handmade nurseries : little traveler

Once upon a time I was on instagram, and I saw a photo of a changing table in progress. I was in love, and had an inkling that if the changing table was that fabulous, the rest would be amazing as well. Upon seeing said photo, I immediately stalked said über talented photo taker, and asked if I might feature the entire room when she was finito.

Meet the Martin family. The fabulously talented Ashley and her husband Chuck are pastors in Humble, Texas. They’ve been married 5 1/2 years and just gave birth to their first (awesome blessing!) child, a son, Wrenly Gideon Martin on October 9th, 2012. (Don’t you love that name!?) I don’t know Ashley in real life, but feel like I might stalk be friends with her if I did. Isn’t Wrenly beautiful? Aren’t they precious? Don’t you want to turn their outfits into a room, with shots of that awesome mustard yellow? Yep. That’s exactly what I was thinking of, too.

Well, you’re in for a special treat today, friends, because Ashley was graciously kind enough to grant us a tour of her beautiful son’s amazing nursery, along with a little Q & A… and it did not disappoint. If there’s one room I love the most, it’s children’s rooms. And let’s just say Ashley makes me want another baby, just so I can decorate. Yes, I do have a problem.

1. We can tell you spent a lot of time thinking through everything for this, with all the delightful little details. What was your main inspiration for Wrenly’s nursery?

Our home is a mix of old and (almost) new. We love to shop second-hand via flea markets, estate sales, antique shops and even yard sales. The thing is I love stuff with a story. Old beat up luggage that look like they’ve been to a lot of great “somewheres” and choppy-painted ladders, doors and windows throughout our three-year old home, makes it seem not so “new”, which I like. I’m not much for the straight-out-of-the-box, all-matching-set kind of look so I wanted to make sure that the nursery felt the way the rest of our house does – collected…with a story…

When thinking about a theme, I wanted something with meaning. We were inspired by the Great Commission in the Bible (Matt. 28:19 “Therefore Go and make disciples of men…”). We were creating a space for a little boy that we pray will “Go” and change the world. So, you’ll see a little bit of a transportation/travel theme.

2. One of the things I’m drawn to, is that chair. I think it’s one of the most interesting elements in the space. It looks like you repurposed it? How did you do it?

We found this chair at a local resale shop. I loved the shape but hated the upholstery. We bought it and had the shiny wood stain stripped off, sanded and waxed the wood. Then I picked out these two great fabrics, because you know, two are better than one! The solid blue fabric on the seat is actually an indoor/outdoor fabric which has proved very practical for those occasional spit-ups. I had also seen “Happy Chairs” online and was inspired to do something a little unexpected on the back of the chair. At a local estate sale, I found an old macaroni sac and a couple of handkerchiefs. I took all these fabrics to my friend Jennifer who does upholstery (Metamorphose Studios) and we talked about the idea of a hot air balloon made out of the macaroni sac. Then, she added the “M” for Martin. I love how it turned out!

3. I adore the pops of red on the china cabinet with the knobs. Does it not have glass? It’s a great idea for storage.

I bought this china cabinet with the repurposing already in progress. A good friend of mine had replaced the glass with wire screen and painted it bright yellow. For the nursery, we took it a step further. We replaced the cabinet door knobs with these red ceramic and bronze ones and then painted the drawer pulls red, with a little bit of brown on the raised parts to give them an aged look. Then we toned down the yellow with a couple shades of blue and white Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Lastly, we took the door off the front of the cabinet so that we could get to the shelves easier.

4. Did you make that bedding? Because I am in love. (The curtains too?) Please tell me all about it!

After searching every website out there, Chuck and I could not agree on bedding. He was worried I would pick something too girly and everything he picked was super modern and grey..all grey..and I like grey but not JUST grey… That’s when I saw the perfect solution. I heard about Wynnbaby on another blog (Lay Baby Lay). Wynnbaby makes one of a kind bedding from vintage linens. I found this sweet bow-tie patterned quilt on Etsy and sent it to them to use for the bumper. They were amazing to work with and totally caught my vision! They even made the sweet ivory linen skirt with pom pom trim.

The actual bed is iron and antique. My mom bought it from an antique shop when she was pregnant with me. She used it in mine and my brother’s nurseries and then kept it all these years. I took it and had all the latches and hinges repaired and replaced, then had it sandblasted and powder-coated. Now it is safe AND beautiful!

5. That mobile is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. I love the fact that it has become an art installation on the wall and still serves as double duty with baby entertainment. Did you make that?

