Board and Batten Nursery

Ready for the nursery reveal?

We had a 10 x 10 foot room to take from Meh to Marvelous for Baby McKevitt.  B and I didn’t want to know if Baby McKevitt was a boy or a girl, which worked fine for decor purposes because I had no desire for a gender specific color scheme. The goal was a classic, timeless, theme-less and sophisticated room – one that would grow with the kiddo and add to the Craftsman Cottage appeal of our home.

For quick comparison’s sake, here’s what the room looked like before – a room we used only when we had overflow guests.  B’s bachelor pad furniture mixed with some painted white hand-me-downs made it really lovely.

Now back to the afters: I knew what this room would look like long before Baby McKevitt was a reality.  I wanted a simple brown and white color scheme with board and batten walls.   If I had a dollar for everytime someone said: “Oh, brown and white!  That will be so easy to add blue or pink to for a boy or a girl”, Tommy would have had his Notre Dame education paid for before he entered the world.  But that was never the plan.

Mr. B did all of the construction and painting – and he did a fabulous job.  We didn’t get started on the room until the end of April but he put up the board and batten in a day.  He made my vision come to life and I couldn’t love it more.

When it came to buying things for our bundle of joy, I wanted the bare minimum and things that could be used beyond the baby years.  So, I didn’t want an actual changing table.  And I didn’t want a matching dresser and crib set, either.  I hunted for months on Craigslist before finding this antique walnut dresser – for $30.  Casco and I raced against every red light in the Denver Metro Area to beat another interested party to the purchase.  I intended to refinish whatever I found, but I loved the character on this dresser and left it as is.  I honestly think I’ll use this piece forever – in future kids rooms, in front entryways, etc.  For midnight feedings, I decided to skip the glider and go with a hardwood rocker to complement the cottage feel of the room.  I stole this one out of my mom and dad’s basement storage room – love hand-me-downs.

I believe in accessorizing a room or home as you live, and it didn’t make sense to me to have a fully decorated room for a baby whose sex (and therefore name) we did not know and that hadn’t had a chance to even show a hint of its own personality.  So I’m sure that artwork and other personal touches will be added with time, but for now I love the simple basics.

We managed to do the entire room – furniture, wall treatment, paint, etc for just over $500.  Here’s the breakdown:

Board and Batten supplies: $127.03
Paint: $35
Crib: $119.99
Mattress: $79
White Crib Sheet: $5
Curtain Rod and Ring Clips: $35
Fabric for Curtains, Bedskirt and accents: $75
Dresser: $30 from Craigslist
Rocking Chair: Recycled
Floor Lamp: $17 for spray paint and a new shade.
Grand Total: $523.02

And, of course, every baby needs a soccer playing Golden Retriever guarding its crib.  Really.  I read it in one of the pregnancy and baby-rearing books.

So that’s Thomas’s room.  I think we were successful in not getting pigeon-holed into an overall theme so that the room will grow with Thomas – or work for a sibling of his in the future.  And the room gets used – Thomas has slept beautifully in his crib since we came home from the hospital.

*Linked to Frugal Friday


  1. What about the word ointment? Is that off limits too?

    I love it! The walls look pretty sweet! And I love the curtains and crib skirt and Sit pillow. You did good mama!

  2. Very nice! My parents have that exact rocker and I’m hoping to permanently borrow it from them one day too. I hate those bulky padded gliders.

  3. love it! you did a great job. brown and white really is the perfect starting point to add any accent color to. and, of course, i love your soccer dog too.

  4. It looks great! Do you think you could do a tutorial on the board and batten? Thanks! Congrats on Thomas and a great nursery!

  5. Nice! Great work Mr. B. And that dresser is perfect, totally worth risking a ticket. My golden also loves to play soccer, a matching pair flanking the crib might be a nice touch.

  6. GORGEOUS! A nursery that doesn’t make me gag from cutsie overload! You rock!

  7. I just love antique 3 drawer dressers used as a changing table! Great job!

  8. It looks great. You totally accomplished your goal and at a great price. I love your practical side!!!

  9. Oh, Emily, it’s so gorgeous! I love it! Seriously when I saw the first picture I thought that was the inspiration picture you’d used, and then I realized it was the actual room. Can’t wait to see it in person!

  10. probably the cutest (in the non pink and blue explosion form of the word) baby’s room I have ever seen. the board and batten is perfect.

