One Room Challenge :: Week 2 – Nursery Design Plan & Custom Bookshelfwith Bench Seat

Hello design lovers!  We’re back with Week 2 of the One Room Challenge, and if you caught my first week post, you know that we’re designing a nursery for our baby-on-the way! It’s super exciting to be creating a room for this little one, but even more exciting that there’s actually going to be a baby in our house soon. We already have a 5-year old son, James, and he is giddy to be a big brother!  In fact, their birthdays are supposed to be just days apart.  Good things coming this March!
I brought one of my favorite designers on board to help with the nursery design since I absolutely love her work and wanted someone to bounce ideas off of and to have on-call for those little decisions to be made along the way.  When I first contacted Sita, I explained that I wanted a neutral nursery (especially right now since we don’t know the baby’s gender yet), with a soothing, calm vibe and texture.  I’m in love with the design board that she created below.  If you’re interested, Sita can put a design board together for you too!
Neutral Nursery Design with grey crib and dresser, pops of color and gold | Honey We're Home & Sita Montgomery Interiors

The design is a starting point that we can tweak along the way, especially since we’re not sure if we’re having a little boy or little girl yet.  Sita assured me that this design could easily lean in either direction, but I decided to hold off making a final decision about the rug and fabrics until we know, or we may go for more neutral tones.
We’re starting off with a room that has creamy white beadboard (already) and we’ll be painting the walls light gray, to be dressed with art and a mirror over the dresser.  Since the beadboard isn’t bright white, we opted for a grey crib and dresser and a neutral glider.
The crib fabric is from Pottery Barn Kids and I was lucky to order it on sale and with a coupon!  We are lucky that many of the items in the design are provided by sponsors of the ORC or we’d never be able to have gotten all this stuff at once, especially once you see what we did below!
The nursery was previously James’ room, and it was bittersweet to clear it out, but he’s already loving his new room with the big bed that was already in there for guests.   He actually moved out of this room over the summer since I didn’t want him to feel like he was getting the boot for the baby.  He just thought he was lucky to move to the big bed! 🙂  We sold the twin Pottery Barn bed (similar) and the Babies-R-Us dresser he used since he was a baby.  The Joss & Main rug was given to a friend.


After the room was emptied of furniture, all that was left were the Cars decal stickers that James put on his bedroom and bathroom door.  I still haven’t removed them!  Shhhhhh! I might be trying to hold on to what little bit of toddler there is left in him.
Otherwise, we have a blank slate to start with.
And lots of holes to patch from the previous gallery wall.
One thing I knew I wanted to add to this room was a built-in bookshelf flanking the large window with a bench seat below.  I’m also looking down the road to when this room will eventually become my office (sneaky me!) and our two kids will have the jack-and-jill bedrooms down the hall.  I figured now is a good time to create and install the bookshelf, but I also knew I didn’t have the carpenter skills to do this myself.
I started asking friends for referrals and put out a message on my mom’s group Facebook page for requests for carpenters/cabinet makers and got quite a few names.  People are happy to share their good sources if you just ask!  Most of the people I corresponded with quoted me around $2,000 and I ended up going with a friend of a friend who came highly recommended and actually came out to my house so we could discuss in detail exactly what I had in mind.
I knew the investment would be worth it given our success with the media cabinet in our living room.  That piece was built in when we originally built our home and it would have been expensive to try and buy something similar and it wouldn’t have been custom to our space. One of the questions I get asked on my blog most is, “Where can I buy your media cabinet?”  I wish I could point people in a better direction, but I just have to answer that it came with the house.
Back to the nursery, Dave at Texas Custom Woodwork was my man for this project!  During our initial consult and a couple thereafter, he brought things to my attention that I hadn’t even considered, such as the need to order more crown moulding (I asked my builder where he got it and Dave went and got more) for the very top of the bookcase so it would match exactly and look like the bookcase had been there since the house was built.  We also discussed ripping back the carpet, but ultimately decided to build right on top.  Sita helped me choose to go that route.
Other considerations were the number of shelves and the height of each and Dave was able to show me a rendering of how it would look with four stationary shelves.  I’m not a fan of the adjustable shelves with lots of holes for potentially moving the shelves because it tends to look unfinished.  We have that style throughout our house and never move the shelves anyway, so we’re just left with those holes showing.  I also wanted thick shelves and modern face fronts on the doors/drawers to coordinate with the rest of the house.
Here’s the drawing Dave sent me right before he got started on the construction:


He even sent me a couple of pictures of the bookcase in progress at his shop.
It only took him about 5 days to build the unit and then he and his assistant showed up bright and early Friday morning to install.  Installation took the whole day, until about 6:00 p.m.





