At its most basic level, what is a nursery?
A crib. A changing table. A rocking chair.
What’s a nursery without a place to sit and soothe a baby?
Along the way we’ve gotten a lot of advice about things that our nursery and our baby “must have.” As probably all new moms know there are a ridiculous number of articles with titles about their life saving baby gear and how to get by with the fewest vital items. It’s pretty overwhelming because every list, every baby, every mom and every home is different. All you can really do is listen appreciatively, and try to make the best guess for what your baby and your family will need based on advice, practicality, gut instinct and research.
Luckily, I have time to do quite a bit of research and to look at our apartment and really imagine (and obsessively measure) what the space can fit. I’m able to listen to advice and know which bits and pieces to hold onto and which to let go. My husband however, does not have time to do any research. This is absolutely fine with me, but it gets pretty interesting when he brings home advice and spreadsheets from co-workers telling us exactly the items and brands we should buy.
Let’s just say, I know that our baby cannot be plugged into a spreadsheet. The advice is coming from all over his territory (families in DC, Texas, Charlotte) and from co-workers who live in larger apartments in NYC. Our lives are different, and so should be our baby preparation process.
That said, there was one BIG item, that my husband had strong feelings about and I wasn’t sure how to talk him down from the advice he had received. He really wanted a big comfy chair (that he could SLEEP in) to rock the baby to sleep. He understood it to be a “must have.”
Have you SEEN the space I’m working with?
I was still trying to figure out how to give a rocking chair with runners the space to actually rock, when I found out about our latest (expensive) nursery necessity.
As with most conundrums, I called Mom to see if she had any miraculous suggestions for a solution.
Thank Goodness she had a solution on the tip of her tongue! She offered to let us use an antique platform rocking chair that she had picked up thrift shopping year or so ago. It definitely needed facelift, but it was the right size, an amazing value (free! minus the facelift), and it didn’t require any extra space to rock!
In case you are wondering what a “platform rocker” is – I had to look it up at first too.
- “Platform rockers were introduced in the late 1800’s and were designed to move on a stationary base so as not to mess up the floor. The rocker is attached to the base using coil springs.” – Ardent Hands
Here is a clean picture of a rocker similar to what my mom had at home. You can see the working pieces that are normally covered by a skirt, so it’s easier to understand how it works.
Source: Ardent Hands
This is Mom’s actual rocker:
I liked that the rocker had classic lines, was solid wood, and was small enough to fit in our nursery. I knew that pitching it to my husband would be tough, but the price tag (and saving 800-1000 dollars on an upholstered chair) was most certainly a valuable bargaining chip.
Before I presented my case, I did a little research on painted rocking chairs, so he could see my vision for the chair. (Always give them a visual reference…depending on their imagination is way to risky).
I tried to give him a variety of options…
Source: Project Nursery
Source: Tater Tots and Jello
Source: 80 miles to brewster
Source: Apartment Therapy
At first we decided on the navy blue. Then we starting thinking the grey would be better, then grey to white, then I finally found the last photo and we decided (to beg Dad) to refinish the chair in a darker natural wood tone to match the rest of our apartment.
When I went home a few weeks ago, I figured that the rocking chair would be one of our major transformation projects. Unfortunately, it was pretty cold in North Carolina that week, and we weren’t able to do any of the painting or staining projects we had planned.
So…we went out shopping instead. Thrift shopping, of course!
I was in the market for a cabinet for the bathroom (which I decided later than I didn’t really need…yet) when we came across this little guy:
It might not look dreamy in these photos, but it rocked, reclined, had a footrest. It seemed like the perfect chair for fitting my husband’s only nursery request. It was about the same size as my favorite grey chair which meant it would FIT in the space! Best of ALL was the price!
Get ready for this…
It was TEN. DOLLARS.
I couldn’t believe it! I didn’t believe it when I paid for it. This had to be the luckiest day ever! The next cheapest chair in the store was 35 or 40! It was meant to be!
The plan now is to make a slipcover or have the chair professionally reupholstered to look something like this:
We considered a few more creative and eye-catching options…
Source: Switch Studio
Ultimately, our tiny nursery needs a simple chair, not an attention grabbing, eye-popping piece. Maybe next time around, I can create something a little more exciting.
I expect our chair to come out looking a little more like this guy…with navy piping.
I can’t wait to show you the final product and see it for myself!!!