Guilty as charged, I’m an over-anxious auntie-to-be!

We just recently found out that my younger brother and his wife are having a boy, and we are so very excited for them! So now comes the fun part: planning the nursery. Of course I wanted to help with it (even if they hadn’t asked for it – duh), keeping in mind some key wish list items:

*My sis-in-law was inspired by a nursery on stella & henry to do a wall of large gray/white stripes;
*My brother is insistent on having a fish tank in the room (and I found a very cool mod fish hotel from Crate & Barrel);
*They both wanted to include some element to represent my family’s Japanese heritage;
*And I wanted to be sure to include something from our childhood in Hawaii (I lucked out with a customizable 1980’s Hawaii license plate!).

To give it a modern base, I went with a white crib with birch side panels (although any basic white crib would work well), a curved acrylic base lamp from Room & Board, these orange tins from West Elm, a fun orange mini-rocker, a Trina Turk throw pillow (that reminds me of a Japanese mountain pattern), and an old stand-by, the Eames rocker in white (knock-off).

But I’m a big believer in mixing new with old. Here, I’ve used a vintage orange task lamp, refurbished painted knobs on a standard IKEA dresser, and a pillow made from vintage Japanese Kimono fabric.

I also love to mix softer and more organic elements into a clean contemporary design, such as the orange crochet poufs, the pom pom curtains with standard bamboo blinds, a bla bla doll, a gray sheepskin rug, an oversized stuffed elephant toy, and the banana fiber woven chest that doubles as a side table.

Did you know that fish kites are hung outside the homes of Japanese families on Boys’ Day every year (May 5th) to represent the number of boys in the household? I thought an accent such as a fish crib bumper or blanket would be a nice nod to that tradition.

To top it all off, I needed to be sure to include my brother’s all-time favorite band somehow, someway. Framing a Smashing Pumpkins concert poster would be perfect to remind them of the countless performances my brother dragged my sis-in-law to through the years.

And stay tuned for the baby shower I’m planning! Lots of fun in store even before the bebe is born.

For those on Pinterest, you can check out my board here for more fun products.

Have a wonderful weekend! I think I’ll be catching up on sleep. ;o)

Erika Brechtel

Erika Brechtel

Creative Director

Desiring an online space to explore well-rounded, inspired content in all topics she loves most, Erika created 'The E List' (formerly the Small Shop blog) in 2010. When not enjoying an “occasional" glass of wine and wanderlusting for even warmer climates, Erika can be found sharing laughs with friends and family, and trying her very best to keep up with her 6-year old daughter (yet failing miserably).

  1. so lovely and fresh! how lucky are they to have such a fashionable auntie to contribute? 🙂

    hope you get all caught up on rest this weekend! and that the little one is back in tip top shape soon. no fun when they’re sick! ox

  2. So very cute! What a lucky nephew-to-be.

    Sorry the weeks been so rough. Here’s hoping for a good weekend to recuperate and everyone healthy and happy next week!

  3. Are you kidding me? Girl – that nursery is so different and creative. You never do the same things everyone else does. That is why I adore you! Get some rest and have an amazing weekend!
    -e (

  4. The room is amazing ! Love what you have come up with and how you personalized it for them !! And your photoshop skills are insane ! Love the layout 🙂


  5. I’ve been watching your pins and I was like, Okay, when’s she gonna share.

    This is so, so great. The details are so well thought out. I love the Smashing Pumpkins poster and it blends in so perfectly. You are a woman of many talents. So good!

  6. I’m in love- so cute! I want that room! A good friend of mine just received that fish tank as a gift for her daughter- it’s way cool! Must get one.

  7. I hope your daughter is feeling better!!!

    Ok, you are genius, that room is so often I want to hop right in. You are making me want a nursery and I’m not even ready for kids. Bookmarking for family planning 5 years from now. Have a great weekend!

  8. Hi Erika! Just recently found your blog, and I am seriously loving all the eye candy. I feel like I am being a total sponge, soaking in all the inspiration and amazingness on here. You do such awesome work with the content and images! I have been having a blast raiding your archives…so much goodness there.

    Super cute nursery ideas….love the grey and orange! Congrats on the impending aunt-hood…I recently found out that my 2 sis-in-law’s are both having baby girls one week apart from each other, which is really exciting! 😉

  9. fabulous job, erika! i love the way you incorporated both of their wishes into your innovative and totally stylish design concept. can’t wait to see how it all comes together! xoxo – julie