  11. @E Jones – I would totally do a tutorial, but others have done a much better job than I ever could so I’ll just refer you there 🙂

    Simply: We just installed the battens on top of the drywall and skipped the board part – our walls are textured and it still looks like wainscotting. I used 1/4 inch thick lattice from Home Depot for the battens so that we wouldn’t have to replace our existing baseboards and a 4 inch flat pine board for the plate rail. We installed them 12 inches apart on the wall with a nail gun, painted the lower 2/3s of the wall semi-gloss white to look like trim and called it good.

    Here’s the tutorial that I referred B to before starting the project:

  12. You did a GREAT job. So sweet!!! I am glad you finally showed us. I am dying to know more and more about baby, you and family!

  13. nice work!!!! we were (and are) so still doing the board and batten for B’s room. love it, nice work.

  14. You had me at the board and batten – but then you threw in a yummy chocolate, and don’t even get me started on those drapes! Miss imperfect might have to change her name – this looks perfect!

  15. This looks so good! Love it! The golden retriever is the perfect part of that room though! 🙂

  16. I love Thomas’s room! Can you share where the blanket is from? Is it handmade?

  17. looks great! love the curtains and our dogs have the same “soccer ball” as casco. er, had … it’s since been turned to stuffing.

  18. what a perfect room! so cute! i love it!!!

  19. It looks wonderful! I love the board and batton!

  20. LOVE it! this will transition so nicely to a big kid room, an office or whatever else as he grows. love the board & batten and the curtains (of course – i have the same ones in green!) and the lack of theme. well done!

  21. MV – my mom made the quilt for Thomas based on this Pottery Barn quilt that I loved but of course, it didn’t come in brown and white:

  22. This is fantastic! I love everything about it – especially the fact that it will grow with Thomas! And that dresser is perfection.

    Is that the Bright Starts automatic bouncer I see in the background? Colton has one and he and I both love it (I didn’t actually love how small the power button was when I couldn’t bend down, but now, LOVE). I hope you and Tommy do to!

  23. I adore this nursery. It truly may be my favorite blog nursery. Not cheesy or them-y like most. (Although in all actuality, I don’t know if I would have the self-restraint to stay away from a theme either.)

    Anyhoo…. love the quilt, and I adore it more now that I know that Caroline made it. Seriously? Forget Pottery Barn. And, love the doggie quilt. How fun!

    And, finally, I’m totally jealous of the dresser. It’s beautiful and I want it. The wood tone is perfect against that beadboard.

    In conclusion, you know your stuff, girl. This is perfect.

  24. And, okay… I know it’s not technically beadboard. Sorry about my slipup. Board and batten of course. You are the sole reason I went with it in my dining room. I should know these things.

  25. Looks great! Love the board and batten (never would have known to call it that)

  26. I love your fresh perspective! You guys did a great job on T’s room. I am loving the walls and that dresser is perfection. : )

  27. Great to know that Thomas loves his room. But why wouldn’t he with a built in Golden Retriever for company.

    Love the chocolate theme. Great job.

  28. Emily- thanks for the info- seriously, it looks amazing. I can’t believe it was under 200 for molding. When we did LO’s room I avoided it bc all of the quotes I received were over 300. I also forgot to ask where you got that pillow- so cute! Thanks again and congrats on keeping up with the posting and a new born- I know what a challege that is!

  29. I adore this nursery! The brown and the white look great together. And you can’t beat the total cost!

  30. Very classy and beautiful. You did a wonderful job.

  31. Very classy and beautiful. You did a wonderful job.

  32. I LOVE this room and wish that you would share it on my brand new 5 House Friday link up!!!

  33. I can’t imagine a more perfect nursery for a boy. This sounds like a cliche but it’s actually a room that will grow w/ Thomas. Perfection.

    I am so enthralled w/ that board & battan. Mr. B done good. Mr. B done real good.

  34. Oh and if we ever meet IRL, don’t say “moist” in my presence too please. Or “creamy”.

    “Nursery” is OK w/ me though. =]

  35. Gorgrousing! I love the walls!

  36. Wow…looks great. I found your site through The Nester.

    I LOVE it that you didn’t use pink or blue…all my friends are going crazy with pink and blue. Brown is perfect!

  37. Love this room! Random question for you, do you have texture on your wall? I am debating about putting up some board and batten, but wonder how it looks with textured walls.

  38. The room is beautiful. Your teeny baby’s room is classier than any of the rooms is our house – I love that!

  39. I love that you used a non-traditional color for Thomas’ nursery! Although I would have never thought of using brown, I love it!

  40. This is adorable! I love the brown!!

  41. This looks great! Impressive!

  42. i love the colors in this room, what is the paint color of that brown? we have white wainscotting in our master bedroom and we were wanting to paint the walls above it a dark brown. Thanks.