I'm late to the game in posting these images of my daughter Lillian's sweetly Southern nursery, but better late than never!

One of the very first discussions my husband and I had upon finding out we were expecting was how to outfit the baby's nursery (#priorities). We tend to have very complementary interior design tastes -- we're typically drawn to a more neutral palette, natural-finished wood, lighter colors, and anything subtly evocative of the sea. (Although sometimes we do go overboard -- there are actual seashells lining the surface of our garden tub at the present moment, but I'll forgive that.) As much as we both love the whitewashed ultra-neutral nurseries of Restoration Hardware lore, we knew we could take some liberties to go bright and whimsical for our little one's room. (It is a child's space, after all!)

Initial ideas of the "theme" were Adventure (too "Pinteresty", IMO), Maps (also overdone), Sea Creatures (love them but don't love the premade cutest "sets" they sell at baby gear outfitters), Lilly Pulitzer (obviously a big influence but didn't want it to be identical to my office and I can never pick just ONE favorite print), and Flamingos (also love but there is such a thing as too much pink).

Drew was really pulling for the Maps/Adventure thing (esp when we were both convinced Baby Dellinger would be a boy) and I could get into it a little -- I've seen gorgeous antique watercolor maps in Savannah bookstores of the SC/GA coastline that are to die for. However, a $400 framed vintage map wasn't really in the budget and I didn't want to get too too themey. (Too many maps and you look like a Subway station, amirite?) 

Then we moved into our new house and found out we were having a Lilly. Drew was even more insistent upon painting the nursery a girly hue (which was a bit of a sallow pale green upon move-in) than I was. We found the perfect color, Beach Trail by Behr, and decided to subtly decorate the room with things influenced by our favorite city, Charleston. The color palette is reminiscent of Rainbow Row (and a project is in the works for a legitimate Rainbow Row-shaped bookshelf Drew's going to make!) -- bright pastels and beachy shades. We framed a couple of watercolor maps of the city and Isle of Palms, my maternity shoot was taken downtown so there are images of baby & me in her nursery city, and the room is replete with all the fixings of a sweet little Southern belle -- monogrammed wares, seersucker, Lilly Pulitzer baby shifts, bonnets and bows for days. 

It's certainly been a work in progress, one we're not completely through with. Things have evolved even since this photoshoot, taken when Lilly was a mere 2 weeks old. There's now a capiz shell chandelier mobile hanging above her crib, the seahorse painting has been hung above the glider, and one day we'll actually decide what to adorn the largest wall space which is currently still empty. But for now, a glimpse at a lovely little girl's room. :)

All images by the incomparable Amy Cherry.

Some of my favorite elements in her room are all of the handmade pieces gifted to us by our ultra-creative families. The below seahorse watercolor was painted by my sister-in-law, Jennifer, the day after Lilly was born (in between visiting us that morning and evening - can you believe it?!). My own sister, Dani, painted the narwhal and jellyfish canvas. My father made the gorgeous wooden stands that display my mother's handiwork: the going-home dress and bonnet Lilly wore out of the hospital.


Crib, Nightstand, & Dresser | Dolce Babi via USA Baby
Glider & Ottoman | Best Home Furnishings via USA Baby
Paint | Beach Trail by Behr
Flamingo Wall Organizer | Three Sprouts
Crib Sheet | Pottery Barn Kids
Whale Organizer | PBK
Narwhal Canvas | Dani Boudreau
Seahorse Watercolor |  Jennifer Dellinger
Sailboat | World Market
Swiss Dot Balloon Shade | Target
Hairbows | Julia's Boutique
Monogrammed Receiving Blanket | Vera Bradley

a love letter to the southeast

Dear Southeastern United States,

How I love thee! Oh, you majestic region. The more I come to know you, the more I am enamored by you. Your rolling hills, your vertigris, your sandy beaches, your marshes and bayous, the great Mississippi, the lakes scattered about the Appalachians. Your vastly different but equally swoon-worthy landscapes that seem to change with every state.

Charleston, via  q avenue photo

Charleston, via q avenue photo

Most of all I love your coasts. The presence of palm trees makes my heart skip a beat -- so much so I carried a Sago palm home with me after my last trip to Savannah. There's a man who planted a big, majestic palm tree in a yard on Old Hickory Boulevard that I see every time I drive to yoga. Such whimsy and delight it brings! I had to do a double-take initially. But alas -- it is not just me who adores your palms so.

You truly have the most stunning cities in this whole country. European-influenced architecture, vibrantly colored vegetation. Can it be summer all year long? I don't know if I can bear to see the azaleas and crepe myrtles wither away again. How dreary is life without those bright pinks and reds and purples! My dream backyard will be chock-full of every kind of flowered tree and bush I can muster. Roses aplenty. Peonies galore. Hydrangeas for miles. Oh, Southeast, you are the garden of Eden in America.

I don't give you enough credit for your mountains, I know. I have to be in a very particular mood to miss them, but please know that I do appreciate them. I love how old they are, how much character they've accrued over the zillions of years they've been in existence. I've said before that our Tennessee mountains don't hold a candle to the Rockies, but I wouldn't trade them. I don't think I'll ever be a "mountain person," but Appalachians, you are lovely in your own way.

North Carolina mountains, via

North Carolina mountains, via

Every day of my life I will pine for your beaches. From the first day I stepped foot on a backyard where I could pick my own clementines (it was the Friday after Thanksgiving, 2007...), I've been madly in love. Oh, to have a citrus grove in my own stomping grounds!! I would immerse myself in sand every single day and be perfectly content to never get it fully out of my hair, if only I could be near your beaches. I love love love love love the heat of the hot Southern sun on my skin (and promise to buy stock in Coppertone, considering my future offspring will undoubtedly be the fairest of the fair-skinned). I love your humidity (except for maybe Louisiana's -- it's just downright CRAZY there) and I will sacrifice snow for year-round warmth. You are amazing in your changing climates... truly someone could get anything they want down here. 

Sanibel Island, FL  via

Sanibel Island, FL via


Oh, South. I promise I will do everything in my own power to never stray farther north or west of Tennessee. Southeast for me, please. Always and forever. 

Yours truly,