A wee tour: My modern vintage baby’s room

It’s funny the things you forget. Like the little details in my son’s room when he first arrived. It’s been two years since these photos were taken, but since I’m running a week of all things related to babies and kids, I thought you might like to see how I decorated his room back then.

All photography by Lucas Boyd.

There was no real plan or theme, as you can see from the photos (although there are a lot of birds and bunnies, naturally). I was fiercely opposed to anything too matchy-matchy, or beige and neutral. I wanted a light, bright and happy space for my new baby – and me.

I’ve spent a lot of hours in this room – and now that it’s home to a very busy two-year-old, quite a lot of things have changed. But one thing that hasn’t changed is my love of print and pattern, and my magpie approach to decorating.

A wee nursery room tour via

Modern vintage nursery tour via

I guess you could call Harry’s room modern vintage – but really, we were confined by a tight budget – and space. And like so many other new parents, we trotted off to IKEA for the requisite Expedit shelves and chest of drawers.

The rest of the space I filled with vintage and second-hand-stuff, like the Stokke cot I bought for a song on eBay. And I didn’t want to splash out on a new rocking chair or anything that was marketed as a ‘nursing chair’, so I made do with a mid-century chair that I bought and had reupholstered by the brilliant A Pair of Chairs in Redfern.

The teak arms of the chair were instantly ‘christened’ by my son on the first day we brought him home, so I hastily covered it with a mix of second-hand granny blankets, quilts and cushions.

Children's book shelf using IKEA spice racks via

Harry's nursery room tour via we-are-scout.comBlabla bird mobile via

Budget and space were also major factors to consider when it came to buying baby furniture. So much in fact, that I was vehemently opposed to anything that had a sole ‘baby furniture’ purpose. So instead of buying a new nappy change table, we made do with a change mat on top of the IKEA set of drawers. And instead of a separate Moses basket or basinette, Harry slept in his cot from day one. I also decided against buying a bulky baby bath, so a baby seat in our bath did the job just as well.

Modern vintage baby's room via we-are-scout.comModern vintage baby's room via

Modern vintage nursery tour via we-are-scout.comI introduced colour and texture into what was an otherwise plain white space with my own childhood toys, new finds, and the many generous gifts from friends. My beloved Little Wanderer by Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara – a gift from a friend for my 30th birthday – found a new home on Harry’s shelves.

You can also see the hand-painted cotton reel garland that my mum and sister made for me when I was born. And if you look carefully, you’ll be able to spot my childhood copy of M Sasek’s This is Sydney, along with my childhood Mr Potato Head, fuzzy felt board, red school case, wooden xylophone and Danish wooden fish puzzle. And like every other design blogger with a baby two years ago, I duly bought the IKEA spice racks and re-purposed them as rather nifty book racks. Ha!

Modern vintage baby's room via we-are-scout.comModern vintage baby's room via

Vintage wallpaper giraffe decal via we-are-scout.comTo keep things fresh and to add a splash of greenery, I popped a pot plant on top of Harry’s shelves – it’s still there but it’s now filled with dinosaurs.

Here’s a wee list of some of the things you can see in his room. Most of these things were gifts but I’ve provided sources where possible.

Vintage fabric bunting by Hazy Jane from My Messy Room.
Babar print from a seller on the banks of the Seine, Paris.
Original Winnie the Pooh etching, from a bookshop in Cecil’s Court, London.
White Expedit shelving unit (lying in its side) from IKEA.
Malm chest of drawers (with Cath Kidston nappy change mat on top) from IKEA.
Hen and chicks mobile by Flensted.
White crochet granny square rug by IDA Interior Lifestyle’s Etsy shop.
Alphabet blocks, a gift from a friend, can be bought here.
Yoshitomo Nara’s Little Wanderer.
Heico rabbit lamp, kindly gifted by Caravan Interiors.
Small hand painted tambourine
, trimmed with vintage ribbons by Claire Fletcher from Made in Hastings.
Vintage chair re-upholstered by a A Pair of Chairs.
Birdy cushions from Habitat, London.
Vintage wallpaper animal wall decals from Inke Heiland.
Bajo wooden bird abacus from My Messy Room.
Bajo red wooden bus from My Messy Room.
Old fairground wooden battleships from Pedlars‘ Notting Hill shop.
Much loved McNuttie the Squirrel, kindly gifted by BlaBla Kids.
Multibirds mobile, gifted by BlaBla.
Red bird dream ring, gifted by BlaBla Kids.

Modern vintage baby's room via

Photography by Lucas Boyd.

It’s a week of babies and kids on Wee Birdy! Make sure you haven’t missed:
Top 12 affordable art prints for children’s rooms
Wee find: Laikonik once-a-year baby record books
19 clever ways to transform a kid’s room with wallpaper
The 12 best presents for baby girls
A wee historic royal baby exhibition
The 12 best presents for baby boys

  • bushra

    so lovely and colourful! i have to admit to reaching for the IKEA Expedit here too, and i’m so with you on avoiding anything that is specifically baby furniture – it’s not just that it feels temporary but once your hands are full looking after little ones, changing up that furniture can be a chore too.

    • Anonymous

      Oh thanks so much, bushra. I feel a tad ‘exposed’ but his room has a nice little story and I love how it’s evolved over time. Pleased to hear I’m not the only one in the anti-baby furniture camp! You could really go nuts buying things you don’t really need.

  • Cara Waters

    Bec you are killing me this week – I am going to have to take out a second mortgage before this baby is born! I have the rabbit night light as well – so cute! Great idea about the spice racks – might have to copy that one!

    • Anonymous

      Cara, this is such an exciting time for you! I feel so bittersweet thinking about the nesting process. My only advice is to buy things you really, truly love – and try to hold back on everything else. You’ll be surprised by how much stuff you accumulate from gifts and hand-me-downs. But yes, there are so many lovely little things for babies. Harry loves his rabbit light – he says “bunny off’ at bedtime.

  • Ilaria Chiaratti

    I’m so happy to see the baby blanket I made for you, here in this lovely baby room!!

    You did a wonderful job ;-)

    • Anonymous

      Oh hi there Ilaria! You did a magnificent job and it’s a much loved addition to Harry’s room. Thank you!

  • Karen Tang

    Your son’s room is absolutely lovely, Rebecca! I love all the pops of color from the wall decorations to the furniture, toys and books. He’s so lucky to have so many wonderful things in there! :-)

  • Spoonful

    uber cute!!!!! I love it! xxox

  • Aga Wala

    Harry’s room looks beautiful and I got very inspired, Freddie has got almost all the same books including vintage Ladybird which we love.

  • savage seeds

    Adorable! Love all the vintage and modern colors!

  • Trudy – HOME etcetera

    Brilliant. I love how you chose pieces that were not baby furniture to create a room that will grow with your son. All too quickly they are no longer babies and then they are out of toddler-hood. Investing in pieces that will work through the stages of their life is wise. My online shop has doona covers, quilt cover sets, cushions and bedlinen perfect for a child’s room that will last the distance into the teenage years. You’ll find beautiful prints and patterns, traditional and modern, soft pastels, neutrals and bright bold colour.

  • Vicki

    What a lovely fish puzzle in the middle here: 9364665390_8c2b46d0a9_h-800×1199.jpg Do you recall where it came from or have information about the manufacturer?