Dub’s Vintage Storybook Nursery

accidental okie storybook themed nursery

Dub’s nursery is a mishmash of everything I love. It’s my revenge at the universe for getting married before Pinterest was invented. (Seriously, I had to come up with all my wedding ideas on.my.own.).

My friend Liz, the first of us to have a baby, said she designed her daughter’s nursery for her, because she’d be the one in there exhausted in the middle of the night. Liz is as brilliant as they come.

So this – this is my baby-themed sanctuary.

Books were so integral to my childhood. Even now, master’s degree in writing in hand, I prefer children’s and young adult books over adult books. They are full of magic and wonder, and I want our Dubs to experience all those special books The Professor and I still enjoy reading. This is where our theme began.

I also wanted a design that was flexible. I didn’t want something so specific – like burlap and trains or something – that I couldn’t put it in the nursery if it wasn’t burlap or a train. Vintage storybook really turned into something special and unique. It is vintage storybook, but then there are some nautical elements, gold polka dots and different kinds of stripes. There’s modern fabric and very traditional elements, and art new and old.

It is me. Sorry, Dubs. 

accidentalokie nursery 2


accidentalokie nursery 1

The paint is Sherwin Williams North Star. It only took me five paint samples to find the perfect shade of not-too-blue, not-too-gray. The guy at the paint store finally gave me my very own swatch book. He said it was customer service, but I suspect it was pity for the eight-month pregnant lady who kept waddling in and buying sample after paint sample.

However, after this experience, I am a total believer in buying paint samples and not just going off the swatch. If you want proof, find one of my recipe posts and look for my kitchen.

It was supposed to be turquoise. But it’s like TUUUUURQQQQOOOOOOOIIIISSSE. 

Our chair is a glider recliner. It was a gift from my aunt, and I sleep in it about as much as I sleep in my bed. When looking for one, I searched high and low for something with a tall enough back for the Professor – he’s got ten inches on me. It works great for both of us.

I found the pouf ottoman on sale at Target for 50 percent off. Sometimes I prop my feet on it when rocking when the chair isn’t reclined. Other times it holds a book or a blanket. I know someday Dubs will think it’s his own special seat. The rugby stripe rug is one of my savviest purchases ever – Pottery Barn Kids. 50 percent off. Boom.

The gold polka dots came from someone on Etsy who had them for about a tenth of what they are at Land of Nod.

accidentalokie nursery horizontal book case 1

My vision for this space included monochromatic colors and very bright accents. As a part of the storybook theme, I wanted books on the wall, not only as art but aslo just as, well, books! By creating horizontal book shelves from Ikea RIBBA Picture Ledges, Dubs’ books become bright art in the room. As books come down and are put up, the arrangement always changes. In the coming years, the shelves will change with him.

I love every part of these bookshelves. 

accidentalokie nursery horizontal book case 2

The Take Heart plaque was a gift from some of our closest friends who brought it to the hospital when Dubs was born. The anchor refers to our fertility struggle. God gave me beautiful anchors as a standing stone in prayer and in remembering our sweet babies lost to early miscarriages. It’s a subtle but very special reminder of the journey we’ve walked and the grace we’ve seen.

accidentalokie nursery bench 1

In the ultimate test to our marriage, The Professor and I upholstered that bench by ourselves. It was just us, two Pinterest tutorials, a staple gun, foam, batting, fabric, and three arguments. But we did it! I know, right! The bench is an Ikea Kallax bookshelf, which can be used both standing up or on its side.

The wood-grain fabric is a little modern and a little traditional, and it fits perfectly in this space. The bins are from Target. They hold plush toys, plastic/wood toys, extra pillows and a few other odds and ends. The slots and bins are square, so some day when Dubs grows up, the whole thing can be stood up.

But for now, I have this vision of him being a little boy, tucked on his reading bench, digging into The Boxcar Children.

I know. It’s a romantic vision, but I’m sticking to it.

Accidental Okie nursery monogram

I selected a Jenny Lind crib. I liked it for a few reasons. It’s timeless, relatively inexpensive, made from sustainable New Zealand wood, and does not turn into a full-sized headboard, bunk bed or space ship. I’ve had too many friends buy a super fancy crib that they plan to use for decades to come, only to have their teething kid attack it with the ferocity of a rabid beaver. 

It was a gift from my parents and one of our longest family friends, Wendy. My mom called Wendy after she had me. She didn’t say, “It’s a girl” or anything social acceptable like that. All she said was, “Don’t do it, Wendy. It hurts too bad!”

