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Emma's Secret Garden Nursery Reveal

Cottage garden nursery reveal

This is probably one of the most personal home projects I have ever done. While dealing with infertility, I threw myself into home projects as a way to distract myself and have something I COULD control. To be honest, there were several years where I never thought I would get to show off this space. It’s quite literally, a dream come true. And it was the both the hardest and easiest space I’ve ever decorated. I wanted to be absolutely perfect. And I can say with 100% certainty, I’m beyond happy with the way it turned out.

When we lost Jack in 2020, gardening helped me heal. It helped me grieve. But mostly, it helped me heal. I was able to plant something in the ground, use my hands to connect with nature, and watch that something grow and flourish. And those plants were beautiful. So once I found out that we would have a little girl, I knew immediately I wanted her nursery feel like a garden. Specifically a cottage garden. And all the pieces of a garden – flowers, plants, animals, bugs.

I found a ton of inspiration photos that I took bits and pieces from. And the inspo for the painted bees, butterflies, and birds came from the guest room in Erin's home. Here are some of them:

garden nursery inspiration

Secret cottage garden nursery inspiration

And then I got to work. It was actually the glider that I found and fell in love with first. It gave me the cottage vibes that I was going for with the stripes and skirting. I’m not much of a pattern person but knew with the monochrome whites, I needed to add a bit of pattern somewhere. And stripes are my jam.

Striped nursery glider and built in bookshelf

Everything else just kind of came together. I originally wanted a black spindle crib, but a very generous friend offered us this white crib that she was looking to get rid of, so I adjusted my original design a bit to accommodate the white crib. Because there are a lot of white pieces in the room, I really wanted the crib sheets to have some color and I fell in love with the floral sheet from Caden Lane. We also have a solid pink one that matches the paint color of the birds, bees and butterflys on the wall behind the crib.

Floral crib sheets for secret garden nursery

This art piece from Juniper Print Shop and Kelly Ventura is so perfect in this space. Kelly Ventura can do no wrong. I love ALL of her work and want to own everything she puts her hands on. And Juniper Print Shop? Jenny Komenda is another incredible designer that I love and I absolutely love what she has done with JPS and have several pieces from their collection around the house. I was able to use Sherwin Williams’ Color Snap app to color match paint to colors in the art work and that’s where we got the color for the opposite wall.

Oversized art from Juniper Print shop and Kelly Ventura titled Wild Garden

The small piece of art above the hooks is actually a gift bag that AJ found in the TJMaxx check out line and it was his idea to alter it to fit the space!

Closet curtains, artwork, and hanging hooks in cottage garden nursery

The bookshelves might have been my favorite thing to style in the whole room. They hold both extremely personal pieces as well as some new, fun pieces as well. My wedding shoes are on the top shelf, a crystal bear that was in my eldest cousin’s nursery is hiding amongst the flowers, a pair of booties knit by my sister-in-law are atop the wood pedestal. And the art – the violet watercolor is Emma’s birth flower and was handpainted by my friend Molly as a beautiful gift to us. And the Mickey drawing actually hung in my brother’s nursery as a baby. The water globe atop the books was AJs as a child. The rest of the flowers and pieces are a combination of $1 section items from Target, gifts from people, and HomeGoods finds.

Built in bookshelves with books and garden decor in cottage garden nursery

Floral letter decor in cottage garden nursery

The standing jewelry box is another very personal piece for me. It was my grandmothers and used to be FULL of jewelry. When she moved out of her condo, we didn’t know about Emma yet but I asked her if I could take the jewelry chest anyway “just in case.” And I am so glad I did. I can’t wait to fill it over the years.

Vintage jewelry chest in cottage garden nursery reveal

Even though there is no dresser in here due to the size of the room, there is PLENTY of storage. The book shelves each have 2 40inch wide drawers, plus two baskets on each lower shelf. The closet also has 6 cubbies and 3 hanging rods. While it’s plenty of space for now, if she’s anything like me, we’ll have to get creative in the future.

Stencil wall painting, floral crib sheets and macrame plant hangers in cottage garden nursery

This room was absolutely a labor of love and I smile every time I walk in. Below I've listed all of the sources I can in case you need a little inspiration of your own!

Floral crib sheets, white crib, built in bookshelves and stencil painted wall in cottage garden nursery


Crib (preloved, but this is the one that it is)

Baskets on shelves (similar, ours are old)

Similar macrame plant hangers (ours are from a farmer's market vendor)

Bookshelves (customized with drawers and shelves. We made our own drawer fronts)

Bookshelf hardware (similar, the style we have is no longer sold)



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

Welcome to my corner of the internet, where I'm (real time) navigating a lifestyle change after a pretty traumatic 2020. Stay a while and watch the Real Life Schmidt unfold and learn a little bit more about me, my husband and our life in small town Wisconsin. So happy you're here!

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