Posts Tagged ‘solid wood’

Nursery Closet Organization

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Posted by Rebecca, May 16th, 2012

During the past week or so, Mike and I have been busy chipping away at nursery projects. So busy, in fact, that we have way more to blog about than we have left to do. It’s so amazing and exciting to see the room come together and I am itching to share everything. Right now, we’ve been focusing on getting everything done before the little one is here. With each extra day we get comes a new opportunity to tackle some projects.

Right around the time Mike finished installing the giraffe sconces, the missing closet piece arrived. They sent us an entire new panel for the screw/bolt part we needed. In case you need a refresher, we bought an Allen + Roth premium wood closet system from Lowe’s.

(via Lowe’s)

We have a similar version in our master closet and love it. In our old place, we used some inexpensive Closetmaid organizers that ended up falling apart on us. Like, I literally pulled open a drawer one day and the entire front came unglued. Since then we stick to the solid wood products from Lowe’s. We can cut the shelves down to whatever size we need and customize all of the configurations.

Mike got to putting together the center tower right away. Then, being the rocket scientists we are, we had to figure out how to get the tall tower into the actual closet.

It took a few tilts and laughs, but we got it in.

By we, I mean Mike. I pretty much sat in the glider through the whole process, snapping pictures with my iPhone.

Please note the white paint all over my pajama pants. They were the victim of the spilled tray of paint while I stenciled the closet.

After we got the tower in, we went back to Lowe’s to pick up some shelves. We needed 25 inch wide shelves on each side. The shelves came in 21″, 48″ or 72″. None of those options were ideal. We literally scratched our heads in Lowe’s forever trying to figure out how we can pull this all off. Another problem was that the clothing rods Lowe’s sold were too large. We checked some of their other brands and saw some expandable rods that were 24″-36″, but they were in white. To save some money, we decided to only get one of the 72″ shelves and just do shelves over the top rod of the closet. We went to Home Depot to see if they had any chrome rods that would fit the 25″ we needed. Thankfully they did!

We got home and Mike cut 2 shelves to 25″. He installed them with some brackets, anchoring them to two walls and the tower. Just below each shelf, we put a clothing rod.

To gauge where we wanted to put the next level of rods, we grabbed one of Mike’s shirts for some scale (since baby clothes are so tiny).

Then we decided something. Since baby clothes are so small, we decided we DID want to do that second level of shelves. We knew it would look better and give us a place to put little shoes and stuff. We know for an adult a shelf might not be practical, but it can always be removed.

Back to Lowe’s Mike went for another 72″ shelf! He repeated the shelf and rod process on the lower level and we were almost done!

Next, the drawers went in… we decided to get 3. The bottom of the tower can be left as shelves, drawers, metal baskets or a shoe rack. We were going to do just 2 drawers but then decided that the closed storage is more versatile.

We went with the flat front panel, but Lowe’s also sells a more traditional, beveled drawer front. Oh and for the tower? They give you both a straight top piece and a curved one. This baffled both of us for a while because we wanted the straight piece but all of the boxes had the curved piece on the picture. We didn’t realize it came with both options, pretty clever.

We also decided to stick with the hardware that came with the drawers. Why not? We like it. Maybe down the road we’ll go for something more custom, but it’s perfectly fine with me right now.

I couldn’t back up to take better pictures because there was a lot of furniture in the way behind me (we were working on hanging curtains on the same day, so things were shifted).

I almost forgot to include a picture with the shelves in the tower! I didn’t realize that the zoomed out pictures were taken before we put them in, so here they are!

Of course, it took me about 2 minutes to run to the spare bedroom and grab all of the baby’s clothes that have been living in there since we started this. The closet was stocked about 5 minutes later 🙂 I put newborn clothes on one rod, 0-3 months on another, 3-6 months on the next rod and 6-12 months on the last rod. It’s pretty amazing to be nice and organized. In the drawers right now are smaller odds and ends, though the drawers are amazingly deep and have a nice little self closing feature. I fit an entire breast pump (still in the box) along with a bunch of accessories and a nursing cover in one of the drawers. The top shelves are home to some baskets and the tower is currently holding Boppys, a basket and some little decorative items.

