  • that nursery is gorgeous and also…. i’m afraid we may have married the same man, lol!

  • Diane

    The room is Beautiful, while I was looking through the photographs, the theme, whether it was meant to be or not seems to be Birds…I don’t know if you have a name picked out yet or not, but the name Ava means *like a bird*. My 2.5 year old is named Ava, and the other day she was breathing through her nose and had a bit of a whistle happening, and I said Ava your whistling out your nose, and she replyed ‘like a bird?”…just LIKE A BIRD. ;o)

  • Adorable! Truly adorable:)

  • oh Heather. it is utterly divine. i carefully looked over each photo at least 4-5 times and then drooled. and then read the post. and then drooled again.

    i feel like i’m scrolling through (my fav design blog)…bravo kids. freakin’ bravo!

    when can i move in?

  • I love it! The antique brass bed is so fantastic in the middle of an otherwise very mod room. I’m due with twins in October and just registered for the Dwell bedding… I love this stuff! Elephants for my boy and the birdies for my girl. It’s fun to see it in a real home where I can actually picture it being used.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Now all you need is the baby.

    Oh, and a name.

    Lovely nursery. I [heart] those magnetic flowers, and if they wouldn’t wind up covered in cat and ferret hair in my house, I would so copy you.


  • Kara

    With all this “Not Maria”, the name Maria is starting to sound really pretty. Reconsider?

  • The crazy OCD in me LOVES the fact that the birds on the wall line up nicely with the bed posts!

    Was that planned or pure luck?


  • * sigh * It’s beautiful! 🙂

  • Anonymous

    I don’t really get what you were going for here, because my taste is just much more sophisticated than most people’s.

    No, it looks awesome! I am so bookmarking the flowers for whenever I finally f*cking get knocked up and get to do this.

  • Oh, my God, that is so cuuuute. I wanna be a baby again just so I can sleep in a place like this.
    And also the fact that people would do everything for me when I cried, instead of walking away embarrassed like they do nowadays. Just kidding! (a little)

    Seriously, congratulations on the beautiful nursery!

  • It’s gorgeous. Truly.

  • armonia

    Great idea with the bed, I will 100% do the same thing when i have a second baby!! thanks.
    your nursery is lovely!!

  • Jessica

    Love, love, love the dresser/changing table and the wall behind it….that is by far my favorite part of the room.

    Great job on the nursery! Now it’s time to fill it with a baby!

  • JoAnne

    I know you said that the bedding is from Target, but I love the crib bedding (and I don’t like pink, generally) and can’t seem to find it on their web site. Is it still available? What is it called?

  • azd

    gorgeous nursery! i absolutely love the whimsy of the bird theme throughout. and who doesn’t love bunnies and sheep?! everything coordinates without being too “matchy”. btw, we also have a “guest” bed in our nursery. greatest thing ever!

    all the best to you as you get ready to welcome baby #2.

  • CRAZIES….where are YOU!?!?

    I was totally scanning the comments just to look for the crazies. So far, the only negative is about the bumper.

    I’m bummed…surely someone out there hates this nursery!?

    Come on, people!

    BTW, my Captcha is: “schmucks said!” How perfect!

  • Ms K

    It came out really nice.

    I never got to comment on the bathroom which did not come out as nice. Actually what I wanted to say after reading comments and reactions was that if you ask for people’s opinion you cannot expect everyone to always love what you do.
    I love your website and your taste in decorating but that whole drama about some people telling you that the tiles don’t match – deal with it. It’s better that some people are honest.
    I didn’t like the way the tiles clashed but I love every detail of this nursery!

    Are you still looking for a name? I don’t know if anybody already suggested “Maren” which is a name from Scandinavia(?) – not sure.
    Or how about “Pernilla” or “Stine”. Sorry, just gotten back from a trip to Denmark… 😉

  • Maggie

    So precious! You really do have great taste! When I have a house of my own, will you come down to LA & help me decorate?!

    I can’t wait to see what the bathroom haters have to say about this room!!

  • Oh yeahhh… lovely and classy! Swooning over the antique bed!
    Hope it’s all going well over there.

  • Brittany

    Really beautiful-but where is the baby’s mini fridge for all the beers she will be forced to drink?

  • Not Maria’s nest is perfect. Love everything. A nursery everyone can enjoy.

  • Anu

    Can I please move into the nursery? I will do night shifts taking care of the baby if I can get to live there. Its beautiful, I just love the room!

  • Attilla the Mum

    Without a doubt, the most beautiful and tranquil nursery I have ever seen. Wish I had thought ahead enough to put a bed in my son’s room when he was a baby. Love love love the Charlie Parker prints above the crib.

  • stacy

    I adore that dresser!

    The wallpaper’s not my favorite, but I have absolutely no fucking taste. Overall, the room just looks so cozy and peaceful, I want to curl up on that bed like nobody’s business.

    I’ve got to make a nursery in about 3 weeks (the baby is already here, but there is no room for a nursery in our current apartment – we’re moving up in the world, to a real house). So this has really got me excited about the project and a little inspired, too. Thanks – it’s normally the sort of task I dread. (See previous comment about lack of taste.)

  • Attilla the Mum

    HAAHAHAHAHA! Charlie HARPER, not PARKER. Forgive, please. Lack of sleep has finally caught up with me.

  • Oh how I wish I had a room like that when i was little. The birds are adorable and I just love the colors and furniture. Ms.NOT MARIA is going to LOVE it!!

    Im all for you adopting me and being my personal decorator.. Although you would also have two more kids and a husband who has HARDCORE allergies that not only make you say “Shut UP already, but that you smack him as well!!”

    Have a great week!!

  • tstoix

    That’s a very cool looking nursery. Although, I wished you hadn’t ruined such an awesome Charley Harper book for the wall arts. I know it’s a little late, but have you thought about scanning and reprinting them? You might be breaking a few copyright infringements but you are so great at stashing your heroin, I am sure nobody would find out. Seriously though, I love your design aesthetics. You guys did a great job. Best of luck with the upcoming weeks.

  • Carrie in NYC

    That mobile is full of SHEEP! (Sorry, I’ve been dying to say that since you posted the picture of the neat mobile yesterday, but you closed the comments and ruined my fun.) The room looks great, Heather, and I think that the bed in the nursery makes a TON of sense. My husband and I do not have children yet, but I’m guessing that there will be many nights when you want to minimize the distance between you and the baby, and this is a good set-up.

  • Meranath

    That room is cute as hell.

    I’m saying a little prayer for you that Not Maria is a chill, laid-back baby. It could happen, really!!

  • Not Kristina

    #34 – I went 2 months early and my daughter spent the first 30 days of her life in the NICU. Insane people kept thinking all I was doing during those 30 days was getting her room together and getting rest….yeah right. My girl turned 5 months old today and I’m still working on the art I started months ago.

    Long story, longer.

    Congrats to getting it done before she arrives! Nice work.

    And everytime you think about wanting to be done with your pregnancy….please remember that everyday she stays in your womb means you’ll never have to experience the NICU. AND THAT….is heaven on earth.

    YEAH for new babies!!

  • I love the nursery (especially the wallpaper and the little flowers above the changing table), and the extra bed is a brilliant idea.

  • It’s absolutely beautiful! It’s warm, delicate, and cheerful. Well done.

  • Beautiful!

    We also have a bed in our nursery. It was out of necessity, because we had nowhere else to put the thing, but it turned out to be GENIUS and we will keep it there for all future babies, amen.

    Wishing you a sleeps-through-the-night-from-day-one baby girl, with a name as beautiful as Maria that you both can agree on.


    PS Those birds are magnetic? Twenty bucks says Coco eats one of them when they accidentally get knocked off the wall.

  • so cute! i want to sleep in that room. that baby will love to sleep in that room. but in case she loves it so much that she will screem in delight all night, well, then it’s a good thing you brought in that extra bed.

  • love it!!

    i swear my husbands allergies are all in his head. when he pisses me off, i delight in rubbing a wool sweater all over his pillow. gives me no amount of pleasure to see him not suffer because that means i win. now if i wore this same wool sweater in his presence, he’d swear on a stack of bibles his windpipe was closing and he was becoming covered in hives. men. heh. god’s own private mystery why they are this way.

  • Amy

    Very nice!

    What about the lights behind the bunnies? Where are those from?

    Also? That dresser is darn close to what I’ve been picturing for my daughter’s room! Love it!

  • Dude, my husband does that too! He has about a million health problems and he loves finding strange cures. Then, once he’s found said cures, he’ll talk about his ailment incessantly until I freak out and threaten to make whatever he has worse if he doesn’t SHUSH ABOUT THE REFLUX ALREADY!

    Beautiful nursery, by the way. Well done!

  • Kerri

    Where’s the aluminum foil for the windows? I thought for sure you’d be prepared!

  • It’s so peaceful. I love those magnetic flowers!

  • Anonymous

    good to see the recession/depression hasnt hit your family.

    despite that, you continue to complain, complain, complain.

    you still dont realize how blessed you really are.

    it must be nice to lead a charmed life, no?

  • Anonymous

    Very soothingly beautiful.


    I’d be eternally grateful if you’d come do my nursery… I only live 45 minutes away…

    Except that I’m going to pop here in about two weeks, I’m have boy/girl twins, I have no money to pay you, and we’re moving. But still???

  • Klara

    Sigh. So lovely!

  • Oh, and Anon 146? If you have a problem with someone’s blog, STOP READING IT.


Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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