This is one of my favorite things in the room! Chuck and I came up with this idea together and enjoyed the process of making it all. We bought the vintage tin airplane when we first found out we were pregnant “just in case” it was a boy, thinking it would be cute over the bed. Then I came across this strand of tin pennant flags and added Wrenly’s name. We loved how it look like the flag was dragging the message through the sky. Once we had both of these hung from the ceiling (with fishing line), we thought it needed a little something extra. That’s where the clouds came to mind. I found some thin off-white fabric and yarn that looks like bakers twine and went to work. I hand-drew the cloud outlines and stitched 1/2 inch and 1 inch stitches around the perimeter. Just before the last couple stitches, we stuffed it with a little cotton batting so they would be three dimensional. Now, we have a custom mobile/art-piece.

6. The corner shelves. Please tell us how you made those?

At our baby shower, we received tons of story books so a book-nook was a must. However, we were short on space. Chuck cut corner shelves from plywood and added thin decorative trim underneath for support and to give it a finished look. Then he used reclaim trim boards to cover the front facing.

7. That art to the left of the bed- I adore that frame too. Where did it come from?

This frame is actually the door from the china cabinet. We hung it on the wall first, then added the art canvases on top. The extra layer, just made it more special. We definitely want to use this idea again!

{So clever!}

8. Please spill the deats on that amazing ottoman.

Although most of the items in the room are repurposed or vintage, this ottoman is actually new. It’s from the ever-faithful Homegoods! My husband actually spotted it and preferred it over one I had previously chosen so we took it home to try out and it was perfect! Plus we love that it is sturdy enough for us to sit on and to set anything else on for that matter.

9. Where did you get the cute little side table?

Another Homegoods find. We needed something small-scale to set the monitor and other supplies on. Also, with several reclaimed and distressed pieces in the room, we needed something with clean lines and smooth paint to balance it all out.

10. Please spill all the details on (the thing I was drooling over in the first place) the changing table, the lights, the wood, the art, etc. I love how different it is.

I LOVE this changing table! We found this piece of furniture at Round Top (a giant flea market the Austin, TX area). It looked incomplete and had seen better days but I loved the layered paint colors – yellow, white and icy blue; it had a story. The top was unusable so I asked my uncle (who has great carpentry skills) to help us add a top to it so that we could turn it in to a changing table. I sketched out what I had it mind and he was able to pull it together. We attached the changing table top he built with heavy duty velcro, so we can remove it if want to use this piece somewhere else in the house later on.

I bought these two farmhouse-style sconces at Goodwill a couple years ago and had never used them. One of my problems is that I wasn’t committed to them enough to poke holes in my walls and run electrical to them. So, we came up with an alternative. We used some reclaimed trim wood and attached the sconces to them, then we ran the cords down the backs and plugged them in behind the changing table. I adore these sconces! And the best part is I can take them down and move them to any room (or any house) later on.

And, then deer head – well, he’s a boy and this is Texas. He needs a deer head! :)

11. This is your first child…what would you say was the greatest challenge behind creating a room for him?

There are a few challenges – some that I expected and some that I didn’t. For our house, one big challenge is the space. With a window, an angled wall and a double-door closet, it was a challenge to figure out how to fit all the “stuff” you need for a new baby. To maximize space we chose a changing table with storage, built corner shelves, and chose a smaller scale rocker and side table. Also, angling the rocker and ottoman kept us from lining the walls with furniture.

Another challenge in our case was in making it gender-specific; meaning we wanted it to look like a little boy’s room, but without sports, dark colors, or modern prints. (These guidelines were specific to our taste because I’ve seen cute rooms with the above mentioned :) ) It’s really about balance here. There are floral prints in the bedding, but the color pallet, and lack of “frills” keep the bedding neutral. And, our choices for art really lean more towards a boy’s room. Changing the art and mobile could easily transition this room for a little girl (but we aren’t there yet!)


From Ashley on her sweet little bundle:
“He is perfect in every way and an answer to our prayers. We are truly living a blessed life.”

If the room didn’t already give you warm fuzzies, her sweet take on parenthood certainly does. Thank you so very much for sharing your beautiful space and family with us, Ashley. We are honored to have you here today. Isn’t she a delight? I love reading about all the processes behind all the great ideas. We hope your feel inspired by this talented gal and her sweet Wrenly’s amazing space! I don’t know about you guys, but I think Ashley should have a blawgh… don’t you?

Three cheers for stalking and letting me share your fabulous room with our readers. What’s your favorite part?