The bookcase has arrived and I painted the back of it green, only to have the paint not stick at all, so Mike had to coat it with a layer of primer for me (since it wasn’t no-VOC). He finished that tonight so hopefully the next layer of green I put on actually works! I also made some chevron curtains, a bed skirt, made the crib, decorated the changing area and designed some ABC art in Photoshop. Once this baby actually comes, I can share some real after pictures!

Welcome To My Crib

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Posted by Rebecca, March 26th, 2012

At my baby shower two weeks ago, we learned that Mike’s brother and his wife secretly bought our crib for us, yay! Last weekend, they dropped it off and this weekend we finally had a chance to put it all together. In case you forgot, we chose the Stratford crib by Baby Appleseed for it’s solid wood, formaldehyde-free construction.

When I looked at the box, I was a little surprised to see this sticker on the outside.

First I was a little taken back. I had specifically emailed Baby Appleseed to ask if the crib was a) solid wood and b) formaldehyde free. They assured me that both were true. At first glance, this sticker makes it seem as though there are some non-solid wood parts and that the crib does contain formaldehyde (though it meets California’s strict emissions standards). I emailed them again (they must hate me by now) and asked about the sticker. I was assured that what they told me was indeed true and that the sticker is required by law and put on all furniture pieces. Now I can sleep a little deeper at night and be sure that I’m not lying to my blog readers about my solid wood, formaldehyde-free crib.

Anyway, back to the crib all assembled!

We love the way it looks against the paneled wall with the dark/white contrast going on.

And with the blue ceiling.

And the gray walls, which was a major concern when we were choosing a paint color. We’re so happy that everything is coming together the way we envisioned it.

The crib will probably end up pushed to the left so that we can fit a glider on the same wall. If that glider ever goes back on sale at Babies R Us. I’ve been stalking it daily and it hasn’t been on sale since we first spotted it! Anyone know when big sales are at Babies R Us? Best coupon times? Anything?? It was $450 for both pieces when I first saw it and now it’s $600.

Besides the glider, everything seems to be falling into place. I placed the bedding in the crib to see how it looked with the paint and everything and it looked great. I was nervous because it has brown in it, but the walls are grayish and I wanted to be able to mix the two neutrals well. Also, we bought a dresser this weekend and I’ll have to fill you in on that later this week. We are also debating our nursery light fixture since we found another one we like, but that discussion is still in the air.

On top of all of that, we’re still in the midst of our mower and mulch search and we came to a bit of a sad realization regarding our family room carpet this weekend. Let me just say that life with a cat who is recovering from kidney cancer is not fun nor easy, though he’s doing unbelievably well. I’ll fill you in on all of that once we know a little bit more.

In conclusion, things are not slowing down around here anytime soon!

ps- Anyone hiring cats? It’s about time these guys pull their weight around here…

The Crib Search

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Posted by Rebecca, January 17th, 2012

Finally, I’m going to write this all out. I warn you that it’s long and not very full of pictures…

From the minute I found out I was pregnant (okay even before), I knew a solid wood and as eco-friendly as possible crib was on my list. It was the number one nursery priority along with an organic mattress.  I understand that I cannot protect my baby from every little chemical in this world, but I felt like the baby’s sleep zone was a good start. In the world of eco-friendly vs. non-eco-friendly, it seems as though you have to be one or the other. I prefer to take the stance of choosing what is important to me and doing the best I can.

Repeat, I do the best I can.

Things like formaldehyde and toxic stains and glues are scary to me. Cotton is not so scary and clothes are washable, so I don’t feel the need to organic-out my baby’s entire wardrobe. Strangely though, I often just like the look of organic clothing more than not. Like DwellStudio’s organic layette collection…

(via DwellStudio)

 I love DwellStudio in general but I particularly love their baby lines. Mmmm.

Anyway, I started our crib search on the good old internets, world wide webs. One thing I learned about baby things is that choosing them is about 90% research and about 10% walking into a store. So I googled and found various articles about what to look for in a crib. One consistent theme was solid hardwood.

MDF and particle boards are often held together with toxic glues. The glues can omit fumes over time and considering that babies spend a good amount of their first, impressionable years sleeping, I’d rather not have those fumes. I made solid wood the #1 priority in finding a crib and started with that.

