Vintage Nurseries Make a Comeback

Vintage Nurseries Make a Comeback

When Kerry Leasure found out that she was pregnant with her first daughter, she knew instantly that she wanted to design her dream vintage nursery. She envisioned a nursery right out of the pages of the Velveteen Rabbit and Peter Pan, a place where her daughter, Annie, would feel like her toys might actually come to life. “I found some old nursery rhyme prints and Swan Soap ads from the 30’s and just fell in love with the style,” she said.

Vintage nurseries are becoming a very popular and original choice for parents who want to stray away from typical nursery themes. Sites like The Baby Gardener have made it much easier for parents to locate wonderful decor and clothing options for their children. The site owner, Deanna Gardner, has seen the market grow for vintage items in the last few years.

A graphic designer from Birmingham, Alabama, Deanna began to design her own vintage items seven years ago; when she found out she was pregnant with her first child. Her business grew to the point where she launched her own website which features handmade clothes, accessories and stationary from Deanna and other vintage artists around the country. She said, “I think more and more moms are being drawn to the nostalgia and charm of days gone by.”

Deanna suggests, “When choosing colors, my best advice is to find a little inspiration. Open a vintage children’s book and pick out an adorable illustration or find a vintage-inspired fabric you can’t live without. Chocolate brown with pale pinks or light blue are a very popular color combination right now.”

images via sweet cuddle cakes

Finding the perfect items for your nursery may take some serious hunting. With two vintage nurseries under her belt (She gave birth to another daughter, Dot, last spring.) Kerry suggests the Metrolina Expo for amazing antique finds. “I found Annie’s rocking chair covered in horrid green fabric and sitting in a mud puddle. I bought it for $70 dollars and reupholstered it myself. Dot’s dresser was also an Expo find for $75. It needed a good cleaning, but Pottery Barn sells things that look distressed for four times the price!”

As for the décor, she discovered incredible quilts, wall hangings, and vintage toys on eBay. When she could not find bedding that suited the style of the nurseries, she went to Mary Jo’s in Gastonia and made the curtains and bedding herself. “The bedding wasn’t perfect,” she laughs, “but my number one rule is just not to look at the back of anything I have sewn!”

Kerry also suggests drawing inspiration from local stores such as the Sleepy Poet off South Boulevard and website like The Land of Nod or PoshTots. “You can find wonderful ideas on the web and even in stores like Marshall’s and make them your own for much less. Target will even surprise you with great pieces at good prices.”

The girls’ charming nurseries (pictured below) work perfectly in the Leasure’s restored 1930’s Dilworth home. “I have loved that era,” she said. “I enjoy older items that feel loved and touched by other people. It feels like a kind of kinship. The girls’ nurseries are also full of toys and books from my husband’s and my childhood. ”

“It takes a lot of work to put a nursery like this together, but I didn’t mind. Each treasure is just an expression of how much I love my girls. And when it is time for a tea party, or just jumping on the bed, I feel a little thrill that they have a cozy special space to grow up in.”

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Kelly Yale

Kelly Yale

Kelly Yale has written for many parenting websites and wrote a weekly column for Charlotte Parent called “Diva Mom” for many years. Kelly created Modern Parent in social media several years ago and is excited to relaunch a new Modern Parent website. When she isn’t working as the Marketing Director for a mortgage company, she plays wife to Matt and mom to Ryan & Josh in Charlotte, North Carolina.