Have an inspired day, everyone!

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Responses to handmade nurseries : little traveler

  1. Chaney says:

    Love this! Thanks, Ashley, for “stalking” this Ashley and featuring her room. It’s such a great mix of unique pieces that I’m sure they’re enjoying with their little one!

  2. April says:

    I love those corner shelves!

  3. Jenna says:

    ADORE. This nursery is the bees knees! I LOVE the name Wrenly. How sweet.

  4. Layla K. says:

    There is just something so fun about this nursery. I keep going back up and down the post to look at different parts of the room. I love hearing about her take on it all in the process as well. Well done Martin Family!

  5. JT says:

    That bedding is certainly swoon worthy. I think that is my favorite part. Or the changing table. Or the shelving. Or the chair. Oh wait I can not pick!

  6. Brittany says:

    Gorgeous room! I have two questions: What is that paint color and where did she get the hot air balloon canvases?? Thanks!!

  7. Tiffany says:

    Holy amazing nursery! This is fabulous!

  8. Rebekah T says:

    Such a great room!!! Love her use of a variety of materials and how they will transition from baby to boyhood or other rooms in the house. Love the personal touches and details as well. What a great room for Wrenly and his parents to enjoy!!

  9. JessicaD says:

    Amazing. Simply amazing.

  10. Rhonda says:

    One of the best nurseries I’ve ever seen! Especially for a boy! There aren’t always good boy nurseries to drool over. I’m so impressed with her clever ways of creating a room that tells a story! Does she have a blog? All I could think about when looking at these pictures was… I WANT TO SEE THE REST OF HER HOUSE! Thanks for sharing.

  11. Amber says:

    Wow! I love every detail!

  12. Lindsay Redd says:

    Love it all! But the mobile stole my heart! Adorable! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Patti says:

    With everything just perfect, it was an amzaing look at Wrenly’s world. You guys are the bestest! LOVE the polished deer!

  14. tiffini says:

    i could just steal that baby! he is a doll!
    and i just have to say right from my heart..that this is one of the cutest nurseries

  15. That is one precious room! And the sconce idea is fabulous, I have had the same issue with not wanting to attach them permanently to a wall. Ashley doesn’t have a blog?? She definitely should!!

  16. Peggy Wilkinson says:

    What an awesome nursery for a sweet little baby!!! Love the story!

  17. WOW! I don’t even have a kid but am SUPER impressed with their creativity. What thought went into each item. I also love how the items will be able to grow with their son!

  18. So excited to see my crib bedding featured, Ashley!! It could not have gone into a more gorgeous nursery, it puts a huge smile on my face to see how this space all came together so beautifully! Sweet dreams, little Wrenly!

  19. Jennie says:

    I love the idea of basing the theme of the room on a bible verse. It is something to think about for my next wee one! Thanks for sharing.

  20. Baileywife says:

    My favorite part? That airplane mobile!!! Perfectly genious! ~Kim

  21. tara says:

    I just blew up Pinterest with this room…I think I pinned nearly every picture. :)
    I’m SO beyond having a nursery, but I’m hoping there’s a friend out there I can help with her nursery!

  22. ellie says:

    what is the name and brand of the wall color?

  23. Ebonn says:

    I just stumbled across your site and I’m in love! This is the cutest nursery I’ve seen and exactly what I’d want my future child’s nursery to look like. It encompasses everything I look forward to having {not all that pre-made, cutesy nursery stuff}. Thanks for sharing your inspiring and characteristic ideas!

  24. Brittany says:

    Any way you could tell us where the airplane pallet came from or if it was handmade??

  25. Belén Manavella says:

    Hermosa decoración, me encantó!

  26. Alicia says:

    This nursery is fab! I just met this cute coupe today and we immediately hit it off! Ashley told me about THH and she was right, I love it! Their nursery is full of style, personality and warmth – a true reflection on the family who created it!

  27. Martha says:

    This is literally the best nursery I’ve ever seen. Perfect in every detail and so inspiring! I wonder if Ashley has a blog? I’d love to follow if she does. Thanks so much for sharing!

  28. Tina says:

    I love the hot air balloon with the initial. Was it custom made or do you know the name of that font?

  29. Charm says:

    Love this room! Where did you ind the tin pennant flag banner?

  30. Leah says:

    In love with your quilted bumper! What shop did you use on Etsy?? Will you please share? Thanks!

  31. Kily says:

    Where did you get the awesome plane picture. I love the room.