Duluth couple mines internet to decorate children’s nurseries
Traditional is how Nicole Rutford describes her home's interior.
"Not a lot of clutter, minimal."
She and her husband, Aaron Rutford of Duluth, aimed to infuse their style in their children's nurseries.
"We want something classy that looks good and that they can grow into," he said. The Rutfords turned to Pinterest for inspiration in designing rooms for twin boys Greyson and Maxwell, 20 months, and daughter Everleigh, 3 months.
From searching, saving ideas and eventually building from scratch, the Rutfords have constructed sleek and functional baby rooms for their growing family.
In the boys' room, gold letters "G" and "M" hang above two dark brown cribs. A gold damask design adorns cream sheets hanging over the cribs' edges. The twins' initials are in a cursive script on white sheets from Caden Lane Baby Boutique.
A flat screen TV floats in the corner near golden starburst wall hangings and taupe curtains. An older radiator lines the wall. A furry rug from Home Furniture rests in the middle of the nursery, and a furry yellow-and-cream giraffe is parked on the floor between the cribs.
"They love to snuggle their giraffe," Nicole Rutford said. "They'll dive into it and curl up with each other."
There's a baby-changing table that Aaron Rutford sanded down, stained and painted for his sons. A Lovesac bean bag sits in the corner, where her husband has fallen asleep holding a boy or two, she said.
But the standout in the room is the deep blue, regal wall. He built paneling on the accent wall using 1-by-4-inch pieces of pine, he said, and the result is a symmetrical, sophisticated backdrop for a nursery.
"It's simple, but it adds a lot of depth and detail," he said, holding a curly-haired Greyson.
For the paneled effect, making the boards level and deciding the distance between them took a lot of work, said his wife, holding a curious Maxwell in her arms.
"He was in here forever; he worked so hard on it."
Also challenging was tunneling two baby monitors through the walls of the Chester Park home built in 1919. The end result, though, is tiny spotlight-looking monitors hovering in a sea of blue above each crib.
The Rutfords have a third monitor in Everleigh's room and an added bonus: they can watch all three on a split screen. And later on: "You can talk through them, too," Nicole Rutford added. "They'll come in handy down the road."
Everleigh's room feels royal and delicate.
Chandeliers float from the ceiling on either side of the homemade canopy holding thick pink and white curtains above her white crib. ("Anything I saw on Etsy, I just built," Aaron Rutford said.)
On two walls, the couple alternated between cream and gold Ralph Lauren paint, which they applied with a textured roller.
While the latter paint was a win on the first try, taping the walls and ensuring lines were straight and level was tricky, they said. The other two walls in Everleigh's nursery are in a light shade of pink, which took three tries to perfect.
The white crib from Wayfair has ribbon- and bow-like wood carvings, which are echoed on the canopy and in the white furniture. A damask design is peppered in a tiny throw pillows, on a crib accent and on the baby-changing mattress.
Aaron Rutford made white floating shelves from scrap wood. From them dangle a trio of bright baby headbands and tiny charm bracelets that once belonged to Nicole.
"It was a nice little touch," she said.
There's a classic-looking, metallic-gold end table from Hobby Lobby, flowers in a vase, a sound machine and homemade doilies from Everleigh's great-great-great-grandmother.
The Rutfords call their home a "work in progress." He has refinished the floors, built personalized nurseries, and from there, he made patio furniture for the family.
"It's a passion he discovered in creating a nursery," she said.
Go-to's are YouTube videos, Pinterest articles, but his tricks are "some research and trial and error," he said.
The couple did find out the sex of their children, so they could plan their baby room, and their tips for parents: "Just dive in," he said.
While there were some additional trips to Home Depot, she said this was the route to take with three young children.
"Any time we can save a few pennies here and there and do it ourselves, we're all about that," she said. "Give it a whirl."
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