Nursery Update: Furniture

It is with GREAT pleasure that I introduce to you our new nursery furniture.....


This is the piece that started it all.  One day when I was browsing scouring craigslist for a dresser that I could refinish myself (I was a little more ambitious back then), I came across an ad stating that the seller would paint-to-suit any dresser to your liking.  There was a picture of the dresser below included and I was instantly smitten.  I loved the scalloped bottom and the slight curve of the legs.  It had just the right amount of character and personality.....AND it was the perfect height and width for our space (and could even double as a "changing table" when necessary).  Needless to say, I was drooling on my keyboard.  I had to have it.  I emailed her immediately and she got right back to me.  It was $200 for everything (the piece itself as well as the work to refinish it....sanding, priming, painting and poly-ing....and even distressing if you wished).  I thought it was a great deal so I said, "I'll take it!" 

We picked out a color together based on the Pottery Barn glider that I already purchased on craigslist a while back (read more about that here).  After much deliberation, we ultimately decided on Pure White by Sherwin Williams.  It is white with a little yellow in it, which looks the most like pottery barn furniture.  She had it color-matched to Benjamin Moore's Natura line.  She will use any type of paint that you want, though, I just requested that she use a no-VOC option since it was going to be on nursery furniture.  I'm sure people use regular paint all the time in nurseries, but I wanted to be extra careful just in case.  She also used, at my request, SafeCoat Acrylaq (a low-VOC non-toxic alternative to polyurethane) as the top coat on the furniture so that if he gets hungry and starts to chew on the furniture (I know it sounds crazy, but I've definitely heard of kids chewing on the wood of their crib), that it would at least be non-toxic.

Enough of my rambling though, here is the transformation:

Not only did she do an AMAZING job refinishing the piece (since you probably don't notice in the before picture, but it had a lot of scratches and dings and wear and tear on the top), but her husband also replaced the bottom of all the drawers so they are sturdy and changed out the old knobs for new silver ones.  I am BEYOND thrilled with her work.  

My initial plan was to have her refinish the dresser and then I would tackle the crib and maybe even a bookcase in my "spare time."  Haha.  After thinking about it more, though, I realized that it probably wouldn't be feasible for me to do all the work myself, nor would it really be safe to use chemical strippers and things like that.  So I went out on a limb and asked her if she had ever done a crib before.  She said she hadn't, but that she would be willing to take it on....so I dropped that off too and had her work her magic.    

So without further ado, here's a little before and after action.

The before picture is not the same exact crib (the Legacy convertible crib models changed in the last 5 years since my brother and sister-in-law bought them for their twins), but its the same color and a similar style so you get the idea of the finish.  And as you can see, it was already an absolutely GORGEOUS piece of furniture when they generously gave it to us a few months ago.  We just thought that it would be easier to have all the furniture finished the same way rather than try to match the wood from a few different pieces as we were shopping around.  I am not a huge fan of everything being too matchy-matchy in my house (since I haven't done that in any other rooms) but for some reason I thought it would be nice to have a unified color (in this case, white) to complement the blue walls.  If you are reading this, John and Chris, thank you SOOOOOOO much again for giving us this crib. We are so lucky!!

And she did a phenomenal job on it too.  I can only imagine how painstaking it was to go over each and every spindle/rung with coat after coat of primer, paint and then poly.  OH MY!!  I'm just glad it wasn't me.  Haha.  She actually said to us when we picked it up that she would never do another crib again, but that she was happy to have been able to do it for us.  And for only $200, I think we ended up with a pretty amazing deal!
So, then all we need at this point was the bookcase.

During one of our many conversations, I mentioned to her that I was looking for a bookcase to refinish for the room as well.  I didn't think anything of it again until I got an email from her the next day saying that she found one on craigslist that was solid wood (which, believe it or not, is really rare for bookcases these days....unless you want to pay a fortune).  I took a look at the photo and checked the dimensions in our room and said "yes, please!"  And just like a fairy godmother, she went out to pick it up and brought it back to her shop for refinishing!  She even suggested/offered to paint the back of the bookcase a different color so that it would add some dimension to the piece.  GENIOUS!!  I had thought about maybe wallpaper or some fun contact paper for it in the future, but I probably wouldn't have gotten around to it for a while....so this was perfect.  I sent her the color (Wildflower Honey by Behr) that I wanted and she went to town.   

Here is the before and after:

And for only $200 (including finding it on craigslist, going out to get it and all the work she did to refinish it), it was also an amazing deal!  If you ever need a piece of furniture or would like to have an existing piece refinished and you are in the MA/NH area, you should absolutely contact her.  Here is her information:

Owner: Lynn Kennedy
Email: jlkennedy6[at]verizon[dot]net

I would highly recommend her to ANYONE!  And not just because she does amazing work, she is also a wonderful person to work with.  She helped me with my color choices along the way and made some great suggestions, plus she is just a sweetheart.  If I ever need any other work commissioned in the future, I will absolutely go to her!

Overall, I am totally in love with the furniture and really happy with the way the nursery is turning out.  Obviously I am biased because it is my son's nursery furniture, but it came out exactly as I had dreamed it would.  And as a little reminder, here are some of the inspiration photos that I had in mind when I was deciding on colors for the walls and furniture a few months back.  

And here is the Serena and Lily fabric that I'm thinking about using for the crib skirt.  It isn't cheap, at $40/yd, but hopefully I won't need more than 2 yards total for the project.  I had also originally planned to include a chambray-striped bumper (similar to the striped fabric in the Serena and Lily Graham collection below) but after trying it in the crib, we realized that it didn't fit very well.  All of the ties wouldn't fit around the rails (since the four corners are quite chunky), so it didn't fit snugly against all sides.  At the end of the day, I would feel really uncomfortable having the extra fabric all bunched up in his crib.  A few people have already warned us about the dangers of bumpers (although I have done further research on the subject and felt comfortable using one anyway), but I'd rather not compound an already potentially dangerous situation by putting something into the crib that doesn't fit properly.  So, no crib bumper for us....at least for now.   

But we are still planning to do a yellow crib sheet and the mosaic print crib skirt (from the fabric collection above).  I just need to bite the bullet and order the fabric.  I think my hesitation has been that the price is so high that I've been hoping to stumble across a similar fabric at a local store or somewhere else online.  I found these two options from Spoonflower.com,  Blue Diamonds and Bohemian Mod.  I like them both, but they just aren't the same as the Serena and Lily one.  Ugh....I don't know what to do.  What do you think?  Should I suck it up and pay the $80 for the fabric I want, or continue searching for an OK alternative?
I finally feel like the nursery is starting to come together.  We have a lot of accesorizing left to do and some fun projects up our sleeves (think DIY artwork, book slings and fabric bunting), but at least the shell is in place.  I'm really happy with the way it is headed!

What are your thoughts?  Should I go for the expensive fabric or no?  Have you done any projects where you tried to cut corners and wish you hadn't?  Or do you have any cheap alternative options to share? 

Next up: rug search.  Stay tuned for that!

And a very happy father's day to all of you dads out there (even though I'm pretty sure I have a female-dominated audience..haha)!  Have a great weekend everyone.   


  1. Hey Heather, I know how you feel with the fabric - when I get my heart set on something, I have to have it.

    Here are some other similar ones to the S&L, good luck!



  2. The furniture looks fabulous. How lucky you were to stumble across such a talented lady. I've bought a few pieces of furniture off a website in Australia and have then painted them white for me. However if this lady lived near me I'd definitely use her. The nursery looks wonderful. Well done! Ange

  3. ohmygoodness! The furniture looks fantastic, and I love the yellow back of the book case! (the yellow & blue nursery pic that you posted is one of my faves).

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