Category Archives: Motherhood

Decor / Motherhood

Gender Neutral Nursery Reveal

11/27/2017

It’s finally time to reveal our little one’s gender neutral nursery! My self-imposed timeline expired over Thanksgiving week, and other than our glider that is set to arrive mid-December, our nursery is just about complete! I had two very distinct nurseries designed when I first started planning out the nursery because we were initially going to find out the gender. Once we decided to be surprised, I was back to square one and completely stumped.

I don’t think I’ve had a harder time designing a room than designing this nursery for Baby Mack. It’s one thing to design for yourself, but designing for a little human who will have zero care in the world what color paint is on the walls or what color rocker we get for the space is an entirely different story. Half the battle, for me at least, was we were originally going to convert the guest bedroom into the baby’s room and design around the green walls. However; I convinced Cody to give up his office and suggest that he take over my home office. That gave me an entirely blank space to work with.

To gain inspiration, I ended up scouring Homemaker’s website, a local furniture store in the Des Moines area that also offers online shopping. I had seen Babyletto pop up on Pinterest and when I discovered that Homemakers sold the brand, I was beyond excited. I ended up picking out the modern Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib. It’s neutral color will work for our gender neutral nursery and for future babies as well. The best part is it required no power tools to put together and is just the right height for me!

I went to Homemakers to see if they had a floor sample, but it was only available online. While I wasn’t able to see it in person, I wandered around the nursery section to help gain additional inspiration. What all was needed for a nursery, especially when you are designing a gender neutral one? Simple, a crib, dresser with a changing pad, and a comfortable chair. So that’s where I started, the finer details would come in time after the main players were selected.

Here are a few pieces from Homemakers that started my inspiration for our future nursery!

Dresser | Rocker | Crib | Lamp | Rug | Bookshelf

First thing I tackled, of course, was painting the trim and closet doors white. It never ceases to amaze me what paint can do to transform a room.

I followed up the trim paint with testing nine, you read that correctly, 9 different paint swatches. I was trying to color match a photo I found on Pinterest. I tested colors from Benjamin Moore, Farrow and Ball, and Sherwin Williams. The winner, after realizing I could have them lighten the paint 50% was Blue Horizon. I wanted a very soft and subtle light blue and was finally able to find just the right shade.

We ended up ordering a custom chair from the brand Best Chairs (this is the same chair in a similar to fabric to what we picked out). It is set to arrive just before the baby does, so we have Cody’s IKEA chair as a placeholder in the mean time. I thought I could go more of a minimal route when it came to accessories (perhaps just a print above the crib), but I had been eyeing the penmanship print since I spotted it in this room shared by two sisters and the plush animal heads were a perfect addition to the space. I ended up repurposing a few pieces from other rooms in our house to save money. I brought up the side table from our living room, the round mirror that I was going to use in my home office, and the wood shelves that were also in my home office.

I’m so happy with how the room has turned out and we are officially ready for Baby M to make their arrival in a few short weeks. Without further ado, our nursery!

The Brunette One Gender Neutral Nursery RevealThe Brunette One Gender Neutral Nursery RevealThe Brunette One Gender Neutral Nursery RevealThe Brunette One Gender Neutral Nursery Reveal

This post is sponsored by Homemakers. They generously gifted me the crib in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting brands that make The Brunette One possible!

*If you are looking to source anything from our nursery, check out this post here!

Fashion / Motherhood

My Style: Rack Room Shoes

10/31/2017

Ingrid & Isabel Sweater | Old Navy Jeans | Dr. Scholl’s Madison Sneakers (c/o Rack Room Shoes)

If you live in the Des Moines area, you’ve likely heard of the new Outlets of Des Moines, which opened October 19. It’s an outdoor shopping center that has brought new stores to the surrounding area, like Rack Room Shoes. I checked out Rack Room Shoes online before I made it to the store, and was not disappointed with the wide variety of brands and styles of shoes they offer for the entire family (soon enough I’ll be purchasing baby shoes). I couldn’t wait to see and shop the store in person.

From premium brands to their own private brands such as Franco Fortini, you’ll find shoes for every member of your family. One of the best parts of shopping in store (and online) is every day they offer ‘Buy One, Get One 50% off’ off most styles! I ended up walking out of the store with a pair of Dr. Scholl’s Madison Sneakers, a life saver for this pregnant lady now that it’s getting harder and harder to bend down to put shoes on. The second pair I ended up with were these  Franco Fortini Niki ankle boots. There were so many cute sneaker, flats, and boot options, I had a hard time narrowing down my purchases, but here are a few other styles that I was drawn too and will be adding to my wish list! The staff at Rack Room Shoes were super kind and accommodating. The aisles of shoes were easy to navigate to find different styles and they sell accessories as well.

One of the best parts of Rack Room Shoes is each back-to-school they host a Shoes That Fit fundraiser empowering customers to give back to their local communities by supplying children in need with new shoes.The money raised is channeled through local school liaisons who identify students and school systems in need, while also coordinating the distribution of new footwear. Since 2007, Rack Room Shoes has raised a total of $5,604,113 and donated 206,201 pairs of shoes. I love finding and supporting companies that do good in the world.

This is a sponsored post with Rack Room Shoes. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting posts that make this blog possible!

Decor / Motherhood

Upgrading Our Blinds for the Nursery

10/23/2017

Hudson Crib c/o Homemakers | Ikea Chair & Ottoman | Amazon Penmanship Print| Pillowfort Wall Decor | Home Goods Side Table | Blinds.com Signature Roman Shades in Calceta Dove with Cordless Life c/o

When it first came time to start designing our baby nursery, one thing that was on our must-have list was to install black out window coverings. I debated about adding curtains to our existing blinds, but in the end, didn’t want to mess around with installing a curtain rod.  Almost two years ago we outfitted every room in our home with cellular, light-filtering blinds from Blinds.com. On our first floor we splurged for cordless top-down/bottom-up cellular shades. To save on costs, we kept the cords for all the rooms on the second level, but still kept the top-down/bottom-up functionality (see the blinds in our living room space).

I knew I wanted to update the baby’s window treatment with something that not only offered a black-out capability but was cordless as well. I reached out to Blinds.com to work with them on the nursery and they generously agreed to work with me to design the perfect window covering for the baby’s room.

Below is a what the nursery looked like as it transitioned it from Cody’s office, to a placeholder for all of my office furniture, to the nursery as you’ll see it today!

I worked one-on-one with a designer from the company to create the best solution for the room. It was important to me that we look at a cordless option for safety precautions. I know that a newborn won’t be playing with any loose cords, but I want to make sure their room is as safe as can be. Cords can be a strangulation hazard for infants and young children, so it’s important to keep that in mind and either go with a cordless option or coverings with inaccessible cords that can be out of reach for young children. Once we decided on the type of shade (Signature Roman Shade), we customized it even further.

We stuck with an inside mount, added a black-out liner, went with a plain fold and the valance was included. All that was left was to decide on a fabric. The designer sent me varying shades of grays and whites in different fabric types, up to 10 fabric samples are free from the company. Once they arrived, I took them to the local store where we purchased our rocker from and played around with the different options.

I ended up picking Calceta Dove, which complements the chair fabric and doesn’t compete with the wall color. The employee at the store made a good point that if I went with gray, you’d end up with this bright space but a ‘black hole’ of sorts with a gray window. The white allows for a seamless transition with the newly painted trim and is neutral for the space depending on how the room will change in the coming years.

Installation couldn’t have been easier. Each set of blinds or shades comes with a hardware kit. Our previous blinds had three clips that we had to remove to screw in the new hardware for the roman shade, which also had three clips. We remeasured for placement, screwed in the plates,  lined up the shade and clipped it into place.

While the nursery is far from complete, I’m super happy with the upgrades we’ve made to the room thus far.  I ended up borrowing our IKEA rocker/ottoman from Cody’s office to help decide placement of artwork and where shelving will be installed. Our rug arrives in two weeks, our rocker will be here in December, just in time for Baby Mack’s arrival in January!

I have a special promo code to share with all of you! Simply use the code thebrunetteone at check out for 20% off any order at Blinds.com. The code will expires 12/31/17.