I found myself becoming extremely frustrated that many brands did not blatantly say whether their cribs were 100% solid wood or not. Of course there’s Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware and Land of Nod (Crate & Barrel’s kid store) that boast solid wood furniture, but they cost $700+ for a crib. I heard that DaVinci cribs sold by Babies R Us were 100% solid wood, but I couldn’t find it stated on their website. You would think that such a selling point would be screamed from the rooftops “HEY NEUROTIC NEW PARENT, THIS CRIB IS SOLID WOOD!” Though I did catch many brands use terms like “solid wood with MDF parts”, which I took as a no thanks. Needless to say, crib hunting has been one of the more tedious of the baby product huntings I have taken on in the past several weeks.

Oh yeah, another the thing about finding a healthy (or least toxic) crib…it’s still a piece of furniture that you have to like, right? Many of the eco-friendly cribs are unfinished since paints and stains typically have some VOCs. But I don’t want an unfinished crib, I want a dark stained crib. So here I was, like a balancing scale, weighing style, safety and cost.

I started reading some threads on eco-friendly message boards and found some brands. I believe I googled “DaVinci cribs solid wood?” to find a discussion that mentioned that DaVinci was made by Million Dollar Baby. BAM! Starting point. So I went to the Million Dollar Baby website. Sure enough, solid wood, non-toxic finishes and I loved the Annabelle crib….

(via Million Dollar Baby)

 I googled the name of the crib and found that it was retailing for about $350… yay affordable! So I hunted down a semi-local retailer… okay it was in Delaware. Which sounds far but it’s really less than an hour from us since we live fairly south these days. I figured during one of the days between Christmas and New Years we could take a nice little ride there so I could pet the Annabelle crib in person. Nice little ride turned into pouring rain, traffic, a nasty soda from Wendy’s which left me dying of thirst and a whole lot of disappointment. The store was not as appealing as it seemed and guess what? They had just taken the Annabelle crib off the floor that week. I literally walked around the store for about an hour wanting to like another crib but not a single one was my style. Not. One.

I wouldn’t say the entire experience was a waste though. From the sales person, I learned that every single crib on their floor was solid wood. Some were around $300 and some were more than $1,000. There was one I was so-so about and figured if I found nothing else, it would work. I took some flyers with some brands as further jumping off points as to which companies used solid wood in their cribs.

As I hung my head and got back in the car (soaking wet) to sit back in traffic, we decided to stop at Buy Buy Baby on the way home. Very early in our crib search, we had seen at least one crib there that was listed as solid wood. I figured I’d go look at that one again, even though it was about $500. We walked around Buy Buy Baby reading tags and saw that the some of the brands sold in the smaller, family owned store we just went to were also at Buy Buy Baby. Namely, the crib I put on my “if I find nothing else list” which was the Bonavita Hudson crib…

(via Bonavita)

Then we spotted this one crib that caught our eye because of the way it looked. It was traditional, yet modern. When we looked at the tag we saw that it was made out of 100% solid wood. The company also plants 10 trees in a location of your choice for each crib purchased. Hello eco-friendly! And the best part? It was $299.

It’s the Stratford convertible crib by Baby Appleseed (yes, that’s a crappy iPhone picture of the info sheet I took from the store). We wanted a dark wood crib, but not cherry colored. Originally, I wanted something with solid panels on the back or sides but I decided I’d rather have something convertible, which solid panels on the sides are not. I initially liked very straight lined cribs, but as I looked at them in person and realized that we would be doing very straight lined molding around the room, I warmed up to the idea of a curved back. It seemed that this crib had the best of everything—slightly curved back, but straight front and legs, convertible yet solid panel in the front. Safe, eco-friendly, stylish, affordable? Sold.

The downside is that it’s sold in store only and I cannot find any decent pictures of it online. Guess you’ll just have to wait until we get it (or go to Buy Buy Baby again and snap a picture of it). We’re probably going with a Hemnes dresser from Ikea to round out the room, either in the brown/gray color or painting it a gender-specific color. We’re planning on going with a non-rocking Ikea chair and with that, all of the furniture in the baby’s room should run us under $1,000. Not bad, considering I was ready to accept the fact that I’d be handing over nearly that much for a solid wood crib 🙂

Ps- for anyone looking for some solid wood brands I came across here are a few in a quick list…DaVinci (who also makes the very popular Jenny Lind crib), Bonavita, Baby Appleseed and Million Dollar Baby (manufacturer of DaVinci)

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