When James came home from school, of course he wanted right in on the action and my heart almost melted when I saw he had brought his construction toys into the room to “help.” How cute are they sitting alongside the other grown-up tools?!?! #dontgrowup!!!
I’m absolutely in love with how the unit came out!  It’s exactly what I wanted and Dave did such a good job constructing and installing it.  He even put those soft slide drawers in (which I didn’t even think of).  The piece still needs to be caulked, painted, and I need to decide on drawer/door pulls which he’ll also install for me.  The bench seat and roman shade are works in progress.
I cannot wait to see the bookshelf and room all painted and then to decorate those shelves! I bought that adorable little stuffed lamb recently and it’s the very first baby thing I’ve purchased!  James’ very first gift was a stuffed giraffe, so it’s extra special.


Would you consider a custom unit in your home? 
If you’d like to get in touch with Dave at Texas Custom Woodwork, shoot him an email at: and tell him Megan sent you! I will definitely be working with him again, so don’t keep him all booked up! 😉
Get caught up on my past ORC posts here:

Each of the bloggers below are also participating in the One Room Challenge and you can click on their name to follow along with their progress too.  I can’t wait to see what everyone has up their sleeves!  See you next week!


keep in touch! 

subscribe  | instagram | pinterest | facebook | twitter | bloglovin

affiliate links used

You Might Also Like

Meet Megan

Hi! I’m Megan, mom to a thoughtful teenager and spunky young girl. We call Houston home and recently moved into our dream home. I traded my lawyer hat to become a full-time blogger in 2010. I love sharing my passion for affordable fashion, home decor, organization, & fitness to help inspire you to take care of you!


  1. That unit came out amazing! Thank you so much for including his contact info, I want to do something similar in our baby #2's room! I can't wait to see this room evolve.

    1. That is such a great idea, I'll have to look into it. I think James would really enjoy that. And we have a Home Depot close to our house.

  2. love this! I did the exact same type of built-in around a window in our new nursery, except we installed drawers instead of cabinets so it becomes more like a built in dresser. Love it! And the design board, love love. when do you find out what you are having?

  3. Even though the bookcase unit is expensive, I think it is a great investment for your home. It looks wonderful. For some reason I thought that a custom unit would be painted before installation but I can now see that the millwork specialist wants to have the flexibility to shave a bit here and there to make it a perfect fit.

    You are lucky to have such a large window in the room! I can't wait to see how you dress it.

    1. I had that same question two, wasn't sure whether they would paint it offsite or after installation but after installation it still needed to be caulked in some places. It did make the room a tiny bit smaller but it's so worth it!

  4. This is going to be stunning Megan! Sita does such beautiful designs and I think your decision to keep the space neutral regardless of gender is perfect. Can't wait to see this all come together!

    1. Sita has been a dream to work with, so many last minute questions I've been able to run past her and get a quick answer. She is so talented!

  5. The built-in looks fantastic!! I appreciate a craftsman who thinks of all the details like the matching crown moulding and soft-close. Such a great investment for now and future. We have a similar built-in in our former nursery and I can't help but think of those early days when I'd lay Chloe on the bench and let her bask in the sunshine. It's going to be such a lovely spot for you and the new baby!

    1. Ah Jen, thanks so much. I knew I'd be over my head with this one so Dave was the perfect choice. We are really happy with how it turned out and can't wait to get it painted and see it all finished. Not to mention I'm sure we will take lots of advantage of that bench seat over the years.

  6. GIRL!! It's looking so so good!!! He did an amazing job…completely changes the room, and the storage is amazing!

  7. I love built ins and millwork more than anything!!!! That bookcase is perfect and it's going to look so beautiful when it's all painted up and styled. Great progress! And your board is so sweet:)

  8. Oh that looks amazing and is kind of similar to the custom built ins that my hubby is doing at the moment (just needs drawers and doors). I painted the back of it navy and now need to style it like you did with your TV unit. You can see it here if you want:

    Have you posted your big boys room yet? Did I miss it? I am in the middle of doing Miss 3's big girl room. She is my last baby so it will be hard to get her out of the cot.

    Keep up the awesome blog!!

    1. Big kudos to your husband for building that himself! It's a huge job! I've only shared bits and pieces of James new room, if you search my organization tab you can see his new closet. We had an elfa system installed from the container store, it came out really well!

  9. oh wow – jealous of the built-in! we need one in our downstairs so bad, and i love the bench seat!! can't wait to see it all come together with the textiles you've selected – it's going to be so soft and lovely!

  10. GAH!! Megan! It looks SO good! I'm in love with those custom bookcases! Cant' wait to see this room unfold. You are off to an amazing start! xo

  11. This is going to be a stunning bedroom for your little one! I have always loved the look of a built in window seat. I am taking part in the one room challenge as a guest and am redoing my boys' bedroom. Making a built in bunk bed, it is so much work. The look of a built in is beautiful so I am willing to do the work.

    1. Holy cow I admire that so much! Building something like that is not for the faint of heart! But I'm sure it will be a labor of love and turning out beautifully!

  12. I always love a good built in….and the little bench seat will be so useful! Sita's plan is beautiful and I know you will love this room after it all comes together:)

  13. Love the built-ins. We are thinking about doing some in our house, but we have carpet as well. Did you remove the carpet under the built ins? Seems like everything you read says you have to, but I'm thinking that would be a huge pain! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *