DECORATING AN APARTMENT NURSERY

We had three "must haves" on our checklist when looking for apartments in Chicago. One, it had to be in a GREAT area. Two, they had to allow dogs (you're welcome Vivienne). Three, it had to have two bedrooms, one for us, and one for Ruby. Thankfully (but barely) we found an apartment that met our criteria and signed the lease as fast as we possibly could (for fear that someone else would swoop in and steal it from us).

Apartments can be somewhat limiting when it comes to decorating because in most cases you are not permitted to make any permanent changes. When it came to Ruby's nursery I was not willing to make any compromises. I wanted her space to be welcoming, calming, and girly - I had waited 28 years to decorate a nursery for a little girl and I was not about to let apartment life get in the way. All it took was some creative thinking and a few Etsy vendors to make my vision come to life!


The first thing you see when you enter Ruby's room is her dresser and changing table. (I didn't have a photo of her changing station for my previous nursery post so here you go!) The ikea dresser is topped with a changing table topper and Land of Nod gold polka dot changing pad cover. The grey squares on the bottom drawer are drawer locks - because Ruby's favorite game is pulling everything out and then pinching her fingers when she slams the drawer shut.

On the wall across from the changing station is her crib, you will notice we did not purchase any new furniture for her nursery since moving to Chicago from Massachusetts. We made her current furniture work in her new bedroom layout. This gold polka dot crib sheet from Land of Nod matches her changing pad cover, the pink blanket can be found at Pottery Barn Kids, and we simply re-hung the animal prints and frames over her crib. 

I found the white shag rug on Overstock and it has proved to be the perfect place for playtime and story time!

Next to her crib is her bookcase FULL of books, the gold lamp was a Home Goods find, the personalized piggy bank was a gift and the pink abstract print hanging over the cabinet was an esty score! I simply bought the PDF version of the image and had it printed at our local Kinko's and framed in an Ikea frame. Easy artwork that is simple to change in and out.

On the other side of the crib is a custom built toy chest monogramed with Ruby's initials. Over the toy chest hangs an alphabet mirror that was purchased at Marshalls. 

In and effort to keep the drilling and holes to a minimum we opted to use tissue paper garland as window treatments (all it took was a simple nail in the wall to tie the twine around) instead of typical heavy drapery. Ruby's room is long and narrow and I love the light, airy feeling this window treatment offers. Floor to ceiling curtains would have been too overwhelming for this space. I found this garland on Etsy and highly recommend this vendor, she was fantastic to work with and customized the colors and color order for me (a few times, ha) no problem!

The main focus in Ruby's nursery is this wall of gold and bubblegum pink decals. Without having the option to paint I had to wrack my brain to come up with ideas that would suggest that this was a baby girl's nursery without making any permanent changes (this wallpaper would have been my first choice!). Thank the Lord for wall decals - and Etsy vendors who make them super affordable! Another fantastic person to work with, she made me the exact number of pink decals and the exact number of gold decals that I needed so I wouldn't be paying for any that would go unused. YES!

The pink decals are hard to see in the photos but in person they steal the show! 

Over in the corner you will see her rocking chair and whimsical owl pillow (similar) that Ruby fell in love with in the Target aisle - she couldn't stop smiling at it - so of course I had to get it for her! Ruby's laundry basket (another Home Goods find) sits next to her crib, she has recently been loving emptying it out and dragging her dirty clothes all over the apartment. Fun fun!

We LOVE Ruby's nursery, it is definitely Phil and I's favorite room in the house. We spend hours playing and reading with her in there. Her giraffe rocking horse has provided loads of fun, and chewing the hair on his tail cracks her up!

If you are living in an apartment you don't have to sacrifice your style. All it takes is a little bit of creativity (mine showed up in the form of wall decals) and you can love your space no matter the limitations.