Our giraffe is so cute and special – a gift from my amazing work team. I haven’t named him yet, but I’m leaning towards Mr. Neck, an ode to The Mindy Project.

Every kid who sees Mr. Neck is completely entranced, and it was Dub’s first buddy. He’s watched it ever since he started noticing the world around him. It serves as a sort of mobile that he can look at while he’s falling asleep. Just another reason I’m glad I didn’t buy a mobile. Not only are they expensive, but it turns out that you don’t need one if you have a ceiling fan! (Seriously people, ceiling fan = hours of baby entertainment).

I ordered our monogram from an Etsy seller. We got it unpainted, so it was crazy inexpensive. After the many hours spent attempting to achieve a flawless, glossy finish, I wish I paid to have it painted.

The native Californian in me still freaks a bit at the thought of having something hanging above the crib. But each of those monogram elements – which are all quite light – are held on by several 3M stripes that are each supposed to hold 20 pounds. So, I think we’re good. 

The beautiful lamb elements – the sheet, changing pad cover, pillow and blanket – were all gifts from a sweet family friend, Tiff, who saw my mood board and then saw that set at Land of Nod. She surprised me with it, and I love it all so much. I’m super picky and sort of a snob and usually when people surprise me with things for a well-planned anything, I’m not a happy camper. But somehow, Tiffany got in my head and somehow knew. She’s cool like that. Not only are the lambs subtle and beautiful, but it provides a further zen feeling to our calm room.

accidentalokie nursery crib 2This little guy came to us just a few weeks ago to solve the problem of the toy pile next to the bed. Now I just toss all of Dub’s toys he plays with in his crib into this perfect basket. Then I put the whole basket in the crib with him to play.

When did I get so smart?

accidentalokie nursery gallery wall

Our gallery wall is where the vision for this room really started – a mix of vintage and whimsey. 

The Winnie the Pooh prints are original pages from 1939 editions of Winnie the Pooh, purchased off Etsy for a shockingly small amount of money. The jump-roping foxes and kite-flying whales are from a Brooklyn artist. There’s custom calligraphy, and new born pictures of Dubs, who doesn’t even look like that anymore. (sniffle) 

accidentalokie nursery dresser 3

Our dresser is the Ikea Hemnes. It holds all the things.

accidentalokie nursery dresser 5

My official organization style is called “good intentions,” so having a dresser that’s made to fit Ikea’s organization dividers, it’s super helpful. 

accidentalokie nursery bunnyBunny.

accidentalokie nursery closet

The closet is also my attempt at sustainable organization. It’s working so far.

accidentalokie nursery look 2

Before I was gifted with the beautiful lamb bedding, this is what I bought for the room – bright-lettered sheets to match the books, and an anchor changing pad cover to carry our anchor theme and match the navy blue accents.

By the time Dubs has such a giant blowout that we need to wash the changing pad cover, it’s time to change the sheets. So we go back and forth between lambs and letters/anchors. I like switching it up between subtle and bright.

Dub’s room works so well for us. It’s peaceful every time I walk in there at 3 a.m. It’s bright in the morning and calm at 10 at night.

 But of all my favorite views in the nursery, these are my favorites.

accidentalokie nursery dubs 2

accidentalokie nursery dubs


  1. Sarah's Mom, aka: Grandmommy says:

    This is a beautiful view of the nursery, You have such a gift at putting together colors and shapes to make a beautiful and relaxing space. You are correct, this is a room that you stay in many hours, especially during the night, and it must be a place that helps you relax. I love the poka dots that your sweetie put up so masterfully, the floating book shelves and books, the gallery wall with the vintage pictures. But most of all, I love my precious little grandson. Grandmommy

  2. Amber Downing says:

    I came across your nursery pictures and I adore your gallery wall above the Hemnes dresser! Can you please tell me what sizes you used for the frames and where you purchased the frames from?

    Thank you so much!

    • Sarah Warren says:

      Hi Amber, these are all Ikea frames. I got a collection of ones that hold 4×6, 5×7 and 8×10. The big one, also from Ikea required a different mat to get it to hold an 8×10.

    • Sarah Warren says:

      Hi! They’re various sizes from ikea. Most hold 5×7 and 8×10 pics!

  3. Hello! I love your crib sheets with the letters and animals! Where did you get those? Thanks!

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